Blog

The New Jersey Supreme Court Limits Offer of Judgment Sanctions in Multi-defendant Cases

Posted by Brian C Harris on Sep 14th 2018

The New Jersey Supreme Court Limits Offer of Judgment Sanctions in Multi-defendant Cases
In the matter of Willner v. Vertical Reality, the New Jersey Supreme Court set limits on a plaintiff’s ability to win sanctions under the Offer of Judgment Rule in cases of multiple defendants, even when the ultimate damages award is well beyond the original judgment. The Court overturned an award of sanctions in a product liability case where a jury ordered two defendants to pay plaintiff far beyond what his attorney had demanded in a pretrial offer of judgment. The Supreme Court said it wo
Read more

There Are No Small Conflicts: Due to Undisclosed, Known Conflict, Supreme Court Agrees that Engagement Agreement Is Unenforceable but Keeps Door Open to Law Firm Receiving Compensation Under Equitable Principles

Posted by Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP on Sep 12th 2018

In Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP v. J-M Manufacturing Co., Inc. (8/30/2018 No. S232946), the California Supreme Court held that the conflict of interest of the law firm (“Sheppard Mullin”) rendered its engagement agreement, including an arbitration provision, with its client (“J-M”) unenforceable because the agreement violated the California Rules of Professional Conduct (“RPC”). Although the agreement included an “advance” conflict waiver, the Court deemed it ineffective because She
Read more

Accident/Occurrence Requirement Does not Preclude Coverage for Vicarious Liability or Negligent Supervision

Posted by Law Firm of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP on Aug 12th 2018

Accident/Occurrence Requirement Does not Preclude Coverage for Vicarious Liability or Negligent Supervision
In Liberty Surplus Ins. Corp. v. Ledesma & Meyer Construction Co., Inc. (No. S236765, filed 6/4/18) (L&M), the California Supreme Court ruled that the liability insurance requirement that injury be caused by an “occurrence,” defined as an “accident,” does not preclude coverage of an employer’s independent tort liability for injury deliberately caused by its employee.In L&M, Liberty insured a construction company that contracted to manage a construction project at a middle school in S
Read more

Accident/Occurrence Requirement Does not Preclude Coverage for Vicarious Liability or Negligent Supervision

Posted by Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP on Jun 7th 2018

In Liberty Surplus Ins. Corp. v. Ledesma & Meyer Construction Co., Inc. (No. S236765, filed 6/4/18) (L&M), the California Supreme Court ruled that the liability insurance requirement that injury be caused by an “occurrence,” defined as an “accident,” does not preclude coverage of an employer’s independent tort liability for injury deliberately caused by its employee.In L&M, Liberty insured a construction company that contracted to manage a construction project at a middle school in S
Read more