Developments of Interest

New Cases of Interest - May 20, 2016

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Ardon v. City of Los Angeles (2016) 62 Cal.4th 1176.  The Supreme Court held that a city's inadvertent disclosure of information pursuant to the California Records Act, which disclosure included documents that came within the attorney-client privilege or the attorney work-product privilege did not result in a waiver of those privileges.

Saterbak v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 808.  This is another in a series of actions that relate to alleged defects in the assignment of a deed of trust that was part of a securitization.  The Court in this matter holds that the borrower lacks standing to challenge the assignment when it was done at a time when the borrower was in default but no foreclosure sale had yet occurred.  The Court reasoned that case law which allowed challenges to void assignments did not however authorize a preemptive attack and an untimely assignment in a securitized trust made after the trust closing date was not a void assignment under New York law, but was voidable by the beneficiary.  The Court further found that that the statutory requirements for assigning a deed of trust under Civil Code §§ 2924.12(a)(b), 2924.17(a) and 2923.4 did not apply because those statutes came into being after the assignments and there was no retroactivity language contained in the statutes.

Newark Unified School District v. Superior Court (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 887.  This case follows the Supreme Court's lead in Ardon v. City of Los Angeles noted above.  In this matter a school district sought injunctive relief seeking to recover inadvertently disclosed documents that were within the privilege exemption from public records disclosure but were included within a response to a Public Records Act request.  The Court of Appeal granted mandate relief for the school district in that the rule allowing access under the California Public Records Act did not require finding a waiver of evidentiary privileges, particularly when the evidence did not suggest that the release of the privileged documents to the public had made it otherwise impossible to provide effective relief.

Baltazar v. Forever 21, Inc. (2016) 62 Cal.4th 1237.  The Court herein upheld an arbitration agreement executed as a condition of employment for an employee who sought to bring claims alleging verbal and physical harassment, race and sex discrimination and retaliation, all in violation of California law.  The Court concluded the arbitration agreement was not unconscionable.  It was not necessary to attach the rules of the arbitration provider to the employment agreement or employment application.  The exception for provisional relief to the arbitration provisions did not result in a waiver of those arbitration provisions.

Staniforth v. Judges' Ret. System (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 1442.  This is a case involving a retirement system, specifically the one applicable to judges, and involves an analysis of the limitation of actions provisions contained in that statute.  The case contains some good language concerning the purpose of a statute of limitations and finds that a limitations period could be implied from the statutory language. 

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