Developments of Interest

New Cases of Interest - November 7, 2011

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Calvo v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 118.  In this case the Court of Appeal holds that when a lender assigns a loan and deed of trust and a new trustee is substituted it is sufficient if the notice of assignment of the deed of trust appears only in the substitution of trustee which is recorded on the same date as the notice of trustee sale, and that such a procedure does not violate Civil Code § 2932.5 because that section does not apply when the power of sale is conferred in a deed of trust rather than a mortgage.

Tuszynska v. Cunningham (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 257.  This is a SLAPP case in which a legal services plan, an organization and a former administrator sought to strike a gender discrimination complaint brought by an attorney.  The attorney had provided legal representation to the association pursuant to its prepaid legal services plan and claimed that because she was a woman she received fewer case referrals than other similarly situated counsel.  The defendants moved to strike the complaint on the basis that its allegations were founded on protected petitioning activities which the association and its administrator took on behalf of its members.  The court held that the allegations were based on protected litigation-related communications and that attorney selection in litigation funding decisions were protected activities within the meaning of the SLAPP statute.  The court then remanded the matter for further evidence on whether the plaintiff attorney could demonstrate a reasonable probability of prevailing on the merits of her claims. 

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