Developments of Interest

New Cases of Interest - May 21, 2015

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05/21/2015

Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 1154.  This is a California Public Records Act case and the court determines that invoices submitted by an attorney constituted confidential communications within the scope of Evidence Code § 952 and were entitled to protection under Evidence Code § 954 as attorney-client privileged documents and therefore the invoices provided by the attorneys were exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act.

Conti v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, Inc. (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 1214.  This was a case in which a member of the defendant religious organization sued another member for sexual abuse as a child and sued the organization for failure to warn and to supervise.  The court held that the organization did not have a duty to depart from its policy of confidentiality and to warn other members about the defendant member who had disclosed to the elders of the religious organization that he had molested his stepdaughter.  However, the organization could be held liable for failing to supervise the defendant member's actions in field service activities, which in this case involved going door to door, and in that activity the organization had to take reasonable steps to prevent any abuse from occurring.

DisputeSuite.com, LLC v. Scoreinc.com (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 1261.  This was a commercial action involving an allegation of breach of contract, interference with contract and other causes of action.  A motion to dismiss was filed on the basis of a forum selection clause in another state contained in agreements between the parties and after the case was refiled in the foreign state jurisdiction, the trial court dismissed the California action.  The defendants then filed a motion for an award of attorney's fees alleging that they were the prevailing party in connection with the motion to dismiss.  The trial court denied the motion and the trial court's action was upheld by the court of appeal with the court finding that when a defendant obtains an interim procedural victory that results in a relocation of an active contract dispute from one forum to another this is not a final resolution of the contract claim so therefore does not trigger a prevailing party attorney's fees determination under California Civil Code § 1717. 

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