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Featured Insights

Payne & Fears provides high quality legal and business insights, and we are committed to delivering practical and timely updates for a diverse range of issues, businesses and industries.

Labor and Employment Law
Jul 12 | Labor and Employment Law
June's case summaries include decisions on arbitrating PAGA claims, class actions involving staffing agencies, and guidance from the California courts on wage-statement obligations for overtime true-up payments.
Insurance Coverage
May 24 | Insurance Coverage
In a decision that further muddies the already murky waters of “occurrence” jurisprudence, the California Court of Appeal has ruled that a general liability policy does not cover a homeowner who mistakenly grades the wrong piece of land because the act of grading land is not “accidental.”
Business Litigation
Jul 27 | Business Litigation
The California Supreme Court last week issued a decision in Siry Investments vs. Saeed Farkhondehpour that could dramatically expand the remedies available to partners or others in a commercial dispute who are victims of financial theft related to company assets and funds. Section 496(a) criminalizes the receipt of stolen property and provides for treble damages and attorney’s fees for the party suffering the loss. In a surprise opinion, the Supreme Court decided that Penal Code section 496 can apply any time there is a diversion of money or assets from a partnership, limited liability company or other business provided that the requisite criminal intent to deprive others of those funds can be shown. For the plaintiff in Siry, applying section 496 increased the outcome by many millions. The Siry decision likely will make available to plaintiffs in certain business disputes remedies of treble damages and attorney’s fees that ordinarily are not available for similar claims in other contexts.
E.g., 08/14/2022
E.g., 08/14/2022
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Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
Aug 11 | Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
A man sitting at a desk writing with a pen and paper.
July's case summaries include decisions on employers' obligations to provide appropriate seating for employees, the timely payment of arbitration fees, and whether employers may stay PAGA actions pending arbitration of similar third-party claims.
Legal Alert, Business Litigation
Jul 27 | Legal Alert, Business Litigation
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
The California Supreme Court last week issued a decision in Siry Investments vs. Saeed Farkhondehpour that could dramatically expand the remedies available to partners or others in a commercial dispute who are victims of financial theft related to company assets and funds. Section 496(a) criminalizes the receipt of stolen property and provides for treble damages and attorney’s fees for the party suffering the loss. In a surprise opinion, the Supreme Court decided that Penal Code section 496 can apply any time there is a diversion of money or assets from a partnership, limited liability company or other business provided that the requisite criminal intent to deprive others of those funds can be shown. For the plaintiff in Siry, applying section 496 increased the outcome by many millions. The Siry decision likely will make available to plaintiffs in certain business disputes remedies of treble damages and attorney’s fees that ordinarily are not available for similar claims in other contexts.
Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
Jul 12 | Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
A man sitting at a desk writing with a pen and paper.
June's case summaries include decisions on arbitrating PAGA claims, class actions involving staffing agencies, and guidance from the California courts on wage-statement obligations for overtime true-up payments.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
Jul 05 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
To ensure compliance with current California and Federal law and to benefit from recent court decisions, it is time for employers to review and update their employee arbitration agreements.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
Jun 15 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
In a decision employers across California have been waiting for since December, the United States Supreme Court held this morning in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) “preempts the rule of Iskanian insofar as it precludes division of PAGA actions into individual and non-individual claims through an agreement to arbitrate.”  In a nutshell, a valid arbitration agreement with a PAGA representative action waiver can now be used to compel the plaintiff’s “individual” PAGA claim to arbitration and dismiss the “non-individual” PAGA claim.
Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
Jun 14 | Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
A man sitting at a desk writing with a pen and paper.
The key California Employment Law Case Summaries from May 2022 include using unpaid meal- and rest-break premiums as basis for waiting-time penalties and inaccurate wage statement claims, FAA requirements for resisting arbitration, and a trial court's discretion to apply the doctrine of exclusive concurrent jurisdiction to stay a later-filed PAGA action involving claims that overlap with an earlier-filed PAGA action.
Legal Alert, Insurance Coverage
May 24 | Legal Alert, Insurance Coverage
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
In a decision that further muddies the already murky waters of “occurrence” jurisprudence, the California Court of Appeal has ruled that a general liability policy does not cover a homeowner who mistakenly grades the wrong piece of land because the act of grading land is not “accidental.”
Legal Alert, Insurance Coverage
May 24 | Legal Alert, Insurance Coverage
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
Third-party claims seeking damages for faulty workmanship that results in property damage are covered under general liability policies in most jurisdictions. Virginia is not one of them. A federal district court recently reaffirmed that Virginia remains in the small minority of states that view construction defect claims as a business risk to be borne by the builder, even when the claims arise out of negligent conduct that results in property damage.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
May 23 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
A businessman standing in the window of a high-rise building reading urgent business documents.
On May 23, 2022, the California Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc., holding unpaid meal and rest break premiums can give rise to derivative claims for waiting time penalties (Labor Code section 203) and inaccurate wage statements (Labor Code section 226). This consequential ruling may significantly increase the exposure for employers in class action lawsuits involving unpaid meal and rest break premiums.

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