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
Sep 21 | Labor and Employment Law
On September 17, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom signed three bills (SB 1159, AB 685, and SB 1383) expanding workers’ protections in relation to COVID-19 exposure in the workplace, and expanding the California Family Rights Act. All three bills will require employers to take specific steps in response to COVID-19-related issues, and to modify and update their leave policies and practices.
Insurance Coverage
Sep 15 | Insurance Coverage
This week, in AXIS Reinsurance Co. v. Northrop Grumman Corp., ____ F.3d ____, 2020 WL 5509743 (9th Cir. Sept. 14, 2020), the Ninth Circuit addressed an important question of first impression: When can an excess insurer second-guess an underlying insurer’s decision to pay a claim? Prior to AXIS Reinsurance, there had been no California or the Ninth Circuit case discussing an excess insurer’s right to make a covered-claims challenge to the exhaustion of underlying insurance, even though policyholders frequently encounter such arguments.
Business Litigation
Aug 14 | Business Litigation
In Ixchel Pharma, LLC v. Biogen, Inc., S256927, 2020 WL 4432623 (Cal. Aug. 3, 2020) (“Ixchel Pharma”), the Supreme Court of California clarified two points: (1) that to state a claim for interference with an at-will contract by a third party, the plaintiff must allege that the defendant engaged in an independently wrongful act, and (2) whether contractual restraints on business-to-business contracts are invalid depends on whether the restraint is reasonable.
E.g., 09/26/2020
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Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
Sep 21 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
On September 17, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom signed three bills (SB 1159, AB 685, and SB 1383) expanding workers’ protections in relation to COVID-19 exposure in the workplace, and expanding the California Family Rights Act. All three bills will require employers to take specific steps in response to COVID-19-related issues, and to modify and update their leave policies and practices.
Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
Sep 17 | Case Summary, Labor and Employment Law
This month's key employment law cases involve Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), class certification, and arbitration clauses.
Legal Alert, Insurance Coverage
Sep 15 | Legal Alert, Insurance Coverage
This week, in AXIS Reinsurance Co. v. Northrop Grumman Corp., ____ F.3d ____, 2020 WL 5509743 (9th Cir. Sept. 14, 2020), the Ninth Circuit addressed an important question of first impression: When can an excess insurer second-guess an underlying insurer’s decision to pay a claim? Prior to AXIS Reinsurance, there had been no California or the Ninth Circuit case discussing an excess insurer’s right to make a covered-claims challenge to the exhaustion of underlying insurance, even though policyholders frequently encounter such arguments.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
Sep 10 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
The majority of the employment-related bills that Governor Newsom will sign this year will not take effect until January 2021 or later. But Governor Newsom signed two significant, employment-related “trailer bills” this week that took effect immediately.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
Sep 08 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
On August 31, 2020, California’s legislative session closed with a flurry of bills—the majority driven by COVID-19. These bills have been sent to the governor, who now has until the end of September to sign them into law or allow them to become law without his signature.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
Aug 28 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
On August 27, 2020, the Department of Labor updated its Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers to address eligibility for FFCRA benefits in light of the complexity school program offerings. The FAQ now has three additional questions (98 – 100) addressing hybrid and remote schooling. The questions are summarized in this article.
Article, Labor and Employment Law
Aug 21 | Article, Labor and Employment Law
Earlier this month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released two new documents addressing concerns about the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and opioid use. Employers need to be aware of how to handle employee requests to accommodate both physical and mental health issues stemming from current or past opioid use, as well as how to verify legal use.
Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
Aug 14 | Legal Alert, Labor and Employment Law
In Robinson v. Southern Counties Oil Co., 2020 WL 4696742 (certified for publication Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 13, 2020), the California Court of Appeal held that an action under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), Cal. Labor Code § 2699, et seq. cannot be duplicated once another PAGA matter covering the same set of facts, the same employer, and during the same time frame is resolved, and claim preclusion deprives a former employee of standing to bring claims arising exclusively after he was employed.
Legal Alert, Business Litigation
Aug 14 | Legal Alert, Business Litigation
In Ixchel Pharma, LLC v. Biogen, Inc., S256927, 2020 WL 4432623 (Cal. Aug. 3, 2020) (“Ixchel Pharma”), the Supreme Court of California clarified two points: (1) that to state a claim for interference with an at-will contract by a third party, the plaintiff must allege that the defendant engaged in an independently wrongful act, and (2) whether contractual restraints on business-to-business contracts are invalid depends on whether the restraint is reasonable.

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