Stress Factors for First Year Law Students (1L)

Many smart people think about attending law school.  The stress factor is not always considered by prospective students. Prof. Carroll Seron at the UC Irvine School of Law candidly acknowledges this issue. “It is a rite of professional passage that the first year of law school is highly stressful and, indeed, is designed to be …

The UCC Remains Relevant

The Uniform Commercial Code covers a wide scope of commercial transactions, from the sale of goods to warehouse receipts to secured transactions.  Article 3 deals with promissory notes, sometimes referred to as negotiable instruments. In his 2012 book,  The End of Negotiable Instruments, James Steven Rogers argued that most of the law contained in Article …

Tribeca Companies v. First American – Escrowholder Not Liable for $1 Million Claim

The recent decision in Tribeca Companies, LLC v. First American Title Insurance Company (Aug. 26, 2015) ___ Cal.App.4th ___ reaches an unsurprising result – an escrowholder is not liable for damages when it delivers money to the owner of the funds. If you continue to the end of the decision, however, you’ll find a peculiar …

Study Says Number of Farm Workers Increased in California

A recent study published by the U. C. Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics reports an increase in the number of agricultural employees in California.  Using data from the Employment Development Department, the authors conclude “since 1990, average employment in [California] agriculture rose 10%.” To support their conclusion, the authors “extracted all SSNs reported by agricultural …

Double Bogey, LP v. Enea – Alter Ego Status Under State Law Does Not Equate with Fiduciary Status Under Bankruptcy Law

The federal courts continue to narrow the circumstances in which a person can be denied relief in bankruptcy court based on breach of fiduciary duties.  In Double Bogey, LP v. Enea, ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir. July 22, 2015), an unpaid creditor sought to invoke nondischargeability on the grounds that the debtor, as the alter …

Bos v. Board of Trustees – 9th Circuit Narrows Fiduciary Non-Dischargeability in Bankruptcy

Several categories of debt are excluded from relief under the Bankruptcy Code, meaning that a debtor cannot obtain a discharge for these debts. In Bos v. Board of Trustees, ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir. 2015), the Ninth Circuit considered whether an employer’s contractual requirement to contribute to an employee benefits fund made the employer a …

Knowledge of the law is like a deep well

Sir Edward Coke was born in 1552.  He was regarded as a great lawyer.  He was twice married, his domestic life being full of quarrels.  Coke was one of the most truculent of English lawyers, and an arch-rival of Francis Bacon.  “He was a potent element in Francis Bacon’s ruin,” says Dean Church. On the …

Wong v. Stoler – Delay Does Not Benefit Defendants

Here’s a thorny problem.  The trial court found that the seller of a house lied to the buyer.  The buyer sought the remedy of rescission.  The trial court denied relief, in part because of events that occurred with the passage of time. The court of appeal disagreed in Wong v. Stoler (June 23, 2015) __ …

A Deal is Deal, Except When You Pump Your Arms

When you read the cases, it’s hard not to reach the conclusion that the courts view a liability release agreement with distrust. A new high water mark in this analysis was reached in the recent decision in Etelvina Jimenez v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. (June 9, 2015) __ Cal.App.4th ___. In Jimenez, the court …