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Legal Malpractice

[10/21] Ham v. Eggs
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[08/20] Lee v. Hanley
In a case to determine whether an attorney's refusal to return a former client's money after the client terminated the representation was "a wrongful act or omission . . . arising in the performance of professional services" under Code of Civil Procedure section 340.6(a), the Court of Appeals' decision, which reversed the trial court's sustainment of defendant's demurrer, is affirmed where the complaint can be construed to allege a claim for conversion whose ultimate proof at trial may not depend on the assertion that defendant violated a professional obligation, and thus at least one of plaintiff's claims is not time-barred.

[07/21] Moncrief v. Clark
In an underlying legal malpractice action arising out of the sale of farm equipment, the trial court's grant of defendant's motion to quash service of summons is reversed where: 1) nothing in the record supports the trial court's finding that the contact was "just such a random attenuated and insufficient contact to establish specific jurisdiction"; and 2) defendant personally availed himself of the benefits of California when he reached into California to induce plaintiff's client to complete the equipment purchase.

[07/21] Shaoxing City Maolong Wuzhong Down Products, Ltd. v. Keehn & Associates, APC
In a legal malpractice lawsuit brought by a creditor of a bankruptcy debtor against his attorneys, who were hired to challenge another creditor's lien but missed the deadline to investigate and attack the lien, the trial court granted summary judgment to the defendant attorneys is affirmed where plaintiff's lawsuit was untimely as a matter of law.

[05/26] Kumaraperu v. Feldsted
In this legal malpractice action, alleging plaintiff's attorneys negligently advised her to draw a check on an account that she owned but on which she was not a signatory and deposit the funds into another account she owned, which she alleges exposed her to a criminal forgery prosecution, the trial court grant of demurrer without leave to amend, on the grounds that plaintiff bore unclean hands and failed to allege she had been found factually innocent of forgery, is affirmed but on different grounds where transferring one's own funds from one account to another cannot be the basis of a forgery prosecution absent intent to defraud, even if the transfer is effected by means of a false signature. Therefore, plaintiff's criminal prosecution could not reasonably have been foreseen by defendants, and any damages she incurred defending against it were not caused by them.

[03/26] Loanvest I v. Utrecht
Plaintiff Loanvest appeals from the dismissal of its legal malpractice cause of action against defendants, its former attorneys, after the court granted defendants' anti-SLAPP motion to strike. Plaintiff alleges that defendants disregarded its interests in order to protect the interests of the person who formerly controlled plaintiff. The judgment is reversed and the matter is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings, where, in a legal malpractice action brought by an attorney's former client, claiming that the attorney breached fiduciary obligations to the client as the result of a conflict of interest or other deficiency in the representation of the client, the action does not threaten to chill the exercise of protected activity and the first prong of the anti-SLAPP analysis is not satisfied.

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Labor & Employment Law

[09/16] Beaulieu v. State of Vermont
In an action against an agency and officials of the State of Vermont, alleging claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. sections 201 et seq., which defendants removed to federal court, the district court's grant of defendant's motion to dismiss on the basis of sovereign immunity from private suit under the FLSA is affirmed where, while defendants removal to federal court waived their Eleventh Amendment immunity from suit in federal court, it did not waive Vermont's general sovereign immunity and Vermont has not otherwise waived it.

[09/11] Resilient Floor Covering Pension Trust Fund Bd. of Trustees v. Michael's Floor Covering, Inc.
In an ERISA case, the district court's judgment, after a bench trial, holding that a construction industry employer was not subject to "withdrawal liability" under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendment Act (MPPAA), is reversed where: 1) a bona fide successor employer in general and a construction industry successor employer in particular, can be subject to MPPAA withdrawal liability, so long as the successor took over the business with notice of the liability; and 2) the most important factor in assessing whether an employer is a successor for purposes of imposing MPPAA withdrawal liability is whether there is substantial continuity in the business operations between the predecessor and the successor, as determined in large part by whether the new employer has taken over the economically critical bulk of the prior employer's customer base.

[09/10] EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.
In an enforcement action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. section 2000e et seq., alleging that defendant engaged in a nationwide practice of sex-base pay and promotion discrimination, the district court's grant of summary judgment is reversed where the magistrate judge improperly reviewed the sufficiency of the evidence of the EEOC investigation rather than whether there was an investigation.

[09/10] Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC
In an employee's suit claiming that his discharge violated the whistleblower protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the district court's dismissal for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted, holding that these provisions protect only employees discharged for reporting violations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and not those reporting violations only internally, is reversed where the pertinent provisions of Dodd-Frank create a sufficient ambiguity to warrant deference to the SEC's interpretive rule, which supports plaintiff's view of the statute.

[09/08] Intertape Polymer Corp. v. NLRB
In a petition for review of a National Labor Relations Board order concluding that petitioner committed three unfair labor practices prior to and during the course of a union campaign, in violation of Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. section 158(a)(1): 1) the petition is granted in part, where enforcement of the NLRB's order concluding that petitioner engaged in unlawful surveillance of union activity in April of 2012 should be denied; and 2) the NLRB's order is enforced in part as the portion of its orders concluding that petitioner engaged in unlawful interrogation of an employee in February 2012 and unlawfully confiscated union flyers in March of 2012.

[09/04] Cortes v. MTA New York City Transit
In a suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. sections 12112-12117, the district court's grant of summary judgment dismissing the claims is: 1) vacated and remanded with respect to plaintiff's disability discrimination claim where, relying on Collins v. New York City Transit Authority, 305 F.3d 113 (2d Cir. 2002), the district court gave almost preclusive weight to the NYSDHR's dismissal of this claim, however Collins addresses only the effect of arbitration awards under a collective bargaining agreement and does not apply to the decisions of state administrative agencies; but 2) otherwise affirmed.

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