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Law Alerts!

California Supreme Court Clarifies Commissioned Employee Exemption
Peabody v Time Warner Cable, Inc. (July 14, 2014, No. S204804) 2014 Cal Lexis 4755, came to the California Supreme Court from the Ninth Circuit, through a certification procedure that is used when a question can determine the outcome of the case, but there is no controlling state law precedent to answer it.
San Francisco Superior Court Continues to Expand Voluntary E-Filing Program
Effective July 14, 2014, the San Francisco Superior Court expanded its voluntary e-filing program to include the following 25 new types of civil cases: Civil Harassment Elder and Adult Dependent Abuse Order of Examination
Drought Relief Legislation Increases Regulatory Powers and Potential Penalties Affecting Appropriative Water Rights
Introduction In newly enacted Senate Bill 104 (Stats 2014, ch 3, §1), approved by the governor in March and effective immediately, the legislature declared that California "is experiencing an unprecedented dry period and shortage of water for its citizens, local governments, agriculture, environment, and other uses." Although SB 104 has implications for all types of California water rights, this alert focuses on the potential impact to appropriative water rights, since much of the state's water supply depends on appropriative water rights.
Second District Court of Appeal Expands Reach of Fiduciary Duty Law, Clarifies That New LLC Act Does Not Apply Retroactively
Holding In American Master Lease LLC v Idanta Partners, Ltd. (2014) 225 CA4th 1451, as modified (May 27, 2014, No. B244689) 2014 Cal App Lexis 460, the Second District Court of Appeal held that a defendant can be liable for aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty if the defendant either (i) knew that the other person's conduct constituted a breach of fiduciary duty or (ii) substantially assisted or encouraged the breach. As the court explained, civil liability for aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty does not require that the defendant owe an independent duty to the plaintiff. Unlike liability based on a conspiracy, liability for aiding and abetting is distinct from primary liability for breach of duty. Liability attaches because the defendant behaves in a way that enables the primary violator to commit the underlying tort. 225 CA4th at 1476.
Second Public Hearing on FEHC's Proposed Amendments to CFRA Regulations
On June 2, 2014, the California Fair Employment and Housing Council will hold a second public hearing on its proposed amendments to the regulations interpreting the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) (Govt C §12945.2). The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. at the California Public Utilities Commission, Main Auditorium, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, 94102. In addition, written comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted until 5:00 p.m. on June 2, 2014.
Update on Federal Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act
The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 (Pub L 110-142, 121 Stat 1803) allowed exclusion of income realized as a result of debt reduction on a taxpayer's principal residence resulting from a loan modification, workout, short sale, foreclosure, or deed in lieu of foreclosure. The Act was extended twice through 2013 but has now expired. However, the Senate Finance Committee may take up a so-called "extender" bill sometime this spring. Several such bills (which are still pending) have been introduced in both the House and the Senate since mid-2013.
CFPB Mortgage Loan Servicing Regulations Became Effective January 10, 2014
Introduction In 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) exercised its discretionary rulemaking authority and published new loan servicing and loss mitigation regulations. The regulations are effective January 10, 2014, and mandate that loan servicers (1) initiate early intervention for delinquent borrowers on covered residential mortgage loans, (2) maintain continuity of contact with such borrowers, and (3) comply with loss mitigation procedures. Codified in 12 CFR §§1024.39–1024.41, their goal is to reduce foreclosures by using realistic alternatives. Small servicers and servicers of certain reverse mortgages need not comply. The regulations are detailed in California Mortgages, Deeds of Trust, and Foreclosure Litigation §10.8H (4th ed Cal CEB).
San Francisco Superior Court Expands E-Filing Program Effective January 27, 2014
San Francisco Superior Court has expanded its e-filing program to include the following 16 new types of cases: Antitrust/Unfair Competition Business Tort Common Counts/Open Book/Accounts/Collections Construction Contract/Warranty