A new California Court of Appeal decision, Espejo v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group, elaborates on how to prove that documents signed online, digitally, are authentic, and therefore have the same effect as a handwritten signature. Read More
By Stephen C. Gerrish, Senior Counsel
Employers in California should immediately review their harassment policies to ensure compliance with California’s new harassment prevention regulations.
California law mandates that employers have an affirmative duty to prevent harassment and discrimination. Employers must take “all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination and harassment.” (Ca. Govt. Code section 12940(k)). With regard to sexual harassment, California law requires the posting of a state-developed poster and the distribution to employees of a state supplied pamphlet (form DFEH-185 brochure, or similar written notice). Now, new regulations have been promulgated that broaden an employer’s notification and internal policy requirements. These regulations are effective April 1, 2016, and require employers to “develop a harassment, discrimination, and retaliation prevention policy that: Read More
By Andrew P. Holland and Jared M. Ahern
Rule 26 may be the most important Federal Rule of Civil Procedure because it governs discovery, which is arguably the most important part of modern civil litigation. On December 1, 2015 Congress amended Rule 26 to make “proportionality” a more prominent part of the rule.1 Generally, proportionality requires striking a balance between the need for the information sought in discovery with the burden imposed on the party who would have to supply that information. Read More
By Andrew P. Holland and Jared M. Ahern
Is a consumer likely to be confused when a company that makes butter uses the same trademark as a company that makes fishing tackle (hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders and tackle boxes)?1 The court’s answer in Hugunin v. Land O’ Lakes, Inc. was a resounding no.2 815 F.3d 1064 (7th Cir. 2016).
James Hugunin, along with two of his companies, sued the dairy company Land O’ Lakes, Inc. for trademark infringement after it demanded that he cease using the “LAND O LAKES” mark without a license.3 Land O’ Lakes counterclaimed for trademark dilution.4 The Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of all the claims, observing that “in this unusual case two firms sued each other though neither had been, is, or is likely to be harmed in the slightest by the other.”5 Read More
…a relatively small investment of time spent on the fundamentals can yield significant dividends in the future – and help to avoid much distress. And, the first fundamental, particularly for founders who do not anticipate seeking venture capital, is to put in place a shareholder buy-sell agreement.
Anyone who holds restricted stock of a non-public company, such as Twitter, Box, or Palantir among others, probably has discovered it is possible to find buyers for their stock by contacting Second Market or Shares Post or other broker-dealers who specialize in assisting in the purchase and sale of restricted stock of companies experiencing rapid growth and share appreciation.
The court stated that this was a “case of first impression” and posed the issue as “whether an employee who has exhausted all permissible leave available under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL)…may nevertheless state a cause of action under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).”
The California Supreme Court’s Harris decision, discussed in our last post, not only clarifies the standard of proof and alters remedies available to an employee in mixed-motive cases, it provides guidance and raises questions on several practical aspects of employment law and litigation.
The California Supreme Court’s decision in Harris v. City of Santa Monica established a new standard of proof in mixed-motive discrimination cases and dramatically changed the remedies available in those cases.
Since December, the Labor Commissioner has twice revised its new form, most recently effective April 12, 2012. A Word version of the form can be found here. In addition, the Department revised its Frequently Asked Questions regarding the new law and the form, which can be found here.