Archive for the ‘Developments’ Category

Bankruptcy Filings Decrease Again in 2015 (2015-11-5)

The federal bankruptcy courts publish detailed statistics on bankruptcy filings.  California has four federal judicial districts, with Fresno located in the Eastern District. The 2011-2015 bankruptcy filings for the Eastern District of California continue to show a substantial decline, as shown in this table: Truly, the overall decline from 2011 to 2015 is astonishing, and […]






Dorsey v. Superior Court – No Attorneys Fees in Small Claims Cases (2015-10-27)

As the jurisdiction of small claims court has increased (now up to $10,000), attorneys are called on more frequently to assist on appeal.  (Ground rule – attorneys are not permitted to assist at the original trial, only on appeal.) In Dorsey v. Superior Court (Oct. 22, 2015) __ Cal.App.4th __, “The small claims court dispute […]






Study Says Number of Farm Workers Increased in California (2015-8-31)

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 (2015-8-21)

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 (2015-8-13)

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 […]






Concealed Weapons in the Central Valley (2015-7-13)

It seems that we’re not afraid to be packin’ down on the ranch.    






Wong v. Stoler – Delay Does Not Benefit Defendants (2015-6-30)

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 (2015-6-19)

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 […]






Estate of Britel – When is a Child Not a Child? (2015-6-12)

The law is filled with rules.  Rules give guidance to judges. Sometimes the legal result does not square with the facts.  In Estate of Britel (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 127, “the court admitted into evidence a DNA test showing a 99.9996 percent probability that the decedent (Amine Britel) was A.S.’s (the child’s) father.”  Yet the court […]






Huge Decline in California Bankruptcy Filings (2014-9-29)

The federal bankruptcy courts publish detailed statistics on bankruptcy filings.  California has four federal judicial districts, with Fresno located in the Eastern District. The 2011-2014 bankruptcy filings for the Eastern District of California show a substantial decline, as shown in this table:   E.D. Cal. total filings Chapter 7 cases Chapter 11 cases Chapter 12 […]