California Lawyers Association

Case Updates

All case updates written and distributed by the CLA sections

Relying on the strong Texas principle of freedom to contract, the Texas Supreme Court held recently that although emails are writings, an exchange of emails and documents which demonstrate that parties have reached a meeting of the minds is not sufficient to form a definitive agreement to create an enforceable contract. Chalker Energy Partners III, LLC v. Le Norman Operating LLC, 2020 WL 976930 (Tex. 2/28/20). Read more
Agreeing with its sister circuits in a case of first impression, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the terms of a contract alone cannot require a court to grant equitable relief where there is an adequate monetary remedy at law. Barranco v. 3D Systems Corporation, 2020 WL 1179728 (9th Cir. 3/12/20). Read more
Skyline Wesleyan Church filed suit against the California Department of Managed Health Care and its Director (collectively, the “DMHC”) after the DMHC issued letters to seven health insurers mandating that their insurance plans include coverage for legal abortions. Until the DMHC’s directive, Skyline had obtained DMHC-approved health insurance for its employees that restricted abortion coverage consistent with Skyline’s belief that abortion is impermissible except possibly when the life of a pregnant woman is at risk. Read more
Doctor Suzanne Yang sued a Tenet hospital and members of its medical staff for defamation based on alleged statements they made about her qualifications, competence, and medical ethics. The statements were made both to the public and the medical community. Defendants’ alleged statements denigrated Dr. Yang’s ethics and her standard of care; they also directed other physicians not to refer patients to her. Read more
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals took the unusual route of ruling that a bankruptcy court’s factual findings were clearly erroneous when it reversed the finding that, when renewing a business loan guaranteed by the debtor, a creditor did not reasonably rely on the debtor’s false financial statement, the reversal resulting in the debt being nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. Section 523(a)(2)(B). The Circuit Court’s reversal was founded on its perception that the reasonable reliance requirement of the statute is intended to target creditors acting in bad faith to prevent debtors from discharging debts. Veritex Community Bank v Osborne, 2020 WL 1140845 (5th Cir. 3/10/20). Read more
Under Medicare, hospitals that serve a disproportionate number of low-income patients receive a reimbursement for the higher costs incurred in providing those services. See 42 U.S.C. § 1395ww(d)(5)(F)(vi). Whether a hospital receives a reimbursement—and, if so, how much—depends on the hospital’s “disproportionate patient percentage,” which captures the number of Medicare- and Medicaid-eligible patient days for which the hospital provides services. Read more
he common law contract principle of unilateral mistake of fact will not save a trust deed buyer at a nonjudicial foreclosure sale from grossly overpaying for the property because he mistakenly thought the trust deed he was purchasing was in the first priority position based on information in a private software application when public records and a title report he had ordered both showed the trust deed was junior to a first trust deed. Matson v. S.B.S. Trust Deed Network, 2020 WL 1060245 (Cal. Court of Appeal, 4th Dist. 3/5/20). Read more
Even though the ownership of a first trust deed by Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) was undisclosed, the loan’s servicer Bayview Loan Servicing holding the beneficial interest of record, Freddie Mac was still entitled to the non-extinguishment protection of the Federal Foreclosure Bar of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) against a nonjudicial foreclosure by a superpriority homeowners association (HOA) in Nevada, which was designed by statute to extinguish liens junior to the HOA’s position. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC v. Shadow Spring Community Association, 2019 WL 6219525 (D. Nev. Nov. 21, 2019). Read more
Huang v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (2020) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2020 WL 2059951: The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's order granting defendant's summary judgment on the basis of the statute of limitations. Read more
According to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, a Chapter 7 debtor who was awarded part of his ex-wife’s Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and her 401(k) account in their prepetition dissolution proceeding may not claim those funds as exempt “retirement funds” under Section 522(b)(3)(C). Lerbakken v. Sieloff & Assoc., P.A. (In re Lerbakken), 949 F. 3d 432 (8th Cir. 2020). Read more

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