Leighton v. Forster

Since a non-contingent contract for attorney fees between a lawyer and client must be in writing and signed by both parties in order to be enforceable, agreement which client never executed was not enforceable, and the statute of limitations had already passed on a quantum meruit action by the lawyer.  Under B&P Code 6148, a…

Jacobs v. Locatelli

Neither the statute of frauds nor the parol evidence rule precluded a real estate broker’s suit for her commission, as she could rely on extrinsic evidence to show that the one owner who signed her listing agreement did so as agent for the other owners.  The trial court erred in dismissing this suit by a…

Rincon EV Realty LLC v. CP III Rincon Towers, Inc.

A contractual jury trial waiver is unenforceable in California state court despite the contract’s choice of New York law which allows such waivers.  California’s interest in fair procedure, as embodied in its state constitutional right to a jury trial, is a fundamental policy of California which overrides the parties’ contract provision waiving the right to…

Western Surety Co. v. La Cumbre Office Partners, LLC

Since plaintiff lacked actual knowledge of limitations on his authority, the signature by the manager of a limited liability company that was itself the manager of a second limited liability company was sufficient to bind the latter company to a contract. Under Corp. Code 17703.01(d), a contract signed by two managers of a limited liability…

Norcia v. Samsung Telecommunications America LLC

Since California law treats silence as non-acceptance of a contract offer, a consumer did not agree to arbitrate disputes with Samsung by failing to respond to an arbitration clause that was included in a warranty and product information booklet packaged with a Galaxy cellphone which the customer received after signing a Verizon subscription agreement.  Finding…

Pure Water, Inc. v. City of Prescott

Plaintiff company and defendant city entered into an agreement that plaintiff’s effluent would meet certain fluoride concentration levels; subsequently, when the city passed stricter environmental regulations in order to comply with new state laws, the company’s remedy was a breach of contract lawsuit, not a claim under the US Constitution’s contracts clause.  Prescott entered into…

Alki Partners v. DB Fund Services, LLC

A contract’s indemnity clause requiring plaintiff to indemnify defendant against all claims resulting from defendant’s performance of the contract applied only to claims by third parties—and not to claims asserted by one contracting party against the other, since there was no explicit language indicating the parties intended to agree to fee-shifting in that manner.  A…

United States Postal Service v. Ester

The current lessor/owners of a post office could not invoke imperfections in service of renewal notices as a means of avoiding the contractually-mandated sale of the property to the lessee (the US Postal Service) at the below-current-market price set in the lease.  USPS entered into a 20 year lease with four renewal options and a…

Aluma Systems Concrete Construction of California v. Nibbi Bros., Inc.

In seeking indemnity under an express contractual indemnity clause, an indemnitee is not limited to either the pleadings or proof the claimant presented in the underlying negligence action.  Just as an indemnitee is not limited by a claimant’s proof in the underlying action, so too the indemnitee is not limited by the claimant’s pleadings in…

Rancho Mirage Country Club Homeowners Association v. Hazelbaker

In dispute between HOA and homeowner over improvements to homeowner’s patio, HOA prevailed and was therefore entitled to mandatory fee award under Civ. Code 5975(c), but only for portion of attorney’s fees incurred after the homeowner failed to complete agreed changes within the 60 days allowed under the parties’ settlement agreement.  After homeowners made improvements…

Caltex Plastics, Inc. v. Lockheed Martin Corp.

Even though a federal defense contract required use of boxes only plaintiff made, plaintiff was not a third party beneficiary of the contract because neither contracting party intended to grant plaintiff enforceable rights under the contract.  Because of the uniquely large federal interest in government contracts with defense manufacturers and because that interest conflicts with…

Vanacore & Associates, Inc. v. Rosenfeld

A contract for a fee for alerting an owner to escheatable property is void as against public policy if entered into between the time a holder reports escheated property to the state and the date the holder transfers that property to the state.  Under CCP 1582, a contract providing for a 10% finder’s fee to…