Posts from November 2020.
LA County Halts Outdoor Dining

On November 22, 2020, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced that it would be shutting down all outdoor dining for a minimum of three weeks. The order will take effect on Wednesday, November 25 at 10 pm, and will be in place for at least the next three weeks.

The Public Health Department stated that “new COVID-19 cases remain at alarming levels and the number of people hospitalized continue to increase, the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order will be modified to restrict dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars as the five-day average of new cases ...

Liability Insurance Coverage: Basic Principles - Part Two

There are certain core principles that must be applied in analyzing coverage under a liability insurance policy.

This two-part article sets out those principles. It also explores some counter-intuitive situations in which such coverage may come into play.

Examples of Coverage in Counter-Intuitive Situations

  • Patent infringement
  • Business and IP disputes
  • Cyber-related risks
  • Trade dress claims
  • Unfair competition claims

Patent Infringement

  • See, e.g., com International, Inc. vs. American Dynasty Surplus Lines Ins. Co., 120 Wash. App. 610 (2004) (patent infringement covered ...
California Announces 10pm Curfew for One Month

On November 19, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a mandatory overnight stay-at-home order. Under the order, Californians in the purple tier of the state’s reopening guidance, which now includes Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County and San Diego County, will be prohibited from leaving their homes for nonessential activity from 10pm to 5am. The restriction goes into effect on November 21, 2020 and is scheduled to last until December 21, 2020, although it may be extended.

The order requires “that all gatherings with members of other households and all ...

Security Officers Can Now Remain On-Call During Rest Breaks; What This Means for All California Employers

If your workforce includes private security officers, then new Assembly Bill 1512 should come as great news to you.  Back in 2016, the California Supreme Court issued a controversial decision called Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc. which held that ABM’s security officers were not afforded legally compliant, off-duty rest breaks as long as they were required to carry pagers and respond to emergencies on an “as needed” basis.  Citing the “public interest that security officers are able to respond to emergency situations without delay”, California’s new AB 1512 ...

LA County Sets 10pm Curfew, Cuts Capacity for Restaurants and Retail

On November 17, 2020, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors determined at a closed meeting that it would be setting a 10pm curfew for restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries and non-essential retail businesses. These businesses will not be allowed to be open to the public for entry from 10pm to 6am. At this point it is unclear whether this restriction will also apply to takeout and delivery options.

The LA Times and Daily News reported that restaurants, breweries and wineries operating outdoors will be limited to 50% maximum outdoor capacity. Non-essential indoor businesses in ...

More Reopening Rollbacks in California

On November 16, 2020, California officials pulled an “emergency brake” and announced that the state would be rolling back reopenings in 28 counties across the state. These changes will go into effect on Tuesday, November 17. Los Angeles County has consistently remained in the purple tier, which prohibits indoor dining, closes bars and breweries, and allows malls and retail at 25% capacity.  However, San Diego County, Ventura County and Orange County were in Tier 2 and have now moved into a more restrictive tier.

Under California’s COVID-19 tier system, Tier 1 ...

California’s AB 2143 Modifies Prohibition of No-Rehire Agreements 

Remember Assembly Bill 749 last year? Basically, AB 749, codified as Code of Civil Procedure section 1002.5, prohibited the use of no-rehire clauses in settlement agreements regarding disputes in which the worker had filed a complaint against the employer. It only provided a single narrow exception to allow no-rehire clauses if the employer made a good faith determination that the employee engaged in sexual harassment or sexual assault. Our article regarding AB 749 can be found here.

Employers have been largely dissatisfied with AB 749. They argue that AB 749 is overly restrictive ...

Liability Insurance Coverage: Basic Principles

There are certain core principles that must be applied in analyzing coverage under a liability insurance policy.

This two-part article sets out those principles. It also explores some counter-intuitive situations in which such coverage may come into play.


Insurance Liability

  • Hidden opportunities to obtain coverage in liability cases
  • Sometimes counter-intuitive
  • Often obscured by jargon and complexity
  • What strategies will assist in uncovering these opportunities?

The 8 Key Points

1. Law Tilted in Favor of Policyholders

Liability insurance provides protection (i.e ...

California Continues Effort to Hold Employers Accountable for Diversity In the Workplace through AB 979 and SB 973

Building upon California’s prior efforts to increase diversity in the workplace, Governor Newsom has signed into law Assembly Bill 979 and Senate Bill 973.  AB 979 requires greater diversity on corporate boards of directors while SB 973 imposes pay reporting requirements based on gender, race, and ethnicity. Both laws will become effective on January 1, 2021.

AB 979 applies to publicly held corporations headquartered in California, requiring them to diversify their boards of directors with directors from “underrepresented communities”.  AB 979 defines “director from ...

Posted in Legal Bites
City Moves to Make L.A. Al Fresco Program Permanent

After the success and positive feedback for its “L.A. Al Fresco” program from customers and restaurant owners, the Los Angeles City Council is moving to make the initiative permanent.

The L.A. Al Fresco Program was first announced in May 2020, as an initiative to make pandemic restrictions easier for restaurants by streamlining the process for outdoor permits. LA Al Fresco endeavors to help local food purveyors reopen safely and allow customers and employees to maintain physical distancing by temporarily relaxing the rules that regulate outdoor dining. LA Al Fresco allows ...

Litigation Practice Meets Covid – The View From California

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound and likely lasting impact on the way litigation lawyers conduct their practice. Below are some practical tips for managing in this new environment.

Civil Trial Scheduling

While our local Superior Court has not made an official announcement to this effect, it has been our experience that civil trials will be continued into 2021. This is in part because of the backlog of criminal and unlawful detainer cases, which have priority. While law and motion hearings have continued to proceed, these are all done remotely in our local Superior and US ...

Posted in Legal Bites
No Mask, No Service? 

On November 9, 2020, the City of Los Angeles adopted an ordinance permitting businesses to refuse entry to anyone entering the premises without a face covering. 

The ordinance adds Section 200.91 to the Municipal Code, which states: “[a]ny business owner or operator in the City of Los Angeles is authorized to refuse admittance or service to any person who refuses or fails to wear a Face Covering when on the premises of the business or when seeking or receiving service.”

A face covering is defined as “a face covering that covers the nose and mouth and is secured to the head with ties or ...

Posted in Legal Bites
LA County Considers COVID-19 Recovery Charge

On October 27, 2020, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a recommendation to consider allowing restaurants, breweries, and wineries to temporarily charge a “COVID-19 Recovery Charge” for on-site dining.  The motion was proposed by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis.

In the motion, Supervisor Solis stated: “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the independent hospitality industry and its workers throughout the county. As of 2019, 8.8% of all workers in Los Angeles County worked in food service establishments & drinking places, employing 398,800 people. This ...

Overcoming Intellectual Property Exclusions In Insurance Policies

A key challenge for policyholders seeking coverage under commercial general liability, directors and officers and other insurance policies is the presence of the so-called “intellectual property exclusion.” In a typical formulation, this provision excludes from coverage claims “based upon or arising out of any actual or alleged infringement, contributory infringement, misappropriation or theft of any intellectual property rights by the insured, including, but not limited to patent, copyright or trademark, service mark, trade dress, trade dress, trade secret, or ...

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