Posted in The Real Dirt
Default Interest Rates on Principal Illegal Under California Law?

As interest rates rise, borrowers may find themselves in default, facing lenders who overreach by seeking to recover default interest in addition to regular interest on the principal of the loan. Borrowers may have a weapon in their arsenal to oppose unscrupulous lenders.

In Honchariw v. FJM Private Mortgage Fund, LLC, 83 Cal.App. 5th 893 (2022), a borrower alleged that a default interest rate of 9.99% per annum on the then outstanding principal was illegal. The trial court affirmed an arbitration decision rejecting the borrower’s position. The Court of Appeal ...

California Court of Appeals Rules that Proposition 22 is Constitutional…Mostly…For Now

In the 2020 general election, Californians passed Proposition 22, which gave ride-sharing and delivery app companies such as Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash the ability to continue classify their drivers as independent contractors.  Shortly after the proposition passed, a group of drivers challenged its constitutionality.  At its core, the issue is whether drivers in the gig economy should be entitled to the benefits typically afforded to employees.  As independent contractors, these workers forgo such benefits in exchange for the right to set their own work schedule and receive ...

When Should A Receivership Be Terminated?

Q: I was appointed a receiver to collect a judgment. I have not yet filed my final account and report, the court has not approved my final fees. Other creditors of the judgment debtor are demanding that I pay them, because they were not able to be paid from the judgment debtor’s assets taken into receivership. The judgment debtor has paid the judgment creditor and is now demanding that the receivership be terminated. Must the court now terminate the receivership?

A: Not necessarily. The general rule is a receivership should be terminated as soon as the purpose of the receivership has been ...

NLRB Declares Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Provisions in Severance Agreements Unlawful

Over the last few years, employers throughout the United States have enjoyed some measure of protection from former employees who signed severance agreements.These agreements routinely contained a confidentiality provision that restrains former employees from disclosing the contents of the agreement to third parties other than (1) a spouse; (2) professional advisors for the purposes of obtaining legal counsel or tax advice; or (3) if legally compelled to do so by a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction.  These agreements also typically contained a ...

Arbitration Agreements Can Be A Condition of Employment Once Again

The saga of challenges to mandatory employment arbitration agreements is almost over. After three years of challenges, the United States Chamber of Commerce successfully appealed the enactment and enforcement of California’s Assembly Bill 51 (“AB 51”), which was originally intended to take effect on January 1, 2020. This piece of legislation would have banned the use of mandatory arbitration agreements as a condition of employment, and went so far as to include civil and criminal penalties on employers who violated the statute. 

After a federal district court granted a ...

Must A Receiver File An Inventory?

Q:   A few months ago I was appointed receiver over an operating business. A party is complaining that I have not filed an inventory of the assets of the business. My order of appointment says nothing about my having to file an inventory. The business has hundreds, if not thousands, of items of property (tools, desks, fork-lifts, supplies, etc.). Do I have to go to the trouble and cost of preparing and filing an inventory and, if so, how detailed must it be?

A:   Yes. You must prepare and file an inventory. The fact that the order of appointment does not specifically state that an inventory is ...

A Reminder: The IRS Mileage Rates Have Changed

The 2023 mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes have increased or remained unchanged from mid-year changes in 2022, when rates were last modified. Specifically, as of January 1, 2023, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) are:

  • 65.5 cents per mile driven for business use, up three cents from the rate for the latter half of 2022;
  • 22 cents per mile driven for medical, or moving purposes for active duty members of the Armed Forces, unchanged from the ...
Posted in Legal Bites
Ninth Circuit Revives Serial ADA Litigant’s Case

On January 23, 2023, a Ninth Circuit panel issued a 2-1 decision reversing a lower court’s dismissal of a serial ADA litigant’s complaint against a lobster shop in a shopping complex. The shopping complex had assigned the owner of the lobster shop a space in the parking lot, and the shop owner had placed a “Lobster Shop Parking Sign” near that space. Plaintiff Chris Langer filed a lawsuit based on the lack of accessible parking for the lobster shop.

Private ADA plaintiffs are limited to seeking injunctive relief and costs under Title III of the ADA, so a plaintiff must show a ...

Court Puts FAST Act on Hold Pending Referendum

On January 13, 2023, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang ruled that implementation of the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (“FAST Act”) should remain on hold pending the Secretary of State’s quality control process to review petition signatures.  In so doing, the Court held that “[c]ase law is clear that a qualified referendum pending vote by the people in a general election suspends the effectiveness of a law before it takes effect” and noted that there was no authority to support the Department of Industrial Relation’s position that ...

What To Do If A Receiver Fails To File Monthly Reports?

Q: I represent a party in a receivership case. While the receiver has been in place for over 3 months, she has not served the parties or creditors with any reports. I have written the receiver requesting reports, but she has ignored my requests. What should I do? Can the receiver be sanctioned?

A: Rules of Court 3.1182(a) requires a receiver to provide monthly reports to the parties. It says: must. The receiver is not required to provide reports to creditors, unless the creditor is a lien holder and requests the reports. If the receiver is not complying with the rule, there are a number of ...


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