Saturday, September 18, 2010

Northern California Daily Digest

Ayala v. City of Hayward is similar to Flores v. City of Hayward, which this blog profiled a few days ago.  Again, the plaintiff accuses Hayward police officers of using a dog to attack him without provocation.  Here, Mr. Ayala failed to make a claim under the California Tort Claims Act, barring his recovery in the present action for state law claims.  Magistrate Laurel Beeler seems to acknowledge a Fourth Amendment claim could be there someplace, but it is here plead as a Fourteenth Amendment, which she dismissed with leave to amend.

In Lopez v. UPS, the plaintiff accused UPS of not paying him overtime.  UPS stated that Mr. Lopez was an employee exempt from overtime requirements under California regulations.  Judge Susan Illston conducted a bench trial and found, "Plaintiff’s work as an [On the Job Supervisor] involved management tasks such as supervision, evaluation, and policy development, rather than production tasks such as actually loading or delivering packages." This made him an administrative employee not one engaged in manual labor even though he regularly rode on UPS trucks to analyze the work done by the driver.  Accordingly, the court granted judgment for UPS.

In Landmark Screens v. Morgan Lewis & Bockius, the plaintiff accuses the law firm of legal malpractice for filing a deficient patent application which prevented the company from getting a patent in 2004.  In 2005, Landmark fired Morgan Lewis and sought new counsel who obtained a new patent for Landmark which was better (it had broader claims) than the one the law firm botched.  Morgan Lewis argued that Landmark suffered no damage because it now had a better patent than the one Morgan Lewis had worked on a few years prior.  Landmark disagreed stating that people could have used its invention from the time the Patent and Trademark Office published the application until the time the new patent issued under the doctrine of intervening rights.  Judge Jeremy Fogel found that injury too hypothetical and stated that there is no evidence anyone wanted to license the patent during the loss period or that anyone was practicing the invention.  He ruled for the law firm.

Kakogui v. American Brokers Conduit involves a homeowner who states that his foreclosure violates the Truth in Lending Act and a lender who argues that the statute of limitations has passed.  As noted before, in Abril v. OneWest Bank, TILA has a one-year statute of limitations.  Additionally, as noted in Brisos v. Wells Fargo Bank, to rescind a mortgage transaction the borrower must indicate that he is able to produce the proceeds of the loan.  Here, Mr. Kakogui missed the statute of limitations and did not allege he can produce the proceeds of the loan.  Judge Lucy Koh noted that the plaintiff had failed three times to make these allegations and dismissed his claims with prejudice.

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