Elder Abuse Case of Note: People v. Remmert

In September 2017 an East Palo Alto women was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for financial elder abuse.  The prosecutors in the case, including San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, did an excellent job seeing the case against Shirley Remmert to conclusion. Read More ›

CPFB Wins Trial on Behalf of Consumers Mislead by Loan Servicer

From time to time we have posted information about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) because it is an extraordinary agency fighting in the trenches for everyday consumers against big business, including financial institutions that are scamming Americans.  On Friday September 8, 2017 the CFPB won a trial in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California before Judge Richard Seeborg.  The CFPB won $7.9 million in its case against Nationwide Biweekly Administration Inc. and its subsidiary, Loan Payment Administration, and its owner, Daniel Lipsk.  The CFPB presented testimony by experts as well as everyday consumers, including a retired schoolteacher and a member of the armed services and an FBI agent (all who testified that they had personally been tricked by the defendants). Read More ›

The CFPB Issues Long-Awaited Rule to Curb Arbitration Abuse, Offering a Glimmer of Hope for Consumers amid Trying Times

On Monday, July 10, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a rule that will halt abusive tactics by credit card companies, banks, and other financial firms to prevent consumers from bringing class actions.  Read More ›

No Bad Deed—Protecting Homeowners from Fraudulent Deeds

With the median price of home in some Bay Area counties topping the $1 million mark real estate fraud is rampant.  There are many types of real estate fraud – from equity stripping to foreclosure rescue, however, in recent years, the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) has noticed an uptick in criminal fraud related to real property deeds.  Read More ›

Ninth Circuit Declines to Apply Filed Rate Doctrine to Airfares

On April 14, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s partial denial of All Nippon Airways, EVA Airways, and China Airlines’ motions for summary judgment, holding that the filed rate doctrine does not bar an antitrust class action challenging the airlines’ unfiled fares, fuel surcharges, and special discount fares. This marked the first time the Ninth Circuit addressed the application of the filed rate doctrine to airfares and fees. Read More ›

Unsafe at 30,000 Feet: Why Lithium Ion Batteries Present a Serious Problem for Airlines and Passenger Safety

If you flew on a domestic flight between October 14, 2016 and January 10, 2017 you heard announcements about the ban on the transport of Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices.  This ban was put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) because of the serious risk of the smartphones (also referred to as phablets) overheating, exploding and catching fire.  Although the FAA lifted the requirement of announcements, the devices are still banned on passenger and cargo flights.  (See, https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=21335).  Read More ›

In Defense of Animals – Protecting Pets from Being Groomed to Death

With the rising numbers of households adopting pets, spending on pet services is steadily growing from year to year. From dog grooming to dog boarding services, many pet parents are investing in these services to pamper their pooches. In 2015 alone, according to the American Pet Productions Association, $5.41 billion was spent on grooming and boarding. Unfortunately, this billion-dollar industry remains unregulated and there is no government agency or regulatory body that administers an annual safety certification of pet groomers who are entrusted with our most beloved fury companions.   Read More ›

Proposition 218, Conservation, and Tiered Water Rates

The recent inundation of rainfall in the Bay Area notwithstanding, water use, conservation and cost remain contested and closely monitored issues of local governance. Local governments and utility departments are required to comply with several constitutional provisions in charging customers for electricity and water.  Included are Proposition 26, requiring two-thirds majority approval to charge amounts not related to the cost of electric service, and Proposition 218, requiring rates be proportionate to costs, absent voter approval for other charges. Read More ›

Nationwide Generic Drug Pricing-Fixing Investigations Continue to Expand

Federal and state prosecutors are bearing down on pharmaceutical giants, and the glare on the lucrative generic drug industry is showing no signs of waning: last week, the Attorney General of Alabama announced it joined 39 other states suing many of the largest pharmaceutical corporations in the world for unlawfully skyrocketing the prices of common, household prescription medication to unprecedented levels. Read More ›

Partial Summary Judgment On Liability Can Be An Effective Strategy

Creative trial lawyers always look for ways to win cases.  Not all wins need to resolve the entire case.  Under the federal rules, courts may grant partial summary judgment on some issues, but leave others for trial.  Motions for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability can be an effective way to secure an early victory, save time and expense, and avoid having a trial last longer than needed. Read More ›