Showing 11 posts by Eric J. Buescher.

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 ›

An Address Like No Other – The Millennium Tower Litigation

Originally heralded as one of the “Top 10 Residential Buildings in the World” and “An Address Like No Other,” San Francisco’s 58-story Millennium Tower obtained unanticipated notoriety when it was finally disclosed to the public and residents that the building has sunk 16 inches and is leaning 2 inches at its base. A wave of finger pointing ensued between the building developers and owners of the neighboring Transbay Terminal project, with dueling teams of experts blaming excessive dewatering, failure to drill down to bedrock, or other factors, for the unexpected settlement.  Whatever its cause, however, it is clear that the building’s developers knew the building was sinking yet did not disclose this vital information when selling units to unsuspecting homeowners. Read More ›

No Obstinacy, No Madness, and No Plaintiff “Pick Offs” Pre-Class Certification

The Ninth Circuit decided today that a named plaintiff in a representative action can still pursue class certification even if his individual claims are satisfied through a defendant’s “pick off” tactics and that a case cannot be deemed moot until the plaintiff is afforded a fair opportunity to show that class certification is warranted. Read More ›

Appellate Brief Filed in Surfrider Foundation’s Lawsuit to Restore Public Access to Martins Beach

Today, in the Surfrider Foundation’s litigation against the owner of Martins Beach, CPM filed its response brief in the appeal phase of the case.  After a full trial in 2014, Judge Barbara Mallach found the owner had violated the Coastal Act by blocking the public’s access to the popular surf spot just south of Half Moon Bay. Read More ›

New Year, New Rules: Changes to California Code of Civil Procedure

There have been significant changes to the California Code of Civil Procedure, all of which center on one unifying theme: judicial efficiency. Below are brief discussions of the changes to procedural statutes regarding demurrers, 998 offers, and summary judgment motions.  Read More ›

New Study Highlights Unfairness of Mandatory Arbitration

A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute on mandatory arbitration, compiling data from five years and over 1,200 cases administered by the American Arbitration Association, found that employees subject to mandatory arbitration agreements achieve lower rates of success and lower recoveries than similar claims adjudicated in federal and state courts.  Thus, employers who require arbitration as a condition of employment are able to decrease the potential consequences of later illegal or discriminatory conduct.  The study is available online here. Read More ›

Unanimous Jury Award for CPM Client

CPM attorneys Justin Berger and Eric Buescher completed a jury trial on August 5, 2015, winning a unanimous verdict awarding damages of half a million dollars on behalf of a local small business owner in a hotly disputed breach of contract case.  The lawsuit centered around a lease agreement for an advertising billboard owned by Defendant Ad-Way Signs that is located on the plaintiff’s property.  The plaintiff, CPM’s client, alleged that Ad-Way had failed to pay full rent according to the lease between the parties, believing that Ad-Way was delaying and underpaying rent in an attempt to leverage the small business owner into entering into long term lease that was more beneficial to Ad-Way.  CPM’s client never budged, relying on the legal protections provided to commercial landlords by Civil Code sections 827 and 1945 to prevail.  CPM often represents small business owners who are victimized by greed. Read More ›

Victim Blaming is Never Okay – CPM Agrees with Former Irish President on Problematic Coverage of Balcony Collapse Tragedy

On June 16, the same day as the balcony collapse in Berkeley killed six people and seriously injured at least seven others, the New York Times published a story on the tragedy under the headline “Deaths of Irish Students in Berkeley Balcony Collapse Cast Pall on Program.”  The “pall” is not on the victims of this tragedy, nor on a program that has allowed thousands of Irish citizens to spend a summer living in the U.S.  The “pall” is on whoever is at fault in constructing and maintaining a balcony that should never have collapsed, and on those who would blame a party atmosphere for the tragedy, and who would resort to stereotyping and underhanded victim blaming.   Read More ›

CPM Attorneys Niall McCarthy and Eric Buescher publish chapter on Financial Elder Abuse in “Inside the Minds: Elder Law Client Strategies in California”

Niall McCarthy and Eric Buescher recently published a chapter titled “Fighting Financial Elder Abuse in California” for the Thomson Reuters / Astapore Books publication, “Inside the Minds: Elder Law Client Strategies in California.”  The chapter describes the current state of financial elder abuse law in California and discusses strategies for plaintiffs to successfully prosecute civil financial elder abuse cases in a variety of contexts.   Read More ›

Judge Orders Vinod Khosla to Open the Gates to Martin's Beach Immediately

The owner of the property adjacent to Martin’s Beach has been ordered to immediately reopen public access to the beach. Judge Barbara Mallach of the San Mateo County Superior Court issued a final order today directing Vinod Khosla to open the gate blocking access to the way it was when he purchased the property. Read More ›