Call and Jensen recently successfully defended The Board of Trustees of the California State University, securing a complete dismissal of an estimated 30,000-member class and PAGA action in which a CSU faculty member claimed that employees were not properly reimbursed for remote work expenses during a portion of the Covid pandemic. The firm initially filed for a complete demurrer of claims made under the Labor Code and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), and the trial court agreed with the defense that the code sections at issue did not apply to CSU as a public entity. The firm further defended its client’s win on appeal, where the Los Angeles Superior Court’s ruling and the conclusions to be drawn from recent appellate decisions and underlying sovereign rights law dating back hundreds of years were vigorously challenged. Ultimately, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the complete dismissal of the action on a de novo review, agreeing with Call and Jensen’s arguments including that “[t]o subject CSU to the Labor Code’s requirement regarding equipment expense reimbursement … would… limit the discretion vested in CSU to establish policies for employee reimbursement for necessary expenses, and would potentially divert limited educational funds from CSU’s core function to pay not only legal judgments but potentially huge additional amounts to outside parties.” Firm attorneys Julie Trotter, Jacqueline Beaumont, and Melinda Evans represented The Board of Trustees, as part of the firm’s robust higher education industry practice.
September 19, 2022
This hotly disputed breach of contract case, filed in 2019, arose between Call & Jensen clients Brightex International, Inc., and Joyful Will International Limited, subsidiaries of an overseas textile company and Defendant Romex Textiles, Inc., a Los Angeles-based broker of textiles.
Call & Jensen attorneys David Sugden and Aaron Renfro argued that Defendant Romex breached contracts by failing to pay for textiles and fabrics that it ordered and received from Plaintiffs between 2014 and 2019. Defendant argued that some of the fabric was late and defective. Defendant cross-claimed against Joyful Will and Brightex, stating that an employee of Plaintiffs made unlawful and defamatory statements and that Plaintiffs breached their contracts by delivering defective goods.
The 12-person jury returned its verdict in favor of Plaintiffs and against Defendant Romex on all counts, including breach of contract, goods sold and delivered, open book account, and account stated. The jury found Defendant liable for damages totaling nine million dollars ($9,000,000.00). The jury also found in favor of Joyful Will and Brightex on all cross claims.
Plaintiffs appeared by their counsel, David R. Sugden, Aaron L. Renfro, and L. Lisa Sandoval of Call & Jensen. (Joyful Will International Limited and Brightex International Inc. v. Romex Textiles, Inc., Case No. 19STCV40836). Defendant appeared by their counsel, Nico N. Tabibi and Ryan Golbari of the Law Offices of Nico Tabibi.
David R. Sugden – email@example.com
Aaron L. Renfro – firstname.lastname@example.org
L. Lisa Sandoval – email@example.com
The decision preserves Call & Jensen’s critical victory at the Ninth Circuit curtailing the ability of copyright plaintiffs to recover windfalls from defendants in the same supply chain. The Ninth Circuit previously vacated a lower court’s judgment awarding multiple statutory damages awards to a plaintiff copyright owner for the infringement of its copyrighted floral pattern. The lower court awarded a separate award to the plaintiff for each defendant in the supply chain that sold the infringing fabric—all of which came from a single supplier defendant. Aaron Renfro and Sam Brooks of Call & Jensen represented the defendants and argued that under Section 504(c)(3) of the Copyright Act, the plaintiff was only entitled to a single award of statutory damages because each of the defendants in the supply chain was jointly and severally liable with the supplier. The Ninth Circuit agreed and vacated the lower court judgment, after which the plaintiff petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit ruling. The Supreme Court rejected the petition, thereby exhausting the plaintiff’s appellate options.
Call & Jensen attorneys Julie Trotter and Morgan Podruski obtained a complete summary judgment victory in a PAGA case filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court against Citizens of Humanity, LLC. The plaintiff’s PAGA action alleged that Citizens of Humanity, LLC failed to pay its non-exempt employees minimum wages for all hours worked, failed to pay overtime premiums, denied meal and rest periods, did not reimburse business expenses, and failed to provide sick pay, in addition to other derivative causes of action. After approximately a year and a half of litigation, the Court granted Citizens of Humanity’s summary judgment motion because Call & Jensen demonstrated that the plaintiff did not have standing to bring the action because she did not experience a single violation of the Labor Code and therefore was not an “aggrieved” employee under the PAGA statute. Call & Jensen also successfully argued that the plaintiff did not properly give notice of new facts and theories supporting her PAGA claim in her notice letter to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, as the Court further granted Citizens of Humanity’s summary judgment motion on this independent basis.
Call & Jensen attorneys Matthew Orr, William Cole and Sam Brooks obtained a unanimous decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirming the trial court’s ruling granting summary judgment against the plaintiff on all claims he had alleged in a class action lawsuit against a dietary supplement seller. In a published opinion, the Ninth Circuit agreed with Call & Jensen’s argument that the plaintiff’s state law claims were preempted by federal law, which permits supplement sellers to make the type of “structure/function” claims the plaintiff alleged to be misleading. The case is Greenberg v. Target Corporation, — F.3d —, No. 19-16699 (9th Cir. 2021).
Call & Jensen attorneys Mark Eisenhut, William Cole and Nilab Tolton obtained and defended a complete victory for their client in a consumer class action alleging false advertising in the marketing of a multi-ingredient dietary supplement for men’s health via a recent opinion from the California Court of Appeal. In its unanimous decision, the appellate court affirmed both the trial court’s exclusion of the plaintiff’s scientific expert’s opinions and its prior grant of summary judgment to Call & Jensen’s client. The appeals court agreed with Call & Jensen’s arguments that the plaintiff’s expert’s opinions were unreliable and not supported by the scientific data on which he claimed to rely. Because the plaintiff had no other evidence sufficient to support his claims, the appeals court affirmed the summary judgment. This decision also entitles Call & Jensen’s client to recover substantial costs from the plaintiff.
Call & Jensen congratulates its attorneys who have been recognized by Southern California Super Lawyers in its recent lists of “Super Lawyers.” Nine Call & Jensen attorneys were named “Super Lawyers” in their respective areas of practice – honors awarded to no more than 2.5% of California attorneys who have practiced law for over 10 years and attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in their respective areas of practice. Call & Jensen congratulates the following attorneys for their Super Lawyers selection in 2020: Jacqueline Beaumont, Wayne W. Call, Ellen Connelly Cohen, Mark L. Eisenhut, Ryan M. McNamara, Matthew R. Orr, Aaron L. Renfro, David R. Sugden and Julie R. Trotter. In addition, David Sugden was also honored in the Top 50 OC Super Lawyers list.
After two and a half years of litigation of two consolidated Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) cases, Call & Jensen attorneys Julie Trotter, Jeff David, and Ellen Cohen obtained summary judgment victory in both cases on behalf of its client in lawsuits filed by two former employees alleging in excess of ten California Labor Code violations in pursuit of a representative PAGA case on behalf of all of the company’s employees over the entirety of the statute of limitations period. Plaintiffs claimed they had been denied meal and rest breaks, worked off the clock, received improper wage statements, worked unpaid overtime, were denied proper business expense reimbursements, and were not properly paid their final wages. Call & Jensen successfully demonstrated that neither Plaintiff could they suffered a single Labor Code violation at any time; as a result, the Court found that neither Plaintiff had standing as an aggrieved employee to bring an action under PAGA and dismissed each action with prejudice.
Call & Jensen recently obtained summary adjudication on multiple claims asserted against the firm’s client by a former executive employee, who was alleging gender pay discrimination, sex discrimination, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination, and related claims. Although California Equal Pay Act was recently amended to a new standard, the firm prevailed on its client’s behalf in getting all equal pay claims dismissed without the need for a trial, leaving only a few separate wage-related claims in the case. Attorneys who worked on the case included Julie Trotter, Jacqueline Beaumont, Ellen Cohen, and Morgan Podruski.
Following a year of litigation, Call & Jensen attorneys obtained a complete summary judgment victory in defense of their client in a lawsuit filed by its former employee alleging 11 employment-based causes of action. The claims ranged from gender and disability discrimination to harassment, retaliation, interference with leave, failure to accommodate, and wrongful termination, among others. The Court also rejected the plaintiff’s request for a continuance of the motion hearing to conduct additional discovery and depositions, after reviewing Call & Jensen’s arguments opposing the continuance. The legal team consisted of Julie Trotter and Jacqueline Beaumont.
Call & Jensen attorneys Julie Trotter, Delavan Dickson, and Melinda Evans obtained a unanimous decision from the California Courts of Appeals affirming the trial court’s ruling granting summary judgment on fifteen of the seventeen causes of action the Plaintiff had alleged against a skilled nursing facility and one of its former Executive Directors (Plaintiff had dismissed the other two claims with prejudice). The appellate briefing addressed several hot topics in employment litigation, including the continuing violations doctrine, the hearsay rule as applied to statements made by a company’s employees, constructive discharge, pregnancy discrimination and harassment, whistleblower retaliation, and timing requirements under Labor Code section 2802’s reimbursement requirements.
Ryan McNamara will be a Featured Speaker at Pincus Professional Education’s 2019 Superior Court Boot Camp to be held in Los Angeles, California on November 8, 2019. Mr. McNamara will discuss both the art and science of conducting effective depositions with an emphasis on California rules and procedures.
Since joining Call & Jensen in 2007, Mr. McNamara remains undefeated in trials and has conducted case-dispositive depositions from California to Florida. Judges have noted that Mr. McNamara’s depositions have been “used to devastating effect at trial” and that Mr. McNamara’s cross-examinations are “meticulous.” In assessing Mr. McNamara’s cross-examination skills, a federal judge noted that, over the course of a multi-day examination, Mr. McNamara “continually impeached Plaintiff with nearly every questions asked during both direct- and cross-examinations.” A popular speaker, Mr. McNamara has personally trained over 1,000 attorneys in California on how to conduct winning depositions.
Call & Jensen attorneys obtained summary judgment in favor of their clients in a class action alleging that the claims on the label of a dietary supplement were false and misleading. In entering Judgment in favor of the manufacturers and retailer of the product, U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg agreed with Call & Jensen’s argument that the plaintiff’s state law claims were preempted by federal law, which expressly permits supplement sellers to make the claims alleged by the plaintiff to be misleading. Call & Jensen’s team includes Matthew Orr, William Cole, Samuel Brooks, and Nilab Tolton. The case is Greenberg v. Target Corporation (Northern District of California Case No. 17-cv-01862-RS).
Ryan McNamara will present his popular seminar “McNamara On Depositions: Deposition Is Trial” in conjunction with Bridgeport Continuing Education on June 21, 2019. The seminar will take place at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Mr. McNamara will present on multiple topics including “How to Take an Effective Deposition for Use at Trial” and “How Effective Deposition Testimony Plays Out at Trial.”
Mr. McNamara has personally trained over 1,000 of California’s attorneys regarding the art and science of depositions and has taken case dispositive depositions from California to Florida. Judges have described Mr. McNamara’s depositions and cross examinations as “devastating” and “meticulous” with one judge noting that, over the course of a multi-day trial, Mr. McNamara “continually impeached Plaintiff with nearly every question asked during both direct- and cross-examinations.” Since joining Call & Jensen in 2007, Mr. McNamara has successfully tried both jury and bench trials to verdict within both California and Florida.
Additional information regarding the seminar is available at bridgeportce.com.
Call & Jensen congratulates its attorneys who have been recognized by Southern California Super Lawyers in its recent lists of “Super Lawyers” published in Super Lawyers, Orange Coast, and Los Angeles Magazine. Nine Call & Jensen attorneys were named “Super Lawyers” – honors awarded to no more than 2.5% of California attorneys who have practiced law for over 10 years and attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in their respective areas of practice. Call & Jensen congratulates the following attorneys for their Super Lawyers selection in 2019: Jacqueline Beaumont, Todd Bouton, Wayne Call, Mark Eisenhut, Ryan McNamara, Matt Orr, Scott Shaw, David Sugden, and Julie Trotter.
Call & Jensen attorneys Scott R. Hatch and William P. Cole recently secured a complete defense victory against claims of breach of contract and fraud against the firm’s clients, following a three-week trial in the Orange County Superior Court. In the lawsuit, ProMedia, Inc. had sought over $20 Million from the firm’s clients Elevati, LLC, Aacaju, Inc., Nathan Gwilliam, and Crystal Gwilliam. Plaintiff put on its case over the course of three weeks, based on its allegations that Call & Jensen’s clients were liable for breach of contract, various fraud counts, and conspiracy related to ProMedia’s attempts to acquire media assets including Adoption.com. After the conclusion of plaintiff’s evidence, Call & Jensen filed a motion for judgment for all four defendants as to all causes of action, which was granted in its entirety by the Honorable Judge Robert Moss, resulting in a complete defense victory for the firm’s clients and defeat for the plaintiff.
Call & Jensen’s attorneys recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of their client in an independent contractor case. The plaintiffs, two vehicle accident victims, sued Call & Jensen’s client, a company that had hired another company to perform courier services for it. In its summary judgment motion, Call & Jensen distinguished the relationship between the firm’s client and the courier driver at issue from an employer-employee relationship, and argued that there could be no liability as to Call & Jensen’s client for the vehicle accident. Even as the law distinguishing independent contractors and employees continues to evolve, the court granted Call & Jensen’s motion and dismissed the company from the lawsuit, delivering a victory to the firm’s client. The team consisted of John Egley, Jeffrey David, and paralegal Halai Hashimi.
Call & Jensen attorneys, along with co-counsel Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, recently obtained a unanimous jury verdict against a major retailer for willful trademark infringement after a three-day jury trial. The long-awaited trial was necessary after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year reversed the District Court’s Order granting judgment in favor of the Call & Jensen’s client. The Fourth Circuit vacated the District Court’s $95.5 million judgment in favor of the Plaintiff and remanded the case back to the District Court for a jury trial. The three-day trial was limited to the question of trademark infringement, and whether the infringement was willful Now that a North Carolina federal jury has found willful trademark infringement, corroborating the findings of the original District Court order, the amount of damages will likely be determined at later proceedings. Scott Shaw of Call & Jensen represented Call & Jensen’s client, the Plaintiff, along with co-counsel Thad Adams, Alex Long, and Christy Trimmer of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick.
Call & Jensen is pleased to announce that it has added an employment litigator to its roster of trial and complex litigation attorneys. Morgan Podruski joins the firm from Kring & Chung, where her practice encompassed wage and hour class actions, advice and counsel, and wrongful termination litigation. She holds a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law. Call & Jensen welcomes Morgan to the firm.
After substantial litigation, Wayne Call recently resolved an environmental lawsuit filed against a firm client which operates a 60-acre internationally renowned equestrian center. The lawsuit was pursued against the operator, and the City of San Juan Capistrano, for alleged violations of the Federal Clean Water Act causing pollution in San Juan Creek, at Doheny Beach and the in Pacific Ocean. A settlement was achieved on September 7, 2018 through a collaborative consent decree, which has been submitted to federal government authorities for review. Further information can be found in the Orange County Register (September 11, 2018, edition).