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July 2016

RECENT LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS

1. Employers Win

a) By accepting his job, a worker subjected himself to the terms of the company's employee handbook which required arbitration of all labor disputes.

b) Another worker lost a case for sexual harassment and was ordered to pay her employer $4 million for litigation costs.

c) A bookkeeper sued for disability discrimination when her position was eliminated during her medical leave, but the company won because she could not prove its "justification" was invented to conceal discrimination.

2. Settlements

A litigant obtains a better incurred after procedure is not whose offer to settle is rejected and then verdict is entitled to recover certain expenses the rejection, but if the very technical precisely followed, the award will be denied.

3. Cremation

After a company received a building permit to construct a crematorium, the neighbors revolted and the City Council enacted new laws to require additional zoning approvals. The company sued and was allowed to build because its original permit created a vested right which was lawful at the time of issuance.

4. Church Parking

A parishioner-pedestrian was hit by a car while crossing a five-lane road trying to reach the "overflow" church parking lot. He sued the church and won even though the church did not control the street. Because it directed visitors to cross without adequate crosswalks or traffic signals, it exposed them to an unreasonable risk of harm.

5. Timecards

A phone operator sued his employer for underpaying him $15.02 since it had rounded work time to the nearest quarter hour, but the company won because fair rounding is allowed.

6. House Insurance

Homeowners with rainwater damage are entitled to a trial to determine how much the insurer should pay and whether certain work was "repair" or "remodeling".

7. Current Cases

This month I continued the defense of a negligence action and two employment lawsuits; advised a seller of commercial real estate and a broker of luxury vacation property; drafted a lease termination agreement with indemnifications; and continued the administration of decedents’ trusts.

This office serves as a Lawyer of First ResortTM advocating for small businesses and individuals with disputes and transactions, including accident victims by referral only. We specialize in personalized client service and are careful to consider and examine all rights and liabilities of a client and consequences of terminology, legislation, court cases, and the commercial environment.

If we can be of any assistance with your legal issues, consider contacting us as soon as a question is identified. Your recent referrals have been greatly appreciated.

Remember: Preventative lawyering is the most effective kind.

Sincerely,

HARMON SIEFF

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Encino, CA 91436
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