Nathan D. Wirtschafter
Nathan D. Wirtschafter - Making Your Case in California

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The Wirtschafter Law Reporter

Vol. III, Q3

The Wirtschafter Law Reporter ("WLR") is a quarterly publication of Nathan D. Wirtschafter Corp.

You may reach us by dialing (818) 660-2518, or +972-54-210-1776.

Please visit our website and blog, or contact us at ndw@ndwlaw.com.

Thank you,


Nathan Wirtschafter

 

Firm News

The firm is pleased to provide an update on its activities as follows:

  • In June, represented owner of 22-unit mall in court trial in Los Angeles Superior Court, Pomona, in case against defendant contractor who allegedly breached construction contract to make improvements. Defendant agreed to settle just before closing argument;
  • In July, assisted U.S. entrepreneur place angel-level investment with Israeli provider of internet products for social media and marketing;
  • In July, after obtaining $165,000 judgment in April for breach of settlement agreement, obtained partial payment of $100,000 to remove lien placed on defendants' real estate. Bonus: owners held personally liable for corporation's obligations;
  • In August, concluded favorable and substantial settlement—along with follow-on agreements—for Israeli defense contractor in difficult pre-litigation negotiations with U.S. defense contractor, which had refused to pay its bills;
  • In August, negotiated "waiver of costs" settlement on behalf of night club whereby patron claiming assault by bouncer received no payment of any kind from club; and
  • The firm has a new website and blog, with information about how the firm can help you make your case in California.

 

Legal Opinions

Some recent decisions of interest from California courts include:

In Wald v. Truspeed Motorcars LLC (May 2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 378, the Court of Appeal showed that an appellate opinion can be clear, direct and funny.

It is settled law that a claim for fraud must be stated in the complaint with specificity. The complaint must state how, when, where and to whom the defendant made fraudulent statements.

In a concise resume of legal writing the court explained that the lawsuit could proceed: "Tested under these rules, the complaint passes muster. How: Oral statements made at a meeting. When: June 2008. Where: Truspeed's offices. To whom: Wald. By what means: Oral statements in which Truspeed agreed to pay Wald finder's fees. Names of persons speaking for the corporation: Rob Morgan, Scott McCloud and Brack Roerderer. Their authority to speak: Rob Morgan had apparent authority to ask Wald to work the floor. To whom they spoke: Wald. What they said: We will pay you a finder's fee for used Porsches we buy based on the prices you negotiate. When it was said: June 2008."

In Kleefman v. Vonage (June 2010) 49 Cal.4th 334, the California Supreme Court held that Vonage could send email from multiple domain names for the purpose of bypassing spam filters. Vonage sent emails from 11 different websites and none of names (e.g. "lowdirectsme.com") provided any indication that Vonage was the actual sender. The Plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit under a law which prohibits commercial emails containing fraudulent or misleading information in the header. The Court held that a domain name was different from the header and ruled against the Plaintiff.

In Zamora v. Lehman (June 2010) 186 Cal.App.4th 1, former officers of a defunct company were sued for breach of fiduciary duty. Two of the officers conducted discovery: interrogatories, demands for production and deposition notices. The other officer tried to settle the case. Just before trial, all three defendant corporate officers demanded arbitration. The court found that two of the defendants had waived their right to arbitration by asking for discovery which would not have been allowed in their employment contracts. However, the third officer, who tried to settle the dispute, had not waived the arbitration clause in his agreement.

In Hub City Solid Waste Services v. City of Compton (July 2010) 2010 WL 2804055, the Court of Appeal upheld a finding of alter ego. The court found that the individual defendant, who was a city manager with a financial interest in the defendant corporation, was liable for the debts of the corporation because he: used corporate money for personal credit card expenses and criminal attorney expenses. Also, the corporate defendant lacked a board of directors and the individual defendant was the corporation's sole officer, director and shareholder. In other words, the plaintiff could pierce the corporate veil to collect from the corporation's owner. Interestingly, the Judge ordered the parties to have a trial on the issue of alter ego liability before the lawyers tried the actual case.

 

Nathan D. Wirtschafter, an attorney with fifteen years of legal experience, may be reached at ndw@ndwlaw.com or (818) 660-2518. Please contact Mr. Wirtschafter for a free consultation.


 
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