Class Certification Requires Commonality, Not Identical Damages

To the surprise of giant Allstate Insurance, the Ninth Circuit recently upheld class certification of a group of California claims adjusters who allegedly worked unpaid overtime since 2005, despite Allstate's argument that class certification would require individualized determination of damages.
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Is California Creating New Franchisee Rights?

Over the past few weeks, California has been making national headlines for the unusual coupling of labor with business owners.  At issue is the proposed California Senate Bill 610, which purports to “level the playing field” between franchisees and franchisors.
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Ninth Circuit Rules FedEx Misclassified Workers

FedEx has long classified its ground delivery drivers as independent contractors, but on Wednesday, a federal court of appeals panel ruled that approximately 2,300 FedEx drivers in California are employees as a matter of law.  As a result, FedEx may owe these drivers hundreds of millions of dollars, and the ruling could have a ripple effect on class actions brought by drivers of companies such as Uber and Lyft.

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A Gentle Reminder that Trademarks Do Not Need to Be Registered For Protection Under the Lanham Act

Last week, the Ninth Circuit affirmed Central District of California Judge Gary Klausner’s order granting summary judgment in favor of an unincorporated association that sought to enforce its rights in unregistered trademarks pursuant to the Lanham Act. ... While the unanimous opinion is not groundbreaking, it serves as a reminder that trademarks do not need to be registered to be protectable under the Lanham Act. 

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The Crucial Exercise of Identifying Trade Secrets

Although it is a basic premise, it is worth emphasizing that at the beginning of any trade secret dispute in California, the plaintiff must disclose exactly what trade secrets are alleged to be at issue with “reasonable particularity.”  Cal. Civ. Code § 2019.210.   The exercise, while it sounds simple enough, can prove to be challenging for both the novice and experienced litigator. ...
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Trade Secrets Bill Introduced in House

Recently introduced legislation aims to create a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation and a consistent standard for pursuing such claims across the country. The latest bill, however, may provide more protections to defendants than plaintiffs would like. ...
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