Mistakes Re Future Little Defense to Breach of Contract

No one can predict the future. Instead, when entering into business agreements, the contracting parties assume that the current state of events will remain unchanged many years down the line. But the future is uncertain and a change in circumstances can often lead one party to forgo the entire value of the contract. A recent case from the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District shows how making critical assumptions can render performance financially untenable if those assumptions do not hold up. In these situations, the law provides little recourse for the aggrieved...

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Real Estate Brokers and Dual Agency

In California, a real estate broker is allowed to represent both the buyer and the seller in a residential real estate transaction so long as the required disclosures are made and the broker obtains the written consent of both the seller and the buyer. In this dual agency situation, the broker has a fiduciary duty to both the seller and the buyer and must exercise reasonable skill and care and disclose all facts that are known and may materially affect the value or desirability of the property. The dual agency situation is most straightforward when a single broker acts on behalf of both the...

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CA Supreme Court to Review DPA Case

The California Supreme Court granted a request from the Ninth Circuit to decide the following question of California law: “The California Disabled Person Act, Cal. Civ. Code Sections 54 et seq. (‘DPA’) provides that ‘[i]ndividuals with disabilities shall be entitled to full and equal access, as other members of the general public, to accommodations, advantages, facilities…and privileges of…places of public accommodation…and other places to which the general public is invited.’ Id. Section 54.1(a)(1). Does the DPA’s reference to ‘places of public accommodation’ include web sites, which are...

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Koreatown’s Vermont for Sale

Visitors to Koreatown will have seen the construction on Vermont Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. The Vermont, a new high-rise apartment complex that broke ground two years ago, is now for sale by Miracle Mile based J.H. Snyder Development Co. Once completed, the new residential apartment complex will be comprised of two towers standing 23 and 29 stories and feature 464 units. The construction is estimated to have cost $200 million. In addition to residential units, the Vermont will also feature 31,500 square feet of retail space on the ground floor with Fatburger and Starbucks having taken...

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Ninth Circuit Will Not Rehear Bob Marley Case

On January 22, 2014, the Ninth Circuit denied a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc filed by Universal Music Group (UMG) in a case involving licensing rights to Bob Marley’s music. I wrote about the decision in my monthly newsletter, Business Litigation Matters, here. To recap, the Ninth Circuit originally held that Rock River did not have to prove that it did not have a valid business expectancy in order to proceed with its intentional interference with prospective economic advantage (IIPEA) claim. Both UMG and Rock River claimed that they held the licensing rights to Marley’s...

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