Archives for January 2007

The Power of Apology

by Michael T. Hertz Lang, Richert & Patch A few months back, Playboy magazine ran a cover, showing Jessica Alba. Alba, miffed at the unauthorized use of her photo, threatened to sue. In response, Hugh Hefner, Playboy’s founder, wrote a personal letter of apology, and the magazine made donations to two charities which Alba supports. Result? Alba decided to drop her claims against the magazine. What a wonderful result for everyone. Ms. Alba got her grievance recognized, some deserving … [Read more...]

Unsecured Creditors – Challenges after Bankruptcy Reform

Bankruptcy reform is sure to have an impact on the debt purchasing industry for years to come. But what are the key points that debt buyers need to look at? by Alane Becket With the passage of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), fundamental changes in how distribution of a debtor's income will be made during a bankruptcy case went into effect. Unfortunately, touted as a "creditor's bill," an analysis of BAPCPA has uncovered several examples of the … [Read more...]

Health Care vs. High-Tech in War over Obvious Patents?

by John Timmer Ars Technica It's not often that Science contains an analysis penned by a lawyer. But the lawyer in question, Michael R. Samardzija of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's Intellectual Property office, suggests that the US Supreme Court is weighing an issue that may pit parts of Science's readership against each other. At issue are cases where a patent covers a development that is obvious, and the analysis suggests that while the health care industry (including biotech) likes the … [Read more...]

Mandating Consensus Through No-Contest Clauses

By R. Thomas Dunn A “no contest clause” in a testamentary trust does not violate California public policy even if one beneficiary’s contest voids other non-contesting beneficiaries’ bequests. (Tunstall v. Wells (2nd Dist., Div. 1, 10/30/2006) B188711.) In Tunstall v. Wells, supra, a trustor formed a testamentary trust providing bequests to his five children. The father left $50,000 to three of his children with the remainder distributed to the other two. The trust contained the following no … [Read more...]

FRCP Amendments: Discovery of Electronically Stored Information

By Christy M. Thornton Lang, Richert and Patch Introduction Effective December 1, 2006, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure place new obligations on attorneys using electronically stored information (“ESI”) in federal courts. The amendments force parties to address, early in the case, issues of how to best preserve, collect, and produce ESI. The amendments were created in response to recognition that ESI raises different issues from conventional paper discovery. Characterized … [Read more...]

Securing Multiple Debts by One Deed of Trust: Maximize Recovery with Dragnet Clauses

By René Lastreto, II Lang, Richert and Patch A “dragnet clause” is a contract provision stating that a mortgage secures all the debts that the mortgagor may at any time owe to the mortgagee. California courts have upheld the general validity of dragnet provisions. Union Bank v. Wendland, 54 Cal.App.3d 393, 398 (1976). They also recognize the risk that such provisions may be included in a trust deed or mortgage without the debtor’s knowledge or understanding. “Clauses such as this are often … [Read more...]