At Scali Rasmussen we stay ahead of the curve on new and trending issues. In addition to publishing our monthly HR newsletter, Coffee Break, and our quarterly auto dealer newsletter, Ahead of the Curve, we are often called up to comment on new and trending issues, or asked to speak about relevant topics. Occasionally, our thought leaders are recognized for their contributions to the legal profession, while winning victories for our clients. Here are a few of the developments at Scali Rasmussen over the last quarter.
- First and foremost, the firm welcomed its newest partner, Jeffrey Erdman, who adds to its complex litigation and trial team. Mr. Erdman has a distinctively successful trial record. "Lawyers tell clients they can win at trial just to charge hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees and costs—that's not who I am," says Erdman, whose litigation experience spans many areas of business, including the insurance, manufacturing and service industries as well as all variety of real estate disputes.
- Jennifer Woo Burns, Partner and co-chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment practice, was listed as one of Los Angeles Business Journal’s most influential female attorneys. Burns’ past as in-house and outside employment counsel for auto dealer groups gives her a grounded perspective in handling employment-related compliance matters. She has advised businesses regarding compliance with employment laws and defended businesses in employment litigation, including participating in multiple jury trials for wrongful termination and discrimination lawsuits.
- In June, Scali Rasmussen partners, Christian J. Scali and John Swenson, together with pro bono partner, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, scored a major victory for their clients, when the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s denial of defendant landlord’s motion to compel arbitration. This was defendant’s second appeal from the trial court’s denial of their motion to compel arbitration and was heard on an expedited basis after a substantially abbreviated briefing schedule. The case will now go back to the trial court where the case should swiftly move to trial and give the firm’s pro bono clients—several indigent elderly and disabled tenants displaced from a ramshackle and ill-kept, rent-controlled apartment that was partially destroyed in a fire—their much deserved day in court against their former landlord.
- Christian J. Scali and Robert D. Daniels obtained a decisive victory against a flooring lender on behalf of a large Northern California dealer group, obtaining a dismissal of the flooring lender’s action, which sought to repossess all of the group’s new and used vehicle inventory and put it out of business.
- In another matter, Scali and Daniels defeated a receiver’s attempt on behalf of a selling dealer to usurp the millions of dollars of holdback funds in escrow from a dealership group buy/sell, obtaining better protections for their buyer client than those in the original buy/sell.
- Meanwhile, partner, Robert C. Mizar, scored a victory in the Court of Appeal for firm client, Galpin Motors, wherein the Court of Appeal affirmed his lower court victory on summary judgment for Galpin.
- Partner, Jack Schaedel,was quoted in several publications. In the Forbes article, No More Quotes: How A Salary History Law Is Changing Hollywood For Women, he gave his opinion on a new California law preventing employers from asking potential employees for their salary history, addressing how this new law may actually work against women in corporate positions. In the June 13 Los Angeles Daily Journal article, State marijuana labor regulation may be federally preempted, he opined on California Senate Bill 94, which regulates cannabis businesses, and contains a clause requiring them to enter "labor peace agreements" in order to be licensed. And he will address issues related to the #MeToo movement, such as sexual harassment, at an upcoming employment law seminar hosted by California Lawyer. Schaedel is among the speakers at the California Lawyer's Employment Law Forum on July 18 at the Millennium Biltmore in Los Angeles. The full-day conference will showcase leading employment law practitioners.
- The article, Margin programs morph into dealer agreements but now on a two-way street, by firm partners Bert Rasmussen and Christian J. Scali, was published in OC Dealer.
- Finally, Scali Rasmussen attorneys analyzed the major Janus ruling in Law360. The Supreme Court put employers in a stronger position at the bargaining table. The column advises employers to avoid making radical changes to their arbitration agreements and to instead proceed with caution and to consult experienced labor and employment counsel on the most effective and least risky ways to implement any desired changes.