News

Case Summaries

Government Contracts

[06/20] SJJC Aviation Services v. City of San Jose
In a case involving an airport lease and operating agreement, brought by a company alleging that the city had a flawed bidding process, the trial court's denial of plaintiff's leave to amend its petition and complaint is affirmed.

[06/13] Autoridad de Energia Electrica v. Vitol SA Services, LLC
In a suit brought under a Puerto Rico 'Law 458', which prohibits government instrumentalities and public corporations from awarding bids or contracts to persons (including juridical persons) who have been convicted of 'crimes that constitute fraud, embezzlement or misappropriation of public funds listed in section 928b of this title,' P.R. Laws Ann. tit. 3, section 928, the district court's judgment remanding the case to the Commonwealth Puerto Rico Court of First Instance is affirmed where the forum selection clauses at issue were enforceable, and that the unanimity requirement of 28 U.S.C. section 1446(b)(2)(A) therefore could not be satisfied.

[05/31] Cal. Taxpayers Action Network v. Taber Construction
In a reverse validation action under Code Civ. Proc. section 863 challenging the propriety of school districts' use of lease-leaseback agreements in contracting for construction or improvement of school facilities, the trial court's judgment sustaining defendants' demurrer is: 1) reversed in part as to the conflict of interest claim where plaintiff has stated a claim of conflict of interest against the construction company-defendant sufficient to withstand a demurrer; but 2) otherwise affirmed.

[05/09] Garco Const. Inc. v. Sec'y of the Army
In an appeal of a decision of the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals denying plaintiff's damages claim arising out of its contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build housing units on Malmstrom Air Force Base, the Board's decision is affirmed where there was no change to the base access policy that forced additional costs.

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Probate Trusts

[06/01] Raymond Loubier Irrevocable Trust v. Noella Loubier
In an inheritance dispute pertaining to the assets of the deceased, as conveyed to various revocable and irrevocable trusts in the deceased's name and that of his wife, the district court's dismissal of the complaint based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction is vacated and remanded where, because the plaintiff trusts are traditional common law fiduciary agreements, and, further, because they are not separate juridical entities under the relevant state law of Florida, the citizenship of their trustees controls a diversity determination.

[05/09] Higgins v. Higgins
In a trust case in which a wife agreed to hold funds in trust for her husband's elderly stepmother, and after her husband's death, the wife changed the form of the accounts and used the funds for her own purpose, the trial court's judgment in favor of wife-defendant under Code of Civil Procedure section 631.8 is reversed where, despite the form of the bank accounts, when clear and convincing evidence shows funds were transferred to an account owner to hold in an irrevocable trust for a third party beneficiary and the trustee repudiates the trust, a constructive trust may be imposed on the funds for the beneficiary's estate to prevent unjust enrichment.

[05/08] US v. Cardaci
In an action involving the Government's attempts to collect unpaid taxes assessed against a homeowner, seeking a judicial sale of the home, the district court's judgment, that a forced sale would be inequitable and order that the homeowner make monthly rent payments to the Government instead, is: 1) affirmed as to the district court?s authority to consider whether the property should be subject to a forced sale; but 2) vacated and remanded for recalculation of the ownership interests in the property and reconsideration of the equitable factors weighing for and against a sale.

[04/20] Bresler v. Wilmington Trust Co.
In a breach of contract action brought by personal representatives of an estate, the district court's judgment that trustee-defendant breached an agreement to lend money for the acquisition, maintenance, and certain investments relating to life insurance policies obtained for plaintiffs, is affirmed over defendant's arguments that the district court erred in admitting testimony from the plaintiffs' expert witness, the jury verdict including the award of damages was not supported by the evidence, and additional terms of the district court's order also were not supported by the evidence.

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