News

Case Summaries

Government Contracts

[08/07] Russell City Energy Company, LLC v. City of Hayward
Reversing an order sustaining a city's demurrer without leave to amend and dismissing a complaint to the extent that the order denied the plaintiff leave to amend in an action relating to an agreement between an energy company and a city whose terms may have violated the California Constitution because a quasi-contractual restitution claim would be permitted even if the Payments Clause at issue is unconstitutional.

[08/02] Lee's Ford Dock, Inc. v. Secretary of the Army
Affirming the grant of summary judgment for the Army and dismissing the private party's claims for contract reformation and breach of contract in the case of a marina on land leased from the Army that was rendered unusable for a period of time while the Army reduced the water level of a lake to repair a dam.

[07/28] Northrop Grumman Technical Service, Inc. v. DynCorp International LLC
Affirming the remand of a case involving a dispute between a government contractor and its subcontractor because the party seeking to remove to federal court filed an untimely notice to remove and had waived its right to remove by engaging in substantive defensive action in state court prior to filing a notice of removal by filing counterclaims in state court.

[07/21] Chugach Management Services Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Jetnil
Denying the petition for review of the award of disability benefits under the Defense Base Act and the application of a judicially-created 'zone of special danger' doctrine to a local national injured while employed by a government contractor overseas.

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Probate Trusts

[07/14] Lazar v. Charles Schwab Co. Inc.
Affirming the plaintiff's standing to bring a constitutional challenge under the Contracts Clause in the case of a divorced individual's attempts to claim the retirement fund of their ex following his death but affirming the claim's dismissal, application of Arizona's revocation-on-divorce statute, the holding that this statute was not preempted, the dismissal of a Contracts Clause challenge, and the transfer of the case to Arizona.

[06/30] Irvin v. Contra Costa County Employees' Retirement Ass'n
Reversing the trial court's affirmation of the Contra Costa County Employees' Retirement Association Board of Retirement's denial of surviving spouse benefits because the entry of a judgment of legal separation did not terminate a marriage and the term

[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.

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