All lawyers are trolls but not all trolls are lawyers. 

Update on our appeal in the 9th Circuit Volkswagen Diesel Fraud Case

The Appellate Panel consolidated our Bosch appeal with the Volkswagen appeal and a decision should be announced soon.  If successful the appeal would set aside the largest consumer fraud settlement in history while leaving Volkswagen on the hook.  The settlement allowed Volkswagen to "hide and conceal" claims from the Court and Settlement Master Robert Mueller. 
We filed an action in Butte County yesterday with the intent of having a jury decide punitive damages. We would be the first party to bring the defeat device case to jury trial.  Peer reviewed studies proved thousands of people with lung diseases died from the fraud.  

 

Non-Compete Agreement Ruled Unenforceable by California court

Posted by Lacy Fletcher on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 Under: Contracts

Readers will know that California marches to its own drummer when it comes to the enforceability of covenants not to compete. California Business & Professions Code Section 16600 declares these covenants void unless they fall within a statutory exception. Nonetheless, some companies continue to insist on including non-compete clauses in their agreements.  Sometimes, they even try to enforce these clauses with lamentable results.  Such was the case of Robinson v. U-Haul Co. of Cal., Cal. Superior Ct. Case Nos. A141396, A145828 (Oct. 18, 2016).

The case started nearly a decade ago when U-Haul sued one of its independent dealers for breach of contract. After U-Haul failed to convince the court to issue a preliminary complaint, it dismissed its complaint. Not inclined to let bygones be bygones, the dealer filed an action for malicious prosecution and violation of California’s unfair competition statute, Business & Professions Code § 17200. The unfair competition claim was based on U-Haul’s inclusion of a covenant not to compete in its dealer agreements.  The dealer prevailed and received:

More than $195,000 in compensatory damages for malicious prosecution; 

A permanent injunction prohibiting U-Haul from initiating or threatening to initiate judicial action to enforce the non-compete covenant in California; and

More than $800,000 in attorney’s fees on the unfair competition claim.

The trial judge’s observations concerning U-Haul’s decision to include non-compete clauses in its dealer agreements is particularly noteworthy:

First off, the clause is void and unenforceable as a matter of law.  [Section] 16600 was – the law predated these events herein by many, many years.  Their only reason to put a void contract clause in a contract is to mislead people. U-Haul knew when it put that it its contract that [Section] 16600 of the [Business & Professions] [C]ode was in existence.  That statute was clear. [¶] Why would you possibly put something in a contract where the law say it’s void? You do that so you can cause somebody to think that that clause is, in fact, valid when it isn’t.  So it is void and unenforceable as matter of law.

U-Haul did not challenge this ruling on appeal. Read more here

In : Contracts 


Tags: non-compete  agreement  contract  california  business  unfair competition   

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