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Decisions in Criminal, Family Law, Arbitration, anti-SLAPP and Securities Law Matters

By FindLaw Staff on January 12, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019
Viterbi v. Wasserman, D055209, concerned a challenge to the trial court's grant of nonsuit as to the securities fraud claims in plaintiffs' suit against their former employee for securities fraud related claim, who worked as an analyst on plaintiffs' biotech investments.  In affirming, the court held that, because privity of contract is necessary to maintain an action for rescission under sections 22504 and 22504.1, a purchaser of securities may not maintain such a claim against someone other than the direct seller, as rescission requires the contracting parties to be placed in the position they were in prior to contracting, and a non-seller, who did not receive any money from the purchaser, cannot return that money to the purchaser.

Villa Vicenza Homeowners Ass'n v. Nobel Court Dev., LLC., D054550, concerned a challenge to the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to compel arbitration, in plaintiffs' suit against a condominium developer asserting construction defect claims.  In affirming, the court held that CC&R's are not an effective means of obtaining an agreement to arbitrate a homeowners association's construction defect claims against a developer as neither federal nor state law countenance imposition of arbitration where no agreement to waive judicial remedies exist.  The court also held that there has been no showing the association entered into a binding arbitration agreement as the recorded CC&R's, standing alone, are not a contract between the developer and the homeowners association, which only came into existence after the CC&R's were recorded.

State of California v. Bank of Am., N.A., A126494, concerned plaintiffs' qui tam action against Bank of America under the California False Claims Act, (CFCA), claiming that BOA defrauded the State by failing to pay over to the State amounts that plaintiffs contend should escheat as abandoned or unclaimed property under the California Unclaimed Property Law (UPL).  In affirming the trial court's judgment sustaining BOA"s demurrer to plaintiffs' first amended complaint wihtout leave to amend, the court held that plaintiffs fail to state a cause of action under either the UPL or the CFCA as, plaintiffs have identified no property subject to escheat to the State, and consequently cannot establish a claim under the UPL  which they would be entitled to pursue in the name of the State.

People v. Saibu, D054980, concerned a challenge to the defendants' convictions and sentences for committing a robbery of a video store, two attempted robberies of a liquor store, and a murder in the liquor store during one of the attempted robberies.

In affirming in part, the court held that trial court did not err in admitting evidence of uncharged bank robberies as there were sufficient unique characteristics to permit the introduction of evidence regarding the uncharged offense for the purpose of establishing not only intent with respect to the liquor store attempted robbery/shooting, but also identifies the identities of the perpetrators of the charges crimes.  The court also affirmed where the trial court did not err in admitting in evidence certain digitally enhanced photographs and expert testimony describing how the images were enhanced, in admitting the recording of a witness's conversation with police, and in failing to properly instruct the jury with respect to the felony-murder special circumstance allegation.  The court held that there is sufficient evidence to support defendant's attempted murder conviction as a natural and probable consequence of the robbery, and held that there is no cumulative error.  However, the court directed the trial court to modify co-defendant's abstract of judgment to reflect not only the presentence custody credits that he earned but also the number of days that he has served in the custody of the Director of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

In re Marriage of Cantarella, G042957, concerned a challenge to the family court's award of wife's request for permanent spousal support, in marital dissolution proceedings.  In affirming, the court held that, contrary to the husband's argument that the parties were married in 2000, the family court correctly determined that the parties had been married for seventeen years as, the 1991 marriage is valid even though the marriage certificate was never registered.

Grewal v. Jammu, A126239, concerned a challenge to the trial court's denial of defendants' anti-SLAPP motion, in plaintiff's suit for defamation against a local publication and its editor and publisher.  In affirming the judgment, the court held that the plaintiff has met his burden under the anti-SLAPP statute and there is nothing in the defendants' briefs that raises any questions to the contrary, and that the trial court correctly observed that, however efficacious the anti-SLAPP procedure may be in the right case, it can be badly abused in the wrong one, resulting in substantial cost and prejudicial delay.

Cadwell-Faso v. Faso, A126524, concerned a challenge to the trial court's determination that because seven days did not elapse between the time the husband was presented with the final draft addenda to the premarital agreement and the time he signed it, his execution was deemed involuntary and the addendum was unenforceable, in marital dissolution proceedings.  In reversing the judgment, the court held that section 1615(c)(2) simply does not pertain in the current situation where the party against whom enforcement is sought was represented by counsel from the outset of the transaction.

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