CALIFORNIA CLASS ACTION LAW

Month: May, 2013

Fourth District Reverses Denial of Meal & Rest Break Class Action

English: Cash transport van with guards in Gua...

English: Cash transport van with guards in Guangzhou, China Русский: Машина инкассаторов с охраной в Гуанчжоу (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a meal and rest break class action, the Fourth District on Friday reversed the denial of certification of a class of security guards.  Faulkinbury v. Boyd & Associates, Inc., No. G041702, __ Cal. App. 4th. __ (4th Dist. May 10, 2013).  Reconsidering in light of the California Supreme Court decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, 53 Cal.4th 1004 (2012), the court concluded that the primary issue was the legality of certain company policies, which could be determined on a class-wide basis, even if the application of the policies varied by individual.  

By CHARLES H. JUNG

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Challenge to Court Reporter’s Proposed Transcript Cost Cannot Be Raised in Subsequent Action

Court Reporter tests his Stenomask

Court Reporter tests his Stenomask (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, in an appeal from a dismissal of a class action, the Second District held that a non-noticing party in a deposition, who does not move for an order in the pending case for a determination of the “reasonable rate” a court reporter may charge, may not bring a subsequent action to obtain restitution or obtain injunctive relief.  The Las Canoas Company, Inc. v. Kramer, No. B238729, __ Cal. App. 4th. __ (2d Dist. May 7, 2013).  California Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.510 provides that “any other party or the deponent, at the expense of that party or deponent, may obtain a copy of the [deposition] transcript.”  In a prior action, the court reporter quoted a rate of $2 per page, totaling $16,000 for 8,000 pages.  Slip Op. at 2.  Las Canoas offered to pay a $30 flat rate in exchange for a computer disc containing uncertified copies of the transcripts and exhibits.  The court reporter did not agree, but Las Canoas did not challenge the court reporter’s rate until filing a subsequent class action.

The trial court in the subsequent case sustained a demurrer to the putative class action complaint, holding that it lacked “subject matter jurisdiction” since La Canoas failed to bring a motion in the prior case.

The Second District agreed:  Read the rest of this entry »

Second District Articulates “Clear and Unmistakable” Waiver Standard for Labor Code Section 227.3

_DSC9576

_DSC9576 (Photo credit: treyguinn)

In a wage and hour class action, the Second District articulated today a “clear and unmistakable” standard for waiver of right to immediate payment of vested vacation time under the collective-bargaining exception to Labor Code section 227.3.  Choate v. Celite Corporation, No. B239160, __ Cal. App. 4th __ (2d Dist. May 2, 2013).  However because Choate  was the first case to define this standard, the Court found defendant did not act unreasonably, and reversed waiting time penalties under Labor Code section 203:

Although we agree with the trial court that this is the appropriate standard, this is the first case to define the standard for waiver under section 227.3. Plaintiffs argue that Saustez decided this issue, but it did not. (Saustez, supra, 31 Cal.3d 774.) Celite’s good faith reliance on a different waiver standard was accordingly reasonable, particularly in light of the language in Firestone supporting that standard. [Internal citation omitted.]  That Celite’s position did not prevail does not mean that its position was unreasonable. (8 Cal. Code Regs., § 13520.)

You can read more here.

By CHARLES H. JUNG