You are a hardworking business owner. You cherish your sterling reputation in the community—including your 4.5 star average on Yelp and Google reviews. But one morning you are woken up by the chime of your email notification on your phone and, to your infinite dismay, someone has left a scathing review of your business on […]
About Jake Ayres
“When you are content to be simply yourself, and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
– Lao Tzu
Entries by Jake Ayres
The 2008 financial and foreclosure crisis—in addition to immiserating a generation of homeowners—led to an explosion in litigation against lenders and loan servicers by aggrieved owners. Because of the volume of these cases and the diversity of approaches by the plaintiffs, a split of authority between the various Districts of the California Court of Appeal […]
An infinite amount of ink has been spilled over the decades regarding the proper boundary between contract and tort law. An important reinforcement to that often-blurry boundary is the economic loss rule, which provides that a party to a contract cannot recover in tort for purely economic damages arising from disappointed expectations. This broad-sounding rule is subject to certain exceptions, including the highly influential ruling established by the California Supreme Court in Robinson Helicopter Co. v. Dana Corp., 34 Cal. 4th 979 (2004), which provides that a contracting party seeking economic damages by alleging fraud—that is, intentional misrepresentation—may avoid the bar of the economic loss rule. Id. at 991. But what about fraudulent concealment—that is, where a party to a contract doesn’t make an outright false statement, but instead lies by omission?
judgment creditor may “pierce the veil” of a trust to reach the settlor behind that trust are a bit quirkier.
In a previous article, I discussed the often blurry line between permissible pre-litigation communications and constitutionally unprotected extortionate demands. However, one important dimension of the civil extortion universe was left unaddressed there—that is, no claim for civil extortion can lie unless the victim actually pays the extorter.
They say that war makes for strange bedfellows. As it turns out, the war on drugs is no exception. In a recent opinion from the United States Supreme Court, conservative stalwart Justice Clarence Thomas rebuked the federal government’s “half-in, half-out” stance on state-legal cannabis, and strongly implied that said approach was untenable from a federalist perspective. This criticism of federal drug policy from the right—rather than the left—could be another omen that more cultural conservative objections to state-legal cannabis are yielding to federalism and economic concerns and could also signal a future bipartisan action to provide safer harbor to legal cannabis businesses.
However, the In re United Cannabis case ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. On January 12, 2021, after approximately eight months of consideration, Bankruptcy Judge Joseph G. Rosania, Jr. of the District of Colorado issued a one-page ruling dismissing the bankruptcy petition “pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1112(b) and . . . finding good cause.” In so doing, he snuffed out any hope that the District of Colorado could become a hub for hemp businesses that dabble in cannabis to successfully pursue chapter 11 bankruptcy.
A recent land use decision of the California Court of Appeal has eased one of the many burdens experienced by developers seeking to challenge a public entity’s permit denial. In an opinion by Judge Tangeman, the Second Appellate District reinforced the strength of the “futility exception” to the legal prerequisites in mandamus actions.
You’re a seasoned litigator and an aggrieved, hardworking contractor comes into your office (or your Zoom room). His recent proposal to the City, which was prepared with painstaking detail and offered the lowest bearable price, was rejected—unfairly, the contractor says. Instead, the City awarded the contract to the contractor’s bitter rival, Dewey/Cheatham, who appears to have a cozy relationship with the City manager. The contractor got second place.
On December 4, 2020,1 the United States House of Representatives made history and voted to federally legalize cannabis for the first time by voting to pass the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (the “MORE Act”). Although the MORE Act still has to pass the historically cannabis-unfriendly United States Senate, the House’s quick action to pass a sweeping legalization bill in a time of presidential transition could signal greater legislative efforts to resolve the federal-state tension over state-legal cannabis.