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CSA’s inaugural blog post

ClouseSpaniac Attorneys bids you welcome to our BlogSpot!  CSA’s inaugural blog post celebrates a little over one month of our new firm’s operation—and what a month it has been.


Erin Halas started us off with our first mark in the “W” column with the grant of Summary Judgment in a Riverside Superior Court case which obtained the final dismissal of  a wage an hour claim brought against individual Board Members and other Officers of a non-profit social service agency which had unfortunately succumbed to hard financial times and ceased to do business.  An action for back wages was launched by a former employee against these former officers and directors, most of whom were volunteers themselves.  While we understand and sympathize with the former employee’s situation, holding individual board members and officers personally liable for financial conditions beyond their control would have a disastrously chilling effect on anyone ever volunteering to sit as a board member for a nonprofit.


Katharine Spaniac prevailed following oral argument before the Fourth District Court of Appeals in the case of Friend v Stateline Towing.  A former employee of our client attempted to circumvent the exclusive remedy provision of the Labor Code by attempting to make a novel argument that somehow ownership of an allegedly defective chair at his employer’s location allowed him to sue his employer directly for alleged personal injury.   The Court of Appeal upheld grant of Summary Judgment.


Richard Clouse and Lawya Rangel spent most of the month in trial in San Bernardino Superior Court defending a San Bernardino based Federally Qualified Healthcare Center in a constructive termination  case brought by its former clinic manager who alleged that she had been forced to resign because she allegedly brought to light practices that she claimed were against public policy.  Plaintiff had previously announced to co-workers that she was leaving to find a job nearer to her home. She had also testified previously under oath that she believed her working conditions had in fact been adversely affected because she had to supervise the CEO’s daughter.   Plaintiff asked the jury to award between $500,000.00 and $750,000.00 in damages;  the verdict returned was $50,000.00.   Another key fact:   Defendant had made a Statutory Offer to Compromise a month after the complaint was filed for $75,000.00 plus reasonable costs and attorney’s fees at the time, which was rejected by plaintiff’s counsel about 5 days after being made.  Needless to say, we anticipate further litigation as to the cost bill.


We welcomed Sara Culver on board this month; she has been acclimating herself to our practice by shadowing Justin Clark on variety of different matters.  Justin has truly been our utility player this month, given Rich and Lawya’s focus on trial.  Finally, we are welcoming back Lea Francisco, who returns shortly from maternity leave.


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