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Mimi Lee's Frozen Embryos Must Be 'Thawed and Discarded,' CA Court Rules

In a decision that is sure to have family law commentators murmuring for years, a California Superior Court Judge has ruled that a woman must abide by an agreement she made with her ex-husband years before: her frozen embryos must be "thawed and discarded."

Judge Anne-Christine Massullo was clearly not pleased with her own decision, but nonetheless applied California law objectively. "It's a disturbing consequence of modern biological technology that the fate of a nascent human life ... must be determined in a court by reference to cold legal principles," she lamented.

The third time was a charm for PayPal's most recent class action settlement over the company's account closure procedures. After having twice rejected settlements in the class action litigation, Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong was finally satisfied, approving a $4 million deal last Thursday.

The settlement ends long-running litigation over PayPal's practice of putting accounts on hold or reserve without notice, hanging on to users' money but not compensating them for any interest earned during those periods. Under the settlement, PayPal will turn over just under $2 million to affected users and improve disclosures for its reserve, hold, and dispute resolution process.

$16M Verdict Against STD Positive Dating Site

They say that there is someone for everyone. If that is the case, some of the more mainstream sites may not cater to one's peculiarities. For example, there is, a site whose tagline ("City folks just don't get it.") says it all. has its own network of niche dating sites, including,,,, and the mother of all sites: That last one is for folks with incurable sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes, HIV/AIDS, and HPV.

When users sign up for the site, assurances of anonymity are provided. However, in the site's terms, it says that it can share profiles and user data within the company's network, which includes a number of "affiliate" sites, each of which are created by third-parties for new niches.

Gov. Brown Signs 'Yelp Bill' to Bar Non-Disparagement Agreements

You've heard the horror stories before. Businesses getting offensive with bad reviews on Yelp have been requiring customers to sign non-disparagement agreements. Those customers purportedly can't write negative reviews (though they're more than free to write stellar reviews).

In another case, a dentist's office required a potential patient to sign over to them the copyrights to any future reviews she might write about the dentist.

California has had enough.

Safeway, a major grocery store chain that every Californian knows, is being bought up by competitor Albertsons.

Also operating under the name Vons or Pavilions in the Golden State, Safeway is merging with Albertsons in a deal estimated at over $9 million, reports CNNMoney. But the deal won't be finalized until the end of the year, and Safeway has some settlement deals to wrap up first.

Cal. Sup. Ct. Sets Arguments for Landmark Employee Arbitration Case

The facts of this case are pretty unremarkable. Guy (Arshavir Iskanian) drives a limo, gets into a dispute with his employer (CLS Transportation). Guy sues.

Except, there was an arbitration clause. The trial court ordered arbitration, pursuant to the employment contract. An appellate panel reversed, with instructions for the trial court to consider Gentry v. Superior Court, a California Supreme Court case that, in limited circumstances, allows parties to escape "unconscionable" arbitration clauses.

The trial court certified a class, but then AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion happened, hitting the reset button, and sending the case back to arbitration. Now, the California Supreme Court, on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 9:00 a.m., will hear arguments about whether Gentry remains good law after AT&T Mobility.

Second Raiderette Joins Wage and Hour Lawsuit

We recently went over the story of Lacy T., a Raiderette who is suing the Oakland Raiders Club for violation of California labor laws. Well, the lawsuit is picking up steam as a second Raiderette joined the suit.

Twenty-nine-year-old Sarah G. (last names aren't disclosed for safety reasons) spent four seasons with the Raiders as a cheerleader but joined the lawsuit, claiming their contract with the Club was rife with illegal provisions.

For all you employment attorneys out there, check out this laundry list of alleged violations:

Lyft and Sidecar can continue operating as legitimate businesses in California, but they'll have to abide by the CPUC's new regulations which were approved in a decision Thursday.

Under the newly approved rules, "rideshare" apps which allow users to summon a participating driver to get them from point A to point B are now classified as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), a newly created regulatory category that has a whole new set of rules.

What does this decision mean for California riders and drivers using these TNC services?

Appellate Case Puts an Important Spin on Arbitration, Retainers

With all of the pro-business and anti-consumer arbitration decisions lately (we're looking at you, SCOTUS), it's a bit refreshing to see a decision, albeit a California-only appellate court decision, go the other way, and fall on the side of the consumer. Even if the decision does seem to contradict, somewhat, the language of the contract. Lawyers should especially pay attention, as this case dealt with a retainer agreement.

The three plaintiffs here are elderly residents of a Section 8 (low income) apartment complex. They retained an attorney to deal with issues of mold. Their counsel later allegedly coerced them into taking a lesser settlement by attempting to have a guardian ad litem appointed to manage their affairs.

Does Retroactive Sex Offender Registration Violate Plea Deal?

When California modified its Sex Offender Registration Act to require that those who had been convicted of certain offenses, even those who had already completed their sentence, register for the public Megan’s Law online database, it created a number of issues. Was this an ex post facto violation? Did it violate due process? What about the contractual obligations of the parties per the plea bargain?

John Doe, a registered sex offender, entered a plea deal providing for probation and registration under the terms of Penal Code Section 290 as it existed in 1991 — a requirement to register for a private database only accessible by law enforcement officials.

Since then, the law has been modified twice, first to provide for a publically-accessible information phone line and later, to provide for the Megan’s Law website. Doe sued after the latter requirement was put into place and he was notified that his information would be available online.