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Are Marijuana Businesses Legal in California?

Everyone can feel the changes taking place: marijuana, for better or worse, is gaining wider acceptance amongst the general public across the nation, despite its continued status as a controlled substance under the CSA. But where does this leave weed in the Golden State?

Or more importantly, where does this leave cannabis businesses in California? The law is shaky in this area. Maybe one of the best things lawyers can do is to become at least broadly familiar with the law and understand how we got here.

You upload photos to Facebook and the social media website gives you suggestions on who to tag. Is that your old roommate Javier on the fishing trip? Or maybe it's Craig, from accounting? And this photo in your feed, you weren't there when it was taken, but would you like to tag Lijuan anyway?

All that's possible through Facebook's fairly sophisticated biometric technology, which uses facial recognition software to scan members' faces and identify them in photos posted to the site. It's called "DeepFace" technology and, according to a putative class action in the Northern District of California, it's against the law. Or, at least, one law. In Illinois. And that's good enough for now, the court ruled last week, striking down Facebook's objections that its user agreement requires disputes to be resolved under California law.

Court Rejects CA's First 'Browsewrap' Case

The California Court of Appeal just adjudicated a browsewrap case on the merits that will now be considered the current benchmark case in the ever murky issue of web-user assent.

Hopefully this case will help to clarify the design elements that must be present for every webpage owner in order to ensure that their users get the notice needed for the applicable Terms of Use.

Actress Can Be Sued for Refusing Sex Scene, California Court Rules

California's appeals court affirmed a lower court ruling that denied an actresses' special motion to strike a "soft-core porn" production company's counter-suit against her.

A secondary issue in the suit was whether or not attorneys' fees could be recovered under California's anti-SLAPP statute because the "speech" involved took the form of court filings.

Cal Supreme Court Allows Wrongful Foreclosure Suits

California's Supreme Court just potentially opened up a can of worms in its recent holding that certain non-judicial foreclosure borrowers have standing to bring suit on allegedly void deeds of trusts.

Although the ruling is long past the time when many borrowers had defaulted on their home loans in droves, it could still set the tone for borrowers and lenders in the now profitable scheme of securitization of home interests.

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, Albertsons Merger: Cleanup on Aisle 'Settlement'

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.