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When the FCC decided to turn its back on net neutrality, the state of California decided it was time to take action. In response, the California legislature passed, and Governor Jerry Brown signed into law, Senate Bill 822, named the California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018.

The California law is similar to the Brightline regulations imposed by the FCC in 2015, which were rescinded earlier this year. However, living up to its reputation as a leader, California's new net neutrality law goes a little bit further. Unfortunately for the state, the federal government isn't pleased with the state's new law and has filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District Court seeking to permanently enjoin enforcement of the law and have it invalidated under the Supremacy Clause.

The recent decision at the California Supreme Court in Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton LLP v. J-M Manufacturing, is likely to change the way business is done at large law firms.

The big issue that might be making some BigLaw partners nervous involves general advanced conflict waivers in client agreements being used to invalidate those client agreements when conflicts exist. In short, the Court held that if there is an actual conflict at the time of retention, unless that conflict is specifically disclosed, a general advanced conflict waiver is not valid.

The California Supreme Court issued a ruling in the highly watched Liberty v. Ledesma matter, and it may have insurers across the state upset. The case reached the California Supreme Court thanks to the Ninth Circuit's certifying the question to the state's high court.

In short, the court held that when an employee intentionally inflicts harm on a third party, an employer's insurer may actually have to cover the loss as an accident. The case that brought this issue to the court's attention involved the rape of a minor by a school employee. That employee had been hired by his brother-in-law, the school's owner, despite being on the sex offender registry.

Court: Trader Joe's Can't Interfere with Middleman's Contract

(Hey, there's an open secret about Trader Joe's products: they aren't all Trader Joe's.)

It started to come out in a book several years ago, courtesy of a former company insider and marketing executive. Mark Gardiner spells out how "one of America's most secretive companies built the strongest brand in its category."

Now another Trader Joe's secret is out. In Redfearn v. Trader Joe's Company, a California appeals court said the company may be liable for interfering with a food broker's contract to go directly to suppliers.

In reviving a shareholder action against McAfee, the California Court of Appeals, for the Sixth Appellate District, explained that the plaintiffs still did not have a right to a jury trial. Though the appellate court did revive the case, sending it back down to the court to try the matter as to a few of the several defendants, including McAfee, the matter will only be heard by a judge.

The case itself involves some rather juicy details and allegations of corporate misconduct, including board members acting out of self-interest, rather than on behalf of shareholders. However, the resolution of which state's law to apply and when, particularly as it applied to the right to a jury trial certainly will make the case worth noting.

The recently decided case of Wiseman Park LLC v. Southern Glazer Wine and Spirits LLC may open a floodgate of litigation in California, or not. The case reversed a trial court decision sustaining a demurrer to a lawsuit brought by an alcohol retailer against an alcohol distributor.

The distributor sought the demurrer on the basis that California's Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) held the exclusive jurisdiction over all legal claims between alcohol retailers and distributors. However, the Second District Appellate Court of California held that the trial court sustained the demurrer in error. It reversed their decision, remanding the case to be litigated. It further held that there was no merit to the assumption that ABC was the exclusive arbiter of these disputes.

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.