Articles, news & events

Read the latest news from Scali Rasmussen, including legal alerts and event listings.

A workplace zoo?

Employer obligations to accommodate assistive animals

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In recent years we have seen increased accessibility and use of service animals at public businesses and on public transportation systems. Workplaces may be similarly affected due to Fair Employment and Housing Act regulations that recognize “assistive animals” as potential accommodations for disabled employees.

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Driverless trucks will take some getting used to, but that does not make them the Halloween demon that the Teamsters make them out to be. In fact, few industries stand to gain as much from the implementation of driverless vehicle technology as freight and transportation, and specifically trucking: a $767 billion a year business that will benefit from automation by using less fuel and man­-hours while hastening deliveries.

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The Scali Law Firm is pleased to announce the expansion of its employment defense litigation group with the addition of associate attorney, Gregory B. Wilbur. Greg joins the firm’s Los Angeles Office’s Litigation and Employment practice groups and has extensive experience in class action wage and hour employment litigation. He is well versed in the California Labor Code, the regulations and agency authority interpreting it, and the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and is adept at evaluating exposure to damages and penalties from wage-and-hour class action lawsuits.

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a press release answering dealers’ questions concerning the revised Used Motor Vehicle Trade Regulation Rule, also known as the Used Car Rule. The Used Car Rule requires dealers to display the Buyer’s Guide on all used cars, which contains warranty information.

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Commercial vehicle history reports like Carfax™ and Autocheck™ have grown in popularity in the last several years and are commonly given to customers who purchase used vehicles at dealerships. These reports, however, are also a source of problems for dealers. In fact, consumer attorneys attempt to admit vehicle history reports and the information contained in them into evidence in consumer lawsuits claiming the dealer failed to disclose prior damage and accident history. To help defend against such allegations, dealers should consider adopting a policy and setting internal procedures to effectively and provably disclose information to customers.

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A relatively new trend in automotive marketing is “Ringless Voicemail” or “Direct to Voicemail” technology: instead of calling a potential customer and leaving a voicemail, a software system deposits a message directly onto the voicemail server of a recipient’s cell phone carrier. Vendors offering this service approach dealers with claims like “Voice Messages Sent Directly to Customer’s Smartphone: FCC Compliant; Do Not Call Compliant, Customer phone never rings!” However, regulators like the FCC or state attorney generals may not see this new technology as a legal method for contacting consumers who have not agreed to receive prerecorded messages.

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Dealership asset sales commonly involve the termination by the seller of its employees at closing and the rehiring of the employees by the buyer. Depending on the number of affected employees, both federal and California law may impose prior notification requirements on the seller, failing which the seller could be hit with substantial financial damages and penalties.

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With multiple allegations of sexual harassment against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein dominating headlines, employers may be wondering whether they are doing enough to protect themselves against liability for harassment—and their employees may be wondering whether they have valid claims to bring against them.

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Every dealership is different, and every market is different. This truth has now also become a rallying cry for dealerships across the country as dealerships push back against sales effectiveness measures. These efforts are picking up steam, and now can serve as a strong argument against termination based exclusively or mostly on measures of sales effectiveness. In a new twist, though, three dealerships in New York have successfully challenged the use of sales effectiveness measures in incentive programs. This may signal a new battleground to fight overbearing factory demands.

Interim adverse judgment rule

Zealous advocacy may foreclose your ability to file a malicious prosecution action after successfully defending a lawsuit

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You’ve successfully defended a lawsuit and obtained a jury verdict in your favor. You lean back, contemplate all of plaintiffs’ actions in the prior case, and think you’ve got a slam dunk malicious prosecution case, right? Not so fast.

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