Wednesday, March 7, 2018

European Union Privacy Law


The European Union Privacy Law

In May 2018, U.S. companies must comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It applies to all companies who collect, process, and/or store the personal data of European citizens - even if the company is not located in the EU. Read:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Heller Ehrman LLP v. Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, S236208

Law partnerships: Partnership (dissolution): Property interest: Vested rights: Fees (contingency basis): Fees (hourly basis): Jewel Waiver: Chapter 11: Common law:

(…) Does a dissolved law firm retains a property interest in (…) legal matters (matters on an hourly basis) that are in progress –– but not completed –– at the time of dissolution?

(…) Under California law, a dissolved law firm has no property interest in legal matters handled on an hourly basis, and therefore, no property interest in the profits generated by its former partners’ work on hourly fee matters pending at the time of the firm’s dissolution. The partnership has no more than an expectation that it may continue to work on such matters, and that expectation may be dashed at any time by a client’s choice to remove its business. As such, the firm’s expectation — a mere possibility of unearned, prospective fees — cannot constitute a property interest. To the extent the law firm has a claim, its claim is limited to the work necessary for preserving legal matters so they can be transferred to new counsel of the client’s choice (or the client itself), effectuating such a transfer, or collecting on work done pretransfer.

Heller’s dissolution plan included a provision known as a Jewel waiver. Named after the case of Jewel v. Boxer (1984) 156 Cal.App.3d 171 (Jewel), the provision purported to waive any rights and claims Heller may have had “to seek payment of legal fees generated after the departure date of any lawyer or group of lawyers with respect to non-contingency/non-success fee matters only.” The waiver was intended as “an inducement to encourage Shareholders to move their clients to other law firms and to move Associates and Staff with them, the effect of which will be to reduce expenses to the Firm-in-Dissolution.” By its express terms, the waiver governed only those matters billed on a non-contingency –– that is continual, or hourly –– basis.

(…) In the meantime, Heller filed for bankruptcy under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. When Heller’s plan of liquidation was approved, the bankruptcy court appointed a plan administrator who became responsible for pursuing claims to recover assets for the benefit of Heller’s creditors.

(…) We granted the Ninth Circuit’s request that we resolve the question of what property interest, if any, a dissolved law firm has in the legal matters, and therefore the profits, of cases that are in progress but not completed at the time of dissolution.

(…) Our policy of encouraging labor mobility while minimizing firm instability. It accomplishes the former by making the pending matters, and those that work on them, attractive additions to new firms; it manages the latter by placing partners who depart after a firm’s dissolution at no disadvantage to those who leave earlier.

(…) In Osment v. McElrath (1886) 68 Cal. 466 and Little v. Caldwell (1894) 101 Cal. 553, we confronted situations in which law firms dissolved with contingency matters pending. In both cases, we held that the fees generated by one partner in completing the matters were to be shared equally with the former partner (or his estate). (Osment, supra, 68 Cal. at p. 470; Little, supra, 101 Cal. at p. 561.) We thus rejected the argument that the lawyers who personally completed the matters were entitled to a greater share of the fees than stipulated to in the partnership agreements.

California partnership law was codified in 1929 when the Legislature adopted the Uniform Partnership Act (UPA). The UPA preserved many common-law principles, including the rules elucidated in Osment and Little. (See Jacobson v. Wikholm (1946) 29 Cal.2d 24, 27–28 (Jacobson).) The First District Court of Appeal then added further gloss when it interpreted UPA in the case of Jewel v. Boxer, supra. In Jewel, partners of a dissolved law firm sued their former partners who had been handling “most of the active personal injury and workers’ compensation cases.” (Jewel, supra, 156 Cal.App.3d at p. 175.) The suing partners sought their shares of the fees from these cases, arguing that they were entitled to the same fees as prevailed during the partnership.

The Jewel court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. It reasoned that the former partners were not entitled “to extra compensation for services rendered in completing unfinished business,” where “extra compensation” was compensation “which is greater than would have been received as the former partner’s share of the dissolved partnership.” (Jewel, supra, 156 Cal.App.3d at p. 176 & fn. 2.) Accordingly, without an agreement to the contrary, any attorney fees generated from matters pending when the law firm dissolved were “to be shared by the former partners according to their right to fees in the former partnership, regardless of which former partner provides legal services in the case after the dissolution.” (Id. at p. 174.)

Subsequent Court of Appeal decisions consistently applied Jewel’s holding to contingency fee cases. (See, e.g., Fox v. Abrams (1985) 163 Cal.App.3d 610, 612–613; Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman v. Cohen (1987) 191 Cal.App.3d 1035, 1063.) Such widespread application of Jewel was confined to the contingency fee context, however. Only in 1993 did a Court of Appeal expressly interpret Jewel to encompass matters the dissolved law firm had been handling on an hourly basis. (See Rothman v. Dolin (1993) 20 Cal.App.4th 755, 757–759.) To this day, Rothman remains the only published California opinion to apply Jewel to the hourly fee context, and it did so before UPA was revised. Three years after Rothman, the Legislature again revised partnership law by replacing UPA with RUPA. (See Corp. Code, § 16100 et. seq.) RUPA made several changes to the default rules of California partnership law.

(…) Since the enactment of RUPA, no California court has, in a published opinion, resolved whether there remains a basis for holding that a partnership has a property interest in legal matters pending at a firm’s dissolution. The last time we took up the issue was in Osment and Little. More recent is the intermediate appellate decision in Jewel, although that, too, was issued before the passage of RUPA and implicated only contingency fee matters. We thus consider with fresh eyes the question posed to us by the Ninth Circuit.

(…) The circumstances giving rise to a property interest, in turn, include not only familiar arm’s-length transactions but also certain sufficiently reliable expectations, such as unvested retirement benefits. (E.g., In re Marriage of Green (2013) 56 Cal.4th 1130, 1140– 1141 [“Nonvested retirement benefits are certainly contingent on various events occurring — such as continued employment — but this does not prevent them from being a property right for these purposes.”].) In this case, we consider the question of whether a sufficiently strong expectation exists in the context of a law firm partnership performing hourly work on legal matters. We find that it does not. A property interest grounded in such an expectation requires a legitimate, objectively reasonable assurance rather than a mere unilaterally-held presumption (See Bd. of Regents v. Roth (1972) 408 U.S. 564, 577).

(…) (See, e.g., General Dynamics Corp. v. Superior Court (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1164, 1174–1175, 1172 (General Dynamics) [stating that it is “bedrock law” that a client has the right “to sever the professional relationship [with its attorney] at any time and for any reason,” although carving out a limited exception for in-house counsel whose relationship with the client is not a “ ‘one shot’ undertaking”].)

While Heller was a viable, ongoing business, it no doubt hoped to continue working on the unfinished hourly fee matters and expected to receive compensation for its future work. But such hopes were speculative, given the client’s right to terminate counsel at any time, with or without cause. As such, they do not amount to a property interest. (Civ. Code, § 700; In re Thelen LLP (2014) 20 N.E.3d 264, 270–271 [“no law firm has a property interest in future hourly legal fees because they are ‘too contingent in nature and speculative to create a present or future property interest’ ”].) Dissolution does not change that fact, as dissolving does not place a firm in the position to claim a property interest in work it has not performed — work that would not give rise to a property interest if the firm were still a going concern. A dissolved law firm therefore has no property interest in the fees or profits associated with unfinished hourly fee matters. The firm never owned such matters, and upon dissolution, cannot claim a property interest in the income streams that they generate. This is true even when it is the dissolved firm’s former partners who continue to work on these matters and earn the income — as is consistent with our partnership law.

So, with the exception of fees paid for work fitting the narrow category of winding up activities that a former partner might perform after a firm’s dissolution, a dissolved law firm’s property interest in hourly fee matters is limited to the right to be paid for the work it performs before dissolution. Consistent with our statutory partnership law, winding up includes only tasks necessary to preserve the hourly fee matters so that they can be transferred to new counsel of the client’s choice (or the client itself), to effectuate such a transfer, and to collect on the pretransfer work. Beyond this, the partnership’s interest, like the partnership itself, dissolves.

(Cal. S.C., March 5, 2018, Heller Ehrman LLP v. Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, S236208)

Une étude d'avocats est-elle titulaire, après sa dissolution, d'un "property interest" portant sur les affaires en cours (facturées selon un tarif horaire), et sur les honoraires qu'elles génèrent après dissolution ?

En droit californien, une étude d'avocats dissoute, en phase de liquidation, n'est pas titulaire d'un "property interest" s'agissant des affaires traitées à un tarif horaire. De la sorte, elle n'est pas non plus titulaire d'un tel intérêt sur les honoraires générés après dissolution, dans ces dossiers, par les anciens associés. Même avant dissolution, l'étude n'a que l'expectative de pouvoir continuer à travailler dans les affaires en cours, et cette expectative peut être contrariée en tout temps par le choix du client de résilier le mandat. Dite expectative ne saurait constituer un "property interest" : elle ne permet, après dissolution, que d'entreprendre contre rémunération le travail nécessaire au bon transfert du dossier et de procéder au recouvrement des honoraires dus avant le transfert.

Dans deux décisions anciennes, Osment v. McElrath (1886) 68 Cal. 466 et Little v. Caldwell (1894) 101 Cal. 553, la Cour Suprême de Californie a jugé que dans des dossiers rémunérés autrement que selon le système du tarif horaire, l'avocat qui continuait de traiter le dossier après dissolution de l'ancienne étude devait partager ses honoraires avec l'avocat (ou sa succession) qui le traitait avant dissolution. Les honoraires devaient ainsi être partagés comme si l'étude n'avait pas été dissoute, en conformité avec le contrat de collaboration des anciens associés de l'étude dissoute. Cela sauf accord contraire entre les anciens associés (cf. Jewel v. Boxer (1984) 156 Cal.App.3d 171 (Jewel)).

Le "partnership law" californien a été codifié en 1929, et a conservé de nombreux principes de la Common law, y compris les principes énoncés par les deux décisions précitées Osment et Little.

La décision Jewel a été reprise de manière réitérée par les cours d'appel, mais seulement dans le contexte d'honoraires calculés autrement que selon le tarif horaire. Une seule décision d'une seule cour d'appel a repris Jewel dans le cadre du tarif horaire (Rothman v. Dolin (1993) 20 Cal.App.4th 755, 757–759). Trois ans après Rothman, le législateur a révisé le droit du "partnership", remplaçant UPA par RUPA.

Depuis l'entrée en vigueur de ce nouveau droit, aucune décision publiée des cours de Californie n'a jugé si le droit révisé permettait de retenir l'existence d'un "property interest" en faveur d'une étude dissoute et portant, après dissolution, sur les affaires en cours et sur les honoraires générés après dissolution.

La Cour juge en l'espère qu'un "property interest" peut être reconnu si l'expectative du droit qui lui est lié est suffisamment solide. Tel est le cas par exemple d'un droit futur reconnu par un contrat bilatéral, ou de rentes de retraite dont les montants ne sont pas encore certains. Mais tel n'est pas le cas s'agissant d'honoraires d'avocats à verser selon un tarif horaire. Des honoraires futurs pour un travail qui n'a pas encore été accompli ne sont en rien acquis. Le client peut en effet résilier le mandat en tout temps, avec ou sans motif (est citée la fameuse décision Bd. of Regents v. Roth (1972) 408 U.S. 564, 577). Dès lors, une étude en dissolution n'est pas titulaire d'un "property interest" s'agissant des honoraires portant sur du travail effectué après dissolution. Elle n'était déjà pas titulaire d'un tel intérêt avant dissolution, et la dissolution ne change pas cet absence d'intérêt. Cela même si le travail après dissolution est entrepris par un ancien associé du "partnership" en dissolution. Le "partnership" en dissolution a tout de même droit au paiement de ses honoraires pour le travail, après dissolution, lié au transfert du dossier au nouveau conseil ou au client lui-même. Les honoraires liés au travail accompli avant la dissolution sont également dus.

Heller Ehrman LLP v. Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, S236208

Winding up: Dissolution: Partnership:

Winding up is “the process of completing all of the partnership’s uncompleted transactions, of reducing all assets to cash, and of distributing the proceeds, if any, to the partners.” (Gregory, The Law of Agency and Partnership (3d ed. 2001) § 227, p. 368.)

Under RUPA, “a person winding up a partnership’s business may preserve the partnership business or property as a going concern for a reasonable time, prosecute and defend actions and proceedings, whether civil, criminal, or administrative, settle and close the partnership’s business, dispose of and transfer the partnership’s property, discharge the partnership’s liabilities, distribute the assets of the partnership pursuant to Section 16807, settle disputes by mediation or arbitration, and perform other necessary acts.” (Corp. Code, § 16803, subd. (c).)

But, in case of a dissolved law firm: with the exception of fees paid for work fitting the narrow category of winding up activities that a former partner might perform after a firm’s dissolution, a dissolved law firm’s property interest in hourly fee matters is limited to the right to be paid for the work it performs before dissolution. Consistent with our statutory partnership law, winding up includes only tasks necessary to preserve the hourly fee matters so that they can be transferred to new counsel of the client’s choice (or the client itself), to effectuate such a transfer, and to collect on the pretransfer work. Beyond this, the partnership’s interest, like the partnership itself, dissolves.

(Cal. S.C., March 5, 2018, Heller Ehrman LLP v. Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, S236208)

Dissolution et liquidation d'un "partnership" : référence de doctrine en matière de liquidation. Application de Cal. Corp. Code, § 16803, subd. c) et 16807. Les opérations de liquidation d'une étude d'avocats sont substantiellement plus réduites que celles mentionnées par les références précitées. Elles ne concernent guère que les procédés liés au paiement des honoraires de l'associé qui s'occupe de la liquidation, ainsi que les procédés liés au recouvrement des honoraires dus avant dissolution, permettant la remise du dossier au nouveau conseil ou au client lui-même.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Solus Industrial Innovations, LLC v. Superior Court, S222314

Labor law: Workplace safety: Cal/OSHA: Unfair competition: Unfair advertising: Consumer protection: Supremacy clause: Preemption: Equitable remedies:

(…) The federal OSH Act (29 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.) provides that the federal Secretary of Labor shall adopt standards for occupational safety and health, but federal law does not preempt state authority when (1) there is no federal standard or (2) there is a state plan for occupational safety and health that has been approved at the federal level.

The federal OSH Act grants the federal Department of Labor the authority to provide and enforce mandatory national standards. (29 U.S.C. § 651(b)(3); see also id., § 655 [calling for promulgation of standards].) The federal Secretary of Labor has delegated certain authority to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (hereafter sometimes federal OSHA) to adopt standards. (Gade v. National Solid Wastes Management Ass’n (1992) 505 U.S. 88, 92 (Gade) (plur. opn. of O’Connor, J.).) If the Secretary of Labor has not promulgated a federal standard with respect to an occupational safety or health issue, states may supply their own standards. (29 U.S.C. § 667(a) [“Nothing in this chapter shall prevent any State agency or court from asserting jurisdiction under State law over any occupational safety or health issue with respect to which no standard is in effect under section 655 of this title”].)

Moreover, even when there are federal standards on an issue relating to occupational safety and health, a state may assume responsibility for developing and enforcing state standards on such issues by developing and submitting to the Secretary of Labor a plan to “preempt” federal standards. In a provision entitled “Submission of State plan for development and enforcement of State standards to preempt applicable Federal standards,” the federal OSH Act states: “Any State which, at any time, desires to assume responsibility for development and enforcement therein of occupational safety and health standards relating to any occupational safety or health issue with respect to which a Federal standard has been promulgated under section 655 of this title shall submit a State plan for the development of such standards and their enforcement.” (29 U.S.C. § 667(b).)

The Secretary must give adequate notice and an opportunity for a hearing before rejecting a state plan. (Id., § 667(d).)

The Secretary of Labor retains some ongoing authority over state plans. For example, the Secretary must “make a continuing evaluation of the manner in which each State having a plan . . . is carrying out such plan.” (29 U.S.C. § 667(f).)

(…) Finally, the federal OSH Act contains a broad savings clause: “Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to supersede or in any manner affect any workmen’s compensation law or to enlarge or diminish or affect in any other manner the common law or statutory rights, duties, or liabilities of employers and employees under any law with respect to injuries, diseases, or death of employees arising out of, or in the course of, employment” (29 U.S.C. § 653(b)(4).)

(…) The Department submitted a Cal/OSHA plan to the federal Secretary of Labor, and it was approved in May 1973. (29 C.F.R. § 1952.7(a) (2017).) The federal regulation provides: “(a) The California State plan received initial approval on May 1, 1973. (b) [federal] OSHA entered into an operational status agreement with California. (c) The plan covers all private sector employers and employees, with several notable exceptions, as well as State and Local government employers and employees, within the State. For current information on these exceptions and for additional details about the plan, please visit [a federal Department of Labor website].” (29 C.F.R. § 1952.7 (2017).)

(…) Here, there appears to be no dispute, however, that the Cal/OSHA standards, the violation of which was the basis for the district attorney’s UCL and FAL claims, were part of the approved California plan, nor does there appear to be any dispute that use of UCL and FAL claims by local prosecutors pursuing civil actions was not mentioned in the plan’s enforcement provisions. (See, e.g., Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 344.50 [Division of Occupational Safety and Health compliance personnel conduct civil inspections and enforcement actions but lack authority to initiate criminal proceedings].)

“ ‘The supremacy clause of the United States Constitution establishes a constitutional choice-of-law rule, makes federal law paramount, and vests Congress with the power to preempt state law.’ Similarly, federal agencies, acting pursuant to authorization from Congress, can issue regulations that override state requirements. Preemption is foremost a question of congressional intent: did Congress, expressly or implicitly, seek to displace state law?” (Quesada v. Herb Thyme Farms, Inc. (2015) 62 Cal.4th 298, 307-308 (Quesada).)

The United States Supreme Court examined the preemptive effect of the federal OSH Act in Gade, supra, 505 U.S. 88. The high court’s plurality and concurring opinions offer helpful interpretive guidance, but as explained below, in Gade, there was no approved state plan, so the extent to which an approved state plan displaces federal authority was not at issue.

(…) Addressing the separate question whether preemption — still in the absence
of an approved state plan — reached state laws that directly regulated occupational safety and health but also were intended to protect public safety, the plurality concluded that the preemptive effect of the federal law extended to such “dual impact” state laws. (Gade, supra, 505 U.S. at pp. 104-105.)

“In sum, a state law requirement that directly, substantially, and specifically regulates occupational safety and health is an occupational safety and health standard within the meaning of the federal OSH Act. . . . If the State wishes to enact a dual impact law that regulates an occupational safety or health issue for which a federal standard is in effect, . . . the Act requires that the State submit a plan for the approval of the Secretary.” (Gade, supra, 505 U.S. at pp. 107-108).

We acknowledge that the Secretary of Labor has authority to approve modifications to a state’s plan (29 U.S.C. § 667(c)) and “shall . . . make a continuing evaluation of the manner in which each State having a plan . . . is carrying out such plan.” (Id., § 667(f).) Notwithstanding these provisions, the federal OSH Act as a whole does not suggest that the preempted field encompasses all means of enforcement not specifically included in the state’s approved plan.

The UCL concerns unfair competition, a term that “means and includes any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice and unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising and any act prohibited by [the false advertising law].” (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200.) The purpose of the UCL “is to protect both consumers and competitors by promoting fair competition in commercial markets for goods and services.” (Kasky v. Nike, Inc. (2002) 27 Cal.4th 939, 949.) As we have said, “the act provides an equitable means through which both public prosecutors and private individuals can bring suit to prevent unfair business practices and restore money or property to victims of these practices.” (Zhang v. Superior Court (2013) 57 Cal.4th 364, 371.)

The FAL, for its part, makes actionable “untrue or misleading” statements made to “induce the public to enter into any obligation” to purchase goods and services. (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17500.) Actions to enforce the UCL or FAL, which may be brought by government officials and by individuals who have suffered injury in fact (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203), address the “overarching legislative concern . . . to provide a streamlined procedure for the prevention of ongoing or threatened acts of unfair competition.” (Zhang, supra, 57 Cal.4th at p. 371.) And the remedies are “cumulative . . . to the remedies or penalties available under all other laws of this state.” (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17205.)

(…) As noted above, under state law, these actions are not considered on their face to be a means of enforcing the underlying law. “ ‘By proscribing “any unlawful” business practice, “the UCL ‘borrows’ violations of other laws and treats them as unlawful practices” that the UCL makes independently actionable. ’ ” (Rose v. Bank of America, N.A. (2013) 57 Cal.4th 390, 396.) We have explained that “by borrowing requirements from other statutes, the UCL does not serve as a mere enforcement mechanism. It provides its own distinct and limited equitable remedies for unlawful business practices, using other laws only to define what is ‘unlawful.’ The UCL reflects the Legislature’s intent to discourage business practices that confer unfair advantages in the marketplace to the detriment of both consumers and law-abiding competitors.” (Id. at p. 397; see People ex rel. Harris v. Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc. (2014) 59 Cal.4th 772, 783).

(…) To recall, “Obstacle preemption permits courts to strike state law that stands as ‘an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress.’ It requires proof Congress had particular purposes and objectives in mind, a demonstration that leaving state law in place would compromise those objectives, and reason to discount the possibility the Congress that enacted the legislation was aware of the background tapestry of state law and content to let that law remain as it was.” (Quesada, supra, 62 Cal.4th at p. 312.)

(…) Under the circumstances, there is no “clear and manifest evidence” (Quesada, supra, 62 Cal.4th at p. 315) of a congressional intent to displace state authority over unfair competition and consumer claims that are premised on Cal/OSHA standards (p. 34).

(…) We conclude that the federal act does not preempt unfair competition and consumer protection claims based on workplace safety and health violations when, as in California, there is a state plan approved by the federal Secretary of Labor. The district attorney’s use of UCL and FAL causes of action does not encroach on a field fully occupied by federal law, nor does it stand as an obstacle to the accomplishment of the federal objective of ensuring a nationwide minimum standard of workplace protection. In addition, the federal act’s structure and language do not reflect a clear purpose of Congress to preempt such claims.

(Cal. S.C., Feb. 8, 2018, Solus Industrial Innovations, LLC v. Superior Court, S222314)

Protection de la santé et de la sécurité au travail, principe de préemption en faveur du droit fédéral, sauf pour les questions que ce droit ne règle pas et pour les questions réglées par un plan d'un état muni de l'approbation fédérale. L'exécution de ces plans est évaluée par le Secrétaire fédéral au Travail.

Le droit statutaire formel ou déduit de la Common law et s'appliquant à l'indemnisation des employés en cas d'incapacité, ou s'appliquant aux droits et obligations des employeurs et employés en cas de maladie, d'accident ou de décès professionnels, continue sans restriction de déployer ses effets, en sus des dispositions OSH fédérales.

L'Etat de Californie a soumis un tel plan, approuvé une première fois en mai 1973. Il s'applique à tous les employeurs et employés du secteur privé, sous réserve d'exceptions listées sur le site du Département fédéral du Travail.

En cas de violation des dispositions Cal/OSHA, le Procureur est compétent pour initier des procédures en concurrence déloyale et en publicité mensongère.

Les rapports entre le droit fédéral régissant les questions précitées et le droit des états s'examinent à la lumière de la "Supremacy clause". Savoir si le principe de préemption s'applique où non implique de déterminer l'intention du Congrès.

De manière générale, la préemption empêchera un acte étatique en matière de santé et de sécurité au travail de déployer ses effets si la question qu'il traite est déjà réglée par le droit fédéral. Dans une telle situation, l'état pourra faire approuver son plan, en vue de lever l'obstacle de la péremption.

En particulier, la législation fédérale ne suggère nullement que la préemption engloberait tous les moyens d'exécution mis en œuvre par les états et non inclus dans les plans approuvés. De la sorte, "l'action publique" menée par le Procureur, et basée sur la législation étatique contre la concurrence déloyale et sur les dispositions de Cal/OSHA, n'est pas barrée par le principe de préemption. Les mesures et sanctions permis par ce droit étatique de la concurrence déloyale sont cumulatives aux autres mesures et sanctions prévues ailleurs dans le droit de l'état.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Hernandez v. Restoration Hardware, Inc., S233983

Judicial notice: Unpublished opinions:

(…) M. asked us to judicially notice several unpublished Court of Appeal opinions that adopted the same rule. With certain exceptions, not applicable here, the Rules of Court generally prohibit us from noticing unpublished opinions. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a).) We therefore declined to grant her request.

(Cal.S.C., Jan. 29, 2018, Hernandez v. Restoration Hardware, Inc., S233983)

De manière générale, le Tribunal n'est pas admis à prendre en compte les décisions de justice non publiées. Il n'est donc pas non plus utile d'essayer de les faire déposer au dossier par une requête en "judicial notice". La requête sera rejetée, sauf dans deux hypothèses prévues à la lettre b de la Rule of Court 8.1115:

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Privacy Rights when e-commerce directed to California Consumers

California Civil Code §1798.83 (Title 1.81. Customer Records)

« Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (d), if a business has an established business relationship with a customer and has within the immediately preceding calendar year disclosed personal information that corresponds to any of the categories of personal information set forth in paragraph (6) of subdivision (e) to third parties, and if the business knows or reasonably should know that the third parties used the personal information for the third parties’ direct marketing purposes, that business shall, after the receipt of a written or electronic mail request, or, if the business chooses to receive requests by toll-free telephone or facsimile numbers, a telephone or facsimile request from the customer, provide all of the following information to the customer free of charge: (…) Add to the home page of its Web site a link either to a page titled “Your Privacy Rights” or add the words “Your Privacy Rights” to the home page’s link to the business’s privacy policy (…) The first page of the link shall describe a customer’s rights pursuant to this section and shall provide the designated mailing address, e-mail address, as required, or toll-free telephone number or facsimile number, as appropriate (…)If a business that is required to comply with this section adopts and discloses to the public, in its privacy policy, a policy of not disclosing personal information of customers to third parties for the third parties’ direct marketing purposes unless the customer first affirmatively agrees to that disclosure, or of not disclosing the personal information of customers to third parties for the third parties’ direct marketing purposes if the customer has exercised an option that prevents that information from being disclosed to third parties for those purposes, as long as the business maintains and discloses the policies, the business may comply with subdivision (a) by notifying the customer of his or her right to prevent disclosure of personal information, and providing the customer with a cost-free means to exercise that right. »

Hence, a Website directed to California Customers may wisely add at least a statement of this kind :
Link : Your California Privacy Rights
Text : California Civil Code Section 1798.83 permits our visitors who are California residents to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes. To make such a request, please send an email to, or write to us at: x, or call us at: ().