Brighton Collectables, LLC v. Hockey (2021) 65 Cal.App.5th 99. This is a SLAPP case. The court of appeal found that the trial court erred in granting a SLAPP motion. Whether or not the fraud cross-claim in that case which involved a fashion model, arose from protected conduct, the court concluded that granting the motion was error because the cross-claimant had established a probability of prevailing by producing evidence that the model had made a misrepresentation about payment terms knowing that the payment terms as represented were false and intending the cross-complainant to rely on the misrepresentation. The cross-complainant added evidence that cross-complainant had justifiably relied on the misrepresentation and incurred damages as a result.
Severin Mobile Towing, Inc. v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (2021) 65 Cal.App.5th 292. This was a case in which an employee embezzled money paid to the employer and the employer brought an action against the bank it did business with for various commercial code and unfair competition law violations, essentially to the effect that the bank should have detected the forgery. The court of appeal found that the lender was not entitled to summary judgment under Commercial Code § 3405 in that the bank was equally well suited to detect the apparent mismatch in the signatures as was the employer. There was no need to shift the risk of that loss to the employer. The court could also not rule as a matter of law that the “family owned business” failed to exercise ordinary care in supervising its long-time employee who was intentionally stealing checks and misfiling corresponding invoices.
Gregory L. McCoy