Articles, news & events

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

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In today’s unique market, many dealers are considering their buy-sell options. Getting a sense of the value of the business is the typical starting point. Brokers and investment bankers who focus on dealership transactions are quick to point to rules of thumb, especially the earnings multiplied by a multiple, where the multiple is based entirely on the franchise represented by the dealer. But this approach alone does not account for the wide variety of variables that are involved, nor does it deal with dealership real estate. While the earnings-times-multiple approach provides a quick gauge of value, both sides of this mathematical equation deserve some further attention.

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The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is in a state of flux, with a new Attorney General enforcing its provisions and a new agency created by proposition, the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) setting up to take over and implement substantive changes also passed by proposition. With these circumstances, observers may see 2020, the first year of CCPA enforcement as relatively unimportant. However, the new California Attorney General, Rob Bonta, held a press conference in July to tout the effectiveness of the law and unveil a reporting tool for consumers. This article looks at some of his more important comments and predicts what this could mean for the future of consumer privacy in California.

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In an unsurprising decision that is yet another blow to employers, the California Supreme Court clarified in Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel LLC that one-hour premiums for missed or noncompliant meal and rest breaks must be paid at the same regular rate used to calculate overtime. In so deciding, it overturned the Court of Appeal’s decision that had previously held that such premiums could be paid at the employee’s base hourly wage, even if the employee also received additional compensation in the form of bonuses, commissions, or piece rate earnings.

Specific performance

Enforcement of real property purchase agreements

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“Specific Performance” is a powerful legal remedy afforded to parties to certain contracts where there has been a failure of performance on one side. In California, the remedy is established by statute in the California Civil Code at Sections 3384 to 3395. Most commonly, a court action for specific performance is used to compel performance of either the buyer or the seller of real property, enforcing the specific terms of the real estate purchase agreement. This remedy is often pursued regardless of whether other monetary remedies may be available to the party not in breach.

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Acrylamide is a chemical that results, inter alia, when foods are browned in cooking, such as when foods are baked, fried, or roasted. The State of California has determined that consuming acrylamide increases the risk of cancer. That finding has resulted in the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) requiring warnings, pursuant to Proposition 65, of that hazard (although the amounts that trigger the warnings are somewhat in flux).

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It’s been a busy 2021 and the momentum is only picking up as we enter the second half of the year. In our continued efforts to regularly keep our clients and friends apprised of useful news, information and resources that can impact your business, we have assembled this list highlighting some of our activities over the past 12 months.

An American solution

Automotive franchise laws serve local communities and consumers

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It is fashionable of late to decry the franchise automotive retail system as inefficient, costly to consumers, and unable to innovate. These complaints are partially inspired by the rise of new brands such as Tesla that do not rely on independent, franchised dealers to sell their vehicles and, therefore, run into conflict with franchise laws in many states. In the authors’ view, what the critics miss is that the franchise system and franchise law are a result of a long history of conflict between manufacturers and dealers that governments mediate for the benefit of consumers and local economies.

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A recent California Supreme Court case (Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC) held that employees must be paid meal and rest break premiums for any missed or non-compliant breaks at a rate of pay including all non-discretionary payments for the work performed.

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The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Los Angeles County will issue a new health order that will mandate that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks when in public indoor spaces starting at 12:01 AM on Sunday, July 18. Currently, only individuals who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear masks in public indoor spaces. This new mandate follows on the heels of recommendations from the County that everyone wear masks indoors in response to the increase in spread of COVID-19 due to the prevalence of the Delta Variant. County health officials said that this mandate will likely be in place until there is a decrease in transmission County wide.

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