Articles Posted in California Supreme Court

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An owners association for a construction defect action against a condominium developer, seeking recovery for damage to its property and damage to the separate interests of the condominium owners who composed its membership. In response, the developer filed a motion to compel arbitration based on a clause in the recorded declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions providing that the association and the individual owners agreed to resolve any construction dispute with the developer through binding arbitration. The trial court determined that the clause embodied an agreement to arbitrate between the developer and the association but invalidated the agreement upon finding it marked by slight substantive unconscionability and a high degree of procedural unconscionability. The court of appeal affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the arbitration clause bound the association and was not unconscionable. View "Pinnacle Museum Tower Ass'n v. Pinnacle Market Dev." on Justia Law

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A charter city entered into certain contracts for the construction of public buildings. A federation of labor unions then petitioned the superior court for a peremptory writ of mandate, asserting that the city must comply with California's prevailing wage law notwithstanding local ordinances stating otherwise. The prevailing wage law requires that certain minimum wage levels be paid to contract workers constructing public works. At issue on appeal was whether, under the state constitution, the subject matter of the state's prevailing wage law was a "statewide concern" over which the state has primary legislative authority, or whether the matter was a municipal affair and therefore governed by the charter city's local ordinances. The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeal, which in turn affirmed the trial court's judgment denying the union's petition for a writ of mandate, holding that there was no statewide concern at issue in this case, and therefore, the state's prevailing wage law did not apply to the charter city. View "State Bldg. & Constr. Trades Council v. City of Vista" on Justia Law