January 18, 2019

By Gordon E. Bosserman
Ninety-nine percent of all civil cases, including those involving claims of sexual harassment, settle. As a result, settlement agreements releasing an employer from liability or requiring the employee to keep the settlement confidential have historically been very important. Commencing January 1, 2019, there will be a dramatic change in the laws that control settlement agreements in cases involving sexual harassment.[1]

1. Civil Code section 1670.11 makes any provision in a contract or settlement agreement “void and unenforceable” if it attempts to prevent a person from testifying in a criminal or administrative proceeding involving a claim …

October 1, 2018

by Dennis Law

If one supposes that in today’s world almost all civil controversies will involve mediation, and that a Code of Civil Procedure Section 998 (“998”) offer may be at least considered in most civil controversies, then one would naturally expect that mediations and 998 offers will most likely cross paths in some fashion or another during the course of a typical lawsuit.[1]  But how, if at all, do mediations and 998 offers relate to one another?

Mediations and 998 offers share the common goal of promoting settlements, but the similarity pretty much ends there.

Although the word …

August 6, 2018

by Dennis Law

Confidentiality in the context of settlement and mediations is not always as straightforward as is often thought. And confidentiality in the context of settlement is not the same as confidentiality in the context of mediation.

Rules of confidentiality for traditional settlement negotiations, including court mandated settlement conferences, are contained in a different set of codes than is the case for mediations. Generally speaking, a higher level of confidentiality applies to mediations, but there are exceptions to both sets of rules that should be understood. This article will provide a general overview to both areas of confidentiality.


July 11, 2018

The California Supreme Court has tightened definitions on what constitutes an independent contractor, calling it the A-B-C test. Trust us, there’s nothing easy about these A-B-C’s. Kathy Eppright explains.

If you have workers who you pay as independent contractors, you need to learn the new rules that apply in California. The new standard for determining whether a worker is properly classified as an independent contractor was adopted by the California Supreme Court on April 30, 2018, in Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court.

The new standard is called the “ABC Test,” and in order for a worker to be …

July 5, 2018

The Chief HR Officer for Uber, an MBA-holding Olympic medalist, and a senior exec with one of the country’s largest nonprofits took to the stage to talk about the workplace and the workforce of the future at this year’s Central Coast Business Symposium, hosted by Andre, Morris & Buttery in June.

Local leaders gathered and explored new ideas for improving our businesses and the community at AMB’s 10th annual event.

This year, Liane Hornsey, Senior VP and Chief People Officer for Uber, discussed the realities of HR in a candid, “fireside chat”-style conversation with AMB’s Kathy Eppright. Lynda Gonzales-Chavez, Senior …

May 31, 2018

The Chief HR Officer for Uber, an MBA-holding Olympic medalist, and a senior exec with one of the country’s largest nonprofits will take the stage to talk about the new world of business at this year’s Central Coast Business Symposium, hosted by Andre, Morris & Buttery, Thursday June 14.

The 10th annual event, taking place from 2:30-5:30 p.m. at the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande, allows local leaders to gather and explore new ideas for improving our businesses and the community.

This year, Liane Hornsby, Senior VP and Chief People Officer for Uber, will discuss the realities of HR in …

May 10, 2018

As most of us know, generally an arbitrator’s decision is final in contract arbitration cases meaning the decision cannot be overturned by a trial court or court of appeal even if it is wrong. This principle is commonly stated and generally accepted. It is frequently the basis upon which decisions are made to agree, or to not agree, to arbitrate a dispute.

Yet, a case decided this last year, Harshad & Nasir Corp v. Global Sign Systems, Inc.,[1] https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1870918.html set aside an approximately 3 million dollar arbitrator’s award on the basis it was not supported by substantial evidence. This …

April 2, 2018

The legal right of California employees to take a meal break has kept many lawyers busy over the last few years. Unfortunately, most of the court cases addressing the meal break law focus on what employers did wrong; few offer clear guidance on how to get it right. The recent Court of Appeal decision in Serrano v. Aerotek, however, provides a primer for employers on how to get it right. Even though this case was brought by an employee who was placed by a staffing agency, the court’s conclusions regarding what the staffing agency did correctly would apply to …

March 30, 2018


By Lisa Toke

Lisa Toke is a principal at Andre, Morris & Buttery, a law firm that has been advising mobile home park owners on pre-litigation strategy, and representing them in litigation, for decades.

“I know the park only allows one pet, but I have a second dog that is an emotional support animal.” These words, or words like them, have been frustrating mobile home park owners and managers for years.

The main problem with service and emotional support animals is that the law governing them is far from clear. And although that law …