The employer’s motion to compel arbitration

Overview

The employer’s motion to compel arbitration of one employee’s claims asserting various violations of the California Labor Code was denied where the employer had waived its right to force the employee to submit to arbitration. With respect to another employee, the parties were ordered to conduct discovery on the enforceability of the arbitration agreement because California case law deeming mandatory arbitration provisions in employment contract unenforceable when four factors were present remained good law.

 

Outcome

Attorneys to defend lawsuit deal with non-criminal areas of legal dispute and will help you defending lawsuits or filing legal claims. Motions to compel arbitration were denied.

 

Procedural Posture

Plaintiff patent holder sued defendants, a competing patent applicant and his patent attorney, alleging that defendants’ federal interference claim was a malicious prosecution. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, California, denied defendants’ motions to strike under Code Civ. Proc., ยง 425.16, the anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (anti-SLAPP) statute. Defendants appealed.

 

Overview

The parties each applied for a patent for a pivoting-tab grommet, and the holder’s application was granted. In subsequent challenges, a California trial court ruled in favor of the holder, finding that he invented the grommet at issue; the federal Board of Patent Appeals ruled in favor of the competing applicant on a derivation claim; a federal district court reversed the decision as to derivation; and, on remand, the Board ruled in favor of the holder on the competing applicant’s priority claim. In the current malicious prosecution action, the court reversed the denial of defendants’ motions to strike, finding that the holder failed to make a prima facie showing that defendants lacked probable cause to bring the federal interference action. Under the interim adverse judgment rule, the competing applicant’s partial victory before the Board conclusively established probable cause to initiate the interference claim, even though that decision was reversed on appeal and the trial court had ruled for the holder. The Board’s findings, which rejected the holder’s fraud theory, were dispositive of the holder’s current allegation that the victory before the Board was obtained by fraud.

 

Outcome

The court reversed the order denying defendants’ special motions to strike and remanded the matter to the trial court with directions to grant the special motions to strike and to enter judgment for defendants.




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