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  • AB 361 Extends Virtual Board Meetings, With Conditions

    By Procopio Partner Greta A. Proctor California’s Ralph M. Brown Act has been amended to allow fully virtual board meetings during a state of emergency after the Governor signed Assembly Bill 361 into law on September 16, 2021. The new law comes as local public agencies were preparing for the expiration of Executive Orders that currently allow virtual board meetings.  AB 361 goes into effect immediately, and it amends Section 54953 of the Brown Act to allow virtual board meetings t...

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  • Don’t Just Hide Your Best Mode and Call It a Trade Secret

    By Procopio Partner Raymond K. Chan Claims of trade secret misappropriation have become increasingly prevalent in prominent intellectual property disputes, which had previously focused on patent infringement.  For example, Masimo sued Apple last year in the district court for the Central District of California, alleging that Apple misappropriated its trade secrets and infringed its patents on pulse oximetry, the photometric measurement of oxygen saturation in the blood. Masimo recent...

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  • California Supreme Court Clarifies and Limits State’s “Prevailing Wage” Law

    By Procopio Partners Tyler Paetkau and Laurence Phillips Two important decisions issued by the California Supreme Court are of great significance and should come as good news to public works construction contractors, subcontractors and suppliers operating in the state, as they clarify and limit the scope of California’s “prevailing wage” law. The decisions should have an immediate impact on the bidding of public works projects, administering certified payroll on current projects, an...

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  • Trade Secrets Protection: Some Common Sense and an Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

    By Procopio Partners Tyler M. Paetkau and Mindy M. Morton Given the dire consequences a company can face once a valuable trade secret goes out the door, corporate executives need to understand what their trade secrets are as well as how to protect them. Under the law, a trade secret has “independent economic value,” and to earn legal protection an employer must take reasonable steps to protect it. Too often a company’s own employees, intentionally or not, pose the greatest thr...

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  • For California’s Farmers and Vintners Who Have Lost Their Insurance, Help Is On The Way: Senate Bill 11 Is Signed Into Law

    By Procopio Senior Associate Alexandra "Sasha" Selfridge Following 2020’s disastrous fire season, many of California’s farmers and vintners expected their commercial insurance rates would skyrocket.  What came as an unpleasant surprise were the notices that the insurance policies for these agribusinesses would not be renewed at all, leaving policyholders uninsured. Many in this valuable industry have been left without protection in the face of drought, unprecedented heat waves, a...

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  • California Supreme Court Decides New Formula For Meal and Rest Break Premium Payments – And it’s Retroactive! What Employers Need to Do

    By Procopio Partner Marie Burke Kenny In a decision anxiously awaited by employers, the California Supreme Court ruled, on July 15, 2021, that the correct rate for paying meal and rest period premiums is one additional hour of pay at an employee’s “regular rate of pay,” which is the same method used for calculating overtime wages. The decision in Ferra v. Loews Hollywood, LLC overturned a contrary decision by a California state appellate court which held that the additional hou...

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  • Catch Me If You Can: Serving A China-Based Defendant in Cross-Border Litigation

    By Procopio Associate Lianlian Wu and Partner Laurence Phillips U.S. companies increasingly enter into contracts with Chinese companies, which makes sense given the two countries are the largest markets in the world. It won’t surprise anyone that China’s legal system differs from the U.S. in many ways. Given that parties in contracts may sometimes find themselves in a disagreement, if the U.S. company chooses to litigate claims it needs to understand the unique requirements of serving...

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  • Electronic Discovery Considerations in 2021

    By Procopio Senior Counsel Elaine F. Harwell and Legal Intern Phyillis Wanjiru Macharia As the world increases its reliance on technology, many of our tools continue to grow and evolve, including Electronic Discovery (“eDiscovery”). eDiscovery refers to identifying, collecting and producing electronically stored information (“ESI”) in response to a request for production in a lawsuit or investigation. While eDiscovery has been around for many years, recent changes have altered the...

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  • Case Study: Preserving Patent Claims at the USPTO

    How a U.S. patent owner was able to fight off a competitor’s attempt to invalidate their patent before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and thus thwart unfair competition by a potential infringer. THE CLIENT: Anli Spring Co. Ltd., a Taiwanese metal spring manufacturer, faced competition from an overseas competitor looking to flood the U.S. market with below-market window blinds that infringed on its U.S. patent. Anli Spring has a patented spring fo...

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  • To Mask Or Not To Mask? California Employers Receive Cal/OSHA’s Answers to This and Other Important COVID-19 Workplace Safety Questions

    By Procopio Partner Marie Burke Kenny Fully vaccinated employees in California do not have to wear a face covering (mask) indoors, thanks to revised emergency temporary standards (ETS) issued by Cal/OSHA on June 17, 2021. The ETS took effect immediately when Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order waiving the normal ten-day review process. For those employers covered by the ETS* who have been waiting for guidance from Cal/OSHA, here are some answers to your questions: Ques...

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