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San Diego Legal Blog

Litigation resolved, resort north of San Diego ready to rise

If you take Interstate 5 north from San Diego for about an hour, you will arrive in Oceanside. The city of about 170,000 residents is the third largest in San Diego County, and is about to see some growth near its popular beach.

After more than a decade of delays due to real estate litigation, construction of the Oceanside Beach Resort is about to begin in just a few weeks.

Intel files trade secret theft lawsuit

The memory technology known as 3D XPoint is so promising that Intel Corp. has put more than $1 billion into its development. But details of the secret project were known to only a few employees in the technology giant headquartered in northern California.

But possession of the details of the closely guarded 3D XPoint almost changed hands when a company computer hardware engineer allegedly tried to download the data the night before his departure for an Intel competitor. A lawsuit recently filed in federal court charges the engineer with violating confidentiality agreements and trying to steal trade secrets.

Appellate court recognizes the "impossibility doctrine" in trusts

California's First District Court of Appeals has applied the doctrine of impossibility to a trust case in Schwann v. Permann. The doctrine of impossibility generally excuses one party from performing a specific condition of a contract, or in this case, a trust, if the party can no longer perform that condition due to circumstances beyond the party's control. In other words, performance has become impossible. California used to recognize the impossibility doctrine in probate law as it applied to "conditions precedent" to receiving a bequest of some sort until the legislature repealed the law in 1982. 

Resort developer sues California firms for $1 billion breach of contract

Resorts World Genting is a sprawling resort complex of hotels, theme parks, casinos and shopping malls perched atop Mount Ulu Kali in Malaysia, not far from that nation’s capital and largest city, Kuala Lumpur. The resort’s developer recently filed a lawsuit in California for breach of contract against Walt Disney Co. and Fox Entertainment Group (both companies have headquarters in the Los Angeles area).

According to news reports, developer Genting Malaysia seeks at least $1 billion in damages from the California entertainment giants.

Southern California cardrooms sued by Luiseno, Chumash Indians

The Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians owns Harrah’s Resort Southern California, located about an hour north of San Diego, and other gaming and hospitality venues. The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians owns the Chumash Casino Resort, which sits about six hours north of the city.

The two have teamed up on a lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court against several Southern California cardrooms.

California sand-mining company prevails in lawsuit

San Diego beaches are some of the most beautiful and celebrated in Southern California. People travel from all over the world to walk our golden strands of sand. It doesn’t take much imagination to understand the devastation to our economy and quality of life if our beaches somehow shrank significantly or disappeared altogether.

Researchers say that rising ocean levels due to climate change are slowly covering beaches around the world. Plus, they say beaches are slowly shrinking because of “sand mining” – an underwater operation to remove sand for use in concrete and construction projects. A sand mining company operating in the San Francisco Bay has been the subject of business litigation to try to stop it from removing sand from the bottom of the bay and then selling it for commercial use.

IP protection of all that glitters

It can be easy to casually overlook the hard work, artistry and creative originality that makes jewelry beautiful, desirable and marketable. We sometimes admire a dazzling piece on a friend’s finger or neck and get caught up in the gleam of precious gems or lustrous metals.

For jewelry designers and makers, however, the protection of intellectual property under copyright and trademark law is a critical part of retaining ownership of not only designs but also works derived from their original pieces.

With growing use of EV charging stations comes ADA responsibility

In 2018, California had about 31 percent of the total 48,000 electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) in the United States. A number of those are provided at hotels and hotel mixed-use properties. That means owners and franchisees have to be aware of ADA compliance regulations for the charging stations.

California’s Building Code specifies how many EVCS are necessary to meet federal ADA requirements. If your hotel provides one to four EVCS, then you must have one van-accessible EVCS. If you have five to 25 EVCS, you must provide one van-accessible and one standard-accessible EVCS.

California’s industrial commercial real estate market is booming

According to a recent report, the California industrial commercial real estate market is booming. Though San Diego isn’t listed among the top five markets in the state, many sources indicate that commercial real estate here is also in high demand.

An online commercial real estate transaction platform – Ten-X Commericial – says five California cities occupy the top of its lists of “Buy” markets. However, the Inland Empire, an area northeast of San Diego and east of Los Angeles, did fall into the top five “Sell” industrial commercial real estate markets.

Part II: Twisting, turning tale of alleged trade secrets theft

Regular readers of our San Diego legal blog know that we recently shared the first half of the story of former Google employee Anthony Levandowski, who helped the company develop self-driving car technology. When he left the California tech giant, however, Levandowski was accused of taking propriety information with him and was the focus of trade secret litigation.

Rumors were swirling about the robotics engineer when he wrote a resignation email to Google’s CEO, stating “I want to be in the driver seat, not the passenger seat.” He formed a new company with a half-dozen former Google employees. But rumors were flying from the moment he left – Uber was interested in buying a $600 million stake Levandowski’s new venture.

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