Tort Claims Against an Alter Ego May Be Considered an Action “On a Contract” for the Purposes of an Attorneys’ Fees Award under California Civil Code section 1717

By: Tony Carucci

California Civil Code section 1717 entitles the prevailing party to attorneys’ fees “[i]n any action on a contract,” where the contract provides for an award of attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party, regardless of whether the prevailing party is the party specified in the contract or not. But what about an action that alleges tort causes of action against an alter ego of a contracting party but that does not include a breach of contract claim against the alter ego? This was the question facing the California Court of Appeal in 347 Group, Inc. v. Philip Hawkins Architect, Inc.Read More »

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Is a Bankruptcy Plan that Violates Federal Criminal Law Proposed in Bad Faith?

By: Ben Reeves

Although legal in many states, marijuana remains illegal under federal criminal law. See 21 U.S.C. § 856(a)(1). One would think that engaging in illegal activity under federal criminal law would preclude relief under federal bankruptcy law. And, in fact, several bankruptcy courts have reached that exact conclusion. See, e.g., In re Rent-Rite Super Kegs West, Ltd., 484 B.R. 799 (Bankr. D. Colo. 2012) (“[A] federal court cannot be asked to enforce the protections of the Bankruptcy Code in aid of a Debtor whose activities constitute a continuing federal crime.”). That bright-line rule, however, may now be subject to some debate.… Read More »

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