All posts by Lily Li

Of Counsel William E. Wegner speaks on panel about persuasion in the courtroom

By | Arbitration, News, Speaking Engagements, Trial | No Comments

William E. Wegner, Of Counsel to the Firm, joined California Supreme Court Justice Ming W. Chin, Loyola Law School Professor Robert D. Brain, and Gibson Dunn partner Perlette M. Jura to present a three-hour program on persuasion techniques both in and outside the courtroom. The Rutter Group presentation, entitled Negotiating Rough Waters: What You Don’t Know…And Must! took place live in San Francisco on June 16, 2017, and again in Los Angeles on June 22, 2017. A veteran presenter on Rutter Group panels, Bill Wegner is co-author of the Rutter Group’s California Practice Guide: Civil Trials and Evidence and Rutter Group Practice Guide: Federal Civil Trials and Evidence, both of which are established trial practice treatises.

Read More

Chatbot Contracts: Enforcing TOS Agreements in Computer-Generated Conversations

By | Arbitration Agreements, Internet Law, News | No Comments

[Originally published by Lily Li in the Spring 2017 Orange County ABTL Report]   Humanity has long imagined self-aware computers that can pilot our vehicles, purchase goods, and even sing songs for us, whether as the malevolent Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey or the spunky Samantha in Her. Though fully sentient artificial intelligence is still science fiction (as far as we know), computer software has become “smart” enough to converse with us through text-based services like Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, or WeChat, or voice-operated services like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. As more e-commerce transactions are completed via these “chatbots” or “chatterbots” and away from browser-based websites, this begs the question: Will courts enforce the Terms of Service for chatbot contracts when the terms no longer appear on the same page – or even the same medium – as the transaction itself? The Rise of Chatbots Consumer appetite for on-demand…

Read More

FLSA Wage Claims Are on the Rise! — How to Prevent and Defend Against Unpaid Wage Claims

By | Employment Law, News | No Comments

On September 17, 2016 Valerie McNamara and Lily Li of Brown Wegner McNamara LLP presented at the 30th Annual Education Conference for the Orange County Paralegal Association. The presentation, entitled “FLSA Wage Claims Are on the Rise! How to Prevent and Defend Against Unpaid Wage Claims”, discussed the differences between the California Labor Code and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, and analyzed recent California case developments under both statutory schemes. At the end of the presentation, Valerie McNamara and Lily Li shared best practices for avoiding and defending against FLSA claims, from internal record-keeping and management processes to external indemnification and arbitration agreements. For a copy of the presentation, please contact us.

Read More

Help! What Are My (Immediate) Defenses to a Federal Trade Secret Claim?

By | Bonding, Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, News, Trade Secrets | No Comments

[Originally published as Help! What Are My (Immediate) Defenses to a Federal Trade Secret Claim?, by Lily Li and Andrea Paris, in Orange County Lawyer Magazine, September 2016, Vol. 58 No.9 on page 52.] The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), signed into law by President Obama on May 11, 2016 creates a new federal cause of action for trade secret theft. Not only does the DTSA open the doors of the U.S. district courts to trade secret plaintiffs, it weaponizes complaints. Now, upon a showing of immediate and irreparable injury, plaintiffs in trade secret cases can request extraordinary relief: court-ordered seizure of the misappropriated trade secrets without notice to the defendant. This relief is above and beyond what is provided for by the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), the trade secret law adopted by most states, including California, and copies many of the civil seizure remedies previously available to…

Read More

Motion for Disentitlement Granted by California Appellate Court

By | News | No Comments

Following a confirmed arbitration award in favor of a Brown Wegner McNamara client, the opposing side appealed the judgment. The firm filed a successful motion to dismiss the appeal, citing the disentitlement doctrine. The California appellate court agreed to dismiss the appeal, and awarded Brown Wegner McNamara costs on appeal. What is the Disentitlement Doctrine? The disentitlement doctrine is an infrequently-used method to dismiss an appeal prior to the appellate court’s consideration of the merits of the case. The doctrine allows an appellate court to use its “inherent power” to dismiss an appeal, in situations where the appellant has refused to comply with a lower court order. Stoltenberg v. Ampton Investments, Inc. (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 1225, 1229. This doctrine is founded in fundamental principles of equity. As noted by the California Supreme Court, a “party to an action cannot, with right or reason, ask the aid and assistance of a…

Read More

RFAs: The Underutilized Strategy for Recovering Attorney’s Fees

By | News | One Comment

[Originally published as RFAs: The Underutilized Strategy for Recovering Attorney’s Fees, by Lily Li, in Orange County Lawyer Magazine, December 2015, Vol. 57 No.12 on page 40.] A successful motion for attorney’s fees can be just as important as winning at trial, especially when it comes to your client’s satisfaction with the outcome of litigation. What are your options, however, when there are no obvious attorney fee-shifting provisions in your case? A recent decision out of the Fourth Appellate District bolstered the use of a “costs of proof” motion under Code of Civil Procedure § 2033.420, based on defendants’ unreasonable denials of various requests for admissions. Grace v. Mansourian, No. G0495 at 6-7 (9th Cir. filed Aug. 17, 2015) (certified for publication on Sep. 15, 2015), available at http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub/G049590.PDF. In Grace, plaintiffs served requests for admission in the lower court concerning a traffic collision. These requests asked the defendant to admit…

Read More

Robot Price Wars: Minimum Advertised Pricing (“MAP”) Policies and the Colgate Doctrine in the Era of Smart Web Crawlers

By | News | No Comments

[Originally published in the Fall 2015 issue of the Federal Bar Association/Orange County Chapter Newsletter. See the original article here.] A growing number of manufacturers and wholesalers are using minimum advertised pricing (“MAP”) policies to control how retailers showcase the price of their goods. Whether the products are smartphones, luxury handbags, or golf clubs, manufacturers use MAP policies to protect brand integrity, to encourage retail investment in product display, customer service, and sales, and to avoid the ever-present “free-rider” problem that results when retailers who do not expend resources on brand promotion take advantage of those who do by out-pricing them. In contrast with a resale price maintenance (“RPM”) policy, which controls downstream pricing, a MAP policy places restrictions on the price at which downstream retailers display prices in fliers, store windows – and with increasing importance, on their websites. A thoughtfully drafted—and consistently enforced—MAP policy may avoid some of…

Read More

Bill Brown Discusses Patent Exhaustion Raised in Lexmark

By | News | No Comments

Bill Brown of Brown Wegner McNamara LLP in Irvine California led a telephonic discussion with IPI members on September 15, 2015, concerning the Federal Circuit’s consideration of patent exhaustion in Lexmark Int’l. v. Impression Prod., 785 F.3d 565 (Fed. Cir. 2015). Want to learn more? See the original article at the Intellectual Property Institute Website at: http://www.ipitrial.com/bill-brown-discusses-patent-exhaustion-raised-in-lexmark/

Read More

Bill Brown Delivers Comments at the California State Capitol

By | News | No Comments

  Bill Brown provided remarks to a California State Assembly Budget Subcommittee.  The Public Safety Subcommittee was considering general funding of the Courts and appropriation for expansion of California’s Collaborative Justice Court system.  Mr. Brown provided the unique perspective of an experienced private litigator who had also interacted with the Orange County Veterans Collaborative Court.  He advocated for restoration of court funding and for retaining budgetary discretion for County Presiding Judges operating collaborative courts.  California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse had invited Bill to appear at the hearing and give comments on the funding for California Courts.  

Read More