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The relationship between employers and employees in California is governed by employment and labor laws at both the federal and state levels. These laws provide a framework of obligations and rights. Disputes often arise from a failure to uphold and undertake these obligations and rights, which can lead to serious disruptions in the workplace and problems for the employer.

Employer Defense Attorneys in Gardena, California

At Law Offices of Albert Chang, we are committed to each of our clients. Our employment and labor law attorney in Southern California helps employers and understand their legal obligations and rights, and we take appropriate action given the unique circumstances of each case. If you believe you have an employment law issue or want to act proactively to avoid problems in the workplace, contact us today at (310) 769-6836 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation

Law Offices of Albert Chang is a full service law firm assisting and representing business owners in business, employment, and real estate matters with the ability to take a case from inception to conclusion. We are here to listen to you and help you resolve your legal needs with the most favorable outcome. At Law Offices of Albert Chang, our clients choose us because we understand complex employment laws, regulations, and legal precedents, and we use this knowledge to give clients accurate advice and effective representation.

Defending solely for employers, we advocate for their rights and interests. We use our unique perspective to develop smart strategies tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, maximizing the chances of a favorable outcome, favorable contract terms, or other resolutions that meet our clients' best interests.

A federal judge ruled this week that one of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s businesses owes more than $1.5 million to a Swiss company for undelivered coal.

U.S. District Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon on Tuesday granted a request from VISA Commodities to enforce an April order from a London-based arbitrator that found Bluestone Coal Sales Corp. liable for $1.5 million plus arbitration costs and interest, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

The problem started when Bluestone failed to supply 70,000 metric tons of coal under a November 2020 agreement, according to VISA Commodities’ court filings. In an April 2021 settlement, Bluestone agreed to pay VISA Commodities $1.5 million by July 30, 2021. But Bluestone failed to pay and also failed to participate in the subsequent arbitration, according to VISA Commodities’ filing with the Virginia Western District court.

Neither the Governor’s Office nor an attorney for Justice’s coal companies responded to the newspaper’s requests for comment.

Justice’s coal companies have a long history of unpaid obligations. Federal officials have said nearly two dozen of Justice’s companies were consistently late in making monthly payments on $5.13 million in mine safety fines they agreed to pay in 2020. Justice is listed as controller of nearly 200 mines with safety fine delinquencies totaling $1.7 million, according to federal Mine Safety and Health Administration records obtained by the Gazette-Mail.

Workers have also complained of missed obligations. Trustees of a United Mine Workers union benefit plan filed a federal lawsuit last year asserting that three of Justice’s coal companies failed to pay required monthly premiums over four years. And retirees of Justice’s coal companies have complained in recent years of interruptions to their prescription drug coverage.

Justice pledged to put his adult children in charge of his family’s businesses after taking office in 2017. James C. “Jay” Justice III, the governor’s son, is president of Bluestone Coal Sales Corp., based in Roanoke, Virginia. The governor has suggested in court proceedings and interviews since taking office that he remains familiar with his coal companies’ operations.

Business contracts legal matters can get complicated. When a contract goes awry and circumstances are not going according to plan, our attorneys can do the talking for you.

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Disputes dealing with contracts and other businesses can be challenging and having a professional represent you will give you the best chance of reaching a solution. Raleigh-based Roth Law Group represents businesses and clients from North Carolina.

We know how small businesses operate and how you may be impacted financially by litigation. At The Roth Law Group, we acknowledge that settlement of contract disputes may be the quickest, most economically efficient solution.

Our experienced contract law attorneys take litigation seriously, setting deadlines for payment, handling negotiation, and filing lawsuits on your behalf.

We take care of contract disputes involving breach of contract and other issues such as violations of a non-compete agreement, failure to deliver goods or services, or failure to pay for goods or services provided.

At The Roth Law Group, we frequently represent out-of-state businesses who are engaged in contract litigation in Raleigh or North Carolina.

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A top Kansas government attorney argued Monday that congressional redistricting is naturally political and that the Kansas Supreme Court shouldn’t try to decide when partisanship goes too far, only to be chastised by one of the justices for making a “boys will be boys” argument.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in the state’s appeal of a lower court ruling that represented the first time that a Kansas court declared that partisan gerrymandering violates the state constitution. The lower court ruling struck down a Republican congressional redistricting law that would make it harder for the only Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation to win reelection this year. The GOP-controlled Legislature enacted it over Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto.

Federal judges — not the Kansas courts — have typically reviewed congressional boundaries, but the U.S. Supreme Court declared in 2019 that complaints about partisan gerrymandering are political issues and not for the federal courts to resolve.

Kansas Solicitor General Brant Laue argued that Kansas’ top court should take the same position. The Kansas Constitution mentions only legislative redistricting and does not contain any specific provisions prohibiting gerrymandering.

“Congressional redistricting is political by design,” Laue said. “The Legislature, and not the state judiciary, is designed and equipped to make the political determinations that cannot be avoided.”

The Supreme Court did not say when it would rule, though both sides are hoping it will be within days. Also, the Legislature is set to reconvene next week for a day or two of work if the justices reject the new congressional map or new boundaries for legislative districts that the court also reviewed Monday. The Kansas secretary of state’s office on Monday delayed the filing deadline for congressional and legislative candidates to June 10 from June 1.

During Monday’s hearing, the seven-member court wrestled with how to determine when improper political gerrymandering has occurred. Justice Caleb Stegall questioned whether the term can be clearly defined.

The European Union's top diplomat says the bloc remains a staunch supporter of the International Criminal Court despite U.S. condemnation of the tribunal.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Thursday that "we will continue to fully and strongly support the ICC and its work."

The Hague-based court was created in 2002 to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in areas where perpetrators might not otherwise face justice.

Mogherini said the ICC "has strengthened universal justice beyond power politics and beyond geopolitical interests," and added that "accountability is essential to build the foundations for peace."

U.S. National security adviser John Bolton denounced the ICC earlier this week just as a judge weighs whether to investigate allegations of war crimes against U.S. and Afghan personnel in Afghanistan since 2003.

On September 15, 2011, the Indiana Supreme Court issued its decision in Lucas v. U.S. Bank, N.A., ___ N.E.2d ___ (Ind. 2011), Cause No. 28S01-1102-CV-78, an action that arises from an attempt by a bank to foreclose on a home. That case raised the issue of how to tell when defenses in a foreclosure action should be tried to a jury or to a court. In deciding this case, the Court issued an important decision refining the general test for deciding when a case is essentially equitable and, therefore, not triable to a jury.

The Lucases entered into a residential mortgage in 2005, but in 2009, the bank move to foreclose on the loan. The Lucases filed an answer asserting many affirmative defenses and counterclaims, asserting that the bank violated numerous statutes and the common law and that the Lucases were thus entitled to various forms of relief, including money damages. The Lucases requested a jury trial on their affirmative defenses and counterclaims, but the trial court denied that motion. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the Lucases had the right to have a jury hear their legal claims. The bank then successfully sought transfer.

The Court relied heavily on its decision in Songer v. Civitas Bank, 771 N.E.2d 61 (Ind. 2002), which also addressed the test to be used when deciding whether to have a jury hear issues in a case involving both legal and equitable claims. That test was a fact-based, multi-pronged test.

Ultimately, we believe Songer reveals that a trial court must engage in a multi-pronged inquiry to determine whether a suit is essentially equitable. Drawing on the teachings of Songer, we formulate that inquiry as follows: If equitable and legal causes of action or defenses are present in the same lawsuit, the court must examine several factors of each joined claim—its substance and character, the rights and interests involved, and the relief requested. After that examination, the trial court must decide whether core questions presented in any of the joined legal claims significantly overlap with the subject matter that invokes the equitable jurisdiction of the court. If so, equity subsumes those particular legal claims to obtain more final and effectual relief for the parties despite the presence of peripheral questions of a legal nature. Conversely, the unrelated legal claims are entitled to a trial by jury.

Th Lucases' claims in this case were subsumed into equity because, although they were legal causes of action, when "looking at the cause as a whole, we conclude that the core questions underlying the Lucases' legal claims significantly overlap with the foreclosure action that invoked the equitable jurisdiction of the trial court." Because "the essential features of the suit" were equitable, the entire case must be tried to the bench, rather than to a jury.


If a case involves both legal and equitable claims, the legal claims will be subsumed into equity if the whole action is essentially equitable. This is a fact-based, multi-pronged test.

Brad A. Catlin
Price Waicukauski & Riley, LLC

SEC to "Discuss" Internal Control Proposals at Open Commission Meeting

The SEC has scheduled an open meeting for next Wednesday to "discuss" the PCAOB's internal controls auditing standard (AS #5) and the SEC's own management report proposal. Based on the wording of the SEC's announcement, it doesn't seem like they will adopt anything - rather, the Commissioners and Staff will discuss the comment letters received to date (including the oft-mentioned alignment of the PCAOB's and SEC's proposals) and approaches available to the SEC. The SEC seems "on plan" to adopt something by May.

Maybe my memory is foggy, but I don't recall an open Commission meeting being held during which rules were not being proposed or adopted. In the past, these were fairly scripted affairs (but not as much over the past several years) and a discussion like this one would be conducted behind closed doors. Maybe its driven by a desire to ensure the standards are harmonized without treading on some "government in sunshine" restrictions about the SEC's dealings with the PCAOB...

The FASB's Appointment Process

Yesterday's WSJ included this article on recent changes to the selection process used to select members of the board of trustees for the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). The article recounts the back and forth between the SEC and the FAF over how much power the SEC should have regarding the selection process at the FASB.

You might recall that Section 108 of Sarbanes-Oxley gave oversight power to the SEC over the FASB - and the SEC outlined its role in a 2003 policy statement. In that statement, the SEC said that, given its oversight responsibilities, the FASB should give the SEC "timely notice of, and discuss with the Commission" its intention to appoint new members. According to the article, "timely notice" became an issue for the SEC in recents months and an agreement reached this month defines "timely" as generally 45 days but not less than 30 days before the FAF nominates members to its board or FASB members.

Critics of the SEC's oversight power worry that the SEC could hold reappointment over the heads of FASB or FAF members while important votes are being considered. They also point to the fairly recent experience at the PCAOB, where some appointments by the SEC were not made very timely (and eventually made when votes on significant issues were on the table).

A Closer Look: SEC Chief Accountant Conrad Hewitt

Yesterday, the Washington Post ran this interesting article about relatively new SEC Chief Accountant Conrad Hewitt.

E&Y Censured Over Independence (Again)

On Monday, the SEC announced a $1.5 million settlement with Ernst & Young relating to alleged independence violations for its work at two clients, AIG and PNC Financial, in 2001. You might recall that E&Y had been censured just a few years ago for its PeopleSoft audit because E&Y's consulting arm profited from recommending PeopleSoft software to customers.

Here are some thoughts from Lynn Turner: "Some in the auditing profession argue investors should rely on an audit firm itself to assess its independence and put in place safeguards if it is questioned. The three cases cited in this WSJ article regarding E&Y in recent years strongly arues against any such approach. Interestingly enough, in April 2001, the partner then in charge of the E&Y national office declined a request to meet with the SEC staff to discuss progress that E&Y was making in instituting a system to ensure its independence on a global basis, citing he did not need anyone at the SEC telling him what the independence rules were. (The other 7 largest firms accepted such an invitation).

It is also interesting an E&Y partner is a leader of the current effort to obtain what is in essence, an indemnification of auditors by their clients. Certainly, these are matters of concern for investors and audit committees."

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