News & Publications

Important Lessons for Employers In Serrano v. Aerotek Decision

 April 2, 2018

The legal right of California employees to take a meal break has kept many lawyers busy over the last few years. Unfortunately, most of the court cases addressing the meal break law focus on what employers did wrong; few offer clear guidance on how to get it right. The recent Court of Appeal decision in Serrano v. Aerotek, however, provides a primer for employers on how to get it right.  Even though this case was brought by an employee who was placed by a staffing agency, the court’s conclusions regarding what the staffing agency did correctly would apply to …

Service and Emotional Support Animals in Mobile Home Parks

 March 30, 2018

30 MARCH 2018 – WMA REPORTER By Lisa Toke Lisa Toke is a principal at Andre, Morris & Buttery, a law firm that has been advising mobile home park owners on pre-litigation strategy, and representing them in litigation, for decades. “I know the park only allows one pet, but I have a second dog that is an emotional support animal.” These words, or words like them, have been frustrating mobile home park owners and managers for years. The main problem with service and emotional support animals is that the law governing them is far from clear. And although that law …

AMB Seeking Legal Secretary/Paralegal For Hire

 February 9, 2018

Andre, Morris & Buttery is seeking a highly qualified applicant with minimum 7 years experience in litigation to work in the litigation practice group of our Santa Maria office. Requirements for this role include strong administrative and organizational skills, ability to prioritize and manage workloads, excellent attention to detail, maintaining high confidentiality, ability to work in a fast-paced litigation environment, excellent communication and grammar skills, strong work ethic, and excellent software skills in Microsoft Word and a Law Practice Management Software (Pro Law experience preferred). Paralegal certificate strongly preferred. Salary commensurate with skills, experience and education. We offer an excellent …

Getting the Most Out of Mediation

 February 6, 2018

Mediation can take many forms. But what can be done to enhance your chances of success? While there may be no definitive recipe, this article will explore different possibilities. Let’s first discuss the role of the mediator. We know from our own real-life experiences that the techniques and style of the mediator play a critical role in the mediation process. But is there a specific technique and/or style that is considered a best practice? A recent study published by the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution would suggest that there is no identifiable “best practice.” [1] Yet, in the study’s complex …

Lessons in Handling Employee Free Speech May Play Out at Super Bowl

 January 29, 2018

by Gordon E. Bosserman Irrespective of your opinion regarding the actions of some professional football players during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner before games, you might find it interesting to know that there are also employment law issues involved in the action. Many professional football players, beginning with Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco Forty-Niners, have been taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem as a political expression. Recently, Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, has said that he will not allow any player who does not stand for the playing of the …

CA Joins Other “Ban-the-Box” States

 January 25, 2018

The number of Americans with criminal convictions in their background has increased due to the increase in enforcement of drug laws. So when the Recession brought layoffs, the challenge to find employment when the applicant has a criminal record became the focus of many state and local lawmakers. Both Los Angeles and San Francisco adopted “Ban-the-Box” laws, requiring employers in those jurisdictions to eliminate the box from applications that require disclosure of criminal history information. Since Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1008, it is now state law that employers of 5 or more people are not be permitted to inquire …

So You Want an Enforceable Settlement Agreement; Avoiding Pitfalls

 October 31, 2017

By Dennis D. Law The most common means of enforcing a settlement agreement is to make a motion to enforce in the pending action under Code of Civil Procedure Section 664.6. A real life example of this is found in the litigation surrounding the storied wealth of the Hearst family. Boilerplate language in most settlement agreements assumes that a means of enforcement is available, but one should not assume that Section 664.6 will apply. First, Section 664.6 only applies if there is a pending action.  Although this may seem like an obvious point, standard Section 664.6 clauses sometimes appear …

AMB’s Kathy Eppright Earns Certificate for Workplace Investigations

 October 4, 2017

Along with her J.D., Kathy Eppright can now add AWI-CH after her name to highlight her expertise in conducting workplace investigations. Kathy has been doing workplace investigations for about 15 years and over that time the need and standards for conducting investigations of workplace complaints has dramatically changed. In 2016, California added new regulations requiring employers to use “qualified personnel” to conduct an “impartial and timely investigation” of complaints of harassment and discrimination. Specific standards and best practices for conducting a workplace investigation have evolved over the years and being able to demonstrate that an employer’s investigation met those standards …

Fair (Equal) Pay Laws in California

 July 21, 2017

By Gordon E. Bosserman The California Legislature is considering amending the Fair Pay Act to prohibit an employer from asking about what a job applicant made in compensation from his or her previous employers. (See AB 168) This is not yet the law in California; currently, an employer may ask about previous compensation. Do you know what current law in California requires regarding “equal pay”? If not, here is a brief summary. In 2016, California enacted the Fair Pay Act. Under that law, an employer was prohibited from paying any of its employees wage rates that were less than the …

Business Symposium Focuses on Change

 July 21, 2017

July 21, 2017 The 2017 Andre, Morris & Buttery Central Coast Business Symposium featured three very different speakers with a common theme: managing change. AMB has been hosting the symposium since the firm’s 60th anniversary in 2008. This year a crowd of 400 heard from best-selling author and employee retention expert Sharon Jordan-Evans, entrepreneur and media pioneer Stanley Fields and former Cal Poly baseball sensation Matt Imhof. Jordan-Evans spoke about the challenge of retaining talent in an ever-changing workforce. Her primary message: Ask. Ask key employees who you do not want to lose what they need and want, and then …