California Lemon Law Defenses

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California Lemon Law Defenses

California lemon law claims are popular among automobile owners, and they are often successful. Not all such claims are meritorious, however, and many potential defenses can be considered

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Four Key Components of Executive Agreements

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Four Key Components of Executive Agreements

All employees should be aware of the employment agreements that they sign, but this is particularly true for those in high-level executive positions. We typically think that executives should have serious job security because their skills are in high demand, but this is not always true.

Executives can be subject to sudden employment changes because their company is purchased by another, they’re getting pressure from shareholders, or because the company feels that it needs to move in a new direction. In order to protect yourself from sudden termination, there are several key aspects of an employment agreement that all executives should be aware of.

Executive Termination in Rancho Cucamonga

Because job security for many executives is at the whims of shareholders, potential purchasers, or the market, many executives seek additional security in their compensation before signing an employment agreement. This allows them to receive a severance payment or payments after termination, often of a significant amount.

Severance payments are usually only allowed if the executive is not fired “for cause.” This means that defining “for cause” within your agreement is exceptionally important. You may want to limit it to intentionally wrongful conduct or criminal activity rather than something ambiguous such as poor performance.

Severance and Resignation

While executives may sometimes be forced out of a position, they also often choose to leave their job if they feel they are not given the resources or support necessary to do a good job. In order to ensure financial security even after resignation, many executive agreements allow executives to receive severance payments even after they resign if the resignation is for good cause.

Again, it will be important to carefully define what good cause means, and to ensure that the scope of good cause is not so narrow as to effectively prevent severance upon resignation.

Indemnify and Defend

Executives are often the visible face of a company. And when something goes wrong, they may be the first to be sued. In order to protect against unreasonable business expenses, most executive agreements provide that, in the event an executive is sued in his role as an executive (as opposed to in his personal capacity), the company will indemnify and defend him or her.

This means that the company will pay the executive’s attorneys fees throughout the litigation. The executive will typically only be required to pay those fees back if it is proven that he engaged in wrongful conduct.

Indemnification means that in the event an executive experiences a loss from the litigation, such as any damages that are awarded in the lawsuit, the company will reimburse the executive for those damages.

California Attorneys Making Sure Your Executive Agreement Is Comprehensive

If you are in the process of negotiating an executive agreement, it is extremely important to seek the assistance of an experienced employment attorney. Without legal advice, it can be easy to unwittingly sign an agreement that does not protect your interests.

At CKB Vienna, LLP, our employment law attorneys frequently work with executives throughout California including Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Chino Hills, Claremont, and Racnho Cucamonga, to assist them in finalizing an employment agreement before entering a new job. For more information, contact us online or at (909) 980-1040.

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Ninth Circuit Takes Position that Consumers May Bring Lawsuits Based on Risk of Identity Theft

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Ninth Circuit Takes Position that Consumers May Bring Lawsuits Based on Risk of Identity Theft

The past twenty years have seen an immense change in how individuals conduct their banking. More and more consumers are choosing to avoid physical branches, paper checks, and in-person deposits and are instead opting to conduct most of their banking online.

While online banking creates incredible convenience for consumers, it has also created new types of risks, including the hacking of personal information and rise of identity theft. For those banks operating in California, a recent decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals should create an even more heightened awareness and concern about online banking risks.

Identity Theft in the Inland Empire

Many consumers have had the experience of getting an email notice or letter in the mail letting them know that their personal information has been compromised due to an online hack. While such news may be frustrating and alarming, it rarely led to litigation. A new decision may change that.

In In re Zappos, a group of customers filed a class action lawsuit against Zappos after the Zappos website experienced a security breach that exposed the personal information, including credit and debit card numbers, of more than 24 million Zappos customers.

The plaintiffs in the case alleged that they had been harmed because Zappos had not adequately protected their financial information. However, unlike in other cases, the plaintiffs did not allege that they had already had their information stolen and used by the hackers, they argued that the breach put them at risk of future identity theft.

The federal district court granted Zappos motion to dismiss, finding that the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue Zappos because they could not show that they had already been harmed by the security breach. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit reversed this finding, holding that customers (including bank customers) at risk of identity theft due to a security breach, have standing to sue the company that experienced the breach.

The court noted that plaintiffs have standing to sue when they face a substantial risk of future harm, even if that harm has not occurred yet. The fact that their personal information had been stolen meant that, at any moment, hackers could attempt to use that information to steal money from existing credit card or bank accounts or compromise other online accounts.

This was enough to show a substantial risk of harm and allow the plaintiffs to proceed. This should get the attention of other businesses involved in ecommerce, online banking, or other activities where customers are likely to input sensitive personal information. Even if that information isn’t ultimately stolen, simply creating the possibility of identity theft may be enough for customers to bring suit.

California Attorneys Helping You Evaluate Your Online Practices

If you work for a bank, investment company, or other entity that relies heavily on online business transactions, maintaining your online security practices should be of the utmost importance.

At CKB Vienna, LLP, our banking attorneys frequently work with clients to evaluate their current practices, identify risks or areas where improvement may be necessary, and create a plan to address these issues. For more information, contact us online or at (909) 980-1040.

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