Recent legal developments

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  1. Self-storage

When a unit tenant stopped paying rent, the facility asserted a storage lien and sold the contents. The tenant sued the facility, but lost, because the lien notice was sufficient and the sale lawful.

  1. Hospitals

A patient directed a hospital to prolong her life if possible, but her treating physician ordered that she not be resuscitated if her condition failed. After she died, her family sued the hospital for malpractice, but lost, because her doctor’s orders were followed.

  1. Sewage law

After a doctor stopped paying office rent and was sued for eviction, the sewer backed up into the premises and she countersued for denial of “quiet enjoyment.” She lost because she had already forfeited her tenancy and had no rights.

  1. Train law

A passenger convicted of abusing a child during a ride through several counties sought dismissal because he was prosecuted in the first “boarding” county while the crime allegedly occurred in the fourth county. However, a crime committed on a railroad can be prosecuted in any jurisdiction through which the train passes during its voyage.

  1. Umbrella insurance

After a landowner was sued by a neighbor for refusing to remove a fence, she sued her umbrella insurer to compel coverage. Because the neighbor claimed she interfered with his right to freely enjoy his property, there was a potential for coverage and a duty to defend.

  1. Gender discrimination

Although factors “other than sex” may justify compensation disparity, since women have been traditionally subjected to gender-based discrimination, one’s salary history is not one of those factors. Equal pay for equal work.

  1. Divorce and taxes

Although a divorcing wife who failed to pay taxes with her husband was declared by the government to be liability-free as an “innocent spouse,” the divorce court can decide otherwise and require the couple to split the bill.

Current cases

This month we are, among other things, defending a civil deposition, a building manager accused of theft, and a manufacturer sued for an unwritten change order, and also representing a factory owner with a homeless encampment and assisting with the prosecution of a personal injury claim.

Remember: Preventative lawyering is the most effective kind. ©Harmon Sieff 2018

Harmon Sieff is an attorney based in Encino. Call him at (818) 986-4563 or email Visit online at


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Harmon Sieff is an attorney based in Encino. Call him at (818) 986-4563 or email him at Visit his office online at

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