On 10/26/2015 MAIN STREET PARTNERS ASSOCIATES INC filed an Other lawsuit against PRECISION ASSET MAN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is DEIRDRE HILL. The case status is Disposed - Judgment Entered.
Disposed - Judgment Entered
MAIN STREET PARTNERS & ASSOCIATES INC.
PRECISION ASSET MANAGEMENT CORPORATION
EZER WILLIAMSON LAW A PROF. CORP.
DAVIS TEDDY T.
COUGHLIN FRANK J. ESQ.
WILSON JOHN DAVID
9/27/2018: DEFENDANT PRECISION ASSET MANAGEMENT CORPORATION?S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF?S UNVERIFIED FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
10/17/2018: Substitution of Attorney
10/26/2018: Memorandum of Costs on Appeal
10/30/2018: Minute Order
10/31/2018: Challenge To Judicial Officer - Peremptory (170.6)
11/1/2018: Certificate of Mailing for
11/9/2018: Minute Order
11/9/2018: Notice of Case Reassignment/Vacate Hearings
11/9/2018: Certificate of Mailing for
3/1/2019: Substitution of Attorney
3/28/2019: Notice of Case Management Conference
4/16/2019: Case Management Statement
4/18/2019: Case Management Statement
5/2/2019: Minute Order
5/2/2019: Notice of Posting of Jury Fees
5/16/2019: Stipulation and Order
Order (Order on Stipulation Re: Filing of Amended Answer to First Amended Complaint); Filed by Precision Asset Management Corporation (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Answer; Filed by Precision Asset Management Corporation (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Stipulation and Order (Re: Filing of Amended Answer to First Amended Complaint; and [Proposed] Order Thereon); Filed by Precision Asset Management Corporation (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
at 08:30 AM in Department 34; Case Management Conference - HeldRead MoreRead Less
Minute Order ( (Case Management Conference)); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Notice of Posting of Jury Fees; Filed by Main Street Partners & Associates Inc. (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Management Statement; Filed by Main Street Partners & Associates Inc. (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Case Management Statement; Filed by Precision Asset Management Corporation (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
Substitution of Attorney; Filed by Precision Asset Management Corporation (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARINGRead MoreRead Less
OSC-RE Other (Miscellaneous); Filed by ClerkRead MoreRead Less
NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCERead MoreRead Less
Receipt; Filed by Main Street Partners & Associates Inc. (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
Complaint; Filed by Main Street Partners & Associates Inc. (Plaintiff)Read MoreRead Less
COMPLAINT FOR (1) BREACH OF CONTRACT; ETCRead MoreRead Less
CIVIL DEPOSITRead MoreRead Less
SUMMONSRead MoreRead Less
Notice; Filed by Precision Asset Management Corporation (Defendant)Read MoreRead Less
Case Number: BC598750 Hearing Date: July 20, 2020 Dept: 34
SUBJECT: Motion to Bifurcate
Moving Party: Defendant Precision Asset Management Corporation
Resp. Party: Plaintiff Main Street Partners & Associates, Inc.
Defendant’s motion to bifurcate is DENIED.
This action concerns liability arising from the defendant’s alleged breaches of two contracts and its tortious conduct with respect to these contracts.
On October 26, 2015, Plaintiff Main Street Partners & Associates, Inc. commenced this action against Defendant Precision Asset Management Corporation for (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (3) fraud; (4) concealment; (5) intentional misrepresentation; and (6) misappropriation of trade secrets.
On June 22, 2016, the Court overruled Defendant’s demurrer to the complaint in part and sustained the demurrer in part.
On July 18, 2016, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint (“FAC”) for (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (3) fraud; (4) concealment; (5) intentional misrepresentation; and (6) misappropriation of trade secrets.
On October 7, 2016, the Court sustained Defendant’s demurrer to the FAC without leave to amend.
On December 30, 2016, judgment was entered in favor of Defendant and against Plaintiff on all claims asserted by Plaintiff in the FAC.
On March 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal.
On September 17, 2018, the Court of Appeal issued a remittitur and attached a copy of its decision. In the decision filed on July 16, 2018, the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment from the trial court sustaining the demurrer and ordered Plaintiff to recover costs on appeal from Defendant.
On September 27, 2018, Defendant filed an answer to the FAC.
On May 21, 2019, Defendant filed an amended answer to the FAC.
On November 21, 2019, pursuant to a stipulation of the parties, the Court ordered that the second amended answer may be filed.
On November 22, 2019, Defendant filed its second amended answer to the FAC.
On March 18, 2020, Defendant filed the instant motion to bifurcate trial in order to try its dispositive affirmative defense of lack of authority before trying the merits of Plaintiff’s case.
A. Legal Standard
Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 597, “[a] separate trial is authorized under that statute when the defendant alleges as an affirmative defense that the action is time-barred or alleges another affirmative defense that is potentially dispositive and that is one ‘not involving the merits of the [plaintiff’s cause of] action.” (Sahadi v. Scheaffer (2007) 155 Cal.App.4th 704, 721, review denied, citing Wilshire-Doheny Associates, Ltd. V. Shapiro (2000) 83 Cal.App.4th 1380, 1392.)
“[T]he objective of the bifurcation of the issues is avoidance of waste of time and money caused by the trial of issues which may be rendered moot.” (Bedolla v. Logan & Frazer (1975) 52 Cal.App.3d 118, 135.)
Defendant “move[s] for a Separate and First Trial of Plaintiff[’s] . . . dispositive affirmative defense of lack of authority.” (Motion, pp. 1:27-2:2.) Defendant asserts that “the core allegation of the FAC . . . is that Precision utilized trade secrets of Main Street in violation of the Agreements with Precision.” (Id. at p. 2:8-9.) Defendant maintains that its twenty-third affirmative defense should be tried first because it would determine “that the Agreements are not valid because Hermosillo, an operations manager of Precision, was not authorized to sign the agreement.” (Id. at p. 2:11-13.) Further, Defendant argues “that Precision’s defense of lack of authority will be (i) dispositive of the FAC in total, and (ii) is based on facts materially separate from facts as alleged in Main Streets [sic] FAC (iii) should not require much time to adjudicate and (iv) should free the court of trying the entire case.” (Id. at p. 2:19-22.)
In opposition, Plaintiff argues that bifurcation is not appropriate here because (1) “Precision’s defense goes directly to the first element of the breach of contract actions;” (2) “Lack of authority is not a defense to the sixth cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets;” (3) “no interests are served by bifurcating the trial; and” (4) the evidence at trial will demonstrate that Michael Hermosillo had actual and/or apparent authority to enter into the October Agreements.” (Opp., p. 2:17-24.)
Plaintiff’s first two causes of action are for breach of contract and breach of implied warranty of good faith and fair dealing. (FAC, ¶¶ 27-39.)
“The elements of a cause of action for breach of contract are: (1) the contract, (2) plaintiff’s performance or excuse for nonperformance, (3) defendant’s breach, and (4) the resulting damages to plaintiff.” (Coles v. Glaser (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 384, 391.) “The prerequisite for any action for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing is the existence of a contractual relationship between the parties, since the covenant is an implied term in the contract.” (Smith v. San Francisco (1990) 225 Cal.App.3d 38, 49.)
Defendant’s twenty-third affirmative defense is that “Plaintiff is barred from recovery because any agreements or contracts alleged in the FAC are void, voidable, and/or unenforceable because they were not entered into by any authorized officer of Defendant.” (Second Amended Answer, p. 6:12-16.)
The Court finds that a separate trial is unnecessary here because Defendant’s twenty-third affirmative defense based on lack of authority is one that involves the merits of Plaintiff’s claims, as it determines whether there were enforceable contracts or agreements between the parties. (See Code Civ. Proc., § 597; Sahadi v. Scheaffer, supra, 155 Cal.App.4th at p. 721.)
The Court DENIES Defendant’s motion for bifurcation.
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