This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 01/15/2022 at 01:24:57 (UTC).

RASHAW FRANKLIN, AN INDIVIDUAL VS ADA LISETH JUAREZ, AN INDIVIDUAL, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 07/31/2019 RASHAW FRANKLIN, AN INDIVIDUAL filed a Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle lawsuit against ADA LISETH JUAREZ, AN INDIVIDUAL. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH, MICHAEL E. WHITAKER and MARK C. KIM. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******6629

  • Filing Date:

    07/31/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Motor Vehicle

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

STEPHEN I. GOORVITCH

MICHAEL E. WHITAKER

MARK C. KIM

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

FRANKLIN AN INDIVIDUAL RASHAW

FRANKLIN RASHAW

Defendants and Cross Plaintiffs

JUAREZ AN INDIVIDUAL ADA LISETH

EXPEDIANT LOGISTICS A CORPORATE ENTITY

JUAREZ ADA LISETH

EXPEDIANT LOGISTICS

CITY OF LONG BEACH

TOTAL TERMINALS INTERNATIONAL LLC

TRISTATE LOGISTICS COMPANY INC. DBA EXPEDIANT LOGISTICS A CORPORATE ENTITY

Cross Defendants

ROES 1 THROUGH 50

T.W.T. GROUP INC DBA THE WOLFS TRUCKING

ROES 1 TO 20 INCLUSIVE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

VAHDAT G. AMY ESQ.

ALDER MICHAEL ESQ.

POULTER BRIAN LEE

RUGA DYLAN

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff Attorneys

THAI SINNY

FEDELI THOMAS M.

THAI SINNY B

 

Court Documents

Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL DATE

8/2/2021: Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL DATE

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL DATE

8/2/2021: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL DATE

Order - ORDER TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL DATE

8/3/2021: Order - ORDER TO CONTINUE THE TRIAL DATE

Order - ORDER PROPOSED PROTECTIVE ORDER

11/24/2020: Order - ORDER PROPOSED PROTECTIVE ORDER

Notice of Ruling

5/25/2021: Notice of Ruling

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER)

5/25/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER)

Reply - REPLY REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

5/17/2021: Reply - REPLY REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

Opposition - OPPOSITION OPPOSITION TO NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

5/10/2021: Opposition - OPPOSITION OPPOSITION TO NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO NOTICE OF MOTION

5/10/2021: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION TO NOTICE OF MOTION

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

4/21/2021: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (HEARING ON MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A CROSS-COMPLAINT) OF 03/02/2021

3/2/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (HEARING ON MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A CROSS-COMPLAINT) OF 03/02/2021

Notice of Ruling

3/2/2021: Notice of Ruling

Summons - SUMMONS ON AMENDED COMPLAINT (1ST)

3/2/2021: Summons - SUMMONS ON AMENDED COMPLAINT (1ST)

Other - - TENTATIVE RULING AND FINAL ORDER

3/2/2021: Other - - TENTATIVE RULING AND FINAL ORDER

Cross-Complaint

3/2/2021: Cross-Complaint

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A CROSS-COMPLAINT)

3/2/2021: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A CROSS-COMPLAINT)

Proof of Service by Substituted Service

3/5/2021: Proof of Service by Substituted Service

Motion for Leave to File a Cross-Complaint

1/12/2021: Motion for Leave to File a Cross-Complaint

65 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/11/2022
  • Hearing04/11/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department S27 at 275 Magnolia, Long Beach, CA 90802; Jury Trial

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  • 04/07/2022
  • Hearing04/07/2022 at 08:30 AM in Department S27 at 275 Magnolia, Long Beach, CA 90802; Final Status Conference

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  • 12/06/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department S27, Mark C. Kim, Presiding; Jury Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 12/02/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department S27, Mark C. Kim, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 08/06/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department S27, Mark C. Kim, Presiding; Hearing on Ex Parte Application (To Continue The Trial Date) - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

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  • 08/03/2021
  • DocketOrder (To Continue The Trial Date); Filed by Total Terminals International, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 08/02/2021
  • DocketStipulation and Order (To Continue The Trial Date); Filed by Total Terminals International, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 08/02/2021
  • DocketEx Parte Application (To Continue The Trial Date); Filed by Total Terminals International, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 05/25/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department S27, Mark C. Kim, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Protective Order - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 05/25/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Protective Order)); Filed by Clerk

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91 More Docket Entries
  • 10/11/2019
  • DocketSummons (on First Amended Complaint); Filed by Rashaw Franklin (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/08/2019
  • DocketAmended Complaint; Filed by Rashaw Franklin (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/08/2019
  • DocketAmended Complaint (1st); Filed by Rashaw Franklin, an individual (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/05/2019
  • DocketPI General Order; Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/05/2019
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Standing Order re PI Procedures and Hearing Dates); Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/05/2019
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for ([Summons on Complaint], Standing Order re PI Procedures and Hearing Dates); Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/31/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by Rashaw Franklin, an individual (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/31/2019
  • DocketSummons (on Complaint); Filed by Rashaw Franklin, an individual (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/31/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Rashaw Franklin, an individual (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/31/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Unlimited Civil Case; Filed by Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STCV26629    Hearing Date: May 25, 2021    Dept: S27

  1. Background Facts Relating to Deposition

    Plaintiff, Ranshaw Franklin noticed the deposition of Defendant, TTI’s PMK on 8/24/20, setting the deposition for 9/14/20. On 9/02/20, TTI objected to the deposition on the ground that the designated court reporter and videographer’s relationship with Plaintiff’s attorney is improper. Counsel met and conferred, but were unable to resolve issues relating to the deposition, which has not gone forward. At this time, TTI moves for a protective order precluding Plaintiff from using its designated court reporter/videographer to conduct the deposition of its PMK. TTI also seeks imposition of sanctions.

  2. Law Governing Protective Orders

    Protective orders are governed by CCP §2025.420, which permits the Court, for good cause shown and when justice requires, to protect a party or deponent against unwanted annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, and/or undue burden and expense. Relief can include remedies ranging from prohibiting the deposition in its entirety to imposing terms and conditions upon which the deposition can proceed. §2025.420(b).

  3. Law Governing Use of an Independent Court Reporter and Videographer

    CCP §2025.320 governs selection of a court reporter. §2025.320(a) provides, “(a) The officer shall not be financially interested in the action and shall not be a relative or employee of any attorney of the parties, or of any of the parties.”

    Similarly, §2025.340 governs selection of an operator of recording equipment. §2025.340(c) contains language substantially similar to that found in §2025.320(a), above.

  4. Analysis

  1. Defendant’s Evidence

    Defendant supports its motion with the Declaration of Counsel, Thomas M. Fedeli. Fedeli explains that he learned, during the course of the litigation, that Dylan Ruga is the COO of Steno, the court reporter agency Plaintiff has hired to do all the reporting in this litigation. Ruga is also a partner in the law firm that represents Plaintiff. Notably, the law firm and the court reporting agency have offices in the same building and in adjacent suites.

  2. Plaintiff’s Evidence

    Plaintiff supports the opposition to the motion with the Declaration of Counsel, Dylan Ruga. Ruga concedes he is the founding member of Plaintiff’s law firm, Stalwart Law Group, and also concedes he is the CRO (as opposed to COO) of Steno Agency, Inc. Ruga declares that Stalwart and Steno are completely separate companies, with separate investors, boards, etc. He declares he is not the current COO of Steno and has had no involvement in Steno’s operations since late 2019. He declares Steno has disabled all of his access to its internal operations department in June of 2020. He declares Steno does not have any employees, and uses only independent contractors. He declares there is nothing untoward about using the court reporters, who do not alter the transcripts or otherwise interfere with the deposition in any way.

  3. Issues Presented

    There are, therefore, two issues before the Court in connection with this motion. First, does Ruga’s relationship with Stalwart and Steno preclude Steno’s employees from conducting deposition for Plaintiff in this case? Second, if Steno’s employees are barred from conducting the depositions, (a) are the reporters independent contractors, and (b) does that matter?

  4. Does Ruga’s Relationship with Steno and Stalwart Preclude Steno’s Employees from Conducting Depositions in this Case?

    The first issue is whether Ruga’s relationship with Steno and Stalwart precludes Steno’s employees from conducting depositions in this case. As noted above, §2025.320(a) provides, “(a) The officer shall not be financially interested in the action and shall not be a relative or employee of any attorney of the parties, or of any of the parties.”

    For purposes of this portion of the analysis, the Court will presume that Steno’s hired court reporters are “employees” of Steno. Thus, the question is whether Steno reporters are “employees” of Plaintiff’s attorney. As discussed above, Plaintiff’s attorney is also the former Chief Operating Officer of Steno, and concedes he is the current Chief Revenue Officer of Steno. Indeed, it appears Ruga changed from his COO position to his CRO position, in June of 2020, as a result of the parties’ correspondence shortly before that and the complaints Defendant made concerning use of Steno’s reporters under the circumstances.

    Are Steno’s reporters, therefore, “employed by” Plaintiff’s attorney and/or “financially interested in” the litigation? While it is not entirely clear that a court reporter is “employed by” the COO or CRO of the company for which she works, it is clear that this relationship runs afoul of the spirit of the section, if not its letter. If the Code bars a reporter from working on a case when the reporter is “employed by” an attorney on the case, then the spirit of the Code does not permit for the type of dual relationship clearly present in this case.

  5. Are Steno’s Reporters Independent Contractors and Does that Matter?

    Plaintiff also argues Steno’s reporters are independent contractors and are not “employed by” Steno, and therefore not “employed by” Plaintiff’s attorney. Defendant argues Steno’s reporters are employees under the test set forth in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 903 and Assembly Bill 5, which only permit classification as an independent contractor if the person performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business. Clearly, Steno is in the business of providing court reporters, and the persons hired are court reporters. Thus, under AB 5 and Dynamex, Steno’s reporters are employees.

    Plaintiff, in opposition to the motion, argues AB5 requires the Court to use the old Borello test if the Court finds the three-part test cannot be applied in a particular context based on grounds other than an express exception to employment status as provided under ¶2. Plaintiff fails, however, to show any reason the Court can or should do so in this case. It is clear that the reporters provide the primary function of the company, and Plaintiff has not stated any reason the reporters should be subject to an exception.

  6. Conclusion

    Defendant met its burden to show that Plaintiff’s selection of a court reporter and videographer from an entity in which Plaintiff’s attorney has a financial interest is improper under the Code. They therefore met their burden to show they are entitled to the protective order they seek. The deposition may go forward, but Plaintiff must select a disinterested court reporter and videographer to conduct the deposition.

  7. Sanctions

    The Court notes that Defendant seeks sanctions in connection with the motion. §2025.420(h) requires imposition of sanctions unless the Court finds the party who unsuccessfully opposes the motion did so with substantial justification or there are other circumstances that render imposition of sanctions unjust. The Court finds the issues that underpin this motion are complicated and unique. The Court finds Plaintiff took the position advanced in good faith. The Court therefore declines to impose sanctions.

    Defendant is ordered to give notice.

    Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at gdcdepts27@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar. If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If the parties do not submit on the tentative, they should arrange to appear remotely.

Case Number: 19STCV26629    Hearing Date: March 02, 2021    Dept: S27


Case Number: 19STCV41547    Hearing Date: March 02, 2021    Dept: S27

  1. Background Facts

Plaintiff, Kevin Deshan Mabry filed this action against Defendants, Dr. Christensen, Dr. Patel, Dr. Weingarten, Case Manager, Suran Yu, Stephen C. Cuthbertson, and College Medical Center for medical malpractice in connection with an Achilles tendon surgery. Plaintiff’s complaint includes causes of action for medical negligence and “breach of duty – specific performance.”

  1. 10/22/20 Demurrer

On 10/22/20, the Court heard and sustained a demurrer by Defendants, CHLB, Inc. and Stephen C. Cuthbertson, finding the complaint showed, on its face, that it was barred by the statute of limitations. The Court granted leave to amend because Plaintiff, in opposition, articulated facts that could potentially have circumvented the statute of limitations defense if well-pled. The Court ordered Plaintiff to file an amended complaint within thirty days.

  1. Motion to Dismiss

To date, Plaintiff has not filed an amended complaint. CCP §581(f) provides, in pertinent part:

(f) The court may dismiss the complaint as to that defendant when:

(2) Except where Section 597 applies, after a demurrer to the complaint is sustained with leave to amend, the plaintiff fails to amend it within the time allowed by the court and either party moves for dismissal.

CCP §597 deals with special defenses in the answer, and does not apply here. Because Plaintiff did not amend within the time allocated to do so, and because Plaintiff did not oppose this motion, the motion is granted. The case is dismissed as to the moving defendants.

  1. Motion for Sanctions

CHLB and Cuthbertson also filed a motion for sanctions, contending Plaintiff has not complied with the Court’s 8/11/20 order requiring him to respond to outstanding discovery. To the extent the motion concerns issue, evidentiary, and/or terminating sanctions, the motion is moot in light of the ruling on the motion to dismiss the action. The Court is not inclined to impose further monetary sanctions at this time.

  1. Case Management Conference

The parties are reminded that there is a CMC on calendar concurrently with the hearing on the above motions. The Court asks all parties to make arrangements to appear remotely at the Case Management Conference and hearing on the above motions.

Case Number: 19STCV26629    Hearing Date: January 26, 2021    Dept: S27

Defendant, Total Terminals International, LLC propounded RPDs, set two on Plaintiff, Rashaw Franklin on 9/24/20. To date, Plaintiff has not served responses. Defendant therefore seeks an order compelling Plaintiff to respond, without objections, to the outstanding discovery and to pay sanctions.

Defendant’s motion is granted. Plaintiff is ordered to serve verified responses to RPDs, set two, without objections, within ten days. CCP §§2031.300(a),(b).

Sanctions are mandatory. §2031.300(c). §2023.040 requires the moving party, in the notice of motion, to identify each person, party, and/or attorney against whom sanctions are sought. Defendant seeks sanctions against Plaintiff personally, but not against his attorney of record. Defendant failed, however, to show that the failure to respond was the fault of Plaintiff, in his individual capacity, as opposed to Plaintiff’s attorney. The request for sanctions is therefore denied.

Defendant is ordered to give notice.

Parties who intend to submit on this tentative must send an email to the court at gdcdepts27@lacourt.org indicating intention to submit on the tentative as directed by the instructions provided on the court website at www.lacourt.org.  If the department does not receive an email indicating the parties are submitting on the tentative and there are no appearances at the hearing, the motion may be placed off calendar. If a party submits on the tentative, the party’s email must include the case number and must identify the party submitting on the tentative. If the parties do not submit on the tentative, they should arrange to appear remotely.

Case Number: 19STCV26629    Hearing Date: July 28, 2020    Dept: 32

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 32

Rashaw franklin,

Plaintiff,

v.

ada liseth juarez, et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.: 19STCV26629

Hearing Date: July 28, 2020

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motions to compel discovery responses

Defendant Tristate Logistics Company, Inc. (“Defendant”) moves to compel responses from Plaintiff Rashaw Franklin (“Plaintiff”) to: (1) Request for Production of Documents, Set One (“RPD”); (2) Form Interrogatories, Set One (“FROG”); and (3) Special Interrogatories, Set One (“SROG”). Defendant served the discovery at issue on Plaintiff by mail on November 13, 2019. Plaintiff’s responses were thus due no later than December 18, 2019. Defendant offered Plaintiff an extension of time to respond to January 9, 2020. As of the filing date of these motions, Defendant has not received responses from Plaintiff. Plaintiff has not opposed the motion, and there is nothing in the record to suggest that Plaintiff has complied with his discovery obligations. Accordingly, the motions to compel responses to the RPD, FROG, and SROG are granted per Code of Civil Procedure sections 2030.290 and 2031.300.

Defendant seeks sanctions in connection with the motions. The Court concludes that Plaintiff’s failure to respond to the discovery is an abuse of the discovery process. The Court awards sanctions against Plaintiff and his counsel of record, Ghazal Amy Vahdat, in the amount of $1,305, which represents five hours of attorney time at $225 per hour, plus three filing fees.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Defendant’s motions to compel responses to the RPD, FROG, and SROG are granted per Code of Civil Procedure sections 2030.290 and 2031.300. Plaintiff is ordered to serve verified responses, without objections, within 30 days of notice of this order.

Plaintiff and his counsel of record, Ghazal Amy Vahdat, jointly and severally, are ordered to pay monetary sanctions in the amount of $1,305 to Defendant, by and through counsel, within 30 days of notice of this order.

Defendant is ordered to provide notice of this order and file proof of service of such.

DATED: July 28, 2020 ___________________________

Stephen I. Goorvitch

Judge of the Superior Court

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