Send a Message
to Attorney Michael Papuc




Dec 13, 2012

Attorney Michael Papuc Profile

Forums Owned

Recent Posts


Golden State Warriors

Warriors lost 5 in row before All Star break. Hope the rest can carry them into the payoffs. Curry's ankle, Bout's foot, Jack's shoulder. The pain these guys go through to entertain us.  (Feb 16, 2013 | post #1)


Attorney Michael Papuc represents Students in Actions aga...

San Francisco Attorney Michael Papuc represents students in injury cases against School Districts. Attorney Michael Papuc represented a first grade special education student who was digitally molested in the school yard of a public school, by a student in her special education class, and was held back by other students in her class. The molestation occurred in the school yard during lunch, in an area away from the general population of students, under an outside stair case. Mr. Papuc claimed the school district was at fault for failure to monitor the area where the molestation occurred, and failure to provide a safe learning environment. Before the molestation incident, the girl who was harmed had been the subject of choking and other physical harm in the special education classroom. There were also kissing incidents in the classroom, discussions of sex in the classroom, attempts by boys in the class to force the girl into a bathroom stall, an incident in the class where a boy took out his penis to show the girl who was molested. The case settled after the girl underwent an examination by a psychiatrist chosen by the school district. The school district attempted to place blame on molestation on an adult in the girl's family. The school district's child psychiatrist admitted that the type of molestation the girl was subjected to was child-on-child. In these types of cases, police need to be notified as soon as the incident occurs, the child needs to be examined by CASARC (Child and Adolescent Sexual Abuse Resource Center) or similar agency, the child's attorney will need to get as many witness statements as possible. The school nurse's records are also very important. The attorney will need to retain appropriate experts, including school district standard of care expert, psychiatrist, neuro psychologist and pyschologist, to conduct appropriate testing of the child, and damages expert.  (Jan 23, 2013 | post #1)


Wrongful firing of Employees in Violation of Public Policy

by Michael Papuc Attorney at Law 44 Montgomery St., Suite 2405 San Francisco, CA 94104 San Francisco Attorney Michael Papuc represents employees in wrongful termination actions against employers. Employment contracts are generally terminable at will California courts recognize a narrow exception: "(A)n employer's traditional broad authority to discharge an at-will employee may be limited by statute ... or by considerations of public policy." ... "As such, a wrongful discharge suit exhibits the classic elements of a tort cause of action." (Tameny v. Atlantic Richfield Co., supra, 27 Cal.3d at 176.) To establish a claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, each of the following must be proved: 1. An employer-employee relationship; 2. Employer terminated plaintiff's employment (or took other adverse employment action; 3. Termination of plaintiff's employment was a violation of public policy; 4. The termination was a legal cause of plaintiff's damage; and 5. The nature and the extent of plaintiff's damage. (See Holmes v. General Dynamics Corp. (1993) 17 Cal.App.4th 1418, 1426, fn. 8.) Tameny claims extend to demotions, suspensions without pay, whistle blowing, "even though the ultimate sanction of discharge has not been imposed." (Garcia v. Rockwell Int'l Corp. (1986) 187 Cal.App.3d 1556, 1562.) The existence of a pertinent public policy is crucial to a Tameny claim. A four-part test is utilized in determining whether a particular policy can support a common law wrongful discharge claim. The policy in question must be: 1. Based on either a constitutional or statutory provision (or ethical rules or regulations enacted under statutory authority); 2. "Public" in the sense that it "inures to the benefit of the public" rather than merely serving the interests of the individual; 3. Well established at the time of discharge; and 4. Substantial and fundamental.(Steve nson v. Sup.Ct. (Silo v. CHW Med. Found. (2002) 27 Cal.4th 1097, 1104).) Because the employer's violation of a statute on a particular subject is also a violation of public policy, firing an employee for reporting the violation to appropriate authorities violates public policy. (Jie v. Liang Tai Knitwear Co. (2001) 89 Cal.App.4th 654, 660–661.)The employee need not prove that the employer actually violated the law: "(I)t suffices if the employer fired him for reporting his ‘reasonably based suspicions' of illegal activity." (Green v. Ralee Eng. Co. (1998) 19 Cal.4th 66, 87.) The policy violated by the employment termination must be one inuring to the benefit of the public. Policies are not "public" when they are derived from statutes that "simply regulate conduct between private individuals." (Foley v. Interactive Data Corp. (1988) 47 Cal.3d 654, 669.) The law surrounding the facts of each claim is complex and contains many subtleties. Damages in a case properly proven may include lost wages and benefits, emotional distress, possible punitive damages, possible attorney fees. The down-side is that the employee will have difficulty finding another job if he or she sues the former employer. Also, the employee cannot expect former co-employees to testify favorably for the employee, . There are administrative requirements of timely filing a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment (DFEH) (one year) or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (180 days from adverse employment determination), before bringing action. It is generally more favorable to sue in California state courts under DFEH, after receiving right to sue letter, as opposed to bringing federal claims (no right to sue letter required, but suit must be filed no earlier than 60 days after submission of charges to EEOC, and no later than 90 days after EEOC notifies claimant of results of investigation.)  (Jan 23, 2013 | post #1)


One Year Time Limit to Bring Lawsuit on Homeowners insura...

San Francisco Attorney Michael Papuc has 25 years experience in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. Michael Papuc represents policy holders in claims against their insurers. California property insurance policies (homeowners, flood, earthquake, renters, landlord protection) have a Condition requiring the policy holder (insured) to bring a lawsuit on any claim within one year from the time of loss. The one year period is extended for the time period between the insured notifies the insurer of the loss and the insurer investigates and ultimately denies the claim in writing. Failure to bring lawsuit on the claim on a timely basis will cause the lawsuit to fail. The following is a summary of California law on this issue. The California Standard Form Fire Insurance Policy provides: "No suit or action on this policy for the recovery of any claim shall be sustainable in any court of law or equity unless all the requirements of this policy shall have been complied with, and unless commenced within 12 months next after inception of the loss." (Insurance Code § 2071) This is a standard provision in all fire insurance policies in California. For the most part, all homeowners, earthquake, flood, landlord protection, and renter's insurance policies issued in California contain this or a similar provision. Under such provisions, the limitations period is measured from that point in time when appreciable damage occurs and is or should be known to the insured. (Prudential LMI Comm'l Ins. v. Sup.Ct. (Lundberg) (1990) 51 Cal.3d 674, 686–687.) The contractual limitations period is equitably tolled from the time the insured gives notice of the loss until the insurer formally denies coverage in writing. (Prudential LMI Comm'l Ins. v. Sup.Ct. (Lundberg) (1990) 51 Cal. 3d 674, 687.) This means that the period of investigation by the insurer is not counted in the calculation of one year to bring a lawsuit. Where the policy provides that suit must be filed within one year after loss, an insured who makes a timely claim has the right to wait until the insurer denies the claim in writing before commencing suit. The period of time the insurer had the claim under consideration is excluded in measuring the one-year period. (Prudential LMI Comm'l Ins. v. Sup.Ct. (Lundberg) (1990) 51 Cal.3d 674, 687; Prieto v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. (1990) 225 Cal. App. 3d 1188, 1195.) The insurer must warn its insured of any contractual limitations period applicable to the claim, regardless whether the insured is represented by an attorney. On the other hand, the insurer need not warn a claimant who is represented by counsel of the applicable statute of limitations. (Superior Dispatch, Inc. v. Insurance Corp. of N.Y. (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 175, 189–190 (construing 10 Cal.C.Regs. §§ 2695.4(a), 2695.7(f)).) The contractual limitations period is the one year period in the policy. A statute of limitations period is a statute providing a time limit to bring a lawsuit, regardless of what the policy says.  (Jan 3, 2013 | post #1)


Landlords must provide reasonable accomodations to disabl...

Attorney Michael Papuc represent landlords and tenants in eviction matters in San Francisco. Landlords must make reasonable accommodations to tenants who are disabled under the Fair Housing Act. Unlawful discrimination under the FHA includes "a refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford [handicapped] person[s] equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling ... "[42 USC § 3604(f) (3)(B) (brackets added); see Gamble v. City of Escondido (9th Cir. 1997) 104 F3d 300, 307—statute requires "reasonable accommodation " for housing, not health care facilities; Giebeler v. M & B Assocs. (9th Cir. 2003) 343 F3d 1143, 1146–1147— landlords have affirmative duty under FHA to reasonably accommodate disabled persons' needs with regard to physical accommodation as well as administrative rental policies; Shapiro v. Cadman Towers (2nd Cir. 1995) 51 F3d 328, 333–334 (modification of landlord's first-come/first-s erved parking assignment policy to accommodate tenant suffering from multiple sclerosis); see also McGary v. City of Portland (9th Cir. 2004) 386 F3d 1259, 1263–1264—homeowne r with AIDS stated "reasonable accommodation " claim against City for denying request for additional time to clean yard to comply with nuisance abatement ordinance and putting lien on house to pay for clean-up] A question arises where a disabled tenant is terrifying other tenants in the building. When the tenant is committing a nuisance, the landlord has a right to evict the tenant. A landlord has a duty to provide quiet enjoyment of the premises to tenants who rent from the landlord. When a tenant disturbs the other tenants, by creating a nusiance, the landlord has an affirmative duty to correct the problem, even if correction may require the landlord to evict a disabled tenant. "[T]he covenant of quiet enjoyment requires a reasonable response by the landlord, which may include conducting an investigation and thereafter, taking appropriate action, which may include, inter alia, the issuance of a warning to the offending party, the pursuit of injunctive relief against the tenant to enjoin the violation, or, if necessary, the commencement of eviction proceedings." [Andrews v. Mobile Aire Estates, supra, 125 CA4th at 584, 597.]  (Dec 21, 2012 | post #1)