Plaintiff insurance agents filed a consolidated motion
Plaintiff insurance agents filed a consolidated motion for summary judgment on their claims under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 and for an adjudication that they were employees of defendant under Cal. Lab. Code § 2802 as a matter of law. Defendant insurance carrier moved for partial summary judgment, maintaining that the evidence showed as a matter of law that plaintiffs were independent contractors.
Litigation lawyers deal with non-criminal areas of legal dispute and will help you defending lawsuits or filing legal claims. Plaintiffs were groups of insurance agents licensed through defendant insurance carrier. Previously such agents had been employees of defendant, but the company restructured the agreements, and a case in the US Tax Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit had held that an agent was an independent contractor, not an employee, within the meaning of the federal tax code. Plaintiffs sought reimbursement for business expenses incurred, arguing that they were employees of defendant and entitled to reimbursement pursuant to Cal. Lab. Code § 2802 as a matter of law, and that defendant’s attempt to reclassify them as independent contractors was a sham.
Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment was denied and defendant’s motion for partial summary judgment granted. Although the defendant exercised some control over plaintiffs’ business activities, more factors, such as the fact that plaintiffs were paid by commissions and controlled their expenses dictated that plaintiffs had independent contractor status.
HOLDINGS:  -The trial court erred in sustaining a demurrer to a petition filed pursuant to Prob. Code, § 850, without leave to amend. The petition alleged facts that could support a finding that the execution of a trust document created an irrevocable trust and constituted an effective donative transfer of a life insurance policy to appellant as trustee. Given the irrevocable nature of the trust and the language in the trust document demonstrating the settlor’s intention to immediately transfer ownership of the policy to appellant, upon execution of the trust document, the policy irrevocably became trust property;  -As a result, the settlor would have had no ability to effectuate any further transfer of the trust property. Thus, appellant could petition for, and be entitled to,