A California court has dismissed Westamerica Bancorp's unfair competition complaint against a longtime local banker, paving the way for him to open a new community bank in Auburn, Calif.

But San Rafael-based Westamerica is still seeking repayment from John G. Briner for a severance package it awarded him last April, after Westamerica acquired Mr. Briner's former employer, Vallicorp Holdings Inc., Fresno, Calif. Mr. Briner was regional president at Vallicorp.

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