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Five Tips Landlords Should Know

Oakland Business Attorney Offers Advice

Being a landlord can have its benefits, but it can also be a trap for the unwary. Failure to know your rights and responsibilities as a landlord can be costly, both in time and money. Here are a few tips to protect yourself and your rental business.

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Commercial Real Estate 1031 Tax-Deferred Exchanges

Commercial Real Estate 1031 Tax-Deferred Exchanges Require Advance Planning and Coordination

 

To derive the maximum possible tax-advantaged benefit from a commercial real estate exchange, and properly comply with IRS Section 1031 Exchange timing and paperwork mandates, add an experienced legal advisor to oversee and coordinate the services provided by commercial real estate agents, CPAs and title companies. Continue reading

Res Judicata Cannot Be Used to Shield Fraudulent Debtor Behavior

In the recent case of Wells Fargo Bank, National Association v. Weinberg, the Court set an important precedent that applies to the amendment of judgments to add individual debtors as alter egos of the corporation:

 

“The doctrine of res judicata1 did not bar the amendment of a judgment to add an alter ego2 as a judgment debtor, even if the issue of alter ego could have been raised earlier, as long as alter ego liability is a separate and distinct claim from the underlying action.”

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Creditors Rights Attorney Representing Secured Creditors Beware

Creditors Rights Attorneys Must Recognize Clarified Stay Termination Requirements for Chapter 7 Cases

There is a common misconception among both creditors and creditors rights attorneys that once property is abandoned by the Chapter 7 Trustee in a bankruptcy, the protection of the automatic bankruptcy stay no longer applies. This would free a secured creditor with an interest in the abandoned property to enforce its rights in the property. However, the Ninth Circuit made clear in Gasprom, Inc. v. Fateh (In Re Gasprom), 500 B.R. 598 (2013), that the Trustee’s abandonment of property alone is not sufficient to terminate the full protection of the automatic bankruptcy stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362.  Creditors must wait until the stay is formally terminated by the court or by the closing of the bankruptcy case. A foreclosure attorney must ensure that an automatic stay is terminated, or that the bankruptcy case is closed, before issuing guidance that the client may proceed with foreclosure. Continue reading

Landlord and Tenant to Agree

Landlord Tenant Attorney Examines Importance of Understanding Commercial Lease TermsSan Francisco Bay Area Commercial Attorneys

We recently represented a commercial tenant that the landlord attempted to evict. The landlord filed an unlawful detainer complaint based on the tenant’s failure to timely exercise the first of three five-year lease extension options. (By “timely exercise” we mean written notice from tenant to landlord of their intent to extend the lease, received by the landlord on or before the due date stated in the lease agreement.) This case has a specific aspect to it that created some doubt as to when notice was due: The commercial lease had been amended four times and extended by two years during the first five-year term.

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Court Limits Scope Of Guarantor Waivers

Note to readers: This brief post covers only one key aspect of this important case. There are other ramifications for contractual relationships that could impact you. Check with us for more details if you have an interest, or any concerns.

In the recent court case of California Bank & Trust v. Del Ponti, the court set an important precedent that applies to disputes on commercial loans between property developers and lenders.  In effect, a commercial lender cannot enforce waivers in guarantee agreements which are unlawful or otherwise contravene public policy.  Guarantor waivers are limited to certain legal and statutory defenses specifically set forth in the agreements, but not equitable defenses.  Continue reading

Failure to Pay Dividend Led to Chapter 13 Case Dismissal

The Failure To Pay The Promised Dividend To Unsecured Creditors Was Ruled Grounds For Dismissal Of A Chapter 13 Case, Even If The Debtor Makes All Monthly Plan Payments. 

 In the recent opinion issued in Schlegel v. Billingslea (In Re Schlegel), 14 C.D.O.S. 3166 (March 31, 2015), the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Ninth Circuit addressed for the first time whether a Chapter 13 case with a confirmed plan may be dismissed for the debtors’ failure to pay the approved percentage dividend to unsecured nonpriority creditors during the applicable commitment period, even though the debtors otherwise made all monthly payments due under the confirmed plan.  Continue reading

Legal Counsel Adds Value in a Commercial Property Dispute

Oakland Real Estate Attorney Discusses Why Representation in the Beginning is Best

Commercial Attorney HaywardWe recently represented the purchaser of a commercial business in industrial Hayward who had been served with a commercial unlawful detainer action. As part of the original transaction, the buyer had agreed to sublet the commercial real estate premises from the seller for a period before the purchase was completed. The buyer represented himself during the original purchase agreement, and retained us only a few months after taking possession, after he had been served with the commercial unlawful detainer action.  This action resulted from the seller/sublandlord’s failure to pay the master landlord the rent received each month from our client. We were able to negotiate a settlement on behalf of our client. Continue reading

Legal Considerations for a New Small Business

Law Aspects for Startups to Consider: Discussion by Commercial Attorney Oakland Experts

Business Attorney Pleasanton

Small startup businesses need to plan for bumps in the road ahead and should seriously consider using an established small business attorney. Whether you’re a ragtag Bay Area startup that’s struggling with cash flow and still iterating/restructuring your business model or you’re an experienced entrepreneur with a battle-tested team and a validated set of business assumptions, be aware of the following legal issues that might arise:

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How Far Can Brief Ubiquitous Language Go in Trademarks?

Business Attorney Oakland Law Firm Explores the Nuances of Trademarks

 

Business Attorney Pleasanton“Brief ubiquitous language” refers to small parts of a well-known trade name. Trademark questions often land on gray areas in the legal space. Even if you’re a trained business attorney, you can easily find yourself struggling to understand the subtleties of the Trademark Office’s reasoning. Legal fights over trademark nuances happen all the time. Recently, Apple lost a suit claiming that a smaller company (“DOPi”) could not use Apple’s little “i” in its name.

 

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