Category Archives: Business / Commercial Law

Poniatowski Parikh Commercial Property Creditors Rights

Judgment In Favor Of PLP Law Client Upheld On Appeal Against Competing Secured Creditor In A Lien Priority Dispute

We represented a judgment lien creditor that sought priority of its attachment/judgment lien against the holder of a senior deed of trust in an interpleader action. This was to determine which party was entitled to nearly $300,000 in surplus funds after a trustee’s sale of commercial real property in Hayward, CA.

Hayward Commercial Real Estate Proceeds Subject to Creditor Dispute

After a 4-day bench trial in 2016 between these two competing secured creditors, the trial court entered judgment in favor our client, even though our client’s lien was recorded after the opposing party pension plan’s deed of trust. Continue reading

Workers Contractors or Employees PLPLaw AB5

Employers: Focus on the “B” of the ABC Test When Analyzing Contractor vs Employee Status Under AB5

We have been asked for guidance by many of our small business clients regarding the classification of workers as either independent contractors or employees based on the new California law known as AB 5.

Defining Independent Contractor Status Under AB-5

There are certain labor law requirements triggered when a worker is considered an employee rather than an independent contractor. A full discussion of them is beyond the scope of this blog. But, as most employers know, the additional labor law and tax requirements applicable to employees, compared to independent contractors, are significant.

Now we have AB 5, which is a new law effective January 1, 2020. Continue reading

Business Lawyers Real Estate Attorneys Creditors Rights Poniatowski

Poniatowski Leding Parikh Law Corporation Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary

We are proud to be celebrating thirty years of serving as legal advisors to businesses and individuals in Alameda County and Northern California.

Thirty Years of Handling Client Legal Matters in Northern California

Castro Valley Business Lawyer, Pleasanton Landlord lawyer, real estate attorneyFrom the day we opened our doors in a small office in Castro Valley dedicated to business law and real estate law, our mission has been to provide prompt, quality, results oriented representation and practical advice to our clients. We are proud to have stayed true to this objective over these three busy, challenging decades. Continue reading

commercial lease negotiation agreement terms Ponlaw

Seven Key Commercial Lease Terms to Examine Before Signing

When negotiating a commercial lease, every clause in the agreement must be examined to see how it defines your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and the rights and responsibilities of the landlord. Here are some of the many common lease terms you should look for that corporate real estate tenants need to negotiate:

Clearly Defined Premises

Many leases do not clearly describe what you are renting. Your lease should clearly define your space, its size, and whether the size is on a rentable or usable basis. If your lease refers only to your usable space, get an explanation regarding the difference and include that language in the contract. Continue reading

Contract Terms Statute of Limitations Poniatowski Leding Parikh

The Statute of Limitations on a Contract May Be Different Than You Think

Most business and real estate attorneys assume that the statute of limitations on an oral contract is two years, and on a written contract is 4 years. These are boilerplate assumptions that can trap a businessperson or a landlord; they do not always hold true once we delve into the specifics of a case. Continue reading

Commercial Lease Negotiation Client PLP Law

There is No Such Thing as Boilerplate Language in Commercial Real Estate Agreements

As we start work in 2019 in earnest, the commercial leasing market remains very active. We find ourselves representing a number of commercial landlords and tenants in connection with long-term commercial leases.  One area in which we are adding great value is in the examination of “boilerplate language” within a proposed agreement that actually needs customization to protect our clients’ interests.

Great Commercial Lease Agreements Contain No Boilerplate

Most recently we represented a well-established auto body shop that sold its business to a national auto body and collision repair chain. As part of that transaction, the new owners leased the building that our client, the seller, owned to become the client’s tenant.  Continue reading

Open Credit to Foreign Corporations legal issues

Extending Credit Terms to Out-of-State Corporations

We are often asked by credit managers in California if there are any additional credit approval criteria to consider when a proposed customer and credit applicant is an out-of-state (“foreign”) corporation. While each case is fact-specific, there are some general factors for credit managers to consider that uniquely apply to extending open account credit terms to foreign corporations doing business in California.

Working with Foreign Corporations in California

The first step is to confirm that the corporation has registered with the California Secretary of State as a foreign corporation doing business in California. Continue reading

Written Co-Ownership Agreement Poniatowski Leding Parikh

The Risks of Co-Ownership Agreements

Co-ownership of properties is a very common financial arrangement in real estate. With two or more persons involved in a purchase, their combined buying power can expand the number of properties that they can pursue. One party involved may also provide a higher credit score or more substantial assets that could win better loan terms.

Co-ownership lowers the business risk for both partners because it becomes a shared risk, rather than one which must be borne by a single person. However, these are long-term business relationships (even those between family members), and time can change the motivations of the people involved. Indeed, one partner may decide they wish to exit, and has the legal right to do so (more on that below.) Much can go wrong in a co-ownership partnership, if the possibility of these future issues arising is not accounted for in the initial partnership agreement.

How co-ownership can become problematic  Continue reading

Business Debt Collection Ideas PLP Law Attorney

How a Business Can Improve Debt Collection

One of the most frustrating areas of maintaining a successful business is collecting on receivables. It has been said that “a sale to a customer is no more than a gift, until the payment for it has been collected and gets deposited in the bank.” Many businesses learn this truth the hard way, generating great sales and revenue, but suffering from terrible cash flow because payments due are not forthcoming in a timely manner.

Improving Debt Collection

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Appellate Court Holds That Attorneys Fees Not Recoverable Even Though Credit Application Contained A “Prevailing Party Attorneys Fees” Clause

business contract transaction agreement signatures

Many businesses rely on a credit application for the terms and conditions of its sales to its customers. Often the credit application is the only document that the customer actually signs. Relying on invoices, purchase orders, bills of lading, delivery tickets and the like that are not signed by the customer in the ordinary course of business will not support an award of attorneys fees in the event of a collection action and judgment. This is true even though these documents may contain a prevailing party attorneys fees clause.  Because the credit application is usually signed by the customer, however, the creditor/seller often successfully relies on the prevailing party attorneys fees clause in the signed credit application for an award of attorneys fees in the event of collection litigation and judgment. Continue reading