The Rotary Club of Castro Valley recently honored our firm founder and partner Mark Poniatowski as Rotarian of the Month, along with fellow club members Roland Williams and Bernie Kempen. They were honored for their work establishing the club’s Racial Discrimination Forum and initiating a serious discussion of race in our community.
Mark Poniatowski Founds Castro Valley Rotary Club Racial Discrimination Forum to Explore Community Bias Issues
Here is an excerpt from the club’s announcement: Continue reading
Home title fraud earned the “latest scam” label from the FBI back in 2008. Home title fraud (also known as “deed fraud”) is different from mortgage fraud. Title fraud occurs when someone obtains the title to your home through fraudulent methods. Then, the criminal tries to use your home’s equity to secure as many loans as possible. Homeowners can be completely unaware of this until the lender tries to foreclose on the home. It can take your real estate attorneys months to undo the damage. Continue reading
We have been following a growing narrative in the commercial real estate press that the Covid-19 crisis will foster permanent changes in how companies organize and run their workforces.
Office Space Will Look Very Different Post-COVID-19 With Social Distancing
These rapidly changing needs are already having an impact on commercial real estate:
Title to Co-Ownership of Real Property Put to the Test When Co-Owners Die or Become Incapacitated
We are seeing more and more cases where a co-owner of a jointly owned investment property retains us after the other co-owner dies or becomes incapacitated (as a result of Alzheimer’s or some other illness or accident).
- In the case of the death of the other co-owner, our client is usually now dealing with a successor trustee, executor or administrator of the estate.
- In the case of the incapacity of the other co-owner, our client is usually dealing with an agent under a power of attorney or a conservator.
In many cases, our client is surprised to learn that the vesting language in the deed to the property does not reflect the client’s understanding or intent regarding their ownership share. Continue reading
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
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
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
The method you choose for holding title on your real estate property in California can have unexpected legal and tax consequences, especially years from now when death or disagreement brings change to the relationship between the co-owners.
Given these distant, hard-to-imagine impacts, choosing how title is vested by the co-owners is often an afterthought (or even overlooked)! But the consequences of improper vesting can be devastating. Typically, problems do not arise until many years after the recording of the grant deed that includes the improper vesting. Then, the improper vesting suddenly becomes a problem upon the attempted sale or refinancing of the property, or upon the death or dissolution of marriage of one (or more) of the owners.
The method of holding title is particularly important in partnership and co-ownership situations to make sure that the business agreement of the partners or co-owners is enforceable. Continue reading
When you decide that you must pursue a divorce, the best first step is to hire an attorney to represent you. Selecting an attorney is harder than most people think, though, because you want to work with a lawyer that treats you and your case effectively and respectfully. There has to be a great deal of trust between you, and a comfort level in your day-to-day working relationship, as you will be working closely with your lawyer for many months and sharing very personal information.
This may be why women make up a higher percentage of attorneys in family law practices than in other areas of the law. Given that most divorces still involve a man and a woman, the desire for many women to work with a lawyer of the same gender creates a natural demand for women attorneys in this practice area. Continue reading
It’s usually easier to buy an existing business than to start up your own. This is because everything is already in place, including a customer base. However, there are some things to look for when you buy a fully-operational business. Follow the tips listed below to give yourself a fair chance of success at converting someone else’s business into your own. Continue reading