Estate Planning Myths Debunked

What are some misconceptions about estate planning in California?

For many Californians, estate planning remains shrouded in mystery.  If you have never studied the subject or explored the topic with an estate planning attorney, you might hold some common misconceptions about estate planning.  The following is a look at a few estate planning myths and some helpful information to set the record straight:

Myth #1: A Will must be notarized in California in order to be…

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Tech Company Interactions Move Back to the Courtroom

Q: Are the courts up to speed with respect to tech-related disputes?

In the early days of the technology revolution, the sentiment among newly-emerging tech companies was that tech was evolving too fast for the old-fashioned laws and the outdated legal system to keep up. This resulted in many tech companies opting to fly loose and take liberties with their behavior—hoping either to not get caught infringing upon another business’s rights or to find enough…

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Avoid the Iceberg™ of Workplace Discrimination Claims

How can an employer protect itself from discrimination and other employment-related claims?

With the exception of small “mom-and-pop” shops, successful business owners must relinquish control of certain business operations to executives and managers in order to expand and grow. The potential down side of this delegation of power is that errors in judgment or intentional actions by these supervisory employees can land the company in a courtroom. Discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination claims are just…

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GrubHub Gets a Taste of Drivers’ Labor Lawsuit

Q: Are on-demand, app-based drivers employees or independent contractors?

With fast food workers successfully protesting to receive a higher minimum wage, it should come as no surprise that other food industry workers would want to improve their own position in the workplace.

There have been several recent suits in California and elsewhere against ride-hailing giant, Uber, claiming the company misclassified its taxi-like drivers as independent contractors instead of employees in an effort to avoid paying its…

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The Unique Challenges of Estate Planning in Blended Families

How can I safeguard my child’s inheritance from my current spouse?

Unlike the couple whose first marriage stood the test of time and who are parents together exclusively to the same children, those who have multiple marriages and/or blended families sometimes face unique estate planning issues.

Each spouse generally enters the subsequent marriage with assets of their own, some or all of which may remain separate after the union. While the couple may have children together,…

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Class Action Suit Brought by Lyft Drivers Granted Preliminary Approval by U.S. District Court Judge

What is happening in the class action suit brought by Lyft drivers? 

Lyft is one of several competing ride-hailing taxi companies that pay freelance drivers from all over the country to ferry passengers to their destinations. As the company has grown larger and more successful, drivers have become increasingly dissatisfied with their earnings. Eventually, they filed a class-action lawsuit in an effort to increase their wages and be treated as actual “employees.”

In April, Lyft responded…

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The Effect of New Overtime Rules on Small Businesses

What are the effects of new overtime rules on small businesses?

According to new regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor, as of this past December, approximately 4.2 million more Americans have become eligible for overtime pay. As long as you own a small business with full-time employees, this change is likely to affect you.

The new regulation stipulates that hourly workers, lower-wage earners and non-managerial workers must now be paid overtime wages, one and a…

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Business And Corporate Law—What Is Your Risk Of Litigation?

An attorney can gauge your risk of liability by evaluating the corporate form or business association.  Several of these structures may include an S Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), or a Partnership.  Under California law, you may have the ability to form a special or public purpose corporation.  Your attorney can advise you of the statutes that must be followed, such as the California Corporations Code or the Corporate Flexibility Act, as well…

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An Employer’s Potential Liability for Workers’ Harmful Acts

Is an employer liable for damages caused by the actions of its workers?

When an employee, acting within the scope of the job, commits a crime, such as sexual assault or rape, or another wrongful act that harms another, the employer may be vicariously and/or directly liable to the victim for damages. Yet when such crimes are committed by an independent contractor, the employer may be shielded from liability. So the difference between job classifications…

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Employers Beware—Claims by Independent Contractors are Rising

Are independent contractors entitled to Worker’s Compensation and other benefits for injuries due to an accident on the job?

In most states, employees are protected for claims for injuries and lost wages suffered as a result of an accident while working. Worker’s Compensation insurance, (“Worker’s Comp”) which employers with employees are required to pay into, is a fund that allows for the prompt payment of medical bills and lost wages of the injured employee.

The policy…

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