Squat to Own

185574552There’s a new breed of squatter—White Hat Squatters, if you will—who are saving depressed neighborhoods from the blight of abandoned properties and gaining ownership though adverse possession. Continue reading

10 Tips for Monitoring or Litigating Foreclosures

115754429Foreclosures are declining in number, but they’re still occurring at above-normal rates. Whether you’re new to foreclosure practice or have been in it for years, these tips will help you meet the challenges of newly adopted and heavily revised statutes and regulations governing mortgage foreclosure in California. Continue reading

How Far Can a Company Go to Protect Its Online Reputation?

459900649The following is a guest blog post by Harmony Groves Kessler, a solo practitioner assisting individuals, small businesses, and attorneys with legal issues in business contracts/transactions public agency law and family law in northern California. She is the former Mayor of Arcata, California, where she served a four-year term on the City Council.

In today’s world, especially with sources like Yelp, it’s simple to find online reviews of most any company. We often rely on posted comments to get a sense of a business and feel justified to warn other customers when we’ve had a bad experience. Companies are increasing their efforts to monitor their online reputation and keep critical reviews from driving business away. But is punishing a customer for a bad review with a large fine going too far? Continue reading

New Law for CA Commercial and Industrial Common Interest Developments

117333095New year, new law for California commercial and industrial common interest developments (CIDs). CIDs used to be governed by the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, just like residential condominiums and planned developments. But since January 1, 2014, nonresidential CIDs look to an entirely new set of statutes. Continue reading

New Law for California LLCs

174265316

A new law coming into effect in California on January 1, 2014  will govern the formation and operation of all limited liability companies (LLCs) in this state. It’s out with the old and in with the new! Continue reading

Pros and Cons of Paycards

163741759Much of our economy today uses electronic technology, so it seemed inevitable that employers would look into electronic pay. Continue reading

Going to the Chapel in Another State: IRS Ruling Extends Same-Sex Marriage to Couples Nationwide

153140057

In a swift and decisive ruling, the IRS concluded that same-sex couples lawfully married in the state of celebration are married for federal tax purposes regardless of residence. Rev Rul 2013–17. The ruling effectively extends same-sex marriage to couples nationwide. Continue reading

Medical Privacy: the Final Final Rule

56362913In March, at long last, the US Department of Health and Human Services released a final Omnibus Rule on privacy and security of personal health information. Some have labeled the Rule a “sweeping reform,” but, in fact, it largely just replaces and finalizes prior “interim” final rules and proposed rules. But there are some important changes you should know about. Continue reading

Going to the Chapel or Staying Alive: Marital Deduction for Registered Domestic Partners after Windsor

blog_78156121It may not be too soon to draw some inferences from the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v Windsor extending federal law benefits of marriage to lawfully married same-sex spouses.  Continue reading

The Best Interest of the Tribe?

hands_146966132Update: On June 26, 2013, the U.S Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the South Carolina Supreme Court and remanded the case for further proceedings based on its holding that 25 USC §1912(f) (part of the Indian Child Welfare Act) doesn’t apply when the parent opposing the adoption never had custody of the Indian child.

An episode of A&E’s series Longmire (“The Dog Soldier”) delved into the complicated world of Indian child fostering and adoption. The show got the law wrong, but that’s not surprising in this complicated area. Although the Supreme Court may offer some clarity in its upcoming decision on the appeal of Adoptive Couple v Baby Girl (SC 2012) 731 SE2d 550, it would take the wisdom of Solomon, invoked wistfully by Justice Kennedy, to fashion a happy outcome for one Indian child. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: