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Square Footage in Commercial Leases

Entering into a commercial lease is a complex undertaking that can be fraught with danger without the right attorney advising you. Every section, paragraph, sentence, and word has legal implications. For example, one issue that may seem clear is merely stating the square footage to be leased. However, we recently assisted a client who wanted [..]

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How do I Know if I have a Wrongful Death Claim?

The loss of a loved one is a traumatic experience in the lives of those who remain. No matter what caused the death of your loved one, your life is forever changed. Nothing can bring your loved one back. But filing a wrongful death claim can help you heal by taking the time to mourn [..]

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Negotiating Down Judgments for Pennies on the Dollar

Recently, a client came to us after having a considerable judgment entered against his company. Fortunately, we negotiated a settlement agreement to satisfy the judgment for less than the full amount owed. Bankruptcy is not the only option. A money judgment may be satisfied either upon full payment of the amount necessary to fulfill the [..]

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What to do with credit card accounts after a death?

If a family member dies, the executor can notify the creditors. If you’re handling the estate, gather the bills, call the credit card companies, and tell them the account holder has passed. Also send them a letter with a copy of the death certificate. Include a note with the deceased’s name and credit card account number. Keep [..]

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Immediate Discovery Before The Responsive Pleadings Are Filed

I am often asked whether there is a benefit to beginning discovery as soon as possible. Well, as usual, the answer is: it depends. The right to discovery generally does not depend on the status of the pleadings. (i.e., the case need not be “at issue.”) But if defendant has raised jurisdictional challenges, the court may grant a protective [..]

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Marital Trust Assets Valued Without Deduction for Claims Against Trustee.

The Ninth Circuit, affirmed a Tax Court ruling, by holding that the value of three marital trusts created under the will of the decedent’s husband, were calculated without consideration of claims against the decedent for breach of fiduciary duty in litigation in transactions involving loans, and also valued claims held by the decedent’s estate for [..]

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Surcharge Trustee

When a trustee breaches his or her fiduciary duty, causing financial damage to the trust, trust beneficiaries may bring an action against the trustee for “surcharge.” This means that the trustee should compensate the trust for the damage he or she caused. A surcharge will require the trustee to repay to the trust whatever funds [..]

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Collecting Personal Loan After Bankruptcy

I am often asked this question: “I loaned by friend money, now he claimed bankruptcy, what can I do?” Often, the sad answer is not much. You can hope for a voluntary payment of debt after bankruptcy discharge. Sometimes, but not often, a debtor may feel some moral obligation to repay a debt discharged in [..]

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Homeowner, As Third Party Beneficiary of Construction Contract, Entitled to Recover Attorney Fees Against Subcontractor.

In Loduca v. Polyzos (2007), 153 CA4th 334, the plaintiff property owner successfully sued a subcontractor for breach of the contract between the subcontractor and the general contractor as a third party beneficiary of the contract. The trial court awarded plaintiff attorney fees based on an attorney fees provision in the contract. Defendant subcontractor appealed the attorney fee award. The Court of Appeal affirmed that under California Civil [..]

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