Publications

IMPORTANT ESTATE PLANNING LAW CHANGES - THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER RELIEF ACT

Happy New Year! As you know, Congress celebrated the new year by stepping out with some new tax legislation in response to the 2012 "fiscal cliff." This tax legislation, known as the "American Taxpayer Relief Act," was signed into law by President Obama on January 2, 2013.

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INSURING TITLE TO SUBDIVIDED LAND

Does a standard title insurance policy provide assurance that real property can be sold as subdivided parcels, as shown on a recorded parcel map? A recent court decision reaffirms that the answer is no. It may be possible, however, to purchase an endorsement that will provide coverage.

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CAN AN INTERVENING INSURANCE COMPANY SUE FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT?

A recent case questioned the legal basis for an intervening insurance company, on behalf of its suspended developer insured, to directly sue subcontractors for various causes of action including: indemnity, breach of warranty, declaratory relief, negligence, and most notably breach of contract for failure to obtain additional insured endorsements and duty to defend.

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MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES BLOWING UP IN SMOKE

The medical use of marijuana is a hot topic in California. The regulation of dispensaries has generated numerous land use regulations, and landlord-tenant disputes now before the California Supreme Court. Dispensary regulation creates a mechanism for local government oversight of medical marijuana cultivation and distribution.

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CALIFORNIA COURT FINDS DEED OF TRUST ENFORCEABLE DESPITE FAILURE TO NAME A TRUSTEE

In Shuster v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP (2012) WL 5984222, the plaintiff/borrowers had borrowed the sum of $670,000, executing a deed of trust as security for the loan. The deed of trust failed to name a trustee. After the borrowers defaulted, the beneficiary recorded a substitution of trustee "substituting" a new corporate trustee. The substituted trustee held a non-judicial foreclosure sale of the property. The borrowers then filed suit, seeking to set aside the sale.

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EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS UNDER DISABILITY LAWS

The laws governing employers' obligations with respect to disabled employees are complex, and employers should tread carefully when faced with a disability-related request by an employee. The following covers some basic employer obligations under both federal and state laws with regards to disabled employees.

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TIMEKEEPING ISSUES: CAN EMPLOYERS ROUND EMPLOYEES' PUNCH IN/OUT TIMES BY THE NEAREST TENTH?

Timekeeping...you already know that all California employers are required to keep copious records of an employee's time in and out for purposes of paying wages and overtime, and ensuring that meal periods are taken. A common and long-standing practice in timekeeping is to round to the nearest tenth of an hour.

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