Publications Archives

Why a Divorce Attorney is a Good Investment

Posted on January 19, 2016

The statistics vary, but it is noted that between 60 and 70% of the litigants in Family Court (the courts that process divorces and other family law matters) are self-represented, meaning they do not have an attorney. Of that 60 to 70%, about half of the individuals can afford an attorney, but are opting not to hire one. The other half are not able to afford an attorney. So why are litigants choosing to represent themselves if they can afford an attorney? Let's explore the benefits of hiring a divorce attorney and why a divorce attorney is a sound investment.

New Employment Laws for 2016

By: Allyson K. Thompson

2015 was another busy year for the California Legislature when it came to adopting new employment related laws that are effective in 2016. While this list is not exhaustive, it provides an overview of the key legislation employers in California should be aware of.

When Spouses are Living "Separate and Apart" for Purposes of Determining When the Community Estate Stops Accumulating

By:

The California Supreme Court has defined the rule as to when a couple is considered separated for purposes of cessation of community property.  Prior to the California Supreme Court's definitive "line-drawn-in-the-sand" ruling in In re Marriage of Davis (7/20/2015), the concept of when parties are considered separated might be explained as follows:

Two New Laws Significantly Affecting Piece Rate Employers

By: Kyle D. Kring

The California legislature recently passed two bills that were significantly amended late in the legislative session.  Senate Bill 588 was passed on September 10, 2015 and Assembly Bill 1513 was passed late in the day on the last day of the legislative session, September 11, 2015. Both bills are effective January 1, 2016, and will have a significant impact on employers who have paid employers piece rate compensation anytime over the past four years.

How a Detailed Job Description Can Prevent Violation of California's New Fair Pay

By: Kyle D. Kring and Faheem A. Tukhi

California has historically proven itself a leader in progressing women's rights and was one of the first states to adopt a statewide Equal Pay Act. Despite this, the California Legislature determined that in 2014, women in California who work full-time make only 84 cents for every dollar a male makes during the same amount of time, which amounts to a staggering $33 billion dollar loss for the state and families. To combat this, California's new Fair Pay Act (Senate Bill 358) - which takes effect on January 1, 2016 - intends to close that gap by modifying existing laws and requiring employers to pay men and women equal pay for "substantially similar" work.

Seller Beware: Disclosing Construction Defects and Lawsuits in the Sale of a Residence

By: Lance A. Adair

The old saying "let the buyer beware" is of little relevance to California real estate transactions. If you are contemplating the sale of your home in California and have had construction defects or a prior lawsuit involving defects in your home, you should be aware of the basic disclosure requirements under California law.

Requests for Admission - A Back Door to Recovery of Attorney's Fees in Personal Injury Cases

Under California law, an award of attorney's fees is typically not available to a prevailing party at trial. The most common exceptions to this rule are statutes authorizing recovery of attorney's fees for particular actions and contracts authorizing recovery of attorney's fees in breach of contract actions. However, in personal injury lawsuits, the loser typically does not pay the winner's attorney's fees.

When Howell V. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. ("Howell") Meets The Uninsured Plaintiff

By: Grant R. Mullen

In Bermudez v. Ciolek (No. G049510, filed June 22, 2015, Superior Court Case No. 30-2012-00539759), the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three, held that an uninsured plaintiff's (no medical insurance) unpaid medical bills, substantiated by medical expert testimony regarding the reasonableness and necessity of the medical charges, were properly admitted and were sufficient evidence to support an award of damages.

Let it Fall! - Court of Appeals Precludes Recovery of Preventive Costs under Standard Homeowners Insurance Policy

By: Paul T. McBride

In Grebow v. Mercury Insurance, published on October 23, 2015, the Court of Appeals rejected a homeowners' claim that an implied duty to reimburse costs incurred by the homeowner to prevent an insurable loss is imposed on a homeowners' insurance carrier. At first blush, this decision may appear unfair, since the homeowners efforts saved the carrier money in the long run. However, the Court justified its conclusion by stating that the homeowners' argument would convert a loss policy into a maintenance agreement, which is not what the parties intended when the policy was purchased.

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