California Legal Blog

Real estate disputes: Can a seller sue if house fails to sell?

For many California residents and commercial property owners, the year ahead includes a long to-do list that includes the task of selling a home or commercial building. Such ventures are typically not without their challenges. However, when sellers are familiar with state codes and regulations and are able to negotiate fair deals with prospective buyers, chances for successful outcomes are high. The story may be quite different though if real estate disputes arise.

That's what happened in another state when a company attempted to sell a multi-million dollar property it owned at the time. The company's problems began when the home failed to sell. Upon close inspection of the online site that had listed the property on the market, the company noticed that Zillow Group had an estimated value listed in a conspicuous location on the page that was merely half of the home's listing price.

Business litigation filed against Sheeran, McGraw and Hill

Millions of music fans in California and beyond enjoy listening to the top-of-the-charts hits for which country music and pop music stars Ed Sheeran, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are known for performing. Although McGraw and Hill are mainly known for their country music songs, they recently released a hit that Sheeran wrote for them. The situation has led to business litigation whereupon two Australian songwriters claim Sheeran stole a song that already existed, which they wrote.

The Australian team is comprised of Sean Carey and Beau Golden. They have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Sheeran, McGraw, Hill, Sony Music Entertainment and several others listed as co-defendants. The team claims a hit they wrote called, "When I Found You," in 2014 has been copied (in some sections, verbatim) by Sheeran in the song McGraw and Hill released together, "The Rest of Our Life," in 2017.

Should you consider using divorce mediation?

For many years, Kate and Harrison’s marriage seemed to be going great—until it wasn’t. Now they’ve agreed that divorce is their best option. They’ve also agreed to equal custody of the children. However, they are disputing what to do with their rental property. Harrison wants to keep it, while Kate believes it would be better to sell it. There is also significant shared debt. The divorce is further complicated by a substantial number of assets to divide. Kate’s attorney has recommended the soon to be ex-couple try divorce mediation.

What is divorce mediation?

Business litigation: Is Ford a diesel cheater? Court will decide

A lawsuit has been filed against Ford Motor Company. Since 2015, a long list of automakers, including Ford, have been accused of diesel cheating -- rigging vehicles to beat emissions tests. Ford owners in California may want to keep tabs on this business litigation case.

The current complaint against Ford Motor Company says that at least two of its top selling diesel pickup trucks are operating on highways throughout the nation at nitrogen oxide pollutant levels approximately 50 times higher than the legal limit. A Ford spokesperson adamantly stated that all Ford vehicles comply with Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emissions regulations. The spokesperson further asserted that the company plans to aggressively defend itself against the current, baseless allegations.

My Tenants Haven’t Paid Their Rent, Now What?

You thought that the new tenants were going to be trouble-free. Their background check came back clean, and there were no red flags at the beginning, but they are late on the rent. What are your options at this point to collect the rent that is due, and if you can’t do that, what are the steps to evict tenants? Here are your rights according to Nevada law.

The Right To Rent Due

Opioid manufacturer battling its way through business litigation

Many people in California have, at some point in their lives, taken prescription pain relief medication for various acute or chronic conditions. The manufacturer of a frequently prescribed opioid used for such purposes is currently involved in business litigation where city officials in another state have accused the company of trying to turn a profit by knowingly making its product available in illegal drug markets. As often happens in business litigation situations, complications have arisen that have caused frustration for the plaintiffs in this case.

The pain medication in question is OxyContin. A city in the northwestern part of the country filed a lawsuit two years back against Purdue Pharma, claiming the drugmaker was involved in illicit profit-making activities by allowing its product to be sold in pill mills. A federal judicial panel recently ordered this particular case to be joined with approximately 60 other similar cases pending in federal courts throughout the nation.

Former SNL star says wife should get spousal support in divorce

Life as an actor or other type of entertainer in California (or anywhere for that matter) is often filled with challenges, especially for those who happen to be married with children. Sometimes, life on the road or traveling back and forth between a family home and hotel can place undue hardships on marital relationships. Unfortunately, some marriages can't survive the pressure. SNL alumnus, Bill Hader, may relate to this description as he has recently filed for divorce from his Maggie Carey, a screenwriter and director.

The two have worked together on creative projects in the past. They also have three children together, ages 3, 5 and 8. They've been married since 2006, but Hader cited irreconcilable differences in his filing for divorce.

Estate planning lessons to be learned from music stars' mistakes

The music and entertainment world in California and around the globe was rocked to its core when several pop superstars suffered untimely deaths. Prince, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston were central figures in the pop music industry for most of their careers. In addition to remembering them for the international impact they made with their musical talents, many people now mention their names when discussing major estate planning errors to avoid.

One doesn't have to be wealthy to execute an estate plan. Regardless of the size of a particular estate, signing documents, such as a last will and testament or implementing a trust, may prevent major complications and stress for family members down the line. Prince, for instance, died with no final will or estate plan in place. Because he had no known children at the time of his death, nor had listed any heir to his estate, his death has led to an ongoing legal battle where as many as 45 people have come forward claiming they should inherit his assets. Some even say they are his biological children.

What causes a business partnership to sour?

When you’re starting a business with a partner, it may seem like you two are perfectly in sync and will never have an issue with one another. The reality is that most business partners will butt heads once in a while.

A dispute between business partners can have a big impact on the company, its employees and the bottom line. How can entrepreneurs who are beginning their partnership now avoid a potential fight in the future?

Importance of equalization in estate planning and succession

There are many family-run businesses in California and throughout the nation. Astute business owners understand the importance of thorough estate planning, especially when it comes to executing business succession plans. This can be a tricky process because many family-run businesses include several adult children who may not agree on or be capable of managing the company in question.

Let's say there are two siblings who are very good with finances and business management and another sibling who doesn't really have a head for business but desires to obtain his or her share of inheritance. An estate owner can use the equalization process to ensure that assets (including those associated with the family business) will be distributed fairly and equitably when the time comes to administer his or her estate. However, it may not be necessary to transfer specific ownership of the business to the adult child who is not capable of running it and may not even want anything to do with the business in the future.

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