California Legal Blog

What to expect when filing a mechanics lien

No contractor enjoys collecting debts. The process requires time, persistence and is just an added nuisance. Many contractors are in charge of paying out other subcontractors, as well. When someone fails to pay you for your work, multiple people feel the sting. Fortunately, there are solutions to an otherwise frustrating problem.

Burt Reynolds omits son from inheritance

Hollywood fans in California and the world over recently mourned the unexpected passing of film superstar, Burt Reynolds. On a recent Monday in another state, Reynolds' final will was filed in court. News regarding the filing included some surprising details about inheritance.

For reasons that may forever remain unclear to the general population, Reynolds appointed his niece, not his son, as the personal representative of his estate. Not only did Reynolds not name his biological offspring as his executor, he included a provision stating that his son was to be explicitly omitted from an inheritance. All of the decedent's final possessions were placed in a trust that his niece now controls.

Commercial truck mogul reportedly signed several wills

A 79-year-old man built a lasting legacy with more than 100 commercial truck centers throughout 22 states, including California. W. Marvin Rush, II, was the founder of the largest truck chain on the North American continent. When the stock market closed for the day on a recent Friday, shares for Rush Enterprises were worth nearly $74 million. W. M. Rush, III, the decedent's son, as well as his third wife (his son's stepmother) are fighting over the shares, each referencing wills the decedent is said to have signed.

Rush's son says his dad left the shares to him when he signed a will in 2006. However, Rush's widow, who also happens to have been his third wife, claims he signed two additional wills several months apart in 2013, which revoked the 2006 will. She also says that her husband never specified in either 2013 will who was to get the shares of his company.

Don't wait too long to start estate planning process

If you're one of many California residents who do not really like to talk about their own mortality, count yourself among a likely majority. However, when it comes to estate planning, not talking about it can lead to problems for your potential heirs and beneficiaries after you die. Several big-ticket Hollywood stars have passed away in recent years without leaving final wills and testaments.

The family disputes and other numerous complications that have arisen in the aftermaths of these situations have made news headlines more than once. Your estate plan needn't necessarily be complex. If you like to keep things simple and organized, you can determine what you think are the most essential documents and execute a personalized plan that meets your needs.

Tinder app stockholders file business litigation against owners

Many California readers are familiar with the Tinder mobile app. For those who are not, it is a mobile social app that allows people to connect and chat and is often used as a dating site. Tinder is owned by InterActiveCorp, and its owners were recently named as defendants in business litigation filed by a group of its first stockholders.

The plaintiffs were some of Tinder's earliest employees during its foundation phase. In fact, several of them are co-founders of the company. They claim that their stock options have been highly depleted because of underhanded actions IAC took to keep them from participating in the app's future success. The plaintiffs say IAC intentionally submitted a low valuation of Tinder before it merged with Match Group.

Real estate disputes sparked by dual agent situation

A class action lawsuit has been filed in another state. The central focus of the real estate disputes has to do with dual agents and whether or not a listing company failed to comply with regulations. The lead plaintiff in the case is a woman who recently purchased a home but now claims certain issues were not properly disclosed to her at the time of the transaction. California home buyers may want to follow this case.

The woman had initially contacted the listing agent of a home that was selling for just under $600,000. Soon afterward, a different agent contacted her to make arrangements to show the house. While there, the agent told her that, if she wanted to make an offer, she should come up in price because there was a bidding war ongoing at the time.  

Making co-parenting a success for you and your kids

Deciding how to divide parenting responsibilities can be complicated. Creating a parenting plan is difficult and figuring out how to execute it can be even more complex. However, successful co-parenting is important for both you and your kids.

Having a good working relationship with your ex and making your kids’ life function smoothly can help ensure a happy and healthy home for both you and your children.

Some child custody situations more complicated than others

Not every child-related family law situation in California is easily resolvable. In some situations, for instance, where biological parents were never married or complex circumstances exist, such as those involving allegations of abuse, the court may have to take numerous factors under consideration before making child custody rulings. An ongoing situation in another state is an example of a case that includes several troubling, extenuating circumstances.  

There are three young children currently in the custody of the state because of serious problems in their home. Prior to becoming wards of the state, the children lived with their biological parents, who are not married. Sadly, the children's mother was reported missing more than four months ago and has not yet been found.  

Right-of-way dispute may lead to further business litigation

One of the oldest railroad companies in the nation is currently involved in a dispute with another railway company that has plans to install a high-speed system in California. Union Pacific Railroad and California High Speed Rail Authority do not see eye to eye regarding a 100-foot wide section of property to which the railroad company currently has a right-of-way. In fact, it has had the right-of-way since Abraham Lincoln himself granted it in the 1860s. Business litigation may be necessary to resolve this problem.  

The passage was a key factor in westward expansion development. California High Speed Rail Authority is trying to install a new track directly alongside the right-of-way section of land. The dispute has been ongoing for some time. In 2010, Union Pacific Railroad wrote to California High Speed Rail Authority, stating that it would not tolerate property rights violations.  

Divorce problems: Are your children being alienated from you?

Most California parents want what is best for their children. Even when married couples divorce, they often try their best to make their children's best interests the central focus of proceedings, especially concerning custody, visitation and support issues. If you had every intention of doing so but your co-parent is making it impossible to peacefully live out a parenting plan agreement, it's understandable that you may feel frustrated and at a loss as to where to seek support.  

Parental alienation syndrome occurs when a parent intentionally attempts to turn his or her children away from the other parent. It often happens when a non-custodial parent is trying to take revenge against a custodial parent. Knowing how to recognize signs of PAS (which is a medical diagnosis) may help you take action against it.  

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