California Legal Blog

Avoid business litigation by protecting trade secrets

Most California business owners understand the importance of trade secrets security. If a design, system, recipe or client list falls into the wrong hands, it can mean ultimate defeat in a competitive environment. While many business leaders understand that they need to protect their trade secrets, just as many are unsure how to do so. Business litigation often results when trade secret problems get out of hand.  

Trade secret protection can begin in the hiring process of a company. Asking new hires to sign nondisclosure agreements can help ensure that protected intellectual property and other valuable information will remain under wraps should that employee ever be fired or quit his or her position. Instituting a trade secrets protection quality assurance team can also help avoid breaches of contract and other trade secret problems.  

Divorce is tough, especially during the holidays

When California parents decide they no longer wish to remain married, they are often concerned with how their decision will affect their children. Studies show kids fare best when parents make focused efforts to maintain a sense of normalcy and routine after divorce, especially regarding family customs and holiday celebrations. There are several things divorced parents can do to avoid custody stress during the holidays.  

It all starts with the co-parenting plan. Thankfully, such plans can be customized to fit a particular family's needs and post-divorce parenting goals. The court must approve parents' plans; however, there are no rules regarding how specific the terms of a court order can be.  

American space icon's intended heirs request legal guardianship

California baby boomers may be among those who remember watching TV news clips about astronaut Buzz Aldrin and his fellow space team members as they landed on the moon. Aldrin is living out his elder years at this time, which have sadly been negatively affected by a contentious battle with his intended heirs, specifically, one of his sons and his daughter. The two adult children say their father is mentally incapacitated and have therefore petitioned the court to appoint them as legal guardians.  

Aldrin's two children, along with his former business manager, have stated that the space hero's interests are at risk because he has begun to associate with people who are manipulating his decisions and trying to take advantage of him due to his incapacitated mental state. Aldrin has adamantly denied the allegations and further stated that there is no basis for the idea that his mental health is compromised. Due to his children's guardianship petition, however, he was recently scheduled to undergo several mental health examinations to determine whether he is able to act on his own behalf regarding his estate or any other personal medical or financial matters.  

What does divorce mediation look like?

The divorce process can be difficult. Deciding to split with your spouse is a big decision that has a variety of effects. Divorce is often stressful and can take an emotional toll on both parties involved, as well as the lives of your children.

Mediation is one way to lessen the stress of divorce for you and your ex, and your children. It is an alternative that can help resolve a divorce calmly and cooperatively.

Real estate disputes lead to lawsuit seeking millions in damages

A project developer in another state has filed a lawsuit against a homeowner who he says has breached a contract they both signed. Litigation was fueled by real estate disputes that erupted when the homeowner decided not to sell his house to the builder, which, he claims, he had the right to do. California builders or property owners currently facing contract problems may want to review this case.  

The builder had plans to buy a house that is situated in a location near three other properties he already owns. The homeowner reportedly agreed (in writing) to sell the triple story house for $700,000. At some point, the owner of the house decided it was worth far more than that; in fact, he later said he believes he could get more than $2 million for the house, which led to him retracting his offer to sell to the developer.  

Contract-related issues regarding California construction law

Many California homeowners will enter signed agreements with contractors this summer. Most will carefully review applicable construction law ahead of time to avoid trouble down the line. However, even if a particular party signing an agreement has done the research, any number of things can still go wrong to cause completion delays or legal disputes.

When a homeowner is having construction work done, it's always best to make sure there are no hidden costs and also to thoroughly discuss the scope of a proposed project as well as payment issues. Asking an experienced contract negotiator to review a prospective agreement before signing can draw attention to potential problems that may lead to major legal issues if left unresolved. Sometimes construction work gets done on time and everything appears to be fine until a homeowner finds defects or other problems with the work.

Counter litigation filed in real estate disputes

A man in another state has canceled a proposed deal to sell the home he has owned for approximately 30 years. He was under contract with a building developer, who happens to already own several lots on the same street. The man had agreed to purchase the home for $700,000. Those dealing with real estate disputes in California may want to follow this case.

Not only has the seller backed out on the agreement, he has accused agents working on behalf of the developer of physical assault, stalking and other acts of intimidation. The homeowner contends that the contract terms included a provision that allowed him to change his mind on the sale. The buyer has apparently been paying the man $1,000 per month for more than a year and recently let him know that he is now ready to take over the title.  

Britney Spears and former spouse disagree about child support

Pop music star Britney Spears is the mother of two sons. She is no longer married to their father. Their breakup was plastered all over news headlines in great detail, reportedly causing Spears to suffer a mental breakdown in 2007. California parents currently facing child support disputes may relate to what this former couple has gone through since then.  

When Spears fell apart emotionally and mentally, something she is certainly not the first parent to do when going through divorce, the court appointed her father as conservator, giving him authority to make financial decisions on her behalf. Spears has been paying $20,000 per month in child support for her sons. She also covers expenses related to things like tuition and travel.  

What is a special needs trust?

Many people know someone who has special needs. That means they have a disability (either physically or mentally) and require additional help and support. A trust in business is a relationship which gives the trustee the right to hold on to possessions or resources for the beneficial party. So, you may ask yourself what is a special needs trust?

Avoid problems related to parenting plans in divorce

Every California family is unique and those who are currently navigating divorce may need some extra support to overcome the challenges that arise. Creating new parenting plans is often the most difficult part of divorce, especially if parents do not agree on certain issues. There are several ways to avoid major post-divorce stress, all of which include each parent's willingness to act in children's best interests.  

In fact, one of the best ways to keep post-divorce stress to a minimum is to be mindful that divorce has to do with a marriage that didn't work out, not a parent/child relationship. There are indeed situations with a parental matter (such as abuse) has prompted a divorce; however, such situations are atypical and may require an alternative approach. In most divorce situations, the more parents are willing to cooperate and compromise for the sake of their children, the better.  

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