Legal

  • Unique Estate Planning Situations: A Quick Overview

    This is a quick overview of some unique situations that you may face in your own family planning for the future: Gifts to Grandchildren without Living Parents – If you have grandchildren who have lost both of their parents, there are some specific rules for including them in your estate plan.  If they are minors, […]

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  • The Law Office of Jack D. Brown, APC Merges with Shoup Legal

    The Law Office of Jack D. Brown, APC has merged with the law firm of Shoup Legal, A Professional Law Corporation.  Their offices are located at 29995 Technology Drive, Suite 101, Murrieta, California. Jack D. Brown has been in practice for over 40 years, with his primary practice focus in general business and transactional matters, […]

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  • Dual Agency Transactions Can Increase Risks

    A dual agency relationship exists one broker handles both sides of a transaction, even if two different agents working in the office represent the buyer and the seller respectively.  Although it is generally discouraged, dual agency is legal in California residential real estate transactions if fully disclosed in writing to both parties.  However, because the […]

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  • When Biggest is Not Best

    The appeal of the large law firm (“Mega-firm”) is understandable.  With a national or even international presence in multiple states and countries, they employ hundreds of lawyers occupying prime office space in Washington, D.C., and the skyscrapers of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and similar centers of commerce.  Their stellar reputations are scrupulously crafted, honed […]

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  • Reid & Hellyer Announces Christopher A. Johnson as New Shareholder

    Mr. Johnson has handled transactional and litigation matters in employment law, real estate, land use, title review, bond (re) financing, public finance, and school and church development. After receiving his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego cum laude in 1993, he obtained his initial training as an associate working with the trial lawyers […]

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  • Is it Time for a Business Checkup?

    It is important for businesses to conduct a business check-up.  Depending on the status of the business, it should take an attorney between one and 10 hours to complete the review (not including corrections to be made).  This could save hundreds of thousands of dollars.  We are seeing more individuals sued than ever before, just […]

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  • How Should Assets be Distributed Among Family Members?

    It is very common for a will or trust to have the instruction that all property is to be divided equally among named beneficiaries.  This avoids the problem of having to identify specific property to be granted to heirs, and creating any ill feeling in the family.  It is a fine approach for dividing cash, […]

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  • When Do I Need a Power of Attorney?

    Many people have heard the term ‘power of attorney’ but have questions about when it is needed, and under what circumstances.  A power of attorney (POA) grants a family member or other trusted individual the ability to make financial or healthcare decisions for you as your ‘agent’.  This responsibility can be as broad or narrow […]

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  • Preventative Law – “Protect Your Business”

    Having spent 40 years as In House VP General Counsel with Billion $$ companies, Contract Corporate Counsel with Multi-Million $$ companies, and Contract Counsel for start-ups and entrepreneurs – this has always been my first advice to Clients and to focus upon. In simple terms, establish procedures and solid business practices “before” the mess, litigation […]

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  • Have You Recently Thought: “Is Bankruptcy Right for Me?”

    For many people, declaring bankruptcy is not only a financial decision; but sometimes a personal one. Therefore, no one can really advise you if it’s right for you. However, factors such as the stigma of filing bankruptcy has considerably lessened over the years. Moreover, the Federal Government has deliberately carved out a place in the […]

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  • Dual Agency – Not in the Consumer’s Best Interest

    I liken it to the relationship between a loving and caring parent to their own child—the parent always acts in a manner consistent with the best interest of their child, even if it is against their own best interest. This is what a fiduciary relationship is and what is legally expected of a real estate […]

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  • In The Trenches with Messina & Hankin

    “. . . winning at trial depends on [a] collaborative effort between client and lawyer.” Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to reach a reasonable and amicable agreement, litigation becomes the only option—short of simply walking away. The story I am about to tell is true; the names have been changed to protect my […]

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  • What’s an Annual Business “Check Up”?

    If you “assume” you have limited liability under California laws – regardless of your structure and entity (i.e., C-Corp. S-Corp, Limited Partnership, LLC or whatever), if you do not maintain appropriate and required business records, the plaintiffs’ attorneys will search for this first – in an attempt to “pierce” the corporate veil – essentially making […]

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  • Recorded Statements after a Car Accident – What, Where and When?

    On occasion, individuals  visit my office quite sometime after a car accident has occurred to discuss their case. During our conversation they inform me they have already provided a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance company. When I ask why a recorded statement was provided? The reply goes something like “…..well, the accident wasn’t […]

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  • A Holiday Poem

    ‘Tis the season for giving and across the land, families celebrate among festive garland.  Such attention is paid to the dinner menu, it includes the favorite dish of your youngest nephew. The songs, joy and laughter will soon ensue, creating a memory that lasts decades for you,  but just when you thought the last doorbell […]

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  • Giving Thanks and Sharing Thoughts

    One thing that many of us share is that we miss those families who can’t be there anymore.  It is a time to share memories that keep them close to us in our mind and hearts.  What we don’t often discuss is what should happen if we aren’t there at a gathering in the future.  […]

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  • Protecting Your Business Name

    There are various legal methods for protecting a business name, logo, and other works that will enhance the value of a business. Just creating a corporation or a limited liability company may not afford adequate protection against others using the name. The mere fact of forming a legal entity may not provide adequate protection of […]

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  • Legal Separation and Divorce in California

    In California, however, there may be one other advantage. If time is of the essence and you haven’t lived in California for 6 months, you can accelerate the divorce process by filing for a legal separation first. Legal Separation by Consent or Default Only: Legal separation by consent or default is not an option in […]

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  • Forming a New Business Entity?

    Why Seeking the Assistance Of an Attorney Could Save You Headaches in the Future Sitting down with a business lawyer for a consult should involve the professional asking questions. Those questions should uncover some issues that need to be considered prior to going forward with the formation and the underlying transaction or investment. It has […]

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  • New California Minimum Wage Effect on Split Shift Employees

    Many employers (such as restaurants) have employees who work a morning shift (e.g. 9am-noon) and then an afternoon shift (4pm-9pm).  California regulations require employers to pay a split shift premium of one hour’s pay if their employees only make the minimum wage.  Under the old $9 an hour rate, if an employee was paid $9 […]

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  • It’s My Piece of the Pie, Can I Get More?

    Let’s take a few minutes to dish about the topic of the “basis” of your assets.  It’s a deceptively tricky topic.  Although it appears to be a fairly simple calculation when someone asks, (say there, what’s your basis in this beautiful cabin on the lake?) there is much more to consider than simply how much […]

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