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Business and Commercial Law


  • It is widely known that if you want to conduct business in the State of California using a fictitious business name, you must properly register your fictitious business name. Whether your business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or other legal entity seeking to use a fictitious trade name, the registration process requires the business owner to file a fictitious business name statement (within 40 days of first using the business name) with the county clerk’s office where the principal place of business is located in California. Within 30 days of the filing, the fictitious business name statement must be […]

  • What should you do when you receive a check from a customer for an amount less than your total claim, but the check is marked with a “payment in full” or similar restrictive notation? Should you return the check to the debtor? Or can you simply cross out the “payment in full” language, deposit the check and pursue the unpaid balance? And what if you use a lockbox to handle the numerous checks you receive and those checks are deposited before you see them? Short Answer The answer to this question depends on what state law applies to your customer’s […]

  • On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to raise the minimum wage in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County over the next five years. The minimum wage is set to reach $15 per hour by 2020 for business with more than 26 employees. For businesses with fewer than 26 employees, the wage increases will be delayed one year. The minimum wage is set to incrementally increase over the next five years: increasing to $10.50 on July 1, 2016; $12 on July 1, 2017; $13.25 on July 1, 2018; $14.25 on July 1, 2019; and $15.00 on July […]

  • If you or your business engage in online advertising (including through websites, blogs, mobile applications, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr), be sure you are familiar and comply with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) disclosure guidelines commonly known as the “.com Disclosures“ The FTC is stepping up enforcement actions that require businesses make clear and conspicuous disclosures, regardless of the platform, so as not to engage in “deceptive or unfair” advertising. A couple of months ago, the FTC entered its Decision and Order in connection with its complaint against Amerifreight, Inc. for failing to properly disclose that it had paid consumers […]

  • Partners, Christopher E. Ng, Esq., Jonathan B. Wolf, Esq., Philip C. Zvonicek, Esq., and Associate Sara H. Kornblatt, Esq. have been selected to the 2015 Southern California Rising Stars list. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

  • In Daimler AG v. Bauman (2014) 134 S. Ct. 746, the United States Supreme Court rewrote civil procedure textbooks around the country. In last year’s momentous decision, the Supreme Court held that “the place of incorporation and principal place of business are paradig[m]…bases for general jurisdiction,” and that only in “exceptional cases” should a court exercise general jurisdiction over a corporation domiciled in another state.  Just weeks ago, a California appellate court was asked to review a trial court decision finding the existence of general jurisdiction over BNSF Railway Company in a wrongful death action. Specifically, the family of a former BNSF […]

  • Although many businesses have updated their forms to reflect the new Notary language required for Certificates of Acknowledgment and Jurats, we still see many obsolete forms floating around. Documents with outdated Notary Acknowledgments or Jurats are being rejected by County Recorder offices throughout the State of California. For those of you not already aware, the California Legislature recently passed a law to make it clear that the Notary’s seal and signature do not authenticate or endorse the contents of a document. The purpose of the law was to make sure that consumers unfamiliar with a Notary’s duties would not be […]

  • It Is What We Say It Is:  How to Authenticate An Electronic Signature One of the first, and often overlooked, determinations in any contract dispute is who actually made the agreement. The rules of evidence require any signature to be authenticated, and if the identity of a party is in dispute, the best case is that there is a signed agreement where the signatures of either party can easily be tested against an exemplar. But as electronic transactions become more prevalent, so do the issues concerning electronic signatures. The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act has been in place for several years […]

  • By now, many of us know that an exchange of emails or other electronic messages can constitute (or at least help to create) an enforceable contract. I bet you haven’t specifically thought about whether an exchange of ephermeral electronic messages (e.g., text message, tweets, facebook instant messenger, etc.) can create a binding contract for the sale of real property. Well, that issue has been resolved in California by Assembly Bill 2136 (Click here to read AB 2136) which took effect on January 1, 2015. AB 2136 amends Civil Code Section 1624 (the “Statute of Frauds”). The Statute of Frauds expressly states that […]

  • An e-mail signature can be a thoughtful closing to a mundane correspondence, or a mindless addendum to an otherwise critical message. Some are automatically placed at the foot of every message we send, while others are customized for a particular recipient. Does an e-mail signature constitute a legally binding signature? And if so, is this e-mail signature sufficient to bind parties to a settlement agreement? The California State Court of Appeal addressed the issue of when an e-mail signature amounts to an electronic signature, and when an electronic signature is sufficient to enforce a settlement agreement in J.B.B. Investment Partners, Ltd., […]