Susan Barilich, P.C.
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Glendale California Legal Blog

Dealing with construction contract disputes

Your experience in the construction industry has proven to you how vital contracts are to the success of your business. As a project moves forward, the terms you and the other party agreed to verbally may become cloudy in your memories, resulting in confusing expectations. Having a written contract protects you and your client from those kinds of misunderstandings that can quickly lead to disputes.

However, just because you have a written contract with your client does not mean you will never face a dispute. In fact, there are numerous reasons why you and your client may conflict at some point during the project.

Make sure your commercial lease is good for your business

Locating commercial space that will work for your business is no easy task in California. Rent for business space is expensive, and it can be quite frustrating to locate an affordable place to run the operations of your small business. Finding the right place is not the only challenge. Once you find it, it is important to make sure the negotiated terms of your lease are appropriate and work for your company.

You have the right to attempt to negotiate the terms of your commercial lease with your landlord. This is an important step for your business as the terms of this contact could affect the financial well-being of your company for years to come. Many businesses will find it beneficial to seek legal guidance as they negotiate these terms.

Fighting back against an infringement of your trademark

If you are experiencing a violation of your trademark, you are experiencing a violation of your property rights and the financial well-being of your business. Violations of your trademark are serious, and you have the right to take appropriate legal measures to make the infringement stop and seek compensation for any financial losses.

Often, it is hard to determine if another person or company is infringing on your copyrighted or trademarked company property. When another company releases a product, slogan or marketing tool that is too similar to yours, that is infringement. This confuses consumers and could potentially lead people to mistakenly patronizing the wrong business. Trademark violations could equal money lost for your California business.

Eminent domain: Can the government just take my property?

Eminent domain refers to the right of the government to take privately owned property for the public benefit or government use. Many California property owners find themselves shocked to learn that the government intends to take part of their property, but it may be within the power of the government to do so.

If the government is exercising eminent domain rights over your property, it is beneficial to learn more about what this means and how you can protect your rights and interests. If you will lose part of your property to public use, you are entitled to an appropriate amount of money to compensate you for the loss of your private property.

Can I break my commercial lease without penalty?

When you signed your lease on the commercial property you had chosen for your business, you likely had big plans for your future. Maybe this store front property or office suite provided just the space you needed to get things started, and you were happy to sign a lease committing to three, five or even 10 years of paying rent.

Things change. Perhaps your business exploded faster than you expected, and your commercial space is no longer adequate to meet your growing needs. On the other hand, maybe things aren't going so well, and you need to cut your losses and close the business before you lose everything. In either circumstance, you are considering breaking the lease on your commercial property. How can you do this and avoid your landlord suing you for breach of contract?

Duped by a scam artist? You are not alone

Who wouldn't like a bundle of money to drop into their laps? Who hasn't dreamed of a job with fewer responsibilities and more money? Who hasn't fantasized about the things they would do if they won the lottery? You may be like many who wish your investments brought larger, faster returns, and when someone offers you just such an opportunity, it may be hard for you to resist.

Unfortunately, every day people become victims of investment fraud simply because they want their money to work a little harder for them. Those who are most vulnerable to such scams are often facing financial struggles or fears for their future. The windfall the fraud promises is just what they had been hoping to find.

How one piece of paper carries so much weight

No, it's not a marriage license. It's the title to the property you want to buy. This one piece of paper gives you ownership rights over a piece of land here in California. You receive all of the rights and responsibilities that go along with that title -- or do you?

If the history of that piece of paper reveals problems, you may not actually receive full ownership of the property. That's why it's so vital that the purchase of title insurance is part of your real estate transaction.

The steps you should take when winding down your business

You worked hard to build and grow your business, but there may come a time in which it is appropriate to dissolve your business and move on to something else. There is much more involved in this process, however, than simply turning off the lights and walking away.

If you are dissolving your California business, you would be wise to ensure that you have taken the appropriate steps. This not only ensures the security of your interests, it can protect you from complications in the future. Whether you are retiring, ill or stepping away from your business for another reason, you may find it beneficial to reach out for help as you navigate the dissolution process.

The CC&R that makes your community work

If you love your home and community, you are probably active in keeping it safe and attractive, and this may include your involvement in the Homeowners Association. Your role on the board of your HOA may have its perks, but you undoubtedly deal with many headaches and responsibilities. Depending on your position on the board, you may also carry heavy legal burdens.

Perhaps you were fortunate enough to buy into the development at its early stages and, therefore, take part in the establishment of the covenants, conditions and restrictions. This set of rules is often the stumbling block of many homeowners within a planned community, and, if your job is to enforce or defend those policies, you certainly want to know them well and the limitations you have for imposing them.

Is the government trying to take your business property?

As outrageous as it may seem, there are situations in which the government may move to take privately owned property, whether it is a private residence or business and business-owned real estate. There are valid, legal grounds by which the government can secure or acquire land owned by either businesses or private residents, and the name for this right and ability is eminent domain.

The government will only exercise its right to eminent domain over a piece of property for the benefit of public use, whether that is laying a sidewalk, sewer lines and other infrastructure needs. In this situation, the government would have to provide compensation to the California landowner in an amount that is fair.

Susan Barilich, P.C. | 535 N. Brand Blvd., Ste. 504 | Glendale, CA 91203 | Phone: 818-500-0377 | Map & Directions