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Creech Liebow & Kraus, A Professional Corporation
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Before Singing the Purchase and Sales Agreement on a New Home, Hire a Lawyer http://ow.ly/2CsAZa

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Expunging your California Criminal Record - California state Senate is considering a bill to expand the types of criminal convictions that may be expunged to include "realignment crimes" — non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual offenses. Under the proposed bill, an ex-con sentenced under realignment would complete the jail sentence, any mandatory supervision and wait two years before applying for expungement. The purpose of... Read More http://ow.ly/2Ci6le

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California Wobbles Towards More Moderate Drug Possession Penalties http://ow.ly/2C5Xyx

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Creating a Business Succession Plan: Andy Rubin, Google Inc’s architect of Android technology, recently stepped down from his position as Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content at the company. Rubin is credited with developing the global mobile operating system into an open-source platform installed on roughly two-thirds of the world's smartphones. His successor is now responsible for the Android group, as well as the company’s Chrome division, a new group structure reflecting the recent convergence in the paths of these two Google technologies.

While Google Inc is a major international company, smaller businesses will also face succession issues. This is particularly true for family-owned businesses, with only an estimated 30 percent of businesses surviving into the second generation. Planning a smooth transition for these businesses is crucial, since a careful handover by the older generation to the new one can play an important role in avoiding any infighting or rifts.

Arranging succession at an early stage while the outgoing director is younger or in good health has its advantages. Outgoing directors will be fit to stay on board for a time to train their replacement, and to ensure that the company retains a certain style of operating.

Whether a family member or an outsider is chosen to drive the company forward, the future success of the business can be more easily assured with support from the staff and the board of directors. This is best achieved through clear and open communication with the incoming CEO. Preparing legal documents which set out each party’s rights and responsibilities will go a long way toward preventing future complications. Where the retiring CEO of a family business retains an interest in the company, setting down the extent of their rights in a formal document will also help avoid disputes.

To ensure that your business succession proceeds smoothly, you can plan ahead with the assistance of an experienced corporate lawyer.  In addition to helping you draft any relevant legal documents, your attorney can also act as a mediator, communicating between different parties to resolve any issues connected to the transition.

#SanJoseCorporateLawAttorneys #BusinessSuccessionPlanning #BusinessLaw
http://www.sjlegal.com/corporate.html
Planning a smooth transition for these businesses is crucial, since a careful handover by the older generation to the new one can play an important role in avoiding any infighting or rifts.

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Dissolving a Business Partnership: As recently as April of this year, Steve Davis, former chief of the now defunct legal giant Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, accepted a half-a-million dollar settlement over mismanagement claims. The former global law firm headquartered in New York City employed over a thousand attorneys in 26 offices around the world at the time of filing for bankruptcy in May 2012.

By using a Limited Liability Partnership structure, the partners of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP benefitted from certain legal protections which partners in a general business partnership do not automatically have. When dissolving a general partnership, bitter disputes can ensue where proper arrangements have not been put in place for resolving key issues such as partner liability. These battles should also be avoided as they further damage brand names associated with the partnership. If you are preparing to dissolve a partnership, pay attention to the following issues:

Debts

It is crucial for partners to formally agree on arrangements to pay off debts. Without resolving this, as a partner, you may find yourself in the wholly undesirable situation of having paid your share of the debts, while still being chased by creditors because your other partners have failed to do so.

Brand Names and Control

Where one partner buys another partner out, future brand names and control is a straightforward step. In other situations, you will need to consider who will keep the brand name and who will retain control of the business and draft legal documents to that effect.

Formal Dissolution

Complete the necessary formalities to ensure the formal dissolution of the partnership. Dissolution requires filing relevant paperwork with state authorities as well as publishing required public notices about the partnership dissolution. This is particularly important in a partnership structure, since any partner has the right to transact in the name of the partnership without informing the other as long as the partnership is still intact.

Consider hiring an experienced corporate attorney to help ensure that the dissolution process runs as quickly and smoothly as possible. Your attorney will be well-placed to mediate any issues in an amicable dissolution, or handle the dispute where the split is acrimonious.

#SanJoseCorporateLawAttorneys #BusinessPartnerships #BusinessLaw
http://www.sjlegal.com/corporate.html
When dissolving a general partnership, bitter disputes can ensue where proper arrangements have not been put in place for resolving key issues such as partner liability.

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Ensuring Regulatory Compliance for Your Business: On July 18, 2013, a grand jury was convened in California to investigate a state election campaign donation of $11 million, following the Supreme Court’s intervention. The Fair Political Practices Commission, who is investigating this donation, suspects the involvement of money laundering.  This suspicion drove efforts to uncover the real source of the donation.

In the business world, regulatory compliance has also become an increasing challenge in recent years, with the advent of Sarbanes-Oxley, the US Patriot Act, and other compliance regulations. Such measures now dictate many of the ways that companies need to operate, with procedures regulating activities from checking for money laundering to record keeping. These compliance constraints bind large and small enterprises alike, and both types will face challenges in ensuring that they comply with their federal, state and local obligations.

To ensure your business operations meet the regulatory requirements, consider implementing these practices:

Encourage Integration and Collaboration — Where various compliance systems are in place across your business, try to streamline them by creating an integrated approach  involve all relevant employees and encourage their cooperation

Examine Your Security Measures — Elaborate and implement procedures to ensure that data remains secure  particularly sensitive information or data relating to transactions

Consider Your Privacy Policies—Maintain your customers’ and employees’ privacy with appropriate measures introducing an Electronic Document Management System with encryption capabilities will provide good protection against breaches

Introduce Automation — Put automated systems in place to maximize compliance and remove the risks of human error

Document What You Do — Keep accurate records of your activities as this will ensure that regulators glean an authentic picture of how the business works

Manage Your Information — Make sure that you can locate and control information within the business  in particular, data relating to finances should be transparent and easily traceable

Given the breadth of regulations, consider consulting a corporate attorney to ensure that you implement adequate policies to meet all of your regulatory obligations. Your attorney will also be useful in helping you avoid the penalties which are imposed on those who fail to meet their legal responsibilities.

#SanJoseCorporateLawAttorneys #RegulatoryCompliance #BusinessLaw
http://www.sjlegal.com/corporate.html
To ensure your business operations meet the regulatory requirements, consider implementing these practices.

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One Act – Two Separate Crimes: Fonzi Preader of Campbell, California committed two separate crimes when he stole a collectible NASCAR fire suit worth $1,250 off a front porch in Los Gatos. After taking the suit, Preader offered it for sale on eBay later the same day using his girlfriend’s eBay seller I.D. The owner saw it on eBay and notified the police who went to Preader’s home and found the suit. Preader was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and possession of stolen property.

In California, theft is divided into two degrees: grand theft and petty theft. If the value of the property taken exceeds $950 the act is considered grand theft. A grand theft, first offense can be punished with a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to one year or both.

Petty theft occurs when the property taken is worth less than $950 but more than $50. For a first offense there is a fine of up to $1,000. Imprisonment for up to six months can also be imposed.

For thefts of $50 or less, offenders are often just charged with an infraction or a misdemeanor, at the prosecutor’s discretion. Typically these thefts carry a maximum fine of $250 and no jail.

Possession of stolen property worth more than $950 can also be punished by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. If the property possessed is worth less than $950 the charge may be reduced to a misdemeanor.  The reduction of the charge is at the discretion of the prosecutor. A person cannot be convicted of both the theft of and the possession of the stolen property.

In both cases of grand theft or possession of stolen property, the victim can sue the thief for up to three times the value of the property plus costs.

It is clear that grand theft and possession of stolen property are serious charges. It helps to have an attorney who know how to defend against them and importantly, knows how to negotiate with the prosecutor who has significant discretion in the charges ultimately brought. If you have been charged with theft, contact an experienced and competent San Jose criminal law firm like Creech Liebow & Kraus, A Professional Corporation.

#SanJoseCriminalDefenseAttorneys #GrandTheft #PettyTheft
http://www.sjlegal.com/criminal-defense.html
In California, theft is divided into two degrees: grand theft and petty theft. If the value of the property taken exceeds $950 the act is considered grand theft.

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Starting Your Business: Preparing Employee Documentation - In June of this year, a California Taco Bell employee was reported as suspended and soon to be fired after an image of him licking a stack of empty taco shells appeared online. Though the Irvine-based company assured the public that the shells in question were used for training purposes only, the worker had violated food handling procedures. The posting of the photograph on Facebook by his then colleague   no longer a Taco Bell employee violated company policy.

Arguably the entire incident could have been avoided had the camera-wielding culprit abided by company rules. Though not mentioned in the report, this policy may well have appeared in an employee handbook. An employee handbook is a crucial tool for maintaining a stable working environment, providing employers and employees with clear guidelines about what to expect from one another and setting down each party’s legal rights and duties.

According to the Small Business Administration, a handbook which includes the following information will be an important tool for employers:

General Information — explain basic procedures such as those relating to termination and resignation

Personal Conduct — set down expected standards of conduct, including ethical behavior and any regulated professional standards applicable to the field of work

Discrimination and Harassment — provide an explanation of relevant employment and labor laws at local, state and federal levels covering issues such as discrimination and harassment

Schedules — include company policies for working hours, overtime, and any options for remote working arrangements

Computers and IT — policies limiting the use of computers and protecting sensitive information affecting the privacy of both of employees and customers should be set down   in the Taco Bell case above, a clear policy forbidding the online publication of employee photographs was already in place

Salaries — include details of compensation and salary increases, and related policies such as overtime pay and bonus information

Company benefit programs, health and safety in the workplace and policies covering various types of leave can also be included in your handbook.

A detailed knowledge of a range of employment and labor law issues is indispensable in the preparation of an employee handbook. An experienced business attorney familiar with these issues will be qualified to assist you, and help you avoid potentially costly employment-related matters further down the line.

#SanJoseBusinessLawyers #EmployeeDocumentation #StartingYourBusiness
http://www.sjlegal.com/civil-litigation.html
According to the Small Business Administration, a handbook which includes the following information will be an important tool for employers.

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The Right to Free Speech and Free Assembly Does Not Include Vandalism: The acquittal in Florida of George Zimmerman after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin brought hundreds of protestors into the streets of cities across the U.S., including Oakland, California. It appears that the prosecution overcharged Zimmerman: although the prosecution may have been able to prove manslaughter, they swung for the fences with 2nd degree murder and struck out instead. The legal intricacies notwithstanding, many across the country viewed the resulting acquittal as racists, and as a result rose up in sometimes violent protest.

Every citizen of the United States has the right to free speech and peaceful assembly, but many of the Oakland protestors resorted to violence and destroyed property belonging to other Oakland residents. There is no right to destroy another person’s property in the exercise of free expression. Moreover, the protesters themselves have a lot to lose from engaging in vandalism.

Vandalism is a crime and there is a lot to be lost

Punishments vary depending on the nature and extent of the vandalism:

- First conviction for damage less than $400. The penalty imposed can be up to a year in the county jail and up to a $1,000 fine
- Second conviction for damage less than $400. A second conviction can result in up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Damage greater the $400. A first conviction for damaging more than $400 worth of property can result in  up to a year in the county jail and up to a $50,000 fine
- Other Restitution. The Court may also order the defendant or if the defendant is a minor, the parents, to clean up, repair or replace the destroyed property

If a minor causes the damage and cannot pay the fine or other costs, the Court can order the parents of the convicted minor to pay the fine assessed, unless the court waives the fine for good cause.

If you are charged with vandalism or are the parent of a minor being charged with vandalism it is important that you contact an experienced San Jose criminal attorney as soon as an arrest is made.

#SanJoseCriminalDefenseAttorneys #FreeSpeech #Vandalism
http://www.sjlegal.com/criminal-defense.html
Every citizen of the United States has the right to free speech and peaceful assembly, but many of the Oakland protestors resorted to violence and destroyed property belonging to other Oakland residents. There is no right to destroy another person’s property in the exercise of free expression.

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Handling Disputes in Your Family Business: California Cart Builder, a family business which specializes in producing custom-made food trucks is thriving. From its humble beginnings in 2000, the company, which was started from scratch by Rodney Eaton, now counts three of his children among its 13 employees. This year, the Lake Elsinore business is due to see 30 percent year-on-year growth, with revenues likely to exceed the $3 million mark. So far, there are no signs of disharmony in this venture’s success story. However, other family businesses have not been so fortunate.

Where such disputes arise, the danger is that these will affect the business itself, putting your investment in jeopardy. To minimize the impact of family business disputes, consider implementing the following arrangements:

Ownership Agreements
Shareholder agreements, partnership agreements or similar agreements are crucial for regulating issues affecting the day to day operation of the business, minimizing disruption where obstacles arise. Consider including provisions which clarify how to deal with difficult situations, such as removing someone from the enterprise’s management or determining ownership where one party quits.

Employment Contracts
Written contracts are highly recommended to regulate relationships in a family business. Set down employer and employee rights and duties formally and clearly so they are separate from personal connections. This allows both sides to know what to expect from the other

Business Financing Arrangements
In the absence of a bank loan, consider a loan from a family member making sure that it is documented in writing and repaid in regular installments in the same way as a formal loan. Alternatively, approach an outside finance organization to ensure that business and personal relationships remain separate.

To minimize the risk to your business, consider resolving a family business dispute with the expertise of an experienced corporate attorney. Your attorney can act as a mediator to help resolve issues between the parties involved, or help enforce your rights where resolution is not possible.

#SanJoseCorporateLawAttorneys #BusinessDisputes #FamilyBusiness
http://www.sjlegal.com/corporate.html
To minimize the impact of family business disputes, consider implementing the following arrangements.
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