Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In

Questions Answered by Gerald Barry Dorfman

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for California on

Q: Hello my Name is Dexter Thomas I am looking for a lawyer to address an encroachment onto my property. Any suggestions?

On April 27, 2019 the neighbor was sent a registered letter requesting the removal of structure, she secretly sold property to someone else who is refusing to honor our request. We are looking for legal assistance.

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Aug 23, 2019

The sale is unlikely to have affected your rights. This is not a situation which can be solved in a question and answer forum such as this. You will need to have an attorney review the specifics of the encroachment. A lawsuit may be required.

Q: Awarded full year of back pay from my job over a year & a half ago and still get no answers or explanation.

if there anything I can do to make them honor my Arbitration award for my back pay? They've done others since I've started my process also, but mines for some reason is in limbo.

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Aug 23, 2019

Depending on the particular facts of your case, it may be that you needed to go to court to file a petition to confirm the arbitration award.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on

Q: Do I need a special order to quitclaim property? My order for probate says I'm Administrator with Full Authority

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Aug 21, 2019

If by quitclaim, you mean sell, then you do not need a special order for the sale to proceed. However, you still have a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries, and you must follow the mandatory procedures, such as giving proper "Notice of Proposed Action".

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for California on

Q: What would be a reasonable fee to retain the "limited Scope" attorney if I am fortunate enough to find one?

I am able to write a check for a retainer and/or pay hourly for the legal assistance

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Aug 19, 2019

That depends on the lawyer's hourly rate and the hours needed to undertake the specific project. Even for litigation, limited scope services are often simply "pay as you go". So, the first project may be to start the lawsuit by filing the drafting and filing the Complaint and arranging for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on

Q: Good evening, I was wondering if you could explain a bit about small claim court.

There's a roommate I had that refused to pay the last bill of a utility, well his portion anyway. Long story short, its not a big amount but he turned out to be really rude to alot of people so I wanted to know if i could sue him in small claim court so he doesn't get away with not paying just... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Aug 16, 2019

Yes. There is no lower limit amount you can sue for in small claims court. Before you can sue, you must make a demand for payment to the person. If you do not know how to use the court, see if your county has a free small claims adviser. You can consult with, but not be represented by, a lawyer... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for California on

Q: If you are the legal trustee to an estate in a will must the inheritance first go through probate?

My grandmother recently passed, and my sister and I are the named trustees in her will for her estate (we were also her only living relatives). We are currently in the process of selling her home, and we can't seem to find a clear answer as to whether or not our inheritance of her estate will need... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Aug 5, 2019

The first step is to examine the title to the home. It is possible it is held in such a way as to avoid probate. If it is solely in your grandmother's name, then, real estate values being what they are in California, it will have to go through probate. Being named trustee is not the same as... Read more »

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on

Q: I was in a minor accident 7/14/19 by someone insured by Alliance United, they have 745 reviews on Yelp with 1 star.

I've been without a car for 3 weeks, I work doing DoorDash so my car is my work. The last time I spoke to the adjuster at Alliance United 7/26/19 she told me she finally got in contact with the insured last week and not sure how to handle the claim because the insured doesn't know what happened as... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 29, 2019

You do not have to have a broken bone to have a perfectly valid personal injury case. You are much more likely to resolve your case faster and for more money if you have an attorney. Almost all personal injury attorneys offer free case evaluations. Start calling now, because the longer you wait,... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on

Q: How can I get guests out of my home that I own that refuse to leave?

This property where I live was gifted to me by a woman with whom I lived here with for many years. The deed was put in my name by her in 2007. She passed away in 2010. A little less than two years ago her daughter and son-inlaw showed up here from out of state. They have been trying to stake a... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 29, 2019

Talk to a landlord tenant attorney about an eviction action.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on

Q: Do I have to return a portion of the last month deposit if the tenant moves out mid-month?

My subtenant gave her 30 day notice on July 15, 2019 for her month to month Sublease and plans to move out by August 14, 2019. Since she paid last month deposit, am I obligated to refund her a portion of the last month deposit since she is moving out mid-month?

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 26, 2019

Yes. Tenants can give 30 days notice at any time, assuming the lease/rental agreement does not provide otherwise.

2 Answers | Asked in Insurance Bad Faith and Insurance Defense for California on

Q: Hello I am looking for an attorney that will help me with a denied claim with my auto insurance company....

After a year long investigation in which we gave them everything they asked for.... They denied the claim.

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 23, 2019

If the claim was for personal injuries (like uninsured motorist), many attorneys will take such a case on contingency. That means they get paid a percentage of what you get from the insurance company. If the claim is for property, it is more likely you will have to hire an attorney on an hourly... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for California on

Q: California Our mother died and we don't know what claim we have to the house we lived in.

My grandmother had my mother and our family live in her paid off home since I was little. After Grandma died years ago, we continued to live there. My parents never married but my father pays/paid the property taxes every year. My mother suddenly died earlier this month and now an Uncle is trying... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 18, 2019

In order to understand your rights and your potential claim to the property (all or part), an attorney will need to know how title to the property is held, whether there are any wills or trusts, and whether any probate or other court proceedings have taken place. You need to consult with a... Read more »

View More Answers

4 Answers | Asked in Car Accidents for California on

Q: Can a car insurance company deny liability because the person driving the car is not listed on the insurance?

I was in a accident 7/14/19 and a 15 year old was driving the SUV with 2 older women when she made a u-turn in front of me and we collided. None of the women was on the insurance and it was the girl older brother car. The owner of the vehicle is taking his time to contact his insurance and a police... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 17, 2019

Even without the insurance coverage issue, you should get your own attorney because you were injured. Do not speak with the insurance adjuster; certainly do not give a written or recorded statement. Most personal injury attorneys will give you a case evaluation at no charge.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on

Q: I received a request to come in for a deposition. I cannot make it at that time

Can I request a continuance? Or...? I need to find a lawyer as well

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 16, 2019

Not sure what you mean by a "request". If you are a party to the case, and you received a "Notice of Deposition", then you are required to appear, unless you can make other arrangements (or obtain a court order). Postponements are commonly granted. Be sure to confirm in writing the new date or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for California on

Q: My daughter was hit by a car while riding on the side walk and they said she was at fault, so is that how the law is

That how the law is written in Stockton CA they sited penal code VC21663

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jul 12, 2019

Vehicle Code section 21663 specifically references motor vehicles. Even if a bicycle fits the definition of "motor vehicle", negligence in California is comparative. That means someone can be less than 100% at fault, and if so, still be able to get some compensation for their injuries. So if the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on

Q: Is it legal in California for landlord to give a range of dates and times they will be coming into your apartment?

I received this notice last week from my apartment saying "We will be doing 15 minute inspections from June 24-28 from 9am-7pm. Due to the amount of inspections we will not be making appointments or changing the dates of the inspections." My girlfriend has anxiety and knowing that someone will come... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jun 24, 2019

Civil Code section 1954 cover the landlord's right to enter a dwelling unit. It does NOT provide for general "inspections". It DOES require that, for any allowed purpose, the specific date and an approximate time be given, and that these be during normal business hours. If a resident is home and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on

Q: Hello, I have a year lease on house, and there's no verbage stating if I break it early. Can I leave the lease

I live in California and I might have to break my year lease early on my house that i'm renting. There is no verbage stating in the rental lease agreement say they will do anything if I break it early. If it's not in the lease saying they will do anything if I break the lease early, can I break it... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jun 7, 2019

No. If you break the lease you will be responsible for contract damages. Typically, for a lease, this would be rent until the place is re-rented, plus any costs associated with re-renting early. If your lease contains an attorney fees clause, you could be responsible for those as well.

3 Answers | Asked in Contracts for California on

Q: My father passed away in January. I found his life insurance policy from Seaboard Life Insurance. Still active?

I would like to know if the policy has lapsed or what the status of it is.

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jun 2, 2019

Assuming you are the named beneficiary, you can try making a claim. If they deny it, they will give you a reason for the denial. If you suspect the denial is incorrect, contact an attorney right away to preserve your rights.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for California on

Q: Are noise levels that exceed 90dB for 8 hours/day permissible because it is a considered a "special event"?

A stadium (70% public, 30% private ownership) has been hosting electronic music concerts that use amplified sound. These concerts can last for up 10hrs/day for 2 days at a time. Adjacent to the stadium, there are several residential high rise developments that house ~900 people within 400 feet of... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on May 29, 2019

Those are very high levels, and it is unlikely they actually comply with a rational noise ordinance. Even if these levels are compliant with the local ordinance, that would likely not be a definitive bar to a nuisance action. A successful nuisance suit could result in an award of damages and an... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for California on

Q: I'm being sued and counter sued for my Exs dog which had bite a woman.

She claims I was there I was not, the dog was determined my exs in a court of law. I need to know what kind of a lawyer I need for this I'm having trouble with the legal terms involved. I also need any advice on a lawyer that will take my case pro bono or at least on small payments... this is so... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on May 29, 2019

If you had homeowner's or renter's insurance at the time of the incident, turn this over to the insurance company right away. They will provide you with a lawyer and defend you. If you did not have insurance, and can not afford an attorney, try legal aid in your county, or your county bar... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for California on

Q: Rented house for 24 months @ $4,250/month, but landlord is increasing rent $127/month just 12 months in. Can he do that?

My lease clearly says "Tenant agrees to pay $4,250 per month for the term of the Agreement." And, "This Agreement shall terminate on May 31, 2020." Can I fight this? Is there anything I should be aware that he could do if I don't pay the increase?

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on May 23, 2019

An attorney would have to look at the lease to form a definitive opinion, but generally a lease for a set time is a contract which can not be unilaterally changed by one of the parties. It's hard to predict what he could do, since it appears he is not being rational in regard to the rent increase.... Read more »

View More Answers

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.