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California Contracts Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Contracts for California on
Q: I am trying to get a credit for hard costs incurred when a contracted freight company mishandled my product.

They refuse to offer any sort of compensation as well as require me to pay my freight bill above the hard costs I incurred and said I needed to take them to court. I'm trying to figure out what other options I have, and not sure how to find a lawyer, if I have a case, etc. I have submitted a... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Oct 15, 2019

You can take them to court. If your claim is up to $10,000 you can go to small claims court. The filing fee is low and lawyers do not take part. You can "Google" California Superior Court. The court website has tutorial information and guidance. It is a more direct to way go after money.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for California on
Q: Is a contract void if you already signed a contract with another company?

I accidentally signed a new refuse service contract while still being under contract at another company. Due to termination fees, I am trying to have the new refuse service contract voided, as we were already contracted elsewhere. Are there any ways I can have this contract voided? Initial... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Oct 12, 2019

A California attorney could best address your question, but it remains open for two weeks. As a general matter, without regard to jurisdiction, a second contract entered into under such circumstances is not generally voided as a matter of the operation of contract law. You could consult with a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Contracts for California on
Q: In 2006 I signed a Non-Compete in KS. I transferred thru promotion to CA with same company HQ in KS. Is it still valid?

After working for the company for a few years they required us to sign a non-compete. I was paid a small amount extra as consideration. In 2015 I got a promotion and they moved me to California. The company is headquartered in KS and I am employed in California. Does that invalidate the non-compete?

Kenneth Sisco
Kenneth Sisco answered on Oct 10, 2019

Obviously, the terms of the agreement, and the circumstances surrounding it, will be the biggest factors in evaluating its enforceability. However, non compete agreements, especially in California are difficult to enforce.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: How do I find out about a property that's been transferred to my mom's name?

I just found out that my grandmother had dementia and can't remember much. I recently learned that my grandma had put her house in my mom's name. Her son Ronnie (my sperm donor), his girlfriend and my uncle Tim are all living under her roof and haven't taken her to a hospital in fear of losing... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 8, 2019

You can go to the local county recorder's office and look up the deed and obtain a copy by paying a copy fee per page. If you are unable to do that, you can hire almost any real estate paralegal or attorney to obtain a copy for you. Some real estate agents have the ability to do this as well.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for California on
Q: Can you please confirm if my interpretation of the BPC code for unlicensed subcontractors is correct:

A licensed contractor sent unlicensed tile installers, (1099 employees, not W-2 employees), to install our kitchen floor. The job was $1,500 plus materials. He claims that since they were "employees," and covered under their workmans comp, they did not need to be licensed. Is this true?

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Oct 4, 2019

Homeowner With Question On Licensure: Your thinking about licensed subcontractors is mostly correct (nicely done !). A contractor or subcontractor may perform ANY TYPE OF WORK without a license so long as the whole of the work is LESS THAN $500.00 (the "PennySaver" advertisement type of... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Contracts and Probate for California on
Q: Do beneficiaries of a trust have a right to access of the same info as the Trustee/Executor?

My estranged father passed away and left a will & trust stating to divide his estate up equally between his 5 children. None of his children had contact with him for over 15 years. He had a large sum of money piled up in various investments that no one knew about. The Trustee, who is also a... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 3, 2019

As a beneficiary of the trust, you are definitely entitled to a copy of the trust and to regular accountings from the trustee. If that is not happening, hire an attorney to send a stern demand letter to the trustee. If the trustee does not straighten up within a reasonable time after demand is... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: My mother and father signed a grant deed to our family home to me before mom died now my dad is trying to sell it

My parents were divorced and the house was moms. Father remarried another woman ten years ago . Hes claiming to be a widow his wife is alive and thats a lie. I am my mothers only child and rightful heir to her estate . My because my mom signed my grant deed to transfer my home to me and I found... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Sep 28, 2019

Was your grant deed ever filed with the County Recorder? If your deed is valid, then you need to have it recorded in order to show the world that you have clear title, and that your father does not.

When the title company goes to complete any transaction that your father makes, they will...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Contract releasing interest in My mothers estate

My mother died my father said her trust had disinherited me I asked him for proof of this and he said I was not entitled to see it. He then produced a a contract offering a $10000 payout and a monthly payment of $2400 for the remainder of his life if I make no claims against her trust estate or... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 28, 2019

You WERE entitled to see the trust and you should have pursued that at the time. That said, because facts were actively concealed from you , yes, you might be able to get your agreement set aside and take whatever was owed you under the trust instead. Contact a local trust litigation attorney for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law and Business Law for California on
Q: My comp. is providing outsourcing dev to a Delaware comp. active in CA.Does an NDA signed as an employee(I'm not) apply?

My company is an LLC & it operates in Europe / European Union.

Have a contract between the EU company & a US one for outsourced development & programming.

I also have signed an NDA / NCA, but for my name & as an employee of the US company (title: "Employee Confidentiality and... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 27, 2019

You need to take your agreement to an attorney familiar with non-compete and non-disclosures to get specific confidential advice. There is no where near enough information in your post to provide you with much helpful guidance.

Generally a non-compete provision is unenforceable in...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Do signed agreements giving ownership of a music video allow to use audio (recorded for and during production)?

signed agreement:  singer ".... authorizes others to use my name, voice and likeness in connection with the production [...] Producer..” (me) “...is the sole owner of all rights in and to the picture and all elements thereof, including photography and recordings of my voice and likeness. [...]... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Sep 24, 2019

It would be necessary to read the agreement in order to understand the deal between the parties. It may seem "fair" for a producer to have the right to use audio, but the rights are determined by the agreement.

It is difficult for an individual to achieve a desired outcome when dealing with...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: How can I keep the apartment I am living at if I am an occupant and the lease holder cannot pay their share of rent?

I am an occupant at an apartment on a month to month lease. The lease holder cannot pay her share of rent and is a extremely negligent of the place, she wont report damages in fear of receiving an eviction notice. She is constantly breaking the rules of the lease. I pay for half of the apartment... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Sep 23, 2019

Talk to the landlord about this situation. Unless I miss my guess, your former roommate cannot just leave and let her boyfriend move in--because his name is NOT on the lease. Your landlord will know what to do.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: Do I have a right to view my parents family trust when one of them dies?

My mother died recently and my father claims she left me nothing. She gave me a signed copy of her California statutory will under the portion Balance of Assets she signed in the box I leave nothing to my spouse all to my decedents. As well as me as the executor. As well as a letter explaining that... Read more »

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney answered on Sep 22, 2019

Under California Probate Code section 16061.5 the trustee has to provide all the heirs and beneficiaries a copy of the Trust. You should demand a copy in writing and if he refuses then it is time to go see a judge.

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Business Law, Collections and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: I invested in a UK company, then the founder moved to the US and re-formed without notifying me.

I invested in a UK company. The founder claimed that he was shutting down the company. Next thing I know, he goes to the US and restarts the company. Now the company is successful and is operating strongly in the US. Do I have any grounds for a lawsuit? He did not give me any compensation, new... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Sep 16, 2019

It might be possible to bring an action against the founder. The facts must be examined by an attorney to see if they support bringing an action in the United States rather than in the UK. The facts must be examined to see if the founder committed any improper activities. The range of possibilities... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Contracts for California on
Q: Hi, I went to a Honda dealer ship told them we did not want the add on and alarm but still got charged for it.

We told the financier that we did not want the optional add-on and he said we couldn't do anything about it that it was already on the car and he made us sign. We told him we did not want the alarm but still came out on the contract that he charged us for it. I got home and I read that the add-on... Read more »

Scott Richard Kaufman
Scott Richard Kaufman answered on Sep 11, 2019

Read this list: https://consumerwiki.dca.ca.gov/wiki/index.php/Consumer_Transactions_With_Statutory_Contract_Cancellation_Rights

3 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Legal Malpractice for California on
Q: Who do I sue?

If a law firm employee has admitted in court to forging my signature on a fee agreement of terms that were 4 times higher than what I agreed to in the actual fee agreement....do I sue the employee or the attorney?

The court did order all fees (over $30k be refunded to me) but that still... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Sep 11, 2019

If a law firm forged your signature, then a complaint to the State Bar is warranted. It is possible that the law firm is responsible for your damages, i.e., what you lost as a direct result of the fraud. That would include the principal, interest, and potentially emotional distress. It does not... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Banking, Business Law and Contracts for California on
Q: Hello, I started a company to export bulk physical commodities. Is assistance available on a per transaction basis?

The above mentioned transactions are large. Trade Credit Insurance is needed to finance supply chain, shipping etc. The contracts are in need of legal overview.

Is there legal assistance for these large transactions on a per transaction basis?

Kenneth Sisco
Kenneth Sisco answered on Sep 10, 2019

Frankly, I would be surprised to find an attorney who is interested in transactional work, who works on an hourly fee basis, who would not jump at the chance to take work on a contract by contract basis.

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: I filed a verified complaint with LA superior courts on 9.3.19

. I found two errors after the fact, i.e , 1 paragraph, the defendant was accidentally named plaintiff and another paragraph states in part "plantiff had never received from X party" It should read "other" party. Will this effect verified complaint? Do i need to amend?

William John Light
William John Light answered on Sep 8, 2019

No one can predict whether or how errors in the complaint will affect your case. If a jury thinks that the errors are material, it can affect your credibility, since you swore that the complaint was true.

You can file an amended verified complaint once, as a matter of right (no court...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Insurance Bad Faith, Insurance Defense and Car Accidents for California on
Q: Can a auto insurance company hold your salvage title hostage?

I was in an auto accident 7/5/19 by someone who has Alliance United car insurance. They have 798 reviews on Yelp with 1 star. They totaled my 06 Acura TL that had little damage to its front end. The guy policy limit was $5000 and my car value was $7,800. I decided not to sue and told them to send... Read more »

William John Light
William John Light answered on Sep 4, 2019

To determine if your car is a Total Loss, you must follow the Total Loss Formula.

Total Loss Formula (in California) is Cost of Repairs + Salvage Value ≥ Actual Cash Value.

Salvage value is typically 25% of the Actual Cash Value (but each insurance company uses its own percentage,...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: Is general contractor in breach of contract? What should I do- he's insisting on payment bu appears to have abandoned me

12 HI contracts with 1 GC 10 paid in full due to how progress payments worded Only 3 HIC completed 65% work don 85% of total balance paid Arranging financing for 1/2 of 15% left but now have preliminary lien notice from subcontractor & want to hold back 10% of total balance until resolved & all... Read more »

James Alan Greer
James Alan Greer answered on Aug 30, 2019

Dear Owner Requesting Advice on Retention Payment issue: While I am adept at advising owners in a construction setting, your question as stated is probably not capable of reply in this limited forum until more information is obtained. Critically, an attorney would definitely need to review the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: how binding is an exclusive listing agreement in california
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Aug 29, 2019

FYI: Most written contracts are intentionally written because the parties want the contract to be "binding."

There is no such thing as a "partially binding" contract-- unless there is a term in it that says it is "partially binding." I hope that clears things up for you.

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