Orange County Attorney Summer Newsletter 2013

Summary by Robert Beck, Legal Extern

 

Legal Curveballs: Liability and Recreational Use Statutes, Orange County Attorney

Legal Curveballs: Liability and Recreational Use Statutes

Liability may occur when you invite people on to your land or open it to recreational use.

If a landowner invites someone on to their land they may be held liable in the event of a guest injury if the landowner did not take reasonable care to protect the guest from hazards on their property. Recreational land use statutes protect land owners who simply open up their land for public use from legal liability. An Orange County attorney will advise that there is no liability to the land owner should a non-invited recreational user be injured whilst using their property; this encourages landowners to open their land to the public while protecting them from any legal liability as a result.

Don’t Get Burned During Your Kitchen Renovation, Orange County Attorney

Don’t Get Burned During Your Kitchen Renovation

Contractors who go bankrupt actually gain the protection of the bankruptcy court, shielding them from sub-contractor payments and leaving you with the bill.

Before you remodel your home, first check if the contractor is licensed, as there is no legal standing for unlicensed contractors and not all of them get the city to approve your planned work. If your contractor goes bankrupt before completion of the project, sub-contractors could try to invoke mechanic’s liens on the unfinished materials in your home, so be sure to submit lien waivers from all suppliers and sub-contractors involved. Paying the contractor is not enough to protect yourself, so when possible confirm with the sub-contractors that they have been paid so you do not end up paying double if the contractor goes bankrupt.

Your Small Business and Your Death: Planning Ahead, Orange County AttorneyYour Small Business and Your Death: Planning Ahead

Business owners should utilize estate planning services with the help of a legal professional well in advance of their passing to ensure a smooth transition for their business and loved ones.

Business owners must do different tasks depending on how they desire their business to operate after their death. If the owner is going to transfer the business to their family, estate taxes and smooth business operations should be their priority. On the other hand, if the business will be sold, maximizing the business’ current value and appointing a business manager for the sale period are two important steps. For business owners who want to continue their business with the same people except themselves, a buy-sell agreement is necessary to ensure the owner’s interest will be acquired by the remaining partners or shareholders.

 

Supreme Court Update, Orange County Attorney

While most people hear about the issues of same-sex marriage and DNA swabs by the police, the Supreme Court is also ruling on the subjects of sniffing dog trespasses, overseas textbook selling, and whether or not genes and seeds can be patented.

In FL v. Jardines, police officers who took a police sniffer dog onto someone’s porch were deemed to have trespassed and their search constituted a violation of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights.

Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons involved a Thailand native who purchased his textbooks overseas and sold them back when he had completed his course in California; the Court ruled that he could lawfully resell the books even if they were purchased overseas.

Finally, in Bowman v. Monsanto Co., the Court unanimously ruled that after spending large amounts of research and development into a genetically modified soybean seed, the manufacturer and patent holder Monsanto needed to be appropriately rewarded and protected from farmers who wish to resell the seed.

 

If you need to talk to a Orange County, California attorney about projects such as these, please call the Law offices of Gale and Vallance (714) 634-4838.