Series of Medical Marijuana Bills Pass Legislature

On September 11, 2015, the California Legislature passed a series of bills creating a comprehensive regulatory framework for the Medical Marijuana Industry in California. Amended versions of Senate Bill 643, Assembly Bill 266, and Assembly Bill 243 passed and have been sent to the Governor’s Office for his signature. The series of bills creates a licensing framework for medical marijuana … Read More

Smartphone Kill Switch Law in Effect as of July 1

As of July 1, all new smartphones sold or shipped to consumers in California must include a “kill switch” device, pursuant to California Business and Professions Code section 22761. The new law, which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in August of 2014, is aimed at deterring smart phone theft. Phones sold on or after July 1, 2015 must include a … Read More

U-be a Class of Employees

Recently, a federal court in California certified a class action of Uber drivers who claim they are really employees and were misclassified by Uber as independent contractors.  Uber defended the class status of the Uber drivers, arguing that each driver, as independent contractors, had a special contractual relationship with Uber and couldn’t prosecute their individual claims as a class.  Drivers for … Read More

Breaking the Logjam: CCP Section 998 Offers

Lawyers have their own peculiar jargon, often using just numbers to convey positions, settlement offers, and tactics.  One of the most commonly used numbers is found in Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) Section 998, technically an “Offer to Compromise” in a dollar certain amount that settles the litigation.   An “Offer to Compromise” pursuant to CCP Section 998 can be made … Read More

California Labor Commissioner Opines on Sick Leave

This month, the California Labor Commissioner has offered an opinion letter to help California employers interpret the requirements of the new Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014—otherwise known as the new sick leave law in California.  The opinion letter provides guidance to employers who have employees who do not work a traditional 8-hour per day schedule.  Humboldt County employers … Read More

Elder Abuse Claims in Transactions

As our population ages, it is only natural there are more transactions where one of the parties is a senior citizen.  Parties to a transaction need to remember that the Elder Abuse Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) applies to transactions with seniors.If it is believed that an elder has been taken advantage of in a transaction, it may lead … Read More

The Phantom Income Issue

When starting a new business, the question that every new venture faces is how to fund the operations of the business. Often times, one person agrees to contribute money, while the other person agrees to contribute services. This can lead to an issue known as “phantom income.”  Presently, the tax code places a value on capital contributed to a business, … Read More

Incontestable Trademarks

Federal trademark registration provides certain protections to businesses and other registrants who use and own trademarks and service marks to promote their goods and services. These protections are strengthened when a trademark becomes “incontestable” five years after its registration. Once a mark becomes incontestable, its validity cannot be challenged on a variety of grounds which often haunt other marks not … Read More

Put the “Self” Back into Self-Employed

Recent data available from the Census Bureau suggests that almost 11,000 Humboldt County residents identify as self-employed.  If you own and operate your own business, you’ve likely had occasion to consider California’s employment laws.  There is a great local resource for employers in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.  The Northcoast Employer’s Advisory Council meets regularly, typically in Eureka, to discuss … Read More