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Priority of Mechanic's Liens

One of the most important aspects of the power of mechanic’s lien is its priority over other liens or deeds of trust.  Generally, liens on property follow the rule of “first in time, first in line” meaning that the priority of liens are determined based on the timing of the recording of the lien.  To…

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“The Slants” Win the Supreme Court Battle Against the Patent and Trademark Office

Seven years ago, the Asian-American Rock Band from Oregon started an application to register their name, “The Slants” as a Trademark. The USPTO, who didn’t seem to appreciate the irony of this name rejected the registration based on the Lanham Act. According to the national office, an Asian-American Band using “The Slants” to identify themselves…

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Importance of “Boilerplate” Terms in Contracts

The term “boilerplate” in contracts is often used to refer to miscellaneous terms and provisions, which don’t concern the main terms and conditions of the agreement.  For that reason, boilerplate provisions are often ignored or given short shrift by parties to contracts.  This is a mistake because boilerplate terms can be critical to resolution of…

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What Contractors Need to Know Under the California Right to Repair Act

The California Right to Repair Act, commonly known as SB800 is a bill that became effective as of January 1, 2003 establishing a mandatory procedure that must be used by homeowners who have construction defect claims against the builder, subcontractor, product manufacturer or design professional of a new construction (for the purpose of this article,…

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Think Before You Post on Facebook

 We have all had that moment where we have used Facebook to vent about our frustrations with someone. Besides the occasional post about our children’s accomplishments, what we had for dinner or political posts, many of us use Facebook as an outlet for our complaints. What could go wrong, right? Well, it seems that the…

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How to Avoid Drive-By Lawsuits Based on ADA

If you own a business that is open to the public, you need to know how to avoid drive-by lawsuits.  In the last decade or so, there has been an increase in litigation based on the Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as ADA[1].  The ADA and corresponding California Unruh Act[2] require compliance with certain…

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What Do You Mean We Have A Contract?!

Contract formation is one of the oldest forms of human interaction.  It dates back to the oral contract forming Adam and Eve’s deal with God to live in the Garden of Eden (which of course led to the first breach of contract action—very harsh ruling), progressing to contracts in Neanderthal times created by grunts and…

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