Attorney Blog

New Regulations on Employers’ Use of Criminal History

  • Apr 26 2017

Effective July 1, 2017 California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) issued new regulations on employers’ use of criminal background information in hiring decisions. The new law prohibits employers from using or seeking criminal history information that has an adverse impact on a protected class, unless the information sought is job related.  Further, employers are required to provide written notice to the applicant explaining a decision to not hire based on criminal history....

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What is Pre-bankruptcy Credit Counseling?

  • Apr 13 2017

By: William E. Winfield, Esq. Today, individuals who are seeking relief under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code are required to complete credit counseling with an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee’s office. The purpose of pre-bankruptcy credit counseling is to determine if the debtor qualifies for bankruptcy or whether an informal payment plan is a better option. In any event, credit counseling is necessary even if a payment plan is not feasible....

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What Nonprofits Need to Know about Charitable Gifts

  • Mar 30 2017

Tax exempt organizations may accept contributions of cash or property.  A tax deduction is allowed for any charitable contribution of which is made within the taxable year under IRC Section 170(c).  The organization has an obligation to substantiate contributions for the donor’s income tax deductions purposes.  A gift acceptance policy will serve as a guideline and help board members and staff to determine what gifts are acceptable and establish the organization’s role. Substantiation Requirements...

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Considerations in Converting a For-Profit into a Nonprofit

  • Mar 14 2017

Business owners may decide to make the switch from a for-profit corporation to a 501 (C) (3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization when their purpose has shifted from making a profit to furthering a social or charitable cause. There are several factors to consider before making this important decision which include the loss of individual control, primary goals and activities of the corporation and the appropriate method of transition. A nonprofit corporation is a legal entity...

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Why Your Business Needs An Email Policy

  • Feb 28 2017

In the contemporary workplace, email is an essential and efficient form of communication. Whether it’s used internally among staff members, or for exchanges with vendors and customers, email is a necessary business tool. At the same time, misuse of this technology can expose an organization to legal and reputational risks as well as security breaches. For this reason, it is crucial to put a formal email policy in place. First, an email policy should clarify...

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Top 3 Real Estate Tips for Small Businesses

  • Feb 22 2017

By: Roy Schneider, Esq.  The only real estate transaction most small businesses engage in is to enter into a lease for commercial space. Whether you are considering office, manufacturing or retail space, the following three tips will help you navigate the negotiation process so you can avoid costly mistakes. “Base Rent” is Not the Only Rent You Will Pay Most prospective tenants focus their negotiation efforts on the “base rent,” the fixed monthly amount...

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Beware of “Simple” Estate Plans

  • Feb 1 2017

“I just need a simple will.”  It’s a phrase estate planning attorneys hear practically every other day.   From the client’s perspective, there’s no reason to do anything complicated, especially if it might lead to higher legal fees.  Unfortunately, what may appear to be a “simple” estate is all too often rife with complications that, if not addressed during the planning process, can create a nightmare for you and your heirs at some point in...

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Should I Incorporate My Business?

  • Jan 27 2017

By: Theodore Schneider, Esq. The primary advantages of operating as a corporation are liability protection and potential tax savings. Like any important decision, choosing whether to incorporate involves weighing the pros and cons of the various business structures and requires careful research. Once incorporated, the business becomes a separate legal entity, and assets of the corporation are separated from the owner’s personal finances. As a result, the owner’s personal assets (house, cars, savings, investments),...

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Buying Property? Consider How to Hold Title

  • Jan 10 2017

By: Ted Schneider, Esq. You are purchasing a home, and the escrow officer asks, “How do you want to hold title to the property?” In the context of your overall home purchase, this may seem like a small, inconsequential detail; however, this decision is far from trivial. A property can be owned by the same people, yet the way title is held can drastically affect each owner’s rights during their lifetime and upon their...

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The Pitfalls of Hiring a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer

  • Jan 10 2017

By: William Winfield, Esq.  It might sound counter-intuitive, but filing for personal bankruptcy is expensive. Besides paying attorney fees, a debtor must also pay the court costs associated with filing the bankruptcy petition and accompanying documents. Then there are the expenses associated with attending the mandatory pre- and post-filing consumer credit courses. So when presented with the opportunity to save a few bucks by hiring a bankruptcy petition preparer (BPP) to draft your bankruptcy...

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