Contractors do better when they check a subcontractor thoroughly | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Contractors do better when they check a subcontractor thoroughly On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Construction Litigation on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. Big contractors in California and other states now engage in a process of pre-screening their subcontractors in order to maximize the chances that there will not be complaints or holdups during performance of the contract. They prequalify the subcontractor to assure that the company chosen is not going to be ill-suited for the job. It is important, for example, to make sure that subcontractors have the resources, manpower and skills to finish their part of the job in workmanlike manner. Right now there is generally a boom, or at least a steady increase, in construction work nationwide and in California. Even so, contractors have generally learned not simply to accept the lowest bids from subcontractors. On very big jobs, the contractor may have to hire an expert to weed out the good from the bad. In more modest projects, it may be that the investigation can be conducted in-house by the contractor. One thing to do is look into the subcontractor's mode of business and how the company is managed by its owner and management team. A good investigation will seek information on litigation, disputes with other companies, OSHA citations and bankruptcies. Other things to look for include insurance coverages and the necessity of always carrying workers' compensation. The real work and meat of the process will involve checking out the past jobs of the subcontractor by seeing how those jobs turned out and whether any of them were problematic. It is also important to get references of other businesses and talk with those companies. A contractor in California can also find out a lot by going to

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Contract dispute can escalate into complex litigation maneuvers | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Contract dispute can escalate into complex litigation maneuvers On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Contract Disputes on Thursday, June 30, 2016. In California and elsewhere, land that is owned by a government entity may become the subject of a development contract in which the government agrees to allow a private developer to construct housing units on the land. This is the case in another state where a private housing developer has become embroiled in extended litigation with the county, city and school district governments. The fight is over a housing development project that was supposed to produce 262 homes on the subdivided lots. The government entities reportedly first cancelled the deal in 2013 on the premise that the developer had failed to do enough advance work in getting the lots purchased and the project started. The developer countered that the governments could not give clear title to the lots. From there, the litigation has zigzagged through the courts without a decisive resolution. Most recently, the government entities have accused the developer of meddling in the internal affairs of the property owners' association. The issue was whether the developer had deliberately changed the voting rules in the association in order to pass bylaws that the developer wanted. The trial court sided with the governments and denied the argument of the developer, issuing a surprise ruling that effectively destroyed the development. Recently, the developer filed an affidavit in support of a new trial in which he alleged that the judge met with the government coalition legal team just before issuing the ruling. The affidavit apparently relies on another affidavit that was filed by a member of the property owner's association who said he witnessed the ex parte meeting in which there was

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Trademark dispute generally may give rise to injunctive relief | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Trademark dispute generally may give rise to injunctive relief On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Intellectual Property on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Relations between franchisors and franchisees are often riddled with business disputes leading to litigation between them. Often in California and other states the litigation takes place over the terms of an ongoing franchise agreement with respect to how it should be interpreted and enforced. In other cases, the dispute may be between a franchisor and a former franchisee. The latter kind of conflict often pertains to a trademark dispute in which the franchisor claims continuing trademark infringement by its former franchisee that is continuing to run a business similar to the franchisor's business. In one case, a pizza chain recently sued a former franchisee in a federal district court. It claims trademark infringement and unfair competition. The Fox's Pizza Den Company claims that its former franchisee has continued to run a pizza shop secretly using the Fox Pizza Den name, and has been selling pizza and other products with the use of the actual registered trademark of the company. Fox's is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction to stop the ongoing infringement from continuing. The detailed facts are not reported so that it is unknown how long the two businesses have been separated. In some instances, the name may be used inadvertently during the early days of a transition from having a franchise to not having one. When a franchise expires or is otherwise withdrawn from the franchisee, it is illegal for the franchisee to continue by using the same materials, ads, containers and other paraphernalia that it used when the franchise was alive. This is the type of business litigation and trademark dispute in which an injunction

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Rights to Klingon language argued in intellectual property case | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Rights to Klingon language argued in intellectual property case On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Intellectual Property on Sunday, May 15, 2016. New issues in intellectual property law both in California and elsewhere are pushing the prior limits of that kind of protection into new conceptual frontiers. One of those deals with the ownership of literary languages created in books or movies. Another has to do with whether computer software code can be made the exclusive intellectual property of its creator. The first part of the problem has emerged in the artistic and entertainment media. In a lawsuit brought by Paramount Pictures and CBS, the plaintiffs complained about a group of filmmakers who had produced a Star Trek-like movie through crowdfunding. The plaintiffs' complaint included a count of copyright infringement for stealing the Klingon language and using it in the startup production. The legal question is: can a fantastical language created by screenwriters and popularly worshipped by die-hard fans worldwide be copyrighted as a material commercial product under the creator's control? The defendants argued that the language was evolved and different from what it was initially, thus it was in the public domain. A victory would allow for greater freedom for writers and others working with items taken from widely popular productions. In the software arena, the defendants' rights embrace the asserted right to borrow from code that is already in commercial use. A lawsuit filed in California by Oracle against Google complains that Google stole some of Oracle's code for its Android software. The code is called an API, which is a kind of translator allowing programs to communicate. A judge rejected the infringement claim, calling the code too "utilitarian and functional" to be given protection. These are some

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May 2016 Archives | Los Angeles Business Law Blog

May 2016 ArchivesConstruction litigation is sometimes needed to resolve conflictsS On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Construction Litigation on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Several cities across the country and in California have tried to stimulate their downtown economic life by constructing minor league baseball parks to bring more people back into formerly depressed areas. Where these projects are financed by local tax dollars, they have often ended up riddled in controversy and construction litigation. One common problem contributing to such controversy has been the inability of contractors to finish on time and within budget. Continue reading Construction litigation is sometimes needed to resolve conflictsS... Tags: Construction Litigation Trademark dispute generally may give rise to injunctive relief On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Intellectual Property on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Relations between franchisors and franchisees are often riddled with business disputes leading to litigation between them. Often in California and other states the litigation takes place over the terms of an ongoing franchise agreement with respect to how it should be interpreted and enforced. In other cases, the dispute may be between a franchisor and a former franchisee. The latter kind of conflict often pertains to a trademark dispute in which the franchisor claims continuing trademark infringement by its former franchisee that is continuing to run a business similar to the franchisor's business. Continue reading Trademark dispute generally may give rise to injunctive relief... Tags: Intellectual Property Rights to Klingon language argued in intellectual property case On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Intellectual Property on Sunday, May 15, 2016. New issues in intellectual property law both in California and elsewhere are

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Exploring legal options for contract dispute in California | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Exploring legal options for contract dispute in California On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Contract Disputes on Thursday, May 12, 2016. Every California business owner understands the importance of a signed agreement. Often, business success hinges upon a solidly written contract, with all signed parties adhering to the obligations and responsibilities contained therein. In addition, most understand that a validly signed contract is typically legally binding; thus, when a contract dispute arises, there are often legal options available toward a resolution when needed. Seeking sound legal counsel through an experienced business and commercial law attorney is often crucial toward protecting one's business interests and obtaining a swift and satisfactory outcome when facing a contract problem. The legal system is often complicated, and acting alongside one who possesses a clear understanding of the law is advisable to any business owner who believes a breach of contract has occurred. Making informed decisions and determining the best course of action toward a speedy solution are two important steps in which an attorney can be of assistance. Contract disagreements that linger can greatly impede business success. The longer an issue remains unresolved, the more potentially costly a situation becomes. The truth is that bottom-line profitability often suffers when disputes go unaddressed. Any business owner in California who needs guidance concerning legal options for contract dispute issues may contact The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein to request a consultation. Our experience as skilled negotiators, as well as our past courtroom successes, allows us to serve as valuable assets in your quest for a favorable solution. We can begin by reviewing your situation to determine how best to proceed to accomplish your immediate and long-term business objectives. Related Posts: Bizarre contract dispute reveals conspiracy theory, Some

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Construction litigation is sometimes needed to resolve conflictsS | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Construction litigation is sometimes needed to resolve conflictsS On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Construction Litigation on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Several cities across the country and in California have tried to stimulate their downtown economic life by constructing minor league baseball parks to bring more people back into formerly depressed areas. Where these projects are financed by local tax dollars, they have often ended up riddled in controversy and construction litigation. One common problem contributing to such controversy has been the inability of contractors to finish on time and within budget. That is the case with one city in another state that has run into severe cash shortages and extensive delays that have gone way over the original deadline for finishing he stadium. The decision of the city leaders to try and develop depressed property has turned into a construction dispute and a political fiasco. The city's problem has been exacerbated by a change in administration and the election of a new mayor. This has put the minor league team, irreverently named the Hartford Yard Goats, out of a ball park so far for the 2016 season, and compelling it to play all of its games on the road. Sometimes, with large municipal projects, developers, contractors, government officials and other players get engaged in a chaotic battle that becomes difficult to unravel, especially with the added factor of politics muddying up the waters. In the vast majority of cases, a resolution is necessarily achieved that eventually completes the project and allows for some degree of ultimate success. The original promise of the project was to bring some $350 million in additional development into the area, with retail centers, hotels, restaurants, a renovated soccer stadium and a brewery. Eventually, after

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Business litigation over small business ownership is common | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Business litigation over small business ownership is common On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Business Litigation on Thursday, May 5, 2016. California and all other states commonly see many disputes between small business owners over the management or ownership of a company. The dispute typically has two or three owners of a small business arguing over ownership rights or other rights in the business. Where the parties are not particularly meticulous and don't put their agreements in writing, or don't keep good financial records, such disputes can easily turn into business litigation. That is the kind of dispute that recently broke up a hamburger chain operating under the Z-burger brand. The three founders of the store have agreed to settle their business litigation and go their separate ways. One of the owners has agreed with two brothers, the other owners, to split up the eight-store chain. Peter Tabibian, the outward face of the brand, will keep the store's flagship location along with certain other stores, while the two brothers will retain operation and ownership of several other locations. The brothers will rebrand their locations, and Tabibian will retain the Z-Burger moniker as part of the settlement. Sometimes, when small business owners are in conflict, it is better to make a split, with each side taking its own path forward. In October 2014, the two brothers had banned Tabibian from daily operations of all of the restaurants, claiming that he had been an employee and not a partner. Tabibian filed a lawsuit against them, seeking one third of the profits, because he had provided the ideas for the business and the food-industry expertise. He alleged that they were financial backers of the business that he created. A federal judge agreed with

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Two investment consulting firms in breach of contract litigation | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Two investment consulting firms in breach of contract litigation On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Business Litigation on Friday, April 15, 2016. It often happens in California that two companies will come together to support each other in the pursuit of a common project. This may loosely be called a joint venture, or a contractual arrangement between two entities may be drafted to further a common business goal. When things don't go right in a joint venture or similar agreement between two companies, the conflict may turn into breach of contract litigation.It appears that one example of this recently emerged in the filing of litigation by Todd Horwitz and his Bubba Trading, Inc. against Average Joe Trading LLC and the Adam Mesh Trading Group. This litigation between two investment consulting firms is based on allegations by Horwitz that the Adam Mesh entities owe Horwitz over $5 million. It is alleged that Horwitz and his ventures agreed to partner with Mesh and his companies to promote Mesh's business growth through the use of projects, ideas and connections supplied by Horwitz. Allegedly, Mesh agreed to pay Horwitz and Bubba Trading monthly fees in exchange for the use of certain intellectual properties. These included investment counseling programs owned and developed by Horwitz. Horwitz charges that Mesh used the Horwitz resources and paid for them as agreed over an extended period, but at some point, the flow of payments dried up.Horwitz includes counts of breach of contract, tortious interference and deceptive practices against Mesh. He asks the court to award damages of $1million per count along with punitive damages. The complaint also asks for the right to obtain thorough discovery the internal workings of the Mesh companies and enterprises. Business disputes that generally deal

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Spirit sues Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Spirit sues Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Intellectual Property on Friday, April 22, 2016. One of the highest earning songs of the rock music era is the subject of intellectual property litigation now transpiring in a federal district court in California. Some experts say that Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" grossed over $600 million since its release in 1971. Now, however, a belated lawsuit for copyright infringement has emerged wherein it is claimed that the song was actually written by a guitarist for the group "Spirit" a few years before Jimmy Page allegedly penned it for his own band after touring with Spirit in the 1960s.A copyright is generally a legal mechanism that gives a writer of music or a literary work the exclusive right, for a limited time, to copy the music for sale or publication. The copyright owner has the right to receive payment from others who want to publish the music or the literary work. Sometimes, when these rights cannot be resolved between conflicting parties, copyright infringement litigation will be initiated, and the court will decide who has superior rights. As part of that issue, if Led Zeppelin loses, Page and his partners may have to pay Spirit for the revenues it lost from the infringement. The presiding federal district judge recently decided that Spirit's 1967 instrumental called "Taurus" sounded similar enough to the Led Zeppelin song that the matter would be decided by a jury trial. The trial has been set to commence on May 10.     The lawsuit now pending in federal court in California alleges that Page may have written the song after touring with Spirit in the late 60s. All of that does not answer the question why

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