April 2016 Archives | Los Angeles Business Law Blog

April 2016 ArchivesDispute between two co-founders leads to business litigation On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Business Litigation on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Many well-known startups in California and elsewhere, including Facebook and Snapchat, have gone through upheavals in ownership shortly after the business began to function. The original creators may find themselves at a crisis point where they no longer understand each other or their plans for the dream program they created. This often leads to business litigation and a settlement that turns out to be not so lucrative for the withdrawing partner.                       Continue reading Dispute between two co-founders leads to business litigation... Tags: Business Litigation 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. Continue reading Spirit sues Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement... Tags: Intellectual Property 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

Continue reading

Dispute between two co-founders leads to business litigation | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Dispute between two co-founders leads to business litigation On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Business Litigation on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Many well-known startups in California and elsewhere, including Facebook and Snapchat, have gone through upheavals in ownership shortly after the business began to function. The original creators may find themselves at a crisis point where they no longer understand each other or their plans for the dream program they created. This often leads to business litigation and a settlement that turns out to be not so lucrative for the withdrawing partner.                      That scenario is developing over a startup app called Cruise, which is an autonomous driving program that can be added to regular cars. The dispute is between two men who appear to be the original co-creators of the program. One of those two filed litigation recently in a state court, claiming that he was squeezed out and that his former partner has excluded him from sharing in a pending sale of the program to General Motors. GM has agreed to pay $1 billion for the startup to Kyle Vogt, the current CEO of the company developing the program technology. The plaintiff is Jeremy Guillory, whose name appears as a co-founder in certain early documents. In fact, the two agreed in writing to pursue the project and split the profits equally, as co-founders. The agreement called for Guillory to perfect the technological details of the program and Vogt to provide seed money, organizational resources and fundraising.It is reported that Guillory's expertise and experience in this kind of technology is far greater than Vogt's. Guillory was listed with Vogt as a co-founder on Y Combinator, an established startup program, but the

Continue reading

Construction project bogs down while contractors fight over bid | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Construction project bogs down while contractors fight over bid On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Construction Litigation on Friday, April 8, 2016. Although California law does not usually require a public body to award a construction contract to the lowest bidder, doing so is one way for a municipality to keep the burden of litigation down. One certainty is that a steady number of awarded contracts will be challenged through state or federal litigation. The challenge is often filed by the lowest bidder due to the construction project going to a higher bid. In some cases, the courts will invalidate the award and send the case back for the public body to start over.  The bidding process must follow the applicable state or federal statute in granting a bid. The statute usually sets forth very specific factors to be used in awarding a contract. When there is a dispute, the parties must turn to the statute to see if the public entity followed the statutory requirements in granting the bid. Here is where the heart of the controversy usually lies. That is because the conflicting sides will all have their own interpretation of the wording of the statute. The prior case law involving cases with similar facts will then be applicable in resolving the issue. After conducting hearings on the facts, the presiding court will usually ask for written legal argument form each side.In one recent case, the lowest bidder to construct a $44 million sea port lost the bid to the second lowest bidder. The lowest bidder filed litigation requesting that the court declare the contract award void because it violated the state's procurement statutes and case law. The two contending bidders had also been bickering over a variety of

Continue reading

Trump University case is a top business litigation attraction | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Trump University case is a top business litigation attraction On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Business Litigation on Friday, March 25, 2016. Business litigation regarding contract disputes in California and other jurisdictions covers a wide range of subject matter. One significant area of such litigation involves consumer complaints against businesses regarding alleged defective products and services. Attorneys who practice business litigation and those in the field of consumer litigation will generally both be adept at handling such matters, both for the business owner and on behalf of the consumer.Each consumer-oriented contract dispute is highly fact specific, depending on the wording of the contract, associated documents, the surrounding circumstances and the testimony of witnesses. One case that is drawing widespread interest is the consumer class action brought in 2010 against Trump University. A woman brought a class action in a federal district court in San Diego against Donald Trump's so-called university for fraudulent advertising, breach of contract and deceptive business practices. The gist of it is that the marketing of the new school promised and strongly insinuated that Trump himself would be in charge of operations and that he would be imparting his personal business genius to students in allowing them to pick up on the secrets that made him successful. In return, students were asked to put up about $35,000 for the tuition to a series of seminars that did not include Trump. There are other suits against Trump University on similar claims; there is also a criminal fraud investigation of the school by the New York State Attorney General.Recently, the federal district court judge in California granted the lead plaintiff's petition to drop out and have a replacement appointed. The plaintiff claimed that she had been sickened over the

Continue reading

March 2016 Archives | Los Angeles Business Law Blog

March 2016 ArchivesConstruction project in Sebastopol is finally cleared On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Construction Litigation on Tuesday, March 29, 2016. A construction dispute can hold up a proposed project for years. The dispute can take the form of public objections and resistance to a project based on environmental impact and traffic flow impacts. One long-raging conflict in a small California town shows how a construction project may linger in limbo while obstructions hold sway over the regulatory process. Continue reading Construction project in Sebastopol is finally cleared... Tags: Construction Litigation Trump University case is a top business litigation attraction On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Business Litigation on Friday, March 25, 2016. Business litigation regarding contract disputes in California and other jurisdictions covers a wide range of subject matter. One significant area of such litigation involves consumer complaints against businesses regarding alleged defective products and services. Attorneys who practice business litigation and those in the field of consumer litigation will generally both be adept at handling such matters, both for the business owner and on behalf of the consumer. Continue reading Trump University case is a top business litigation attraction... Tags: Business Litigation Business litigation may involve disputes between rival inventors On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Business Litigation on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Business disputes in California and elsewhere often deal with a disagreement over who was the true inventor of an innovative new product. These types of disputes spawn business litigation in the state and federal courts around the country. A typical scenario might consist of an unknown person stepping forth to challenge the proprietary rights

Continue reading

Don’t let a contract dispute become an obstacle to success | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Don't let a contract dispute become an obstacle to success On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Contract Disputes on Friday, March 11, 2016. Signed agreements are integral parts of the effective operations in most California businesses. A contract dispute can quickly become an impediment to productivity, but it need not be an obstacle to success. Securing immediate and sound legal counsel when a difficult situation arises is often key to a swift and satisfactory outcome.The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein is dedicated to providing comprehensive and personalized services to clients in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. We base our successful counsel on clear understanding of business law as it relates to a wide variety of issues. Though one of our primary goals is to help you negotiate an amicable resolution to your dispute without going to court, we are prepared to aggressively litigate your position if the situation warrants it. Our lead attorney is a small business owner who fully understands both the potential rewards and challenges of owning and operating a business. He is committed to helping clients overcome their legal challenges to accomplish their immediate and long-term business goals. The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein will work hard to protect your interests as you seek a resolution to a contract dispute.Half the battle in most contract litigation situations is making certain that all signature parties understand the legal terms and obligations within an agreement. As your legal advocate, we will provide clarification on these and other important issues to help you explore all available options to achieve a positive result. If you are worried that a business conflict may be impeding your path to success, you can contact our California office to begin the process of

Continue reading

Construction project in Sebastopol is finally cleared | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Construction project in Sebastopol is finally cleared On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Construction Litigation on Tuesday, March 29, 2016. A construction dispute can hold up a proposed project for years. The dispute can take the form of public objections and resistance to a project based on environmental impact and traffic flow impacts. One long-raging conflict in a small California town shows how a construction project may linger in limbo while obstructions hold sway over the regulatory process.The town is Sebastopol, and the issue involves the proposed construction of a CVS store on a prominent downtown corner. The location for decades housed the Pellini Chevrolet dealership , which closed in 2008. In 2010, a developer came forth with the proposed CVS retail store. This raised immediate questions regarding the impact of the development on the traffic and environment. The questions by public groups held the project up for years. In the meantime, the site took on the look of a garbage dump, which CVS did little to prevent or improve. The public opposition did not fall away, but the town nonetheless negotiated a settlement with CVS in which CVS agreed to turn over $150,000 to cover various expenses for the town. Part of that amount will apparently go toward funding a traffic signal synchronization study.That settlement, obtained in the fall of 2014, finally resulted in construction crews starting to work just this recently. The current phase is the razing and demolition of four buildings on the site, including special hazardous wastes. The mayor stated that people will generally be happy to see the eyesore go away. The new construction is moving on fast forward and should be ready for occupancy in September. The scenario that progressed in this case, including the

Continue reading

Business litigation may involve disputes between rival inventors | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Business litigation may involve disputes between rival inventors On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Business Litigation on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Business disputes in California and elsewhere often deal with a disagreement over who was the true inventor of an innovative new product. These types of disputes spawn business litigation in the state and federal courts around the country. A typical scenario might consist of an unknown person stepping forth to challenge the proprietary rights to a product that has become internationally popular.That happened in 1997 when an individual inventor sued 3M, the American company that makes and sells tape, bandages, films, office products, and numerous other products. The lawsuit claimed that the inventor had first created the Post-It Note that 3M was then successfully marketing and claiming as its own creation. He alleged that he had created the Post-It Note in 1973, which was at least a year prior to the company's own claims for the product. That suit was settled, and the inventor claims that 3M promised at that time to refrain from claiming that its engineers created the product. The current lawsuit states that 3M has breached the 1997 settlement agreement by again claiming in its advertising that 3M's inventors created the product. The plaintiff is asking for $400 million in damages, claiming that his reputation is being negatively impacted.It may be somewhat strange that the plaintiff is dwelling on reputation issues when a claim for lost revenues and a share of 3M's Post-It revenues appear to be arguable. 3M denies validity to the current suit, however, stating that the prior settlement did not prohibit the company from making claims about the product. The case is being litigated in a federal district court where the judge has

Continue reading

Attorney’s help with standard forms may avoid contract dispute | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Attorney's help with standard forms may avoid contract dispute On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Contract Disputes on Friday, March 4, 2016. Most companies do not have a business attorney in-house or on staff because they most likely do not make the income to afford it. However, when it comes to the need to make a critical decision that may carry an important legal impact, it may be time to call in an experienced business attorney. In California and everywhere else, a business acts wisely when it retains an experienced business attorney to help steer it through potentially perilous waters. Having a business attorney draft certain forms that are commonly used in the industry, and instructing managers on how to use them, can be an important way of avoiding a contract dispute or even business litigation in the future.In some industries, form contracts and other standard documents are commonly used. When the company has not given some serious thought about the provisions of these templates and does not know the potential implications of them, the company is operating in the blind. In addition, that weakness may lead to litigation and may put the company on the defensive during legal proceedings. Preparing form contracts should be approached with great care. The same goes for filling them out. The wording that fills in the blanks is often where the dispute or misunderstanding arises. The ability to use professionally accurate forms without a meltdown of legal problems will be a strong sign to others of the of the company's preparedness to conduct business. These form contracts, designed for particular standard transactions, are best designed by using simple, straightforward language with some legal terminology where it can be helpful.At the same time, it is

Continue reading

Litigation rises over breached oil rig construction contracts | The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein

Litigation rises over breached oil rig construction contracts On behalf of Peter C. Bronstein of The Law Office of Peter C. Bronstein posted in Contract Disputes on Tuesday, February 2, 2016. California and other states will see a growth in litigation in the coming months regarding contract disputes in the offshore drilling industry. This is motivated by the steep decline in worldwide oil prices. As prices go down, the need for contracts to drill for gas and oil is also declining, leading to litigation over the cancellation of offshore rig construction contracts.The coming litigation is marked by certain consultancy firms creating new branches to specialize in expert witness services that deal with rig construction contract cancellations. The owner of one consulting firm recently reported that over 25 offshore rig shipyard contracts have recently been delayed or terminated. The scope of litigation is seen to be even broader when the cancellation of drilling operations on land is also considered. The company's that drill for oil ordered rigs to be constructed for ongoing drilling during boom times. Now that those times are over, there is a backlog of deliveries of rigs. Some drillers have been able to put off delivery of the rigs for the time being, in anticipation of a later market recovery.Some offshore oil drillers are reportedly declaring the shipyards in breach of contract in order to avoid taking delivery of the rigs they ordered. The resolution of resulting litigation will be expensive and drawn out, with disputes expected to involve a myriad of specific details relating to a wide scope of issues. Some claims will deal with changed regulations, delays, particular legal obligations and incredibly intricate issues over contract specifications.  Drillers may have an edge in supporting breach of contract claims because oil rigs are usually constructed with numerous

Continue reading