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January 2016 Archives

Does my business need a license to operate in California?

Most California business owners are aware of the necessity of obtaining common licenses and permits, such as a commercial drivers' license or building and occupancy permits. Many professions, such as law, medicine, and engineering, also require a license from the state of California as a prerequisite for selling professional services to the public. How can a businessman who is forming a new venture find out whether a license must be obtained before the doors can be opened?

What is joint and several liability in California?

Lawsuits that arise out of mishaps on a construction site can be extremely complicated cases. This is because several parties may share blame for the accident. For example, if a wall collapses, the general contractor may have given faulty instructions; the engineers may have used a faulty design; the concrete subcontractor may have used the wrong type of cement; or a co-worker may have made a mistake. In fact, the list could grow to include many parties. How does the law sort out liability in a complex construction dispute if more than one party may be at fault?

The role of operating agreements in managing LLCs

For most small businesses in southern California, the preferred form of business organization is the limited liability company. Limited liability companies are easy to organize and can be operated free from much of the formal procedures that are required of business corporations. Unfortunately, when forming a business, many small businessmen fail to plan for unexpected bumps in the future. No two people can be expected to agree on every aspect of managing a business, and if a business has three or more principals, the probability of conflict becomes higher.

What is California's statute of repose?

Most persons in the construction industry in southern California have a general understanding of statutes of limitation, but very few understand the difference between a statute of limitation and a statute of repose. The distinction is an important feature of California construction law, because, while all civil lawsuits are subject to a statutorily prescribed deadline for bringing the action, the state's statute of repose applies only to lawsuits arising out of defects in construction projects.

Blueprint copyright litigation

Few people outside of the world of architectural design have ever heard of one law that has a profound impact on construction law in the United States: The H.R.3990 -- The Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act of 1990, which we will refer to in this blog post as "the 1990 Act." As a result of the law, architects may now be limited in their legal response when they believe they are facing a copyright infringement.  

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