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1809, 2017

Redefining a Sale for California Real Property Transfer Tax

By | September 18th, 2017|Categories: News, The Advisor, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Redefining a Sale for California Real Property Transfer Tax

When real property changes hands, California imposes two separate taxes – the annual real property tax and a documentary transfer tax. The annual real property tax is reassessed to fair market value when a property changes ownership.  The transfer tax allows a county or city, or both, to charge a tax when real property is sold by the transfer, grant, assignment, or other conveyance of a deed, instrument or writing for more than $100.[1] The key to this definition is that there must be a sale of real property that is recognized by a transfer through a deed, instrument, or [...]

1209, 2017

Matal v. Tam: Disparaging Trademarks, Like THE SLANTS, Can Be Registered Trademarks

By | September 12th, 2017|Categories: Intellectual Property, News, The Advisor|Comments Off on Matal v. Tam: Disparaging Trademarks, Like THE SLANTS, Can Be Registered Trademarks

This case revolves around whether a trademark can be registered before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) even though the mark is disparaging.  The Lanham Act prohibits the registration of many kinds of marks, but in this case, preventing the registration of disparaging marks directly challenges the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause. During oral arguments, Justice Kagan  raised the free speech issue in the Lanham Act as: [I]t precludes disparagement of Democrats and Republicans alike, and so forth and so on, but it makes a very important distinction, which is that you can say good things about some [...]

808, 2017

Cybersecurity and California’s Breach Notification Law

By | August 8th, 2017|Categories: News, The Advisor|Comments Off on Cybersecurity and California’s Breach Notification Law

  Cyber-attacks and data breaches have increased in recent years, creating risks for consumers and businesses alike.  From 2012 to 2015, the California Office of the Attorney General (“Attorney General”) received reports of 657 data breaches affecting more than 49 million records of California residents.[1]  In fact, in 2015 alone, 178 breaches put over 24 million records of Californians at risk—that’s nearly three out of five Californians.[2]   The Attorney General’s 2016 California Data Breach Report notes that malware and hacking likely present the greatest risk to organizations and consumers, both in the number of breaches (365, 54%) and the number [...]

1407, 2017

The California Supreme Court Confirms Private Property Rights  

By | July 14th, 2017|Categories: News, The Advisor|Comments Off on The California Supreme Court Confirms Private Property Rights  

In 1970, the California Supreme Court held that private owners of coastal property could be deemed to have impliedly dedicated property rights to the public if they allowed the public to use their property for recreational purposes over a period of years.  The reaction to this decision was negative, as it encouraged exclusive use of property and penalized neighborly landowners who allowed public use with the potential loss of exclusive rights to their land.  The only ways to prevent the possibility of such implied dedication were (1) block access to your property altogether, (2) find a way to convey your [...]

806, 2017

Plan the Orderly Transition of Your Estate

By | June 8th, 2017|Categories: News, The Advisor|Comments Off on Plan the Orderly Transition of Your Estate

President Trump’s recently released 2017 Tax Reform for Economic Growth and American Jobs seeks to do away with federal estate taxes, or what many refer to as the “death tax.” With current exemptions for estates valued at less than $5.49 million ($10.9 million for married couples), however, the death of the death tax hardly matters to most Americans. What does matter is the orderly transition of wealth, property, and personal values through a thoughtful plan prepared well in advance. Avoid Probate In the absence of a good estate plan, the transfer of assets to heirs occurs under the supervision of [...]

1105, 2017

Accessory Dwelling Units

By | May 11th, 2017|Categories: Homepage, News, The Advisor|Comments Off on Accessory Dwelling Units

If you are a homeowner, chances are you have heard about the recent change in California law regarding Accessory Dwelling Units.  Housing production in California has not kept up with demand for many years.  This housing shortage has led the state to adopt housing policies to encourage infill development to increase California’s housing stock. The last legislative session resulted in three separate bills amending Government Code Section 65852.150.  Effective January 1, 2017, local laws regarding Secondary Dwelling Units were superseded.   State law now mandates that local jurisdictions ease restrictions and barriers to the permitting and use of what are now [...]