CAN AN ARBITRATION CLAUSE HELP YOU GET PAID?

Will an Arbitration Clause Help You Get Paid Faster?

Many clients ask about arbitration clauses.       Some have heard that it will help them get paid.   Well, we’ll give you a true “lawyer” response . . . .it depends. What is Arbitration? Arbitration is a way of determining a dispute between 2 or more people that does not use the court system.     In the court system, a judge who is paid by the government (either state or federal) decides who wins the dispute.   In arbitration, a private person, who can be either a retired judge or another professional, hears the evidence, hears the claims and makes his or her decision. What Is an Arbitration Clause? An arbitration clause is language or a “clause” in a written agreement.   It says that… [Read More]

WHY MAINTAIN CORPORATE RECORDS AND HOW TO DO IT

Corporate records must be maintained

Corporate records must be maintained to shield your personal assets from business liabilities.   Most business owners know that they need to form a separate entity or a corporation to protect themselves when they start a new business.  Sadly, many business owners don’t understand that if they don’t maintain their corporate records, that protection could go away.  This blog post explains what corporate records are, why they are important and how to maintain them. What Corporate Records Are Corporate records are those documents that describe what decisions and actions the corporation has made.  The decisions are made by the shareholders or owners.  The shareholders appoint directors.  The directors oversee the operating of the company and appoint officers to operate the company.  The corporate records show what types of… [Read More]

WHEN CAN YOU FACE PERSONAL LIABILITY FOR BUSINESS DEBT?

Personal liability for business debt

Avoiding personal liability for business debt is why most business owners form a corporation or limited liability company (LLC).  With a corporation or LLC, an individual and their business are separate legal entities. An owner has no personal liability for debts that their business incurs. However, even if you do form a corporation or LLC by filing the proper papers with the Secretary of State to start your corporation or LLC, there are various ways an owner can negate the premise that the corporation is a separate entity and face personal liability for business debts. Most banks, finance companies, and landlords know that LLC members don’t have personal liability for their company’s debts, so they often won’t extend credit or… [Read More]

CAN YOU CHOOSE YOUR CALIFORNIA JUDGE?

Can You Choose Your California Judge?

I am often asked whether you can choose your California judge.    The answer is “No,” but sometimes you can reject your California judge. Huh? In California, there is a a statute, California Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6.    With that statute, you can “170.6” or “affidavit” your California judge. This is how it works.   After you learn who your judge is, if you are in California state court, you may have a right to file an affidavit about that judge.   In the affidavit, you or your lawyer states that you believe that the particular judge is prejudiced against the lawyer or you.   If the declaration is filed on time, normally it will be granted.   The supervising court will then take… [Read More]

SMALL CLAIMS COURT: CAN IT HELP YOU GET PAID?

Small Claims Court May Be an Effective Way to Get Paid

Small claims court can sometimes be an effective way to get paid for debts less than $5,000 for a corporation or $10,000 for an individual.   Here’s what you need to know about small claims court in California. HOW IT WORKS: In California small claims court, there are no lawyers, juries or rules of evidence in California.   You pay between $30-$100 to file it.    After you file and start your small claims court case, the court will set the date for the hearing.   You then must serve notice of the hearing and a copy of your complaint on the person who owes you money (the defendant).    He or she can respond and even seek money they think you owe him or… [Read More]

SOCIAL HOST LIABILITY IN CALIFORNIA: CAN YOU GET SUED FOR SERVING ALCOHOL?

Social host liability - could you be liable for a guest?

In California, can you face social host liability?  What IS social host liability?   Briefly, social host liability means that someone sues the social host for serving alcohol when a guest hurts someone (or him or herself) while inebriated. So, picture  this – you’re hosting a big event for the holidays.  You’ve invited a lot of people and made sure that the food, desserts, and gifts are ready.  But that’s not all, you’ve also arranged for alcohol to be available throughout the party.  Everyone has a great time sharing stories, reminiscing, and having a few drinks.  Around midnight, everyone begins to head out and make their way home. Just a few hours later, though, you receive a call that someone who… [Read More]

CAN PRE-JUDGMENT WRITS OF ATTACHMENT HELP ME GET PAID?

Pre-judgment writs of attachment can help you get paid

Yes, pre-judgment writs of attachment can sometimes help you get paid.   Pre-judgment writs of attachments are orders you get from a court.   They let the sheriff seize the assets of the person who owes you money.  This can even happen before you win your lawsuit against them.  So, when can you get pre-judgment writs of attachment? First, to get a pre-judgment writ of attachment, there has to be a breach of contract claim.   If the claim, for example, is that someone did not pay you as they agreed to do so, that is a breach of contract claim.   On the other hand, a claim that you slipped and fell in their store because they negligently had grease on the floor,… [Read More]

GET PAID FASTER BY YOUR CUSTOMER: STEPS TO TAKE

Getting Paid Faster: What to Do

If you are interested in getting paid faster by your customers, there are certain procedures that you should set in place.   We are assuming that when you work with your customers, that you are working with a sense of urgency.   We all want our customers to pay us with the same sense of urgency so that we are getting paid faster.  Here are some easy steps and a procedure to getting paid by your customers by treating their obligation to pay you as an urgent matter requiring follow up as well. Send your bill or invoice out when you ship or provide the service. Call or email your customer a few days before the due date for your payment to… [Read More]

GET PAID FASTER BY HAVING A WRITTEN AGREEMENT

Get paid faster with a written agreement

  To get paid faster by your customers, consider having a written agreement or contract.    For many people, there is no written document or no written invoice for the work they do for their customer.   Instead, a customer asks you for your rate, asks you to do the work, you do the work and then look for payment.    No one wants to have the “hard talk” about money up front and you trust that – just as you take care of your customer – they will take care of you in the end.   Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t’.   When they don’t, you’re left holding the (empty) bag. So, let’s start at the beginning and to get paid faster,… [Read More]

CLOSING A COMPANY: MORE THAN JUST SHUTTING YOUR DOORS

Closing a company is more than just walking away

Closing a company?  It requires more than just shutting your doors and returning the key to the landlord.  You need to do more than just walk away.   If you don’t take certain steps to properly dissolve your corporation, including, if necessary, paying off creditors, you could face liability for back taxes or even personally owe money to creditors. Here are the steps you should take when closing a company Identify your company’s creditors.  If you can, pay them off. Does your company have an Operating Agreement (for an LLC)?   If so, follow the procedures in that agreement. If you have a corporation, look at the Shareholders Agreement?  Follow the steps in that agreement. Cancel any business licenses  that you won’t… [Read More]