San Francisco Bay Area-based Lifestyle Agencies af&co. and Ellipses Merge

Fresh on the heels of the successful launch of its partner branding and creative services agency, Carbonate, the evolution of af&co. (formerly Andrew Freeman & Co.) continues. The award-winning agency has officially announced its merger with Ellipses Public Relations, becoming one full-service communications agency. Operating as af&co., the 17-person firm is headquartered in downtown San Francisco and specializes in lifestyle, hospitality, food and beverage marketing and public relations, serving the Bay Area and beyond. Andrew Freeman continues his role as president and chief executive officer, and Ellipses founder and CEO Diana Haven fills a new chief operating officer position at the growing agency.

“Our two agencies have been close collaborators and referral partners for some time, and Diana and I have been friends for 15 years," said Freeman. “The merger of our two firms was the next step in the evolution and growth strategy for af&co. In addition to having amazing connections with the media, Diana and the team she has brought with her have deep experience in digital strategy, consumer packaged goods marketing and lifestyle public relations. This move gives us the opportunity to not only expand our offerings to new market segments but solidifies our place as one of the leading lifestyle firms in the Bay Area and nationally. As af&co. celebrates its 15th anniversary, the time was right and the combined talent of our teams is incredible. This is truly a merger of the minds and takes full advantage of our respective strengths as leaders and entrepreneurs.”

“It’s been incredible to watch both of our businesses thrive over the years, and this merger makes perfect sense. We’ve each built successful and respected agencies, and I feel the joining of the two is a game-changer for the Bay Area’s lifestyle PR and marketing industry. The merger is an incredible move for us, our teams and our clients, and I’m very excited to help lead the business into the 2020s and beyond,” said Haven.

About Andrew Freeman

A native of New Jersey, Freeman learned the restaurant business by working through the ranks at several legendary New York venues. At Windows on the World, Andrew was vice president of public relations and marketing and responsible for its relaunch after the World Trade Center bombing in 1992. At the Russian Tea Room, Andrew opened the Cabaret which became the toast of the town after only six months. He also spent six years as vice president of public relations for the Rainbow Room, working with restaurant legend Joe Baum. Prior to opening af&co., Freeman was vice president of public relations and strategic partnerships for Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. He spent ten years with Kimpton, launching over 40 hotels and restaurants as well as the global brand. During his tenure there Andrew helped spearhead the LGBT travel program, which has garnered numerous awards and positioned Kimpton as one of the top companies for LGBT employment in the country. In 2002, Kimpton became the first hospitality company to receive a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index.

A dedicated philanthropist, Andrew sits on the boards of CUESA, Dress for Success San Francisco and The Richmond Ermet AIDS Foundation. He is a former board member of Meals on Wheels San Francisco, the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Anti-Defamation League, and was an advisor for the American Airlines LGBT Committee. From 2016 to 2019, af&co. has been named by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Top 50 LGBT-Owned Businesses in the Bay Area.

About Ellipses and Diana Haven

Ellipses was founded in December 2007 after Haven’s 15-year career in public relations and television, which took her from promoting the performing arts in the early 1990s to working with tech clients in the “dot-com boom” of the late 1990s, then to TechTV as booking manager and producer from 1999 to 2002. Prior to Ellipses, she was the public relations director at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay from 2003 to 2007. Her award-winning efforts, which included an outdoor concert series, celebrity chef and culinary classes, and an annual silent auction, contributed to significant increases in top-line revenue and international acclaim for the resort by driving annual media impressions from 600 million in 2003 to 1.2 billion in 2005.

A boutique agency headquartered in Oakland, Ellipses has represented more than 100 clients in the hospitality, travel, food, beverage and special events industries, launching over 40 restaurants and destinations throughout the greater Bay Area including The Culinary Institute of America at Copia, Fog City, Dumpling Time, La Marcha, Urban Putt, Lord Stanley, Niku Steakhouse and the Butcher Shop by Niku. Clients moving with Ellipses to af&co. include OCHO Candy, The Berkeley Boathouse and Altamirano Restaurant Group.

About af&co.

Celebrating its 15th year in 2020, af&co. is an innovative lifestyle marketing and media relations agency with clients across the country. The af&co. team has launched over 150 restaurants and hotels, provided ongoing marketing, public relations, and operations consulting for more than 200 others, and created unique culinary events of all sizes, from intimate dinners to food and wine festivals of over 10,000 people. In early 2020, af&co. launched Carbonate, a brand strategy and creative services agency. af&co. and Carbonate are known for bringing a fresh approach with bold results, with an emphasis on hotels, restaurants, food, wine, spirits, travel, and destinations.

Among the agency’s current clients are 4505 BBQ, Bluestem Brasserie, Duende, E & O Kitchen and Bar, Evolution Hospitality (Vespera on Ocean/AC Santa Clara/AC Sunnyvale), Golden Gate Restaurant Association, Gott’s Roadside, Mr. Espresso, One Market, Palette, Perbacco and barbacco, Ramen Nagi, River Terrace Inn, Roman Spa & Hot Springs, TCHO Chocolate and Virgin Hotels SF. For a complete list of current and past clients, please visit http://www.afandco.com.

Posted in: Business,Finance,Hospitality,Law & Legal,U.S

Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP, File Lawsuit Against Loyal Source Government Services LLC, for Allegedly Failing to Pay Accurate Minimum and Overtime Wages

The San Diego Labor law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP, filed a class action lawsuit against Loyal Source Government Services LLC, alleging that the company failed to provide accurate wages and allegedly did not provide required rest periods to their California employees. The class action lawsuit against Loyal Source Government Services LLC, is currently pending in the San Diego Superior Court, Case No. 37-2020-00008677-CU-OE-CTL. To read a copy of the Complaint, please click here.

The lawsuit filed against Loyal Source Government Services LLC alleges DEFENDANT failed and continues to fail to accurately calculate minimum and overtime wages in order to avoid paying these employees for the correct compensation. As a result, DEFENDANT allegedly was able to illegally profit and gain an unfair advantage over competitors. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges DEFENDANT from to time to time failed to provide accurate itemized wage statements. Cal. Lab. Code § 226 provides that every employer shall furnish each of his or her employees with an accurate itemized wage statement in writing showing, among other things, gross wages earned and all applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period and the corresponding amount of time worked at each hourly rate.

Allegedly, DEFENDANT required PLAINTIFF to work while clocked out. To the extent that the time worked off the clock did not qualify for overtime premium payment, DEFENDANT allegedly failed to pay minimum wages for the time worked off-the-clock in violation of Cal. Lab. Code §§ 1194, 1197, and 1197.1. Furthermore, PLAINTIFF allegedly from time to time was unable to take off-duty meal breaks nor was able to be fully relieved of duty for meal periods. In violation of the applicable sections of the California Labor Code and the requirements of the Industrial Welfare Commission ("IWC") Wage Order, the lawsuit alleges DEFENDANT intentionally and knowingly failed to compensate PLAINTIFF and the other members of the CALIFORNIA CLASS at the correct rate of pay for all overtime worked.

If you would like to know more about the Loyal Source Government Services LLC lawsuit, please contact Attorney Nicholas J. De Blouw today by calling (800) 568-8020.

Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP, is a labor law firm with law offices located in San Diego County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, Sacramento County, and San Francisco County. The firm has a statewide practice of representing employees on a contingency basis for violations involving unpaid wages, overtime pay, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and other types of illegal workplace conduct.


Posted in: Business,Law & Legal,U.S

Broker, Rick Tobin, named to Leadership Team of the Fort Lauderdale Chapter of the National Association of Divorce professionals

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, December 18, 2019

Premier Hotel Realty is proud to announce that broker Rick Tobin has been elected to the Leadership team of the Fort Lauderdale Lunch Chapter of The National Association of Divorce Professionals (www.theNADP.com).  NADP is a new and growing association of highly vetted professionals who serve clients going through all stages of divorce. The local chapter is composed of Family Law Attorneys, Financial Planners, Real Estate Agents, Immigration Attorneys, Counsellors and others who help people navigate the divorce process.  The NADP is committed to making a positive impact on the divorce process through strategic alliances, divorce-centered education and comprehensive professional development and selected Tobin to Chair the group’s social media.

Tobin’s role in the group as a Commercial Real Estate broker is to assist the other professionals and their clients when they need to divide real estate or sell their commercial property when they go through the divorce process.  Tobin will use his experience marketing commercial properties to help make the public aware of the group, help forge internal alliances and to promote the group through appropriate social media platforms.

Tobin says, “When I originally joined the group I was unaware of how many issues may be intertwined in the divorce process when a couple decides to split their marriage and their assets.  Through my participation in the group, I’ve learned how to help couples to better navigate the process and avoid many surprises including leaving money on the table.” 

To learn more about Rick Tobin, visit his NADP profile https://www.thenadp.com/members/?id=51941586 or the Premier Hotel Realty website at www.PremierHotelRealty.com

About Premier Hotel Realty: 

Premier Hotel Realty, led by Broker, Rick Tobin, is based in Pompano Beach, Florida and globally markets a wide variety of commercial properties.  Rick also serves as a director of the Lauderdale by the Sea Chamber of Commerce and is on the Executive Board of the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce.  For more information contact Premier at info@PremierHotelRealty.com.


Rick Tobin

954-543-5411 x2

Posted in: Business,Law & Legal,Lifestyle,Professional Services,Real Estate

Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins When Creating a Trust, Tip Sheet by Mark W. Bidwell

Mark W. Bidwell, an attorney licensed in California, identifies how to avoid the seven deadly sins in a trust. The primary purpose of a revocable trust is for the timely, economical and orderly transfer of assets when one dies. But the sins of pride, sloth, lust, envy, wrath, gluttony and greed defeat this purpose.

The first sin is pride or hubris for ruling from the grave. Instead of distribution on death, people want to control the behavior of their loved ones by restricting access or use of assets after death. This is referred to as ruling from the grave.

Ruling from the grave may be appropriate. The classic example is the drug addicted child. Any money given to the child will only go to drugs and most likely kill the child. Here detailed restrictions and safeguards are needed.

But ruling from the grave that comes not from a place of caring, but from a sense of
ego creates hardship and bitterness. The parent while living had little influence on a child. A last shot at control is on death, the withholding of assets until an event occurs; such as marriage, a college degree or birth of a grandchild. This is akin to withholding of love with the same effects.

The second sin is sloth. Trusts avoid probate of real property. But to avoid probate court the real property must be owned by the trust. A trust transfer deed must be prepared and recorded to change owners. The effort to change owners is perceived as too great of an effort and so it does not get done.

The third sin is feeding the lust of youth. Persons under 18 years of age cannot receive assets. Any distributions directly to a minor will go through probate under court supervision. While the assets are under supervision of the court they are not wasted. But at age 18, the court must release the assets to the minor. The minor then spends the assets to feed his or her lust for life.

If there is a potential distribution to a minor, the trust should have a “children’s trust” provision. A children’s trust keeps the minor’s assets under control of the trust until the child has reached an age of financial maturity, such as 25 years.

The fourth sin of envy is created by one trust when there are children from a prior marriage. Often persons in their second marriage create one trust. Typically, the trust does not provide for distribution to children on the death of the first spouse. This is because the surviving spouse needs to live on the assets of the marriage.

The children are envious and covet the assets of their parent as a rightful inheritance. The period of time from the death of the first spouse to the death of the second spouse can be a period of conflict between the step-parent and the children.

The typical trust can be changed by the surviving spouse and in the process of change, the terms of the trust are less favorable to children of the deceased spouse. Spouses with children from a prior marriage should avoid a joint trust. This means two trusts at twice the cost. But both surviving spouse and children will be protected.

The fifth sin is wrath incurred by an amendment instead of a restatement.
Amendments must be read with the original. The heirs see what they would have received and what they now receive. The situation causes wrath in the heirs who receive less and is ripe for litigation or at the very least, creates bitter resentment. Restatement replaces the entire prior document and does not waive red flags in the face of heirs.

The sixth sin is gluttony and undue influence. People will put off their estate planning until their later years. In the later years, objectivity is lost and dependency on others is created. Persons befriend the elderly in anticipation of a windfall at death. Heirs’ and friends’ gluttony for the elder’s assets only increase as the elder's capacity decreases. Trusts and wills should be prepared while the elder has capacity. Subsequent changes should only be made judiciously when there is a substantial change in circumstance.

The seventh sin is greed. Sibling rivalries create greed for the deceased parent’s assets. One child feels entitled and wants more than the parent intended. If there are unequal distribution of assets or an entitled child, the parent should address why he or she made the decision to distributed the assets as provided in the trust or will. This can be either while the parent is living, in writing to be read after death or both.    

The primary purpose of a trust is for the timely, economical and orderly transfer of assets when one dies. But the sins of pride, sloth, lust, envy, wrath, gluttony and greed defeat this purpose. An affordable, basic trust is a wise investment when the seven deadly sins are avoided.

This press release provided by Mark W. Bidwell, a trust and probate attorney. Office is at 4952 Warner Avenue, Suite 235, Huntington Beach, California 92649. Phone number is 714-846-2888. Website is http://www.BidwellLaw.com.

Posted in: Law & Legal

Javier Villarreal Law Firm, Top-Rated Personal Injury Lawyers in Brownsville, Announce New Post on Finding Answers after an Accident

The Villarreal Law Firm, a top-rated personal injury law firm in Brownsville Texas as measured by online reviews, is proud to announce a new educational post for the Cameron County population.

The post explains the importance of a one-on-one consultation with an attorney after an injury accident, as no two accidents are the same and only a trained attorney can review the facts and the law and provide legal advice.

"Insurance employees are very good at diverting questions by a person trying to make a personal injury claim. Their job is to save the company as much as they can, not help the so-called customer," explained attorney Javier Villarreal, managing partner at the law firm. "We are not going to mislead anyone about what's fair when it comes to compensation after an auto wreck. Brownsville residents are free to contact us anytime to get real answers from a no obligation consultation before deciding to retain an attorney."

Interested residents can review the Q&A page for JV Law at https://www.jvlawfirm.net/if-you-have-suffered-a-personal-injury-you-need-a-free-consultation-with-a-brownsville-attorney/. A Cameron County local struggling to recover after a car crash may try to handle an insurance claim alone. Reaching out for a consult with a personal injury lawyer before moving forward could help ensure fair payment. To review more options, interested persons should go to the personal injury page age https://www.jvlawfirm.net/practice-areas/personal-injury/.

To better serve the multi-lingual Brownsville community, the legal team is fluent in both English and Spanish.


Here is the background on this release. Politicians can use a common strategy in the political world. To avoid accountability, a well-spoken candidate might politely nod at questions but promise little. The tactic can be a typical maneuver used by adjusters processing claims for auto accidents. People suffering after a car wreck in Texas might need to get answers about compensation quickly before the medical bills arrive. A calming voice from a claims agent might sound helpful, but may not directly answer pressing questions. Speaking to a personal injury lawyer in Brownsville ready to answer concerns straight up could help move a claim along.

Smooth-talking insurance adjusters might convince an injured person to sign on the dotted line before thoroughly reviewing their rights. A bi-lingual local could be intimidated and agree to any terms instead of investigating their rights to fair compensation. It is essential that Brownsville residents clearly understand their rights before accepting a check from an insurance company.

A fender bender with an 18-wheeler can leave a working parent without a paycheck for several months. A motorcycle crash can mean years of physical therapy to recover. The result could cause financial and emotional hardship. A team of professional attorneys is ready to answer questions for injury cases in the Brownsville Community honestly. For these reasons, Villarreal Law Firm is proud to announce a new post for Brownsville, Texas locals searching for answers about the value in retaining an attorney after an auto accident in Cameron County.


The law firm of Javier Villarreal offers a team of attorneys, considered among the best personal injury attorneys in Brownsville, Texas, and surrounding cities in Cameron County. If a person is looking for an auto or car accident attorney, a lawyer with broad experience in trucking accidents and litigation (including 18 wheelers), there is support. If a South Texas local needs a lawyer for injuries that resulted from motorcycles, boating, or other forms of mishaps (including slip and fall), the Villarreal team of attorneys can help. The attorneys fight for client rights throughout Cameron County - and are known as the top personal injury lawyers in Brownsville and Harlingen, from Los Fresnos to San Benito, and in all of South Padre Island.

Web. https://www.jvlawfirm.net/
Tel. 956-544-4444.

Posted in: Law & Legal

Contract Logix Announces Powerful New Contract Data Management, Tracking, and Analytics Functionality

Contract Logix, a leading provider of intelligent contract management software, today announced the addition of new data management and intelligence functionality to its Premium™ and Express™ platform. The new capabilities enhance an already robust data management suite by giving customers the flexibility to truly customize how they capture, track, display, and manage contract data to match their business and individual needs.

Highlights of the new release include:

  • Enhancements to the configuration tool to allow users to completely adapt and customize records such as contracts, contacts, etc. to align with their organization’s use cases and business requirements
  • New contract line item creation and tracking capability for buy-side and sell-side contracts
  • Extended the integration of industry-leading electronic signature provider DocuSign to the Premium and Express platform


Contracts contain a wealth of extremely valuable and insightful data such as dates, terms, organizations, contacts, and related documents. With its latest release, Contract Logix has revolutionized the ability to leverage this data by providing full adaptability and control over how all contract-related information is visualized, curated, and reported through easy-to-use drag and drop fields that can be tailored to any contract management use case or departmental need. This new and innovative functionality is simple and intuitive for customers to configure without the need for complex and costly implementation services.

“We believe that data is our customers’ most valuable contract management asset,” said Tim Donaghy, CTO of Contract Logix. “Therefore, it’s critical that our technology lets customers quickly and easily transform that data into actionable and valuable business insights they can use to improve processes, uncover opportunities, and mitigate hidden contract risks. The new functionality we’ve just launched further strengthens our unique position to deliver on those promises.”

In addition, the recent enhancements provide the ability to easily create and track contract line items for buy-side and sell-side agreements. The new feature gives customers tremendous visibility into their contracts and streamlines the entire contract line item tracking process. Contract Logix users can simply add custom data fields within the platform that allow them to capture and monitor the details of exactly what they are buying, selling, or specifying in their contracts such as products, services, providers, payers, approved contractors, payment terms, delivery schedules, insurance requirements, etc.

Contract Logix has also announced that it has extended the integration of industry-leading electronic signature provider DocuSign to its Express and Premium platform. In today’s digital age, the use of electronic signatures to execute agreements is a critical component to improving the security, mobility, and overall user experience of any contract management process. Electronic signature technology helps organizations reduce risk by capturing an electronic signature verification and legally binding audit trail.

About Contract Logix
Contract Logix is a longtime leader, innovator, and provider of intelligent contract lifecycle management software. The company’s software empowers legal, administration, IT, procurement, finance, and sales professionals across dozens of industries to draft, negotiate, approve, execute, and manage their contracts. Hundreds of brands have partnered with Contract Logix to automate their contracting processes while minimizing risk, increasing compliance, and driving profitability. For more information about Contract Logix, visit https://www.contractlogix.com and follow us on LinkedIn.

Posted in: Finance,Law & Legal

Counsel Financial Continues Longtime Sponsorship of Mass Torts Made Perfect

Counsel Financial announced today that it will continue its long-standing commitment as the headline sponsor “Business of Law” program at the Mass Torts Made Perfect™ seminar (MTMP) in Las Vegas. The featured program will jumpstart the fall seminar which includes three days of continuing education, cutting edge information on the latest litigations and networking with the nation’s preeminent attorneys. More than 1,000 plaintiffs’ attorneys from over 500 of the top firms in the country will be in attendance.

The conference is focused on mass tort litigation and those attorneys looking to enter the practice area or expand their existing case portfolio. MTMP brings in a wide variety of prominent speakers to impart insight and knowledge on emerging litigations, much of which is specific to contingent-fee practice. Adding to and diversifying your caseload, lien resolution, financing, marketing and lead procurement are just some of the topics covered. Networking is also a strong focus, with the opportunity to convene with trial lawyers from across the nation, as well as highly regarded vendors and service providers.

Director of Counsel Financial, Joseph DiNardo, Esq., will speak on Tuesday, October 22 at 10am on financing solutions for the challenges of a contingency practice. The presentation will specifically discuss how proper case financing leads to a demonstrated increase in successful resolution for contingency fee clients and their law firms. The pros and cons associated with forming joint ventures, acquiring cases and refinancing when necessary will be discussed in-depth. Of the opportunity, Mr. DiNardo commented, “I’m honored to again be invited to speak at this premier event. There are so many resources available to mass tort attorneys. Having a secure and reliable financing source that truly understands your practice, is no longer an option, but a necessary component of success in this fast-paced arena of litigation where the environment is constantly evolving.”

Counsel Financial provides innovative financing solutions specific to the needs of plaintiffs’ attorneys, including those looking to add a mass tort component to their portfolio or firms who are heavily involved in mass tort litigation. With enhanced flexibility and better terms, it can now meet any law firm need with financing options from 0,000 to million+. The attorneys and professionals on staff work with each individual law firm client to ensure provide financing that is custom tailored to each specific situation and the challenges that a firm is facing.

About Counsel Financial
Counsel Financial is the largest provider of working capital lines of credit to plaintiffs’ attorneys in the industry, having loaned over .5 billion exclusively to plaintiffs’ since inception. Counsel Financial sets the standard for innovation and flexibility in its loan offerings, structuring terms that are conducive to the unique demands of contingency-fee practices. Leveraging 200+ years of internal legal experience, Counsel Financial has financed the growth of firms in every area of plaintiffs’ litigation, including personal injury, mass torts, class action and labor and employment. The company is exclusively endorsed by multiple national and state trial organizations, including the American Association for Justice and The National Trial Lawyers.

Posted in: Finance,Law & Legal

Booth & Koskoff Obtain Million Settlement in Sexual Abuse Case

This month, the law firm Booth & Koskoff settled a lawsuit against the County of Riverside for million on behalf of their client, Jacquelyn H. This settlement is one of the largest in the state’s history for a single victim of sexual abuse. The civil suit (Riverside County Superior Court case no. MCC1701255) has also resulted in significant changes for Riverside Child Protective Services (“CPS”).

According to the lawsuit, Jacquelyn was 11-years-old in 2014 when she first disclosed to a teacher that she was the victim of sexual assault. The perpetrator was her mother’s live-in boyfriend. The teacher reported this abuse to both the police and CPS, which resulted in both entities conducting investigations. In response, Jacquelyn’s mother obtained a restraining order against perpetrator, who then disappeared, allegedly fleeing to Mexico. Riverside CPS closed the file shortly after purportedly finding the allegations to be “inconclusive.”

Four months later, according to the lawsuit, Riverside CPS returned to the home to investigate a domestic violence report and discovered that the perpetrator had returned and the mother had dismissed the restraining order against him. Instead of opening a new investigation into sexual abuse and notifying the police of the perpetrator’s whereabouts, the CPS social worker chose to draft a “safety plan” that provided that the children could stay in the home if the mother agreed not to leave them alone with the perpetrator and if the perpetrator (identified as a “caregiver” of the children) agreed not to leave the children alone with their mother until her mental health improved.

In 2016, Jacquelyn was found to be seven months pregnant, and a paternity test confirmed that the perpetrator was the father. According to the lawsuit, Jacquelyn had endured near daily sexual assaults during the two and half years between CPS’ initial investigation in 2014 and her pregnancy being discovered in 2016.

Booth & Koskoff filed suit against the County of Riverside for its failure to cross-report its reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse to law enforcement when it learned that the perpetrator had returned to the home. The million payout was not the only result of the suit. Press reports have indicated that Riverside County has made significant changes to the leadership and procedures of its Department of Public Social Services at least in part in response to Jacquelyn’s case.

News coverage about the events and changes being made in Riverside CPS:


Posted in: Law & Legal,U.S

Overview on How to Change Owners of Real Property in California Tip Sheet by Mark W. Bidwell

How to change owners of real property is determined by California law. California law assigns responsibility to maintain a database of owners to the counties. Each County has one government agency known as the county recorder, to carry out this task. This Tip Sheet by Mark W. Bidwell provides an overview of the process.

Data on who is the rightful owner of real property, also known as real estate, in California is maintained by the county where the real property is located. Change in owners to this database while a real property owner is living is by deed. A deed is a paper signed by the current owner with specific wording that transfers ownership from a living owner to a new owner.

Deeds are either “grant deeds” or “quit claim deeds.” Grant deeds are also referred to as warranty deeds. The owner who transfers real property to a new owner with the word grant, guarantees the current owner is the true owner and that the current owner has disclosed all debts and liens secured by the real property to the new owner. A quit claim deed transfers ownership “as is” with no guarantees of valid ownership or disclosure of debt.

Change of owners after a real property owner has died is by either an affidavit or an order from probate court. Affidavits are permitted under California law when there is either a surviving joint owner, a successor trustee or real property valued at less than ,000. An affidavit is a declaration under penalty of perjury the fact the owner has died and who is the rightful surviving owner or in the case of a trust, the rightful successor trustee.

An order from probate court is needed for real property valued in excess of ,000 that is owned by a person who has died without a co-owner, a trust or a transfer on death deed. A court order is obtained after filling a petition in probate court, service of a copy of the petition to heirs and beneficiaries and one or two probate court hearings. The court order transfers ownership from the deceased to his or her heirs. The court order is submitted to the county recorder to update the database maintained by the county.

Data on who is the rightful owner of real property, also known as real estate, in California is maintained by the county where the real property is located. Change in owners to this database while a real property owner is living is by deed. Change of owners after a real property owner has died is by either an affidavit or court order.

This Tip Sheet provided by Mark W. Bidwell, attorney at law. Office is located at 4952 Warner Avenue, Suite 235, Huntington Beach, CA 92649. Telephone is 714-846-2888. Websites are http://www.BidwellLaw.com and DeedAndRecord.com.

Posted in: Law & Legal,U.S

David Kani | Author & Lawyer | Tapped for National MENSA Keynote Lecture

David Kani, a high visibility California business lawyer and noted author, is slated for a keynote lecture at MENSA’s Annual Gathering on July 8th at the Sheraton Conference Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Annual conference participants, all members of the ultra-high IQ MENSAorganization, will attend Kani’s lecture: Cannabusiness – What’s Now, New & Next, based on his forthcoming similarly titled book wherein he looks at: 

  • The Cannabis Green Rush which is attracting hordes of investors looking to participate in an industry forecasted to be in the billion dollar annual range;
  • The social, financial, and legal mosaic of the fragmented hyper-growth cannabis industry across the United States;
  • Opportunities and pitfalls and sage counsel for investors from angels to early stage and beyond.


David Kani is a well-known Newport Beach, California based business lawyer who helps companies, investors, and professionals navigate disputes in a variety of commercial sectors including the cannabis industry from retailers and distributors, to growers and companies indirectly connected with cannabusiness.

“MENSA members are a terrific audience for this message as they can see beyond historical marijuana prejudices and get rich schemes to see a massive industry in its infancy with profits and medical benefits for large groups of Americans." - David Kani

The MENSA national conference marks the start of Kani’s 2019 speaking tour.

Media Contact

Mr. Kani is represented by Elite Lawyer Management


About MENSA: MENSA is an international society with the membership qualification standardized testing results in the population’s top 2%. The nonprofit’s purpose is to conduct research in psychology and social science, identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity and serve as a means for stimulating intellectual and social contacts among its membership.

About David Kani: David co-founded and leads Hochfelsen & Kani, a highly rated California-based law firm with a national footprint addressing business disputes of every sort as well as qui tam whistleblower representation. Attorney Kani provides expert legal commentary for national and local media outlets and is the author of Pot Inc. – An Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Cannabis Industry set for late 2019 release at Sutton Hart Press.

Posted in: Law & Legal

Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys Give Back with a FREE Back to School - Backpack Giveaway at Kuban Elementary School

Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys recognizes the importance of all children receiving a proper education. As such, the Phoenix personal injury law firm has decided to give away 1,500 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to help economically challenged families prepare for the new school year. The 2019 Lerner and Rowe Phoenix Back to School - Backpack Giveaway takes place on July 13, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at Kuban Elementary School (3201 West Sherman St., Phoenix, 85009).

In addition to giving away 1,500 free backpacks stuffed with school supplies, there will be free snacks and musical entertainment provided by a radio station remote to amp up the cheer!

“Without the proper tools to fully participate in class, students can become distracted and easily lose focus. That is why our team looks for different ways to give back and offer assistance where it is needed most. We hope that with each backpack handed out the student who receives it feels better prepared and excited for the upcoming school year,” stated attorney Kevin Rowe.

Those interested in attending are advised to arrive early as supplies are limited and will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis while they last. For more information about the Phoenix Back to School - Backpack Giveaway, please contact Cindy Ernst with Lerner and Rowe Gives Back at (602) 977-1900.

About Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys

Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys is a powerhouse law firm in representing personal injury clients. Attorneys Glen Lerner and Kevin Rowe have grown their law firm into one of the largest personal injury firms in the country, with over 50 attorneys and nearly 400 support employees located in Nevada, California, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Indiana, Arizona, New Mexico, and Tennessee. The law firm’s continuous exalted levels of success can be attributed to the high levels of respect and dignity shown to victims and family members hurt in an accident.

For those injured outside one of the previously listed states, Lerner and Rowe has an established network of attorneys across the country, ready to help. The firm takes pride in nourishing these relationships as they know a personal injury attorney can make all the difference in obtaining fair compensation for the pain and suffering inflicted upon the victims of tortious conduct.

For more information about Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys in Phoenix, pleas e call 602-977-1900. To connect with the law firm socially, follow Lerner and Rowe on Twitter, or become a fan of its Facebook page. Also, visit lernerandrowegivesback.com to learn more about the many other community services that the lawyers and legal support team of Lerner and Rowe actively support.

Posted in: Law & Legal,U.S

Bucks County Nursing Home Attorney Practice, The Law Firm of Brian P. Murphy, PC, Announces Address Change

Licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Brian P. Murphy has been at the forefront of legal efforts to hold New Jersey and Pennsylvania nursing homes accountable for negligent care for over 15 years.

Mr. Murphy has been in private practice since 2015 when he opened up The Law Firm of Brian P. Murphy, PC.

Singularly focused on cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect, Murphy has successfully represented numerous residents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey who have suffered injury or illness as a result of nursing home negligence. From bedsores, falls, and other injuries to malnutrition, dehydration and wrongful death, Murphy has taken swift action against the long-term care and nursing facilities responsible and has earned significant compensation for his clients.

Murphy is experienced in discerning signs of poor quality care in long-term care facilities, including but not limited to:

  • Insufficient Staff
  • False Charting
  • Unsanitary Conditions
  • Poor Maintenance
  • Inattentive and/or Incompetent Staff
  • And more


Brian has given multiple lectures and authored numerous law articles and legal guides on nursing home abuse and the effective litigation of neglect and abuse cases.

For more information, or to discover more about the convenient new location of The Law Firm of Brian P. Murphy, please contact Brian P. Murphy directly at (215) 579-8500, or visit http://www.thenursinghomeattorneys.com.

All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency fee basis.

Press Release Writing by WebSiteText | Proofreading by The Proofreaders

Posted in: Law & Legal,U.S

Solano County Public Defender’s Office Launches Effort to Reduce Jail Population

Uptrust, the social justice text messaging reminder platform, announced that it has launched a partnership with The Solano Public Defender’s Office to reduce the number of Failure to Appear (FTA) incidents, arrest warrants and technical violations in the county. The partnership aims at reducing wasted taxpayer funds, improving efficiency for the county’s attorneys, and decreasing the number of incarcerations for certain violations.

“Most FTA’s are not because someone is seeking to evade the court process,” said Elena D’Agustino, Interim Public Defender with the Solano County Public Defender. “We are optimistic that this will increase court attendance and improve our attorneys ability to communicate with their clients.”

Under the agreement, all public defender clients will receive text reminders for their court dates. Uptrust’s trademarked platform connects public defenders’ offices with defendants via text message to remind them to appear at scheduled legal appointments, most specifically their court hearings.

Local governments spend more than billion on unnecessary pretrial incarceration, and an additional billion issuing and enforcing FTAs. Further, bench warrants have been shown to become expensive and wasteful of both taxpayer and law enforcement’s time and funds.

To date, Uptrust’s messaging system has reduced FTAs by more than 50 percent in some jurisdictions, with 30 percent of users texting back to their attorney, continuing the correspondence. The platform provides a communication and reminder tool similar to many modern dentist or doctor appointment applications. Solano joins Yolo, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Ventura, San Bernardino and Santa Barbara Counties in working with Uptrust to keep people out of jail that don’t need to be there. Uptrust’s partnership with Solano County is supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation, a foundation based in Los Altos, California. As part of its human rights and justice reform investments, the Heising-Simons Foundation is supporting an expansion of Uptrust’s work in California.

“Solano County is like many counties now trying keep jails for those that actually need to be there. As an advancement in technology, our platform can help reduce unnecessary incarceration,” said Jacob Sills, founder of Uptrust. “Ultimately, we hope made a positive impact in Solano County, while also saving taxpayer funds and public defenders’ time.”

Uptrust is a text message-based communication and engagement tool helping defendants arrive at court for their scheduled hearings and other mandatory appointments. By improving the relationship between the criminal justice system and defendants, Uptrust has proved to keep low-income defendants out of jail on bench warrants and technical violations, while also saving attorneys time and reducing the cost to the municipality or county. Uptrust currently is contracted with more than 15 public defender offices around the US, and reaches over 100,000 defendants. Uptrust is a public benefit corporation supported by the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, RFK Human Rights and the Heising-Simons Foundation; it has offices in San Francisco, CA and Northampton, MA. To learn more about Uptrust, visit http://www.Uptrust.co.

Posted in: Law & Legal,U.S

Altus Legal and Goodman Law Group Launch DecSpeak to Transform the Way Legal Information is Delivered to Property Boards

Neota Logic, creators of the world’s leading no code AI automation platform, announced today that Altus Legal (Illinois) and Goodman Holmgren (Arizona) have launched a suite of Neota applications offering legal services to condominium and homeowner association boards and property managers that will form the basis of their new venture, DecSpeak.

DecSpeak is a new way of providing 24/7 legal services to community association boards and property managers. Some of DecSpeak’s applications are currently available to boards and property managers free of charge, while others are available to Altus Legal Clients for a low monthly subscription.

The applications now live and available on the Altus Legal website are:

Budget Meeting Data Calculator - Assists boards and property managers of Illinois condo associations calculate the dates for sending out budget drafts and meeting notices.

Board Email Discussion Advisor - Assists users to decipher whether an e-mail discussion among board members violates any laws.

Violation Letter Drafting Tool - Assists users to create violation notices, fully compliant with Illinois law.

Ombudsperson Complaint Policy Drafting Tool - Assists users to create the complaint resolution policies required by the Illinois Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act.

The Act Advisor - Answers 200+ frequent questions based on Illinois Condominium Property Act.

Nicholas Bartzen, Co-Founder of DecSpeak commented, ‘We found that the same questions would keep coming up from community associations regarding their state statute and governing documents. We used the Neota platform to develop applications to make these answers more widely and cost-effectively accessible for our clients, no matter what their size. We are hoping to disrupt the industry with a new kind of service’.

Kim Massana, CEO at Neota Logic commented, ‘It’s great to work with DecSpeak as they find innovative ways to serve their clients by transforming their legal services. We’re also pleased they made great use of the Neota Alumni group, our community of students and graduates who have worked in Neota and are available for our customers to use to help build applications’.

About Neota Logic 
The company’s no code AI automation platform allows professionals to rapidly automate their services. Neota customers and their clients enjoy the benefits of digital technology extending the reach of the professional, improved efficiency, client satisfaction and new business opportunities. Neota is the only platform capable of automating all aspects of professional services including intelligent fact-gathering, expert decision-making, end-to-end processes and document lifecycle management. With a global presence, Neota offers its software and professional services to clients from its offices in New York, London and Melbourne.

Press Contact 
Rebecca Tear 

Posted in: Automotive,Law & Legal,U.S

Local Law Firm, Jessica Y. Rodriguez Law Firm, PLLC, Announces Expansion

After defending immigrants in Houston and beyond, the Jessica Y. Rodriguez Law Firm reaches its 10th anniversary this year. To celebrate, Jessica Rodriguez, the founder, made two decisions.

First, she'd launch a new and improved website.

"Most of my business always came from referrals," Rodriguez admits. " For a long time I didn't feel like I needed to make any major changes!"

Like most attorneys, Rodriguez was often pressed for time.

But now, Rodriguez wants to take her firm to the next level. As a result, she recently added Criminal Law and Personal Injury Law to the list of practice areas her firm specializes in. She's also added some new faces, including criminal defense attorney, Alia J. Moore and new legal assistants have joined the team as well.

"Providing more services meant expanding our book of business, which translated to a need for being found by more clients through online channels."

Though she is still getting plenty of referrals, Rodriguez says she wants her site to be more than an advertisement for her firm. "The new site is a clean, user-friendly hub of information for both my clients and the public."

Visiting https://www.resultadosparaindocumentados.com means getting info on a wealth of topics. These include topics spanning every practice area the firm now covers. 
A Spanish version of the site is available at https://www.resultadosparaindocumentados.com/es/home/ .

The new website was fully launched in February of 2019.

Rodriguez has also taken other steps to modernize her practice. She's begun focusing more on client feedback and in doing so, has also added a Facebook page to her arsenal of online resources.

"I hope these resources are useful and helpful for all my clients."


Jessica Y. Rodriguez 
10900 Northwest Fw. Ste. 200B 
Houston, TX 77092, EE.UU. 
(281) 569-9628 


Since 2009, the Jessica Y. Rodriguez Law Firm has represented clients throughout the United States and beyond. The firm serves undocumented immigrants and legal immigrants alike. Recent expansions mean the firm is also offering services to criminal defendants and plaintiffs in personal injury cases. The Jessica Y. Rodriguez Law Firm offers services both in English and in Spanish. The attorneys on staff pride themselves on staying in close contacts with their clients, and handle most projects on a flat-fee basis. The firm also offers payment plans because the attorneys believe money shouldn't stand in the way of justice. To learn more, visit https://www.resultadosparaindocumentados.com.

Posted in: Law & Legal,U.S

Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP, File a Lawsuit Against Firstservice Residential California, LLC, Alleging Violations of The Private Attorneys General Act

The San Francisco employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP, filed a class action lawsuit against Firstservice Residential California, LLC, alleging that the company violated The Private Attorney General Act and allegedly failed to lawfully calculate and pay their employees the correct overtime. The class action lawsuit against Firstservice Residential California, LLC, is currently pending in the San Francisco County Superior Court, Case No. CGC-19-575131. To read a copy of the Complaint, please click here.

The lawsuit filed against Firstservice Residential California, LLC, alleges the company (a) failed to provide PLAINTIFF and the other AGGRIEVED EMPLOYEES for all of the hours they worked, including overtime, (b) failed to properly record and provide legally required meal and rest periods, (c) failed to provide accurate itemized wage statements, (d) failed to pay wages when due, and (e) failed to reimburse for required expenses, all in violation of the applicable Labor Code sections listed in Labor Code Sections §§ 201, 202, 203, 204, 226(a), 226.7, 510, 512, 558, 1194, 1198, 2802, and the applicable Industrial Wage Order(s), and thereby gives rise to statutory penalties as a result of such conduct. PLAINTIFFS hereby seek recovery of civil penalties as prescribed by the Labor Code Private Attorney General Act of 2004 as the representatives of the State of California for the illegal conduct perpetrated on PLAINTIFFS and the other AGGRIEVED EMPLOYEES.

PAGA is a mechanism by which the State of California itself can enforce state labor laws through the employee suing under the PAGA who do so as the proxy or agent of the state's labor law enforcement agencies. An action to recover civil penalties under PAGA is fundamentally a law enforcement action designed to protect the public and not to benefit private parties. The purpose of PAGA is not to recover damages or restitution, but to create a means of "deputizing" citizens as private attorneys general to enforce the Labor Code.

For more information about the class action lawsuit against Firstservice Residential California, LLC, call (800) 568-8020 to speak to an experienced California employment attorney today.

Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP is a labor law firm with law offices located in San Diego County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, Sacramento County, and San Francisco County. The firm has a statewide practice of representing employees on a contingency basis for violations involving unpaid wages, overtime pay, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and other types of illegal workplace conduct.

Posted in: Law & Legal,U.S

Cortical.io Contract Intelligence Highlighted by Ovum

Ovum, one of UK’s top analyst firms, has just released a report about Cortical.io Contract Intelligence, recognizing its benefits applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in the legal domain.

Based on patented technology, Cortical.io Contract Intelligence extracts key information from complex contracts and populates existing contract management software with that information. The difference with other solutions in the market results from the neuroscience-based algorithm used to process text, which solves the problems of language ambiguity, is quickly trained and enables a fast and transparent implementation process.

“One of the challenges in the legal world is that the vocabulary used in legal documents is rather narrow, and small differences in how these words are expressed can lead to significant contextual or semantic differences”, describes Michael Azoff, distinguished analyst at Ovum. “With their original approach that combines Numenta’s memory model and unsupervised machine learning algorithms, Cortical.io has created a powerful technology to process unstructured text data and extract meaning. At Ovum, we believe that Cortical.io Contract Intelligence deserves evaluation.”

Cortical.io Contract Intelligence processes all types of legal documents, including lease agreements, ISDA master agreements, bond indentures, and certificates. The solution analyzes the meaning, not just of keywords, but of whole sentences, paragraphs, and long text so that the problems of language ambiguity and vocabulary mismatch within and across documents are overcome. For example, “done deal” and “signed contracts” are recognized as very similar by Cortical.io Contract Intelligence, although they do not have any term in common.

Cortical.io Contract Intelligence is accessed via a simple user interface and does not require any specific training. It is designed for business users and does not require any AI experts or knowledge. The solution is already used by Fortune 100 companies to reduce manual review and data extraction time, as well as contract processing costs.

Download the report

More information about Cortical.io Contract Intelligence

About Cortical.io: 
Cortical.io provides natural language understanding (NLU) solutions that enable large enterprises to automate the extraction, monitoring, and analysis of key information from any kind of text data. By understanding the meaning of text, Cortical.io Retina software reduces the time and effort it takes to complete business-critical data search and review processes. Many repetitive and error-prone manual steps are eliminated, freeing up valuable resources to focus on higher-value tasks. Our solutions can be quickly trained without supervision in the specialized vocabulary of any business domain and in multiple languages. Our enterprise-grade technology is implemented at multiple Fortune 100 businesses, covering a wide spectrum of use cases. Our unique approach has been featured in The Economist, Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg, and Gartner. Cortical.io has offices in Europe (HQ in Vienna) and in the US (New York and San Francisco).

Posted in: Law & Legal,Technology,U.S

Livesay & Myers, P.C. Announces New Lead Senior Associate

Livesay & Myers, P.C. welcomes Andrew Tank to the firm as a lead senior associate in its Arlington office, practicing exclusively family law. The addition of Mr. Tank is a part of the firm’s ongoing regional growth, and commitment to providing quality family law representation to residents of Arlington County and Alexandria, Virginia.

"We are thrilled to add an attorney to our growing roster with the breadth and depth of experience that Mr. Tank offers,” said Matthew Smith, a partner at the firm. “His skills will advance our mission of providing the best possible advocacy for our clients across Northern Virginia."

Mr. Tank left a position as a partner at Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC to join Livesay & Myers, P.C. He had been with the former firm since 2011, and a partner since 2015.

A family law attorney since 2007, Mr. Tank is experienced in handling every type of family law matter in Virginia, including separation, divorce, equitable distribution, custody, visitation and support cases.

Mr. Tank is a recognized leader in the Northern Virginia legal community. He has been an active member of the Virginia State Bar’s Young Lawyers Conference, serving as Program Chair for the Bar’s annual meeting from 2009 to 2012, and on its Nominations Committee for 2011 and 2012. From 2010 to 2013, Mr. Tank was a regular contributor to "Docket Call," the Young Lawyers Conference’s quarterly newsletter, writing articles on family law topics. Finally, he was elected and served as a board member for the Fairfax Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section from June 2010 to June 2012.

Mr. Tank was born in Michigan but grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, less than a mile from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. Mr. Tank earned his law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law, where he graduated cum laude. Before law school, Mr. Tank graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science.

Mr. Tank has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star every year since 2015. He received the Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award for Excellence in Quality of Service in 2015. Mr. Tank also holds a perfect 10.0 rating from both Avvo and Justia.

Andrew Tank resides with his wife in Arlington, Virginia.

About Livesay & Myers, P.C.

Livesay & Myers, P.C. is a fast-growing family law firm with offices in Arlington, Fairfax, Manassas, Fredericksburg and Leesburg, Virginia. The firm was founded in 2003 by partners James Livesay and Kevin Myers. By 2016, the firm had made the annual Virginia Lawyers Weekly list of Virginia’s Largest Law Firms, debuting at #64 (and moving up to #63 in 2017 and #60 in 2018). Livesay & Myers, P.C. appears in both the 2018 and 2019 Editions of the U.S. News & World Report listing of Best Law Firms as a Tier 2 firm in Family Law for the Washington, D.C. region.

Posted in: Law & Legal,U.S

MacFarlane Legal Educating Families to Protect the Financial Matters of Aging Parents

According to alz.org, every three seconds, someone in the world develops dementia. By the year 2030, there will be an estimated 75 million people living with dementia. For families in California who have a loved one with early onset dementia, MacFarlane Legalwould like to help by offering these free dementia guard workshops.

The first workshop takes place on Wednesday, April 17, at the Sunshine Event Center, 9360 Florin Road, # 4, Elk Grove, CA at 7 p.m. The second workshop takes place on Saturday, April 20, at Crown Plaza Hotel, 5321 Date Ave., Sacramento, CA at 10 a.m.

“Those who attend have the opportunity to help them manage their loved one’s medical affairs and more,” said attorney Dustin MacFarlane, founder of MacFarlane Legal, a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, who primarily focuses on elder law and protecting families and seniors.

Topics will include dementia and driving, dementia and guns, dementia and family, dementia and doctors, dementia and scams, dementia and money, dementia and banks and dementia and death.

“These workshops are ideal for people who provide unpaid care, forfeit their personal lives, risk their careers, spend personal resources and fear family members will take advantage of their aging parent,” concluded MacFarlane. “We have helped hundreds of California families overcome these concerns.”

Seating for the workshops is limited. You can RSVP with a live 24/7 operator and 
reserve your seat by calling (916) 306-1600.

About MacFarlane Legal 
MacFarlane Legal focuses on estate planning, elder law, probate and trust administration. It has represented over 2,000 clients to protect seniors, establish healthcare and financial management plans, and establish structures to preserve legacies after an owner passes away. Dustin MacFarlane is a member of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section, Sacramento County Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Section, and is an Attorney Accredited with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs - Accreditation # 19151. For more information, please call (916) 915-8770, or visit https://www.macfarlanelegal.com/.

For media inquiries, please call the NALA at 805.650.6121, ext. 361. 

Posted in: Health & Medicine,Law & Legal,U.S

Kane County Attorney Matthew G. Shaw Earns Super Lawyers Recognition

Shaw Family Law, P.C., is excited to announce that attorney Matthew G. Shaw has been named to Super Lawyers’ list of outstanding attorneys in Illinois for 2019. This is the first time that he has received this honor.

Super Lawyers is a nationally recognized rating service that annually selects the top attorneys in each state based on independent research and evaluation by a peer panel. Attorneys who make the Super Lawyers list are among the top five percent of nominated attorneys in their state.

St. Charles, Illinois, attorney Matt Shaw is the owner of Shaw Family Law, P.C., and has practiced family law for more than 30 years. He is an experienced trial attorney and mediator, handling dissolution of marriage cases, involving business, retirement and financial issues.

Shaw has been named a Leading Lawyer every year since 2013 and was selected for the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. He has earned a 10.0 Superb Rating from Avvo and a Distinguished Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Shaw is an active member of the DuPage County Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, and the Kane County Bar Association, as well as a past member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, American Bar Association, and Illinois Family Support Enforcement Association. He has served as the co-chair for subcommittees of the ISBA Family Law Section Council and was a two-time chair of the KCBA Family Law Committee.

Shaw has lectured and written on family law topics for many years, including authoring the first chapter of the Illinois Family Law Handbook and being published in “Strategies for Family Law in Illinois.”

Shaw Family Law, P.C.:

The law firm of Shaw Family Law, P.C. is located in St. Charles, Illinois. The Kane County family law firm represents clients throughout Northern Illinois including the communities of St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, Elgin, and Aurora. Shaw Family Law, P.C. provides tailored legal counsel in the practice areas of family law, divorce, parenting allocation (child custody), child support, adoption, paternity, and mediation. If you are seeking efficient divorce representation in Kane County contact Shaw Family Law, P.C. Call 630-584-5550 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation today.

Posted in: Law & Legal

National Interest Waiver Attorney Thomas J. Arkell Publishes Free Ebook, Your Guide to National Interest Waiver Petitions

Thomas J. Arkell, a senior partner in the prestigious Dunn Law Firm, has published “Your Guide to National Interest Waiver Petitions”, a free ebook that can be downloaded at NationalInterestWaivers.com.

The ebook explains the process of filing for a National Interest Waiver (“NIW”), which offers a unique means for individuals with exceptional ability to obtain permanent residence in the United States without labor certification or a U.S. job offer.

“Your Guide to National Interest Waiver Petitions” includes detailed information about who is eligible for a NIW, what the NIW process entails, what evidence is required for a successful petition, how long the process takes, and how much petitioners should expect to pay.

National Interest Waivers allow qualified individuals the ability to greatly reduce the time it takes to obtain a green card and to avoid the ordinarily mandatory labor certification requirement when seeking employment-based permanent residence. The labor certification process not only requires sponsorship from a U.S. employer, but it can also be long and cumbersome.

“One of the major benefits of a National Interest Waiver is that it can effectively avoid the problems associated with the labor certification process,” explained Mr. Arkell. “National Interest Waivers provide a route for qualified individuals to achieve permanent residence relatively quickly and continue their important contributions to critical research and development in the United States.”

Mr. Arkell has helped thousands of scholars, researchers and scientists obtain permanent residence in the United States. He has successfully advised applicants for permanent residency from a wide variety of fields in industry and science, including physics, chemistry, biology, aerospace, nanotechnology, medicine, engineering, materials science, sociology and genetics.

Having practiced law for over twenty years, Mr. Arkell has unique first-hand experience of the immigration process, as he arrived in the U.S. as an international student before himself becoming a permanent resident and later a U.S. citizen. Mr. Arkell’s personal experiences shaped not only his approach to legal practice, but also the commitment and compassion for his clients as he guides them through the important and complex immigration process.

About Thomas J. Arkell 
Attorney Thomas J. Arkell is a senior partner in Dunn Law Firm, LLP, located in Bloomington, Illinois. Founded in 1915, Dunn Law Firm is a well-respected firm with a long history of representing talented professionals from all over the world. Mr. Arkell has extensive expertise in filing National Interest Waiver immigrant visa petitions for college and university faculty, PhD students, researchers and other scientists in a wide variety of professional disciplines. For more information, download Mr. Arkell’s free ebook “Guide To National Interest Waiver Petitions” at http://www.nationalinterestwaivers.com.

Posted in: Law & Legal,News & Current Affairs

Kane County Attorney Benedict Schwarz Receives Super Lawyers Honor

The Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II P.C., is proud to announce that firm founder Benedict Schwarz, II has been named to Super Lawyer’s list of outstanding attorneys in Illinois for 2019. This is the 14th consecutive year that he has received this honor.

Super Lawyers is a nationally recognized rating service that annually selects the top attorneys in each state based on independent research and evaluation by a peer panel. Attorneys who make the Super Lawyers list are among the top five percent of nominated attorneys in their state.

Kane County attorney Benedict Schwarz, II, has practiced matrimonial and family law for more than 40 years. He is a trained divorce mediator and has experience in real estate, wills and estate planning law.

Schwarz is an active member of several bar associations, including the Kane County Bar Association, McHenry County Bar Association, DuPage County Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association. He has served on the Family Law Section Council, Child Support Sub-Committee, and Domestic Violence Task Force.

Schwarz has been a leader in the field of family law for decades. Accomplishments include: 
Being appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court as Chairperson of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission; 
Serving as a past director of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; 
Serving on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers Assistance Program; 
Sitting on the Review Board of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission; and 
Chairing the Kane County State’s Attorney Task Force on Domestic Violence and the Kane County Batterer’s Task Force.

Schwarz received his juris doctor from the John Marshall Law School in 1971 and was admitted into the Illinois State Bar in the same year.

About the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II P.C.:

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II P.C., have more than 50 years of combined experience serving individuals and families in the areas of divorce, family law, real estate, and estate planning. With offices in West Dundee and St. Charles, Illinois, they represent clients in Kane, McHenry, DuPage, and Cook counties. Founding attorney Benedict Schwarz, II, is a trained mediator who can help clients reach an amicable solution to their divorce. For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation, call 847-428-7725 or visit https://www.divorcelawfamily.com.

Posted in: Law & Legal

Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP, File Lawsuit Against Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., for Allegedly Failing to Pay Overtime Wages to Their Employees

The San Diego labor law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP, filed a class action lawsuit against Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., alleging that the company failed to accurately calculate and record overtime compensation for their hourly employees. Furthermore, the complaint alleges that Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., failed to provide mandatory meal and rest breaks to its employees. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., lawsuit Case No. 37-2019-00001930-CU-OE-CTL, is currently pending in the San Diego County Superior Court for the State of California. A copy of the complaint can be accessed by clicking here.

The class action complaint alleges that Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., failed to accurately pay PLAINTIFFS and the other members of the CALIFORNIA CLASS overtime wages for the time they worked which was in excess of the maximum hours permissible by law as required by Cal. Lab. Code §§ 510, 1194& 1198. Cal. Lab. Code § 510 further provides that employees in California shall not be employed more than eight (8) hours per workday and/or more than forty (40) hours per workweek unless they receive additional compensation beyond their regular wages in amounts specified by law.

According to the class action complaint, the company's non-exempt employees were also allegedly unable to take off duty meal breaks due to their rigorous work schedules. California labor laws require an employer to provide an employee required to perform work for more than five (5) hours during a shift with, a thirty (30) minute uninterrupted meal break prior to the end of the employee's fifth (5th) hour of work. The complaint alleges that the company did not provide their employees who forfeited meal breaks additional compensation.

If you think your company is violating the California Labor Code and would like to know if you qualify to make a claim, please contact attorney Nicholas J. De Blouw today by calling (858) 952-0354.

Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP, is an employment law firm with offices located in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, and Chicago that dedicates its practice to helping employees, investors and consumers fight back against unfair business practices, including violations of the California Labor Code and Fair Labor Standards Act. If you need help in collecting unpaid overtime wages, unpaid commissions, being wrongfully terminated from work, and other employment law claims, contact one of their attorneys today.


Posted in: Employment,Law & Legal,News & Current Affairs,Public Affairs

DuPage County Lawyer Carol A. Nolan Relocates to Lisle, Illinois

Attorney Carol A. Nolan is excited to announce that she has moved her practice to a new location in Lisle, Illinois. She opened her new office on January 1, 2019.

Nolan’s office is located at 1001 Warrenville Road, Suite 224, near Route 53 and Interstate 88 and just south of the Morton Arboretum. For returning clients, her new location is less than seven miles from her Wheaton office. She will have the same phone number and email as in her previous office.

DuPage County lawyer Carol A. Nolan is one of the most experienced elder law attorneys in Illinois. She provides knowledgeable legal guidance for seniors, their families, and estate executors and trustees.

Nolan assists clients with several complicated elder law issues, such as estate planning, probate administration, Medicaid applications, nursing home preparations, and creating special needs trusts that protect clients’ state and federal benefits.

Nolan has been practicing in the field of elder law since 1996. She received her bachelor’s degree with magna cum laude honors from Northern Illinois University in 1992 and her juris doctor from the Northern Illinois University College of Law in 1995.

Nolan is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the DuPage County Bar Association, serving on the latter’s Probate Committee. She has received an Avvo 10.0 Superb rating as a Top Attorney in Elder Law and an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

About Carol A. Nolan: 
Carol A. Nolan is a solo practitioner of elder law, probate and trust administration, and estate planning. Based in DuPage County, she assists seniors and their family members with Medicaid applications, disability issues, and nursing home expenses. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 630-668-6600 or visit https://www.canolanlaw.com.

Posted in: Law & Legal

Wills Variation: Evaluating the Claims of Independent Adult Children

As a team of wills and estate planning lawyers in Vancouver, it may surprise people to learn that a significant amount of will variation cases—people looking to challenge or alter a will—comes from adult children who have been disinherited and left out of their parents' wills. According to Section 60 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act, adult independent children may ask the Court to vary the Will of their parent if the will-maker did not make adequate provision for the child. For more, go to: http://www.kushnerlaw.ca/wills-variation-claims-evaluating-the-claims-of-adult-independent-children/

The legislation uses the terms "adequate, just and equitable in the circumstances" to define the potential scope of a variation. While these terms are quite broad, the courts in British Columbia have given guidance as to what factors ought to be considered.

In the case of Dundson v. Dundson 2012 BCSC 1274, the Honourable Madame Justice Balance summarized the factors that a Court may consider in evaluating the potential size of a claim made by adult independent children:

[134] In the post-Tataryn era, the following considerations have been accepted as Informing the existence and strength of a testator's moral duty to independent children:

- relationship between the testator and claimant, including abandonment, neglect and estrangement by one or the other;
- size of the estate;
- contributions by the claimant;
- reasonably held expectations of the claimant;
- standard of living of the testator and claimant;
- gifts and benefits made by the testator outside the will;
- testator's reasons for disinheriting
- financial need and other personal circumstances, including disability, of the claimant;
- misconduct or poor character of the claimant;
- competing claimants and other beneficiaries:

Anyone who has been disinherited is advised to contact a lawyer experienced in estate litigation. To learn more, contact Kushner Law Group at 604-629-0432 or schedule a consultation.

About The Kushner Law Group
The Kushner Law Group was founded on the principle that a small law firm should be able to offer the same level of legal advice as a big firm at an affordable cost. A unique combination of legal experience and creativity allows the professionals at Kushner to come up with creative and practical solutions for a variety of legal problems.

For additional information, please visit http://kushnerlaw.ca/ or call 604-629-0432.

Posted in: Law & Legal

Livesay & Myers, P.C. Announces New Senior Associate

Livesay & Myers, P.C. proudly announces the promotion of attorney Caitlyn Stubbs to the position of Senior Associate.

Ms. Stubbs works in the Fredericksburg office of Livesay & Myers, P.C., and represents clients in Fredericksburg, Stafford and surrounding areas.

Originally from Iowa, Ms. Stubbs earned her college degree from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania before moving on to attend Thomas M. Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University. Upon graduating from law school in 2013, Ms. Stubbs relocated to Northern Virginia. She worked as a family law and criminal defense attorney at a firm in Woodbridge, Virginia before joining Livesay & Myers, P.C. in January 2015. Since then she has practiced exclusively family law.

In just three years with Livesay & Myers, P.C., Ms. Stubbs has grown into one of the preeminent family law attorneys in the Fredericksburg-Stafford area. Her courtroom skills, attention to detail and tireless work ethic have consistently translated into positive results for her clients, who have rewarded Ms. Stubbs with a large number of outstanding reviews and testimonials online. She was named a Super Lawyers Virginia Rising Star in 2018–2019, and currently holds a 10.0 rating from Justia.

About Livesay & Myers, P.C.

Livesay & Myers, P.C. is a fast-growing family law firm with offices in Fairfax, Arlington, Manassas, Fredericksburg and Leesburg, Virginia. The firm was founded in 2003 by partners James Livesay and Kevin Myers. By 2016, the firm had made the annual Virginia Lawyers Weekly list of Virginia’s Largest Law Firms, debuting at #64 (and moving up to #63 in 2017 and #60 in 2018). Livesay & Myers, P.C. appears in the 2018 and 2019 Editions of the U.S. News & World Report listing of Best Law Firms as a Tier 2 firm in Family Law for the Washington, D.C. region.

Posted in: Building & Construction,Law & Legal

Housing Court Favors Landlord Mogul in Veteran Eviction Case

New York, NY. In a matter now filed with the Attorney General’s Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force, the New York Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision to charge a veteran for all legal fees incurred by his landlord in his attempts to evict him. Landlord, Larry Ginsberg, of Algin Management and owner of over thirty NY high-rise buildings, filed to evict a 40-year tenant on the basis of a claimed late payment of one rental check.

Tenant Gerard Sunnen, a Vietnam–era U.S. veteran (USAF-MC 71-73; USAF Reserves 73-82), states that this one check was duly sent, but not cashed. “For forty years the landlord happily took rent checks, Sunnen said, “ then one month, nothing except for a City Marshall eviction notice pasted on the door. While this may be a case of bias and discrimination, now known is that this is also a common tactic of certain NY landlords eager to flip apartments out of rent stabilization, flouting the rent stabilization guidelines of New York’s Department of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).“

.The matter landed in NY City’s Housing Court, where months of court appearances ballooned legal fees. Algin demanded some ,800 - reflecting the rates of the landlord’s lawyers, Belkin, Burden, Wenig and Goldman, LLP. - The matter went to Justice Anne Katz, head of NY’s Housing Court. Katz upheld the landlord’s demands.

Appealing the decision to the NY Supreme Court Appellate Term, First Department, the matter awaited final adjudication. In their decision, appellate justices Martin Shulman, Martin Schoenfeld, and Doris Ling-Cohan upheld Katz’s order.

“Tenants’ rights are sacrosanct in many cities around the world,” Sunnen added, “where community cohesion is protected. In these turbulent times breaking down New York’s cultural fabric via massive real estate upheavals, veterans, as all New Yorkers, should have housing shielded from powerful predatory interests, all in the context of a benevolent judicial system.“


Gerard Sunnen

200 East 33rd Street, 26J

New York, NY 10016

Tel. 212-6790679


References: Index No. L&T 92116/02

L&T 078335/2015

NY County Clerk # 570869

Posted in: Government & Politics,Law & Legal,News & Current Affairs,Public Affairs

Jim Hitt Details Handling Hurricane Damage to Real Estate IRA Properties

The recent damage from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have changed the investing landscape for many—and that’s putting it lightly. Those with real estate affected by the Hurricanes are looking at real losses, either to their homes or to investment property that was set to serve as a retirement nest egg. Recently, Jim Hitt took to the American IRA blog to talk about how those with Real Estate IRA properties affected by hurricane damage can handle these issues.

The first topic for the post: insurance and repair considerations unique to Real Estate IRAs. Because investors shouldn’t intermingle their funds—which means investors should keep their IRA funds separate from the rest of their funds—it’s important to watch out for these issues especially when there’s a sudden demand for repair money. Real Estate IRA owners can be tempted to buy things like sandbags and temporary doors/fencing. But Real Estate IRA investors are expected not to use their personal funds to finance these items. There are common-sense repairs available, and Jim Hitt details these issues in the post.

“What many people don’t realize about Real Estate IRAs is that it’s important to keep them separated from an investor’s usual funds,” said Jim Hitt. “You wouldn’t move money in and out of a 401(k) without thinking about it first. Similarly, investors can’t simply go up to their property and use their personal credit card to make things right again. This is a separate, tax-protected investment account, and investors need to remember that they’re expected to treat it as such.”

For example, a settlement check from an insurance company for damage to the Real Estate IRA property should be made to the Real Estate IRA, not to the owner of the property. That requires paperwork done the right way on the front end, Jim Hitt says, which is why it’s so important to work with a reputable Self-Directed IRA custodian.

“There are tremendous benefits to the Real Estate IRA,” Jim Hitt said. “But an investor only realizes those benefits if they follow the rules. Even with special circumstances like hurricane damage, the rules still have to be followed.”


American IRA, LLC was established in 2004 by James C. Hitt in Asheville, NC.

The mission of American IRA is to provide the highest level of customer service in the self-directed retirement industry. Mr. Hitt and his team have grown the company to over 0 million in assets under administration by educating the public that their self-directed IRA account can invest in a variety of assets such as real estate, private lending, limited liability companies, precious metals and much more.

As a self-directed IRA administrator, they are a neutral third party. They do not make any recommendations to any person or entity associated with investments of any type (including financial representatives, investment promoters or companies, or employees, agents or representatives associated with these firms). They are not responsible for and are not bound by any statements, representations, warranties or agreements made by any such person or entity and do not provide any recommendation on the quality profitability or reputability of any investment, individual or company. The term "they" refers to American IRA, located in Asheville, NC.

Posted in: Law & Legal

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