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Irvine Corporate Law Blog

Has your company misclassified its independent contractors?

The larger the company, the more departments it has, which makes it easy to mix up the classifications for employees versus independent contractors.

A misclassification problem could lead to all sorts of business headaches, including wage disputes and questions as to whether there could or should be a change to a contractor’s status.

Marijuana name at issue in trademark business litigation

While California has legalized marijuana use for recreational purposes, this means that the possibility of business litigation is present for those who produce it. For example, GG Strains, a company that developed a strain of marijuana, named "Gorilla Glue #4" is embroiled in trademark infringement litigation with the makers of the popular adhesive "Gorilla Glue." The marijuana strain at issue earned this moniker due to its stickiness. It has become a highly valuable and sought-after strain of marijuana, winning various awards at leading competitions.

However, this fame comes at a price. The 18-year-old firm that produces the adhesive Gorilla Glue has sued the GG Strains, claiming that GG Strains' business has infringed upon the Gorilla Glue brand, bringing down its value. On social media, GG Strains has seen much more popularity than the Gorilla Glue adhesive. Most instances of someone using the hashtag #GorillaGlue refers to the marijuana, not the adhesive. Moreover, GG Strains has two times as many followers on Instagram as the Gorilla Glue adhesive company does.

Seeking help for the inevitable business litigation

While it certainly is undesirable, it is almost inevitable that a business in California will at one point or another be involved in a lawsuit, either as a plaintiff or a defendant. No business wants to go through litigation, which can cost a lot in both time and money, efforts that deserve to be funneled to the successful operations of the business itself.

That being said, not every instance of business litigation ends up going to trial. Sometimes it is possible to proactively address the issues being litigated early on. Through out-of-court negotiations, mediation or arbitration, a resolution may be found that is satisfactory to both parties. For this reason, it can help for businesses facing litigation to engage the help of an attorney from the get-go, such as those at Centauri Law Group.

A successful joint venture starts with the agreement

Clarity is a highly important element in the formation of a joint venture. The agreement you draw up must explain the intent of the JV and who it involves.

The language of the joint venture agreement is very important, as it will specify the activities the JV will engage in and those it will not pursue.

Recent merger could impact California real estate market

When two companies in California decide to merge, it can have a big impact on the state's economy. Mergers often result in a company that is bigger and more profitable than each company was prior to the merger. In fact, the recent merger between Partners Trust and Pacific Union International will result in the state's biggest independent real estate brokerage. This merger is the second one that Pacific Union entered into over the previous eight months, having previously merged with John Aaroe Group.

When measured using the 2016 sales volume, Pacific Union is currently the eighth largest real estate brokerage in the entire nation. Partners Trust has over 240 associates in the Los Angeles region.

Avoid common mistakes in buying a dental practice

When you begin to think about buying a dental practice, there are many things to consider. After all, this will be one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Have you prepared to do this alone? Should you form a corporation? What legal and financial questions should you ask? What regulations do you need to follow?

To make sure you address all the legalities and possible pitfalls, you may want to put together a team of professionals who can guide you and ensure that you do not overlook any issue when you find the practice you want.

The federal government's role in mergers

Mid-sized to large businesses in the Irvine area may at some point decide it in the business's best interest to acquire or merge with another firm. Doing so, as many business executive know, is not simply a matter of signing a contract or two.

Instead, it involves a lengthy and multi-faceted corporate law process, and sometimes that process includes a thorough review by government officials to make sure that proposed merger or acquisition is not going to unfairly hinder free trade and competition.

DuPont, Dow merger to be completed in August

California residents may have been closely following the DuPont/Dow merger, with all its ups and downs along the way. Now, DuPont Co., which is set to merge with Dow Chemical Co. in August, has seen support from farmers across the United States. The merger is being heralded as "historic" at $75 billion. The sale of seeds by DuPont in the second quarter went up after the company revealed new types of soybeans. In addition, DuPont has seen more revenue from an increasing need for new insecticides and fungicides.

In fact, the Department of Agriculture reports that the soybean crop being planted by farmers in North America is reaching a new record, with a 7 percent increase in 2017. Earnings from farms rose 11 percent due to seed gains, which made up over 50 percent of DuPont's total profit. DuPont's revenue went up just over 5 percent, reaching $7.42 billion, which is more than what was anticipated.

General rules to note regarding your employee contracts

Your employees are an essential part of the proper function of your business. Therefore, it is critical that you maintain proper relations with them on all fronts. It may be beneficial to stay abreast of employment laws in your state for this purpose.

In general, there are labor laws that all states enforce. In the state of California, there are a couple of additional stipulations that apply. As you cultivate or develop your business, consider these labor codes and how they may affect you.

Royalties at issue in Michael Jackson contract dispute

Many people in California are fans of the late musician Michael Jackson, who during his lifetime earned the moniker "king of pop." However, even after his death, ongoing disputes remain regarding the interpretation of contracts Jackson entered into during his lifetime.

Closing arguments were recently made in a trial involving the estate of the late music star, Michael Jackson, and music producer, Quincy Jones. Jones argues that he did not receive $30 million in royalties and licensing fees he was owed. At issue in this case is music that Jones produced that was later used in a film titled "This Is It," along with Cirque du Soleil performances made after Jackson passed away. The case was heard in Los Angeles Superior Court.

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