ryan_cruz_law_san_diego_attorney_legal_problems_mediation_arbitration_dispute_mediation_arbitration_options

Mediation and/or arbitration clauses in your contracts. Understand how each option works before signing your next contract.

When you enter into a contract you will often see that the initial terms are the most important ones describing the goods or services, prices, quantities and other matters that two parties have negotiated.  These are the material terms that contain the purpose of the contract. As you move towards the end of the contract, you will find miscellaneous boilerplate terms that a lot of people tend to glance over for a split second before signing the agreement. Miscellaneous terms tend to include provisions such as:

  • Jurisdiction. This paragraph describes which state laws will be used to interpret the terms of the contract.
  • Severability. This paragraph states that if any provision is determined invalid, the rest of the contract’s terms will be enforceable.
  • Assurances. This paragraph states that one party or the parties will take necessary actions necessary to carry out the terms of the contract.
  • Attorney’s Fees. This paragraph describes how and whether any attorney’s fees will be enforced if attorney’s are required in enforcing the terms of the contract.

The above are only a few examples and basic descriptions of the miscellaneous types of terms within a standard agreement. There are many others that should be reviewed thoroughly to understand the entirety of the transaction.

Well-written contracts also include a paragraph describing how any future disagreements related to the contract will be resolved. This paragraph is usually titled after your options – Mediation, Arbitration and/or Dispute Resolution. Understand that by signing the agreement, you are binding yourself to these resolution options in the event there is a problem in enforcing the contract in the future regardless of whether the enforcing party or not. It is a very important paragraph to review which will affect your future and should not be taken lightly.

  • Mediation is typically a 1 day negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party, usually a retired judge, with the goal of resolving the matter jointly between the parties.
  • Arbitration is a longer process similar to a lawsuit in court, except that it is managed outside of court using 1 arbitrator or a panel to make a decision. The process involves presenting evidence, arguments, calling witnesses and questioning by the parties, and so forth.

Both options are made available as more time- and cost efficient solutions towards resolving legal problems related to a contract rather than going to court for resolution.  The above descriptions are extremely basic and should be explored carefully. Well-written dispute resolution paragraphs describe in detail how the process will work.  Seek legal advice to interpret the paragraph if it is written in legal jargon.

BEFORE you sign an agreement, we recommend taking your contract to an attorney to discuss whether a dispute resolution option is best over the other option, Of course, this all depends on a few variables:

  • the type of transaction
  • the relationship between the parties
  • whether mediation is a practical option between the parties
  • your available funds towards resolving problems should they arise
  • whether you have a true option in negotiating the terms or simply have to adhere to the terms as written

KNOW that mediation, arbitration, and other alternative dispute resolution options apply to a wide variety of contracts. These include:

  • cable bill
  • internet bill
  • new car purchase and lease
  • mortgages
  • employer/employee contracts
  • furniture purchase contracts
  • car service agreements
  • rental car contracts

Practically, all well-drafted and complete contracts include this type of provision. If your contract does not include such provision, seek legal advice before signing the contract.

ryan_cruz_law_san_diego_attorney_estate_planning_premarital_legal_wedding_prenuptial

Spring weddings are coming up. Add this to your wedding prep plans.

While parts of the County like Mission Valley, La Jolla, Fashion Valley, Ocean Beach and Sorrento Valley are currently  experiencing flooding issues this season with the recent El Nino related storms, some residents are thinking positively and are looking forward to a brighter upcoming Spring wedding season.

Weddings in general are surrounded by happy thoughts for the bride, the groom and their families. Most brides and grooms go through the motions of attending wedding expos and food samplings in preparation for their big day. These are all fun activities. But there are two activities that tends to get left out, probably for being considered less enjoyable: premarital legal planning and financial planning prior to marriage.  What is premarital legal planning? This can include the following:

For example, I once worked with a couple who were both previously married. The bride-to-be had a child from her previous marriage and the groom-to-be had an inheritance from his parents. Both wanted to know how their upcoming marriage was going to affect the bride’s son and the groom’s inheritance. Fortunately, they came for legal help before marriage thereby allowing them some important options. It was a bit of a rushed process since their wedding date was about 4 weeks out, however, timely assistance was possible.  Premarital legal planning is important.

If you’re getting married in 2016, we recommend that you speak with an attorney if you have any questions about your finances, family planning or property ownership planning. Marriage may or may not affect your situation. A consultation will help you determine your options.

ryan_cruz_law_san_diego_attorney_real_estate_property_el_nino_sandbags

Protect your property during this El Niño

Sandbags help to divert or redirect water, mud and debris from your property and help prevent soil erosion.

Free sand and sandbags are available to residents and business throughout San Diego County at the following locations:

Sandbags are also available at these retail vendors. For more information on flood debris and erosion control, view the Homeowner’s Guide for Flood, Debris, and Erosion Control

View more information at http://www.readysandiego.org/el-nino/

ryan_cruz_law_san_diego_attorney_intellectual_property_trademark_classification

Filing a trademark this year? The International Classification was updated 1/1/2016

A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services. To better understand how a trademark is different from a patent, copyright, domain name and business name, watch this short video published by the United States Trademark and Patent Office.

 

If you are interested in applying for trademark registration this year, note that the International Classification was updated and is effective as of January 1, 2016.   Bookmark or Favorite this page for future reference this year as you work on your application.  If you are preparing your own application, speak with an attorney before submitting your application. For certain parts of the application, an amendment cannot be submitted after filing the application, therefore, you are encouraged to seek a consultation about your trademarking needs before submission.   Here are other reasons to seek a consultation before submitting an application:

  • plans to seek trademark protection internationally
  • plans to use the trademark in commerce after submitting your application
  • a need to concisely describe your goods and/or services
  • learn which information becomes public record
  • apply for registration in the correct classification of goods and services

The following is the text released by the USPTO this year. Refer to the USPTO website for more information: 

International trademark classification, and the headings of the international trademark classes, are established by the Committee of Experts of the Nice Union and set forth in the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification), published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”). The general remarks, class numbers, class headings, and explanatory notes for each international trademark class are as follows.

The International Classification is available at http://www.wipo.int/classifications/nice/en/ (link is external). However, because the international list was developed to classify goods and services and not to identify specific goods and services, most entries will not be sufficiently definite to use in an identification of goods and/or services.

On January 1, 2016, the Nice Classification, Tenth Edition, version 2016 (NCL 10-2016), became effective. Changes to the class headings are highlighted in the Noteworthy Changes to the Nice Classification System under the Nice Agreement, Tenth Edition, version 2016.  To see a comprehensive list of all the new or changed entries, on or after January 1, 2016, please search the legacy version of the USPTO ID Manual using the Search Term “20160101[ED]” or conduct an advanced search in the Next Generation ID Manual using the exact date (“=” sign in the “Effective Date” dropdown menu) of January 1, 2016.

General Remarks

The indications of goods or services appearing in the class headings are general indications relating to the fields to which, in principle, the goods or services belong. The Alphabetical List should therefore be consulted in order to ascertain the exact classification of each individual product or service.

GOODS

If a product cannot be classified with the aid of the List of Classes, the Explanatory Notes and the Alphabetical List, the following remarks set forth the criteria to be applied:

(a) A finished product is in principle classified according to its function or purpose. If the function or purpose of a finished product is not mentioned in any class heading, the finished product is classified by analogy with other comparable finished products, indicated in the Alphabetical List. If none is found, other subsidiary criteria, such as that of the material of which the product is made or its mode of operation, are applied.

(b) A finished product which is a multipurpose composite object (e.g., clocks incorporating radios) may be classified in all classes that correspond to any of its functions or intended purposes. If those functions or purposes are not mentioned in any class heading, other criteria, indicated under (a), above, are to be applied.

(c) Raw materials, unworked or semi-worked, are in principle classified according to the material of which they consist.

(d) Goods intended to form part of another product are in principle classified in the same class as that product only in cases where the same type of goods cannot normally be used for another purpose. In all other cases, the criterion indicated under (a), above, applies.

(e) When a product, whether finished or not, is classified according to the material of which it is made, and it is made of different materials, the product is in principle classified according to the material which predominates.

(f) Cases adapted to the product they are intended to contain are in principle classified in the same class as the product.

SERVICES

If a service cannot be classified with the aid of the List of Classes, the Explanatory Notes and the Alphabetical List, the following remarks set forth the criteria to be applied:

(a) Services are in principle classified according to the branches of activities specified in the headings of the service classes and in their Explanatory Notes or, if not specified, by analogy with other comparable services indicated in the Alphabetical List.

(b) Rental services are in principle classified in the same classes as the services provided by means of the rented objects (e.g., Rental of telephones, covered by Class 38). Leasing services are analogous to rental services and therefore should be classified in the same way. However, hire- or lease-purchase financing is classified in Class 36 as a financial service.

(c) Services that provide advice, information or consultation are in principle classified in the same classes as the services that correspond to the subject matter of the advice, information or consultation, e.g., transportation consultancy (Cl. 39), business management consultancy (Cl. 35), financial consultancy (Cl. 36), beauty consultancy (Cl. 44). The rendering of the advice, information or consultancy by electronic means (e.g., telephone, computer) does not affect the classification of these services.

(d) Services rendered in the framework of franchising are in principle classified in the same class as the particular services provided by the franchisor (e.g., business advice relating to franchising (Class 35), financing services relating to franchising (Class 36), legal services relating to franchising (Class 45)).

Class Headings with Explanatory Notes

CLASS 1

Chemicals used in industry, science and photography, as well as in agriculture, horticulture and forestry;

unprocessed artificial resins, unprocessed plastics;

manures;

fire extinguishing compositions;

tempering and soldering preparations;

chemical substances for preserving foodstuffs;

tanning substances;

adhesives used in industry.

Explanatory Note

Class 1 includes mainly chemical products used in industry, science and agriculture, including those which go to the making of products belonging to other classes.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   compost;

–   salt for preserving other than for foodstuffs;

–   certain additives for the food industry (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   raw natural resins (Cl. 2);

–   chemical products for use in medical science (Cl. 5);

–   fungicides, herbicides and preparations for destroying vermin (Cl. 5);

–   adhesives for stationery or household purposes (Cl. 16);

–   salt for preserving foodstuffs (Cl. 30);

–   straw mulch (Cl. 31).

CLASS 2

Paints, varnishes, lacquers;

preservatives against rust and against deterioration of wood;

colorants;

mordants;

raw natural resins;

metals in foil and powder form for use in painting, decorating, printing and art.

Explanatory Note

Class 2 includes mainly paints, colorants and preparations used for the protection against corrosion.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   paints, varnishes and lacquers for industry, handicrafts and arts;

–   dyestuffs for clothing;

–   colorants for foodstuffs and beverages.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   unprocessed artificial resins (Cl. 1);

–   laundry blueing (Cl. 3);

–   cosmetic dyes (Cl. 3);

–   paint boxes (articles for use in school) (Cl. 16);

–   insulating paints and varnishes (Cl. 17).

CLASS 3

Bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use;

cleaning, polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations;

soaps;

perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair lotions;

dentifrices.

Explanatory Note

Class 3 includes mainly cleaning preparations and toilet preparations.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   deodorants for human beings or for animals;

–   room fragrancing preparations;

–   sanitary preparations being toiletries.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   chemical chimney cleaners (Cl. 1);

–   degreasing preparations for use in manufacturing processes (Cl. 1);

–   deodorants other than for human beings or for animals (Cl. 5);

–   sharpening stones and grindstones (hand tools) (Cl. 8).

CLASS 4

Industrial oils and greases;

lubricants;

dust absorbing, wetting and binding compositions;

fuels (including motor spirit) and illuminants;

candles and wicks for lighting.

Explanatory Note

Class 4 includes mainly industrial oils and greases, fuels and illuminants.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– certain special industrial oils and greases (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).

CLASS 5

Pharmaceuticals, medical and veterinary preparations;

sanitary preparations for medical purposes;

dietetic food and substances adapted for medical or veterinary use, food for babies;

dietary supplements for humans and animals;

plasters, materials for dressings;

material for stopping teeth, dental wax;

disinfectants;

preparations for destroying vermin;

fungicides, herbicides.

Explanatory Note

Class 5 includes mainly pharmaceuticals and other preparations for medical or veterinary purposes.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   sanitary preparations for personal hygiene, other than toiletries;

–   diapers for babies and incontinents;

–   deodorants other than for human beings or for animals;

–   dietary supplements, intended to supplement a normal diet or to have health benefits;

–   meal replacements, dietetic food and beverages, adapted for medical or veterinary use;

–   cigarettes without tobacco, for medical purposes.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   sanitary preparations being toiletries (Cl. 3);

–   deodorants for human beings or for animals (Cl. 3);

–   supportive bandages (Cl. 10);

–   meal replacements, dietetic food and beverages not for medical or veterinary use (Cl. 29, 30, 31, 32 or 33).

CLASS 6

Common metals and their alloys;

metal building materials;

transportable buildings of metal;

materials of metal for railway tracks;

non-electric cables and wires of common metal;

ironmongery, small items of metal hardware;

pipes and tubes of metal;

safes;

ores.

Explanatory Note 

Class 6 includes mainly unwrought and partly wrought common metals as well as simple products made of them.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   bauxite (Cl. 1);

–   mercury, antimony, alkaline and alkaline-earth metals (Cl. 1);

–   metals in foil and powder form for use in painting, decorating, printing and art (Cl. 2);

–   certain goods made of common metals that are classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).

CLASS 7

Machines and machine tools;

motors and engines (except for land vehicles);

machine coupling and transmission components (except for land vehicles);

agricultural implements other than hand-operated;

incubators for eggs;

automatic vending machines.

Explanatory Note

Class 7 includes mainly machines, machine tools, motors and engines.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   parts of motors and engines (of all kinds);

–   electric cleaning machines and apparatus.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain special machines and machine tools (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   hand tools and implements, hand-operated (Cl. 8);

–   motors and engines for land vehicles (Cl. 12).

CLASS 8

Hand tools and implements (hand-operated);

cutlery;

side arms;

razors.

Explanatory Note 

Class 8 includes mainly hand-operated implements used as tools in the respective professions.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   cutlery of precious metals;

–   electric razors and clippers (hand instruments).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain special instruments (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   machine tools and implements driven by a motor (Cl. 7);

–   surgical cutlery (Cl. 10);

–   side arms being firearms (Cl. 13);

–   paper knives (Cl. 16);

–   fencing weapons (Cl. 28).

CLASS 9

Scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments;  apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity;

apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images;

magnetic data carriers, recording discs;

compact discs, DVDs and other digital recording media;

mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus;

cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment, computers;

computer software;

fire-extinguishing apparatus.

Explanatory Note

This Class includes, in particular:

–   apparatus and instruments for scientific research in laboratories;

–   apparatus and instruments for controlling ships, such as apparatus and instruments for measuring and for transmitting orders;

–   protractors;

–   punched card office machines;

–   all computer programs and software regardless of recording media or means of dissemination, that is, software recorded on magnetic media or downloaded from a remote computer network.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   the following electrical apparatus and instruments:

(a)   electromechanical apparatus for the kitchen (grinders and mixers for foodstuffs, fruit presses, electrical coffee mills, etc.), and certain other apparatus and instruments driven by an electrical motor, all coming under Class 7;

(b)   apparatus for pumping or dispensing fuels (Cl. 7);

(c)   electric razors, clippers (hand instruments) and flat irons (Cl. 8);

(d)   electrical apparatus for space heating or for the heating of liquids, for cooking, ventilating, etc. (Cl. 11);

(e)   electric toothbrushes and combs (Cl. 21);

–   clocks and watches and other chronometric instruments (Cl. 14);

–   control clocks (Cl. 14);

–   amusement and game apparatus adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor (Cl. 28).

CLASS 10

Surgical, medical, dental and veterinary apparatus and instruments;

artificial limbs, eyes and teeth;

orthopedic articles;

suture materials.

Explanatory Note 

Class 10 includes mainly medical apparatus, instruments and articles.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   special furniture for medical use;

–   hygienic rubber articles (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   supportive bandages.

CLASS 11

Apparatus for lighting, heating, steam generating, cooking, refrigerating, drying, ventilating, water supply and sanitary purposes.

Explanatory Note 

This Class includes, in particular:

–   air conditioning apparatus;

–   bed warmers, hot water bottles, warming pans, electric or non-electric;

–   electrically heated cushions (pads) and blankets, not for medical purposes;

–   electric kettles;

–   electric cooking utensils.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   steam producing apparatus (parts of machines) (Cl. 7);

–   electrically heated clothing (Cl. 9).

CLASS 12

Vehicles;

apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water.

Explanatory Note

This Class includes, in particular:

–   motors and engines for land vehicles;

–   couplings and transmission components for land vehicles;

–   air cushion vehicles.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain special vehicles not for transportation purposes (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   certain parts of vehicles (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   railway material of metal (Cl. 6);

–   motors, engines, couplings and transmission components other than for land vehicles (Cl. 7);

–   parts of motors and engines (of all kinds) (Cl. 7).

CLASS 13

Firearms;

ammunition and projectiles;

explosives;

fireworks.

Explanatory Note

Class 13 includes mainly firearms and pyrotechnical products.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– matches (Cl. 34).

CLASS 14

Precious metals and their alloys;

jewellery, precious stones;

horological and chronometric instruments.

Explanatory Note

Class 14 includes mainly precious metals, goods in precious metals or coated therewith and, in general jewellery, clocks and watches.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   jewellery (i.e., imitation jewellery and jewellery of precious metal and stones);

–   cuff links, tie pins.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain goods in precious metals classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods), for example, metals in foil and powder form for use in painting, decorating, printing and art (Cl. 2), amalgam of gold for dentists (Cl. 5), cutlery (Cl. 8), electric contacts (Cl. 9), pen nibs of gold (Cl. 16), teapots (Cl. 21), gold and silver embroidery (Cl. 26), cigar boxes (Cl. 34);

–   objects of art not of precious metals (classified according to the material of which they consist).

CLASS 15

Musical instruments.

Explanatory Note

This Class includes, in particular:

– mechanical pianos and their accessories;

– musical boxes;

– electrical and electronic musical instruments.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– apparatus for the recording, transmission, amplification and reproduction of sound (Cl. 9).

CLASS 16

Paper and cardboard;

printed matter;

bookbinding material;

photographs;

stationery;

adhesives for stationery or household purposes;

artists’ materials;

paintbrushes;

typewriters and office requisites (except furniture);

instructional and teaching material (except apparatus);

plastic materials for packaging;

printers’ type;

printing blocks.

Explanatory Note

Class 16 includes mainly paper and cardboard, goods made from those materials and office requisites.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   paper knives;

–   duplicators;

–   plastic sheets, sacks and bags for wrapping and packaging;

–   table linen of paper.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain goods made of paper and cardboard that are classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   paints (Cl. 2);

–   hand tools for artists (for example, spatulas, sculptors’ chisels) (Cl. 8);

–   bed linen of paper (Cl. 24).

CLASS 17

Unprocessed and semi-processed rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica and substitutes for all these materials;

plastics in extruded form for use in manufacture;

packing, stopping and insulating materials;

flexible pipes, not of metal.

Explanatory Note

Class 17 includes mainly electrical, thermal and acoustic insulating materials and plastics, being for use in manufacture in the form of sheets, blocks and rods, and goods made of the materials in this class.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   rubber material for recapping tyres;

–   padding and stuffing materials of rubber or plastics;

–   floating anti-pollution barriers.

This Class does not include, in particular: 

–   certain goods made of the materials in this class that are classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).

CLASS 18

Leather and imitations of leather;

animal skins, hides;

trunks and travelling bags;

umbrellas and parasols;

walking sticks;

whips, harness and saddlery.

Explanatory Note

Class 18 includes mainly leather, imitations of leather, goods made of those materials, travel goods and saddlery.

This Class includes, in particular: 

– luggage tags.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– clothing, footwear, headgear (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

– certain goods made of leather, imitations of leather, animal skins and hides, that are classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).

CLASS 19

Building materials (non-metallic);

non-metallic rigid pipes for building;

asphalt, pitch and bitumen;

non-metallic transportable buildings;

monuments, not of metal.

Explanatory Note

Class 19 includes mainly non-metallic building materials.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   semi-worked woods (for example, beams, planks, panels);

–   veneers;

–   building glass (for example, floor slabs, glass tiles);

–   glass granules for marking out roads;

–   letter boxes of masonry.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   cement preservatives and cement-waterproofing preparations (Cl. 1);

–   fireproofing preparations (Cl. 1).

CLASS 20

Furniture, mirrors, picture frames;

unworked or semi-worked bone, horn, ivory, whalebone or mother-of-pearl;

shells;

meerschaum;

yellow amber.

Explanatory Note

Class 20 includes mainly furniture and parts therefor, as well as certain goods made of wood, cork, reed, cane, wicker, horn, bone, ivory, whalebone, shell, amber, mother-of-pearl, meerschaum and substitutes for all these materials, or of plastic.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   metal furniture and furniture for camping;

–   bedding (for example, mattresses, spring mattresses, pillows);

–   looking glasses, furniture and toilet mirrors;

–   registration number plates, not of metal;

–   letter boxes, not of metal or masonry.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain mirrors, classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   certain goods made of wood, cork, reed, cane, wicker, horn, bone, ivory, whalebone, shell, amber, mother-of-pearl, meerschaum and substitutes for all these materials, or of plastic, that are classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   special furniture for laboratories (Cl. 9);

–   special furniture for medical use (Cl. 10);

–   bed linen (Cl. 24);

–   eiderdowns (Cl. 24).

CLASS 21

Household or kitchen utensils and containers;

combs and sponges;

brushes (except paintbrushes);

brush-making materials;

articles for cleaning purposes;

steelwool;

unworked or semi-worked glass (except glass used in building);

glassware, porcelain and earthenware.

Explanatory Note

Class 21 includes mainly small, hand-operated utensils and apparatus for household and kitchen use as well as toilet utensils, glassware and articles in porcelain.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   utensils and containers for household and kitchen use, for example, kitchen utensils, pails, pans of iron, of aluminium, of plastics or of other materials, small hand-operated apparatus for mincing, grinding or pressing;

–   electric combs;

–   electric toothbrushes;

–   dish stands and decanter stands.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain goods made of glass, porcelain and earthenware that are classified according to their function or purpose (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   cleaning preparations, soaps, etc.  (Cl. 3);

–   small apparatus for mincing, grinding or pressing, which are driven by electricity (Cl. 7);

–   razors and shaving apparatus, clippers (hand instruments), metal implements and utensils for manicure and pedicure (Cl. 8);

–   cooking utensils, electric (Cl. 11);

–   toilet mirrors (Cl. 20).

CLASS 22

Ropes and string;

nets;

tents, awnings and tarpaulins;

sails;

sacks;

padding and stuffing materials (except of paper, cardboard, rubber or plastics);

raw fibrous textile materials.

Explanatory Note

Class 22 includes mainly canvas and other materials for making sails, rope, padding and stuffing materials and raw fibrous textile materials.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   cords and twines in natural or artificial textile fibres, paper or plastics;

–   sacks and bags for transporting or storing goods and materials in bulk (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain nets and bags (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   strings for musical instruments (Cl. 15);

–   padding and stuffing materials of paper or cardboard (Cl. 16), rubber or plastics (Cl. 17).

CLASS 23

Yarns and threads, for textile use.

CLASS 24

Textiles and substitutes for textiles;

bed covers;

table covers.

Explanatory Note

Class 24 includes mainly textiles (piece goods) and textile covers for household use.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   household linen;

–   bed linen of paper.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain special textiles (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   electrically heated blankets, for medical purposes (Cl. 10) and not for medical purposes (Cl. 11);

–   table linen of paper (Cl. 16);

–   horse blankets (Cl. 18).

CLASS 25

Clothing, footwear, headgear.

Explanatory Note

This Class does not include, in particular:

– certain clothing and footwear for special use (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods).

CLASS 26

Lace and embroidery, ribbons and braid;

buttons, hooks and eyes, pins and needles;

artificial flowers.

Explanatory Note

Class 26 includes mainly dressmakers’ articles.

This Class includes, in particular:

– slide fasteners.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– certain special types of hooks (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

– certain special types of needles (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

– yarns and threads for textile use (Cl. 23).

CLASS 27

Carpets, rugs, mats and matting, linoleum and other materials for covering existing floors;

wall hangings (non-textile).

Explanatory Note

Class 27 includes mainly products intended to be added as furnishings to previously constructed floors and walls.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– wooden flooring (Cl. 19).

CLASS 28

Games and playthings;

gymnastic and sporting articles;

decorations for Christmas trees.

Explanatory Note

This Class includes, in particular:

–   amusement and game apparatus adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor;

–   fishing tackle;

–   equipment for various sports and games.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain gymnastic and sporting articles (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   Christmas tree candles (Cl. 4);

–   diving equipment (Cl. 9);

–   electrical lamps (garlands) for Christmas trees (Cl. 11);

–   fishing nets (Cl. 22);

–   clothing for gymnastics and sports (Cl. 25);

–   confectionery and chocolate decorations for Christmas trees (Cl. 30).

CLASS 29

Meat, fish, poultry and game;

meat extracts;

preserved, frozen, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables;

jellies, jams, compotes;

eggs;

milk and milk products;

edible oils and fats.

Explanatory Note

Class 29 includes mainly foodstuffs of animal origin as well as vegetables and other horticultural comestible products which are prepared for consumption or conservation.

This Class includes, in particular:

– milk beverages (milk predominating).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain foodstuffs of plant origin (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   baby food (Cl. 5);

–   dietetic food and substances adapted for medical use (Cl. 5);

–   dietary supplements (Cl. 5);

–   salad dressings (Cl. 30);

–   fertilised eggs for hatching (Cl. 31);

–   foodstuffs for animals (Cl. 31);

–   live animals (Cl. 31).

CLASS 30

Coffee, tea, cocoa and artificial coffee;

rice;

tapioca and sago;

flour and preparations made from cereals;

bread, pastries and confectionery;

edible ices;

sugar, honey, treacle;

yeast, baking-powder;

salt;

mustard;

vinegar, sauces (condiments);

spices;

ice.

Explanatory Note

Class 30 includes mainly foodstuffs of plant origin prepared for consumption or conservation as well as auxiliaries intended for the improvement of the flavour of food.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   beverages with coffee, cocoa, chocolate or tea base;

–   cereals prepared for human consumption (for example, oat flakes and those made of other cereals).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   certain foodstuffs of plant origin (consult the Alphabetical List of Goods);

–   salt for preserving other than for foodstuffs (Cl. 1);

–   medicinal teas and dietetic food and substances adapted for medical use (Cl. 5);

–   baby food (Cl. 5);

–   dietary supplements (Cl. 5);

–   raw cereals (Cl. 31);

–   foodstuffs for animals (Cl. 31).

CLASS 31

Agricultural, horticultural and forestry products;

raw and unprocessed grains and seeds;

fresh fruits and vegetables;

natural plants and flowers;

live animals;

foodstuffs for animals;

malt.

Explanatory Note

Class 31 includes mainly land products not having been subjected to any form of preparation for consumption, live animals and plants as well as food­stuffs for animals.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   raw woods;

–   raw cereals;

–   fertilised eggs for hatching;

–   mollusca and crustacea (live).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   cultures of micro-organisms and leeches for medical purposes (Cl. 5);

–   dietary supplements for animals (Cl. 5);

–   semi-worked woods (Cl. 19);

–   artificial fishing bait (Cl. 28);

–   rice (Cl. 30);

–   tobacco (Cl. 34).

CLASS 32

Beers;

mineral and aerated waters and other non-alcoholic beverages;

fruit beverages and fruit juices;

syrups and other preparations for making beverages.

Explanatory Note

Class 32 includes mainly non-alcoholic beverages, as well as beer.

This Class includes, in particular:

– de-alcoholised beverages.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   beverages for medical purposes (Cl. 5);

–   milk beverages (milk predominating) (Cl. 29);

–   beverages with coffee, cocoa, chocolate or tea base (Cl. 30).

CLASS 33

Alcoholic beverages (except beers).

Explanatory Note

This Class does not include, in particular:

– medicinal beverages (Cl. 5);

– de-alcoholised beverages (Cl. 32).

CLASS 34

Tobacco;

smokers’ articles;

matches.

Explanatory Note

This Class includes, in particular:

– tobacco substitutes (not for medical purposes).

This Class does not include, in particular:

– cigarettes without tobacco, for medical purposes (Cl. 5).

CLASS 35

Advertising;

business management;

business administration;

office functions.

Explanatory Note

Class 35 includes mainly services rendered by persons or organizations principally with the object of:

(1)     help in the working or management of a commercial undertaking, or

(2)     help in the management of the business affairs or commercial functions of an
industrial or commercial enterprise,

as well as services rendered by advertising establishments primarily undertaking communications to the public, declarations or announcements by all means of diffusion and concerning all kinds of goods or services.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   the bringing together, for the benefit of others, of a variety of goods (excluding the transport thereof), enabling customers to conveniently view and purchase those goods;  such services may be provided by retail stores, wholesale outlets, through mail order catalogues or by means of electronic media, for example, through web sites or television shopping programmes;

–   services consisting of the registration, transcription, composition, compilation or systematization of written communications and registrations, and also the compilation of mathematical or statistical data;

–   services of advertising agencies and services such as the distribution of prospectuses, directly or through the post, or the distribution of samples.  This Class may refer to advertising in connection with other services, such as those concerning bank loans or advertising by radio.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   services such as evaluations and reports of engineers which do not directly refer to the working or management of affairs in a commercial or industrial enterprise (consult the Alphabetical List of Services).

CLASS 36

Insurance;

financial affairs;

monetary affairs;

real estate affairs.

Explanatory Note

Class 36 includes mainly services rendered in financial and monetary affairs and services rendered in relation to insurance contracts of all kinds.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   services relating to financial or monetary affairs comprise the following:

(a)   services of all the banking establishments, or institutions connected with them such as exchange brokers or clearing services;

(b)   services of credit institutions other than banks such as co-operative credit associations, individual financial companies, lenders, etc.;

(c)   services of “investment trusts,” of holding companies;

(d)   services of brokers dealing in shares and property;

(e)   services connected with monetary affairs vouched for by trustees;

(f)    services rendered in connection with the issue of travellers’ cheques and letters of credit;

–   hire- or lease-purchase financing;

–   services of realty administrators of buildings, i.e., services of letting or valuation, or financing;

–   services dealing with insurance such as services rendered by agents or brokers engaged in insurance, services rendered to insured, and insurance underwriting services.

CLASS 37

Building construction;

repair;

installation services.

Explanatory Note

Class 37 includes mainly services rendered by contractors or subcontractors in the construction or making of permanent buildings, as well as services rendered by persons or organizations engaged in the restoration of objects to their original condition or in their preservation without altering their physical or chemical properties.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   services relating to the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, dams or transmission lines and services of undertakings specializing in the field of construction such as those of painters, plumbers, heating installers or roofers;

–   services auxiliary to construction services like inspections of construction plans;

–   services of shipbuilding;

–   services consisting of hiring of tools or building materials;

–   repair services, i.e., services which undertake to put any object into good condition after wear, damage, deterioration or partial destruction (restoration of an existing building or another object that has become imperfect and is to be restored to its original condition);

–   various repair services such as those in the fields of electricity, furniture, instruments, tools, etc.;

–   services of maintenance for preserving an object in its original condition without changing any of its properties (for the difference between this Class and Class 40 see the Explanatory Note of Class 40).

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   services consisting of storage of goods such as clothes or vehicles (Cl. 39);

–   services connected with dyeing of cloth or clothes (Cl. 40).

CLASS 38

Telecommunications.

Explanatory Note

Class 38 includes mainly services allowing at least one person to communicate with another by a sensory means.  Such services include those which:

(1)        allow one person to talk to another,

(2)        transmit messages from one person to another, and

(3)        place a person in oral or visual communication with another (radio and television).

This Class includes, in particular:

– services which consist essentially of the diffusion of radio or television programmes.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– radio advertising services (Cl. 35);

– telephone marketing (telemarketing) services (Cl. 35).

CLASS 39

Transport;

packaging and storage of goods;

travel arrangement.

Explanatory Note

Class 39 includes mainly services for the transport of people, animals or goods from one place to another (by rail, road, water, air or pipeline) and services necessarily connected with such transport, as well as services relating to the storing of goods in a warehouse or other building for their preservation or guarding.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   services rendered by companies exploiting stations, bridges, rail-road ferries, etc., used by the transporter;

–   services connected with the hiring of transport vehicles;

–   services connected with maritime tugs, unloading, the functioning of ports and docks and the salvaging of wrecked ships and their cargoes;

–   services connected with the packaging and parcelling of goods before dispatch;

–   services consisting of information about journeys or the transport of goods by brokers and tourist agencies, information relating to tariffs, timetables and methods of transport;

–   services relating to the inspection of vehicles or goods before transport.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   services relating to advertising transport undertakings such as the distribution of prospectuses or advertising on the radio (Cl. 35);

–   services relating to the issuing of travellers’ cheques or letters of credit by brokers or travel agents (Cl. 36);

–   services relating to insurances (commercial, fire or life) during the transport of persons or goods (Cl. 36);

–   services rendered by the maintenance and repair of vehicles, nor the maintenance or repair of objects connected with the transport of persons or goods (Cl. 37);

–   services relating to reservation of rooms in a hotel by travel agents or brokers (Cl. 43).

CLASS 40

Treatment of materials.

Explanatory Note

Class 40 includes mainly services not included in other classes, rendered by the mechanical or chemical processing, transformation or production of objects or inorganic or organic substances, including custom manufacturing services.

For the purposes of classification, the production or manufacturing of goods is considered a service only in cases where it is effected for the account of another person to their order and specification.

If the production or manufacturing is not being performed to fulfil an order for goods which meet the customer’s particular needs, requirements, or specifications, then it is generally ancillary to the maker’s primary commercial activity or goods in trade.

If the substance or object is marketed to third parties by the person who processed, transformed or produced it, then this would generally not be considered a service.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   services relating to transformation of an object or substance and any process involving a change in its essential properties (for example, dyeing a garment);  consequently, a maintenance service, although usually in Class 37, is included in Class 40 if it entails such a change (for example, the chroming of motor vehicle bumpers);

–   services of material treatment which may be present during the production of any substance or object other than a building;  for example, services which involve cutting, shaping, polishing by abrasion or metal coating;

–   the custom manufacturing of goods to the order and specification of others (bearing in mind that certain offices require that the goods produced be indicated), for example, custom manufacturing of automobiles.

This Class does not include, in particular:

– repair services (Cl. 37);

– certain customization services, for example, the custom painting of automobiles (Cl. 37).

CLASS 41

Education;

providing of training;

entertainment;

sporting and cultural activities.

Explanatory Note

Class 41 covers mainly services rendered by persons or institutions in the development of the mental faculties of persons or animals, as well as services intended to entertain or to engage the attention.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   services consisting of all forms of education of persons or training of animals;

–   services having the basic aim of the entertainment, amusement or recreation of people;

–   presentation of works of visual art or literature to the public for cultural or educational purposes.

CLASS 42

Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto;

industrial analysis and research services;

design and development of computer hardware and software.

Explanatory Note

Class 42 includes mainly services provided by persons, individually or collectively, in relation to the theoretical and practical aspects of complex fields of activities;  such services are provided by members of professions such as chemists, physicists, engineers, computer programmers, etc.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   the services of engineers and scientists who undertake evaluations, estimates, research and reports in the scientific and technological fields (including technological consultancy);

–   scientific research services for medical purposes.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   business research and evaluations (Cl. 35);

–   word processing and computer file management services (Cl. 35);

–   financial and fiscal evaluations (Cl. 36);

–   mining and oil extraction (Cl. 37);

–   computer (hardware) installation and repair services (Cl. 37);

–   services provided by the members of professions such as medical doctors, veterinary surgeons,               psychoanalysts (Cl. 44);

–   medical treatment services (Cl. 44);

–   garden design (Cl. 44);

–   legal services (Cl. 45).

CLASS 43

Services for providing food and drink;

temporary accommodation.

Explanatory Note

Class 43 includes mainly services provided by persons or establishments whose aim is to prepare food and drink for consumption and services provided to obtain bed and board in hotels, boarding houses or other establishments providing temporary accommodation.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   reservation services for travellers’ accommodation, particularly through travel agencies or brokers;

–   boarding for animals.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   rental services for real estate such as houses, flats, etc., for permanent use (Cl. 36);

–   arranging travel by tourist agencies (Cl. 39);

–   preservation services for food and drink (Cl. 40);

–   discotheque services (Cl. 41);

–   boarding schools (Cl. 41);

–   rest and convalescent homes (Cl. 44).

CLASS 44

Medical services;

veterinary services;

hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals;

agriculture, horticulture and forestry services.

Explanatory Note

Class 44 includes mainly medical care, hygienic and beauty care given by persons or establishments to human beings and animals;  it also includes services relating to the fields of agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

This Class includes, in particular:

–   medical analysis services relating to the treatment of persons (such as x-ray examinations and taking of blood samples);

–   artificial insemination services;

–   pharmacy advice;

–   animal breeding;

–   services relating to the growing of plants such as gardening;

–   services relating to floral art such as floral compositions as well as garden design.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   vermin exterminating (other than for agriculture, horticulture and forestry) (Cl. 37);

–   installation and repair services for irrigation systems (Cl. 37);

–   ambulance transport (Cl. 39);

–   animal slaughtering services and taxidermy (Cl. 40);

–   timber felling and processing (Cl. 40);

–   animal training services (Cl. 41);

–   health clubs for physical exercise (Cl. 41);

–   scientific research services for medical purposes (Cl. 42);

–   boarding for animals (Cl. 43);

–   retirement homes (Cl. 43).

CLASS 45

Legal services; security services for the protection of property and individuals;  personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals.

Explanatory Note

This Class includes, in particular:

–   services rendered by lawyers, legal assistants, and personal advocates, to individuals, groups of individuals, organizations and enterprises;

–   investigation and surveillance services relating to the safety of persons and entities;

–   services provided to individuals in relation with social events, such as social escort services, matrimonial agencies, funeral services.

This Class does not include, in particular:

–   professional services giving direct aid in the operations or functions of a commercial undertaking (Cl. 35);

–   services relating to financial or monetary affairs and services dealing with insurance (Cl. 36);

–   escorting of travellers (Cl. 39);

–   security transport (Cl. 39);

–   services consisting of all forms of education of persons (Cl. 41);

–   performances of singers or dancers (Cl. 41);

–   computer services for the protection of software (Cl. 42);

–   services provided by others to give medical, hygienic or beauty care for human beings or animals (Cl. 44);

–   certain rental services (consult the Alphabetical List of Services and General Remark (b) relating to the classification of services).

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Can I Safely Create a Will Using a Self-Help Form Available Online?

We totally understand that sometimes electing to use self-help options is cheaper and faster to use. But, be very cautious with forms available online when it comes to creating a Will for yourself. This applies to both free forms and paid-for forms.

From our perspective, using a form online to create a Will is like using a self-help medical site to diagnose a medical condition online. They help by highlighting general aspects, but the document will not be custom to your particular needs and may not be done correctly. Most importantly, it won’t be custom to fit your family’s needs. Cutting corners by using an online form is not recommended for many other reasons: the document may contain outdated language, the document may contain provisions not recognized by the State, the document may not be executed correctly, the document may be ineffective as prepared, or the document omits serious terms which could have serious consequences.

An estate planning attorney, even through a consultation, will guide you in the right direction and provide you with information custom to your needs.  Having a properly drafted Will by an attorney helps you ensure that your hard-earned money and property will pass on to those you designate.

We do not recommend using or buying any estate planning documents online that are offered for free or cheap. In our opinion, they cause more headaches than its worth if done incorrectly. Seek a consultation about a Will. It will save you time, money and energy in the long run.

Suggested life-events to create a Will:

  • Buying a new house
  • New baby in your family
  • New job or pay increase
  • Marriage, divorce, or recent family death
  • Children leaving for college
  • New business or company
  • Health problems
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New year, new you. Here is an attainable resolution for you to add to your list and crush within 3 months.

Happy New Year, 2016! Every new years, San Diegans create exciting resolutions to improve their lives. This tradition of creating resolutions has been known to exist during Babylonian time as we all want to live quality lives and improve our lives with a new calendar year. Some resolutions are very attainable while others are short-lived and last only a calendar month or so; trust me, we’ve all made those short-lived ones meant to improve our lives radically. Resolutions usually include:

  • Improve well-being;
  • Exercise;
  • Think more positively;
  • Upgrade wardrobe;
  • Put more money in savings;
  • Pay off all credit cards this year;
  • Improve finances; and
  • Spend more quality time with friends and family.

However, there is one resolution that often gets overlooked and that is to take care of your loved ones through planning. This is a resolution that should be handled in the next three calendar months to avoid having it become a short-lived resolution.  Taking care of your loved ones can be handled through creating a Last Will and Testament and/or a Revocable Living Trust. Most consider these documents are something the elderly group should concern themselves with, but this belief is entirely incorrect.  These documents are beneficial to anyone over the age of 18.  Essentially, these documents describe what happens to your cars(s), money, belongings, and possibly children, if you become incapacitated or die. These documents are created to have just in case anything were to happen to you. Of course, even though documents are created, we hope you live a great 2016 and many more years to come.  The documents described above are created in case of the unexpected and persons of all ages, especially after 18, should have one.

As life moves forward quickly in 2016 and you earn a pay raise, grow your family with new children or nieces and nephews, buy a new home, experience changes in your network of friends and family, it is a good time now (at the beginning of a new calendar year) to consider what Will or Trust you have in place. If you do not have anything in place, you should consider establishing one. If you have a Will or Trust in place but have not revisited the documents in years, it is a great time to reconsider the contents of the documents you have established.

As a courtesy reminder, do not mark your current Will or Trust with pen or pencil to note any changes. Doing so may invalidate your documents and really complicate your probate administration or trust administration.  If you are considering making changes to your Will or Trust, speak with an attorney to learn about the process. Depending upon the amount of changes you desire, different steps will be necessary to make those changes legally effective.

Crush this resolution by giving yourself a deadline.  Over the next 3 months, consider establishing or revisiting your Will or Trust. Now  that we’re already in the new year and you are soon going to be in the mind frame of handling your finances and taxes this upcoming tax season, it would also be a great time to add “estate planning review” to your list of goals to accomplish this year. In doing so, you’d crush your new years resolution of taking care of your loved ones in case of your absence.  Leaving your loved ones without such planning could cost them plenty of time and more importantly, money.

Call to schedule an appointment to discuss any of the following points involved in the process of estate planning. These are a list of commonly asked questions covered during an initial consultation about estate planning:

  • Should I create a Will or a Revocable Living Trust?
  • What does a Revocable Living Trust do?
  • Is a Revocable Living Trust better than a Will?
  • How much do you charge to establish a Will or Revocable Living Trust?
  • How long does it take to establish a Will or Revocable Living Trust?
  • Can I make changes to my Will or Revocable Living Trust over my lifetime?
  • How do I plan things so that upon my death, my wife/husband and our kids receive my money and property?
  • I have been divorced and remarried, are there any special provisions I need to include in my Will or Trust?
  • I do not have much, do I still need to create a Will or Revocable Living Trust?
  • What happens to our minor kids in case my wife/husband and I die simultaneously?
  • I have property in different states, how do I plan for that?
  • I want to plan for my children’s well-being after my death, what options do I have?
  • What happens to my debts when I die?
  • What provisions should I include in my Will or Revocable Living Trust.

Knock out an estate planning review in the next three months and rest easily for the rest of 2016 knowing that you have then cared for your loved ones with proper planning.  Ryan-Cruz Law, APC offers free 1-hour consultations concerning estate planning. Let us help you accomplish this task.

ryan_cruz_law_san_diego_attorney_business_real_charitable_donations_irs

Making a Charitable Donation This End of Year? Brush Up on this Matter to Make it Deductible

Towards the end of every calendar year the IRS publishes its tips for year-end gifts to charity. If you made a charitable contribution this year or will be making one this end of year, brush up on these rules and tips.

WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today reminded individuals and businesses making year-end gifts to charity that several important tax law provisions have taken effect in recent years. Some of the changes taxpayers should keep in mind include:

Rules for Charitable Contributions of Clothing and Household Items

Household items include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens. Clothing and household items donated to charity generally must be in good used condition or better to be tax-deductible. A clothing or household item for which a taxpayer claims a deduction of over $500 does not have to meet this standard if the taxpayer includes a qualified appraisal of the item with the return.

Donors must get a written acknowledgement from the charity for all gifts worth $250 or more. It must include, among other things, a description of the items contributed.

Guidelines for Monetary Donations

A taxpayer must have a bank record or a written statement from the charity in order to deduct any donation of money, regardless of amount. The record must show the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Bank records include canceled checks, and bank, credit union and credit card statements. Bank or credit union statements should show the name of the charity, the date, and the amount paid. Credit card statements should show the name of the charity, the date, and the transaction posting date.

Donations of money include those made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deduction. For payroll deductions, the taxpayer should retain a pay stub, a Form W-2 wage statement or other document furnished by the employer showing the total amount withheld for charity, along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity.

These requirements for the deduction of monetary donations do not change the long-standing requirement that a taxpayer obtain an acknowledgment from a charity for each deductible donation (either money or property) of $250 or more. However, one statement containing all of the required information may meet both requirements.

Reminders

The IRS offers the following additional reminders to help taxpayers plan their holiday and year-end gifts to charity:

  • Qualified charities. Check that the charity is eligible. Only donations to eligible organizations are tax-deductible. Select Check, a searchable online tool available on IRS.gov, lists most organizations that are eligible to receive deductible contributions. In addition, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies are eligible to receive deductible donations. That is true even if they are not listed in the tool’s database.
  • Year-end gifts. Contributions are deductible in the year made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2014 count for 2014, even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until 2015. Also, checks count for 2014 as long as they are mailed in 2014.
  • Itemize deductions. For individuals, only taxpayers who itemize their deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A can claim deductions for charitable contributions. This deduction is not available to individuals who choose the standard deduction. This includes anyone who files a short form (Form 1040A or 1040EZ). A taxpayer will have a tax savings only if the total itemized deductions (mortgage interest, charitable contributions, state and local taxes, etc.) exceed the standard deduction. Use the 2014 Form 1040 Schedule A to determine whether itemizing is better than claiming the standard deduction.
  • Record donations. For all donations of property, including clothing and household items, get from the charity, if possible, a receipt that includes the name of the charity, date of the contribution, and a reasonably-detailed description of the donated property. If a donation is left at a charity’s unattended drop site, keep a written record of the donation that includes this information, as well as the fair market value of the property at the time of the donation and the method used to determine that value. Additional rules apply for a contribution of $250 or more.
  • Special Rules. The deduction for a car, boat or airplane donated to charity is usually limited to the gross proceeds from its sale. This rule applies if the claimed value is more than $500. Form 1098-C or a similar statement, must be provided to the donor by the organization and attached to the donor’s tax return.

If the amount of a taxpayer’s deduction for all noncash contributions is over $500, a properly-completed Form 8283 must be submitted with the tax return.

IRS.gov has additional information on charitable giving, including:

Source: IRS.gov

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See you at “Business Law Day” hosted by the San Diego Public Library

The San Diego Public Library is offering a “Business Law Day” on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 from 2:30pm-6:30pm.  At this special event, attorneys will be present to offer advice to prospective and current business owners in the areas of business law such as patents and intellectual property.

Speak one-on-one with an attorney in a 15-20 minute free consultation session. Attorney Ruth Ryan-Cruz has volunteered her time for this event and plans to offer advice at this event.

If you’re thinking about opening up a business  in San Diego County or perhaps you are in the process of doing so, we welcome you to attend this free event. This invitation is also extended to current business owners regardless of which stage your business is in. This event is open to the general public.

Event Information:
Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Time: 2:30pm-6:30pm
Address: Central Library / Special Events – 9th Floor 330 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
More information: SDPL & Other events

Share this information with your friends and family. They may need a free 15-20 minute consultation about their business plans.

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Attorney Ruth Ryan-Cruz receives 2015 Avvo’s Clients’ Choice Award!

Last week, attorney Ruth Ryan-Cruz received notice from Avvo.com presenting her with the 2015 Clients’ Choice Award.  Avvo.com, a legal directory website, presents these awards to eligible attorneys with five or more client reviews of 4 stars or above in the past twelve months.

“I am very excited to receive such an honor because it comes directly from my clients,” Ruth Ryan-Cruz said.  “It is very encouraging to receive such an award and only motivates me continue providing great service in my legal practice.”

Ruth Ryan-Cruz maintains an “Excellent” Avvo rating. Check out Ruth Ryan-Cruz’s Avvo reviews and profile online.

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Do I Need a Business Lawyer? Review how business attorneys act as legal counselors

I recently spoke with a gentlemen who is thinking about working for himself by opening up a local shop in the Hillcrest or North Park community. He was excited to share that he had just started formulating a plan on how and when to launch a discount shop and the resources required to do so. Little did he know he was talking to a business attorney until we got to talking more about his plan in depth and I mentioned, “I can help you with that.” As we continued the conversation, his face lit up with excitement in learning that he could turn to a business attorney to ask general counseling questions concerning his business.  Now he had a potential resources to turn to when it came time to move forward with his business. At the end of the conversation, he mentioned, “I had no idea a lawyer can help me with that. I usually think of lawyers when lawsuits are involved.”

With that in mind, I thought I’d share how a business attorney often acts as business legal counselor.  As a business attorney, I can help a new business in the following areas:

  • Incorporating a company: If you’re exploring starting up your own business, we can analyze your general circumstances and plans to determine how to best start and manage your business.  Risk, persons involved, financing arrangements along with other factors will determine which business entity is best for you.
  • Negotiating and drafting partnership agreements: If you’re considering opening a business with a family member, friend, or colleague, you’ll be interested in retaining a solid relationship should the business go south or experience hiccups along the way. Partnership agreements are crafted for you and your partners circumstances and sets you up for success from the start.
  • Negotiating a buy-sell agreement or shareholder agreement: If your business includes 2 or more owners, explore a buy-sell agreement. A buy-sell agreement outlines what happens to the business in the event 1 business owner declares bankruptcy, loses their job with the company, undergoes a divorce, dies or retires. Other circumstances are detailed and having one from the start is of great importance.
  • Advising shareholders: Majority shareholders and minority shareholders will each have different rights and interests in how a business operates. Know what your rights as an owner is in your business.
  • Advising executive officers and board members: Often I learn that persons take on business titles and do not know what their obligations are. Business is carried on as usual until a member becomes entangled in a business problem that develops into a legal problem. Avoid this early on by learning your obligations.
  • Facilitating the sale of an interest in a business: If you’re an existing business and you want to bring on a new owner (either shareholder or LLC member) or remove an owner, the business must perform some due diligence and prepare documents before adding/removing the new owner.  Simply buying them out may not do. Corresponding documentation is necessary.
  • Preparing meeting minutes: Shareholders and Board Members are required to keep business meeting minutes. Knowing what to include, who signs and who receives copies is important.  Most importantly, some points and not others are includes in these minutes. Learn what to include.

As a business legal counselor I have had the pleasure and honor to work with several local businesses in the San Diego area and its neighboring communities including Downtown, Mission Valley including locations in Oceanside and San Marcos.  Businesses include product-based and service-based startups, small business and medium-sized organizations. If you’re in need of assistance with resolving problems concerning your business, contact me.  Together we can analyze how to resolve your matters. Telephone and in-office consultations are available.