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5 Steps to Safely Re-Open Your Business in San Diego County Amid COVID-19

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. A pandemic is defined as a global spread of a new disease often applied when viruses are able to infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way. On March 19, 2020, an executive order and public health order directed all Californians to stay home except to go to an essential job or shop for essential needs to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 among the population. However, not all businesses came to a halt. Essential services were still in operation and the State of California published some guidance on how to maintain those operations open. Over time in the months of April and May, 2020, the State has continued its publication of industry guidance offering recommendations on how to best re-open amid COVID-19.

If your business is in the process of re-opening or recently re-opened, use the next 5-steps as guidance and a minimum criteria for adhering to State, county, and city (or incorporate area) imposed measures.

1. Review the State’s Resilience Roadmap. Confirm that the State is re-opening your industry. As of May 27, 2020, the following sectors, businesses, establishments, or activities are not permitted to operate in the State of California at this time:

  • Personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios
  • Indoor museums, kids museums, gallery spaces, zoos and libraries
  • Community centers, including public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas
  • Entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, gaming, gambling, arcade venues, pro sports,
  • Hospitality services, such as bars, wineries, tasting rooms and lounges
  • Nightclubs
  • Concert venues
  • Live audience sports
  • Festivals
  • Theme parks
  • Hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism – non-essential travel
  • Higher Education

2. Review State-Published Materials to Help Reduce Risk. Begin implementing your own company measures.

“Before reopening, all facilities must:

  1. Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a site-specific protection plan
  2. Train employees on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for symptoms and stay home if they have them
  3. Implement individual control measures and screenings
  4. Implement disinfecting protocols
  5. Implement physical distancing guidelines

It is critical that employees needing to self-isolate because of COVID-19 are encouraged to stay at home, with sick leave policies to support that, to prevent further infection in your workplace. See additional information on government programs supporting sick leave and worker’s compensation for COVID-19.”

3. Revisit A Few Industry-Specific Measures.  The State of California has issued guidance on how to safely re-open your business. Be mindful of the publication dates. Updates may be available since publishing this information. Note that some of these publications are only guidelines intended to provide recommended practices to best help reduce the exposure and infection of COVID-19.

4. Turn to Industry-Based Guidance and Publications. Associations, coalitions, and other industry-specific group exist for the purpose of providing guidance on how safely re-open your business when the State of California permits.

5. Seek Out Professional Advice As Needed. This includes turning to your attorneys, insurance agents, financial advisors, business consultants, human resource outsourced consultants, accountants, bookkeepers, your networks and so on to get your affairs in order and be in the know. Each office has spent the last few months brushing up on how COVID-19 will impact your business from their respective professional background. Now is the time to revisit your network.

NOTE: This is only a suggested series of steps to take. Actual opening measures will vary depending on your business and the many variables involved in operating in California. Be sure to comply with local and state measures as they become published in the following months.

 

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Amid COVID-19, Can I Initiate a New Legal Transaction?

As COVID-19 unleashed a health crisis on an international scale, an economic crisis has also occurred and has impacted every single Californian/American. While COVID-19’s stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements are still in place in Southern California, questions concerning legal matters have continued well through March, April, and May, 2020. These are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Question: Amid COVID-19, Can I Initiate a New Legal Transaction?

Answer: Yes, of course. I’ve received a few calls where potential clients have a new legal problem and did not know whether these can be dealt with amid COVID-19. Matters involved creating new contracts, establishing new professional relationships, developing new workplace policies, business debt-management, and several others. If you have a new legal matter and are unsure how to handle it during COVID-19, call in and receive a consultation. Consultations offer guidance allowing you to make an informed decision to handle your legal matters.

Email ruth@ryancruzlaw.com or dial in 619-528-2202

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Amid COVID-19, Are Real Estate Matters Moving Forward?

As COVID-19 unleashed a health crisis on an international scale, an economic crisis has also occurred and has impacted every single Californian/American. While COVID-19’s stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements are still in place in Southern California, questions concerning legal matters have continued well through March, April, and May, 2020. These are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Question: Are estate real estate matters moving forward?

Answer: Yes, the real estate industry managed to quickly adjust to new guidelines and measures in order to avoid interruptions. Here are a few issues and matters that have come across our desks the last few months:

  • My landlord is not providing much financial relief during COVID-19. I have lost my job and wasn’t able to pay rent the last two months and is now threatening eviction. Can he do that? What can I do?
  • I’m in the process of buying a house but was presented with a new Coronavirus CAR form. Are you familiar with that? Can you help explain?
  • I need my contract reviewed. My landlord is amending the lease amid COVID-19 and is adding new protections and releases from liability. Do I have to sign this agreement amendment?
  • I’m selling a property and the buyers want an extension to the escrow process as there have been delays in having them sell their house. Can you help navigate the process?
  • I’m acting as a trustee in a trust administration amid COVID-19 and need to sell a house. Is this a good time to sell?
  • I’m buying an investment commercial property and need help with the buying process as well as help establishing an upcoming landlord-tenant relationship with my prospective tenants. Can you help?
  • Our organization is receiving a property from a non-profit organization.  They are out of state. Can you help  us with the process?
  • A friend of mine and I purchased a property together a few years ago. Now we want to go our separate ways, but I want to keep the property. Can you help?
  • My spouse lost their job and I don’t think we can continue with our mortgage responsibilities. Can you help us with some options?
  • I’m looking to protect myself when purchasing a new investment property. Can you help?
  • I currently own seven different investment properties. With stay-at-home orders, we are concerned a tenant will have habitability issues. We’ll need some guidance. Can you help?
  • Our HOA has imposed new regulations amid COVID-19 which I believe are excessive and are not really necessary in light of COVID-19. What can be done?
  • With stay-at-home measures in place, our condominium has experienced more people at home and thus more use of utilities. Those utilities are impacting my home and causing damage. Whose responsibility is it to repair?
  • My homeowner’s association has called me in to an HOA hearing via Zoom. Is that legal? Can I delay my appearance? What are my options?

Clearly these are paraphrased but this is a brief, incomplete list of the legal inquiries that have come through this law firm amid COVID-19. Some have experienced urgent real estate law needs amid COVID-19 while others needed general guidance for months-long processes.  If you need help with real estate law matters, call in and let’s determine how this office can help.

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Amid COVID-19, Are Estate Planning Matters Moving Forward?

As COVID-19 unleashed a health crisis on an international scale, an economic crisis has also occurred and has impacted every single Californian/American. While COVID-19’s stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements are still in place in Southern California, questions concerning legal matters have continued well through March, April, and May, 2020. These are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Question: Are estate planning matters moving forward?

Answer: Yes, they most certainly are. As people always say, the one thing we all have for certain is that at some point we all die. For some it is certainly not a fun topic to think about. For others, having their affairs in order is certainly exciting. Count me in the second group. As COVID-19 started, plenty of inquiries were handled asking for either self-help options or assistance in preparing documents. Here are a few issues and matters that have come across our desks the last few months:

  • I’d like to create a simple Will
  • My financial advisor tells me I need to create a Trust. How does that work?
  • COVID-19 has made me think about establishing plans for myself, my spouse, and my children. My children have their own children now. Is this something I can plan?
  • I have a few retirement accounts that need attention. How does your office help with that? Does it?
  • What plans can I make now so that my minor child is cared for should anything happen to me?
  • Mom passed away and we cannot find her Will. What can we do?
  • I live out-of-state and a family member died in San Diego County. Can you help with Probate there?
  • We know dad had a parcel of land out-of-state. He passed and we want to know what happens to that land.
  • I’m currently hospitalized with only a few months to live. Can you help prepare my last wishes for me?
  • My soon-to-be ex-spouse and I own a property together and have a child together. I’ll be initiating a divorce and want to know what happens to our Trust, our property, and our child.
  • I’d like to leave behind a DNR (do not resuscitate). Can you help with that?
  • I’m out of the country and wish for my son to complete the sale of one of my properties there. Can you help?
  • Probate matters in San Diego Court are temporarily on hold, but we need to start a Probate. Can that still happen?
  • My parents left behind a Trust where I was nominated a Successor Trustee (future administrator). Can I start without making a court appearance? Can I start with all the limitations of COVID-19?
  • Under the terms of my parents’ trust they instructed to sell the house and divvy the proceeds between myself and siblings. Can I still sell in spite of COVID-19? Is now the best time to sell or should I wait?
  • My parents are older. They’re safe now and following social distancing measures, but they’d like to discuss updating their Wills. They speak Spanish. Can you help?
  • A few years ago I used a self-help site to create my own Will. Can you review that and confirm everything looks good?

Clearly these are paraphrased but this is a brief, incomplete list of the legal inquiries that have come through this law firm amid COVID-19. For some persons and couples, they may have already had their affairs in order. For others, brand new issues developed during COVID-19 requiring immediate attention.  If you need help with estate planning matters, probate matters, or trust administration matters, call in and let’s determine how this office can help.

 

 

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Amid COVID-19, Are Business Law Matters Moving Forward?

As COVID-19 unleashed a health crisis on an international scale, an economic crisis has also occurred and has impacted every single Californian/American. While COVID-19’s stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements are still in place in Southern California, questions concerning legal matters have continued well through March, April, and May, 2020. These are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Question: Are business law matters moving forward?

Answer: Yes, absolutely. Here are a few issues and matters that have come across our desks the last few months:

  • I’m opening up a new business, can you help me with the formation process and starting that up?
  • I’m in need of a loan, can you help review my promissory note?
  • I need help navigating the Payment Protection Program (PPP). Can you assist in helping how to maximize this opportunity?
  • My business will need to temporarily close due to COVID-19. What do I need to get in place in order to do this while limiting liability?
  • I’m merging my business and its resources with another local business, can you help with the paperwork involved?
  • Operations have impacted our business only a little, we need help navigating new additional requirements from regulating agencies involved in our industry.
  • My business is still closed but I need to get a few contracts in order, can those be ready in a week or two?
  • My business partner has died and we had no business succession planning in place, the spouse and I need help determining what happens to the business partner’s share
  • I’m looking to secure a business succession plan and have no idea where to start. In case I die, I want my children to inherit the business and if they don’t want it, look for a buyer. Can you help?
  • I don’t know that my operations will make it beyond COVID-19. Can you help assess our business and provide some guidance as to how to either proceed or close our doors.
  • I’d like to file a suit against a non-paying customer and understand the court’s are closed. What are my options?
  • An employee has filed unemployment, but I let him go because he was a bad apple. Is there a way to restrict benefits?
  • During this downtime I have really ramped up my marketing and creating a brand. Can you help protect that and get things in order so that when business re-opens I can have things protected and in place?
  • My commercial landlord is not providing rent relief during COVID-19. What can I do?
  • I operate in a business focused primarily in social gatherings. How can I minimize my losses and adjust to this new normal?

Clearly these are paraphrased but this is a brief, incomplete list of the legal inquiries that have come through this law firm amid COVID-19. For some business owners, it has been a matter of adjusting their operations to new areas of work or entirely new industries. For others, it is business as usual, just slightly delayed or altered.  If you need help with business matters, call in and let’s determine how this office can help.

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Amid COVID-19, Are Legal Disputes Still Moving Forward?

As COVID-19 unleashed a health crisis on an international scale, an economic crisis has also occurred and has impacted every single Californian/American. While COVID-19’s stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements are still in place in Southern California, questions concerning legal matters have continued well through March, April, and May, 2020. These are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Question: Are legal disputes still moving forward?

Answer: Yes, legal disputes have still continued well through the months of March, April, and May, 2020.  This includes our areas which includes business law, real estate law, and estate planning. All three of these areas have seen legal disputes continue throughout the last few months. Though stay-at-home orders has temporarily closed the local court houses, those matters have been placed on hold in the court process. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the case goes away. This pause has simply given disputing parties and their counsel the opportunity to privately negotiate settlements over the last few months. Legal offices have moved their operations remotely to assist with legal matters moving forward. If the parties have been unable to resolve their open dispute, the Court will resume operations shortly.

Not all disputes wind up in court. Some disputes, especially those based on a breach of contract and the like, may require mediation or arbitration. For those requiring these methods, communications between law offices have continued as normal during the last few months. In some cases delays have been experienced for various reasons – delays in communications, delays in mail delivery, delays in attorney-client correspondence – but legal matters have continued.

As of May 15, 2020, here’s the Court’s update: “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Diego Superior Court has been closed for most non-emergency services from March 17 through May 22. More than 87,000 hearings from that timeframe and on the calendar for the coming months will need to be re-scheduled. In the interest of the health and safety of all Court visitors and employees, re-scheduled hearings will be handled remotely wherever possible. The process will vary for each case type and details for the manner of appearance will be included in the re-scheduling notices that will be sent to involved parties.” San Diego Court Opening Announcement. Visit the Court’s website for the most updated information.