Posts

ryan-cruz-law-san-diego-attorney-business-small-business-development-center

Free Help With Developing Your Business @ Small Business Development Center

This past week I had a chance to learn about the South San Diego Small Business Development Center from one of their business advisors. As an attorney practicing in business law, I assist a number of clients with legal matters or legal disputes concerning their business. But often small business entrepreneurs need assistance with non-legal matters and do not know where to turn to. I recommend learning more about the Small Business Development Centers of San Diego. They offer assistance for FREE in the following topics:

  • Accounting / Quickbooks
  • Marketing / Public Relations
  • Business Plan Assistance
  • Growth & Expansion Strategies
  • Sales & Customer Service
  • Financial Analysis / Cash Flow Management
  • Business Structure / Formation
  • Merchandising
  • E-commerce & Online Sales

Learn more on the SBDC website.

ryan-cruz-law-san-diego-business-attorney-contract-agreement-review-independent-contractor

Document Review: Have Your Contract Reviewed For Specific Terms

A client of mine in in the City and County of San Francisco California called in to my office because he had just landed a new independent contractor gig in a nationally recognized technology company in the Bay area. As part of the new position he was tasked with the job of creating manuals for several internal operations and procedures. As with all other employment arrangements, following the grueling multi-step interview process he was issued an independent contractor agreement. Familiar with independent contractor agreements and arrangement requirements, he asked me to decipher the document full of legalese into plain English.

Upon his initial review of the document, he wasn’t bothered by the terms described within the 10-page agreement. The terms were short and reflected the general understanding the two parties made over the phone. However, this client wanted clarity concerning certain provisions that appeared to limit his rights upon entering the agreement. Following my same-day review of the document, we had a lengthy conference call to discuss the details of the contract.

First, wage and payment arrangements needed clarity. For example, a certain compensation amount was identified, but what are the reporting requirements? When was pay delivered and via what method? Was a time limit required? When are payments deemed late and what happens then? And so on. These are all questions that should be answered within the contract or described within some separate written policy.

Then we moved on just about 2/3 of the way into the agreement. This is where terms start getting interesting in a contract review. Terms included  the following:

  • a strict non-competition policy
  • a loyalty provision
  • a non-solicitation requirement
  • a media communications restriction
  • a moonlighting restriction
  • representation and warranties
  • limitations of liability
  • governing law
  • mediation and alternative dispute resolution
  • severability clause
  • a unique confidentiality clause
  • and the terms continued on.

While some of these are rather normal, some of the terms were too restrictive and 1 of them was arguably unlawful.

In all, my client was happy to have his independent contractor agreement reviewed BEFORE signing it allowing him the opportunity to negotiate certain terms. After a few days of some back-and-forth between the two parties and a bit more legal counseling through the process, he was able to settle the terms he was comfortable with and completed the agreement with information so as to remove ambiguities in other areas.

With a completed agreement at the end, the client was off and running with his job. Having his contract reviewed saved him future headaches by seeking clarity with plenty of areas in his contract. Do the same for yourself if there are provisions of the agreement that you do not understand. Do the same even if you do understand the terms and greatly value the transaction. Attorneys are trained to review documents with a critical eye and recommend negotiations when needed.

ryan-cruz-law-san-diego-intellectual-property-business-trademark-registration-protect

Protecting Your Product Name – When To Do This & How It Works

You have spent countless hours developing your product. You’ve hire professionals like an attorney to help you set up your business structure and spent a chunk of change to receive help from a CPA to set up your financial structure. You’ve hired an employee to help you develop your product and other professionals to help you market your product. By the time you take your product to market you have spent a good amount of time and money to get there. After an exciting launch your first year, you learn that someone else on the other side of the country has developed a semi similar product and sells the product using the same name you came up with. What gives?! This happens more often than you would think.

This office assists with trademark registrations and trademark enforcement. Here’s an example: I once represented a clothing manufacturing company located in the City of San Diego. After being in business several years with their clothing articles, the company’s officers learned of another company in California selling similar clothing articles using the same company name. Luckily in this case, the client had their name registered on a national level with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). With such registration, we informed the other company about infringement of the name and its unlawfulness resulting in a change in the competitor’s name. Fortunately this matter was resolved quickly before the infringing company affected the clothing manufacturer’s reputation and good will it had developed with its consumers.  This result was in response to having a proper intellectual property portfolio.

Before you go public with your work you want to know how to protect the clever name you came up with for your new business idea and product, seek out a consultation with an attorney to learn about trademarks.

Trademarks

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.

When To Register

It is recommended to submit a trademark registration application as soon as you develop your trade name. However, you can still register your trade name for protection well after the product has been in commerce.

How It Works

Once your trademark is registered with the USPTO, you’re able to monitor and enforce your registration rights afforded you under the Code of Federal Regulations (37 CFR). Learn more about your trademark registration rights and enforcement rights by speaking with an attorney.

ryan-cruz-law-san-diego-attorney-business-real-estate-wills-trust-best-intellectual-property-attorneys-san-diego

5 Great Ways to Find the Best Real Estate Attorneys in San Diego

When you or your family finds itself in need of a qualified real estate attorney for your San Diego-based property it can become a daunting task. There are so many attorneys out there advertising both offline and online claiming experience in real estate. So how do you find qualified and experienced real estate attorneys in San Diego? Here are a few pointers to consider when you are searching for the best real estate attorneys in San Diego to take on your property needs.

  1. Request Recommendations from Your Friends and Family – start off by inquiring within your network. Ask your friends and family members for recommendations. You’ll learn about how others have used a real estate attorney in the past and what to expect in involving a real estate attorney.  Friends and family will look out for you and will recommend only those that provide quality service.
  2. Read Available Reviews – After receiving recommendations, search their online profiles. Read available reviews to learn how other non-family members have been helped by these particular attorneys. Use local San Diego resources such as community-based sites or your local Chamber of Commerce, and national resources such as Avvo.com, Justia.com, Yelp.com, FindLaw.com. You can also simply perform a Google search for the attorney’s name to learn more about that person and/or law firm.
  3. Industry Recommendations – Use available resources such as the San Diego County Bar or the State Bar of California to learn more about your potential attorney. Search online and call around with inquiries as well.  Again, sites like Avvo.com (a legal database of attorney) will help shed more light on your search.  Here’s an example of an attorney’s profile on Avvo.com
  4. Referral Requests from Trusted Parties – Use trusted professionals to seek out recommendations.  For example, if you have worked with an Accountant in the past, that Accountant or CPA is typically part of a group of professionals and just may know a great attorney to refer you to. It also gives you a great opportunity to follow up with your group of trusted professionals.
  5. Consultations – When seeking legal consultations, attorneys in San Diego often offer free consultations depending on your particular legal needs. Take advantage of those free consultations and request more than 1, especially if you really want to obtain a second opinion.  In attending at least 2 consultations, you just may find that 1 attorney fully understands you or is simply a better fit for you than the other.

These recommendations are based on an accumulation of feedback from clients over time. Most expressed that taking their time to find a quality attorney is more cost-effective in the long-run than simply electing the first search result using an online search engine. I hope this helps you locate the best real estate attorneys in San Diego.  Feel free to reach out to this office to request a consultation after reviewing our client feedback.

Your property is important. Be sure to take the time to locate the representation that’s right for you, your family and your posterity.

ryan-cruz-law-san-diego-attorney-business-real-estate-wills-trust-best-wills-trusts-estate-planning-attorneys-san-diego

5 Great Ways to Find the Best Wills & Trusts Attorneys in San Diego

When your San Diego-based family finds itself in need of a qualified estate planning attorney it can become a daunting task. There are so many attorneys out there advertising both offline and online claiming experience in wills, trusts and estate planning. So how do you find qualified and experienced wills, trusts, and estate planning attorneys in San Diego? Here are a few pointers to consider when you are searching for the best wills, trusts and estate planning attorneys in San Diego to take on your estate planning tasks.

  1. Request Recommendations from Your Friends and Family – start off by inquiring within your network. Ask your friends and family members for recommendations. You’ll learn about how others have used an estate planning attorney in the past and what to expect in involving an estate planning attorney.  Friends and family will look out for you and will recommend only those that provide quality service.
  2. Read Available Reviews – After receiving recommendations, search their online profiles. Read available reviews to learn how other non-family members have been helped by these particular attorneys. Use local San Diego resources such as community-based sites or your local Chamber of Commerce, and national resources such as Avvo.com, Justia.com, Yelp.com, FindLaw.com. You can also simply perform a Google search for the attorney’s name to learn more about that person and/or law firm.
  3. Industry Recommendations – Use available resources such as the San Diego County Bar or the State Bar of California to learn more about your potential attorney. Search online and call around with inquiries as well.  Again, sites like Avvo.com (a legal database of attorney) will help shed more light on your search.  Here’s an example of an attorney’s profile on Avvo.com
  4. Referral Requests from Trusted Parties – Use trusted professionals to seek out recommendations.  For example, if you have worked with a Realtor in the past, that Realtor is typically part of a group of professionals and just may know a great attorney to refer you to. It also gives you a great opportunity to follow up with your group of trusted professionals.
  5. Consultations – When seeking legal consultations, attorneys in San Diego often offer free consultations depending on your particular legal needs. Take advantage of those free consultations and request more than 1, especially if you really want to obtain a second opinion.  In attending at least 2 consultations, you just may find that 1 attorney fully understands you or is simply a better fit for you than the other.

These recommendations are based on an accumulation of feedback from clients over time. Most expressed that taking their time to find a quality attorney is more cost-effective in the long-run than simply electing the first search result using an online search engine. I hope this helps you locate the best wills, trusts and estate planning attorneys in San Diego.  Feel free to reach out to this office to request a consultation after reviewing our client feedback.

Your family legacy is important. Be sure to take the time to locate the representation that’s right for you, your family and your posterity.

ryan-cruz-law-san-diego-attorney-business-real-estate-wills-trust-best-business-attorneys-san-diego

5 Great Ways to Find the Best Business Attorneys in San Diego

When your San Diego-based business faces legal matters, finding immediate legal representation can become a daunting task. There are so many attorneys out there advertising both offline and online claiming experience in business law or business disputes. So how do you find qualified and experienced business attorneys in San Diego? Here are a few pointers to consider when you are searching for the best business attorneys in San Diego to take on your legal matter.

  1. Request Recommendations from Your Friends and Family – start off by inquiring within your network. Ask your friends and family members for recommendations. You’ll learn about how others have used a business attorney in the past and what to expect in involving a business attorney.  Friends and family will look out for you and will recommend only those that provide quality service.
  2. Read Available Reviews – After receiving recommendations, search their online profiles. Read available reviews to learn how other non-family members have been helped by these particular attorneys. Use local San Diego resources such as community-based sites or your local Chamber of Commerce, and national resources such as Avvo.com, Justia.com, Yelp.com, FindLaw.com. You can also simply perform a Google search for the attorney’s name to learn more about that person and/or law firm.
  3. Industry Recommendations – Use available resources such as the San Diego County Bar or the State Bar of California to learn more about your potential attorney. Search online and call around with inquiries as well.  Again, sites like Avvo.com (a legal database of attorney) will help shed more light on your search.  Here’s an example of an attorney’s profile on Avvo.com
  4. Referral Requests from Trusted Parties – Use trusted professionals to seek out recommendations.  For example, if you have worked with a Realtor in the past, that Realtor is typically part of a group of professionals and just may know a great attorney to refer you to. It also gives you a great opportunity to follow up with your group of trusted professionals.
  5. Consultations – When seeking legal consultations, attorneys in San Diego often offer free consultations depending on your particular legal problem and need. Take advantage of those free consultations and request more than 1, especially if you really want to obtain a second opinion.  In attending at least 2 consultations, you just may find that 1 attorney fully understands you or is simply a better fit for you than the other.

These recommendations are based on an accumulation of feedback from clients over time. Most expressed that taking their time to find a quality attorney is more cost-effective in the long-run than simply electing the first search result using an online search engine. I hope this helps you locate the best business attorneys in San Diego.  Feel free to reach out to this office to request a consultation after reviewing our client feedback.

Your business is important. Be sure to take the time to locate the representation that’s right for you, your team and the business.

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_estate_planning_create_a_will_trust_2016_resolution

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_law_day_public_library_central_92101

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.