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Santa Rosa Law Firm Blog


Cannabis ("Pot") might be legal in California but only while you are on the ground

Cannabis (“Pot”) might be legal in California, but only while you are on the ground

The fact that marijuana is still illegal under Federal law was reinforced against an Airman, who lost his pilot’s certificate (revocation) and will not be able to reapply for a new certificate for at least 1 year (14 CFR, Sec. 61.13d (2)). Mr. Siegel had an engine malfunction and crashed landed his airplane on a… Continue Reading >>

Top Tax Law Schools in America

Top 27 Tax Law Schools in America

Since 1861, the United States has had an assortment of federal, state, local, and special-purpose government jurisdictions that impose taxes to help fund their operations. Taxation in America is not going away, so why not consider a career in this highly-specialized field? Similar to our popular California Law Schools article, we have comprised this list of… Continue Reading >>

California Laws affecting Small Business

New California Laws affecting Small Business

Over 1,000 new California Laws took effect on January 1st, 2019, affecting not only our favorite Sonoma County small businesses, but California as a whole. These new laws relate to children’s meals, concealed carry permits, wildfire legislation and more. We encourage our community’s feedback, so please call Merrill, Arnone & Jones (MAJ Law) at (707)… Continue Reading >>

List of ABA Approved California Law Schools

21 Top California Law Schools (ABA Approved)

Below you will find a list of the top California Law Schools approved by the American Bar Association. American Bar Association, or ABA, is the largest private organization of American lawyers. ABA is an authority in formulating guidelines for the practice of law, advising legislation, lobbying for law as a profession, even evaluating federal judges. Call… Continue Reading >>

Drone flying near Airplane - Aviation Law

5 Questions to ask an Aviation Lawyer BEFORE you hire them

Whom do you call when you’re facing an issue related to aviation law? Many people contact their regular lawyer, but that would be a mistake. Always hire an experienced aviation lawyer when faced with an aviation legal issue. Aviation lawyers are more often than not, licensed pilots; some even have the experience of working as… Continue Reading >>

California Probate

What is California Probate Code?

You are probably familiar with the California Probate Code, and the hassles that can come with it if someone you love has passed away. The California Probate Code governs what happens to the property of a person after they die or become incapacitated. This code provides provisions that regulate wills and other estate planning instruments,… Continue Reading >>

Business Law Tips

California Business Law – Where do I start with my business?

If you are considering becoming an entrepreneur, you need to understand California business law before you start working on your winning business plan. After all, failing to comply with business and tax laws is a common reason that promising businesses fail. You need to get off on the right foot by understanding the business law… Continue Reading >>

Estate Planning

Estate Planning 101: Here’s some basics you should know

Smart people understand the need to plan for the future, including a future for your loved ones after you pass away. Your family needs to be taken care of and have a clear understanding of your desires. Estate planning provides a way for you to ensure that the people you care are provided for during… Continue Reading >>

Courtroom Litigation

What is Complex Litigation?

Every company faces litigation at some point. Many of these are fairly standard lawsuits related to real estate or disputes with vendors. Almost any experienced business lawyer can help you resolve these matters with the best possible outcome. Not so with complex litigation. Understanding Complex Litigation So, what is litigation anyway? Litigation is the process… Continue Reading >>

Business Assets

How to protect your business assets

As a business owner, you know how important your assets are to your company’s success. That’s why it is vital to protect your business assets the best way possible from day one. Knowing exactly how to protect your business assets most effectively will depend in large part on the unique details that make your company… Continue Reading >>

Medical Reform

Third-Class Medical Reform – What does it mean for you?

On July 15, 2016, as part of the Budgeting Act to fund the FAA, legislation was passed that included the Pilot’s Bill of Rights II. This included medical reform for certain private pilots, an alternative to the third-class medical exam. This legislation was due to the efforts of the AOPA and EAA. I hope to… Continue Reading >>

Arbitration Agreement

The “nittie-gritties” of the Sonoma County Bar Association Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program

by Michael J. Fish Chair, SCBA Mandatory Fee Arbitration Committee Occasionally, a client or in propia persona litigant may ask other attorneys, court personnel or family law advisors for information about how to deal with a fee dispute with his or her own attorney. The purpose of this article is to provide a summary of the… Continue Reading >>

Gender Discrimination

Gender Discrimination in Employment – A New Focus

Gender discrimination comes to the forefront this year in confirming that an employer shall not pay any of its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions, except… Continue Reading >>

Supreme Court

Lengthy Fee Fight Settles In $6 Million Harass Case

The Supreme Court ruled that lawyers splitting fees need the client’s written consent. By Michael Fish Vice Chair of the State Bar Mandatory Fee Arbitration Committee And Chair of the MCBA Client Relation’s Committee A ten-year fee fight, which prompted the state Supreme Court to provide strict rules governing attorneys’ fee-sharing agreements, has been settled…. Continue Reading >>

Retainer Fees

“Non-Refundable” Retainer Provisions in Fee Agreements – Are they proper?

Submitted by Michael Fish Based in large part on STATE BAR MANDATORY FEE COMMITTEE ARBITRATION ADVISORY 2011-01 As a former Chair and former member of the State Bar Mandatory Fee Arbitration Committee, I was often called upon to review and evaluate the provisions of a fee agreement that characterizes a payment by the client as… Continue Reading >>

Arbitration Program

What is this thing called “The Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program”?

On occasion, a client or litigant in propia persona may decide that they do not want to pay their attorney’s bill and may ask for information about their rights and responsibilities regarding a fee dispute. We have all heard it. “I could have done that myself!” “That Shyster! What did I pay him for?” “I… Continue Reading >>

Reasonable Fees

What is a reasonable attorney fee?

As summarized by Michael J. Fish from the State Bar Mandatory Fee Arbitration, Arbitration Advisory 98-03, Determination of a “Reasonable” Fee, dated June 23, 1998. As attorneys we are often called upon to look at the reasonableness of our own fees charged for the legal services we rendered—if not by our clients, then by our… Continue Reading >>