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What is Product Liability Law?

What is Product Liability Law?

shutterstock_136209296-300x169 What is Product Liability Law? Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyProduct liability law is a type of injury law that offers victims a legal cause of action when they are hurt due to a dangerous product. 

Individuals and corporations who make goods must ensure that the products are safe. Product liability is a body of law that regulates what manufacturers must do to protect public safety and what rights victims have if they are hurt due to a defective product. 

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding locations.

Product Liability Law Forms a Part of Personal Injury Law

Products liability forms a subset of personal injury law that deals mainly with defective products. Many regulations and standards for product liability law are similar to all other personal injury cases. But in specific ways, there are superior standards to protect victims who are hurt when products are faulty.  

What are the ways a product be defective under product liability law? 

There are various ways that a manufacturer can develop a legally defective product:

Breach of express warranty

A manufacturer usually includes warranties along with their product. For instance, if a person purchases a new car, the manufacturer might include a warranty that all of the parts work for three years or another period. In case a part breaks, the manufacturer might promise to fix it for free for the duration covered under warranty. A breach of an express warranty can be considered to be a defective product.

Breach of implied warranty

All products include an implied warranty. When a person purchases a product, it must work for the intended purpose. For instance, if a person buys a skillet, they would expect to be able to cook with it. If it starts on fire, then it is a defective product. 

The products that a person buys should work for the primary purpose of the item. It should also work for other realistically foreseeable uses. In case a product does not work as expected, a defective product claim may be the solution. 

Manufacturing defect

A manufacturer is liable when there is a fault in the manufacturing process. It is not enough for the manufacturer to take reasonable care at the time of the manufacturing process. Rather, the manufacturer is strictly liable in the event of an error in the production process that leads to harm to a victim. 

Design defect

A manufacturer must ensure that the product design is safe for public uses even if a product works as intended. A design defect occurs when a product is designed in a poor manner. In order to win a defective design case, the victim must prove that the manufacturer could have designed the product in a better manner based on other designs that are possible or available at the time. 

How to Prove a Products Liability Legal Claim

Similar to other cases of personal injury, the victim of a defective product must prove that the product defect has led to their injuries. The victim must prove all of the components of negligence, including a defect, a duty to develop a careful product, and a connection between the defect and damages and injuries. A victim may have consumer rights if a product is defective. However, there must be an injury for the victim to be able to initiate a product liability claim.

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.

For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; Princeton, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

What is Procedural Law?

shutterstock_70656412-1-200x300 What is Procedural Law? Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyProcedural law refers to the collection of rules that regulate how courts conduct their business. All types and levels of court use procedural law. It determines how courts hear cases. Moreover, it also lays down what a party must do to bring their case before the court. 

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding communities.

Civil Procedure

The largest body of procedural law is perhaps the civil law procedure that applies to a federal or state court. Civil procedures regulate everything from how to start a case to how to appeal it. Some of the most common facets of the civil procedure are as follows:

Initiating a case

A civil case begins when a party drafts a complaint. They will need to allege all the claims that they want to bring. They must understand what each claim should contain to prepare documents accurately. A case starts by filing the case in the appropriate court. The individual bringing the case should officially serve the other side with a copy of the documentation.

Responding to a complaint

Upon receiving a notice that they are being sued, a person will have a limited amount of time to reply to the complaint. If they do not reply, they might lose their right to participate in the proceedings. 

A reply to a complaint must acknowledge the other side’s allegations, refute them, state that there is no response necessary, or state that they do not have sufficient information to be able to reply.

Discovery

Discovery enables both sides of a lawsuit to understand the case and build their evidence. In procedural law, discovery aims to narrow the issues in the case. Both sides are more likely to be able to arrive at a non-trial resolution with an understanding of the evidence in the case. 

This process enables the parties to understand the case prior to trial. Sometimes the discovery process allows parties to resolve the case without the need for a trial. 

Motion practice

The parties might ask the court to make specific decisions ahead of the trial. They might ask the court to include certain evidence by making a preliminary motion. 

A motion for summary disposition requests the court to decide the case on the basis of the law when there are no material issues in dispute. A motion for summary disposition might lead to dismissal of the case or result in a judgment without trial. 

Criminal Procedure

The state attorneys, as well as the accused, must follow criminal procedure as prescribed by law. Criminal procedure is initiated when an individual gets arrested. There is a limited period of time that the police can detain someone without presenting them before a judge or magistrate. The state cannot hold a person indefinitely without charges.

Criminal procedures differ on the basis of the jurisdiction that is hearing the case. They also differ based on the type of violation or crime. 

Most states have procedural regulations meant to help crime victims. A crime victim usually has the right to notice of the proceedings in the case. They also have a right to restitution for their financial loss as well as the right to address the court at sentencing.

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.

For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; Princeton, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

What is Private/Hedge Funds Law?

shutterstock_1577464339-300x201 What is Private/Hedge Funds Law? Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyPrivate funds and hedge funds refer to investments funds that are an element of a diverse market range. In the US, only accredited investors can participate in hedge funds. Financial journalist, Alfred W. Jones, first used the term “hedged fund” in 1949.

The critical start-up mass of asset under management has increased since the initial days of the hedge fund industry. In the 1970s and 1980s, it may have been possible to form a fund with less than $10 million. 

But today, the level is at least five to six times that amount. Stemming from this, the client base had moved from mainly primarily high-net-worth individuals and overseas funds to include pension funds and institutional investors.

Over the past two decades, the focus and nature of funds have also changed along with the markets, hedging against challenging and unpredictable markets and maintaining the asset base along with maximizing profits.

Additionally, assets under the management and management fees have increased. Over the period, regulatory scrutiny has also greatly increased, especially in the wake of the controversial 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank). 

The next stage of the industry’s evolution is for large funds to institutionalize, handing over the ownership to the successor management.

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding locations.

Recent Changes in Market Practice

The primary changes in the market over the last year were influenced by the anticipated priorities from the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) examination for 2018, including the following:

Cybersecurity 

The security measures in place must be “reasonably designed” to protect the personal information of the investor. Given its own demonstrated susceptibility to hacking, the SEC may be particularly sensitive about this matter. 

Seniors 

The SEC has concerns regarding the safety of the retirees and baby-boomers, with savings usually in excess of over US$400,000) or other retirement funds. 

Practices 

Investment adviser practices concerned with robo-advisors, disclosure of fees, anti-money laundering, advertising, and abusive sales and marketing practices remained a priority in 2017. 

Regarding fund investment strategies, some funds follow multiple strategies while others make more concentrated investments, or use only a single strategic approach. 

Regulatory Framework 

Investment Advisers Act 

Hedge funds are governed by the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (Advisers Act). Hedge funds are usually managed by investment advisers. 

Unless exempt (for instance, a private foreign adviser), large investment advisory companies (i.e., firms with Regulatory Assets under Management (RAUM) of $100 million or above) are required to register with the SEC. Smaller investment advisory companies must register with the appropriate state(s).

Similar to other market participants, hedge funds are subject to prohibitions against fraud. Managers (registered or unregistered) have a fiduciary duty to the funds that they operate. 

Registered investment advisors (RIAs) are required to file Form ADV with the SEC, detailing, among other things, their fees, business, the kinds of securities they invest in, the types of clients, and the funds and assets that they manage. 

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.

For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; Princeton, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

Labor Employment Law Update October 2019

Employers need to be aware of new poster and handbook regulations that took effect April 1, 2019.  California Code of Regulations, tit. 2, § 11095 imposed two new requirements:

1. Every employer covered by the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) and/or New Parent Leave Act (“NPLA”) is required to conspicuously post a notice explaining the two Acts’ provisions and providing information concerning the procedures for filing complaints of violations of the Acts with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Employers with 20 to 49 employees will need to post the new notice on their premises, and employers with 50 or more employees will need to update their existing notice.

2. If the employer publishes a handbook that describes other kinds of leaves available to its employees, the handbook must be updated to include a description of CFRA and/or NPLA leave.

For questions on these new regulations or any other labor and employment issue, contact SBEMP.

SBEMP’S Labor and Employment Department is comprised of attorneys with decades of experience in a broad range of labor and employment matters from day-to-day counseling to labor negotiations and litigation. Our team is prepared to guide our clients through the complex myriad of employment laws affecting California employers. We assist our clients with day-to-day personnel management issues, such as drafting employment policies, managing leaves of absence, identifying potential problems in hiring and firing practices, and ensuring wage and hour compliance. Our attorneys are also experienced litigators who regularly represent clients in all types of employment litigation, including defending wage and hour class actions as well as lawsuits alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Additionally, we regularly represent clients in administrative proceedings, such as Labor Commissioner claims, CalOSHA citations, DFEH and EEOC investigations, and DLSE complaints. Our labor and employment practice is also prepared to assist clients with labor negotiations and disputes. Our labor attorneys are experienced in negotiating labor agreements as well as representing clients before the NLRB.

DISCLAIMER: This newsletter does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This newsletter may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this newsletter. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

KNOW YOUR PARENTAL RIGHTS

KNOW YOUR PARENTAL RIGHTS

Brief Overview of Special Education Law & the IEP Process
by Peter Nolan

Parents of children with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 21 have important educational rights protected under the law. The Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides for procedural safeguards with regard to the processes involved. Specifically, families with special education children have the right to:

•Have their child assessed to determine eligibility and needs;
•Access, inspect, review and obtain copies of school records pertaining to their child
•Attend an annual “individualized education program” (IEP) meeting and develop an IEP plan with their school district; and
•Resolve disputes with the school district through both administrative and legal process.

Most importantly, parents must be given the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process regarding their child’s special education program. Parents have the right to participate in IEP meetings about their child’s eligibility, assessment, educational placement and other matters relating to their child’s free appropriate public education (FAPE).

To effectively protect their educational rights, parents need to be informed of the basic special education process under IDEA.

Step 1 – Child must be identified as possibly needing special education and related services. Schools engage in “Child Find” activities to assist in identification, but parents
may also ask to have their child evaluated.

Step 2 – Child is evaluated.

Step 3 – Eligibility is determined.

Step 4 – IEP process takes place. The process includes notification of parents, scheduling of meetings, and the development of the child’s IEP. During this process, the parents may express their concerns or disagreements directly with the IEP team.

Step 5 – Services are provided. The program laid out in the child’s written IEP is then
implemented.

Along the way, the child’s progress is measured and reported to the parents. At least once a year, the IEP is reviewed and modified as necessary. Each child is reevaluated at least every three years.

Although forms will vary from one school district to another, every IEP should include the same information. That is:
•Current educational status
•Goals and objectives
•Instructional setting or placement
•Transition services (if the child is 16 or older)
•Due process

As a parent of a special education child, you have the right to take any dispute you have with your child’s school district to a neutral third party for resolution.

For more information on the IDEA, the IEP process and your rights, contact your local school district, California Department of Education Special Education Division, U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, or contact us at SBEMP to discuss your child’s individual situation and see how we can protect your family’s rights.


CASE ALERTS

Disability Law Center of Alaska v. Davidson

Summary: In March, 2018, the Disability Law Center of Alaska and minors R.S. and J.S., represented through their parent Kikona Savo, sued Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Valerie Davidson, and the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services. The defendant’s motion for summary judgment was denied on grounds that plantiff, Davidson, did not inform the defendant on how to apply for applied behavioral analysis (ABA), did not reimburse ABA under the program, or provide ABA services in reasonable time. This case is yet another example of the importance of ABA programs and knowing the rights of special needs minors. Click here to learn more.

Green v. Green

Summary: Molly Green, after the death of her husband, filed a restraining order against stepson, Holden Green, in 2014. The Superior Court issued a one year protective order to Molly Green. Once the one year period had passed, Molly renewed the restraining order for another five year period in 2015. Holden then filed three separate appeals, claiming the initial restraining order was unqualified, and that the extension of the order and awarding of Molly’s attorney fees and costs were both unnecessary. The California Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District ruled in Molly Green’s favor, affirming the renewal order. Click here to learn more.


Did You Know?

Families with 529 accounts can now transfer, at a rate of $15,000 annually, to an ABLE Act account for their child with special needs. Before doing so, families are encouraged to consult with their tax professional to fully understand the associated tax consequences.

ABLE Act beneficiaries who work are able to contribute part of their income (i.e., up to the Federal Poverty Level, $12,490.00) on top of the annual funding of $15,000.00.

It is permissible for a SNT Trustee, where the language contained therein supports the same, to fund an ABLE Act account for the SNT beneficiary up to the annual $15,000.00 allowance.


With locations in Palm Springs and Indian Wells, California; Princeton, New Jersey; and Manhattan, New York, SBEMP’S Special Needs & Elder Law Department is comprised of attorneys with decades of experience in a broad range of issues the cover the lifespan of needs for the special needs and elderly population.  SBEMP’S Special Needs & Elder Law Department’s experience includes: health care insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, special needs trusts, trust administration, estate planning & administration, guardianships and conservatorships, elder law, and special education .

SBEMP WINS SIGNIFICANT RULING VOIDING HOA ELECTION

A group of homeowners represented by SBEMP has prevailed on a Motion for Summary Adjudication against Morningside County Club (“Morningside”), a common-interest development in Rancho Mirage, California, which asked the court to void the results of an election which imposed a $250 monthly fee (“Proprietary Fee”) on all homeowners to support The Club at Morningside (“Club”), a private Golf and Tennis Club at Morningside, regardless of whether a homeowner was a member of the Club. Concurrent with the adoption of the Proprietary Fee, the Club gave its members a credit against their monthly dues in the same amount as the Proprietary Fee. Thus, in effect, non-Club members were required to pay the fee to subsidize the Club without obtaining any privileges at the Club. The court further held that Plaintiffs were entitled to restitution (reimbursement) of all amounts paid on the Proprietary Fee.

In 2015, SBEMP filed a lawsuit on behalf of 23 non-Club member homeowners against Morningside, the Club, the law firm of Peters & Freedman LLP (which acted as the Inspector of Elections), as well as various individual members of the governing boards of Morningside and the Club, challenging the validity of the Proprietary Fee under the Davis-Stirling Act. The lawsuit alleged that the Proprietary Fee was an impermissible unequal assessment and exceeded the amount necessary to defray the costs for which it was levied, both in violation of the Davis-Stirling Act. The lawsuit also alleged that Defendants engaged in election fraud by using information secretly obtained from the Inspector of Elections during the course of the election regarding who had voted. Defendants then used that information to tally the vote and determine who to contact in order to increase the number of votes in favor of the Proprietary Fee.

The court held that the undisputed facts showed that there were clear election violations which justified voiding the election results. Relying on provisions of the Davis-Stirling Act governing HOA elections (Civil Code section 5100 et seq .), the court concluded that the Inspector of Elections’ actions in providing Defendants ongoing updates of who had voted violated the principle of the secret ballot and the Inspector’s duty of fairness and impartiality to all homeowners primarily because the information was useful only to those in favor of the Proprietary Fee. The court further found that the Proprietary Fee disproportionately affected non-Club members (was “grievous and unjust” to them), which weighed heavily in favor of the court exercising its discretion in voiding the election and ordering restitution for Plaintiffs.

The ruling is particularly significant in that, like Morningside, several common interest developments with private golf clubs have also been looking for ways to shift a portion of the cost of supporting such clubs to non-club members. In light of the ruling in favor of SBEMP’s clients, they will likely now be wary of trying to do this by the means attempted by Morningside.


Charles L. Gallagher

The Motion for Summary Adjudication was prepared by Charles L. Gallagher, who has litigated this case with fellow SBEMP attorneys Shaun M. Murphy and David A. Smith. Mr. Gallagher is a litigation attorney and senior counsel with Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney LLP. Currently, Mr. Gallagher’s practice is primarily complex civil litigation (real estate, eminent domain, contracts, municipal law/compliance and probate litigation), Federal Native American law, and appellate work. In the last five years, Mr. Gallagher has successfully prosecuted and defended actions on behalf of several commercial clients in a broad range of actions including breach of contract, fraud, land use and regulatory compliance. He has also represented municipalities in connection with the wind down of California’s Redevelopment Agencies and related litigation.

Click here to read full bio.


Shaun M. Murphy

Mr. Murphy is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated trial attorney and partner with Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney LLP. Currently, Shaun’s practice is primarily complex civil litigation (contract, real estate and land use, trade secrets and intellectual property) and plaintiff’s personal injury. Shaun has experience in a broad range of issues, including employment claims, unfair competition, multi-jurisdictional product liability/recall actions, public and private construction disputes featuring delay/disruption/acceleration claims, and professional liability claims. He has also successfully defended several commercial clients in a broad range of claims including architectural copyright infringement, trademark infringement and breach of contract. He has extensive mediation and arbitration experience and has tried cases in both state and federal courts.

Click here to read full bio.


David A. Smith

Mr. Smith is a Corporate, Commercial, and Business Litigation Attorney who has represented several major creditor institutions, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Chase Bank, Union Bank and numerous others. Mr. Smith has served as an American Arbitration Panel Judge specializing in Business Contract Transactions and related Partnership disputes in Orange County California. He has extensive background in HOA litigation and issues arising under the Davis-Stirling Act. Mr. Smith has also provided legal counsel to numerous professional sports athletes and various franchises while serving as General Counsel for both Athletes for Youth and Professional Sports Authenticators. In 2001 he was designated as an Expert in Sports Contracts and related issues and has participated in the arbitration and resolution of various contract disputes.

Click here to read full bio.


SBEMP Litigation Department

Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney LLP’s civil litigation practice group offers a wide range of specialized litigation services for private sector companies, public agencies and individuals. Our litigators represent clients in an array of civil disputes, including:

  • Intellectual property
  • Personal Injury
  • Complex business and real estate
  • Trusts and estate
  • Labor & Employment law
  • Construction defect issues
  • Owner, Contractor/Sub-Contractor Disputes
  • Eminent domain and condemnation
  • Homeowners’ association and hospitality
  • Partnership Disputes
  • Tribal
  • Healthcare
  • First Amendment
  • Anti-Trust
  • Education Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Defamation

To learn more about the firm’s Litigation Department click here.

Visit our Website

With locations in Palm Springs, CA, Princeton, NJ, and Manhattan, NY,   SBEMP’S Litigation practice group offers a wide range of specialized litigation services for private sector companies, public agencies and individuals. Our litigators represent clients in an array of civil disputes, including: intellectual property, personal injury, complex business and real estate, trusts and estate, construction defect, owner, contractor/sub-contractor disputes, eminent domain and condemnation, homeowners’ association and hospitality, partnership disputes, tribal, healthcare, first amendment, and defamation.

DISCLAIMER: This newsletter does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This newsletter may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this newsletter. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

New 2020 Employment Laws

Prominent Coachella Valley Law Firm Opens New Family Law Practice in Indian Wells

Indian Wells, CA— December 19, 2019 — The law firm of Slovak, Baron, Empey,
Murphy and Pinkney (SBEMP) announced an expansion into family law headed up by veteran
family law attorney, Carolyn H. Martino, Esq.

“With more than 25 years of practice in the Coachella Valley and Los Angeles, Ms.
Martino has earned an exceptional reputation for integrity, professionalism, and dedication to
achieving positive results for her clients. Her expertise in handling complex dissolutions
involving significant assets and custodial issues dovetails perfectly with SBEMP’s goal of
serving the full spectrum of legal needs for our clients. We are very fortunate to have her on
board.” said SBEMP Managing Partner, John Pinkney. Ms. Martino will launch the new practice
field for SBEMP from their recently opened Indian Wells offices.

A New York native, Ms. Martino’s father was a legal scholar interested in International
Law and public policy. She earned her undergraduate degree at UCLA and her J.D. at Loyola
Law School. In addition to her outstanding legal acumen and trusted client relationships, Ms.
Martino devotes her free time to her family and philanthropy through a variety of endeavors,
including her roles as Co-Chair of the Family Law Section of the Desert Bar Association;
Founding Member and VP of the Coachella Valley Youth Hockey Foundation; and Member of
the City of Indian Wells Architecture and Landscaping Committee.

“Family law matters are so personal and unique to each individual,” Martino said, “yet
they require the same keen attention as business law matters. Complex and emotional real-life
issues related to how children are going to grow up and how a family’s financial life is going to
change can become all-consuming. That is the part of this practice field that I connect with – the
ability to hopefully counsel and guide people through what will be one of their most challenging
periods in life, and to do so discretely and with compassion.”

About SBEMP: Established in 1995, SBEMP LLP has grown to become the largest full-service
law firm based in the Coachella Valley. With offices in Palm Springs, Indian Wells, Orange
County, San Diego, New Jersey, and New York, SBEMP provides legal services that range from
labor and employment law, business and real estate law, mergers and acquisitions, healthcare
law, tribal law, trusts and estates, litigation, public agency law and now family law. The
foundation of the firm is hard work, creative and aggressive advocacy, and an unwavering focus
on the needs of our clients. Our goal in every matter is to achieve the best possible result in a
cost-effective manner.

What is Private Equity Law?

shutterstock_530884738-300x169 What is Private Equity Law? Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyPrivate equity law encompasses private equity companies that pool investments of pension funds and other large investors to buy assets and other firms. 

A private equity attorney will assist in forming the funds and negotiating the terms of the contracts. In the US, the private equity industry began in 1946 when two venture capital companies were founded. 

In terms of finance, private equity refers to a category of assets comprising equity securities and debt in operating companies that are not publicly traded on stock exchanges. Private equity firms, venture capital firms, or angel investors typically make private equity investments.

Each type of investor offers private equity funding for distinct reasons. However, all offer working capital to a business for the purposes of expansion, development of a new product, or a restructuring of the firm’s operations, management, and/or ownership.

Leveraged buyouts, venture or growth capital, and mezzanine capital are among the most common investment approaches in private equity investing. 

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding communities. 

Leveraged Buyout

An average leveraged buyout transaction involves a private equity company purchasing majority control for an existing or mature firm. The companies that are involved in these transactions are usually mature and produce operating cash flows.

Venture or Growth Capital Investment

Investors invest in young, evolving, or growing firms, rarely seeking to acquire majority control. 

While venture and growth capital are similar, the companies that seek growth capital are usually more mature in comparison to venture capital-funded companies, able to produce revenue and operating profits but not able to produce adequate cash to fund significant expansions, acquisitions, or other investments.  

Mezzanine Capital

Mezzanine capital is preferred equity securities or subordinated debt that are typically the most junior portion of a company’s capital structure, but still superior compared to the common equity of the company. 

In general, mezzanine capital is typically used by smaller firms to enable them to borrow additional capital beyond the amounts that traditional lenders would be willing to offer through bank loans. 

ABA – Committee on Private Equity and Venture Capital

The Committee on Private Equity and Venture Capital focus on matters affecting the United States and international attorneys who form and represent private equity and venture capital funds and those who advise business owners and firms seeking financing from those sources. 

The Committee concerns itself with securities, corporate, tax, intellectual property, regulatory, and other issues of private equity and venture capital communities, pertaining to both investments by funds and the formation of funds.

Private Fund Transparency Act

A bill to require investment advisors to private funds, including private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds, and others to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and for other purposes. 

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The US Securities and Exchange Commission aims to protect investors, maintain efficient, orderly, and fair markets, and encourage capital formation. Today, an increasing number of first-time investors are turning to the markets to help secure their futures, send children to college, and pay for homes, and this makes the SEC’s mission more compelling than ever before. 

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.


For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of 
SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; Princeton, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

What is Privacy Law?

shutterstock_27708013-1-300x199 What is Privacy Law? Lawyer Palm Springs | Orange CountyThe privacy laws of the US relate to various legal concepts. Invasion of privacy is one of these legal concepts. 

It is a tort, based in common law, enabling an aggrieved party to file a lawsuit against a person who illegally intrudes into their private affairs, reveals their private information, publicizes them in a false light, or appropriates their name for personal gain.

People in the public eye have less privacy. This area of law is evolving as it pertains to the media. The core of the law is based on a right to privacy, which is broadly defined as “the right to be let alone.” 

It typically excludes personal issues or activities which may reasonably be of interest to the public, such as those of celebrities or participants in newsworthy events.

The invasion of the right to privacy can form the basis of a lawsuit for damages against an individual or entity in violation of the right. These rights include the following:

  • The Fourth Amendment right to be free of unwarranted search or seizure
  • The First Amendment right to free assembly
  • The Fourteenth Amendment due process right: This right is recognized by the Supreme Court as protecting a general right to privacy within marriage, family, procreation, motherhood, and child-rearing.

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding locations.

Modern Tort Law

Today, in the US, “invasion of privacy” is a common cause for action in legal pleadings. Four categories of invasion of privacy are included in modern tort law, as first categorized by William Prosser:

  • The intrusion of solitude: Physical or electronic intrusion into a person’s private quarters
  • Public disclosure of private facts: Spreading truthful private information which a reasonable individual would determine to be objectionable
  • False light: The publication of facts which place an individual in a false light, even though the facts themselves may not be defamatory
  • Appropriation: The unlawful use of an individual’s name or likeness to acquire certain benefits

Public Disclosure

Public disclosure of private facts happens when one individual discloses information which is not of public concern, and the divulgence of which would be offensive to a reasonable person. 

Appropriation of Name or Likeness

While privacy is usually a common-law tort, a majority of states have enacted statutes that disallow the use of an individual’s name or image if used without permission for the commercial benefit of another person.

Appropriation of name or likeness arises when an individual uses the name or likeness of another individual for personal gain or commercial benefit. 

Action for misappropriation of right of publicity protects an individual against loss due to the appropriation of personal likeness for commercial gain. 

The exclusive right of an individual to control their name and likeness to prevent others from using without consent is protected in a similar way as a trademark action with the individual’s likeness, rather than the trademark, being the subject of protection. 

In terms of invasion of privacy, appropriation is the oldest recognized form that involves the use of a person’s name, likeness, or identity without permission for purposes such as advertisements, products, or fictional works. 

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.

 

For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; Princeton, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

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