FAQ’s

GOT QUESTIONS

Ask Me If You Can

The information below is intended for general information and not legal advice.  The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue or transaction is to schedule an appointment with a lawyer.  Please contact one of our lawyers to schedule an appointment if you need legal assistance.

RETAINING A LAWYER

Why should I have a lawyer?

It depends on your case but it is always a good idea to talk with a lawyer about your case and your different options.  Some cases are simple enough that you maybe able to handle it without a lawyer and only get assistance as needed.  However, there are many cases that are very complicated and time consuming.  Without the help of a lawyer, you could loose or hurt your case.

Are there certain cases that require I have legal representation?

Yes.  A party in a lawsuit must generally have legal representation if the case is tried outside small claims court and that party either:

  • A corporation, limited liability company or an unincorporated association;
  • A trustee, probate fiduciary, personal representative or a guardian ad litem;
  • Is some other type of fiduciary like a conservator or guardian in certain situations.

Contact a lawyer if you are unsure if you can represent yourself or must have legal representation.

Can I afford good representation?

An experienced lawyer may cost less than you may think.  Lawyers typically charge one of two ways, by the hour or a flat fee.  Contact a lawyer at Nathanson Hall, Lawyers if you need experienced counsel.

COMPLAINING ABOUT A LAWYER

How do I complain about a lawyer?

All lawyers who practice in the state of California must live up to ethical standards imposed by the California Supreme Court and the state legislature.  The State Bar is an arm of the California Supreme Court and as so, investigates and prosecutes complaints against lawyers.

You can register a complaint with the State Bar if you feel that your lawyer acted improperly.  Unethical behavior as defined in the Rules of Professional Conduct and/or the State Bar Act can result in a warning, probation, suspension or disbarment.

What are the rules of professional conduct?

Rules approved by the California Supreme Court that are intended to regulate professional conduct of members of the State Bar through discipline.  They are designed to protect the public and to promote confidence in the legal profession.

“Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process.”

Thurgood Marshall

REAL ESTATE QUESTIONS

Why hire a real estate lawyer if I already have a real estate agent?

Buying a home is one of the biggest transactions in one’s life.  It involves a lot of money and there are risks.  While a real estate agent prepares a real estate contract and a title company can act as a closing agent, the lawyer is the only party that can legally advocate a position and/or give legal advice.  We recommend hiring a lawyer before signing any real estate contract as many issues can arise during a real estate transaction.  Lawyers can also advise their clients on issues ranging from title, zoning, financing, inspections, taxes, contract contingencies and help negotiate the contract.

What is a homeowners association?

When a real estate developer builds units that share common areas combined with individual property rights, a HOA is formed to manage the property.  It is created by and operates under legal documents called the declaration, articles of association and bylaws.

Is there anything I should do before purchasing property or land?

Have the title searched to ensure that the property or land is free and clear of any claims or liens.  A real estate lawyer can do this for you and ensure that it is safe to proceed with the purchase.

As a seller, what defects should I disclose?

You should disclose all defects to buyers.  If you hide defects during a real estate transaction, you could find yourself in court.  Speak to an attorney to discuss your options.

BUSINESS QUESTIONS

What are my options for structuring my business?

Legal structures for businesses vary and include sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations.  Each type of structure has its own requirements for both forming a business and maintaining its status.  The owner’s personal liability and tax status varies as well.

What is a fictitious business name?

It is a name that is different than the legal name of the business on file with the state.  If it is a sole proprietorship, it would be the business owner’s name.  Generally, a fictitious business name must be registered with the state and/or county but registration varies from state to state.  We recommend reviewing your state’s laws regarding fictitious business names or address questions with a lawyer.

Where should I incorporate my business?

A lot of businesses incorporate in Delaware because of the state’s well developed corporate law.  You can also incorporate in the state where the business is physically located.

ASK ME IF YOU CAN

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