Posts Tagged ‘Shanti Michaels’

A New Federal Courthouse for Humboldt County

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

On July 8, 2013 developers and officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new federal courthouse construction.  The new courthouse will be located in the Airport Business Park in McKinleyville and along with the new courtroom will also provide office space for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the Probation Department, the District Clerk, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Marshal Service.  The single story building will occupy over 22,000 square feet.  The federal courthouse is currently in the post office building on Fifth and H Street in Eureka.  It is one of several branches of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  The other branches are in San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose.

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Should You be Paying Your Interns?

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

With the economic downturn and competitive job market, there is increasing  discussion about unpaid interns in both the local and national workforce. See Internships: Low-Paid, Unpaid Or Just Plain Illegal?, NPR, May 18, 2013..  The North Coast Journal recently published an article suggesting that a growing number of Humboldt State University students are working without pay locally to gain experience.  However, not paying interns an hourly wage plus overtime may be illegal in some circumstances.  Some regulators and university officials are working to limit and prevent students from participating in unlawfully unpaid internships, including some stipend-funded internships. See Intern Unrest, Grant Scott Goforth, May 31, 2013.

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Oral Negotiations Take on New Importance

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

A recent decision from the California Supreme Court fundamentally changes the boundaries of one of the most basic principles of modern contract law. 

The Parol Evidence Rule typically bars prior and contemporaneous oral statements that contradict clear, unambiguous terms of an integrated written agreement.  In other words, where the parties’ intentions are clear, external evidence of statements is not allowed to interpret their intentions.  However, there has been an exception for fraud claims where the parol evidence does not directly vary with (contradict) promises in the final agreement.  This rule has existed in the same form for almost 80 years, until now.  On January 14, 2013, the California Supreme Court overturned  its landmark decision in Bank of America Nat. Trust & Savings Ass’n v. Pendergrass  (1935) 4 Cal.2d 258, 259.  The court broadened the fraud exception to the Parol Evidence Rule. 

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New Public Trail Opening in Eureka

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Thanks to funds from Proposition 84’s River Parkways Program, PG&E, and the Coastal Conservancy, the City of Eureka teamed up with local advocates at the Redwood Community Action Agency and the Humboldt Trails Council, as well as local businesses and individuals, to provide the newest addition to Eureka’s recreational trail areas, officially opening on February 23, 2013.  The Hikshari’ trail (the Wiyot name for this area), includes four new parking lots, restored wetland areas, 1.5 miles of multiple use trail, and other park facilities such as benches.  The project has been the product of much collaboration and hard work by a number of local organizations and individuals (Janssen Malloy LLP attorney Shanti Michaels participated in a coastal clean-up of this same location in the fall).

The City of Eureka has donated land to this project as part of a larger waterfront development vision that includes building a 6.5 mile Eureka Waterfront Trail, extending from Tydd Street (in north Eureka) and Target bayfront area, through Old Town’s waterfront and industrial sectors.  The ultimate goal is to connect the Old Town waterfront trail with the Hikshari’ trial and the Elk River Access Area.  Already local businesses such as Shamus T. Bones, which recently applied for a permit to build an outdoor patio addition, are beginning to take advantage of the development.

The dedication of property by the city was, in part made possible by the existence of California’s recreational use statute, section 846 of the Civil Code, which was first passed in 1963.  The statute decreases the liability property owners risk by opening their lands to recreational users.  It was passed in response to the growing “tendency of private landowners to bar public access to their land for recreational uses out of fear of incurring tort liability.”  The legislature enacted the statute to give private landowners immunity from the negligence claims of uninvited, non-paying entrants who could sue after being injured while participating in recreational activities.

Protecting Your Property from Encroaching Trees

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Tree branches or roots extending over a property boundary may be a nuisance, especially in a damp climate like Humboldt County.  Remedies for such nuisance are available to neighboring landowners, including the right to cut off branches or roots at the boundary line, the right to recover damages, and the right to compel removal by the owner or occupant of the land on which the tree grows.  However, neighbors are required to act reasonably toward each other, which includes not causing foreseeable injury to a neighboring property (for example, cutting so much of the root system back that the tree dies.) See Fick v. Nilsen, 98 Cal.App.2d 683, and Booska v. Patel (Cal. Ct. App. 1994) 24 Cal.App.4th 1786, 1789-90.  Property owners whose trees have been wrongfully damaged by their neighbors may sue for up to five years from the date of cutting.

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California Coastal Clean-up Day

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

On Saturday, September 15, 2012, close to 60,000 California residents and over 800 Humboldt County volunteers spread out on beaches and along local waterways throughout California for the 28th annual beach clean-up hosted by the California Coastal Commission and supported by California State Parks Foundation and the Ocean Conservancy. The efforts have been international for the past 25 years.

Northwest Environmental Center was the county coordinator of over 50 sites in Humboldt, from Shelter Cove to the Humboldt Lagoons. A number of local high schools, non profits, Humboldt State University students, and concerned citizens participated in the clean up. Janssen Malloy, LLP attorney Shanti Michaels joined the efforts at a site in South Eureka near Hilfiker Lane along the Elk River trail.

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California Lawsuits – Suspended Companies

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

A California Corporation or Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) can be suspended for a number of reasons, including the nonpayment of taxes under California Revenue and Taxation Code or for their failure to file updated information under the Corporations Code.

When a corporation or LLC is suspended, it loses its rights and privileges under California law.  Thus, the company cannot legally operate until revived (reinstated) with the Secretary of State.

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Employee Angry Outbursts

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Humboldt County employers will be interested to know about a recent decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which helps clarify when termination is authorized based on an angry outburst.

The case, Plaza Auto Center, Inc. v. N.L.R.B. (9th Cir. 2011) 664 F.3d 286, involved an employee (Aguirre) who worked at a used car dealership in Arizona (though the decision is binding on California courts and employers as well).  From the beginning of his employment, Aguirre was unhappy with that dealership’s compensation policies and practices.  He complained to his supervisors and fellow employees.  Two months into his employment, in a private meeting, Aguirre called the owner a “f***ing crook,” an “a**hole”  “stupid,” and stated no one liked the owner and everyone talked behind his back.  Aguirre then stood up, pushed his chair back, and said that if he got fired, the dealership owner would regret it.

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Speeding tickets in Humboldt County, California

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Speeding tickets are annoying by most people’s standards, but few do anything to fight them since most are “infractions” and do not carry any potential jail time.  This means that most indigent defendants who are ticketed do not have the constitutional “right to an attorney” (also known as free representation), and thus they often just pay up and do not force law enforcement to meet any burden of proof.  The tickets are paid without anyone showing that the drivers are guilty by competent evidence, as our judicial system would otherwise require.
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New Airline Service to LA Likely for Humboldt

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Humboldt County may soon be signing a contract with American Airlines for airline service from the Arcata/Eureka Airport (ACV) to Los Angeles (LAX).  Currently, the only commercial airline service providing flights out of Humboldt is United.  Los Angeles-bound travelers on United must transfer via San Francisco International Airport, converting a 90 minute flight into a full day’s worth of traveling.  This is very inconvenient for local business men and women, including attorneys, who have business or family and personal matters to attend to in Southern California, as well as Northern California.

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