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Orange County Litigation Law Blog

Impossibility and California contracts

For California business owners, contracts play an essential role in their companies' operations. They enter into contracts with vendors, clients and their own employees. They buy or lease property. When one party does not live up to its obligations, serious problems can ensue.

Ordinarily, breaking a contract can give the party who suffered as a result the right to various legal remedies. However, under some circumstances the law may excuse a breach and not hold the breaching party legally responsible.

A claim of shareholder oppression may find its way to court

Minority shareholders who feel they are the victims of corporate abuse or overreach can make a claim of shareholder oppression.

Courts normally recognize various definitions of shareholder oppression and, while it is usually not illegal, judges typically see it as improper conduct for which there are several remedies.

In flipping a home, did you disclose areas of concern?

Perhaps you purchased a neglected property that needed a lot of work. You renovated it, made it look presentable again and now you have an interested buyer.

However, some structural problems still remain. Have you disclosed these issues? Keeping material facts about the property from a prospective buyer could cause you considerable legal problems, including a charge of fraud.

Key aspects of quiet title auctions

It is important to have clear designations for land ownership. This allows the swift and precise rectification of issues concerning encroachment on the land

However, land ownership is not always crystal clear in some cases. In such instances, quiet title auctions may be necessary.

Trust Disputes -- Testamentary Capacity to Make a Trust

Buffington Law Firm's Trust dispute and breach of contract attorneys often deal with issues of mental capacity when representing parties in cases involving disputes involving the validity of trusts.  As discussed in last week's Blog article, the mental capacity to make a will is generally held to be a lower standard than is the standard for mental capacity to make a contract.  So the question arises, which standard applies to the capacity to make a Trust.  After all, in California and many other states trusts are becoming much more common as the means for persons to carry out their testimonial intents.  Probate Code Section 6100.5 sets forth the standard for determining capacity to make a will.  On its face this statute only applies to wills and not trusts.

Testamentary Capacity versus Capacity to Contract -- The Difference

Buffington Law Firm's Trust and Elder Law attorneys are sometimes faced with situations that deal with the issue as to whether a person has the mental capacity to make a contract or, alternatively, testamentary capacity -- the ability to make a will or trust.  To the layperson this may seem straightforward -- it may seem as though a person either has mental capacity or he or she does not.  However, under the law, generally, the required mental capacity to make testamentary decisions is lower than the mental capacity required to make contracts.

Protection of Elders from Involuntary Mental Status Examinations

Buffington Law Firm's team of Elder, Trust, and Undue Influence attorneys often deal with controversies involving the mental competence of Elders. (As used herein, the term "Elder" shall have the meaning set forth in the Welfare & Institutions Code: A California resident 65 or older.) It is very common in Trust and other forms of Elder litigation that one party or other will allege that another party, often an elderly person, lacks mental competence, i.e. the mental competence to execute testamentary documents or the competence to contract. While this may sometimes be a legitimate issue in litigation, sometimes this is a litigation tactic which, if successful, can be extremely intrusive and distressful to the subject Elder.

Understanding key elements of commercial leases

Starting or expanding a business is a big deal. Whether someone is taking on a commercial lease for the first time or has previous experience, it is important to be aware of the various aspects that may affect them.

Though there may be some variations in different leases, certain things remain the same. There are a few key elements to be aware of in regard to any commercial lease.

Can I contest a will due to undue influence?

When a loved one dies in Orange County, it is not unusual for family members to argue and disagree over the possessions and assets that person left behind. Though there may be a will and trusts in place to ensure the smooth transfer of ownership to other relatives, those documents are not always enough to prevent disputes. One common reason for estate disputes to arise involves undue influence

Undue influence involves the manipulation of the testator that results in altering the estate plans to include the manipulator and influencer. Usually, undue influence is not apparent until the person passes and the contents of the will and estate planning documents become clear to the family. Here is a brief overview of undue influence and wills. 

Collaboration - the Key to Litigation and Trial Success

In business, real estate, or trust litigation, there is no question but that "job one" for an attorney representing a client is to prepare for trial. As we have discussed in other Blog posts, most cases in fact settle out of court before trial, rather than concluding with trial and a verdict. It is our belief that the very best way to induce the opposing side to settle a case is for the opposition to see that the Firm is diligently and zealously preparing for trial. Naturally, this policy and practice pays big dividends if the case does in fact go all the way to trial. This preparation is equally key for success in mediation or negotiation.

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Buffington Law Firm, PC
8840 Warner Avenue Suite 300
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

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