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Author Archives: Thomas Bonte

California’s New LLC Law and You

by: Daniel E Gwozdz Daniel E Gwozdz is a 2012 graduate of Gonzaga School of Law and the newest attorney at Bay Oak Law. If the title above grabbed your attention, chances are that you are either a member of an Limited Liability Company or are interested in forming one. Limited Liability Companies, or LLCs, are […]

New I-9 Form

The USCIS has introduced a new I-9 form that will have to be used for new employees. While use is currently voluntary, it will be required from May onward.  No need to panic, however — it does not have to be used for current employees, only those who are new, or return to the company after being […]

Now That’s a Hallmark Moment

When you think of Hallmark, you often think of the word “giving.” In a recent case, though, Hallmark will be doing the getting: a repayment of a substantial severance package by a former executive who later used Hallmark’s trade secrets to compete against it. As the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeal explained in Hallmark Cards, […]

A Wait at the Gate

For all those employers (all none of you)  ready to race ahead and give notices to employees about health insurance exchanges, you are going to have to hold off for awhile. Despite the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) requirement that employers provide written notice (1) informing the employee of the existence of an Exchange, including a […]

Taxing Taxes

A former co-worker of mine, David Spence of the Royce Law Firm, was quoted in a Forbes blog today about Cutler v. Franchise Tax Board, where the California Second District Court of Appeal ruled as unconstitutional Cal. Rev. & Tax. Code § 18152.5 which allows sellers of small business stock (called “qualified small business stock” or “QSBS”) […]

Entrepreneurial Trap

Entrepreneurs in California sometimes want to organize their companies in other states, like Delaware or Nevada. They learn that companies can pay less in franchise fees in Nevada, or that Delaware is seen as the state for great corporations. There are good reasons to organize in those states, but for many companies operating in California, […]

When Being The Best Is Not Enough . . .

Dunkin’ Donuts has found the hard way that being the self-styled best isn’t good enough. The United States Patent & Trademark Office has refused to register its slogan “Best Coffee in America,” as being merely descriptive and not having a secondary meaning to consumers. Dunkin’s prime claim to trademark registration is that the slogan became distinctive over the […]

Sins of Wages

Both employers and employees need to review their wage statements for the new year, because California has amended Labor Code 226 to identify nine types of information that has to be on each wage statement: (1) gross wages earned, (2) total hours worked by the employee, except for any employee whose compensation is solely based on […]

More Online Services Fall Under the COPPA Cabana

Online content providers – including websites and apps – need to add something to their 2013 To-Do list. Beginning July 1st, the Federal Trade Commission’s new rules under the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) will apply covering more online services. While the new rules have been criticized as “a mess,” they still apply. Most […]

Limits on Civil Torture

It is easy to feel smug when we look back on our ancestors 1000 years ago. They had donkeys — we have 400 horsepower, 4 wheel drive vehicles. They had the Black Death — we have vaccines for all types of illness, even cancer. For a justice system, they had trial by ordeal — we […]


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