Governor Extends Escrow Agent Rating Service Protections

As a result of the efforts of the California Escrow Association, the Legislature passed Civil Code § 1785.28 in 2013, which applied the protections in the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act to escrow agents who were being asked to submit to vetting by independent companies. The law had a rather short

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The Accidental HOLIDAY

In 1869, American Poet John Godfrey Saxe wrote in the Daily Cleveland Herald that, “Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as how we know they are made.” This oft-repeated quote came to mind recently in California. For years, the Governor had proclaimed the fourth Friday in September

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Yours, Mine or Ours Redux

Last year, we looked at what it takes to change separate property to community property and vice versa, called transmutation. While married, Dawnel and Frank Bovino bought a home in Westlake Village with a down payment that was Frank’s separate property and the proceeds of a loan taken out in

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The Separation of Church Estate: Who Gets the Property?

Ask anyone what the Constitution says about religion, and chances are they will mention “the separation of church and state.” Most would be surprised to learn that the phrase nowhere appears in the Constitution. What’s more, there are times when the state has to become involved in the affairs of

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Pokémon Stop! As the Popular Game Grows, So Do Law Suits and Cyber Threats

It’s no secret that Pokémon GO has taken the world by storm. Just a few weeks after the launch of the latest version of the game, one designed to be played using iPhone and Android smartphones, authorities in New York City reported that there were 400,000 more people in Central

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Closing the Deal: Is America Celebrating the Wrong Independence Day?

We grow up in America celebrating July 4 as our Independence Day. History suggests, however, that this may be the wrong day. The Continental Congress had been considering declaring independence from England for a considerable time. After a five-person committee formed to draft the Declaration presented Thomas Jefferson’s draft to

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Who Are You Dealing With On Craigslist?

Douglas Costello, a Massachusetts resident, learned the hard way that the ease and convenience provided by Craigslist can come at a hefty cost when he was dragged into court in Indiana. In 2009, Costello sold a used printer on Craigslist to Gersh Zavodnik for about $40. Unfortunately for Costello, Zavodnik

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Intentional Info Dump Costs Online Real Estate Company $130 Million

During his presentations on Electronically Stored Information (ESI), Steven Garcia of GARCIA LEGAL, A Professional Corporation, always warns of the importance of having and following a written retention policy for all ESI. In fact, he has prepared policies for several clients working in conjunction with their IT professionals. Steve also

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Do You Actually Control Your Property?

Sometimes the historic activity on property from prior owners can have drastic implications on a current owner’s rights. In 2008, a billionaire investor from Silicon Valley paid $32.5 million for a large property on the Central California coast. Across the property is a road which provides the sole access to

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GARCIA LEGAL Scores Victory in Real Estate Fraud Case

GARCIA LEGAL scored a significant trial victory recently on behalf of a pair of clients—two limited liability companies controlled by a local doctor—that lost several hundred thousand dollars at the hands of an unscrupulous real estate agent. The trial court found that the doctor was duped into trusting the California

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