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covid-court-300x200In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State and Federal Court in California have become severely backlogged. For months, the courts were closed entirely, hearing only the most urgent cases (such as domestic violence, restraining orders and other protective order type cases). The courts have slowly expanded operations and started hearing other non-urgent matters by video conference. Unfortunately, jury tirals are still on hold and these limited operations have not begun to make a significant dent in the major backlog of cases to be heard. There is a reported backlog of over a thousand criminal trials in California courts. Criminal defendants have the right to a speedy trial, so these cases must generally be given priority over civil matters.

California Statutes That Create Civil Trial Preferences

Without any relief, the current backlog means that it could be months or even years before a civil case is scheduled for trial on a normal court docket. That being said, the California Code of Civil Procedure does create specific categories that allow a civil case to be given preference in trial scheduling. An experienced civil litigator can explain which, if any, of the following circumstances apply to an individual’s case:

AdobeStock_359775405-300x200Tenants across America have faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the eviction moratoriums have focused on residential leases, in order to keep Californians home and healthy during these dangerous times. Small business owners have also been granted some eviction protections. Regardless of your business size, you might be surprised to learn just how much leverage you have in your commercial lease. Below are three critical strategies that can help your business try to remain financially healthy during and in the wake of the coronavirus.

Renew Your Current Lease

Businesses that are on relatively strong financial footing, and whose leases are expiring in the next six to eighteen months, may find themselves with greater leverage to negotiate renewal terms. Landlords are hesitant to lease to new tenants (who they may not be able to evict). With the U.S. economy is in downturn and the economic future uncertain, landlords are also worried about their future rental prospects. In such conditions, commercial tenants who have remained in good financial health and standing with their current landlord will be well-positioned to negotiate lease renewals with favorable terms.

AdobeStock_332772649-300x200In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) has agreed to disburse Emergency Economic Injury Grants of up to $10,000 to companies experiencing financial struggles.  Small business owners that apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan are eligible to receive the grants, which do not need to be repaid.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that provide crucial economic support to businesses dealing with loss of revenue due to COVID-19.

Companies that apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan will be provided immediate economic relief by the $10,000 economic injury grant.  Sole proprietors, landlords, vendors and self-employed contractors are all considered small businesses eligible to apply for the disaster loan.

AdobeStock_292580187-e1576014509781-300x183A partnership is like a marriage. It takes effective communication to meet mutual goals. You can avoid many partnership disputes by creating a clear operating agreement before the partnership starts doing business. The experienced San Jose business attorneys at Structure Law Group can help you avoid unnecessary partnership disputes. By executing a clear, binding, and specific partnership agreement, you can save time and expense that ultimately hurts your business. Call (408) 441-7500 to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled San Jose business lawyers. We have helped many Northern California businesses create effective operating agreements.

How to Create an Effective Operating Agreement

There are several important steps to follow in order to create an agreement that will effectively resolve disputes in future business transactions:

partnerships-vs-llcs-300x200When starting a new business, it is important to know what type of business entity will best protect you and your investors. The wrong entity selection could expose your business to unnecessary legal liability and tax liability. Let an experienced business formation attorney advise you on the best way to protect your new business. Call Structure Law Group at (408) 441-7500. Our experienced Silicon Valley business lawyers can help you mitigate your liability and risks to keep your new business profitable.

What to Consider When Deciding Between a Partnership and an LLC

There are many factors that can affect your choice of business entity. Here are just a few of the many important things to consider:

debt-collecting-300x201Effective business owners know that all assets and liabilities must be properly managed. Debts owed to a business are assets, and if these debts are not repaid, the asset is mismanaged. A business debt collection attorney can help your business realize the full value of your debt assets. Call Structure Law Group at (408) 441-7500. Our experienced Silicon Valley business lawyers can help your business explore all options for collecting debt and execute the strategies that are right for you.

Debt Recovery Strategies

Experian recently released a list of their recommended debt collection strategies. They include:

AdobeStock_274449599-300x199Launching a startup is an exciting time for entrepreneurs. There are many people involved in many processes that could make or break your business. During this time, your intellectual property (IP) can be exposed to many different people and businesses. It is important to protect it from theft and unlicensed usage. At Structure Law Group, our experienced Silicon Valley startup attorneys know how to protect your legal interests in IP at all stages of business formation. Call 408-441-7500 to schedule your consultation with a lawyer.

The Reasons Entrepreneurs Don’t Protect Their Intellectual Property

Forbes recently reported on some of the most common reasons entrepreneurs fail to protect their property:

AdobeStock_279822215-1024x683LLCs are a popular business entity that can provide comprehensive legal protection. Unfortunately, business owners who do not properly form or operate their LLCs can still be personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the business. Call Structure Law Group at 408-441-7500 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. We have helped many business owners throughout California protect their assets and rights through solution-oriented counsel and representation.

What is an LLC?

A limited liability company (LLC) is a type of business entity. When formed and operated properly, an LLC can protect business owners from liability, and shield their assets from being used to satisfy the debts of the business. This is because the LLC is a separate legal being from the individuals who own it. As a result, creditors can only access assets in the LLC’s name to satisfy the debts of the LLC. The owner’s personal assets are not available to business creditors.

Employee-Stock-Ownership-Plan-300x200The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reports that many companies are using stock options as a way to attract and retain employees in the booming California business market. Employees granted stock options can profit by purchasing shares at a set exercise price and trading them at a higher price. Stock option incentives not only make employees more involved in your company but also provide an incentive for employees to help your Palo Alto business succeed. The better your business, the better your employees’ eventual payout.

The experienced Palo Alto business plan and stock option attorneys at Structure Law Group can use their expertise to review your stock option plan. We can analyze market trends and help you choose the best exercise price for your goals while protecting your legal interests. To schedule your stock option consultation, call our Palo Alto, California business attorneys today at 408-441-7500 or contact us online.

California Stock Option Law

In late 2018, CarrierEQ Inc. (Airfox) and Paragon Coin, Inc. were investigated and ordered by the SEC to make refunds available to their investors – in sum, the SEC’s order meant that Airfox may have to refund nearly 15 million dollars while Paragon would have to potentially refund 12 million dollars. These SEC reports highlight the importance of hiring an experienced blockchain attorney in this emerging field of law. From drafting your Articles of Organization to structuring your initial coin offering (ICO) or security token offering (STO), protecting the cryptocurrency of your clients with an experienced Silicon Valley blockchain attorney at Structure Law Group, LLP is essential.

Understanding Security Token Offerings (STO) & Blockchain Technology 

Unlike well-known digital currencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, STO’s are security token offerings that allow companies to sell digital tokens to accredited investors prior to the digital tokens having any technical functionality.  This means STOs are often governed by federal security laws and must be registered with the SEC or find a proper exemption from registration. STOs are designed to function as traditional securities but are offered, sometimes in fractions, through blockchain transactions. Blockchain technology offers many benefits, including:

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