Monthly Archives: June 2014


How To Prepare For The Initial Consultation With Your Attorney

Prepare for the Initial Consultation If you are dealing with a legal matter and have taken the initial step to schedule a consultation with an attorney, you’re off to a great start. Hiring an attorney as early on in your case is essential to getting the best representation you can. Meeting with an attorney as soon as possible not only ensures that deadlines aren’t missed, but it also gives your attorney more time to understand the issues and help you reach the best possible resolution. When you’re meeting with your attorney for the first time, it’s important to come prepared. The better prepared you (the client) are for the initial consultation, the better able your attorney will be able to answer your questions and dive right into your matter. Having everything ready from the outset can also save you money, as it will take your attorney less time to work on your case. This is especially true when your attorney is billing by the hour. Below are a few things to remember that will help you get the most out of your initial consultation with your attorney. Gather and organize all relevant documents. Spend some time collecting all the documents related to your legal matter and organize them in a way that makes sense. When collecting documents, it’s better to include too much than too little; your attorney will be better able to decide what is and isn’t important. You should also make copies of these documents before your meeting, so you have a copy ready to give to your attorney. Note: some [...]

Noncompete Clauses in California

Non-compete (noncompete) clauses are becoming more and more commonplace in all sorts of jobs today. Traditionally, noncompete clauses were expected in high technology jobs, sales positions, and corporations with valuable secrets; however, in recent years, noncompete clauses have began popping up in other types of jobs, including: event planners, chefs, investment managers, and even yoga instructors. With the proliferation of noncompete clauses, often a non-negotiable condition of employment, the New York Times even ran an article recently that highlights some of the unexpected jobs where noncompete clauses are popping up. From the employers perspective, these restrictive covenants are seen as essential to protect their business secrets and make sure their high ranking employees from leaving to become competitors. Unfortunately, many employees often don't think twice about agreeing to a noncompete clause because they either haven't had any experience with them before, or don't imagine a situation where it would be a concern. Also, in today's job environment, many employees are simply happy to get a job and don't want to rock the boat before the offer is finalized. Whether a noncompete clause is enforceable is a matter of state law. Just because there is a noncompete clause in your employment contract doesn't mean that you can sue or be sued for breach. While every state is different, California law strongly disfavors noncompete clauses. Courts disfavor these restrictive covenants and see them as an unfair restraint on competition. While the blanket rule in California is that a noncompete clause is not enforceable, there are a few expectations where courts have held that a noncompete clause will be enforceable. This is often true even [...]

How To Write An Effective Demand Letter

Make sure your demand gets the attention it deserves. I love a carefully drafted demand letter. They are a great way to put the opposing party on notice that you are pursuing a claim against them, and are a low risk/low cost way to potentially resolve complex issues before having to file a formal action with the courts. That said, not all demand letters are created equally. Where a well-written demand letter can help both sides move on with their lives, a poorly written demand letter can cause unnecessary conflict that costs both parties time and money. If you are pursuing a claim against an individual or business and are considering opening with a demand letter, I've put together a couple helpful pointers below to ensure that your demand letter is effective as it can be. Of course, I am also available to help you craft an effective demand letter. Whether you need a new demand letter written from scratch or seek comments/edits on a letter you already drafted yourself, contact me today to learn how  St. Romain Law can help you. Demand Letter Tips Address a specific individual. Do not address your demand letter to "Dear Sir/Madam" or "To Whom It May Concern." It may take a little extra research to determine who is the appropriate person to send the letter to (usually the Registered Agent on file with the Secretary of State if you're sending your letter to a business entity), but it is a critical detail that cannot be overlooked. Unless your demands are directed to a specific individual with authority to act on the letter, it's unreasonable to [...]