This practice area includes legal services related to real property and property rights and interests. It also pertains to buying and selling real property, homeowner’s rights, landlords and rental property, and renters’ and tenants’ rights. This area of the law governs personal interests in property which can be manifested as rights of ownership, establishing property title, requirements in sales and transfers of property, and settlement of claims against property. Real estate law covers property development, agricultural concerns, zoning and property land use, real estate lending, and foreclosures.
Real estate law also includes interests in real property which are not physical, such as the right to future ownership, right to tenancy, the right to drill for oil and mineral rights, use of airspace or easements across another property belonging to another.
The attorneys at Carmel & Naccasha, LLP have extensive knowledge and experience with negotiating purchase and sale agreements and leases, handling real estate closings, drafting deeds, filing liens, as well as representing clients in disputes involving foreclosures, receiverships, real estate loans, boundary and title disputes, and zoning matters.
Our attorneys also posses expertise pertaining to real estate located in the Coastal Zone. Working with real estate in the Coastal Zone requires knowledge of the California Coastal Act, as well as the particular county’s Certified Local Coastal Program. Dealing with real property located in this specially designated area involves working alongside the California Coastal Commission, other agencies and coastal cities and counties.
Municipal law involves the laws and regulations relating to local public agencies, including cities, counties, community services districts, sanitation districts, road districts and other local government agencies. Municipal law includes the drafting, enforcing and interpretation of ordinances, resolutions, contracts, regulations, policies and procedures necessary for the day to day operations of a local public agency. These documents govern various local affairs, including but not limited to local taxes and fees, zoning, community development, water service delivery, sanitation services, police protection and the administrative needs of local departments.
Working with local public agency clients requires an understanding of complex federal, state and local laws and regulations. Representing local public agencies requires a thorough knowledge of the Ralph M. Brown Act, commonly referred to as the “Brown Act,” the Public Records Act, conflict of interest laws, land use laws such as California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), public contracting, and the laws governing public employees, to name a few.
Land use concerns the regulation of the manner in which governments use, develop and control the physical development of land. It regulates the kinds of uses allowed in connection with each individual property. These specific areas and regulations are frequently recognized as zoning regulations.
Zoning designates areas in which residential, industrial, recreational or commercial activities may take place. The need for and drafting of agreements that have a bearing on two or more properties is a very common land use issue. Documents commonly used in conjunction with land use law include easements, well sharing agreements, land use agreements, offers to dedicate and grant, transfer or quitclaim deeds.
Business/commercial litigation relates to the entire process of filing or defending against a lawsuit, including discovery and law and motion practice, trials, judgments, and awards of damages. It also pertains to settlement between the parties before or after a lawsuit is filed by alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods including mediation or arbitration.
This area of expertise entails defending insurers against allegations by an insured after denial of a claim. An attorney who specializes in insurance defense law may also assist in interpreting coverage language.
Insurance coverage relates to the review and analysis of insurance policies and how they may or may not cover certain business and/or personal claims for a defense and/or indemnity. It may pertain to a reservation of rights letter that an insurer needs drafted or that a policy holder may receive after making a claim under a particular type of policy. It may take the form of a denial of coverage. It also may arise in the context of coverage litigation involving whether a certain policy or policy provision affords or precludes insurance coverage.
Corporate law includes how businesses, of any nature, are organized, maintained and operated. This practice area may involve companies, corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), limited liability partnerships (LLPs), and partnerships of all sizes and ownership methods. Business transactions, contracts and intellectual property law also may fall under this category.
Trusts and estates law involves the management of personal affairs and the disposition of real and personal property of an individual in anticipation of the person's incapacity or death. This area of practice is also used to fulfill the wishes of philanthropic bequests or gifts through the creation and supervision of charitable trusts. Estate planning as well as other issues that may face the elderly or incapacitated such as home care, long terms care and social security and disability benefits may fall under this area of the law as well.
In broad terms, a trust is a right in real or personal property which is held in a fiduciary relationship by one party for the benefit of another. the trustee is the one who holds title to the trust property, and the beneficiary is the person who received the benefits of the trust.
Trust litigation may be necessary in order to protect a beneficiary’s rights under a trust. While the word litigation often inspires certain unfavorable reactions, this does not always have to be the case.
In connection with trusts, litigation can be as simple as requiring the trustee to provide you with a copy of the trust or an accounting of the trust assets. Litigation is a tool that may be used to clarify the meaning of a trust and assist in assuring that the wishes of the trustor are carried out.
Tax law includes comprehensive tax planning associated with all types of business transactions including planning issues associated with formation/organization/incorporation, partner/member/shareholder transactions, dissolution and liquidation of an entity and, of course, estate, trust and generation skipping tax planning. It also encompasses representation of taxpayers, both individuals and businesses, at all levels of IRS assessment and collection activities.
Automobile law deals with automobile dealership and automobile repair facility compliance with the various rules and regulations unique to the automobile industry, including the Automobile Finance Act, the Automotive Repair Act and DMV regulations. In addition, automobile law covers typical contractual, tort and employment issues that automobile dealerships often encounter.
Product liability is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public could be held responsible for the injuries that those products cause. Product liability as an area of law is traditionally limited to products in the form of tangible personal property.
Legal practice in this area includes advising clients who place products in “the stream of commerce” on methods to reduce their risk of liability, and defending these clients in lawsuits that are brought against them in connection with those products.
Admiralty concerns activities which occur at sea and the waters of the United States, including all parts of rivers and lakes that are deemed to be “navigable”. When injuries, casualties, or property damage occur in these areas specialized procedures and rules may be applied in Federal District court or state courts to resolve the matter. Cases involving Admiralty Law range from the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster to a house boat carbon monoxide death or injury on Lake Powell.
Admiralty Law is an amalgamation of Federal Law, International Laws and Treaties with centuries of interpretive case law. An example is The Death on the High Seas Act which limits potential claimants and the damages they may recover and requires a decedent’s representative to maintain a suit for damages, in admiralty. Another example is the Jones Act which provides specific rights and remedies to seamen and other persons working on the high seas. Some of the casualties aboard the Deep Water Horizon oil rig would be covered by this Act.
Maritime law also provides special procedures for parties to apportion responsibility for damage to vessels and/or cargo, for vessel owners to limit their liability for the acts of a lessee’s crew, and any other dispute related to traditional commercial maritime activity.
Wine law includes corporate, regulatory and land use legal services provided to wineries and hospitality industries. It can involve drafting or negotiation of a vineyard Lease or grape contract, production or storage contract and retail or wholesale purchase agreements, dealing with interstate or intrastate shipping hurdles or ironing out or memorializing relationships with distributors. It also could entail compliance or tax issues that may arise from time to time.
Carmel & Naccasha, LLP advises both public and private sector employers regarding compliance with the myriad of federal and state labor and employments laws, including the areas of wage and hour law, employment termination, harassment and discrimination, employee leave, privacy issues, disability compliance, reasonable accommodation, employer handbooks and other related issues. We also represent employers before administrative law agencies and in litigation in state and federal courts.