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California Statement of Information for LLCs and Corporations

Previously, I wrote about the Cost-Benefit Analysis that goes into form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in California. My guess is that way back in the day, forming an LLC — or any kind of legal entity for a business, for that matter — was really involved. Lawyers were needed to fill out and file all sorts of forms. As a result, this was something only the rich could afford. Things have changed. Nowadays, a simple Google search will lead you to several companies that will help you form an LLC or any other kind of entity in whatever state you choose in a few minutes for a small fee. Like with many things in life, this is a mixed bag. On the one hand, starting a business using an LLC is now easier and available to more people. On the other hand, though, more and more people are starting entities like LLCs for the first-time and making all sorts of mistakes. One of these mistakes is believing incorrectly that an LLC can represent itself. In 2020, I wrote this post about how any sort of corporation can only be represented in California by an attorney. In today’s post, I’m going to go over another common mistake that people forming LLCs and other entities in California for the first-time often make, namely the Statement of Information form. In the recent past, the California Secretary of State put out an actual PDF form called a Statement of Information. That form is gone and the info instead has to be submitted via the California Secretary of State’s website. Regardless, though, the...

California and New York Civil Discovery: Response Times

This is my second post on the topic of Civil Discovery in legal matters. In my first post, I went over the scope of civil discovery under California law, New York law, as well as Federal law. I’m sticking with that format in this post and the topic of Response Times. A Response Time is, as the name might imply, the time period within which the party who has received a request for evidence or information has to provide that evidence or information. Again, the precise time period that applies to your particular situation is going to depend very much on the law that applies to your case. As you’ll hopefully see below, it’s extremely dangerous to make assumptions when it comes to any sort of discovery. I’ll illustrate this using a common form of written discovery called a Request for Admission. California Under California state law, the Response Time for a Request for Admission is described in Section 2033.250 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, which states: “Within 30 days after service of requests for admission, the party to whom the requests are directed shall serve the original of the response to them on the requesting party, and a copy of the response on all other parties who have appeared, unless on motion of the requesting party the court has shortened the time for response, or unless on motion of the responding party the court has extended the time for response.” As the bolded and underlined part indicates, the Response Time is 30 days. Specifically, this is 30 calendar days. This is an extremely important distinction because...

Grounds for Divorce in New York versus California

In this post, I’m going to continue my comparison of how New York and California treat various topics. As with past posts, I’m hoping that you can see how laws differ between states in the US, but also have some similarities as well. The topic today is going to be the grounds or reasons upon which you can seek divorce in California versus New York. New York In my last post, I described the seven different grounds or reasons why you can seek a divorce in New York state. These are summarized in bullet point format below. The relevant statute is section 170 of New York’s Domestic Relations Law. Section 170 is quite long so I’m not going to quote it here verbatim. Please do refer to the precise text of section 170 if you need anything more than what I’m going to paraphrase below: Cruel and inhumane treatment by defendant such that it endangers plaintiff’s physical and mental well-being to remain in the marriage; Defendant abandons plaintiff for at least one year; Defendant is confined in prison for at least three years; Adultery; Spouses living apartment for at least a year pursuant to a judgment of legal separation; Spouses living apart for at least a year pursuant to a written separation agreement; or Spouses with a relationship that has irretrievably broken down for at least 6 months. California To contrast with New York, California’s grounds for divorce are much simpler. There are basically only two grounds: (1) irreconcilable differences, and (2) permanent legal incapacity to make decisions. If you’re looking at a California divorce petition, the grounds for...

California and New York Civil Discovery: Scope

In today’s post, I’m going to try and explain the concept of Discovery in civil cases and what the boundaries or scope of that discovery is. I’ll use some examples from California law as well as New York law and also some tidbits from federal law as well. Depending on the court that your case is in (for instance, California Superior Court versus US District Court), one set of rules and laws will apply, but not the other. Be forewarned, though, that the topic of civil discovery can get very, very, very complicated. Lots of specific requirements apply. It can absolutely get very frustrating. It’s similar to how taxes work and why, for instance, certain tax rules make no logical sense when compared to the real world. The vast majority of people, of course, just follow the rules when it comes to taxes and don’t bother worrying about why tax rules are the way they are. When it comes to discovery, in my opinion, a lot of these complexities are unnecessary and the whole discovery process could be made easier and more efficient without prejudice or harm to any litigant. However, it’s not up to me — at least not yet — and instead it depends on the whims and fancies of politicians and legislatures. It is what it is. Having said that, let me start with a basic definition of what “discovery” actually is: it’s the process in litigation where the various parties can seek or obtain evidence or facts that are relevant to the case. As the adage goes, each party puts all of their cards on...

Grounds for Divorce in New York (NY Domestic Relations Law section 170)

Previously, I blogged about the residency requirements one has to satisfy in order to file a divorce, separation, or annulment case in the state of New York. Today, I’m going to go over another requirement you have to satisfy when filing a divorce case in New York, namely the grounds or reasons for divorce. New York’s residency requirement is described in New York Domestic Relations Law section 230 and is termed a “residency requirements” because, in most states, the requirement generally relates to living in the state in some way. The grounds requirement, though, for divorce in New York relates more to what occurred between the couple and generally involves more complicated questions than just ‘Did the parties live in New York?’ The grounds requirement for divorce in New York is described in New York Domestic Relations Law section 170. There are seven possible grounds. The plaintiff is the spouse filing for divorce. As with a generic “residency requirement”, a plaintiff need only satisfy one of the seven, but each one of the seven may have several components that all need to be met before the ground itself can be invoked. As with my residency requirement post, I’ll indicate each of the components with a letter (e.g. (a), (b), etc). (a) The defendant spouse has treated the plaintiff spouse in a cruel and inhuman way such that (b) this treatment endangers the physical and mental well being of the plaintiff so much that it (c) makes it unsafe or improper for plaintiff to continue cohabiting with defendant; (a) The abandonment of the plaintiff by the defendant for a period...