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b2ap3_thumbnail_fathersday.jpgThis Father’s Day, I’d like to honor fathers by providing them with some important tips to protect their rights in a family law system that can often feel stacked against them. A few pieces of guidance:

• Don’t be overly generous immediately post-separation. The U.S. family law system is designed to compare your income and time with your kids to that of your ex-spouse. When your ex-spouse requests child and spousal support, he or she will be ordered an amount that is fair, and – unless you are very wealthy – this amount may seem difficult to bear. It may appear harsh in the moment, but if you prematurely dish out money for the rent or other necessary expenses, as many fathers often do before consulting an attorney, it can be difficult and time consuming to receive credit for that money later. It is better to allow your ex-spouse to borrow from someone else who is not bound by California family law, and let the court adjudicate your support later.

• Don’t sit on your rights. If you think the family court is wronging you, contact an attorney immediately. Some orders, such as child support, frequently cannot be changed before the date you file your request. For example, if you are paying support based off a higher income that you had in the past, the court will modify it downward. However, in many cases the downward modification will only go backwards in time to the date you file your request, not to the date that your income actually changed, so quick action is important.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_naril-gorsuch-nomination.jpgThose of us who practice law for a living are often frustrated with the media coverage on legal issues. It is not difficult to talk to legal experts for an opinion, yet few outlets do this and even fewer give these experts front and center stage to direct readers.

The Neil Gorsuch nomination epitomizes this problem. If you google “Neil Gorsuch on the issues” you’ll find a lot of journalists focused on all the same wedge issues, such as abortion, gun rights and birth control that journalists typically love to focus on when covering politics. What they don’t understand, is that the courts are not politics and you can’t cover law like politics. Here, I’d like to cover what’s more important: how he plans to shape the structure, function and operation of the United States government itself.

Much of the battle in this area centers on administrative law: the rarely discussed body of law which governs executive agencies. In the post-“New Deal” era, the Courts have strongly shifted power from the Congress and the Courts to the executive branch. Separation of powers focused conservative justices, such as Gorsuch seek to shift some of that power back to the other branches.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_new-law-ahead-2017_20170104-011928_1.jpgBeginning January 1st, California will be implementing a number of new laws—in fact, Governor Jerry Brown signed 898 bills this year. These new laws may affect you as an employee, a business owner, a gun owner, or in many other ways. Here are a few of the new laws taking effect this year, and what they mean for you.

Minimum Wage, Equal Pay, and Parental Leave

The statewide minimum wage goes from $10 to $10.50 an hour for businesses with 26 or more employees—a rate that will rise to $15 by 2022. Under another law, Assembly Bill 1676, an employer can’t pay a woman less than her male colleagues because of her prior salary. Assembly Bill 2393 gives up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave to all K-12 and community college employees, including classified workers and community college faculty.

Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite!

Landlords will be prohibited from showing, renting or leasing a vacant unit that they know has a bedbug infestation. This will give tenants more protection from landlords who knowingly rent out apartments that could be considered uninhabitable. Here at The Mlnarik Law Group, we’ve handled a number of rental and habitability issues on behalf of tenants. If you are a tenant seeking relief, or a landlord who wants to ensure that you’re complying with current law, please give us a call!

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When Shots Ring Out

By John L. Mlnarik

The Mlnarik Law Group,

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Seal_of_The_Senate_Of_The_State_Of_California.jpgSenator Bob Wieckowski has introduced a bill in the California State Senate that provides significant improvements to our current exemptions including:

  • Increasing the homestead to $300,000 for all individuals
  • Removing the 6 month reinvestment requirement
  • Increasing the exemption for vehicles to $6000
  • Establishing that bankruptcy alone is not an event of default
  • Creating a grubstake of $5000 for self-employed individuals, etc.

We need you to contact your state senator this week to voice strong support for this bill! Here are the easy steps you can take to show your support:

  1. Visit http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/ and enter your home address to determine who your CA state senator is.
  2. Using our template letter of support below, “CA AB 308 Attorney Letter of Support,” address your letter to your senator and fill in the fields in red.
  3. Submit your letter via email or fax. To fax, please refer to the fax number listed in your state senator’s website.
  4. To email your letter – which we recommend – please refer to the chart below for your senator’s Chief of Staff. Email your letter to this individual by using this email address format: Firstname.Lastname@sen.ca.gov
  5. Please also email a copy of your letter to Julie Seger at jseger@hastingsgroup.com so we can track which senators have been contacted and by whom.
  6. If you have any questions or difficulties with identifying your senator or sending your letter to their office, please contact Julie at jseger@hastingsgroup.com and she will be happy to assist you.

Thank you for your support! -TMLG

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We are honored to share that our founding attorney, John Mlnarik, was installed last week as President of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, which represents approximately 3,400 attorneys in Santa Clara County. 

Congratulations to John as well as the other SCCBA officers! -TMLG

 

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[caption id="attachment_515" align="alignright" width="175"]b2ap3_thumbnail_250px-Oakland_Athletics_logo.svg_.png Oakland Athletics[/caption] The Mlnarik Law Group is giving away 2 tickets to an Oakland A’s game this season! To enter our raffle, interact with us on social media between now and April 30th for your chance to win. Interactions will be worth one to three raffle entries. See below for full contest details:

Facebook:

  • Share our Facebook page, one of our events or posts on your timeline (1)
  • Check-in at our office on Facebook or at our Shred Fest event (2)
  • Post a comment or picture on our Facebook page from Shred Fest (2)
  • Rate us on Facebook (3)
  • Like our Facebook page (3)

Twitter:

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Happy Thanksgiving!  We hope all our readers are having a wonderful holiday and have many, many blessings to count!b2ap3_thumbnail_Happy-Thanksgiving1-300x199.jpg 

Along with one's family and one's health, people are perhaps most thankful for having a roof over their head.

Unfortunately, in recent years that happiness has turned to anxiety for many homeowners.  Having had no choice but to purchase at a wildly inflated price during the housing bubble, nowadays it seems like just about everybody is "underwater" in their mortgage.  Then, when bad fortune strikes, a few missed payments leads to foreclosure -- and the house can't be sold for anything near the amount of debt attached to it.  Basically, that leaves no option but bankruptcy.

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Lorrie Wilson is our firm’s receptionist and office assistant.  She provides the following:  “In memory of my Uncle Forrest Ramos of the 101st Airborne Division, I would like to give my deepest heartfelt gratitude for not only his choosing to enlist and fight for this great country of ours but sadly, as fate took its course, sacrificing his life.  He will always be in my heart and memory.“  Forrest Ramos served in Vietnam.

b2ap3_thumbnail_41156_1590924862366_1513201803_1493539_2332809_n.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_John-Js-Brick-at-Santa-Clara-Veterans-Memorial-1.0-150x150.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_renderCAECFM2G-150x150.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_U-Forrest-in-Camp-Bear-Cat-Vietnam-1967-150x150.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_Uncle-Forrests-info-150x150.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_uncle-forrest-with-unit-150x150.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_renderCAVQ4NQ3-150x150.jpg

James Steinle is an attorney in our firm. He reports: “Frank William Steinle Sr. was an attorney practicing law in the State of Texas when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. After the attack he volunteered for the U.S. Navy at the age of 38. He was assigned to the Pacific Fleet as a Seaman 3rd Class, serving aboard the USS Henrico as a gunner on the 5-inch 38-caliber anti-aircraft gun. For invasions, he went ashore with the 2nd wave to establish ship-to-shore communications. He did this for 4 invasions and was awarded 4 battle stars (Leyte, Guam, Tinian, & Saipan). The Henrico was also in the reserve fleet that came after the invasions of Guadalcanal and Okinawa. At Guadalcanal, when the Japanese counter-attacked and times were really intense, the Navy supplied people they could spare. He was sent ashore, handed a rifle and participated in patrols hunting for snipers. During the battle for Okinawa, his ship was hit by a Kamikaze and severely damaged. Frank W. Steinle Sr. survived the war and returned to his legal practice in Texas at the war's conclusion.”

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b2ap3_thumbnail_MootHallSundial-150x150.jpgMy favorite holiday is here again: the weekend when Daylight Saving Time returns and, suddenly, the sun is up an extra hour every evening.

What?  It's NOT a holiday?  Well, as far as I'm concerned it is.  After the dreariness of winter's long nights (peaking on December 5th, when the sun sets the earliest by our clocks, though if you use a sundial it's December 21st), the gradual increase in the day's length isn't fast enough for me.  I truly celebrate the day when, as if by magic, it's still light out an hour later than it was the day before.

This "holiday" is so cheerful that even its mnemonic device is optimistic!  "Spring Forward -- Don't Fall Back."  Who could disagree with THAT?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Year-of-the-Dragon-300x148.jpg To help you find fortune in the New Year, several customs and traditions are to be followed. Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese calendar.

A must-have in every Chinese household during Chinese New Year is a plate of nian gao (new year cake).  It symbolizes continuous prosperity in the new year.  But nian gao is only one of many New Year desserts.  A personal favorite of mine are sesame balls, which come in all sizes and whose filling may be sweet or savory.  These delicious treats resemble gold nuggets, so naturally they symbolize money and wealth.

I loved celebrating Chinese New Year as a child, not only because of the good food but also because it was lucrative!  It is a long-standing tradition that married adults give hong bao ("lucky money") to children and unmarried people to wish them good luck in the New Year.  What other holiday allows a child to make a whopping $200 in a matter of hours? b2ap3_thumbnail_Lai-See-Red-Envelopes-150x150.jpg 

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Continuing its outreach to the Bay Area business community, the Mlnarik Law Group, LLC will be one of only eight Santa Clara exhibitors at this year's S-3 Tri-Chamber Mixer & Mini Expo.  Held from 5:30 to 7:30pm, January 19, 2012, at the Doubletree by Hilton San Jose, the Mixer/Mini Expo is the joint effort of the San Jose Silicon Valley, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale Chambers of Commerce.

Hundreds of Chamber members will be on hand to make new business connections b2ap3_thumbnail_S3-Tri-Chamber-Mixer-Set-Up-300x224.jpgand strengthen old ties, and the Mlnarik Law Group will be prominently featured in their midst.  At last year's event our fellow exhibitors included everything from a graphic design firm to a "troubleshooting" business consultant to a candy company run by local entrepreneurs.  The Mlnarik Law Group was on hand offering its legal expertise in all matters of corporate governance, including business formation, development, and maintenance.  How to decide between being an LLC, S-Corp, LLP, GP, or Sole Proprietorship?  What should you (or shouldn't you) include in the employee handbook?  When is it necessary to use NDAs or "non-competes"?  What will be your web agreements and privacy policies?  Our attorneys cover all that and much more, and the Chambers of three Bay Area cities are getting to know us better with each new year.

However, the Mlnarik Law Group, LLC is much more than a business boutique.  As "A neighborhood law firm committed to your success"TM our work reaches into the areas of real estate, estate planning, family law, employment law, bankruptcy and fair treatment of debtors, not to mention general litigation on a case-by-case basis.  But why read about it here?  Come on down to the Tri-Chamber Mixer and Mini Expo and we'll tell you all about it! Jim Erickson, Associate

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Holiday-Money-Saving-Tips-150x150.jpgThis holiday season do yourself a favor and focus on what matters most.  Time with family far away from the crowds at Costco are what I enjoy.  Sure you can buy your Christmas cookies but why not spend time with the kids baking them instead!

Tip #1: Cook for yourself- Eating out is expensive and with the average price of eating at a restaurant at $55, you can feast at home and have leftovers the next day.

Tip #2: Shop the thrift and consignment stores- When our daughter recently turned four, we bought her birthday gifts from the dollar store.  She was happy as could be and told us that it was her best birthday ever! There are great deals at Goodwill and if you haven’t been in one lately you should check it out.  Many merchandise are lightlyused and as good as new.

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Giving thanks is more difficult than it has been in years for so many Americans.  As banks foreclose the economic crisis hits home and has become about more than money.  Families overextended themselves when professionals told them they would fall behind if they didn’t BUY NOW.  Students, young and old took out mountains of loans when shown statistics of graduates obtaining high paying jobs upon graduation.   Insight into the phrase “Buyer beware” is at an all-time high as consumer confidence hits record lows.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_John.jpg

 

John Mlnarik at his post in the office[/caption] Welcome and thank you for pointing your browser in our direction. On our website in our videos and through this blog we hope to demystify practice areas and topics all too familiar to us. Unlike the posted speed limit the law is not open and obvious to you. But it affects your daily life all the same. Follow us as we begin a journey that will provide general information and is sure to be educational, informative and perhaps even interesting. I look forward to your insights, questions and what I hope will begin a discussion on topics that will help you move out of your problems of today and on to the success of tomorrow!

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