Farella Braun + Martel LLP

Revisiting Estate Planning Post-DOMA

The Supreme Court issued decisions in two landmark cases involving same-sex marriage on June 26, 2013. In United States v. Windsor, the Court held Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional, which…more

DOMA, ERISA, Estate Planning, Estate Tax, Marriage

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Court Of Appeal Upholds “Safe Harbor” Exemption From Prop 65 Warnings For Lead In Fruit Products

In a much anticipated decision, a California Court of Appeal has upheld a trial court ruling for the defense, finding that trace levels of lead in packaged fruits, vegetables and fruit juice products require no Proposition 65…more

Exemptions, Food Labeling, Food Manufacturers, Food Safety, Lead

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Developing Renewable Energy Projects on Brownfields: Mitigating Enivronmental Risks & Liabilities

“Greenfield” utility-scale renewable energy projects have generated both considerable praise and criticism. Government agencies and the public generally applaud efforts to generate renewable energy, while at the same time,…more

Brownfield Properties, Renewable Energy, Utilities Sector

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California Supreme Court Strengthens CEQA’s Categorical Exemptions

The California Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited decision in Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley, a case with important implications for developers and public agencies on a wide variety of projects. The…more

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California Supreme Court Upholds Validity of Inclusionary Housing Ordinances

On June 15, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, No. S212072, unanimously upholding the validity of inclusionary housing programs in California…more

Affordable Housing, CA Supreme Court, California Building Industry Association (CBIA), Fifth Amendment, Inclusionary Housing Ordinance

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Williamson Decision Will Encourage Patent Defendants to Challenge Software Claims

In Williamson v. Citrix Online, announced on June 16, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in a partially en banc opinion that claims expressed in terms of functionality can be subject to statutory requirements for…more

Appeals, Covered Business Method Proceedings, En Banc Review, Functionality, Inter Partes Review Proceedings

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Employers May Require Exempt Employees to Use Accrued Leave for Absences Shorter Than Half a Day

On July 21, 2014, a California Court of Appeal held that overtime exempt status is not undermined by requiring employees to use accrued leave for absences of less than half a day…more

Appeals, Employer Liability Issues, Exempt-Employees, Paid Leave, Unpaid Leave

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Major League Baseball Is Exempt From The Antitrust Laws – Like It Or Not: The “Unrealistic,” “Inconsistent,” And “Illogical” Antitrust Exemption For Baseball That Just Won’t Go Away.

The Athletics baseball team has been located in Oakland, California for many years. Several years ago, the A’s decided they would like to move their franchise to San Jose, which they anticipate would be a more profitable…more

Antitrust Provisions, Antitrust Violations, Baseball, Exemptions, MLB

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Independent “Cumis” Counsel Now Face Direct Claims for Reimbursement From Insurers

On April 30, 2015, we blogged about Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, LLC, Case No. S211645, then set for oral argument in the California Supreme Court. [see the prior post: California’s “Independent” Cumis…more

Breach of Duty, Cumis Counsel, Duty to Defend, Fee Disputes, Insurance Litigation

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Williamson Decision Will Encourage Patent Defendants to Challenge Software Claims

In Williamson v. Citrix Online, announced on June 16, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in a partially en banc opinion that claims expressed in terms of functionality can be subject to statutory requirements for…more

Appeals, Covered Business Method Proceedings, En Banc Review, Functionality, Inter Partes Review Proceedings

See All Updates »

California Liberalizes Mandatory Sick Leave Law

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation immediately amending the California Sick Leave Law, clarifying some provisions which had caused confusion and heartburn for employers. The changes are as follows..…more

Earned Sick Time, Governor Brown, Paid Leave, Paid Sick Leave Act, PTO

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San Francisco Takes Steps to Rationalize the CEQA Process

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ADOPTS NEW CEQA APPEAL PROCEDURES - After nearly a year of effort (and after three previous unsuccessful tries by others), San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener crafted a California Environmental…more

CEQA, Environmental Claims, Environmental Policies, Environmental Review, Local Ordinance

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Prop 65 Amendment Would Limit Frivolous Claims and “Overwarning”

Legislation was introduced in the California Assembly last week to provide much-needed relief from frivolous Proposition 65 claims and avoid “over-warning” the public where scientific evidence shows that products or premises…more

Chemicals, Proposed Amendments, Proposition 65, Warning Labels

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Superstorm Sandy: Financial Loss May Be Covered Even Without Property Damage

We hope your business did not sustain any direct property damage. Even if that’s the case, do not fail to consider that you may have insurance coverage for financial losses caused by the storm…more

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Kaiser Opinion May Affect Ability to Stack Policies issued by Single Carrier

Policyholders should continue to assert that limits can be stacked in situations where there is continuing damage, despite the California Court of Appeals’ latest decision in Kaiser Cement & Gypsum Corp. v. Insurance Company of…more

Anti-Stacking Provisions, Asbestos, Asbestos Litigation, Bodily Injury, Liability

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Congress Enacts New Tax Provisions That Provide Cost Savings to Taxpayers (But Don’t Plan a Shopping Spree)

Congress has been promising an overhaul of the tax code for the past couple of years, with virtually no progress. However last month, Congress managed to pass new tax legislation. On July 31, 2015 President Obama signed into…more

Excise Tax, Filing Deadlines, Filing Requirements, Fuel Tax, Non-Profits

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California’s “Independent” Cumis Counsel Regime Faces A Novel Challenge

On May 5, the California Supreme Court will hear argument in a case that has the potential to profoundly change the relationship between the insurer, its insured and the insured’s independent defense counsel under Civil Code…more

Breach of Duty, Commercial Insurance Policies, Cumis Counsel, Duty to Defend, Hartford Insurance Company

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Revisiting Estate Planning Post-DOMA

The Supreme Court issued decisions in two landmark cases involving same-sex marriage on June 26, 2013. In United States v. Windsor, the Court held Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional, which…more

DOMA, ERISA, Estate Planning, Estate Tax, Marriage

See All Updates »

California Supreme Court: Insureds May Freely Transfer Insurance Rights

In 2003, the California Supreme Court ruled that a company’s contractual transfer of insurance rights to a subsequent purchaser was invalid, as it violated the policy condition against assignments without insurer consent…more

Asset Purchaser, Assignments, CA Supreme Court, Commercial Insurance Policies, Fluor

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EPA Issues Final Rule Clarifying CERCLA’s “All Appropriate Inquiry” Standard

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has at long last issued a Final Rule which provides clarification to prospective purchasers of contaminated property regarding the standards and practices that are to be used for…more

CERCLA, Contaminated Properties, Environmental Site Assessment, EPA, Final Rules

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Second Circuit Confirms HathiTrust Digital Library's Full-Text Search Constitutes Fair Use in Copyright Case

Last week, the Second Circuit issued its decision in the closely watched Authors Guild, Inc. et al. v. HathiTrust et al. copyright infringement case. At issue was whether the use of copyrighted material in the HathiTrust…more

Authors Guild, Books, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Fair Use

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Insurance for Emerging Companies: Understanding the Insurance You Have

Our Insurance Recovery Group is often asked to help emerging companies understand their insurance program and assist with claims. This is the first in a series of posts that will address the insurance issues impacting growing…more

Commercial Insurance Policies, Disclosure Requirements, Emerging Growth Companies, Indemnity Insurance, Initial Public Offerings

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Density Bonus Comes to San Francisco

In the face of runaway housing costs, San Francisco is proposing to implement the state “density bonus” law. First adopted by the California legislature thirty-six years ago, the state law (California Government Code Section…more

Affordable Housing, Density Bonus, Urban Planning & Development, Zoning Laws

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Arsenic in Wine: What You Need to Know About the Class Action Claims

What is the Doris Charles, et al. v. The Wine Group, et al., No. BC576061 (Cal. Sup. Ct., Los Angeles County) lawsuit? A lawsuit filed last week as a class action against wineries, wine distributors and wine retailers…more

Class Action, Class Certification, EPA, Food Safety, Proposition 65

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California Expands Mandatory Harassment Training to Include “Bullying” Prevention

California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2053 into law this month amending Government Code Section 12950.1 to require employers to address “abusive conduct” in their mandatory workplace sexual harassment prevention training…more

Bullying, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Training, Workplace Bullying

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What Every Prospective Nonprofit Board Member Needs to Know

You have been asked to serve on the board of a nonprofit organization. Should you accept? Prospective board members should carefully consider an invitation to join a board. Before accepting, a potential board member should…more

Board of Directors, Due Diligence, Non-Profits

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Growers Can Lien on Distressed Wineries

A lot goes into the making of great wine, and when a winery becomes financially unstable, there are a lot of competing interests that need to be satisfied, including the banks that provide the winery with financing, the growers…more

Farms, Licenses, Liens, Perfected Security Interest, Secured Debt

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Balancing Freedom Of Expression And The Right Of Publicity: Implications For The Future Of Interactive Entertainment

Freedom of expression bowed to the right of publicity on July 31, 2013, when a divided panel at the Ninth Circuit ruled that college athletes could proceed in litigation against Electronic Arts (“EA”) for making sports-based…more

Athletes, Electronic Arts, First Amendment, Free Speech, NCAA

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Troubled Waters: Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Remains Muddled After New Rule Issued

After years of deliberation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Agencies) issued their long-awaited final rule last week defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) for Clean Water Act…more

Clean Water Act, EPA, Federal Jurisdiction, Final Rules, NPDES

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Federal Circuit Issues Decision on Section 101 Patent Eligibility of Computer-Implemented Inventions

On May 10, 2013, the Federal Circuit issued its en banc decision in CLS Bank Int’l v. Alice Corp. (Case No. 2011-1301), a closely watched dispute regarding the standard for patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The per…more

CLS Bank, CLS Bank v Alice Corp, Computer-Related Inventions, Patent-Eligible Subject Matter, Patents

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Wineries Often Overlook Harassment Liability

Harassment training is important in all workplaces, yet is often overlooked at wineries. However, wineries can be hotbeds for harassment suits. Originally published by the North Bay Business Journal…more

Anti-Harassment Policies, DFEH, EEOC, Employee Training, Internal Investigations

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Mind the Gap! Avoiding Unexpected Gaps in Insurance Programs

No one insurance policy covers all liability risks. Risk managers expect to purchase several types or layers of insurance to cover different types of insurance liabilities, to provide sufficient limits for a catastrophe loss, or…more

Commercial Insurance Policies, D&O Insurance, Excess Policies, Exclusionary Clauses, False Advertising

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Documenting Your Gifts to Charity: Don’t Jeopardize Your Charitable Deduction

April 15th is fast approaching. This is the time of year when many of our clients ask us how to properly document charitable contributions. In several recent cases, donors have been denied all or a portion of their charitable…more

Charitable Deductions, Charitable Donations, Corporate Gifts, Exempt Organizations, IRS

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Teva Decision Will Be Felt in Future Patent Claim Construction Hearings

On January 20, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. (Case No. 13-854), which changed the level of deference the Federal Circuit must show to district court claim…more

Claim Construction, Clear Error Standard, De Novo Standard of Review, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Patent Litigation

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Best Practices for Internet Security

As privacy and online security become a growing concern, we would like to remind you of a few computer and Internet security tips and best practices to keep you, your family and your personal information safe…more

Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Email, Hackers, Passwords

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Publications Patent Exhaustion Does Not Apply to the Reproduction of Patented Seeds

On May 13, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Bowman v. Monsanto Co., 569 U.S. ___ (2013), which concerned whether and how patent exhaustion applies to self-replicating patented articles. Monsanto patented…more

Bowman v Monsanto, Genetically Engineered Seed, Infringement, Monsanto, Patent Exhaustion

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New Laws Bring California into Alignment with U.S.

Starting in 2012, a variety of new laws passed that directly affect California businesses. There were new filing requirements for exempt securities offerings involving real estate, changes to the rights of dissenting…more

Compliance, JOBS Act, LLC, Offerings, Securities

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Arsenic in Wine: What You Need to Know About the Class Action Claims

What is the Doris Charles, et al. v. The Wine Group, et al., No. BC576061 (Cal. Sup. Ct., Los Angeles County) lawsuit? A lawsuit filed last week as a class action against wineries, wine distributors and wine retailers…more

Class Action, Class Certification, EPA, Food Safety, Proposition 65

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Employee and Inventor Witnesses in Patent Trials: The Blurry Line Between Expert and Lay Testimony

Parties in patent infringement lawsuits frequently must choose a witness to explain complex or scientific technology behind an invention or an accused product that sits at the heart of a claim or a defense. Often, the parties…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Discovery, Evidence, Expert Witness, Infringement

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Congress Enacts New Tax Provisions That Provide Cost Savings to Taxpayers (But Don’t Plan a Shopping Spree)

Congress has been promising an overhaul of the tax code for the past couple of years, with virtually no progress. However last month, Congress managed to pass new tax legislation. On July 31, 2015 President Obama signed into…more

Excise Tax, Filing Deadlines, Filing Requirements, Fuel Tax, Non-Profits

See All Updates »

Supervisor-Caused Stress is Not a “Disability” under the FEHA

The inability to work under a particular supervisor because of anxiety and stress related to the supervisor’s standard oversight of job performance is not a disability recognized under California’s Fair Employment and Housing…more

Adjustment Disorder, CFRA, Disability Discrimination, Disability Leave, FEHA

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Pro Bono Q&A: How One Law Firm Is Helping a California City Curb Gun Violence

A JD Supra Pro Bono Profile: Q&A with Farella Braun + Martel partner Tony Schoenberg about his work related to a Sunnyvale, Calif., ordinance that bans the possession of large-capacity gun magazines…more

Firearms, Gun Laws, Municipalities, NRA, Pro Bono

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New Accessibility Disclosure Requirements for Commercial Landlords in 2013

The California legislature and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently enacted separate laws imposing on landlords disclosure requirements relating to accessibility on commercial properties. In addition, the San…more

Accessibility Rules, CASp, Commercial Leases, Disclosure Requirements, Landlords

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US Supreme Court Holds cDNA Patent Eligible, but Isolated DNA Not

On June 13, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. ___ (2013). The case concerned whether claims drawn to isolated DNA and cDNA were patent…more

AMP v Myriad, DNA, Gene Patenting, Human Genes, Myriad

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The Napa Earthquake: Now Is The Time To Think About Insurance Coverage

In the aftermath of this weekend’s earthquake, we at Farella Braun + Martel would like to offer our insights. If you have a business that was affected by the earthquake, now is the time to look at your insurance policies, even…more

Earthquakes, Property Damage, Property Insurance

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Troubled Waters: Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Remains Muddled After New Rule Issued

After years of deliberation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Agencies) issued their long-awaited final rule last week defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) for Clean Water Act…more

Clean Water Act, EPA, Federal Jurisdiction, Final Rules, NPDES

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Supervisor-Caused Stress is Not a “Disability” under the FEHA

The inability to work under a particular supervisor because of anxiety and stress related to the supervisor’s standard oversight of job performance is not a disability recognized under California’s Fair Employment and Housing…more

Adjustment Disorder, CFRA, Disability Discrimination, Disability Leave, FEHA

See All Updates »

Arsenic in Wine: What You Need to Know About the Class Action Claims

What is the Doris Charles, et al. v. The Wine Group, et al., No. BC576061 (Cal. Sup. Ct., Los Angeles County) lawsuit? A lawsuit filed last week as a class action against wineries, wine distributors and wine retailers…more

Class Action, Class Certification, EPA, Food Safety, Proposition 65

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Public-Private Partnerships in California - Part II

Current funding levels for public infrastructure in the United States are inadequate. Existing infrastructure is crumbling due to long-deferred maintenance and new infrastructure needed by the public is not being built. …more

Infrastructure, P3s, Public-Private Partnerships

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EPA Issues Final Rule Clarifying CERCLA’s “All Appropriate Inquiry” Standard

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has at long last issued a Final Rule which provides clarification to prospective purchasers of contaminated property regarding the standards and practices that are to be used for…more

CERCLA, Contaminated Properties, Environmental Site Assessment, EPA, Final Rules

See All Updates »

Major League Baseball Is Exempt From The Antitrust Laws – Like It Or Not: The “Unrealistic,” “Inconsistent,” And “Illogical” Antitrust Exemption For Baseball That Just Won’t Go Away.

The Athletics baseball team has been located in Oakland, California for many years. Several years ago, the A’s decided they would like to move their franchise to San Jose, which they anticipate would be a more profitable…more

Antitrust Provisions, Antitrust Violations, Baseball, Exemptions, MLB

See All Updates »

Density Bonus Comes to San Francisco

In the face of runaway housing costs, San Francisco is proposing to implement the state “density bonus” law. First adopted by the California legislature thirty-six years ago, the state law (California Government Code Section…more

Affordable Housing, Density Bonus, Urban Planning & Development, Zoning Laws

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California Supreme Court Will Review Appellate Decision Holding That Attorney Bills Are Privileged

In June, I blogged about County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court, 235 Cal. App. 4th 1154 (2015). In that case, the California Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District) concluded that legal defense bills…more

Attorney-Client Privilege, Commercial Insurance Policies, Confidential Communications, Document Productions, Insurance Industry

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Arsenic in Wine: What You Need to Know About the Class Action Claims

What is the Doris Charles, et al. v. The Wine Group, et al., No. BC576061 (Cal. Sup. Ct., Los Angeles County) lawsuit? A lawsuit filed last week as a class action against wineries, wine distributors and wine retailers…more

Class Action, Class Certification, EPA, Food Safety, Proposition 65

See All Updates »

Growers Can Lien on Distressed Wineries

A lot goes into the making of great wine, and when a winery becomes financially unstable, there are a lot of competing interests that need to be satisfied, including the banks that provide the winery with financing, the growers…more

Farms, Licenses, Liens, Perfected Security Interest, Secured Debt

See All Updates »

The Devil Wears Trademark: How The Fashion Industry Has Expanded Trademark Doctrine To Its Detriment

I. INTRODUCTION - Over the past decade, the uncertainty of fashion’s status as protectable intellectual property has generated enormous controversy. It is no wonder: in 2011, apparel sales in the United States amounted to…more

Fashion Industry, Logos, Trademarks

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Contact

235 Montgomery Street 17th floor
San Francisco, California 94104, United States

  • (415) 954-4400
  • (415) 954-4480

Areas of Practice
  • Agriculture
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Organizations
  • Business Torts
  • Class Action
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Construction Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Environmental Law
  • Finance & Banking
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  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Litigation
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Products Liability
  • Real Estate
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  • Securities Law
  • Taxation
  • Toxic Torts
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
  • Zoning, Planning & Land Use
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Locations
Other U.S. Locations
  • California
Number of Attorneys

100+ Attorneys

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