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San Diego Legal Blog

Hear this: San Diego headphone maker goes silent

Most of us have at least one pair of earbuds. The small listening devices have a couple of advantages: they’re lightweight, fit inside the ear and they’re inexpensive. While those are all important upsides, the downside of earbuds is obvious at first listen: sound quality is typically poor.

That’s why so many people were excited about San Diego 3D headphone startup Ossic. Unfortunately, that excitement has turned to ashes with the recent announcement that the company has shut down operations, citing a lack of funds needed to ramp up to full production. That leaves Kickstarter backers and other investors out of luck and headphones. Or does it?

San Diego Comic-Con yacht dispute still making waves

Nine months ago, a rented “super yacht” disappeared during San Diego Comic-Con. Marijuana mogul BudTrader CEO Brad McLaughlin paid $42,250 for the three-day rental to use the boat as a lure for celebrities and potential investors. So when the vessel disappeared, the 33-year-old executive sued the business that rented the boat and company owner, Lake Rickolt.

As is often the case in business litigation, the other side has filed a counterclaim. Rickolt and wife Gemma state in their lawsuit that the dock master ordered their boat out on the Saturday of the event after McLaughlin and his associates violated marina rules on drugs, alcohol and parties.

San Diego co-work spaces: it’s a thing

Office buildings, industrial, retail, restaurants, hotels and housing. These have been the mainstays of San Diego commercial real estate for years. While all are likely to be around for many more years, changes are afoot, the Union-Tribune reported recently.

San Diego County now features more than 1.2 million square feet of flexible workspace, according to a new report on co-working facilities in our area. The evolution of the office building component of commercial real estate means many small companies, individual entrepreneurs and other young professionals can have relaxed work surroundings while avoiding the high rents of traditional offices.

California construction lawsuit headed to trial

One side says cracks began forming in the structures before they were even finished. The cracks are said to allow water to seep in and make matters worse. The other side counters that the owner was negligent and should be required to pay some or all of repair costs.

Of course, that’s a very brief summary of the fundamental disagreements that will be aired in California construction litigation headed to trial later this year.

Franchisees' commercial conflicts

The Subway chain of fast food restaurants is one of the latest high-profile franchise companies to have a conflict between the company and franchisees. Last November, a foot long sandwich promotion was announced by company management that caused many franchisees of the sandwich chain to complain.

The Price of Promotion

Slow wheels of justice

Though the Chargers have abandoned San Diego, interest in football remains high here. So it was with some interest that we read recently of an intellectual property dispute involving a northern California man and the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers and Giants.

The 50-year-old recently pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking goods that bore the counterfeit trademarks of professional sports franchises in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. One of the more remarkable aspects of the case is when it began: all the way back in August of 2013.

What happens when there's no will?

It happens every day: someone in California dies without a will. Sometimes the person meant to sit down with an attorney to create a will and in many other situations, they believed they were too young or healthy to think about wills or trusts. No matter what the reason, the absence of a will means that their estate will be required to go through probate.

The probate court will determine what is to be done with the estate's assets. Some assets might not need to go through that process, however. If the person who passed away had a life insurance policy, for instance, the individual listed on the policy as beneficiary would receive the asset.

Amazon transforming commercial real estate investment

There is no doubt that Amazon has remade retail. Its supply-chain management system is a model of efficiency, moving products from manufacturers to consumers' doorsteps at breakneck speed.

Amazon isn't the only retailer making use of just-in-time inventory and delivery management, it's just the biggest. Because its high-tech supply system is heavily dependent on storage, the company has spurred growth in commercial real estate investment in warehouses.

Real estate agent prevails in retrial of mansion dispute

It is about a three and a half hour drive north of San Diego along the shore to get to Malibu. The enclave of movie and music stars is known for its Mediterranean climate and beautiful, expensive beachfront homes.

A recent decision by a Superior Court jury revolved around a real estate agent and a Malibu mansion. The court ruled that the agent did not breach a fiduciary duty to the buyer of the Tuscan-style villa overlooking the ocean.

California businesses clash over intellectual property

Last October, wildfires damaged homes and businesses in northern California, especially in Sonoma and Napa. Wineries and vineyards were especially hard hit in an area world-famous for not only its wine, but also its natural beauty, cuisine and sophisticated culture.

Devastated wineries have scrambled in the aftermath of the fires to rebuild. The renovations are the genesis of a heated intellectual property dispute between the Caymus Builders construction firm of Sonoma and Caymus Vineyards of Napa. Owners of the vineyards allege that the builders have made “unauthorized and unlawful use” of their trademark.

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