- FSG announcement – Christopher D. Lee joins firm as Associate
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- Article “Agreements with Sales Representatives”
- Misclassification of an employee or a contractor can have severe tax and other consequences for the employer.
- Article “Classifying Workers: Contractors or Employees?”
- Friedman Stroffe & Gerard, P.C. again selected as one of “Top Orange County Law Firms”
- FSG’s Jim Stroffe featured in Orange County Business Journal’s “Law Firms Special Report”
- Robert Gerard and Bryan Friedman attend Surf Industry Waterman’s Ball event
Grass, reefer, bud, or pot. Whatever your generation calls it (and the list of nicknames is long and oftentimes amusing), marijuana legalization is a hot topic across the country and in the workplace.
Although the list is ever changing, and may soon change in California, as of the date of this article, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington State, and Washington, D.C., have all legalized recreational and medical marijuana. Twenty other states, including California, have legalized medical marijuana. Additionally, this year several more states—Arkansas, Florida, and Missouri—will vote on the legalization of medical marijuana while Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada will vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Since it went into effect in 1996, California’s Compassionate Use Act has permitted the use of medical marijuana for medical purposes. Recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in California. However, Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, will be on the November 8, 2016 General Election ballot and California voters can decide whether adults may use, possess, purchase, and grow marijuana for recreational purposes. Nonetheless, the changes in state law in California and other states have not affected the legal status of marijuana on the federal level. Using marijuana, medicinally or recreationally, continues to be a criminal offense under federal law.
Notwithstanding federal law, a recent Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans now believe that marijuana use should be legalized for all purposes. Further, a 2015 study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) found that nearly 9.5% of the U.S. adult population used marijuana within the past year. Clearly, the stigma associated with marijuana seems to be fading.
Should California employers respond to the legal and cultural shift surrounding marijuana? And if yes, how? Let’s explore the interplay between marijuana and the workplace … (Read the complete article)
Susan Arduengo is an attorney at Friedman Stroffe & Gerard, P.C. in Irvine, California. Susan represents employers in all aspects of employment law, including counseling, compliance, litigation prevention, single plaintiff litigation, and class actions. Contact her at email@example.com or 949.265.1133.
By now, most businesses are aware of the obligation to have all business premises compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires that disabled persons be afforded “the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation.” Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice and private plaintiffs’ attorneys have extended this obligation to online websites. Read the article.
If you require further information regarding this matter, you should contact Bryan Friedman (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Friedman Stroffe & Gerard, P.C. or an attorney regularly handling your affairs.
The United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (“DOL”) has announced it will be conducting random audits in 2016 within the apparel industry to determine compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), which includes, among other things, provisions on minimum wage, overtime, equal pay, child labor and record keeping requirements. In the past, these audits have resulted in companies paying substantial dollars in back wages arising from noncompliance for infringements by contractors used to manufacture goods. Read the full article.
IRVINE, CA, FEBRUARY 8, 2016 — Friedman Stroffe & Gerard, P.C. (FSG) has been selected by the Orange County Business Journal for its annual list of the top law firms in Orange County.
The list is compiled by Orange County Business Journal staff through surveys distributed to and completed by local law firms. This is the first year that FSG has submitted the survey data and the firm was immediately selected, ranking #76 in FSG’s first year on the list. Over 1,000 law firms, comprising over 16,000 attorneys, operate in Orange County, so ranking in the Top 100 is an honor.
“We’re pleased to be recognized by the Orange County Business Journal as one of the top law firms in Orange County,” says James D. Stroffe, managing partner. “We represent a broad spectrum of domestic and foreign clients, from corporations listed on national and regional stock exchanges to family-owned businesses and individuals — and we thank all of them for their support, which has allowed FSG to achieve this recognition. At FSG, we understand that our job is to support our clients in achieving their objectives in an efficient and cost-effective manner; this award proves that our approach works.”
FSG serves its clients in a wide variety of business transactions and litigation matters. Practice groups include: Corporate & Business; Intellectual Property; Real Estate & Construction; Litigation; and Employment & Labor.
FSG attorneys are not only highly qualified lawyers educated in the nation’s top law schools with backgrounds in reputable private firms, many have also served as in-house attorneys and senior business executives. See “Attorneys” for further information on the firm’s 12 attorneys.
IRVINE, CA, FEBRUARY 24, 2016 — The big question on everyone’s mind at last week’s Orange County State of the Market real estate conference in Irvine was what to expect in the year ahead. Over 300 commercial real estate professionals attended the event.
Friedman Stroffe & Gerard shareholder and attorney Jennifer Stroffe, who moderated the “Capital Markets – How and Where Deals Are Getting Done” panel, said experts are divided on whether there will be a downturn in the commercial real estate market this year. Her ad hoc poll of conference attendees was unanimous – no one expects a downturn in 2016! Jennifer’s panel members included: Brian Good, President, Eagle Group Finance; Jason Krupoff, SVP, Bellwether Enterprise; Kevin Kaberna, Senior Managing Director, Greystar Real Estate Partners; and Seth Grossman, Managing Director, Meridian Capital Group.
Carlsbad-based Meridian Capital Group managing director Seth Grossman said ”While we’re very bullish in California, this is the first time since 2011 there is reason to believe things are going to change.” In the past few months, lenders have pulled back on riskier deals, he said. “Lenders are imposing structure, so I think we’re not going to see the world end, not going to fall off a cliff this year, but there is definitely a change in the market, where small or less experienced players will not be treated as ‘institutionally’ as they think they deserve,” Grossman continued.
“Capital has become more selective, though not less available,” said LA-based Greystar Real Estate Partners managing director Shawn Hansen. He said the cost for capital is a little higher than the middle of last year. “We’re also seeing spreads widen—about 25 basis points and are using fixed and floating debt—more floating right now using the big balance sheet lenders.”
Jennifer also asked what factors or variables will impact the market in 2016. Read an article with more details of the panel discussion.
With over 13 years of experience in complex business and real estate transactions, Stroffe acts as outside general counsel to various businesses ranging from local startups to national companies. Her practice focuses on the structuring, negotiating and closing of commercial transactions, including the acquisition, disposition and financing of businesses, real property and personal property. Stroffe provides advice to Firm clients on all types of business matters, from corporate governance, commercial contracts, licensing, leasing and the myriad other corporate and real estate issues faced by most businesses.
Prior to joining FSG, Stroffe was an associate attorney with the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins, where her duties were split between the Real Property and Corporate Finance departments. Before beginning her law career, Stroffe was a four year starter on the nationally ranked NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Teams for both UC Santa Barbara and Michigan State University and was recognized nationally as an All Big West player and Academic All-American. Raised in Orange County, Jennifer attended Corona Del Mar high school, where she was a two-time first team All-American on its women’s volleyball team, winning unprecedented back-to-back National Championships.
Stroffe earned her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall), Master’s degree from Michigan State University, and Bachelor’s Degree, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is a member of the State Bar of California, Orange County Bar Association, Commercial Real Estate Women – Orange County (former president and member of the board of directors), Athletes Touch, and is a licensed real estate broker with the California Bureau of Real Estate.
Susan Arduengo explains how action sports employers can throw a festive holiday party without a legal hangover. Read article, reprinted with permission from Shop-Eat-Surf.com.
FSG’s “Legal Briefing” enewsletter, November 2015 issue, is now available. Topics include:
- Transactional attorney Gregory Brucia joins FSG as shareholder
- FSG represents Loomworks Apparel in acquisition
- Article: LA Minimum Wage Law
- Recent Engagements: Litigation Practice Group
- Orange County Transactional Network
Gregory F. Brucia has joined Friedman Stroffe & Gerard, P.C. (“FSG”) as a shareholder.
Brucia’s major practice areas are Corporate & Business and Real Estate & Construction. He spent the first several years of his career working in the capital markets practice groups in the New York offices of Baker & McKenzie and Shearman & Sterling, where his focus was on public securities transactions including mergers and acquisitions. In 2004, he moved to California and diversified his practice beyond securities and mergers and acquisitions to include a wide array of general corporate matters.
Brucia regularly works with entrepreneurs to structure and finance their business opportunities, including activities such as forming new business entities, structuring the relationships among the promoters, investors and various other stakeholders in the business, crafting technology protection and development strategies and helping companies raise sufficient capital to finance and grow their business. Capital raising transactions include seed money financings, friends and family financings, angel investments and venture capital investments. Once a startup business is established, Brucia provides on-going assistance as outside general counsel to help clients achieve continued success by effectively and efficiently managing the myriad legal challenges they may confront as their businesses grow.
Brucia received his Bachelor’s Degree from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in Economics, Concentration in Finance. He earned his J.D. with Distinction from the Hofstra University School of Law.
“We are very pleased to have Greg Brucia join our firm,” says James D. Stroffe, managing shareholder. “His diversified experience, including working in capital markets, will be a tremendous asset in serving FSG’s clients.”