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FSG is proud to announce that

Christopher D. Lee, Associate

has joined the firm

Christopher D Lee

Christopher D. Lee focuses on business and commercial litigation.

Chris has extensive litigation success in state and federal courts, mediations and arbitrations throughout California for a wide variety of matters including business and commercial disputes, partnership disputes, employment, real estate, consumer finance, professional liability, breach of fiduciary duty, and insurance. He graduated from one of the nation’s top law schools, USC, and prior to joining FSG, Chris represented some of the nation’s largest corporations in complex litigation at an Am Law 200 law firm.

Chris believes that every client’s situation is unique and requires a dedicated and thoughtful advocate to achieve the most beneficial and cost-effective solution. He also believes that the legal industry is first and foremost a client-service industry and he continually strives to be attentive and responsive to each client’s specific needs.

During law school, Chris served as a judicial extern in the United States Bankruptcy Court of the Central District of California and was a Senior Content Editor of the USC’s Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal. Prior to beginning his career in the law, Chris worked as a project manager for a neuro-anatomy laboratory at UCLA and is an author on a scientific journal article published on his work.

Contact Chris at clee@fsglawyers.com or 949.265.1110.

Article: “Paychecks for Unpaid Interns?”

The days of traditional unpaid internships may be behind us. Here’s how to tell if your businesses’ internship program needs a reboot.  Read the full article.

Questions? Contact Susan at sarduengo@fsglawyers.com.

Article: LA Minimum Wage Law

Minimum Wage in Los Angeles Set to Increase to $15.00 by 2020. 

By Susan Arduengo 

The Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have approved a measure to increase the minimum wage from $9.00 to $15.00 an hour by 2020. This nearly 67 percent increase from the current state minimum wage of $9.00 will affect private-sector businesses in both the City of Los Angeles and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County including Hacienda Heights, La Crescenta, and Marina Del Rey.

Los Angeles’ minimum wage hike will be executed over five years: $10.50 in 2016; $12.00 in 2017; $13.25 in 2018; $14.25 in 2019; and $15.00 in 2020, each increase taking effect on July 1. Smaller businesses with fewer than 26 employees will be given additional time to comply with the minimum wage increases as follows: $10.50 in 2017; $12.00 in 2018; $13.25 in 2019; $14.00 in 2020; and $15.00 in 2021.

By 2020, Los Angeles’ minimum wage will more than double the current federal rate of $7.25. Los Angeles will join the ranks of several other California cities which have adopted their own local minimum wage rates. San Francisco has approved a similar graduated minimum wage hike which increases the minimum wage to $15.00 by 2018.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has already signed the City’s minimum wage increase into law. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, having approved a proposal that would mirror the City’s graduated minimum wage hike, will consider signing the proposal into law for unincorporated areas of the County later this year.

If you have any questions regarding your company’s pay practices in light of the coming changes to the minimum wage rate, you should contact competent employment counsel.

About the author:

Susan Arduengo is an Associate at Friedman Stroffe & Gerard, P.C. Susan specializes in representing businesses in all aspects of employment law, including counseling/advice, compliance, litigation prevention, single plaintiff litigation, and class actions. Contact her at sarduengo@fsglawyers.com or 949.265.1133.

This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact legal counsel to obtain advice with respect to your particular issues.

 

Recent Engagements

Litigation Practice Group: 

FSG’s Litigation Practice Group provides practical legal advice to achieve our clients’ business objectives in an economically reasonable manner either through early resolution of disputes or through zealous advocacy in the courts.

Current and recent matters that our Litigation Practice Group attorneys have handled include:

  • Corporate governance/control disputes: One recent case involves a company in which the owners are vying for full control of the company,  resulting in competing buyout demands and litigation.  Different iterations of such cases are very common and our litigators are adept in handling such member/shareholder/partner control disputes.
  • Premises liability:  In this case, FSG negotiated the legal maze that arose from a shooting in our client’s retail establishment.  Numerous plaintiffs have claims against various potentially liable parties.  Our work also involved working with insurance companies to obtain coverage and limit our client’s exposure.
  • Vietnamese/Chinese business disputes: FSG has a very active practice working with the Vietnamese and Chinese business communities.  Some recent examples:
    • Landlord/tenant:  Our client, a commercial tenant, leased property that was purchased by a new landlord, who subsequently attempted to change the lease terms.  Our attorneys were successful in maintaining our client’s rights while negating proposed increased costs.
    • Distributor/supplier: One of our recent matters involved representing a Chinese business client (manufacturer of a consumer technology product for a well-known U.S. company) in a distributor/supplier dispute with a former U.S. distributor. This case presented unique challenges because of international discovery procedures.
    • Royalty/licensing agreement: Another matter involved a dispute over payment of royalty fees under a license agreement between a small O.C. based microchip manufacturer and a large international manufacturer of technology products.  This three-year case involved numerous issues over the scope of the license and royalties.
  • Prop 65 representation: FSG has several matters pending defending consumer goods manufacturers and retailers regarding Proposition 65.  Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was intended to protect California citizens from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals.  However, the law’s reach is so invasive that it has become a tool to enrich a handful of lawyers at the expense of innocent businesses.  FSG attorneys have developed significant expertise defending and advising clients in these matters.
  • Unfair competition:  Deceptive or wrongful business practice suits run the gamut from everyday occurrences to extremely complicated disputes.  In this large, complex case, our client sued for breach of contract and unfair competition under a joint venture agreement with a much larger company.   The case involved supplier claims, financing arrangements and other terms that required highly sophisticated representation.

These are just a few of our recent cases.  Our attorneys represent business clients in a broad range of complex and day-to-day business disputes, including breaches of contract, real estate litigation, consumer claims and class actions, partnership and corporate control disputes, intellectual property, trade secrets, employment, breach of fiduciary duty claims, construction defect, product liabilities, professional negligence, unfair competition, mergers and acquisitions litigation, and other business disputes.

If you have any questions about our Litigation Practice Group, please contact Robert E. Adel, shareholder, at radel@fsglawyers.com.

FSG partner Robert Gerard attends SIMA’s “Surf Summit 18”

FSG partner and well-known surf industry expert Robert Gerard attended “Surf Summit 18,” held in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, May 13-16, 2015 for 3 days of networking, seminars, special events — and surfing!  The event was hosted by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) and Board Retailers Association (BRA).  SIMA is the trade association of competing surf industry product suppliers working together for the development of the surf industry.  Over 200 surf industry executives were at the conference, including 38 retailers from 26 retail shops.  Quiksilver’s Bob McKnight was the keynote speaker and other speakers included legendary freesurfers Alex Gray and Bruce Irons.

Robert Gerard is a shareholder at FSG and heads the firm’s Employment & Labor Practice Group.  Contact him at rgerard@fsglawyers.com.

Recent Speeches

OCCSEA (Overseas Chinese Civil and Structural Engineering Association), Orange County chapterBill Tran, Of Counsel, and Andrew Nelson, Associate, spoke June 28th on “10 Must-Have Clauses in Your Engineering or Design Contracts” and “Avoiding, Minimizing and Resolving Construction Disputes” (respectively).  They will also speak to the OCCSEA Los Angeles chapter in July on the same topics.  The OCCSEA is a nationwide, non-profit trade association whose mission is to enhance and support Chinese Americans and overseas Chinese professionals in the civil engineering, architectural design, development and construction fields with technical/academic exchanges and cooperation.

Bill Tran joins FSG as Of Counsel

FSG is pleased to announce that William Q. Tran has joined the firm as Of Counsel.

Bill’s practice focuses on all aspects of complex business and corporate litigation in federal and state courts. Bill has represented and advised clients in a broad range of business matters and disputes, including contracts, real estate, consumer claims and class actions, partnership and corporate control disputes, intellectual property, trade secrets, employment, breach of fiduciary duty claims and other business torts. Strongly rooted in Orange County, Bill has acted as lead counsel or co-lead counsel to advise and manage litigation for a diverse spectrum of Orange County and other Southern California corporations and individuals, including public-traded corporations, technology companies, start-ups, entrepreneurs and investors, healthcare professionals, real estate developers, financial institutions and smaller, privately-held companies.

Bill is also committed to furthering the needs of the Vietnamese-American business community and connecting Vietnamese-American business decision-makers and entrepreneurs to the highest-caliber legal services. He recently served as the chapter president of the Vietnamese Strategic Ventures Network, a non-profit group dedicated to Vietnamese American entrepreneurs, technology companies and venture capitalists in Orange County. Early in his career, Bill also worked as a grant writer and youth counselor for the non-profit agency Vietnamese Community of Orange County, Inc., where he obtained over $600,000 in grant funding to target family and youth family, mental health and minority business development projects.

Bill received his B.A., Literature, from the University of California at Los Angeles, magna cum laude in 1995, and J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (“Boalt Hall”) in 2000.  See news release.

 

New Hire: Anthony S. Chavez

FSG is pleased to announce the addition of Anthony S. Chavez as an Associate.

Anthony’s practice focuses on commercial litigation. He represents clients in state and federal court in connection with various business, commercial, and contractual matters.  Prior to joining FSG, he was an associate attorney at a large firm in Los Angeles, California specializing in complex commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense.  Anthony gained experience representing clients in a wide variety of complex commercial litigation including antitrust, unfair competition, breach of contract, and fraud.

Anthony received his B.A. degree from Stanford University in 2008 and J.D. from the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law in 2012.

While in law school, Anthony served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Judge Kim Wardlaw at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California and a judicial extern to the Honorable Magistrate Judge Andrew Wistrich at the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, California.  See news release.

Surf Industry Waterman’s Underwriting Event

The annual SIMA Waterman’s Underwriting party was held recently at The Ranch in Laguna Beach last week, attended by more than 80 top surf industry executives. Funds were raised by guests underwriting specific portions of the Waterman’s Weekend like the event program. Bryan Friedman and Robert Gerard attended on behalf of FSG.

Tran joins FSG as Of Counsel

Friedman Stroffe & Gerard, P.C. is pleased to announce that William Q. Tran has joined the firm as Of Counsel. Tran’s practice focuses on all aspects of complex business and corporate litigation in federal and state courts.

Tran has represented and advised clients in a broad range of business matters and disputes, including contracts, real estate, consumer claims and class actions, partnership and corporate control disputes, intellectual property, trade secrets, employment, breach of fiduciary duty claims and other business torts. Strongly rooted in Orange County, Tran has acted as lead counsel or co-lead counsel to advise and manage litigation for a diverse spectrum of Orange County and other Southern California corporations and individuals, including public-traded corporations, technology companies, start-ups, entrepreneurs and investors, healthcare professionals, real estate developers, financial institutions and smaller, privately-held companies.

Tran is also committed to furthering the needs of the Vietnamese-American business community and connecting Vietnamese-American business decision-makers and entrepreneurs to the highest-caliber legal services. Tran recently served as the chapter president of the Vietnamese Strategic Ventures Network, a non-profit group dedicated to Vietnamese American entrepreneurs, technology companies and venture capitalists in Orange County. Early in his career, Tran also worked as a grant writer and youth counselor for the non-profit agency Vietnamese Community of Orange County, Inc., where he obtained over $600,000 in grant funding to target family and youth family, mental health and minority business development projects.

Tran received his B.A., Literature, from the University of California at Los Angeles, magna cum laude in 1995, and J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (“Boalt Hall”) in 2000.

NEWS RELEASE