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Three people can keep a secret, declared Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanack – if two of them are dead. Lawyers are more optimistic, and believe those who sign a confidentiality agreement will keep their mouths shut. That includes attorneys.

California law requires most employers to give workers a 30-minute meal break during which they are “relieved of all duty.” In some jobs, such as when caring for the disabled, workers can be required to be “on duty” while they eat. But that doesn’t mean these employees get less than a full half hour for their meals.

Divorce is often complicated, both legally and emotionally. For one California woman who decided to represent herself in her divorce, her failure to follow proper legal procedures prevented her from cross-examining her husband in court, and resulted in $10,000 in sanctions payable to him.

Imagine you’ve been named as the beneficiary of a trust, but you haven’t received a dime from the trust and it’s not certain that you ever will – yet your state tax collector bills you $1.3 million. A North Carolina woman thought that was unfair, and the United States Supreme Court agreed with her.

It’s not uncommon for an attorney to hear from someone who claims to have been disinherited by a decedent because of undue influence exerted by a family member. As compelling as these cases may seem at first, a closer examination of the facts – especially how the will or trust was prepared – often fails to support a claim of undue influence.

When James Madison drafted the First Amendment, he wasn’t thinking about a squabble between neighbors about the value of a home in Bel Air. But that venerated clause in our nation’s Constitution was a key issue when that disagreement ended up before the California Court of Appeal.