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When an estate winds up in court, the dispute may involve more than just legal issues. In a case recently decided by the California Court of Appeal, the justices had to consider how “family” has been defined in different cultures, thousands of miles apart and over the span of more than a century.

It’s fairly commonplace for California homeowners to hire unlicensed gardeners to mow the lawn and trim the bushes. But what happens when a gardener is injured on the job, and sues?

Legal principles can be complicated, but not always. For example, here’s one that’s pretty straightforward: if you are going to ask a court to protect your rights, you’d better have some rights to protect.

Michael Jackson died ten years ago, but his music lives on – as does the controversy that so often surrounded him. Both were central to a lawsuit which claimed that three songs on a posthumously released Jackson album were not actually performed by him, thus deceiving consumers.

If you are the beneficiary of a trust and feel the trustee is not doing a good job, you have the right to seek help from the court. But if your complaints are unreasonable, or made in bad faith, don’t be surprised if a judge makes you pay a penalty for your fit of pique.

Does a restaurant have a duty to keep its outdoor dining area free of black widow spiders, or do customers dining al fresco just have to accept the risk of being bitten with poisonous venom?