The IRS has proposed sweeping changes to the valuations of interests in family-controlled businesses for estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax purposes. If these changes go into effect in 2017, as planned, they will significantly impact the estate and business succession planning of family businesses.

A tenant in an office building hired a janitorial service to clean its carpets. An employee of the cleaning service carried a bucket of soapy water up the stairs, spilled it and fell, suffering serious injuries. The worker sued the tenant, who in turn sued the landlord. Who should pay the worker’s medical bills?

Caring for a child with disabilities or other special needs often presents a wide range of difficult challenges. For the parents (or grandparents) of these children, there is an additional worry:  who will provide for the needs of these children, who may not be able to manage for themselves in adulthood, after their parents are gone? 

  Entrepreneurs who launch successful new ventures, and the investors who fund these startup companies, can now really ring the economic bell upon a liquidity event, thanks to a recent change in the tax code.

With California’s crowded court calendars, there can be a substantial time lag between the filing of a lawsuit in a business dispute and the eventual ruling by a court on that dispute.  Not surprisingly, plaintiffs who win their cases want to collect not only the original amount due to them, but interest on that amount for the months or years the case was in court – what lawyers call “prejudgment interest.”

For lawyers, litigation is our bread and butter. For almost any business executive, however, a lawsuit is a costly, time-consuming and frustrating distraction. It is hardly surprising that litigation has been compared to trench warfare, with each side digging in and lobbing legal documents at each other for months or years, while the billable hours steadily rise.