Webb and Bordson, APC is a civil law firm with offices in both Fresno and San Diego, California with a heightened focus on dedicated, honest client service. Unlike other law firms, our attorneys provide honest, straightforward advice in order for our clients to clearly understand the options and solutions available to them and we never make promises we can’t keep.

Our core philosophy has always been to place client service above all else, and by doing so, we are rewarded by developing strong, lasting relationships with our clients. At Webb and Bordson, APC, we believe that the primary duty of a San Diego business attorney is to be a creative problem solver - an advocate with specialized knowledge who can use his or her skills to restore justice when a person or company has been wronged. Visit http://wblawgroup.com/ for more details.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Double Jeopardy

We found this article for you to read: A second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal or conviction or multiple punishments for same offense. The evil sought to be avoided by prohibiting double jeopardy is double trial and double conviction, not necessarily double punishment. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides, "No person shall … be subject for the same offence [sic] to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." This provision, known as the Double Jeopardy Clause, prohibits state and federal governments from prosecuting individuals for the same crime on more than one occasion, or imposing more than one punishment for a single offense. Each of the 50 states offers similar protection through its own constitution, statutes, and Common Law. Five policy considerations underpin the double jeopardy doctrine: (1) preventing the government from employing its superior resources to wear down and erroneously convict innocent persons; (2) protecting individuals from the financial, emotional, and social consequences of successive prosecutions; (3) preserving the finality and integrity of criminal proceedings, which would be compromised were the state allowed to arbitrarily ignore unsatisfactory outcomes; (4) restricting prosecutorial discretion over the charging process; and (5) eliminating judicial discretion to impose cumulative punishments that the legislature has not authorized. Double jeopardy is one of the oldest legal concepts in Western civilization. In 355 b.c., Athenian statesman Demosthenes said, "[T]he law forbids the same man to be tried twice on the same issue." The Romans codified this principle in the Digest of Justinian I in a.d. 533. The principle also survived the Dark Ages (a.d. 400–1066), notwithstanding the deterioration of other Greco-Roman legal traditions, through Canon Law and the teachings of early Christian writers. In England, the protection against double jeopardy was considered "a universal Maxim of the common law" (United States v. Wilson, 420 U.S. 332, 340, 95 S. Ct. 1013, 1020, 43 L. Ed. 2d 232 [1975]) and was embraced by eminent jurists Henry de Bracton (1250), Sir Edward Coke (1628), Sir Matthew Hale (1736), and Sir William Blackstone (1769). Nonetheless, the English double jeopardy doctrine was extremely narrow. It applied only to defendants who were accused of capital felonies, and only after conviction or acquittal. It did not apply to cases that had been dismissed prior to final judgment, and it was not immune from flagrant abuse by the Crown. The American colonists, who were intimately familiar with Coke, Blackstone, and the machinations of the Crown, expanded the protection against double jeopardy, making it applicable to all crimes. Yet some perceived James Madison's original draft of the Double Jeopardy Clause as being too broad. It provided, "No person shall be subject … to more than one punishment or one trial for the same offense" (emphasis added) (United States v. Halper, 490 U.S. 435, 440, 109 S. Ct. 1892, 1897 104 L. Ed. 2d 487 [1989]). Several House members objected to this wording, arguing that it could be misconstrued to prevent defendants from seeking a second trial on appeal following conviction. Although the Senate later amended the language to address this concern, the final version ratified by the states left other questions for judicial interpretation. Double jeopardy litigation revolves around four central questions: (1) In what type of legal proceeding does double jeopardy protection apply? (2) When does jeopardy begin, or, in legal parlance, attach? (3) When does jeopardy terminate? (4) What constitutes successive prosecutions or punishments for the same offense? Although courts have answered the second and third questions with some clarity, they continued to struggle over the first and last. Where Jeopardy Applies Only certain types of legal proceedings invoke double jeopardy protection. If a particular proceeding does not place an individual in jeopardy, then subsequent proceedings against the same individual for the same conduct are not prohibited. The Fifth Amendment suggests that the protection against double jeopardy extends only to proceedings that threaten "life or limb." Nevertheless, the U.S. Supreme Court has established that the right against double jeopardy is not limited to capital crimes or Corporal Punishment, but that it extends to all felonies, misdemeanors, and juvenile-delinquency adjudications, regardless of the applicable punishments. In Benton v. Maryland, 395 U.S. 784, 89 S. Ct. 2056, 23 L. Ed. 2d 707 (1969), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal Double Jeopardy Clause is applicable to state and federal prosecutions. Prior to this ruling, an individual who was accused of violating state law could rely only on that particular state's protection against double jeopardy. Some states offered greater protection against double jeopardy than did others. The Court, relying on the doctrine of incorporation, which makes fundamental principles in the Bill of Rights applicable to the states through the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, said this was not permissible. The right against double jeopardy is so important, the Court concluded, that it must be equally conferred upon the citizens of every state. Under Benton, no state may provide its residents with less protection against double jeopardy than that offered by the federal Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court has also held that the right against double jeopardy precludes only subsequent criminal proceedings. It does not preclude ordinary civil or administrative proceedings against a person who already has been prosecuted for the same act or omission. Nor is prosecution barred by double jeopardy if it is preceded by a final civil or administrative determination on the same issue. Courts have drawn the distinction between criminal proceedings on the one hand, and civil or administrative proceedings on the other, based on the different purposes served by each. Criminal proceedings are punitive in nature and serve two primary purposes: deterrence and retribution. Civil proceedings are more remedial; their fundamental purpose is to compensate injured persons for any losses incurred. Because civil and criminal remedies fulfill different objectives, a government may provide both for the same offense. The multiple legal proceedings brought against O. J. (Orenthal James) Simpson in the death of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman illustrate these various objectives. The state of California prosecuted Simpson for the murders of his former wife and her friend. Despite Simpson's acquittal in the criminal case, three civil suits were filed against him by the families of the two victims. The criminal proceedings were instituted with the purpose of punishing Simpson, incarcerating him, and deterring others from similar behavior. The civil suits were intended to make the victims' families whole by compensating them with money damages for the losses they had suffered. The distinctions between criminal and civil proceedings and between punitive and remedial remedies may appear semantic, but they raise real legal issues. Courts have recognized that civil remedies may advance punitive goals. When they do, double jeopardy questions surface. For example, a civil Forfeiture or civil fine, although characterized by the legislature as remedial, becomes punitive when the value of the property seized or the amount of the fine imposed is "overwhelmingly disproportionate" to society's loss (Halper). This principle was exemplified when the U.S. Supreme Court prohibited the federal government from seeking a $130,000 civil penalty against a man who previously had been sentenced to prison for the same offense of filing $585 worth of false Medicare claims (Halper). The Court concluded that the gross disparity between the fine imposed and society's economic loss reflected a punitive remedial aim. Conversely, many courts have ruled that Punitive Damages awarded in civil suits are not sufficiently criminal for double jeopardy purposes when the plaintiff seeking those damages is a private party, not the state. This ruling can be best explained by noting that the Bill of Rights guarantees protection only against government action. It does not create a system of rights and remedies for disputes between private citizens, as do the laws of contracts and torts. Courts have not determined whether punitive damages recovered by the government in a civil suit would bar subsequent prosecution, nor have they agreed whether a number of administrative proceedings can be uniformly characterized as punitive or remedial. Cases involving the revocation of professional licenses, driving privileges, Probation, and Parole have divided courts over the purposes underlying these proceedings. When Jeopardy Attaches Courts have provided much clearer guidance on the question of when jeopardy attaches, or begins. This question is crucial to answer because any action taken by the government before jeopardy attaches, such as dismissal of the indictment, will not prevent later proceedings against a person for the same offense. Once jeopardy has attached, the full panoply of protection against multiple prosecutions and punishments takes hold. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that jeopardy attaches during a jury trial when the jury is empanelled. In criminal cases tried by a judge without a jury, jeopardy attaches when the first witness is sworn. Jeopardy begins in juvenile-delinquency adjudications when the court first hears evidence. If the defendant or juvenile enters a plea agreement with the prosecution, jeopardy does not attach until the court accepts the plea. When Jeopardy Terminates Determining when jeopardy terminates is no less important, but somewhat more complicated. Once jeopardy has terminated, the government may not hail someone into court for additional proceedings on the same matter without raising double jeopardy questions. If jeopardy does not terminate at the conclusion of one proceeding, it is said to be continue, and further criminal proceedings are permitted. Jeopardy can terminate in four instances: after acquittal; after dismissal; after a mistrial; and on appeal after conviction. A jury's verdict of acquittal terminates jeopardy, and it may not be overturned on appeal even if it is contrary to overwhelming proof of a defendant's guilt and derived from a trial that was rife with reversible error. This elemental maxim of double jeopardy Jurisprudence entrusts the jury with the power to nullify criminal prosecutions that are tainted by egregious police, prosecutorial, or judicial misconduct. A jury also may impliedly acquit a defendant. If a jury has been instructed by the judge on the elements of a particular crime and a Lesser Included Offense, and the jury returns a guilty verdict as to the lesser offense but is silent as to the greater one, then reprosecution for the greater offense is barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause. For example, a jury that has been instructed as to the crimes of first- and second-degree murder may impliedly acquit the defendant of first-degree murder by returning only a guilty verdict as to murder in the second degree. A not-guilty verdict as to the greater offense is inferred from the silence. A dismissal is granted by the trial court for errors and defects that operate as an absolute barrier to prosecution. It may be entered before a jury has been impaneled, during the trial, or after a conviction. But jeopardy must attach before a dismissal implicates double jeopardy protection. Once jeopardy attaches, a dismissal granted by the court for insufficient evidence terminates it. Such a dismissal also bars further prosecution, with one exception: The prosecution may appeal a dismissal entered after the jury has returned a guilty verdict. If the appellate court reverses the dismissal, the guilty verdict may be reinstated without necessitating a second trial. The state may not appeal a dismissal granted for lack of evidence after a case has been submitted to a jury, but before a verdict has been reached. Reprosecution is permitted, and jeopardy continues, when the court dismisses the case on a motion by the defendant for reasons other than sufficiency of the evidence. For example, a court may dismiss a case when the defendant's right to a Speedy Trial has been denied by prosecutorial pretrial delay. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that no double jeopardy issue is triggered when defendants obtain dismissal for reasons that are unrelated to their guilt or innocence (see United States v. Scott, 437 U.S. 82, 98 S. Ct. 2187, 57 L. Ed. 2d 65 [1978]). A mistrial is granted when it has become impracticable or impossible to finish a case. Courts typically declare a mistrial when jurors fail to reach a unanimous verdict. Like a dismissal, a mistrial that is declared at the defendant's behest will not terminate jeopardy or bar reprosecution. Nor will a mistrial preclude reprosecution when declared with the defendant's consent. Courts disagree as to whether a defendant's mere silence is tantamount to consent. A different situation is presented when a mistrial is declared over the defendant's objection. Reprosecution is then allowed only if the mistrial resulted from "manifest necessity," a standard that is more rigorous than "reasonable necessity," and less exacting than "absolute necessity." A mistrial that could have been reasonably avoided terminates jeopardy, but jeopardy continues if a mistrial was unavoidable. The manifest-necessity standard has been satisfied where mistrials have resulted from defective indictments, disqualified or deadlocked jurors, and procedural irregularities willfully occasioned by the defendant. Manifest necessity is never established for mistrials resulting from prosecutorial or judicial manipulation. In determining manifest necessity, courts balance the defendant's interest in finality against society's interest in a fair and just legal system. Every defendant has the right to appeal a conviction. If the conviction is reversed on appeal for insufficient evidence, the reversal is treated as an acquittal, and further prosecution is not permitted. However, the defendant may be reprosecuted when the reversal is not based on a lack of evidence. The grounds for such a reversal include defective search warrants, unlawful seizure of evidence, and other so-called technicalities. Retrials in these instances are justified by society's interest in punishing the guilty. A defendant's countervailing interests are subordinated when a jury's verdict is overturned for reasons that are unrelated to guilt or innocence. The interests of accused individuals are also subordinated when courts permit prosecutors to seek a more severe sentence during the retrial of a defendant whose original conviction was reversed on appeal. Courts have suggested that defendants who appeal their convictions assume the risk that a harsher sentence will be imposed during reprosecution. However, in most circumstances, courts are not permitted to impose a death sentence on a defendant during a second trial when the jury recommended life in prison during the first. The recommendation of life imprisonment is construed as an acquittal on the issue of Capital Punishment. for more information: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/double+jeopardy

If you are need of a breach of contract lawyer California click the link.

What is Double Jeopardy and Does it Apply to Breach of Contract?

The law known as double jeopardy stops the government from convicting a defendant more than once for the same of a similar charge. Double jeopardy protects a person from successive punishment for the same type of offense. The double jeopardy law only protects a person under certain charges. These charges only include claims that do not put someone in jeopardy. http://wblawgroup.com/WebbBordson/blog/does-double-jeopardy-apply-in-breach-of-contract-law/

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Can there be a breach of contract if the parties didn’t sign anything?

Even if the parties involved in the contract did not sign anything and there was a type of formal close to the contract, then technically the contract exists.  Formally closing a deal could be as easy as shaking hands.  Most people beleive that a contract only exists if there is a document with signatures on it.  This is not necessarily true.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Letting the Court Evict A Tenant

A lease agreement is a document between a landlord and the tenant renting his property.  This document is honored by the state as a legally binding contract.  Both parties must honor all terms of this contract, and if they don't they may be sued for breach of contract.  


Ciara Sued for Breach of Contract

Read this article we found about singer Ciara:

Pulling out of a gay pride event has resulted in a lawsuit for Ciara. A Hollywood nightspot is suing the "Body Party" singer, alleging she signed a $10,000 appearance fee contract only to walk away from the deal. 

The Factory claims CiCi first signed on to sing at the L.A. Gay Pride weekend celebration tonight (Jun. 7), but had to scale down to merely making an appearance due to restrictions in her contract for tomorrow's show that she is headlining. Venue reps claim they were under the impression that Ciara would still be stopping by, and is suing to recoup money lost from her cancellation just earlier this week (Jun. 3), saying that they were left to scramble for an adequate replacement and lost money in marketing and promotion. 

A rep for Ciara countered, telling TMZ that she nixed the gig long before the final negotiation stage, and that her slot on the Pride Festival's main stage took precedence. "Ciara's commitment to perform at L.A. Gay Pride on Saturday (June 8) night prevented her from making such a Friday night appearance. Despite being notified early last week that Ciara could not appear, the Factory continued to market and promote Ciara's appearance."

"The reason for the continued marketing/promotion is unclear, as it is not known why the Factory would intend to continue to mislead the public, to cause damage to the L.A. Gay Pride festival and to attempt to portray Ciara in a negative light.”

Ciara's team followed with a tweet clearing up any more confusion. "The ONLY place Ciara will be performing at this weekend is headlining the Gay Pride Festival. Other advertisements are false!!"


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Three Elements For Breach of Contract

Here at WB Law Group we know suing or getting sued for breach of contract requires three elements.  These elements can be compared to a camera's tripod.  Just like a camera's tripod if one leg is missing it can not stand. 


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

California Statute of Limitations for Civil and Personal Injury Actions - An Overview

Read this article we found on the statute of limitations in California:

What Is A "Statute of Limitations"

A statute of limitations is a law which places a time limit on pursuing a legal remedy in relation to wrongful conduct. After the expiration of the statutory period, unless a legal exception applies, the injured person loses the right to file a lawsuit seeking money damages or other relief.

Proliferation of Statutes

Although people often speak of "the statute of limitations", in fact there are many statutes which apply limitations periods to civil actions. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of the various statutes and their exceptions. Thus it is a very good idea for somebody who is concerned about losing their right to sue as a result of the expiration of the statutory limitations period to consult with a qualified lawyer, who can help determine which statute applies, and help preserve the right to recover damages.

Specific Civil Actions

The following periods represent a small sample of the statutory limitations periods in California. Please note that it may be possible to bring multiple causes of action from a single incident of wrongful conduct, and thus even if it appears that the relevant statute of limitations has run it may remain possible to bring a different claim. Also, there may be an exception to the standard limitations period that applies to any given situation. The following list is provided by way of example. If you wish to know how the statute of limitations applies to a specific situation, you should verify the statutory time period and its relevance to your situation with a qualified California lawyer.
Professional Malpractice: Legal malpractice, 1 year from date of discovery, to a maximum of four years from the date of the wrongful act. Medical malpractice, 3 years from the date of the injury, or one year from the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered the injury, whichever occurs first. If the medical malpractice action is based upon the presence of a foreign object found inside the plaintiff's body, the statute of limitations does not start to run until the plaintiff discovers, or should have discovered, the object. The periods of limitation for medical malpractice apply to minors six years of age and older.
Personal Injury: 2 years.
Fraud: 3 years.
Libel / Slander / Defamation: 1 year.
Injury to Personal Property: 3 years.
Product Liability: 2 years.
Contracts: Written, 4 years; Oral, 2 years.

Statute of Limitations or Statute of Repose

A statute of repose is different from a statute of limitations, in that after the statutory period has expired it is not possible to file a lawsuit even if an injury occurs after that time. For example, if there is a twenty year statute of repose on the manufacture of aircraft, a claim cannot be filed against the manufacturer more than twenty years after the date of manufacture, even if a design or manufacturing defect is responsible for a later accident.

Accrual of Claims

A statute of limitations is said to start running at the time a claim accrues. Ordinarily, that is the time at which an injury is suffered.

The Discovery Rule

Sometimes it is not reasonably possible for a person to discover the cause of an injury, or even to know that an injury has occurred, until considerably after the act which causes the injury. For example, an error in the drafting of a will might not be noticed until the will is being executed, decades after it was drafted, or a financial planner's embezzlement might not be noticed for years due to the issuance of false statements of account.
When it applies, the "discovery rule" permits a suit to be filed within a certain period of time after the injury is discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered. The discovery rule does not apply to all civil injuries, and sometimes the period of time for bringing a claim post-discovery can be short, so it is important to seek legal assistance quickly in the event of the late discovery of an injury.

Tolling of the Statute of Limitations

In addition to late discovery, it may be possible to avoid the harsh result of a statute of limitation by arguing that the statute has been "tolled". When it is said that a statute is "tolled", it means that something has stopped the statute from running for a period of time. Typical reasons for tolling a statute of limitations include minority (the victim of the injury was a minor at the time the injury occurred), mental incompetence (the victim of the injury was not mentally competent at the time the injury occurred), and the defendant's bankruptcy (the "automatic stay" in bankruptcy ordinarily tolls the statute of limitations until such time as the bankruptcy is resolved or the stay is lifted).
Under California law, except in cases of medical malpractice, a minor has two years from the date of his or her 18th birthday to file a tort claim. For medical malpractice actions involving minors below the age of six, the action must be filed within three years of the date of the injury or before the minor's eighth birthday, whichever period is greater.

Contractual Limitations

It is often possible to shorten a statutory limitations period by contract. For example, an employment contract might require that any claim relating to the employment relationship, including wrongful termination, be filed within one year of the claimed wrongful conduct. Courts often uphold these clauses, particularly in the context of business transactions, even though they provide for a shorter limitations period than the statute of limitations would otherwise apply.


Statute of Limitations for Breach of Contract

Lets look at the example of a restaurant owner.  The restaurants enters into a written contract with a seafood supplier.  Everything was going smoothly until the supplier missed his quota of seafood.  This results in your customers being disappointed that their favorite dish is not available.  This restaurant owner might then consider legal action agains the supplier for breach of contract. 


Friday, August 9, 2013

Discrimination Comes in Different Shades

California is known for having a mix of different races, ethnic origins, and nationalities.  That is how California got the nickname, "The Melting Pot."  California's population over the last half-century has increased greatly.  This is due to the amount of immigrants from across the Pacific Ocean and jus south of the border. 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Reasons for Having a Real Estate Attorney Present at Closing

Check out this article on real estate attorneys:

So far everything has gone well: You've found the perfect house, and you've obtained a mortgage with a low interest rate. You've agreed to the closing date, and now you're thinking of some new furniture or some additional landscaping for your new home. So why not save a little money for those items by skipping a lawyer and handling the closing yourself?

Legal Language

Buyers and sellers alike can often find the closing process confusing. According to the Diamond Law Group, there are numerous documents to prepare and sign as well as documents to record, taxes to pay and transfer and insurance provisions to make. However, most of this is couched in legal terms unfamiliar to the average buyer and seller. Not only will an attorney make sure that all documents are handled according to the law, he will also be able to explain the meaning of the formal language and terms.

State Laws

While many laws governing real estate transactions are the same everywhere in the country, some are specific to individual states. For example, in California sellers must disclose certain information such as known defects, the existence of any environmental dangers, items to remain on the property, and whether a death has occurred on the property within the prior three years along with the circumstances surrounding it. If the buyer opts for a home inspection, California law prescribes what the inspector can and should look for during the inspection. Those same real estate laws enumerate the closing costs that a buyer should expect to pay.

Dispute Settlement

While it may seem that the purchase agreement is straightforward, disputes can arise at the closing over the cost of the property, time of possession, personal property remaining or being removed, and even zoning or restrictions concerning use. A real estate lawyer has the expertise to help settle any such disputes before the closing is finalized.

Real Estate Agent or Lawyer?

Many buyers and sellers believe that the real estate agent can handle any procedures that are part of the closing. However, the real estate agent's duty is to act as an agent for the buyer or seller only; he usually does not have the legal expertise to settle any disputes or difficult situations that may arise. Most participants in a closing will find that the additional cost of a lawyer is money well spent.


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