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Contract Negotiation Tips

1.     Put It In Writing.  You have nothing to lose by putting your agreement in writing.  Make sure to properly document all agreed-upon terms in writing even during the negotiation process, whether by way of a formal contract or a short email. 2.     Be Prepared. Before beginning any negotiation, you should know your goals and the desired outcome.  You should also identify items that are non-negotiable.  Ideally, before any negotiation, you should do research and find out as much as possible about the other side’s current situation, goals, desires and non-negotiable terms. 3.     Be Prepared To Make Some Compromises.  To ensure compliance with the terms of an agreement, it is important that both sides feel as though they have made a good deal.  Because you may need make acceptable concessions, in general, you do not want to start the negotiation process by offering your absolute bottom line.  Rather, leave room to negotiate, allowing the other side to feel that he/she has also achieved a good result.  4.     Stay Focused On Long-Term Goals.  While it may be alluring to get as many concessions as possible, stay mindful of your long-term goals.  Sometimes, conceding a small point may actually be more beneficial if it encourages the other side to compromise on an issue that is more important to you.  Stay focused on the long-term repercussions of each concession/compromise made or offered. 5.     Focus On The Positives.  Instead of focusing solely on the parties’ points of disagreement, it is important to remind yourself (and the other side) about all the issues on which you have reached agreement.  This approach also requires that you compartmentalize the key terms of your agreement, discussing and negotiating the terms separately instead of adopting an “all or nothing” approach.  This way, the parties can readily realize the progress they have made by way of a series of agreements rather than focusing on one impasse. 6.     Know When To Stop.  Negotiation is a process that requires time, effort and patience. If you reach an impasse, be willing to end the meeting and reconvene later.  7.     Consult An Experienced Attorney.  Even for the simplest of contracts, enlisting the help of an experienced attorney may help you secure the best results at the outset, avoiding potential pitfalls down the road. Don’t hesitate to consult an experienced attorney before and/or during negotiations.

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Lemon Law Basics

Lemons: A Common Occurrence Auto defects are a common occurrence.  Each year, car manufacturers buy back an estimated 100,000 lemons.  It is important to note, however, that in the vast majority of those buy backs, the consumers pursued his/her lemon law claims by retaining an attorney.  As such, to get the compensation you deserve, you should consult with an experienced Lemon Law attorney. Common Defects California Lemon Law provides for refund or replacement of vehicles with problems that substantially impair the use, value or safety of the vehicle.  Whether the defect actually impairs the use, value or safety is an objective test. “Use” as used above generally means that the vehicle’s components must do what they are supposed to do.  For example, the door locks must secure access to the vehicle.  The temperature control settings must allow control over cooling/heating in the car. “Value” as used above generally covers any value-impairing defects.  This could be, for example, problems with the paint on the body of the car. “Safety” as used above generally means that the vehicle’s stated safety measures/components must work as intended.  There is no requirement under Lemon Law that a defect actually put the owner in danger.  Rather, it is sufficient that, as a result of the defect, the foreseeable use of the vehicle would be unsafe. For example, if the safety measures/components perform in an unpredictable manner that could in cause an accident, this could be considered a “safety” defect. Some example of defects that have been shown to substantially impair the use, value or safety of vehicles are provided below: Stalling Failing to start Repeated check engine light warnings Steering problems Brake defects (other than squeaking) Malfunctioning mirrors and windshield wipers Malfunctioning speedometers and fuel gauges Headlight malfunctions Brake light malfunctions Malfunctioning door locks Diminished acceleration Heating/cooling problems Batteries that repeatedly die Transmissions that lurch when starting or stopping Paint that bubbles of strips away Other engine issues (vibrations, noises, overheating, etc.) Contact A Lemon Law Attorney Today! If your motor vehicle suffers from one or more of these issues, you should contact one of our attorneys to find out about your legal rights.

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Patent Law Damages: Reasonable Royalty

After a finding of infringement has been established, the analysis shifts to the appropriate scope and nature of damages.  Under 35 U.S.C. § 284, a patent holder whose patent is infringed is entitled to at least a reasonable royalty.  Absent sufficient proof supporting a claim for lost profits, the patent holder is entitled to a reasonable royalty for all infringing sales.  See Lucent Techs., Inc. v. Gateway, Inc., 580 F.3d 1301, 1340 (Fed. Cir. 2009); Rite-Hite Corp. v. Kelley Co., 56 F.3d 1538, 1554 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (en banc). What Is A Reasonable Royalty? In the context of patents, a royalty can be defined as payment(s) made to a patent holder in exchange for the right to make, use, or sell the claimed invention.  A reasonable royalty is the amount of royalty payment that a patent holder and the infringer would have agreed to in a hypothetical negotiation taking place at a time prior to when the infringement first began.  See, e.g., Uniloc USA, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., 632 F.3d 1292 (Fed. Cir. 2011); ResQNet.com, Inc. v. Lansa, Inc., 594 F.3d 860 (Fed. Cir. 2010); Lucent Techs., Inc. v. Gateway, Inc., 580 F.3d 1301, 1340 (Fed. Cir. 2009), cert. denied, 130 S. Ct. 3324 (2010). In considering this hypothetical negotiation, the focus remains on the expectations of the patent holder and the infringer had they entered into an agreement for a valid and enforceable patent, assuming that both parties would have acted reasonably in their negotiations. See Golight, Inc. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 355 F.3d 1327, 1338 (Fed. Cir. 2004); Maxwell v. J. Baker, Inc., 86 F.3d 1098, 1108-10 (Fed. Cir. 1996); Mahurkar v. C.R. Bard, Inc., 79 F.3d 1572, 1579-81 (Fed. Cir. 1996). In determining the reasonable royalty, courts consider all the facts known and available to the parties at the time the infringement began, and, specifically, the following factors (known as the Georgia-Pacific factors): The royalties received by the patentee for the licensing of the patent-in-suit, proving or tending to prove an established royalty. The rates paid by the licensee for the use of other patents comparable to the patent-in- suit. The nature and scope of the license, as exclusive or nonexclusive, or as restricted or non-restricted in terms of territory or with respect to whom the manufactured product may be sold. The licensor’s established policy and marketing program to maintain his or her patent monopoly by not licensing others to use the invention or by granting licenses under special conditions designed to preserve that monopoly. The commercial relationship between the licensor and licensee, such as whether they are competitors in the same territory in the same line of business, or whether they are inventor and promoter. The effect of selling the patented specialty in promoting sales of other products of the licensee, the existing value of the invention to the licensor as a generator of sales of his non-patented items, and the extent of such derivative or convoyed sales. The duration of the patent and the term of the license. The established profitability of the product made under the patents, its commercial success, and its current popularity. The utility and advantages of the patented property over the old modes or devices, if any, that had been used for working out similar results. The nature of the patented invention, the character of the commercial embodiment of it as owned and produced by the licensor, and the benefits to those who have used the invention. The extent to which the infringer has made use of the invention and any evidence probative of the value of that use. The portion of the profit or of the selling price that may be customary in the particular business or in comparable business to allow for the use of the invention or analogous inventions. The portion of the realizable profits that should be credited to the invention as distinguished from non-patented elements, the manufacturing process, business risks, or significant features or improvements added by the infringer. The opinion and testimony of qualified experts. The amount that a licensor (such as the patentee) and a licensee (such as the infringer) would have agreed upon (at the time the infringement began) if both had been reasonably and voluntarily trying to reach an agreement. See Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. U.S. Plywood Corp., 318 F. Supp. 1116, 1120 (S.D.N.Y. 1970); see also Interactive Pictures Corp. v. Infinite Pictures, Inc., 274 F.3d 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2001); Trans-World Mfg. Corp. v. Al Nyman & Sons, Inc., 750 F.2d 1552 (Fed. Cir. 1984). No single Georgia-Pacific factor is dispositive.  Rather, all factors must be considered and weighed in light of the facts of each case.

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Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

Auto accidents are caused by numerous factors. Some of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents on California’s roads are provided below. If you or a loved one have sustained serious injuries due to an auto accident and seek answers to any legal questions, feel free to contact our law offices toll free 1-888-999-9394. Most Common Causes of Car Accident on California Roads Distracted Driving: According to numerous studies, distracted driving is the most common cause of motor vehicle collisions. Common distractions while driving on the road include: use of mobile phones, eating, applying makeup, talking to other passengers and using hand held devices (text messaging). Driving While Sleepy  – Drive Fatigue: Driver fatigue is most likely to stroke individual drivers between the hours of 2:00 am and 6:00 am. If you are feeling tired and your eyes start to feel heavy, it is advisable to refrain from driving altogether and find a different mode of transportation. Driving Under the Influence: Driving under the influence of alcohol and or other narcotic substance is one of the most common causes of car accidents amongst young drivers.

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How To Hire A Personal Injury Attorney

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can be a daunting task.  Not only are you forced to cope with the perils associated with your accident and injuries, but you have to hire an individual who you not only trust, but also feel confident in their abilities.  For most people who have never had to go through the litigation process, they simply do not know where to start.  Fortunately, there are several steps you can take before hiring your attorney that can help you rest assured in the decision making process. You have to remember that civil lawsuits often take years to settle.  For better or worse, you will be connected to your attorney for the better part of this time.  Although it is always possible to sub out an existing attorney, it is always better to make the right decision the first time.  Below is a list of checkpoints to consider before hiring a personal injury attorney 1. Ask to meet with the attorney face-to-face.  In today’s fast pace world, attorneys are often found and signed without even an in person exchange.  While this can be successful, you are better off meeting with your attorney in their office in order to get a better idea of who you are hiring. 2. What have they done in the past?  Past victories do not always portend to future success, but it certainly can be an indication of how well they have done.  It is important to see not only how much the attorney was able to procure in past settlements, but also whether or not he or she has handled a similar case in the past.  Some attorneys specialize in only certain types of personal injury, such as medical malpractice or dog bites.  Make sure you find one that knows your case well. 3. Communicate.  Far and away, the number one complaint client have about their attorneys is the failure to communicate.  Within this failure are two types of complaints: (1) failure to respond or return phone calls and (2) failure to update the client on the progress of the case.  This can be extremely frustrating for clients, as they are often left in the dark.  Before you hire your attorney, call their office.  Do you get connected directly to the attorney, or are you simply going back and forth with a secretary.  Attorneys are busy, dealing with deadlines, court appearances and other issues, therefore they cannot always respond to your questions right away. However, they should be able to return your call within a short period of time. 4.  Look at reviews.  Online reviews can be misleading.  Often, the reviews are done by someone hired by the attorney to give them positive feedback (this is highly unethical, but undoubtedly done nonetheless).  However, sometimes it is possible to decipher between a genuine review and one artificially manufactured.  Look to see what people have to say. 5. Read the retainer.  Society in general has a bad habit of signing contracts without reading them first.  Many attorneys will charge hidden fees, leaving there clients in the cold once the settlement is disbursed.  Make sure this does not happen to you. 6.  Ask questions.  Lastly, ask as many questions to your attorney as necessary to make you feel comfortable.  For example, you should ask: How much are your fees? Why should I hire you? What is your background?  What are your special credentials? Who is primarily responsible for handling my case? Can I have your cell phone number? Will you update me on my case? Ultimately, there is no sure way to ensure that you will hire the best possible attorney to handle your case.  But by doing your due diligence, you can at least minimize the risk.

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