Driven advocacy & proven results
Professional Attorney Review Franchise Agreement
$45,000,000+ settlement, breach of contract, business torts
$1,000,000+ savings, franchise dispute
$1,000,000 settlement, breach of contract, business torts
$930,000 recovery of real estate, bankruptcy, creditor representation
$500,000+ savings, franchise dispute
$250,000+ savings, franchise dispute
Real Estate Dispute among Co-Owners who are relatives, Partition lawsuit
Nick Heimlich represented an owner of real property that owned the property with a relative. The two relatives could not agree on what to do with the property. A lawsuit was filed to determine what would happen with the property. After extensive negotiations, the lawsuit was settled privately and the parties agreed on what to do with the property.
This kind of dispute where there are multiple owners of real estate that cannot agree on what to do with the property (like sell it or keep it) often leads to one party filing a type of lawsuit called Partition. Partition is when one party is asking the Court to force the sale of the property. Often as part of the Partition action, the party filing the lawsuit will also ask the Court for an accounting. An Accounting claim is where the Court could determine who has put in more money into the property. Sometimes even if there are multiple owners of real estate, one party or some parties put in more of the expenses of the real estate. Things to account for in a real estate dispute like a partition might include the down payment for the property, the monthly payments made, who lives (if it is lived in) the property, who pays the property taxes, who pays the insurance and who has received any rental income. Additionally, if there any extensive repairs or renovations done to the property, a party may seek reimbursement for that.
Real Estate Dispute among dating partners living together but not married, Partition Lawsuit
On multiple occasions, Nick Heimlich has represented parties who bought real estate together who were dating but not married at the time of the purchase of the real estate. Then, when the parties broke up, they had much more to deal with than just the usual moving out, but they have to figure out what to do with the house. Buying real estate before marriage complicates the breakup because now there is a property that is often co-owned by people who no longer get along. Further, one or both of the parties may be on the mortgage loan. This type of real estate partition case is then filed to have the Court help decide whether the parties should sell the property. Often before the Court would order a sale, the Parties are able to negotiate a settlement where either the property is sold the proceeds divided as agreed upon, or one party buys another out. I have successfully arranged situations where either the property is sold or one party buys out another party.
In addition to resolving what to do with the property, there will need to be an accounting of who has paid for the cost of the real estate, who is on the loan, any down payments, mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, etc. Nick Heimlich has experience in helping work with clients to get copies of relevant documents so that the Parties can resolve who has paid for what and how the monies from any sale should be split. Sometimes, one party is also able to buy out the other party by either refinancing the loan, or with cash from other sources so no sale of the real estate has to occur.
Representing Employer against claims by Employees for Wages, Overtime, Rest Breaks, Meal Breaks
As an attorney representing many small businesses in the San Jose area, many of those employers can have claims made by former employees for claims of non-payment of wages, overtime, rest breaks, meal breaks and other claims. Nick Heimlich has represented employers who had former employees claimed that they worked overtime hours that they were not paid for. Overtime can apply where workers who were non-exempt and hourly were not paid for hours over 8 hours in a day, or 40 in a week or in certain other instances. However, sometimes employees might claim they worked hours that the employer claims they did not work.
Similarly, disputes can arise when employees claim they were not given their rest periods or meal periods and seek additional hours of pay for those missed rest or meal periods. Nick Heimlich is aware of ways to help try to locate timekeeping records or other evidence to assess the validity of claims. He has helped many clients resolve their lawsuits for wage and hour issues thru private settlements. Some of those private settlements are reached thru private negotiations, and sometimes thru mediations. Mr. Heimlich has represented clients with a single former employee, or sometimes multiple employees suing the employer at the same time. Mr. Heimlich has represented employers in state courts in California, such as Santa Clara Superior Court, Alameda County Superior Court, and before the California Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement (DLSE) for claims regarding wages owed, meal or rest period violations and other claims.
We have experience handling claims for commissions before the Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement.
I represented a client involving a dispute about commissions owed. The matter was before the Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement (DLSE), which is an administrative agency with the state of California. I gained experience of dealing with the claim filing process, the hearing process and going all the way to the final award of the Labor Commissioner. The DLSE is an alternative forum to court for filing an initial claim for many employees. The process generally involves no fees for the employee or employer. The hearing is less formal and takes less time to prepare for than a regular court trial. The total legal costs in this forum is generally less and the result tends to be decided sooner that a Court might.
On another case I dealt with claims before the Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement for wages and other amounts owed.
In a case involving an employee that worked at a restaurant I dealt with a number of legal issues, including unpaid wage claims, liquidated damages for non-payment of minimum wage (under California Labor Code Section 1194.2). There were also claims involving interest under California Labor Code Section 1194.2, additional wages under California Labor Code Section 203 as a waiting time penalty. The case was involving a restaurant employee. There were also tips at issue, and penalties for not providing records under California Labor Code Section 226(f). The case went to a final award in the DLSE. The Law Offices of Nicholas D. Heimlich has represented many employers in the DLSE proceedings.
When an employee is not paid minimum wage, Labor Code Section 1194.2 allows that employee to claim a penalty equal to the amount of unpaid minimum wages. If wages are owed to an Employee, then under Labor Code Section 203, there is a waiting time penalty. A waiting time penalty is basically 30 days of pay (as if you were working all 30 days, based on the hours you normally work and your final rate of pay). Employers should be careful to make sure that all wages owed are paid to avoid penalties like Labor Code Section 1194.2 and Labor Code Section 203.
Employers and Small Businesses often need legal advice and employment law or collection issues and I have experience with that too.
Employers often have questions about issues that arise about employees. Sometimes, clients need advice on how to deal with an unproductive employee or one that is not reliable. I have experience guiding employers to try to create reasonable expectations of performance and asking employees to match those expectations. I also have experience guiding clients who have tried hard to get employees to improve their performance on either having those employees quit or decide voluntarily to find different employment. It’s best to contact a lawyer before you have terminated an employee. It is also key that expectations and documentation be given to employees so everyone knows what is expected and the consequences for failing to perform.
Small businesses often get into a problem with a non-paying customer or vendor or similar issues. I often try to advise clients on what to do with unpaid bills and to guide them thru the process of either getting paid. Sometimes unpaid bills can be resolved with persistence, and other times the unpaid bills require the willingness to file suit. However, it is always wise to try to limit the size of unpaid bills as sometimes companies or individuals will be unable to pay. The Law Offices of Nicholas D. Heimlich has advised many individuals and companies on collections issues for unpaid invoices, unpaid bills, or loans not repaid.
If you are considering joining a Franchise, consider a legal review of the Franchise.
Mr. Heimlich has been advising clients regarding franchises for many years. He has had the opportunity to advise clients regarding franchises for many different industries, such as fitness franchises, tutoring, child care, restaurants, personal services such as grooming. Mr. Heimlich has advised many franchise owners on entering into a franchise, exiting franchises and legal disputes regarding them. Mr. Heimlich has been advising franchisees and prospective franchisees since about 2007. Mr. Heimlich been practicing law since 2004 and am admitted to the United States District Court, Northern District of California and have appeared and argued before the California Supreme Court.
To assist clients with a franchise review, the firm must review the Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”) (often 200-300 pages) for relevant concerns, including the background of the franchise, the longevity of the franchise, any legal or financial concerns raised by the review of the FDD. Reviewing the FDD is a rather complex procedure that requires looking at the document over many different parts to identify items that may be of concern.
As a lawyer who has advised franchisees both on their contracts and litigated in Court franchise disputes, it is a good idea to have an attorney thoroughly review it before investing thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in the new business. The cost of reviewing a franchise is often a small percentage of the cost of any dispute involving the franchise or the overall cost of starting a franchise business.
Have you provided outsourced employees or services to other companies?
Our firm has experience with representing clients who provide outsourced services or employees to other companies. I have represented many clients in the high tech sector who have provided services to other high tech companies. Many times a large company like a billion dollar high tech company will need employees to do certain roles but cannot locate employees on its own in a timely manner. Sometimes other companies who already have people hired as employees will offer to have their employees work for another company under the employer of our client. Our clients will of course mark up the costs and services to the other company and make a profit. The types of services provided are sometimes very technical or information technology or similar types of services. Sometimes there are multiple layers of companies between the largest company and the client I represent. If some company in the chain.
The Firm has represented out of state companies who do business with California companies or whose contracts specify California as the venue for disputes.
I’ve represented companies who have done business with California entities or entities who do business in California. The Companies may be out of Texas, New York, Massachusetts or elsewhere. However, they signed a contract with some California company and then have a legal dispute with that entity that does business in California. Often the contract may specify that any dispute between the parties needs to be brought in say, Santa Clara County California. This type of clause is called a venue clause, which can force a party to bring their lawsuit or arbitration in Santa Clara County, California. The details of where the dispute must be filed and the forum (like Arbitration or Court) depend on the contract language and the type of dispute between the parties. For example, only certain matters can be brought in Federal Courts, and generally must have a specific legal basis to bring the suit in federal court. In federal court (to put it simply) usually requires some federal law or that both parties be citizens of different states and that there be more than $75,000 in dispute. This citizenship plus dollar amount in dispute is called diversity jurisdiction, which is established under Federal Law, 28 U.S.C. Section 1332. So, if you have a contract with specific language about the legal dispute having to be in California, feel free to contact the firm.
This firm has represented business owners with disputes among shareholders or owners.
Many clients have come to Nick Heimlich to seek advice when business owners cannot get along. I’ve helped advise clients when the owners can no longer operate the business together and sometimes cannot even talk with each other. Many different types of businesses have disputes among owners, such as stores selling goods, or service providers (such as cleaning services, professional services, personal services, etc.). When the owners can no longer get along, there is the question of how to resolve the dispute given the business and whether that business continues or closes.
In the cases where the business closes, Nick Heimlich has advised Companies on winding down operations. Often, one needs to look at all the contracts signed, all vendors, customers, and even city, state and federal taxing authorities. Then, Nick Heimlich helps to guide the owners on issues with closing the business. Sometimes there are also legal disputes even during the winding down, or even after. One example has been prior employees suing a business after it has closed for lost wages or other claims. Sometimes, it may be defending or suing over a breach of contract involving the business. These cases can often take some time and become challenging if there are multiple disputes in different legal forums. For example, the wage cases (or other employee claims) might be before the local Superior Court, like Santa Clara County, or before the Department of Labor and Standards Enforcement (which has a location in downtown San Jose). It is important for a closing business to realize that sometimes it will have to fight claims if the parties are seeking unreasonable sums that may not be owed by the business. Nick has litigated cases involving closing businesses in Santa Clara County Superior Court.
In the cases where the business will continue despite the dispute, there are complicated decisions to make. For example, who will run the business? Is one party being bought out? Are the owners going to split the business up (each taking some customers, etc.)? Nick Heimlich has advised business owners in many different lines of business, such as professional services like doctors, dentists, hair stylists, contractors, high tech workers like programmers, software developers, real estate agents, real estate brokers, tutoring providers, restaurants, marketing companies, janitorial services, assisted living centers, independent living centers, group homes, food truck operators, etc. Sometimes one business partner will be buying another out. When someone is buying someone out, a price needs to be determined. Sometimes, the parties can agree on a price. Other times, an appraiser may be needed to value the business. Some businesses can be divided up with customers being split and this avoids the need to value the business if the customers and their associated revenue are fairly well known. The businesses will also have to deal with any liabilities, such as outstanding bills or real estate leases. If you have a dispute and are trying to divide up a business, contact Nick Heimlich for assistance.
These are actual case resolutions. Each case is unique and the firm cannot guarantee, represent, or imply that the results of your case will be similar to the cases discussed on this site.