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© 2009-2017 Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law

Consumer Review Protection Now Part of Federal Law

Seal of the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016Consumer review protection now is part of federal law. Specifically, in December 2016, Congress passed, and then-President Obama signed, the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016, 15 USC Section 45b.

Interestingly, this law has some similarities to – but is more detailed than – a law that California put into effect about two years earlier. See Consumer Non-disparagement Clauses Nixed in California. However, the federal law applies only to consumer reviews that involve interstate commerce. (more…)

Constructive Notice Makes Sense – Here’s Why

Logo for Quora, where Dana Shultz answered a question about constructive noticeThis post is about a legal concept, constructive notice.

Its origin is a Quora answer that I provided. Please see If nobody reads the Terms of Service then how can they legally be acceptable as a disclaimer? (more…)

Hyperlink in Email Can Create Binding Terms

Stained-glass seal of U.S Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which decided hyperlink caseIn Online Terms can be Binding, even if You don’t have to Click!, I discussed enforceability of a website’s “browsewrap” terms of service. This post discusses how an email hyperlink can create binding contractual terms.

Lawsuit Brought in New York

Elizabeth Starkey filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against travel company G Adventures, Inc. The suit alleged that a G Adventures employee sexually assaulted Starkey during a vacation trip. (more…)

FTC Says Gag Clauses Violate Federal Law

Seal of the Federal Trade Commission, which filed a Complaint about gag clausesLast year, I wrote about a California law that prohibits non-disparagement clauses in consumer contracts. (See Consumer Non-disparagement Clauses Nixed in California.) Recently, the Federal Trade Commission took the position that such “gag clauses violate federal law, as well.

Roca Labs’ Obesity Treatment

Roca Labs claims that it has an alternative to bariatric surgery as a treatment for obesity. Roca says that its “proprietary regimen decreases hunger motivation, decreases urge to eat, and reduces gastric capacity by 45% to 65%.” (more…)

What is an Operating Agreement?

The first page of an operating agreementI have used the term “operating agreement” in quite a few of this blog’s posts. However none of those posts explains in detail what a limited liability company (LLC) operating agreement must contain. This post provides that information.

The required contents of an operating agreement depend on the state in which the LLC is formed.

Operating Agreement – California

In California, where I practice, the definition of an operating agreement is set forth in Corporations Code Section 17701.02(s). (more…)

Why do legal documents use Shall rather than Will?

Logo for Quora, where Dana Shultz answered a question about using Shall rather than WillThis post, about why many legal documents use Shall rather than Will, is based on a Quora answer that I wrote. See Why was “should” substituted for “would” in the 1800s? For example, why did people say, “I should like to have some pie” rather than “I would like to have some pie”?

Future Tense – Shall vs. Will

Although few people other than linguists are aware of the following, proper use of shall or will in the future tense depends on whether the subject is the first, second or third person. For example: (more…)

Who Is Bound by a Pre-incorporation Contract?

Logo for Avvo, where Dana Shultz answered a pre-incorporation contract questionThis post about entering into a pre-incorporation contract is based on a question I answered on Avvo. See Can I legally speak as my company in things like terms & conditions if I have not officially registered the company yet?

The term “pre-incorporation contract” properly should apply only to corporations, because that is the only type of business entity that is incorporated. Other types of business entities, such as limited liability companies (LLCs), are formed, rather than incorporated. However, as is discussed below, a pre-formation contract (in California, at least) is treated like a pre-incorporation contract. See 02 Development, LLC v. 607 South Park, LLC . (more…)

Can Parties Enter Into a Perpetual Contract?

Logo for Quora, where Dana Shultz answered a question about entering into a perpetual contractThis post is about whether parties may enter into a perpetual contract (one that never ends).

It is adapted from my answer to a question on Quora. See Is it possible to structure a contract with no end date?

It turns out the the answer depends, to some extent, on which state’s law applies. (more…)

Good Faith and Fair Dealing – Part of Every California Contract

Logo of Baskin-Robbins, party to case about implied covenant of good faith and fair dealingThis post discusses and explains the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

For decades, courts have held that this covenant is implied in every California contract.

Purpose of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

In 1942, the California Supreme Court stated that “in every contract there exists an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” The intent of this covenant is that “neither party shall do anything which will have the effect of destroying or injuring the right of the other party to receive the fruits of the contract“. (Universal Sales Corporation v. California Press Manufacturing – emphasis added.) (more…)

Under RULLCA Operating Agreements Have Limits

California State Flag, symbolizing this post about RULLCA operating agreementsAt the beginning of this year, the California Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (RULLCA) took effect. (See RULLCA Brings New LLC Laws to California in 2014.) This post discusses how under RULLCA operating agreements for LLCs have a wide variety of limits.

RULLCA operating agreements‘ limits are addressed in Corporations Code Section 17701.10. Unfortunately, that section’s discussion of mandatory provisions is pretty difficult to understand for the following reasons. (more…)