Trade secrets are defined in California Civil Code section 3426.1 (d) as “information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that: (1) derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to the public or to other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use;…

A client who did not have an attorney during her divorce last year focused her intent in getting sole legal and physical custody of their very young child. In essence, she waived her rights to a much higher child and spousal support along with community asset division and in exchange she would have sole custody….

I have a client that resides in Illinois while mom and children (only 1 remaining minor) presently all live in Israel.  Mother requested the Los Angeles County Department of Child Support (DCSS) to enforce a private divorce order. The issues are a request for a modification of child support and determination of arrearages brought forth…

Atty. Castañeda concluded a three-week trial and successfully argued for her client, among other things, attorney fees and sanctions.  Due to the international aspects of the divorce (i.e. business transactions in the Middle East, Asia and California), tracing financial information was a challenge. Atty. Castañeda strategically and comprehensively proved to the Court that the litigation…

All too often in family law parties “stonewall” one another. They make frivolous request. They inundate the other side with faxes, emails, messages, letters, useless interrogatories, and more. They refuse to accept a reasonable settlement offer. What can a spouse do? California Family Code, Section 271 basically states that if “the other side doesn’t play…

As a result of having been taken into custody, assessed and admitted pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code  (WIC) sections 5150, 5151 and 5152 as a danger to self or others, you are prohibited from owning, possessing, controlling, receiving, or purchasing a firearm for a period of five years from the date of discharge. A…

It is important to understand that when people live together, whether or not they are married, a “confidential relationship” arises between them. For married persons this relationship arises from a legally recognized nature of matrimony. For unmarried persons, certain important legal obligations are present but may be of lesser value. Nonetheless, due to the trust…

There are several ways a prenuptial agreement can be attacked and found invalid. A premarital agreement is unenforceable if a party against whom enforcement is sought proves either of the following: (1) consent was involuntary; (2) the agreement was unconscionable. I have a client that was not represented by an attorney at the time she…

Although family law and criminal law are two very distinct areas of the law, they frequently overlap creating challenges for lawyers who specialize in just one area. When a family law case involves elements of criminal law such as domestic violence, child abuse, restraining orders, alcohol  (DUI) or drug offenses, the case becomes exponentially more…

It is approaching July 4th and as many of us know many people enjoy “blowing” things up. It maybe a “homage” to the rockets’ red glare that Americans love fireworks and prior to 1950, few states regulated them. But due to concern over injuries, enactment of laws were implemented. Even sparklers burns at 2,000 degrees…

I had two clients call me recently about why they were not provided their “Miranda” rights prior to the police asking them questions. If you are not under “arrest,” the rights are not triggered. Both clients made admissions to the alleged crimes and the analysis then proceeds to whether they were under arrest and should…

With the travel season here beginning, you can be sure that the police will be setting up sobriety checkpoints.  In California and in many states, police conducting checkpoints must comply with a strict guideline that is laid out by case laws. In California, the landmark case is  Ingersoll v. Palmer.  Why are these case laws…

Divorces could take years and in California, at least six months minimum would be required. If you want or need to get divorced sooner, there is a Motion for Bifurcation in which a party asks the court to terminate the marriage and restore each spouse to their single status. In some situations, the parties’ or…

Professional licensing agencies may suspend or revoke a license issued for reasons enumerated in the California Business and Professions Code (BPC). For many who have criminal convictions, whether they are doctors, nurses, contractors, they will be served and must defend against an accusation that   impacts their careers and livelihood. I had a client come in…

The primary purpose of the contempt power is to preserve the effectiveness and sustain the power of the courts.  The secondary purpose is to protect and enforce the parties’ rights by compelling obedience to court orders and judgments.  Examples of this would be failure to appear when subpoenaed, screaming profanities in court, and failure to…

An annulment is very different from divorces. In a divorce, there are no questions about the marriage. You simply want to end it and move forward with your life. In an annulment, the marriage itself is questioned—whether it is valid and enforceable. In California, there are 2 types of annulments: (1) void marriage (not legally…

Your criminal defense attorney should engage in serious talks with the prosecutor about a plea bargain. The goal is to get the charge and the penalties decreased.  One of the lesser offenses is what is commonly referred to as “dry reckless” pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 23103. A “dry reckless” is a misdemeanor charge defined…

I have a client that has a visitation order of a mere 5% due to a prior restraining order. He came to my office and wants to know what his options would be. Since the restraining order had expired, a modification is “necessary or proper” in the child’s best interests. Generally, a custody or visitation…

Like most states, the standard for child custody determinations in California is the overall best interest of the child with an emphasis on assuring the “health, safety, and welfare” of the child and “frequent and continuing contact” with both parents. This is especially true when there are no issues of child abuse, domestic violence, or…