News & Blog

employment law icon

New Employment Laws in 2023

The new year has brought a set of new employment laws to California, including amendments to existing laws that impose more stringent requirements on employers. These new laws govern employee pay, discrimination, paid and unpaid leave, emergency cond… Read More
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Start up on blackboard concept for Selecting the Best Business Structure for Your Start-Up

Selecting the Best Business Structure for Your Start-Up

The business structure you select for your start-up can make all the difference when it comes to its success and longevity. Having a defined structure makes a company more appealing to potential investors. The type of entity you choose also determine… Read More
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Office building Concept for legal considerations in commercial lease negotiations.

Legal Considerations in California Commercial Lease Negotiations

Commercial leases are complex documents that require meticulous review and rigorous negotiations. Unfortunately, they are often entered into by parties without careful consideration or a thorough understanding of the terms. For both commercial landlo… Read More
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Business lawyer team in negotiation to resolve a business-related dispute. If attempts fail and other alternatives are exhausted, commercial litigation might be the only option.

What is Commercial Litigation in California?

No business owner wants to be involved in a dispute — but they are sometimes unavoidable. Breaches of contract, confidentiality matters, and shareholder disagreements are just a few of the common conflicts that arise during the ordinary course of d… Read More
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Mary Cataldo Featured in North County Lawyer

Mary Cataldo, a partner at White and Bright, LLP, was featured in the October/November 2022 Issue of North County Lawyer. Cataldo’s article, Penal Code Section 496(C) and Treble Damages in Probate Actions, explores the implications of the recen… Read More
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Businessmen holding percent sign together Concept for shareholder dispute attorney.

Partnership and Shareholder Disputes: Common Reasons for Litigation

In business, partnership and shareholder disputes can arise due to a wide variety of reasons. Critically, these types of conflicts can impact a company’s reputation, growth, and bottom line. Although disputes between partners and shareholders can s… Read More
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Finger pushes over block letters spelling out DEAL. Concept for Breach of Contract

Understanding Breach of Contract Elements

At some point, most California business owners face a breach of contract issue. The term “breach of contract” means that one of the parties broke the terms set forth in the contractual agreement. Whether they failed to provide the product or serv… Read More
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Attorney Elizabeth Baker Joins White and Bright

White and Bright, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Elizabeth Baker as the firm’s newest associate attorney. Ms. Baker will add to the firm’s rapidly expanding trust and estates practice, specifically focusing on litigation, prob… Read More
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Paper with employee's weekly time sheet hours listed on a table. Concept for California Employers Protect Themselves from Wage and Hour Claims.

How Can California Employers Protect Themselves from Wage and Hour Claims?

Wage and hour claims are among some of the most common lawsuits faced by employers in California. These types of claims can arise when an employee accuses their employer of withholding the wages they earned or having paid the employee improper wages.… Read More
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Three 100 dollar bills are buried in sand on the beach near sea at sunset. Offshore trust concept.

Why Offshore Trusts Do Make Sense

An offshore trust is an essential planning tool that can help ensure your assets are protected and your wealth is preserved for your loved ones in the future. However, you might be wondering whether it is worthwhile to set up a trust in a foreign jur… Read More
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Cannabis tenants sign on the store -

How to Handle Commercial Leases with Cannabis Tenants

For new businesses, finding the right commercial space is critical — especially in the cannabis industry. There are a number of issues that can impact commercial landlords who lease to cannabis businesses. While the factors will vary, depending on… Read More
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Attorney Bridget Burns Promoted to Partner

White and Bright, LLP, a Southern California-based real estate law, estate planning, and probate law firm, has announced the promotion of Bridget Burns, who specializes in asset protection, estate planning, and probate, from senior counsel to partner… Read More
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trusts and estate attorney

Different Types of Trusts Used in Estate Planning

Whether your objective is to minimize estate taxes, ensure financial privacy, preserve your family’s wealth, or distribute property more easily to your loved ones, trusts are an integral tool in estate planning. In California, there are a multiple… Read More
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Possible quiet title action house for sale by owner.

What is a Quiet Title Action?

There are various reasons a dispute may arise concerning ownership of residential or commercial property. If you own or are about to invest in property that has a cloud on title, it’s crucial to take the necessary measures to protect your rights. C… Read More
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Attorneys Tucker Phillips and Kalli Sarkin Join White and Bright

White and Bright, LLP, is pleased to announce the addition of two new associate attorneys: Tucker Phillips and Kalli Sarkin. These new hires reflect the firm’s rapid growth. About Tucker Phillips Philips will add to the firm’s real proper… Read More
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Sunrise at the beach of reasons to set up a Cook Islands trust.

5 Reasons to Set Up a Cook Islands Trust

There are several reasons to set up a Cook Islands trust; as these factors have gained traction, the Cook Islands have emerged as one of the most popular jurisdictions for setting up offshore trusts. A Cook Islands offshore trust structure provides s… Read More
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MELISSA ENGLE RECOGNIZED AS RISING STAR IN 2022

Melissa Engle, a partner at White and Bright, LLP, has been named a 2022 San Diego Rising Star by Super Lawyers. This is the seventh consecutive year that Ms. Engle has been recognized with this award; this repeated recognition serves as a testament… Read More
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Key from real estate and gavel. Commonly Litigated Issues in Real Estate concept

10 Commonly Litigated Issues Related to Real Estate

There are many different types of disputes that can occur during the course of a real estate transaction, and some issues related to real estate can even occur after the transaction has already been completed. While many controversies can be settled… Read More
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myths about offshore trusts

Myths About Offshore Trusts

Myths about offshore trusts are widespread and misleading. An offshore trust is a strategic asset protection tool that can offer various benefits, depending on your objectives. These structures are set up in foreign jurisdictions outside the United S… Read More
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california usury exemption

California Usury Law Exemption for Real Estate Brokers

The California Constitution protects citizens within the state from usury, which is the lending of money at excessively high rates. While lenders are generally permitted to contract with borrowers for loans used primarily for personal, family, and ho… Read More
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Cook Islands International Relationship Trust Act

Cook Islands International Relationship Property Trust Act (2021)

An offshore Cook Islands trust has many advantages for those who wish to safeguard their assets and property. Not only can these types of trusts provide a maximum level of protection from creditors, lawsuits, and judgments, but now, they can also off… Read More
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offshore asset protection

Why Offshore Asset Protection May Be Right for You

There are many misconceptions concerning offshore asset protection methods. Some people might believe offshore trusts are only for high net-worth individuals or celebrities. Others may think they are used to conceal assets or carry out illegal activi… Read More
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Mary Cataldo Elected to PASD Board of Directors

Mary Cataldo, a partner at White and Bright, LLP, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Probate Attorneys of San Diego (PASD). Cataldo will serve on the Board for the 2022-2025 term. Giving Back to the Organization Cataldo first became in… Read More
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Estate litigation - will contest concept

How to Contest a Will and When You Should

A last will and testament is a crucial document that distributes an individual’s property in accordance with their wishes when they pass away. If you believe that you were entitled to a larger portion of your loved one’s estate or you were wrongf… Read More
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Real Estate - Easements Concept

What are the Different Types of Easements?

Easements can be very complex — and they can often be the source of contentious legal disputes. In California, there are several types of easements that cover a wide variety of scenarios. If you’re considering purchasing a property with an easeme… Read More
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Probate Court Documents - How to Avoid Probate in California

5 Tips for Avoiding Probate in California

Probate is the legal process by which the court distributes a deceased person’s property to their legal heirs. But as most people are aware, probate proceedings can be lengthy and costly. Importantly, with advance planning, there are several measur… Read More
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Cryptocurrency and Your Estate Plan

By: Bridget Burns Most assets are relatively straightforward to deal with when creating your estate plan. Real property can be deeded to a trust; bank and investment accounts can have the title changed or transfer on death designations made out to th… Read More
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Melissa Engle Recognized as Rising Star in 2021

Melissa Engle, a partner at White and Bright, LLP, has been named a 2021 San Diego Rising Star by Super Lawyers. This is the sixth consecutive year that Ms. Engle has been recognized with this award; this repeated recognition serves as a testament to… Read More
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Attorney Bridget Burns Joins White and Bright

White and Bright, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Bridget Burns as its newest associate attorney at the firm. Ms. Burns will add to the firm’s growing trust, estates and probate practice, specifically focusing on complex estate plans, pr… Read More
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Attorney Melissa Engle Promoted to Partner at White and Bright

White and Bright, LLP is pleased to announce the promotion of Melissa Engle to the status of newest partner at the firm. For the previous five years, Ms. Engle has been an associate attorney at White and Bright, focusing on real property litigation a… Read More
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Jennifer Sinex Deemed Certified Specialist in Estate Planning by State Bar

White and Bright is proud to announce that The State Bar of California Legal Specialization program has named Jennifer Sinex as a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law. The State Bar of California program for certifying leg… Read More
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Employee Accommodations: A Primer

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires employers to reasonably accommodate the disabilities of their employees. The regulations outline a four-step interactive process that an employer must take to accommodate a disabled employee. Read More
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Associate Attorney Anna Burnett Joins White and Bright

White and Bright, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Anna Burnett as its newest associate attorney at the firm. Ms. Burnett will add to the firm’s corporate, entity and real estate transactions practice. “Anna is an experienced transactio… Read More
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Melissa Engle Recognized as Rising Star in 2020

Melissa Engle, a partner at White and Bright, LLP, has been named a 2020 San Diego Rising Star by Super Lawyers. This is the fifth consecutive year that Ms. Engle has been recognized with this award; this repeated recognition serves as a testament to… Read More
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Commercial Leases for the Small Business Owner

By: Frederick W. Pfister A commercial lease can have a major impact on your business, whether we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, or not. This is especially true in San Diego County, where the price of real estate, and commercial space, is… Read More
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Fred Pfister to Host Virtual Legal Update on COVID-19 – Selling Real Estate Virtually

On April 14, 2020, attorney Fred Pfister will present a legal seminar for the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS®. This virtual seminar is targeted to real estate agents and brokers to update them on recent developments surrounding the Corona… Read More
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Attorney Matthew Bertolucci Joins White and Bright

White and Bright, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Matthew Bertolucci as its newest associate attorney at the firm. Mr. Bertolucci will add to the firm’s litigation and real estate practice, two of White and Bright’s most rapidly gr… Read More
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Important Considerations Before Leasing Your Property as a Wireless Cell Site

Cellular (“cell”) site leasing has become popular in San Diego County with the proliferation and increasing demand for cell phone and wireless bandwidth. This demand has created new opportunities for landowners in areas such as San Marcos, Oceans… Read More
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Jennifer Sinex Joins White and Bright as Partner

White and Bright, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Jennifer Sinex as the firm’s newest partner. Ms. Sinex brings decades of experience to White and Bright, and she will use this valuable knowledge to add to the firm’s estate plannin… Read More
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Mary Cataldo Joins White and Bright as Partner

White and Bright, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Mary V.J. Cataldo as the firm’s newest partner. Ms. Cataldo brings valuable experience to White and Bright and will add to the firm’s trust and estate and civil litigation practices… Read More
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Melissa Engle and Liam Perry Recognized as Rising Stars in 2019

White and Bright, a North County San Diego-based law firm for more than 37 years, announced today that two of its attorneys were named as San Diego Rising Stars in 2019 by Super Lawyers – Melissa Engle and Liam Perry. This is the fourth consecutive… Read More
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David Bright and Fred Pfister Present Legal Update

On May 18, 2018, attorneys David Bright and Fred Pfister presented a Legal Update 2018 at the North San Diego County Association of REALTORS®. This seminar was targeted to real estate agents and brokers to update them on recent developments in the i… Read More
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Michael Friedrichs Recognized as a 2018 Top Lawyer

In its March 2018 edition, San Diego Magazine has named attorney Michael Friedrichs as a 2018 Top Lawyer in the area of Civil Litigation. The list was compiled by Martindale-Hubbell®, the authority in attorney reviews and ratings. White and Bright i… Read More
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Attorneys Pfister and Engle Named 2018 Rising Stars

White and Bright announced today that two of its attorneys were named 2018 San Diego “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers – Fred Pfister and Melissa Engle. This is the third consecutive year that Mr. Pfister and Ms. Engle have been recognized with t… Read More
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David Bright to Present at 37th Annual Real Property Law Retreat

On April 19, 2018, White and Bright founding partner, David Bright, will be speaking at the 37th Annual Real Property Law Retreat, hosted by the California Lawyers Association (CLA)at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero in San Francisco. Mr. Bright is spea… Read More
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David Bright Presented at Real Estate Symposium

On October 27, 2017, White and Bright founding partner, David Bright, will be speaking at the Southern California Real Estate Symposium, hosted annually by the Real Property Law Section of the California Lawyers Association (CLA). Mr. Bright is speak… Read More
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Liam Perry Joins White and Bright

White and Bright, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Liam Perry as an Associate to the firm. Mr. Perry earned his J.D. from the University Of San Diego School Of Law in 2013, and graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2009.… Read More
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Categories: Firm News

David Bright and Fred Pfister Present Real Estate Red Flags Seminar

On March 30, 2017, attorneys Fred Pfister and David Bright, partners of White and Bright, LLP, conducted a presentation titled “Red Flags in a Transaction are Not Always Visible” for the North San Diego County Association of Realtors (NSDCAR). Th… Read More
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Failure of a Tenant to Obtain Rental Insurance Ruled a Material Breach of the Rental Agreement

In a recent appellate court decision (Boston LLC v. Juarez, 240 Cal.App.4th Supp. 28), the appellate court ruled that a tenant’s failure to timely obtain rental insurance following service of a three day notice to cure covenant or quit was a materi… Read More
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Recent Court Ruling on Judgment Creditors’ Rights to Obtain Production of Documents from Judgment Debtors Over Objection of Privacy Rights of Third Parties

When seeking to enforce a civil judgment in California, judgment creditors should be aware of the tools available to them to obtain information on the assets and finances of judgment debtors. Under the Enforcement of Judgments Law (California Code of… Read More
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Appellate Court Holds Real Estate Agents May Sue For Commission Splits

Recently, a California appellate court ruled on the enforceability of agreements for commission splits among real estate agents, which could have significant ramifications on how both agents and brokers share commissions earned for the sale of real p… Read More
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Junior Lienholders Beware of the Deed in Lieu

A grant deed in lieu of foreclosure (“deed in lieu”) given by a beneficiary to a foreclosing lender does not merge with the foreclosing lender’s deed of trust. For creditors with junior liens secured by real property, including contractors who… Read More
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What is Better than a Pre-Judgment Writ of Attachment?

A major concern collecting a business debt is whether the debtor has the assets to satisfy a money judgment and whether the assets will be available once a judgment is rendered for the creditor. The writ of attachment is a powerful tool to secure pro… Read More
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Good News, Bad News: The CASp Report

First, some bad news. A CASp report[1] is now required by law for commercial properties when a lease is negotiated. The good news: when you have this report, you have the power to correct accessibility problems and to defend ADA lawsuits. CASp Report… Read More
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ADA Lawsuit Reform – SB 1186

Introduction The Legislature enacted SB 1186 to as a part of its ADA lawsuit reform efforts, specifically to address litigation abuse, such as “vexatious litigation” — lawsuits that are not pursued to rectify wrongs or to advance or create a pu… Read More
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Koontz: A Valuable Weapon Against Government Sponsored Extortion

The U.S. Supreme Court decided a case which bolsters the rights of property owners against government agencies who impose “extortionate” demands or development fees. The opinion was issued on June 25, 2013 in the case of Koontz v. St. Johns River… Read More
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Boundaries and Encroachments – A Lesson in Sharing – Part 2

What Does Sharing Have to Do with Boundaries and Encroachments? Sometimes our selfish nature gets the better of us and we fight over things that should be shared. Disputes concerning boundaries and encroachments can often be resolved by better unders… Read More
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An Easement – A Lesson in Sharing – Part 1

What Does Sharing Have to Do With Easements? Sometimes, our selfish nature gets the better of us and we fight over things that should be shared. Disputes concerning an easement can often be solved by a better understanding of how conflicting uses sho… Read More
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Tax Exempt Organization? Watch Out for Adverse Possession

Adverse possession is often cited as a very narrow remedy in California due to the challenges in showing payment of property taxes. While California has a very short five year time period to acquire property by adverse possession, it famously require… Read More
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Interpretation of “Best Efforts” Clauses in Real Estate Contracts

What standard of care or contractual duty should be applied in order for a party to fulfill a “best efforts” requirement in a contract? This question is a frequently litigated topic in contract dispute cases, including real estate contracts, as..… Read More
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Valuation of an Easement – Appreciation in Value of the Servient Tenement

The recent decision in SCI California Funeral Services, Inc. v. Five Bridges Foundation (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 549, confirms a new valuation approach for determining damages in the termination of an appurtenant easement. Background of the Case In thi… Read More
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It's Your Obligation to Defend Against A Prescriptive Easement

The recent decision in Connolly v. Trabue (2012) 204 Cal.App.4th 1154, confirms that a property owner must be proactive to take affirmative steps if they want to prevent a prescriptive easement from being established over their property. A frequent t… Read More
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The Agreed Boundary Doctrine Requires an Actual Agreement

The agreed boundary doctrine is very often considered as one of the most straight forward legal doctrines. Essentially, if neighboring property owners agree on the boundary between their respective properties, that boundary becomes the property line,… Read More
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employment law icon

New Employment Laws in 2023

The new year has brought a set of new employment laws to California, including amendments to existing laws that impose more stringent requirements on employers. These new laws govern employee pay, discrimination, paid and unpaid leave, emergency cond… Read More
Read More
Start up on blackboard concept for Selecting the Best Business Structure for Your Start-Up

Selecting the Best Business Structure for Your Start-Up

The business structure you select for your start-up can make all the difference when it comes to its success and longevity. Having a defined structure makes a company more appealing to potential investors. The type of entity you choose also determine… Read More
Read More
Office building Concept for legal considerations in commercial lease negotiations.

Legal Considerations in California Commercial Lease Negotiations

Commercial leases are complex documents that require meticulous review and rigorous negotiations. Unfortunately, they are often entered into by parties without careful consideration or a thorough understanding of the terms. For both commercial landlo… Read More
Read More
Business lawyer team in negotiation to resolve a business-related dispute. If attempts fail and other alternatives are exhausted, commercial litigation might be the only option.

What is Commercial Litigation in California?

No business owner wants to be involved in a dispute — but they are sometimes unavoidable. Breaches of contract, confidentiality matters, and shareholder disagreements are just a few of the common conflicts that arise during the ordinary course of d… Read More
Read More

Mary Cataldo Featured in North County Lawyer

Mary Cataldo, a partner at White and Bright, LLP, was featured in the October/November 2022 Issue of North County Lawyer. Cataldo’s article, Penal Code Section 496(C) and Treble Damages in Probate Actions, explores the implications of the recen… Read More
Read More
Businessmen holding percent sign together Concept for shareholder dispute attorney.

Partnership and Shareholder Disputes: Common Reasons for Litigation

In business, partnership and shareholder disputes can arise due to a wide variety of reasons. Critically, these types of conflicts can impact a company’s reputation, growth, and bottom line. Although disputes between partners and shareholders can s… Read More
Read More
Finger pushes over block letters spelling out DEAL. Concept for Breach of Contract

Understanding Breach of Contract Elements

At some point, most California business owners face a breach of contract issue. The term “breach of contract” means that one of the parties broke the terms set forth in the contractual agreement. Whether they failed to provide the product or serv… Read More
Read More

Attorney Elizabeth Baker Joins White and Bright

White and Bright, LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Elizabeth Baker as the firm’s newest associate attorney. Ms. Baker will add to the firm’s rapidly expanding trust and estates practice, specifically focusing on litigation, prob… Read More
Read More
Paper with employee's weekly time sheet hours listed on a table. Concept for California Employers Protect Themselves from Wage and Hour Claims.

How Can California Employers Protect Themselves from Wage and Hour Claims?

Wage and hour claims are among some of the most common lawsuits faced by employers in California. These types of claims can arise when an employee accuses their employer of withholding the wages they earned or having paid the employee improper wages.… Read More
Read More
Three 100 dollar bills are buried in sand on the beach near sea at sunset. Offshore trust concept.

Why Offshore Trusts Do Make Sense

An offshore trust is an essential planning tool that can help ensure your assets are protected and your wealth is preserved for your loved ones in the future. However, you might be wondering whether it is worthwhile to set up a trust in a foreign jur… Read More
Read More