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California Business, Insurance And Environmental Law Blog

4 options to help settle a business partner dispute

Working with a business partner is like any other relationship. You are going to have your ups and downs, there will be things on which you do not see eye to eye and there will be issues where you completely agree. And, just like your other relationships, it is important to choose a business partner who is committed to achieving a shared vision for the company.

Regardless of how well you and your partner get along, there may come a time when you end up in a disagreement. The solution may hinge on the legal structure of the company, as well as any items included in the Articles of Incorporation or the bylaws. Read further for four strategies to help settle business partner disagreements.

Looking at the elements of a bad faith insurance claim

Previously, we began looking at California’s Fair Claims Settlement Practice Regulations, which identify some of the minimum standards insurance companies need to follow in order settle claims fairly. In addition to this statute, another source of law for bad faith insurance claims is implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

The duty of good faith and fair dealing obligates parties in any contract to act in good faith. This means both parties are obligated to avoid doing anything that would unfairly interfere with the other party’s right to receive the benefits of the contract. In order to prove there was a violation of this duty, a handful of elements must be proven. 

Looking at California’s Fair Claims Settlement Practice Regulations

Last time, we began looking at the difference between breach of contract and bad faith insurance claims, noting that breach of contract claims are the more common form of litigation since most of an insurance company’s duties to insured are governed by the contractual agreement between the two parties. When an insurance company doesn’t honor its obligations under the contract, the insured is entitled to seek relief in court based on the insurance company’s contractual obligations.

Bad faith insurance claims, by contrast, are based on an insurance company’s duty of good faith and fair dealing under state common law, as well as legislation and regulations codifying that duty. One important set of regulations governing insurance companies here in California is the Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations. These regulations were implemented in order to establish minimum standards for the settlement of claims, discourage false or fraudulent claims, and to encourage swift and fair settlement of insurance claims. 

What is the difference between a breach of contract and bad faith insurance claims?

Whether you are an individual or a business, insurance coverage is critical to protect against certain risks. As consumers of insurance products, individuals and businesses expect that their insurance carriers will honor their agreements and their legal duties to consumers. When they don’t, the costs to insurance consumers can be significant.

When an insurance carrier fails to abide by its contractual and legal duties, the insured party can and should seek to protect its rights. Ideally, disputes can be resolved out of court through negotiation, but that isn’t always possible. In any case, the guidance and advocacy of an experienced attorney is invaluable in protecting an insured’s interests. 

Careful planning, sound legal advice critical for success of business merger, acquisition

Recent posts on this blog have looked at the topic of mergers and acquisitions, specifically with regard to regulatory challenges that can arise for companies competing in the same market. As we’ve noted, businesses can benefit greatly from working with experienced legal counsel throughout the merger review process.

Even when companies can avoid or work through concerns about antitrust issues, though, a lot of careful planning needs to happen to ensure a merger’s success. Companies have to have a clear plan to combine their resources and align their objectives for a profitable purpose and they must ensure a fruitful synthesis of corporate cultures. Companies must also plan for the risks involved in a proposed merger. 

Fantasy sports companies call off merger after FTC’s objection over competitive concerns

We previously wrote about the proposed merger between daily fantasy sports competitors DraftKings and FanDuel. As we noted before, the companies together own about 90 percent of the market for daily fantasy sports, making their merger particularly concerning from an antitrust standpoint.

Roughly a month after the Federal Trade Commission sued to block the proposed merger based on concerns about competition, the two companies announced that the proposal was off the table, and that they would be moving forward separately. It isn’t clear to what extent the suit influenced the companies’ decision to call off the deal, but it’s possible that they simply didn’t want to spend the money it would take to defend the merger against the opposition of the Federal Trade Commission. 

Commercial real estate transactions take considerable thought

Buying property for your business is a big step for any business owner. It is imperative that you take some specific considerations into account when you are trying to find the property that you want to purchase.

Make sure that you put your emotions aside during this process of buying commercial real estate. Here are a few points to consider.

A brief look at the water permitting process, P.3

In our last post, we began looking at the various steps of the water permitting process. We’ve already briefly discussed the importance of working with experienced legal counsel in filing an application, working through the environmental review phase, and addressing public protests and related board hearings that may arise. After these steps of the process, a permit may be issued, but only under certain conditions.

Before a permit may be issued, the State Water Board must determine two things: first, that the water the applicant seeks to appropriate is available; secondly, that the water appropriation is in the public interest.  If the board determines that these conditions are met, a permit may be issued. If not, it may either impose conditions on the permit or deny it altogether. 

A brief look at the water permitting process, P.2

In our previous post, we began looking generally at the topic of water rights in California, and specifically at the water permitting process. As we noted last time, the State Water Resources Board is responsible for reviewing and granting water permits, and there is a multi-step process the board uses to do this.

The first step of the process is to file an application for a water use permit. Applications are supposed to specifically detail the source of water, the amount to be used, the point or points of diversion, the place where the diverted water will be used, the purpose of the project, and similar details. Preparation of a strong application with accurate information is greatly assisted by working with experienced legal counsel. 

A brief look at the water permitting process, P.1

In our last post, we looked briefly at some of the opposition to Governor Jerry Brown’s new water conservation policy. As we noted, some opponents of the framework feel more emphasis needs to be placed on acquisition of new sources of water, which would entail permitting and licensing of water use.  

In California, of course, there is a dual water right system in which water rights can be both riparian and appropriative. This means that water rights can be based either on ownership of land above or adjacent to a water source, or on obtaining a permit or a license to use water for a beneficial purpose. Generally, riparian rights—those based on land ownership—have a higher priority than appropriative rights. 

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