What We Do
Methven & Associates practices law for businesses and individuals located in or doing business in California. We provide legal advice and representation regarding:
We specialize in:
Our Service Guarantee
Advantages in Working with Us
Our Hourly Rates
Litigation and Arbitration
In addition, we represent the business community vigorously in commercial litigation and arbitration. In terms of commercial litigation, we have successfully handled a wide variety of court cases, including forcing domain-name mimics to stop their tactics, blocking injunctions based on allegations of breach of confidentiality and unfair competition, and recovering large sums for our clients in breach of contract litigation. In addition, the principal of the firm has 20 years of experience as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.
On the transactional side, we have handled many mult-million dollar sales and acquisitions of businesses, and often provide advice and services regarding corporate restructuring and mergers. With respect to franchises, we advise franchisees regarding franchise agreements, and we advise franchisors on required franchise filings with the various states and compliance with laws. Contract and lease drafting and review is one of our specialties; we draft plain-English agreements that still protect our clients. We frequently advise businesses how to comply with legal requirements, how to avoid having independent contractors classified as employees, how to structure employee policy manuals, and how to avoid violations of employment laws and lawsuits by employees. Often the advice concerns making sure that employee inventions and independent contractor work is owned by the company. For small businesses we work hard to provide particularly cost-effective advice, especially for start-ups.
Business Entities and Stock Offerings
We have formed myriad corporations and LLCs, including those with foreign investors or foreign parent companies. Frequently we establish shareholder agreements that eliminate later disputes by, among other matters, providing the company rights to purchase stock from departing shareholders-or departing owners rights to sell their stock-at prices set by objective formulas. We are experienced in setting up stock-option plans for companies that wish to provide ownership incentives for key employees. Our experience is not limited to for-profit entities: we have formed many non-profit corporations and helped them obtain charitable status. For clients bringing on investors, we ensure that the securities offerings are made without running afoul of securities laws, whether federal, California or those of other states.
In the real-estate area, we provide legal services for investors, deal-makers, brokers and other real-estate businesses. We help people choose the best type of entity for their situation, help choose the best state in which to form that entity-and then form the entity. In addition, we also provide advice and handle the filings for securities law exemptions when interests in an entity are being sold to investors. We draft-or review and revise-many types of contracts, including investment agreements and leases. Also, we help clients with Department of Real Estate and other licensing issues. For those with larger apartment buildings who are obtaining FNMA loans, we act as borrower's counsel with respect to required opinion letters.
We are highly effective in obtaining approval of trademark applications, despite the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's policy over the last few years of strenuously objecting to every trademark application. We provide our clients with practical advice and aggressive representation in combating infringement of their intellectual property and in the nuances of Internet law, including disputes regarding domain names. When our clients need licenses or contracts that cross international borders, we provide cogent advice, particularly regarding international arbitration and practical enforcement of awards-and where needed we locate and retain local legal counsel. We also represent foreign clients in protecting their intellectual property rights in the United States.
With respect to e-commerce, we advise our clients on privacy policies and crucial elements of click-through purchase agreements, including limitation of liability clauses, disclaimers of implied warranties, and provisions restricting jurisdiction to courts where our clients' headquarters are located. In addition, we advise clients on the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and with regard to compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act when they are Internet service providers. We prepare all types of licenses, from software licenses to merchandise licenses, with the agreements frequently crossing international borders and involving foreign rights. We have years of practice in negotiating and drafting programming, work-or-hire and software agreements, including specifications provisions and maintenance contracts. Our clients frequently ask us to help protect their trade secrets by handling confidentiality agreements (also know as non-disclosure agreements). With California clients, we provide agreements to protect their intellectual property even though California courts routinely strike down non-competition clauses.
Estate Planning and Probate
As an outgrowth of our business practice, we also draft wills, trusts and powers of attorney for our clients. Where someone has passed on without a will or trust, we also handle probates and non-probate procedures for transferring property to the heirs.