Call us  707-418-5118

952 School St. Ste 280
Napa, CA 94559

Hiring a Minor

Dear Mary, My youngest daughter wants an after-school job. I have a small business and I’d love to have her come work for me a few hours a week. What do I need to know about hiring a minor? It all depends on your daughter’s age and what kind of business you have. There are […]

Read More

Selecting the proper nonprofit structure

Dear Mary, I am thinking about forming a nonprofit business, but I have no idea how to structure my business. What are my options? There are three primary structures for nonprofits in California (although many other forms exist): unincorporated associations, trusts, and corporations. Some nonprofits also use the limited liability company structure. When you are […]

Read More

Going to Small Claims Court

Dear Mary, I have a client who owes me $3,000. I’ve sent a letter demanding the money, which they’ve ignored. I’ve done everything I can think of to get the money back, but I can’t afford to hire an attorney for such a “small” amount of money. What can I do? Have you thought about filing […]

Read More

How to deal with a job applicant’s past

Dear Mary, I am hiring for a new position and I’ve been researching all of the applicants online. Imagine my surprise when I found out that one of the applicants was recently charged with a pretty major offense. Can I ask him about it? If he really did it, can I pass on hiring him? When […]

Read More

Drafting a letter of intent

Dear Mary, I read your last column about letters of intent and I think I need one for a deal I’m working on. Should I write it, or can they write it? What should it contain? When discussing letters of intent, the first question should be who will draft the letter. Sometimes it’s easier to carefully […]

Read More

What’s the “intent”?

I have a small toy-making company and I’m working on a deal with a national chain to sell some of my toys. I’m worried that they might take advantage of me because I’m smaller, and we haven’t worked out enough details to make an actual contract. Should I do a “letter of intent” or put […]

Read More

How do you properly fire someone?

Dear Mary, I have a tasting room in Napa and I recently hired an employee who just isn’t working out. I’ve never had to fire anyone before and I’m worried that he’ll somehow come after me for firing him. How do you properly terminate an employee? For what reason can I fire someone? Firing an employee […]

Read More

When employees need a hand(book)

Dear Mary, I’m having a hard time with my employees. One of them is going through a divorce and can’t seem to focus on work, and the other one is constantly late and often calls in sick. They have both been with me a long time and I don’t want to fire them, especially given […]

Read More

Buy! Sell! Buy-sell!

Dear Mary, I run a pretty successful two-person business. My wife and I are working on our estate plan and I’m not sure how to handle my partnership interest. I think my partner should just take it over, but I want my wife to benefit also. If something happens to my partner, I don’t think I […]

Read More

Defamation vs. Gossip

Dear Mary, There’s an attorney here in town who I think is a jerk. Last week I told a friend that the attorney is a crook and he breaks the law because he thinks he can get away with it. He’s not actually a crook, but I really don’t like him. The attorney found out about […]

Read More
Skip to content