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Michael Anthony Licari
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Michael Licari’s Answers

67 total


  • I have lived in house (in California) for 20 years. Do I have to let family live with me with no warning ahead of time.

    I have lived in this house since 92. The house is in the trust of my father-in-law who died in 97. The trust has still not been dissolved. My husband died in 2007. I was told this afternoon that the sisters are going to move in tonight and I have ...

    Michael’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    It really depends on the lanaguage of the trust. The fact that someone is demanding you move into the garage strikes me as particularily strange because I doubt there is any language in the trust that designates room assignments. You need an attorney to review the trust.

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  • Can a lawyer legally start working for a client without having a signed fee-agreement in place ? What is the risk on both ends?

    Could he underperform, since there`s no written agreement in place, or the client to not pay for the same reason ?

    Michael’s Answer

    The fee agreement requirement depends on the type of case and how the attorney will be compensated (ie hourly, contingency). When an attorney represents a client on a contingency basis, the fee agreement must be reduced to writing and must be signed by both the attorney and client. (Bus. & Prof. Code §6147(a).) The attorney must, at the time the agreement is entered into, provide a duplicate copy of the agreement to the client. (Bus. & Prof. Code §6147(a).)

    The written fee agreement must contain stipulated information, including a statement of the contingency rate that the client and attorney have agreed upon, and a statement that the fee is not set by law but is negotiable between attorney and client. (Bus. & Prof. Code §6147(a)(1), (a)(4).) The written agreement must explain how disbursements and costs incurred in connection with the prosecution or settlement of the claim will affect the contingency fee and the client's recovery. (Bus. & Prof. Code §6147(a)(2).)

    It must also explain to what extent the client may be required to pay compensation to the attorney for related matters, arising out of the attorney-client relationship, that are not covered by the contingency fee contract. (Bus. & Prof. Code §6147(a)(3).)

    In non-contingency representations, where it is reasonably foreseeable that the total expense to the client, including attorney fees, will exceed $1,000, the attorney-client fee agreement must again be in writing. (Bus. & Prof. Code §6148.) The attorney must provide a signed copy of the fee agreement to the client at the time the agreement is entered into. (Bus. & Prof. Code §6148(a).)

    The written fee agreement must contain the basis of compensation including any hourly rates, statutory fees or flat fees, or other standard charges applicable to the representation. (Bus. & Prof. Code §6148(a)(1).) It must also contain statements describing the general nature of the legal services to be provided to the client and the respective responsibilities of the attorney and the client to the representation. (Bus. & Prof. Code §6148(a)(2), (a)(3).)

    Although the §6148 requirements will apply in most hourly or flat fee representations, there are exceptions. Section 6148 requirements do not apply where legal services are rendered in an emergency situation or where a writing is otherwise impracticable. (Bus. & Prof. Code §6148(d)(1).)

    The requirements do not apply where a fee arrangement is implied by the fact that the attorney's services are of the same general kind as rendered to and paid for previously by the client. (Bus. & Prof. Code §6148(d)(2).) The requirements do not apply where the client is a corporation or where the client states in writing, after full disclosure of §6148, that a writing concerning fees is not required. (Bus. & Prof. Code §6148(d)(4), (d)(3).)

    The answer to your final two questsions are simple. No an attorney cannot underperform. Attorneys have a fidiciary duty to their clients and must always honor their duty of care and loyalty to the client. The lack of a fee agreement has no bearing on these duties. As for your question about not paying your attorney who you apparently are not happy with his representation, you need to pay him for the work that completed for you. The attorney could sue you for a host of causes of action including breach of an oral agreement, unjust enrichment, and quantum meruit. All three claims may be succesfull even without a fee agreement.

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  • How do I evict someone from a house that is solely in my name, but they have established residency.

    A family member just moved in and now I want them out we are in california. There was never any kind of contract or verbal agreement?

    Michael’s Answer

    You need to provide more information. How did they end up in this house in the first place? If there is no agreement and they reside in your house illegally with no prior authorization - you need to file an action in Superior Court for tresspass or conversion. You could also call the police department or Sheriff although I rarely have success with this method because the officer never knows who to believe when he arrives at the residence.

    I don't believe an unlawful detainer action is appropriate because, based on the limited facts you've provided, never had a legal right to live in the premise. Perhaps a colleague can confirm.

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  • A contractor I referred to my customer verbally agreed to pay me when work was done and did not. Can I collect in Small Claims?

    I work with homeowners doing energy audits and we often times have jobs that require an approved contractor so we refer the work to these contractors after interviewing them and getting buy off on the terms. This is typically we do any HERS I Com...

    Michael’s Answer

    You may be able to record a mechanic's lien on the property but you'll need to consult with an attorney to ensure the work you provide entitles you to this form of remedy. Civil Code Section 3110 lists those persons who are entitled to record a mechanic’s lien, with the catch-all phrase being “all persons and laborers of every class performing labor upon or bestowing skill or other necessary services on, or furnishing materials or leasing equipment to be used or consumed in or furnishing appliances, teams, or power contributing to a work of improvement.”

    The breadth of the list is intentional; every person supplying labor, equipment, or materials to a construction project is equally in need of protection from unscrupulous or insolvent general contractors or property owners who, but for the threat of a foreclosure sale, may be inclined not to pay for the work performed or supplies provided.

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  • Landlord is delinquent on past hoa dues. Hoa is now threatening to tow our vehicle from our designated parking space.

    Hoa dues has been current for over 2 years, but has an outstanding balance. Parking space is deeded to owner. Is it legal to tow vehicle for delinquent dues?

    Michael’s Answer

    The short answer is no, I do not believe the HOA can do this. However, you'll want to check the HOA bylaws to ensure there is not a provision that would allow the HOA to seize a tenant's property. I cannot imagine such a provision exists but again you will need to check. You should talk this over with the HOA board and your landlord to ensure your car is not towed. Just because the HOA may not be permitted, does not mean they won't.

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  • Workers Comp- After QME Eval? What is next? What would delay settlement? What if I dont agree with Rating?

    What would be best case scenerio to fast settlement?

    Michael’s Answer

    You and the employer (really it's the employer's insurance company) will decide whether you agree with the Qualified Medical Evaluation. If you or the employer disagree, you may ask for another evaluation. If you both agree, you then use the QME's analysis to work out a settlement. Likely there will be a rating percentage that indicates whether you are permanently disabled. That rating translates into a dollar figure which would be the employees settlement. The calculation is based on the amount of time you work, your wage, and the disability rating. Agreeing with the QME's finding will speed up the settlment process. Disagreeing with the QME will naturally delay the process. The Department of Industrial Relations website can provide further assistance: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/WCFaqIW.html#5

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  • Are online "Will and Living Wills" (Legal Zoom) legal/legit in Kansas...my attorney wants to charge me over $500 for 2 Wills.

    Nope

    Michael’s Answer

    I will add that Legal Zoom is not an attorney, therefore you are not getting advice on whether a will is even necessary or the correct instrument to accomplish your goals. There are other options besides a will. I live and practice in California, and we rarely ever advise a simple will for a multitude of reasons. Legal Zoom will not explain your other options - at least to my knowledge.

    $500 is very reasonable imo and without question worth the extra money regarldess of what Legal Zoom costs. Like my colleague said, it's not rocket science, but you need more than Legal Zoom in my opinion.

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  • I need military legal advice concerning a large inheritance.

    My wife's father was murdered and in short my wife and i are inheriting up to 9 million dollars, multiple real estate properties in Ca Az Nv, also 2 construction companies and much more that were are still finding out. My end of contract is july 2...

    Michael’s Answer

    One of my partners and I are former Marines that now practice law. Without doing any research, we thought of 16 different ways to terminate your contract with the military. Many of them do not involve an honorable discharge. If you'd like, we can set up a consultation and discuss some of these options. Click on my profile and the contact information is there.

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  • Insurance co. refusing to pay for accident my son was in. Am i required to pay?

    My son was in a car accident and not on my liability insurance. Three men got off the car and beat my son up and took his identity and broke the passenger window with their beer bottle. Have a police report. 3 men show up w/mother at the police st...

    Michael’s Answer

    Your son can sue for assualt and battery. The owner of the automobile may sue for the damage caused by the beer battle.

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  • I was dismissed at work for an alleged criminal offence that was according to my employer,not related to my job.

    The 'investigating police officer' gave evidence in the internal disciplinary hearing where based on his evidence I was dismissed,the case in the matter was subsequently withdrawn in the criminal court before it had a trial date,the same evidence ...

    Michael’s Answer

    This is a difficult question to answer without more details but I can give you two general rules that should provide you some clarity.

    1. California is an at will state which essentially means that private employers can terminate employees (absent an employment contract) without cause for any reason so long as it does not violate pubilc policy. Among the reasons that violate public policy are termination based on race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation in some states, and whisteblowing. Therefore, your employer could terminate you even though you were not prosecuted.

    2. Public employers fall under a different set of rules which require due process before termination. Due process typically includes some kind of administrative hearing where the employee is given the opportunity to explain what happened.

    3. It is very difficult to succesfully sue police officers for investigating crimes. Officers communications are typically privleged and therefore they are protected from lawsuits unless the plaintiff can prove the officer acted with malice - the intent to harm.

    This is about all I can tell you based on the limited information you've provided.

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