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SSI

Supplemental Security Income, commonly referred to as “SSI,” is a federally-run program that supplies monthly monetary benefits for qualifying individuals. Those qualified include senior citizens (65 and older) and persons who are blind or disabled (including children). To qualify, you must have few resources and little or no income. Residents of the State of California receive extra income in addition to the federal amount, which is already added to the monthly benefit amount when it is paid.
Social Security

U.S. Social Security is a social insurance program funded through dedicated payroll taxes through the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Tax deposits are formally entrusted to Social Security funds for the purpose of later withdrawal for reasons such as retirement, disability, or being a surviving, qualified family member of someone with unused Social Security funds at the time of his/her death. For retirement benefits, eligible age of withdrawal is determined by the earner’s birth year and whether a minimum number of required working credits were earned over a lifetime. The monthly benefit one is eligible to receive is calculated by the earner’s average earnings grossed over a lifetime.
State Disability Insurance (SDI)

California State Disability Insurance (SDI) is an insurance plan for qualified California workers. The SDI program is a partial wage-replacement program funded by employee payroll deductions. This program allows qualified workers to receive temporary, short-term benefits for purposes of disability and the Paid Family Leave Insurance program for the care of a newborn child or seriously ill family member.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB)

The Unemployment Insurance program is a run by the State for qualified California workers who have lost employment through no fault of their own. This program, also known by the abbreviation “U.I.,” pays recipients in weekly installments so long as recipients meet eligibility factors such as being available and ready to work and actively searching for jobs. Program funds are drawn from employers who pay taxes on employee wages.
Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy in the United States is federal proceeding to grant a debtor relief from debt through either discharging or restructuring the debts. A debtor files a voluntary petition to commence this process under one of the six Chapters of the Bankruptcy Code. These Chapters include Chapters 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 15. Circumstances of the debt(s) and debtor(s) will determine what type of bankruptcy is appropriate to file. Generally these factors consider whether the debtor is an individual or a business, whether the debts are domestic or international, the sources of income of a debtor, and rehabilitation or reorganization potential of the debtor.
Contracts

California contract law is defined by an exchange of either written or oral promises that is enforceable by law. Large purchases, for example a house or a car, typically require a written contract, whereas small purchases, such as a book, usually only require an oral contract. Contracts normally exist on the acceptance of three factors to be considered enforceable. These three factors include 1) mutual agreement by both parties on contract terms, 2) mutual exchange of something of considered of value to both parties (exchange of labor for money, for example), and 3) agreement of an offer from one party to another (and not a counter-offer, which is generally viewed as rejection of said offer).
Business Disputes
Corporations
Contracts

California contract law is defined by an exchange of either written or oral promises that is enforceable by law. Large purchases, for example a house or a car, typically require a written contract, whereas small purchases, such as a book, usually only require an oral contract. Contracts normally exist on the acceptance of three factors to be considered enforceable. These three factors include 1) mutual agreement by both parties on contract terms, 2) mutual exchange of something of considered of value to both parties (exchange of labor for money, for example), and 3) agreement of an offer from one party to another (and not a counter-offer, which is generally viewed as rejection of said offer).
Litigation

The term “litigation” refers to a disagreement which has failed to be resolved through mediation and the parties seek the assistance of the courts to decide the matter. Litigation, in other words, is a fancy term for lawsuit.
Restraining Order

A restraining order, also known as an injunction, is a court order to stop harassment, abuse, or stalking endured from another person. Restraining orders can include a “stay away” order, which demands the ordered party from staying a certain amount of distance away from the abused party. When the parties are in a romantic or familial relationship, the restraining order will fall under the category of domestic violence. Otherwise, when the parties are not related or romantically involved (for example, the parties are co-workers, neighbors, or strangers), the case will fall under the category of civil harassment.

Normally, a judge will order a temporary restraining order (also called a “TRO”) until a final court hearing will determine if a final order will be granted for the asking party. In the State of California, a restraining order can last for up to three years.
Contracts/Warranties

California contract law is defined by an exchange of either written or oral promises that is enforceable by law. Large purchases, for example a house or a car, typically require a written contract, whereas small purchases, such as a book, usually only require an oral contract. Contracts normally exist on the acceptance of three factors to be considered enforceable. These three factors include 1) mutual agreement by both parties on contract terms, 2) mutual exchange of something of considered of value to both parties (exchange of labor for money, for example), and 3) agreement of an offer from one party to another (and not a counter-offer, which is generally viewed as rejection of said offer).

A warranty is a guarantee which is either stated or implied by a seller of goods or services. Often, items under warranty will be repaired or replaced free of charge if a defect reveals itself within the warranted period. If a warranty is breached, the affected party may have legal recourse.
Loans/Installment Purchases

Installment purchases are agreements made via contract with a business to purchase a product/material with the promise to make payments based upon a future schedule.

A loan is a debt which is paid back in installments. A mortgage is an example of a loan. Loans or installments can have interest attached to the price, which accrues over the period when the debt is being paid off.
Unfair Sales Practice

Someone who is a victim of unfair business practices, including but not limited to fraud, misrepresentation, or oppressive acts by a business, may have legal recourse. In traditional business practice, consumers who have been wronged must usually inform the business of the wrong in writing and wait a specified period of time for that act to be corrected before initiating legal action.
Lemon Law

“Lemon law” is the shorthand name for automotive consumer protection under the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. Both purchasers and lessees of automobiles possess certain State and Federal rights for malfunctioning vehicles. The law provides that lessees/purchasers of vehicles in need of repair (not due to old age) upon which a reasonable number of repair attempts have been unsuccessfully made will be reimbursed the price of the car and other costs associated with repairs. Consumers of these “lemons” have the option of choosing between a refund or replacement vehicle.
General Criminal

The term “criminal law” describes the law system under which penal offenses are governed. Whereas civil law is enforced between private parties, criminal law is enforced by the government. Non-compliance with these laws can result in punishment, resulting in jail time, probation, fines, or other restrictions.
Traffic Violations

Various types of violations exist in regards to vehicle ownership and operation. Traffic violations, also commonly referred to as “moving violations,” occur when a vehicle is in motion. Other violations, when the vehicle is not in motion, may include parking tickets or lack of car insurance. When a traffic violation occurs, the party involved may be at risk of jail time, points against his/her driver’s license, and/or incurring fines.

Unlike non-moving violations where the registered owner of the car can be demanded in civil court, traffic violations are prosecuted against the driver of the car when the violation occurred in criminal court.
DUI

A DUI is a criminal offense which stands for “driving under the influence.” It is illegal to drive an automobile, bicycle, boat, airplane, wheelchair, or other transportation under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you are fighting a DUI offense, you will need a skilled attorney. You may be at risk of losing your license or even facing jail time.
Expungement

Expungement is the process of converting the status of a “guilty” criminal conviction to “guilty but dismissed.” The process requires the defendant to fulfill terms of probation and pay all fines and restitution before the courts can re-open the case to set aside the guilty conviction and dismiss the case. Not all cases are eligible for expungement. Any case where the defendant must serve time in state prison or where the defendant is currently charged with another crime disqualifies the defendant from expunging anything from the criminal record.
Divorce

Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the final termination of a marriage. A divorce cancels the legal responsibilities of a marriage. At the time of the marriage, the property and debts are generally divided equally, and the issues of child support, custody, and spousal support are usually decided. Different from an annulment, a divorce does not render a marriage null and/or void.
Paternity/Custody/Visitation

Establishing paternity is the process of determining the legal father of a child. When parents are married, paternity is automatically established in most cases. If parents are unmarried, paternity establishment is not automatic and the process should be started by both parents as soon as possible for the benefit of the child. Unmarried parents can establish paternity (legal fatherhood) by signing the voluntary Declaration of Paternity. This can be done in the hospital after the child is born. A Declaration of Paternity may also be signed by parents after they leave the hospital.

Unmarried parents who sign the Declaration of Paternity form help their child(ren) gain the same rights and privileges of a child born within a marriage. Some of those rights include: financial support from both parents, access to important family medical records, access to the non-custodial parent's medical benefits, and the emotional benefit of knowing who both parents are.

Custody is a legal procedure where it is determined how the living arrangements and legal responsibility over the child will be divided between two parents. Physical custody regards where the child lives. Legal custody regards decisions about how to raise the child, for example about school and medical care. Custody can be shared between the two parents or, in some circumstances, sole custody can be awarded to one parent. Custody must be awarded according to the child's best interests. It is the public policy of the state to ensure that each child's health, safety, and welfare be the primary concern in determining the child's best interests when making physical and legal custody and visitations orders.

Visitation refers to an arrangement where one parent (the non-custodial parent) obtains permission to have scheduled visits with a child or children.
Support

The State of California Department of Child Support Services defines as “the ongoing monetary expenditures and payments necessary to cover a child’s living and medical expenses.” It is the opinion of the State that both parents possess “the legal duty to provide financial support for their children.” Child support may be ordered payable by a court of law to ensure that a child’s living and medical expenses are covered.

Spousal support, otherwise known as "alimony," describes funds designated to a spouse of a long-term marriage to fulfill the financial obligation of the marriage upon legal separation or divorce.
Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is abuse committed within the family. Abuse may consist of physical violence, stalking, harassment, sexually assault, or threats to do any of these things. Abuse can be spoken, written, or physical. Victims of domestic violence whom can prove allegations of DV may be eligible for a restraining order and temporary custody orders for children involved. Two requirements of a DV restraining order are relationship between the two parties (present or past) of either dating/marriage or blood relations and violence (or threats thereof).
Guardianship

Guardianship is a court proceeding in which a judge gives someone who is not the parent custody of a child, the power to manage the child's property (called "estate"), or both. A child might need a guardian because, sometimes, no matter how much parents love their child, they aren't able to take care of their child for various reasons. A child is any person under the age of 18. In most cases, a legal guardian has the same responsibilities as a parent. That means the guardian often has full legal and physical custody of the child and is responsible for providing the child with food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and protection from harm. The guardian may also be responsible for the child's behavior and any damage the child may cause. The court will look at what is in the best interest of the child to make sure the child is raised in a safe, stable and loving environment.
Tenant

A party who rents out real estate to another for the purpose of living or doing business is called a “landlord.” The renting party, or the “tenant,” makes a contractual agreement with the landlord to set the mutually agreed upon terms of the rental relationship. The landlord is usually the property owner but sometimes may be another party, such as a master tenant subleasing the property to another tenant. The landlord always has superior title of the property over the tenant. In general, the responsibilities of the landlord include general repair and maintenance of the property, and the responsibilities of the tenant include keeping the property clean and intact while utilizing the rented space.
Landlord

A party who rents out real estate to another for the purpose of living or doing business is called a “landlord.” The renting party, or the “tenant,” makes a contractual agreement with the landlord to set the mutually agreed upon terms of the rental relationship. The landlord is usually the property owner but sometimes may be another party, such as a master tenant subleasing the property to another tenant. The landlord always has superior title of the property over the tenant. In general, the responsibilities of the landlord include general repair and maintenance of the property, and the responsibilities of the tenant include keeping the property clean and intact while utilizing the rented space.
Medical Malpractice

When a patient suffers an injury or death due to professional negligence or improper care by a doctor or other medical professional, this patient has been a victim of medical malpractice. A patient seeking compensation for such improper medical care may bring forth litigation.
Automobile Accidents

Traffic collisions resulting in damage to another party’s property, whether private or public, may result in a law suit to recover funds for damages. If the guilty party is insured, the insurance company may likely be sued. If the guilty party is not insured, them the individual may bear the brunt of litigation. It is illegal to drive an uninsured vehicle.
Slip and Fall

In United States tort law, a person who trips and falls due to dangerous conditions resulting from the negligence of an organization, company, landlord, private homeowner, or other governing body can sue for damages. Damages may include coverage of medical bills, emotional distress, lost wages due to inability to work due to injury, legal fees, and other types of damages.
Legal Malpractice

When an attorney or lawyer has caused harm to a client by way of breach of contract, negligence, or client privilege, this attorney has committed legal malpractice. The injured party bears the burden of proving that the acts committed were significant and severe enough to cause real harm to the client and not the result of poor strategy. An injured party may have legal recourse in a court of law if the action against the attorney follows statutes of limitation.
Loan Modification

A loan modification, or mortgage modification, is a process where the terms originally agreed upon in such a loan are altered by the parties involved. To qualify, the homeowner must meet various requirements set out by the lender.

In 2009, the Federal government enacted the Home Affordable Modification Program to offer extra assistance to homeowners struggling to make their payments because of unemployment.
Foreclosure

When a mortgagor can no longer make their payments on their home loan, their lender may go through a legal proceeding, called foreclosure, to repossess the home by court order and terminate the borrower’s rights to repay the loan. The borrower’s right to repay the loan, or their equitable rights of redemption, may also be terminated for other liens, for example for overdue taxes. Once the court has ordered the foreclosure of a home or other real property, the property will be sold in an auction called a Trustee’s Sale.

Homeowners who fear they may soon be facing foreclosure due to struggling with payments can go through the process of applying for an adjustment of the terms of their mortgage, called loan modification. If the borrower succeeds in completing the terms of a modification, the home may avoid foreclosure. However, if the lending institution does not grant the modification or if the borrower cannot successfully complete the terms in a trial period, foreclosure may be inevitable.