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New California Laws That Could Affect Your Park

Establishes the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Program (MRLP), beginning July 1, 2020, within the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to help coordinate the resolution of complaints from homeowners relating to the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL). Specifically, this bill:

Random Thoughts About "Failure To Maintain Lawsuits"

FTMp9.JPGThe Mobilehome industry remains an unwilling participant and target defendant in multiple Failure to Maintain ("FTM") lawsuits. As a result, the legal exposure of Mobilehome Park owners in California has dramatically increased over the past 20+ years.

EQUAL PAY: THE EVER-CHANGING WORLD OF EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION

equalpay.jpgFor more than 35 years, California courts have accepted that the wage history of a newly hired person's prior salary as a "factor other than sex" in determining their current pay rate. A 2018 Court of Appeal decision found that an employer justifying an employee's current wage based upon previous employment compensation creates or perpetuates gender or race discrimination. It may be time for your company to revisit your hiring and employment practices, especially differences in compensation between your male and female employees to ensure that compensation differences are legally "job related."

CLUBHOUSE USE AND "SOCIAL HOSTS"

Many manufactured home communities have clubhouses for park and social events. Some events are sponsored by the Park, but some are sponsored by individuals or groups that reside within a given manufactured home community. An ongoing issue in many parks is whether to allow the service of alcoholic beverages at events held in a park's clubhouse. My firm, as a generality, always encourages any park owner that allows the use of a common area facility for an event where alcohol will be served, to require some form of additional adequate insurance.

Mobilehome Park Ground Lease

Ground leases are long term-leases that share many of the characteristics of a land purchase. The ground lessee acquires long-term exclusive rights of possession, including the right to build on and use the property as the lessee sees fit and to obtain any depreciation or other tax advantages that may accrue by virtue of owning income producing land.

Trade Secrets Finally Get the Respect They Deserve

In May, President Obama signed into law new legislation known as the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (or "DTSA") which is intended to provide enhanced means of protecting the confidential information that many companies rely upon as the basis for their competitive advantage. More specifically, the DTSA amends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to provide a federal cause of action to private companies for trade secret misappropriation. The DTSA became effective immediately, but only applies to misappropriation occurring on or after the law's effective date and only protects trade secrets that are "related to a product or service used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce." 18 U.S.C. ยง 1836(b).

Who Will 'Walk the Plank' In the Battle Over the HAVANA CLUB Trademark?

It has been quite some time since real pirates plied the waters of the Caribbean seeking valuable treasure, high-spirited adventure, and wooden casks of rum, but the recent thaw in U.S. relations with the Cuban government has reignited a decades old trademark battle over the "HAVANA CLUB" trademark for rum.

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