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Full Service Civil Law Firm Based in Orange County

At Adina T. Stern, APLC, we have over three decades of experience handling a wide variety of business, real estate, and personal legal matters. We are proud of our creative approach to the legal issues faced daily by individuals, families, and small to mid-sized businesses. Our Orange County real estate lawyers keep up with new trends in the law, yet we offer old-fashioned integrity, skill, and personal attention to each client. We are very proud of our litigation success record in state and federal courts throughout California. Our attorneys do more than just take a case to trial. We recognize that the survival of a company often hinges on the outcome of a business dispute. We assist our clients at every step of the dispute process, including mediations, arbitrations, state and federal trials, and appeals.

Our focus is on long-term success for your business and you. We help our clients find pragmatic options that will lead to the best possible economic results. For each legal challenge, we help our clients evaluate the balance between financial risk and potential recovery. We use common sense to skillfully negotiate the best and most cost-effective outcomes for our clients. But, when necessary, we aggressively fight for the results that you deserve. If a dispute arises, we will aggressively litigate your case in the most cost-effective manner possible.

Real Estate

We negotiate and document real estate transactions, both residential and commercial, throughout California. These transactions include purchase and sale agreements, ground and office leases, construction contracts, architectural contracts, lease options, deeds of trust and promissory notes, mechanic’s liens, joint venture agreements, and easements. Our Orange County real estate attorneys also can help clients with boundary disputes, escrow, broker issues, homeowners’ association issues, mobile home residency laws, and landlord-tenant issues. During a purchase and sale, title with an appropriate description of the land needs to be executed and delivered. In real estate contracts, title to the property needs to be marketable. In other words, the seller needs to have proof of title to the property being sold, and third parties must not have undisclosed interests in the title. The buyer may retain a title insurance company to look into whether title is marketable. The title insurance company may be able to insure the buyer against any losses caused by invalid title.

Purchase and Sale Transactions

Purchase and sale transactions have numerous steps. Everyone involved in the transaction, whether a first-time buyer or a seasoned investor, should understand the steps and realize that a real estate agent or broker cannot guide you through this process because the law prohibits them from providing legal advice. It is important to retain an experienced real estate attorney in Orange County who can guide you through the steps of a purchase and sale transaction. For example, a written offer becomes legally binding once the seller accepts it, so it must represent precisely what you want it to say. Similarly, a counter-offer is binding after it is accepted by a buyer. The terms of a real estate purchase agreement cannot be changed once escrow opens.

Construction Law

Our firm represents owners, developers, architects, general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, and engineers in residential and commercial projects. A construction agreement should spell out the terms under which work will be performed at the site. It should account for the risks involved in the project, and it should clarify the expectations of both sides. The contract should address the scope of the work, payment schedules, work schedules, changes, terminations, and methods of payment. Once construction starts, each phase of construction should be documented precisely. We have the experience to assist clients with every agreement that must be drafted for a construction site, including the initial architectural agreement, engineering agreements, and final payment and inspection. If a dispute arises out of a construction project, our Orange County real estate lawyers can litigate it. We have experience in breach of contract, construction defect, and mechanic’s lien actions.

Real Estate Litigation

We represent people, families, and businesses in real estate litigation. Real estate litigation encompasses a wide range of matters, including adjoining landowner disputes, escrow disputes, easement disputes, partition actions, broker disputes, fraudulent transfers, inadequate disclosures, property ownership disputes, quitclaim deed litigation, quiet title actions, and financing disputes. The elements that the party bringing a claim must show depend on the type of legal theory that they are asserting. For example, a broker dispute can arise if a broker is denied their commission, or if a broker breached their fiduciary duty or otherwise failed to perform appropriately.

Landlord-Tenant Issues

We represent landlords and tenants in commercial and residential lease negotiations and disputes. A lease must be well-drafted to minimize the issues that could arise over the course of the tenancy. Challenges can arise in connection with rent, required disclosures, allocation of utilities, assignments and subleasing, damage and destruction, insurance and indemnity, the lease term, maintenance of the property, options to purchase, security deposits, tenant improvements, and other issues. Clauses in a lease should be carefully drafted to avoid disputes and restrictions on a business that stop a business from growing and changing over time. The real estate lawyers at our Orange County firm can help our clients ensure that a lease reflects their intentions and that they understand its terms.

Business Law

Our firm helps businesses with legal matters arising out of formation, operation, and dissolution. We handle a wide range of business law matters, including corporate, limited liability company, and partnership issues. We have drafted business purchase and sale agreements, confidentiality agreements, agency agreements, asset purchase agreements, letters of intent, joint venture agreements, licensing agreements, shareholder agreements, and more. Business structures include corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, general partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and sole proprietorships. Getting the greatest protection in terms of liability involves starting a corporation, but it is relatively complicated to set up a corporation. It can be helpful to secure legal advice about how to form a particular business and which structure would best allow your business to succeed, as well as legal advice about how to operate it or dissolve it.

Business Formation

Building a strong business requires careful planning. Our firm can talk to your tax, insurance, and investment advisors to help determine the business structure that is most likely to meet your goals. We help clients form partnerships, C-Corporations, S-Corporations, non-profits, joint ventures, tenancies in common, and limited liability companies. We provide personal attention to help you understand the risks and benefits of each option.

Business Litigation

We handle a wide range of business disputes, including construction defect claims, breach of contract claims, breach of fiduciary duty cases, creditor disputes, vendor disputes, insurance disputes, fraud claims, partnership and shareholder disputes, and unfair competition claims. One of the most common types of business disputes is a breach of contract case. To recover damages for a breach of a contract, a plaintiff needs to show that there was a valid, enforceable contract, and the plaintiff performed what the contract required or was excused from needing to do so. Any condition for the defendant’s performance must have been met (or waived or excused), the defendant must not have performed under the contract or must have violated its terms, and the defendant’s breach must have been a substantial factor in causing harm to the plaintiff.

Equine Law

The horse business is unique, and it is important to secure legal representation from an equine law attorney who understands this specialized practice. Adina Stern grew up on a race horse farm, and she has been involved in the horse world throughout her life. Our clients have horses of all breeds and disciplines, and we advise them and their horse businesses as their needs arise. In matters of equine law, we represent riders, owners, breeders, trainers, agents, boarders, and veterinarians. We handle contracts to assist you in your horse related transactions such as horse and farm lease agreements, horse boarding agreements, partnership agreements and purchase and sale contracts. If you find yourself in a dispute related to horses or a horse business we handle fraud, negligence, and contract litigation in courts throughout California as well as administrative hearings, arbitration, mediation, and appeals.

Explore Your Options with an Experienced Orange County Attorney

Our focus on both litigation and transactions has been vital to our clients’ long-term success. It is important to find pragmatic solutions that lead to the best possible economic results. Whether you need a real estate attorney in Orange County or assistance with a business or equine law matter, you should consult Adina T. Stern, APLC. We represent clients throughout California, including in Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. Call us at (949) 459-2111 or contact us through our online form.

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