Simply Legal

New Year, New Beginnings

Columnist: Susan M. Teel
Jan, 2011 Issue

New columnist Susan Teel examines a way to donate to charity and personal beneficiaries with a single contribution.


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Happy Trails

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Jun, 2010 Issue

They say all good things must come to an end. Why? Who knows. But because “they” say it, it must be true. And, in this instance, it certainly is.


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Will Work For...?

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
May, 2010 Issue

Minimum wage is non-negotiable. No one cares that you and the employee “agreed” to a different wage. Pay it—the whole thing (at a minimum) of $8 per hour (minimum wage in California)—unless the employee is a sheepherder.


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Nothing But Work

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
NBB Top 500, Mar, 2010

Nothing but work, work, work, all the time. For many of us, the workday has a set starting point and ending point. And while those points aren’t always set in stone (such as 9 to 5), for most workers, they start working sometime after they arrive at work. And for most workers, once they’ve left work, the workday is over. As a result, it’s relatively simple from an employer’s perspective to handle nonexempt employee payroll calculations: clock in, clock out, add up the time and, voila, calculate the paycheck.


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Thou Shalt Not Compete! (Unless You Want To)

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Mar, 2010 Issue

NorthBay biz legal columnist Brandon R. Blevans explains the complicated workings of noncompetition agreements and what they mean for California businesses.


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No Laughing Matters

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Feb, 2010 Issue

NorthBay biz legal correspondent Brandon Blevans leaves the jokes at home this month—new regulations in employee expense reimbursement and meal/rest period penalties are nothing to joke about.


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Rock Me, Nostradamus

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Jan, 2010 Issue

NorthBay biz legal correspondent Brandon Blevans displays his rhyming skills and makes some predictions for 2010’s law landscape.


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What Happens in Vegas

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Dec, 2009 Issue

I just returned from three-and-a-half difficult days of work in Las Vegas. And by “work” I mean serious time spent “networking” alongside the Hard Rock pool, as well as attending “business development meetings” with assorted restaurateurs and casino owners. Fortunately, after all this work, there was a little time left over to engage in a few of the assorted diversions Sin City has to offer.


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Stupid Is as Stupid Does

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Nov, 2009 Issue

NorthBay biz legal correspondent Brandon Blevans gives out his own "Darwin awards" for the field of labor and employment law.


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Use Your Time Wisely

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Special Wine Issue, Oct, 2009

In doing my typical diligent research, I discovered something that made me realize not only how under-informed most businesses are about employment law, but just how much information is so readily available to employees regarding their “rights.” And I’m not referring to government agencies and mandated postings. There’s a much more invidious force at play: websites.


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Bored and Confused

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Oct, 2009 Issue

NorthBay biz's legal columnist-on-retainer Brandon Blevans takes a look at the confusing (read: exempt employees) world of California’s wage and hour laws.


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The Technological Collide

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Sep, 2009 Issue

I quite vividly remember my family’s very first VCR. How could I forget—the thing seemed to occupy half the living room. Yet, despite its size (behemoth by today’s standards), at the time, it was a thing of pure beauty—freeing us from the merciless rigidity of TV Guide and providing us the ability to record our favorite television shows (provided we had a supply of VHS tapes and the space to store them).


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Keep the Change

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Aug, 2009 Issue

 Because what’s more amazing is that the concept of “tipping”—in its purest form—is a merit-based concept. An individual worker who busts his hump gets a bit extra for the excellent service. But in America, tipping has gone away from a form of merit compensation to a form of economic socialism such that tips are expected, regardless of the manner of service. It’s so expected in certain industries (like restaurants), that minimum wages are lower for those industries because of the anticipation of tips—regardless of performance.


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Hey Chicken Little, Wanna Fight?

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Jul, 2009 Issue

 


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Keep Your Cool

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Jun, 2009 Issue

 

 


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Death and Taxes

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
NBB Best Of, May, 2009

 

 


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Life Ain't Fair!

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
May, 2009 Issue

Brandon Blevans advises business owners on how to effectively deal with the new wave of workers—the millennial generation.

 


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Long Live Elliot Ness

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Apr, 2009 Issue

In protest of the new federal mandates for alcohol marketing, our very own legal adviser allies himself with history's most notorious swill-smuggler.


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Caveat Emptor

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
NBB Top 500, Mar, 2009

Brandon Blevans gives NorthBay biz readers a few guidelines for creating the perfect employee handbook.


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Be Careful What You Click For

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Mar, 2009 Issue

NorthBay biz legal correspondent Brandon Blevans pries himself away from Facebook long enough to discuss the pros and cons of social networking sites in the workplace.


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Your Cheatin' Heart

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Feb, 2009 Issue

NorthBay biz legal correspondent Brandon Blevans gives a detailed game plan on how to combat employee disloyalty. 


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Happy New Year!

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Jan, 2009 Issue

NorthBay biz legal expert Brandon Blevans reveals the new laws on deck for 2009—and how they’ll affect businesses in the North Bay.


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'Tis the Season to...Get Sued

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Dec, 2008 Issue

Yes—it’s that time of year again: The time when materialism, gluttony, commercialism and religion collide in an orgy of retail spending.1 The time when commercial outlets assault our senses with every indicator of holiday joy. The time when colorful catalogs overstuff our mailboxes in last-ditch efforts to convince us to purchase those ever-useless gadgets and gizmos that are clearly necessary to establish how much we care about our third-cousin’s daughter’s boyfriend’s son from a previous marriage.2  It’s Christmastime in the city. Clearly, you already know that.


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And We Will All Go Down Together

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Nov, 2008 Issue

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, doing your personal version of Thoreau’s hermit-like lifestyle or are otherwise oblivious to the world around you, I have an announcement for you: The economy is tanking.1 The Dow is declining as if it’s fallen into a bottomless pit, the credit markets are completely seized, consumer confidence is in the toilet, and it’s readily apparent from every interview of every presidential and vice-presidential candidate that no one has a clue about how to actually fix the problem.2 And based on what the current president said last night (October 6, 2008), the biggest bailout in the history of pork-barrel spending will take months and months to actually trickle its way, in the words of the overused cliché, “from Wall Street to Main Street.”3


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The Illusion of Choice

Columnist: Brandon R. Blevans
Special Wine Issue, Oct, 2008

What an election year! For those of you who were once “West Wing” junkies (or maybe still are),1 you’re probably thinking two things: First, that Aaron Sorkin could possibly be kin of Michel de Nostredame.2 Second, that the speech writers in these campaigns should hire Sorkin’s writing staff. 3


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In this Issue

Going to the Dogs

Samuel Hubbard Shoe Company is so Marin it almost hurts. It was started in a Mill Valley house, where a small group began designing the first Samuel Hubbard shoes and the company’s launch websi...

The Power of Love

Diversity is one of a community’s strengths and makes it richer, and yet it can be difficult to be inclusive and give everyone the opportunity to participate fully. In Marin County, nonprofit or...

Living on the Edge

During the October fires, North Bay residents—with every smoky, noxious breath—were reminded that, our friends and neighbors were losing their homes. For the 5,152 people already homeless ...

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