News Archives - Morris Law Center

Example of Attorney review of a Commercial Lease

Before signing a commercial lease agreement, you should always have an attorney review it, as you are likely to have to live with it for years to come. Here at Morris Law Center, we love to review contracts, and then assist with revisions if needed. The excerpt below if from a memo we wrote to one of our clients upon reviewing their lease agreement. As you will see, Landlord has been abbreviated to LL.

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Executive Summary: The harshness of Article 15, coupled with there not being any way for the LL to be in default, are my primary concern. I would insist on revisions there. Otherwise, please review the memo to determine what is of concern to you.

Red Flags

  • Article 15: is extremely harsh with very short time periods for a tenant default. Furthermore, there is not a section defining LL default. So the LL basically can not default. Not acceptable.

Potential Concerns

  • Article 1.1.B and E: this was also a concern of XXXXX. In the LOI it sounds like you [tenant] are going to XXXXX. However, in the lease the LL has complete discretion. It implies that the LL will work with you on XXXXX, but does not require it. This should probably be cleaned up depending on if you want XXXXX.
  • Article 1.K
    • XXXXX noted concern regarding the “LL’s reasonable discretion with respect to noise levels.” If you are concerned about this we can press it with the LL. However, considering the term “reasonable” is practically meaningless, I am not particularly concerned if you want to let it go and focus your negotiation capital on more important revisions.
    • The item that brings me a little bit more concern is that you are responsible for all licensing. When I am negotiating a lease on behalf of a client that requires a privileged license, we normally negotiate a clause that allows an out if your license is denied for some reason. For example, maybe the city issues a moratorium on liquor for 12 months, or maybe one of your partners comes up with a felony and your entity can’t be licensed. This clause could have a notice or even a buyout like 60 or 90 days rent.
  • Article 6.1: you are required to open within 180 days of commencement, which does not account for potential delay or extension.
  • Article 10: the lease does not appear to specify your % responsibility for the CAMs. Most leases have the total sq ft and well as your sq ft, which allows that calculation. You should only pay our % of the CAMs. They have to charge only your share, but we could also get that explicitly added to the agreement.
  • Article 11.1.B: make sure you are ok with the levels of insurance required. $1M/$2M for liability and the same for liquor.
  • Article 14.1.A: the lease is not transferable without permission, at the landlord’s sole discretion. It would be preferable to revise that permission will not be reasonably withheld. Also, you can not move to another entity of your own without permission.
  • Exhibit C
    • Are 1 – 7 sufficient?
    • Do we need to pick location of stubs?
    • Approval over the roof: the contractor noted concerns about insulation.
    • The contractor also noted concerns about the timeline for work in the case that LL causes a work stoppage.
  • Exhibit D(4): you have to show proof of having $500k liquid within 30 days.
  • Exhibit D(5): You should not be locked into [a specific contractor]. This should be cleaned up.
  • Exhibit E: per the guaranty, you are personally on the hook for the rent plus attorney’s fees if they sue.

Items of Note

  • The LLs’ LLCs XXXXX and XXXXX are in good standing.
  • Your LLC is active and in good standing. However, there are two items of concern:
    • You should have a litigation law firm, like the “award winning” Morris Law Center, as your registered agent. This is where lawsuits go, so you want it in the hands of an attorney. It also conveys professionalism aka intimidation to anyone who might sue you.
    • I am not familiar with your business structure, but I have some indication that you already have a location in XXXXX. Assuming that is correct, I must insist that each location be in a different LLC to allow for insulation from liability. That may already be the case, but if not we need a new entity.
  • I would love to work on your business license if that would be helpful. This is my favorite area of practice… helping people get a business open.
  • Article 2: you need to exercise your right to extend at least 180 days prior to expiration of the term, via certified mail.
  • Article 19.16: is a mutual attorney fee provision. Prevailing party gets their fees paid by the other party.
  • I used to deal with Mr. XXXXX [LL] regularly back in the day when I was XXXXX. He was a friend of a friend. I never had an issue with him, and have not heard anything bad about him.
  • Exhibit D(6): all the improvements you pour into the property become part of the building.
  • Exhibit F: look it over to make sure you don’t have any concerns.

Give me a call any time, including over the weekend, to discuss further.

Best Regards,

Brian

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Here at Morris Law Center we love to help you maintain control of, and protect, your business. Contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation before anything is set in stone.

Moving to Strike Fees in a California Quiet Title Action

Issue: Can a defendant in a quiet title action in California properly move to strike a claim for attorney’s fees in a complaint before discovery?

Conclusion: Yes, a defendant in a quiet title action in California can move to strike a claim for attorney’s fees in a complaint before discovery if the claim is irrelevant, false, or an improper matter in any of the pleadings.

Rules and Application:  

In the absence of some special agreement, statutory provision, or exceptional circumstances, attorney’s fees are to be paid by the party employing the attorney. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1021 (2019) [1]; Prentice v. N. Am. Title Guar. Corp., 59 Cal. 2d 618, 620, 30 Cal. Rptr. 821, 823, 381 P.2d 645, 647 (1963); Reid v. Valley Rests., Inc., 48 Cal. 2d 606, 610, 311 P.2d 473, 475 (1957).

Relevant portions of Cal. Civ. Proc. Code (“CCP”) § 435(b) states: “Any party, within the time allowed to respond to a pleading may serve and file a notice of motion to strike the whole or any part thereof . . . .”

Following the above statute, CCP § 436 states:

The court may, upon a motion made pursuant to Section 435, or at any time in its discretion, and upon terms it deems proper:

(a) Strike out any irrelevant, false, or improper matter inserted in any pleading.

(b) Strike out all or any part of any pleading not drawn or filed in conformity with the laws of this state, a court rule, or an order of the court.

California courts have generally been hesitant to find implied waivers of attorney fees. In Folsom v. Butte County Assn. of Governments, 32 Cal.3d 668, 671 (1982), the Supreme Court concluded that an agreement silent as to fees does not bar a motion pursuant to CCP § 1021.5. Rather, statutory attorney fees are properly awarded “unless expressly or by necessary implication excluded by the stipulation.” (32 Cal.3d at p. 678, italics added.) Absent “affirmative agreement of the parties to the contrary,” the trial court retains jurisdiction after the filing of a compromise agreement to consider a statutory fee motion. (Id. at p. 679; see also Washburn v. City of Berkeley (1987) 195 Cal.App.3d 578 (1987)

Federal courts have been similarly loathe to infer fee waivers. In Wakefield v. Mathews, 852 F.2d 482, 484 (9th Cir. 1988), the court noted that, “Waiver of attorneys’ fees should not be presumed from a silent record.” It then held that while “general releases of all claims and costs” do not waive attorney fees (Ashley v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 794 F.2d 128, 140 (3d Cir. 1986), El Club Del Barrio v. United Community Corporations, 735 F.2d 98, 100 (3d Cir. 1984)), an express release which includes “‘costs or expenses of any nature whatsoever, known or unknown, fixed or contingent'” does. (Wakefield, supra, at p. 484.)

Additionally, Mabee v. Nurseryland Garden Centers, Inc., 88 Cal.App.3d 420 (1979), states “[Where] attorney fees are incurred in a prior action, or sought in a proceeding as damages — as for example in false imprisonment or malicious prosecution suits — or where recovery is sought in an action by an attorney against his client for an agreed or a reasonable fee, then the claim for attorney fees is part of the damage sought in the principal action. Only in such circumstances would the attorney fee be required to be pleaded and proven — as any other item of damages — at trial. No similar procedural and evidentiary base is required where ‘the attorney fee was not the cause of action but an incident to it.'” (Id. at p. 425, citing Huber v. Shedoudy (1919) 180 Cal. 311, 314.)

Following Mabee, California courts have consistently “distinguish[ed] between” attorney’s fees that are sought as “the allowance … to the prevailing party as an incident to the principal cause of action,” and those that are sought as “part of the cause of action.” (Mabee, 88 Cal.App.3d 420, 425, superseded by statute on another ground as stated in Santisas v. Goodin, 17 Cal.4th 602, 629.) When sought by the “prevailing party … as an incident to [the] judgment” (Mabee, at p. 425), attorney’s fees may be “properly awarded [as a form of cost] after entry of a . . . judgment” (Khavarian Enterprises, Inc. v. Commline, Inc., 216 Cal.App.4th 310, 327 (2013)). However, when “fees are part of the relief sought[, they] must be pleaded and proved at trial.” (Id.) As explained by our Supreme Court: “‘[W]here attorney fees are . . . sought in a proceeding as damages . . . , then the claim for attorney fees is part of the damage sought in the principal action. … [I]n such circumstances … the attorney fee [would] be required to be pleaded and proven—as any other item of damages—at trial. No similar procedural and evidentiary base is required where “the attorney fee was not the cause of action but an incident to it.”’ (Folsom v. Butte County Assn. of Governments, 32 Cal.3d 668, 678, fn. 16 (1982), quoting Mabee, supra, 88 Cal.App.3d at p. 420.)

Here at the MLC, we love to discuss technicalities of attorney’s fees. Give us a call if you want to discuss further.

[1] Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1021: “Except as attorney’s fees are specifically provided for by statute, the measure and mode of compensation of attorneys and counselors at law is left to the agreement, express or implied, of the parties; but parties to actions or proceedings are entitled to their costs, as hereinafter provided.”

 

Are Non-Compete Agreements Enforceable in Nevada?

Many employers want to have their employees sign contracts prohibiting them from working for a competing business after they leave their current job, commonly called “non-compete agreements.” In Nevada, these agreements are allowed, but must meet certain requirements to be enforceable in court.

Nevada Supreme Court’s Decision in Golden Road

In 2016, the Nevada Supreme Court invalidated the enforceability of a non-compete agreement of a casino host. Golden Rd. Motor Inn, Inc. v. Islam, 132 Nev. Adv. Rep. 49, 376 P.3d 151 (2016). The non-compete agreement prohibited the defendant “from employment, affiliation, or service with any gaming business or enterprise” in a 150-mile radius from her current job. Id. at 155. The court looked to see if any time period, geographical limitation, or restriction on areas of future employment were greater than necessary for the protection of the employer. Id.

The key issue was protecting the casino from the employee’s ability to lure casino customers away, therefore damaging its business. Id. at 155. This agreement was unreasonable because she could hypothetically be prevented from being a janitor at a casino, which could not lure away casino customers, and thus was unreasonable to protect the employer. The Court also found that courts do not have the power to modify agreements to remove the unreasonable restraints on trade. Id. at 159-60.

Nevada’s Legislature Amends NRS § 613.195

Following the Golden Road decision, the Nevada State Legislature enacted amendments to NRS § 613.195. This statute specifically identifies the limitations of non-compete agreements. For the agreement to be enforceable, the non-compete agreement must:

(a) Be supported by valuable consideration;

(b) Not impose a greater restraint than is necessary for the employer’s protection;

(c) Does not impose an undue hardship in the employee; and

(d) Imposes restrictions appropriate in relation to the consideration supporting the covenant.

NRS § 613.195(1). If the agreement fails in any respect, it is “void and unenforceable.”

However, the statute also requires courts to modify the agreements under specific circumstances to make them enforceable. The court must modify any agreement’s unreasonable limitations as to time, geographical area, or scope of restrained activity so that the agreement no longer contains an unreasonable restraint on trade. Id. at (5). The court must also modify the agreement if it contains more protection than is necessary for the employer’s protection, and to remove any undue hardship on the employee. In other words, if the agreement’s restrictions are too broad, but supported by valuable consideration, the court will modify the agreement, reducing the restrictions to make it enforceable.

Conclusion

Non-compete agreements can be complicated. For employers, it is important to make the restrictions clear; and also make plain why those restrictions are necessary for the protection of the business. For employees, it is important to understand if the restrictions will keep you from taking a new position.

As always, if you think you might need an attorney, you probably do. You can contact us here, we love answering questions!

More Than You Want to Know About Renewing Judgements

Generally, a judgment is only valid for six years from the date it was entered. NRS § 11.190(1)(a). This means that if the judgment is not collected within that six-year period, the ability to collect the judgment expires. However, Nevada allows for judgments to be renewed, which if done correctly will continue the judgment for another six years from the date of renewal. This process has several steps but they cannot be done incorrectly because Nevada courts strictly enforce the statutory procedure. As the Nevada Supreme Court put it “NRS 17.214’s mandatory requirements of filing, recording, and service of the affidavit are plainly set forth and must be followed for judgment renewal.” Leven v. Frey, 123 Nev. 399, 403 (2007).

When a Judgment can be Renewed

NRS § 17.214 sets forth the process for renewing judgments. Even though the judgment itself is valid for a six-year period, it must be renewed before it expires. The statute requires the renewal process to begin at least 90 days before the judgment expires. If the process is correctly followed, the renewed judgment will be valid for six years. Additionally, the judgment can essentially be continually renewed forever, following the same procedure at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the renewed judgment.

The Affidavit of Renewal of Judgment

To renew a judgment, the judgment creditor (the party to whom the judgment is owed) must file an “Affidavit of Renewal of Judgment” with the clerk of the court. This must be the same court where the judgment was entered and docketed. The affidavit must contain the following information:

  • Names of the parties to the judgment;
  • The date and amount of the judgment;
  • The number and page of the docket in which the judgment is entered;
  • Information as to whether there is an outstanding writ of execution for enforcement of the judgment;
  • The date and amount of any payment on the judgment;
  • Whether there are any setoffs or counterclaims in favor of the judgment debtor;
  • The exact amount due on the judgment;
  • If the judgment was docketed by the clerk upon a certified copy from another court, and an abstract of judgment has been recorded with the county clerk, the name of each county in which the transcript has been docketed and the abstract recorded; and
  • Any other fact or circumstance necessary to a complete disclosure of the exact condition of the judgment.

A very important requirement of the statute is that the Affidavit “must be based on the personal knowledge of the affiant, and not upon information and belief.” If there is information that you may need to seek out prior to renewing the judgment, you may want to start preparing your affidavit and gathering the necessary information early. Within three days of filing the affidavit with the court, the judgment creditor must send a copy of the affidavit by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the judgment debtor’s last known address.

Recorded Judgments

Judgments are often recorded with a county clerk to assist with collection efforts. If the judgment has been recorded, the affidavit must also include the name of the county of recording and either the document number of the recorded judgment or the number of the page of the book where it was recorded. Additionally, the within three days of filing the affidavit of renewal, the affidavit must also be recorded with the county where the judgment has been recorded.

So basically….

Renewing a judgment is a valuable tool for a party still trying to collect on a judgment that has not been fully paid. Because there are important deadlines for filing the affidavit of renewal of judgment, and detailed information must be included in the affidavit, consulting an attorney who is familiar with the process can help ensure your judgment renewal goes smoothly and provides additional time for collection.

As always, “If you think you might need an attorney, you probably do.” Contact us here to set up a complimentary consultation.

Litigation: NRCP 54(b) Certification of Partial Summary Judgement

NRCP 54(b) allows a Court to make some orders on a motion for summary judgment final while the rest of the case moves forward. A ruling on partial summary judgment is not final and will not compel action by any party unless it is given finality through NRCP 54(b) certification. See NRCP 54; Allis-Chalmers Corp. v. Phila. Elec. Co., 521 F.2d 360, 365 (3d Cir. 1975).[1]  

NRCP 54(b) states, in relevant part “When an action presents more than one claim for relief…, the court may direct entry of a final judgment as to … fewer than all, claims … only if the court expressly determines that there is no just reason for delay. Otherwise, any order or other decision, however designated,… does not end the action as to any of the claims or parties and may be revised at any time before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all the claims…” This shows that a decision on a partial motion for summary judgment is not final or binding unless it is certified as such under NRCP 54(b).

This reading is further supported by caselaw. See e.g. Cascade Drinking Waters v. Cent. Tel. Co., 88 Nev. 702, 703, 504 P.2d 697, 697 (1972) (“This court has held that a judgment dismissing fewer than all parties to an action without an express determination that there is no just reason for delay by the district court is not a final judgment…”)[2]

Therefore, any order on a motion for partial summary judgment is not final and does not compel action unless it is either certified or incorporated into a final judgment on the entire case. Any order on a partial motion for summary judgment which is not certified is “of an interlocutory nature.” See Curtiss-Wright Corp. v. Gen. Elec. Co., 446 U.S. 1, 5, 100 S. Ct. 1460, 1463 (1980). Furthermore, an order on a motion for partial summary judgment is not appealable unless it is certified pursuant to NRCP 54(b). NRAP 3A(b); Cascade Drinking Waters, 88 Nev. at 703.

At Morris Law Center, we love to dig into the technicalities of the rules. As such, if you are an opposing attorney, do not expect to catch us slipping. However, if you are a fan of legal procedure, give us a call to discuss further.


Sources:

[1] “Under 54(b) procedure, the essential inquiry is whether, after balancing the competing factors, finality of judgment should be ordered to advance the interests of sound judicial administration and public policy.” While that case considered FRCP 54(b) rather than NRCP 54(b), the reasoning is identical and after the amendments which took effect on March 1st, the rules were deliberately brought into harmony.

[2] See also Allis-Chalmers Corp. v. Phila. Elec. Co., 521 F.2d 360, 367 (3d Cir. 1975) (finding that a “lack of competent Rule 54(b) certification” created a “lack of finality”).

Litigation: Submitting Orders Under The New Rules

At our firm, one of us is in court on almost a daily basis, and we deal with the requirement to submit proposed orders frequently. The rules of civil procedure were significantly altered recently, and those changes went into force on March 1, 2019. The way those amendments interact with the Eighth District Court Rules can be confusing at times.

The local Rules of Practice for the Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada (“EDCR”) state that proposed orders should be submitted to the court within 10 days. The rule is EDCR 7.21, specifically. However, under the Rules of Civil Procedure which were in place at the time EDCR 7.21 was drafted, that referred to 10 Court days. See e.g. Administrative Order 19-03; NRCP 6(a) (2017).

The changes to NRCP which took effect on March 1st, 2019 caused the issuance of Administrative Order 19-03 which suspends some rules and directs that the rest be interpreted to reasonably comply with the revisions to the NRCP. Id. The most reasonable way to reconcile the EDCR with the revisions is to find that time to submit a proposed order is within 14 calendar days from the time of a verbal order. See ADKT 0522 (revising the NRCP and stating that in general deadlines which were for 6 to 15 days are adjusted to 14 days).

Under the new rules, in some cases, 10 judicial days can turn out to be longer than 14 calendar days when there are intervening holidays.

At Morris Law Center, we love to dig into the technicalities of the rules. As such, if you are an opposing attorney, do not expect to catch us slipping. However, if you are a fan of legal procedure, give us a call to discuss further.

Options For Enforcement of Settlement Agreements

Your options are when an agreement isn’t working

What happens when you’ve reached a settlement agreement in your case using alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration, yet one of the parties involved isn’t holding up their end of the bargain? You must be thinking “there has to be something that can be done,” and you’d be right. Below are a few options to consider when someone isn’t honoring an agreed upon settlement.

Motion to Enforce Settlement Agreement

If a case has already been filed in Nevada district court, one of the options you can consider is having the court order the other party to honor the agreement. To accomplish this, you would have to file a Motion to Enforce. In Nevada, a settlement agreement is a contract governed by general principles of contract law, and a district court has the authority to enforce a settlement agreement in an existing case where it already has jurisdiction. In order to enforce a settlement agreement, the moving party must show either: (1) a written, signed agreement; or (2) terms entered into the court minutes reduced to an order. If granted, the other party to the settlement must comply with the terms of the agreement. If they do not comply, you could pursue further remedies, such as moving to hold the other party in contempt for not following the court’s order.

Sue for Breach of Settlement Agreement

Another option is to move to add a claim for Breach of Contract (if a suit has already been filed) or to file a Complaint for Breach of Contract. In some cases, suing for a Breach of Contract is an easier case to prove than the facts of the underlying dispute, which could provide an easier route to a favorable judgment.

You might also consider an additional claim for Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing. This claim would apply in cases where a party to the settlement made the agreement knowing they would not be able to fulfill their part of the agreement. This claim is meant to ensure that all parties enter into an agreement in good faith to one another and prohibits unfair acts by one party that would work to the disadvantage of the other. This claim might be available even if the court determines there is no breach of the settlement agreement itself, giving additional options for relief.

Proceed with Underlying Case

Another option to weigh is considering moving to set aside the initial agreement and proceed with litigation. This would essentially ignore the settlement agreement and proceed with the original lawsuit. However, litigation options generally come at a greater financial cost than settlement, which is something to consider.

Conclusion

In conclusion, all is not lost if the opposing party doesn’t meet their obligations. You have plenty of options to enforce the agreement, or to move on and continue litigation.

If you need assistance in your settlement agreement, or just have questions, please feel free to contact us at Morris Law Center for your complimentary consult.

And as always, “If you think you might need an attorney, you probably do.”

You Can Now Subscribe to The Morris Law Center Podcast!

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What is the procuring cause in real estate?

By Timothy Wiseman

It is well established that a real estate agent or broker must generally pass a two part test to earn their commission. Shell Oil Co. v. Ed Hoppe Realty, 91 Nev. 576, 580, 540 P.2d 107, 109-10 (1975). They must have an employment contract and they must be the “procuring cause” of the sale. Neither one of those factors is always as straightforward as it seems.

What constitutes an employment contract?

While a broker must have an employment contract to earn their commission, courts have often interpreted that broadly. Such a contract may be made verbally or even simply implied from the conduct of the parties. Shell Oil Co., 91 Nev. 576 at 580-581. Additionally, there merely needs to be an employment contract of some kind authorizing the agent or broker to act. This employment contract does not necessarily need to specify that a commission will be paid or exactly what that commission will be. Carrigan v. Ryan, 109 Nev. 797, 799, 858 P.2d 29, 30 (1993).[1]

Historically, part of the reason the procuring cause doctrine developed was to ensure that the broker or agent was paid “where he or she arranges a sale but nonetheless, according to the strict terms of the broker’s contract, the broker is not otherwise entitled to a commission.” While Courts generally view this broadly, it is not absolutely unlimited and a broker merely asking for and receiving the terms upon which a potential seller might sell the property does not constitute a contract. Lawry v. Devine, 82 Nev. 65, 68, 410 P.2d 761, 763 (1966).

What constitutes a procuring cause?

Courts in Nevada have explicitly declined to lay out a precise definition of procuring cause or lay out an exact test for it. The Nevada Supreme Court has stated general principles.  The procuring cause sets “in motion a chain of events which, without break in the continuity, cause the buyer and seller to come to terms as the proximate result of his or her peculiar activities.” Binder v. Levy Realty Co., 106 Nev. 221, 225, 790 P.2d 497, 500 (1990). In other words, the broker or agent is generally entitled to their commission if they make the first significant steps in arranging the deal and nothing validly interrupts the process they set in motion.

If the “broker first approaches, or brings to the attention of the buyer that the property is for sale, or brings the buyer into the picture” that is a strong factor, though not strictly enough by itself, to show that the broker was the procuring cause. Carrigan, 109 Nev. at 802. When they have done substantial work, it is not necessary for the broker or agent to make the final sale or be present for the final sale. While their involvement in the sale must be more than merely trifling, the broker or agent is not required to be involved in every part of the transaction. The procuring cause doctrine is used to settle disputes over the commissions earned both between a broker and a seller and between competing brokers.

The procuring cause doctrine, sometimes referred to as the effective cause doctrine, is widespread in the United States, and courts in other states have also provided examples of when it should, or should not, apply. Courts in New York have found that “the broker must do more than merely bring the parties together.” A N Assocs. v. Quotron Sys., 159 Misc. 2d 515, 517, 605 N.Y.S.2d 178, 179-80 (Civ. Ct. 1993)[2]; see also United Farm Agency, Inc. v. Green, 466 So. 2d 118, 121 (Ala. 1985).  However, the involvement of another broker in the sale will not deprive an initial broker who helped set the transaction in motion of their commission. Belleau v. Hopewell, 120 N.H. 46, 52, 411 A.2d 456, 460 (N.H. 1980). This remains true even if the second broker was not aware that the initial broker was ever involved.

Here’s an Example:

Shell Oil Co. v. Ed Hoppe Realty is one of the prime examples of a case dealing with the procuring cause doctrine in Nevada. In Shell, the realtor had made contact with Shell Oil Company hoping to acquire business. While no formal, written contract was ever established, Shell and the realtor began a working relationship to sell certain properties, including three service stations in Las Vegas. After the realtor made initial contact with a potential buyer, Shell’s representatives contacted the potential buyer directly and finalized the purchase. No party paid a commission to the realtor, and Shell argued that the realtor had no rights as he was not formally employed and had not finalized the arrangement.

The realtor sued demanding his commission, and the district court found in favor of the realtor. The Nevada Supreme Court upheld this ruling. The Nevada Supreme Court found that, even though not a formal written arrangement, the parties’ conduct showed they acted as though there were an employment contract. Since the broker had “brought the buyer and seller together”, the broker was the procuring cause even though Shell’s own real estate professionals finalized the deal. The broker was thus entitled to his commission.

[1] A contract which explicitly sets forth a different form of compensation will override the traditional procuring cause doctrine, but otherwise a commission based on being a procuring cause will be read into contracts that are silent on the matter. Id. at 800.

[2] A. N. Associates dealt with an employment contract, but explicitly analogized to the procuring cause doctrine in real estate.

For more informations or questions, please give us a call at (702) 850-7798 or click here to send us an email

The Advantages of Nevada State Trademarks

By Timothy Wiseman

There are many obvious advantages to registering a trademark at the Federal Level with the U.S. Patent and trademark office. A fully registered federal trademark provides protection throughout the United States for the mark and allows for recourse to the Federal Courts to enforce and protect that trademark.

States also provide protections for trademarks. Nevada’s trademark laws are codified at NRS 600. While Federal Registration is properly viewed as the gold standard, there are certain advantages to registering a trademark at the state level.

State trademarks can be acquired much faster. While it routinely takes a year or more to complete the full Federal Registration process, a trademark can normally be registered in the state of Nevada within one to two weeks. Registration in Nevada is also far more affordable than Federal Registration. Finally, marks registered in the state can often be enforced and protected in the state courts which often move somewhat faster than going through the Federal Courts to enforce a Federal Mark.

For more informations or questions, please give us a call at (702) 850-7798 or click here to send us an email