photo-InfoSpan-and-Emirates-300x199The lawsuit was filed five years ago and it took about a day for the jury to make its decision: the evidence didn’t show one of the Middle East’s most prominent banks, Emirates NBD, committed fraud and stole technology from an Irvine firm, InfoSpan, that sued it for half a billion dollars in damages after a partnership between the two collapsed.

InfoSpan claimed in a federal court lawsuit that Dubai based Emirates NBD ended a partnership to develop and implement a mobile payment system because it didn’t want to share revenue and stole InfoSpan’s technology to launch its own service, according to the Los Angeles Times. The company sought $540 million in damages.

Emirates denied it stole or ever used InfoSpan’s technology. It claimed it cancelled the partnership because InfoSpan couldn’t do what it promised to do: produce a working product. The bank also alleged InfoSpan misled it into thinking it was an established company, not one with little to no track record.

photo-China-fueled-real-estate-boom-300x225One of Lost Angeles’ biggest real estate developments is small potatoes compared to other projects the developer has worked on in China. Metropolis, a $1 billion mixed-use project next to the 110 Freeway, is unprecedented for L.A. but familiar to Winston Yan. He’s an architect and executive for the developer, Chinese real estate giant Greenland and chief technical officer for its U.S. subsidiary. He told the Los Angeles Times, he’s seen similar projects in Beijing and Shanghai.

Los Angeles is familiar territory for foreign developers but none are building like the Chinese are today. Chinese developers including Greenland, Oceanwide and Shenzhen Hazens are spending billions in the city, adding thousands of residential units in skyscrapers that are fundamentally changing the city’s skyline.

Potential residents are not necessarily locals. Many future homebuyers are expected to come from China where many are looking to the apparent safety of foreign real estate to diversify their wealth. This trend has been increased by China’s slowing economy.

photo-conflict-of-interet-boad-members-300x200Corporate board members can have a tremendous, beneficial impact on a company. If they have they company’s best interests at heart and have relevant but diverse backgrounds their input can help guide a company through tough times into much better times. That’s a difficult task if a board member has a connection to a competitor or potential competitor. Every board member has a fiduciary duty to the corporation to act in its bests interests and not use his or her access to benefit a competitor.

In the evolving world of autonomous vehicles companies that weren’t building vehicles in the past may be building them in the future. Two of those companies are Google and Uber. This summer David Drummond, the chief legal officer at Google parent Alphabet Inc., stepped down from Uber’s board of directors, citing a conflict of interest. Drummond joined Uber’s board of directors in August 2013, according to TechCrunch.

This issue has been simmering for a while. Uber’s first fleet of self-driving cars is running in Pittsburgh. The cars are modified Volvo XC90’s, co-piloted by an engineer who can take the wheel when necessary. Google is also working on its own self driving cars. A joint venture between Google and Ford enabling both to leverage their technologies with Ford’s expertise creating cars and Google’s ability to deliver software has yet to come to fruition.

photo-Platinum-Partners-fraud-300x225Investors are always looking for a good return and someone they can trust with their money. All too often that stellar return is the result of fraud and that person who was trusted with millions was lining his own pockets. The latest chapter in Wall Street’s long history of Ponzi schemes appears to be Platinum Partners. This New York hedge fund stood out for its returns that rivaled some of the biggest names in the industry, according to the New York Times.

Mark Nordlicht, a founder and the chief investment officer of Platinum, and six others face criminal charges related to an alleged $1 billion fraud. Prosecutors allege the hedge fund operated as a Ponzi scheme. If so it’s one of the biggest fraud cases since Bernard L. Madoff’s investment firm imploded in 2008.

The charges include securities fraud and investment adviser fraud, according to an unsealed indictment filed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn. A related civil lawsuit has been filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

photo-MetLife-Ponzi-scheme-300x225For your personal life or your business the right insurance is critical to protecting your assets. Finding the right agent who understands you and your business can make the process faster and easier. Christine Ramirez used an insurance agent to invest $280,000 and she chose the wrong one, according to a Los Angeles jury.

In September it awarded Ramirez $15.6 million after an eight week trial of a case she filed claiming MetLife and two of its affiliates swindled her out of her money due to a reported Ponzi scheme linked to a MetLife insurance agent, reports the New York Times.

  • The scheme ended up costing investors $200 million when finally it collapsed nearly ten years ago.

photo-commercial-lender-law-300x200Those not used to reading statutes will probably find them really boring and might be surprised by the sometimes long and in depth sections on definitions of terms. You might assume that if a word is in a statute it should have whatever common meaning you would find in the dictionary. That’s not the case and whether a business or industry falls into the definition of a term or not could mean all the difference between heavy regulation or profitable opportunities.

The California Finance Lenders Law (CFFL) states that “finance lender” as it’s used in the statute is anyone who is “engaged in the business” of making consumer loans or making commercial loans.  Cal. Fin. Code § 22009.  That definition is important because the state imposes a license requirement on any party “engaged in the business” of a finance lender. Cal. Fin. Code § 22100(a). But the law, as it was written, didn’t define “engaged in the business.” The legal line between a party who might occasionally makes a loan and a party who’s main business is making loans could be difficult to determine.

Like many laws the CFFL has undergone changes over time,

photo-Palantir-300x169A start up company may be in need of funding and see an investor as a savior for the company. But companies need to protect themselves and be wary of investors as much as they may need their money. A company needs to guard itself against the possibility of an investor stealing intellectual property and using it for its own purposes.

Data analytics company Palantir Technologies has filed a lawsuit against one of its earliest investors, Marc Abramowitz, accusing him of stealing intellectual property (new business ideas) then trying to patent them under his own name, according to Abramowitz, invested in 2005 and had an office at the company’s Palo Alto headquarters.

The complaint, filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court, alleges he used his position to steal Palantir’s plans for applying the use of massive amounts of data in new ways for new types of customers. The situation resulted in the company’s other major investors changing Palantir’s Investor Rights’ Agreement to prevent Abramowitz from getting access to additional confidential information.

Hey, everyone on Facebook.  Good afternoon, good Saturday.  This week I received a number of phone calls asking whether or not a noncompeting clause is enforceable in California, and I just thought I would to take this opportunity to share some general information with you on the topic.  Again, I’m providing general information so if you have a specific question about your unique circumstance, consult with your local attorney.

Now, this particular situation starts with a salesperson that is currently employed by Company A that now wants to work for Company B.  There is a noncompeting agreement between the sales person and Company A, but Company B is telling this salesperson to go ahead and work with us because a noncompeting agreement is not enforceable in California.  Well, I wouldn’t say that noncompeting agreements are not enforceable as a blanket statement, because there are situations where the court does uphold the noncompeting clause agreement.  So, before we start, I’m going to tell you that there is a public policy in California court that states everybody in California has a right to make a living.  This public policy is pretty much just a guiding principle for the judges that they go by when they are deciding on this type of issue.

The major drivers of corporate purchases are trying to grow a business at a lower cost. Often that lower cost comes when the new, larger company is able to do more with less people. That appears to be the case at Aliso Viejo-based QLogic, a computer networking and storage provider.

The company plans on laying off 69 people effective October 17, according to documents filed with the state, reports the Orange County Register. QLogic announced in June it had been purchased by San Jose-based chipmaker Cavium Inc. for $1.36 billion. The deal was finalized on August 16.

QLogic is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Cavium which makes switches, adapter cards and other networking equipment. QLogic provides a number of high tech products, including the Fibre Channel Adapters, which allow the storage and movement of large amounts of data.