Mental Health Law
Intellectual Property: Copyrights, Trademarks, Trade Secrets
Divorce can be an extremely stressful time in our lives. It gets particularly complicated when there are issues of child custody and support. Unfortunately, it can then become vicious. Adding to this can be difficulties separating property and deciding on spousal support. If the parties are contentious, the whole process can become traumatic and certainly very expensive. I tried to minimize this difficult phase in my clients’ lives and help them make a transition with the least possible cost and stress.
There are many options to individuals who want to immigrate to this country or those who are in the process of being deported or who want to change their status once they are in the USA. I handle cases involving Family visas as opposed to Employer visas. These applications for family members can be done through the administrative process of USCIS or while the person is in removal proceedings. These are complex areas of law and research shows that a significantly higher percentage of those applying for visas are much more successful when they are being represented by an attorney as opposed to representing themselves. And a note to the unwary: Be very careful of seeking help from non attorneys who so frequently end up making things worse and leaving the immigrant in desperate situations.
I have been fortunate in helping individuals obtain guardianship over children who the through this process found a home with loving and caring individuals who provided an environment where the child could truly prosper. In some cases, these guardians later became adoptive parents with even greater rights for the adoptive parents and the adopted children.
Mental Health Law
George Gamez represents mental health workers such as psychologists, marriage and family therapists, social workers in any actions taken by their licensing boards.
George Gamez is available to advise and/or represent you in matters relating to your practice, in managing your risks with patients and in any personal or business transactions involving legal issues and requirements.
Healthcare practice is a highly regulated business. There many statutes, rules and regulations that govern the practice of mental health. A practitioner can easily go astray of these structures unknowingly but with dire consequences. Legal advice is a must for practitioners that desire to avoid difficult if not catastrophic penalties for not following the requirements of state and federal laws.
George Gamez will assist you by reviewing your contracts with employees (professional and non professional alike) and review your business contracts to make sure they are in compliance with the law and that you are protected.
Because healthcare is highly regulated, it is important to understand the consequences of forming the business structure. There are various ways in which a health care entity (such a as a clinic) can be formed and each type of business entity has advantages and disadvantages. George will help you choose the structure that best fits your needs. For example, both federal and state laws limit the extent to which physicians and non-physicians can co-own businesses. Similarly, California law is very strict about the types of entities which healthcare providers are permitted to operate. Healthcare professionals, for example, are limited by Corporations Code Section 13401 et seq. to practicing through professional corporations.
One of the first decisions a business owner(s) must make is what type business structure to use. That is, should the business operate as a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a corporation? If a corporate structure is used, then it must be run like a corporation. Otherwise, the business owners may be deprived of the benefits of the corporate structure and may be exposing themselves to unpleasant and unexpected liabilities. Filling out forms and submitting them to the Secretary of State is just the beginning of complying with the state requirements. The corporation must perform other tasks to be legitimate and to protect itself and the owners against creditors – the main purpose of a corporation is to have a “corporate shield” to protect the individual officers and shareholders from creditor liability. If the corporation is not formed or operated properly, then the corporate veil can be easily pierced and deprive the corporation and the individual officers of the corporate protection. We can help you set up the proper structure for you business and help you in keeping your structure in compliance with the relevant laws. To Top
Intellectual property includes patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. We help
file the proper paper work to protect your intellectual property assets.
The creators of various works including literary works, pictures, web site content, and software applications are entitled to protection and deserve to reap the rewards of their creativity. In some cases, these rewards may go to the employer of the person who actually created the work and in other cases, it may go to the estate of the deceased creator. George Gamez can help businesses and creative individuals identify threats to their intellectual property rights. We monitor and police our clients’ copyrights globally to reduce the risk of copyright infringement.
Copyrights are valuable assets. The first step in the protection of copyrights after creation of the work is to register the copyright. George Gamez will help you with copyright registration. To top
Intellectual Property Licensing
After creating the work and registering it with the copyright office, the work must be exploited as a business asset. The work may be licensed to others for a licensing fee. George Gamez will help you draft and negotiate license agreements. Licensing and monitoring intellectual property is crucial to obtaining proper compensation for this valuable business asset.
Trade secrets include such items as product formulas and technical specifications, referral sources, software source code, manufacturing processes, customer or suppliers lists, and other items that have value due to the fact that the information is not generally known or readily ascertainable by proper means and the owner has made reasonable efforts to maintain the secrecy of the information. Trade secrets are valuable assets that must be protected from misappropriation. Employers should be particularly wary of employees misappropriating these secrets while employed and after termination of employment. Employment contracts should clearly prohibit this misappropriation and reasonable steps should be taken to keep the secrets confidential and to take action to prevent their unauthorized use.
Conflict is rampant in our modern world and some disputes can become vicious and even deadly. The two opposing parties may try to settle their differences through litigation. The adversarial process can be costly and psychologically devastating. Often, the winner is left with a Pyrrhic victory with no more to show for his efforts than the fact the he or she won. Unfortunately, when the opposing parties are family members or have some long term mutually beneficial business relationship, that relationship is lost amidst the bitter feelings left by the litigation process. Fortunately, there are other forms of resolving disputes which have been gaining more favor in the last few decades. These include arbitration as well as mediation. In arbitration, which may or not be binding, the arbitrator acts like a judge. He listens to arguments and makes a determination after the issues, facts and arguments are presented. It is similar to litigation but usually speedier and less costly. Like trial litigation, there is a winner and a loser.
Mediation on the other hand involves helping the participants reach their own determination. There are various types of mediation but they all involve improving the communication between the parties and trying to arrive at a win-win conclusion. Rather than focusing on who is right and who is wrong, the emphasis is on “how can we meet the needs and interests of the parties in a way that both parties come out feeling that they won something in the process.” To top
George Gamez is available to mediate your disputes especially in the following areas:
•Disputes among business owners
•Probate disputes among family members
•Employment related disputes
•Personal Injury and other Tort Actions
•Real Estate disputes
His approach to Mediation
Being both a psychologist and lawyer places George Gamez in an excellent position to mediate. He can help opposing parties communicate and listen to each other without becoming overly defensive. His legal knowledge helps him understand the complex legal issues underlying various conflicts. His research in the area of creativity and his authorship of the book Creativity: How to Catch Lightning in a Bottle help him understand the creative process and apply it to thinking outside the box in developing novel solutions. His varied experiences in business and in the entertainment field help him have a wide knowledge base to draw from in dealing with complex problems and in negotiating creatively. To top