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Meet some of our San Diego Startup Lawyers

Daniel K. on ContractsCounsel
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5.0 (4)
Member Since:
October 11, 2023

Daniel K.

Managing Partner
Free Consultation
Los Angeles, CA
14 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
UC Berkeley School of Law

I graduated from Yale University magna cum laude, served as a Fulbright Scholar in Italy and attended UC Berkeley School of Law. In 2023, I was named a "Legal Visionary" by the Los Angeles Times. I have broad experience in corporate transactions and in serving as outside general counsel to clients. I started my legal career in Silicon Valley and Hong Kong working on large equity and debt financings and matters for private wealth clients. After returning home to Los Angeles, I advised startup companies with formations, acquisitions and day-to-day matters such as sales contracts and licensing. More recently, I have focused on data, IT and SaaS contracts for both providers and customers. My clients include NASDAQ-listed companies, a top ranked children’s hospital and local startups.

Richard M. on ContractsCounsel
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5.0 (1)
Member Since:
January 19, 2024

Richard M.

Tax Attorney
Free Consultation
San Diego, California
25 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
UCLA School of Law

Richard A. Mathurin is as a member of the professional team at Sage Law. Since graduating cum Laude from The University of Notre Dame and UCLA School of Law, Rich has enjoyed an exciting and diversified career in the practice of law. In his early career, he assisted several energy companies all over the world in the development and funding of major wind energy and other green technology projects. Following an assignment by his firm to their Far East offices in Tokyo and Singapore, Rich represented global corporations such as Hitachi, UPS, and Fuji-Xerox in major commercial transactions. More recently, Rich returned to his native San Diego to care for an ill family member and work in the local community. Rich specializes in tax resolution, bankruptcy and small business services helping clients get in compliance with complex tax laws and manage their personal and business finances. When he is not working servicing his valued clients, Rich is an ardent golfer and enjoys rooting for his favorite Boston sports teams.

Melissa T. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
October 5, 2023

Melissa T.

In-House Counsel
Free Consultation
Tustin, CA
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Whittier Law

Having more than ten (10) years of experience in commercial law, I have garnered both relevant in-house and law firm experience. With more than a combined seven (7) years in-house experience, I have gained valuable insight in balancing the business needs with the legal risks and applying the legal skills I have acquired to various fields. I have specific experience with SaaS, vendor contracts, customer contracts, and general marketing agreements. Moreover, my law firm background has taught me to be detail-oriented and to be an effective negotiator in all types of commercial dealings.

James D. F. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
October 12, 2023

James D. F.

innovative Counsel [iC]℠
Free Consultation
Sydney, Australia
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Queensland University of Technology

Unique Hybrid Background ➲ Deep Legal, Tech & Commercial Experience More by pure chance than design, I arrived late in life to pursue a career in law. My background spans more than 3 decades across Information Technology, entrepreneurship & the legal profession supporting my claim to being a 'Deep Generalist'. What is a 'Deep Generalist'? 'The professionals who develop into really great client advisors are deep generalists.' Quote from Warren Bennis. From 2013 I worked for established boutique property, finance & commercial law firms + an award-winning #newlaw firm of senior lawyers (formerly Nexus Law Group, now merged with Arch.law) before founding my digital law firm Blue Ocean Law Group in 2017. I also worked part-time for 2 years as a freelance online expert across all aspects of Australian Law with JustAnswer (H.Q. in San Francisco) and volunteered at the Caxton Legal Centre to give back to the community. Now I offer pro bono (free) legal assistance at my discretion. My achievements in the law are best reflected in the high number of settlements where civil litigation has been avoided, court judgements (incl. successful appeals) in my clients' favour & [90+] testimonials which can be seen on the blueocean.law [700+] page website which offers tons [585+] of both free & paid innovative legal products & resources. My personal experience as a client on the other side of legal matters affords me a unique perspective and goes some way to explaining my passion for the reinvention of the delivery of legal services. I am an early adopter of technology + gadgets, an avid reader and an animal lover. In January 2023, I joined the IAPP – International Association of Privacy Professionals and became a Certified Information Privacy Professional – United States by gaining the highly valued gold-standard ANSI-Accredited CIPP/US credential. I followed this up in August 2023, by obtaining the Certified in CyberSecurity qualification form ISC(2). Pre-Law Background From 1992 to 2002, I worked for Accenture as an IT Project Manager across APAC (including long-term project assignments in New Zealand & Singapore). I started a small business side hustle in 1997 and in 2003 I left Accenture to become a full-time entrepreneur in the transport industry. I later expanded into the mezzanine property development finance market as well as venturing into small-scale property development.Unique Hybrid Background

Dawn K. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
November 5, 2023

Dawn K.

Partner
Free Consultation
Los Angeles, CA
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Concord Law School Kaplan University

Dawn K Kennedy has been licensed to practice law since 2015, but has been an entrepreneur since 2011. She uses her extensive project management and business background to support small and mid-sized businesses with contracts, negotiations, and other matters relating to the operation of a successful business venture.

Boris K. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
November 7, 2023

Boris K.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Newport Brach
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Western Michigan Law

With over 10 years experience as a Real Estate Broker and an attorney, I can help you with all your residential real estate needs such as For sale by owner transactions and drafting grant deeds

Alexandra I. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
November 17, 2023

Alexandra I.

Contract Attorney
Free Consultation
Hollywood, California
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Southwestern Law School

I am a licensed attorney in California specializing in consumer contract law. My areas of expertise include contract law and employment law, including independent contractor compliance, work-for-hire compliance and general corporate law. I appreciate getting to know my clients and enjoy providing legal guidance, whether they are large corporations, young start-ups about to take off, or just one person in need of legal advice. Some of my recent work has included the drafting of corporate purchase and sale agreements, independent contractor agreements, nondisclosure agreements, and software as a service (SaaS) agreements. I am well-versed in intellectual property law and have successfully obtained trademarks for former clients. My passion for learning, reading and writing has proved advantageous in my practice. I complete continuing education courses to stay current on industry best practices. I take great satisfaction in offering precise and helpful legal advice free from fancy terminology. I look forward to discussing your particular needs and supporting you in achieving your objectives. Please get in touch to learn more about my approach and see whether we are a good fit.

Jana B. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
November 21, 2023

Jana B.

Commercial & Privacy Lawyer
Free Consultation
San Francisco
18 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Universtiy of San Francisco

I am a Silicon Valley tech lawyer with over 13 years of in-house experience and additional years in BigLaw. I provide tech licensing, data privacy, employment, international expansion, go to market, and other corporate and commercial legal services to clients in software, SaaS, bio-tech, cryptocurrency, financing, and construction business. I currently run my own practice concentrating on transactional, commercial, corporate or employment matters. Prior to starting my own practice, I joined as the first in-house counsel to lead the global legal strategy to bring tech products to market, increase revenue, decrease exposure to risk, and raise venture funding for HashiCorp Inc., currently an unicorn technology company with evaluation over $5 billion and venture funding over $350 million; Sysdig Inc., a technology company with venture funding of $195 million; and Anaplan Inc., currently a publicly traded company on the US Stock Market. Furthermore, I acted as in-house counsel advising leading technology enterprise companies such as HP, VMware, and Genentech and currently act as member of strategic advisory boards to several technology companies located globally

McCoy S. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
December 4, 2023

McCoy S.

Founding Attorney
Free Consultation
Portland, Oregon
33 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, NY, OR, WA
University of Virginia

P. McCoy Smith is the Founding Attorney at Lex Pan Law LLC, a full-service technology and intellectual property law firm based in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A and Opsequio LLC, an open source compliance consultancy. Prior to his current position, he spent 20 years in the legal department of a Fortune 50 multinational technology company as a business unit intellectual property specialist; among his duties was setting up the free & open source legal function and policies for that company. He preceded his in-house experience with 8 years in private practice in a large New York City-based boutique intellectual property law firm, working simultaneously as a U.S. patent litigator and U.S. patent prosecutor. He was also a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office prior to attending law school. He is licensed to practice law in Oregon, California & New York and to prosecute patent applications in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office; he is also a registered Trademark and Patent Agent with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. He has degrees from Colorado State University (Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, with honors), Johns Hopkins University (Masters of Liberal Arts) and the University of Virginia (Juris Doctor). While in private practice, and continuing into his in-house career, he taught portions of the U.S. patent bar exam for a long-standing and well-known patent bar exam preparation course, and from 2014-2020 was on the editorial board of the Journal of Open Law, Technology & Society (JOLTS), and starting in 2023 will be on the editorial board of the American Intellectual Property Law Quarterly Journal (AIPLAQJ). He is the author or co-author of chapters on open source and copyright and patents in “Open Source Law, Policy & Practice” (2022, Oxford University Press). He lectures frequently around the world on free and open source issues as well as other intellectual property topics.

Eliza J. on ContractsCounsel
View Eliza
Member Since:
December 6, 2023

Eliza J.

Family Law Attorney
Free Consultation
REMOTE
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
JFKU SCHOOL OF LAW

Eliza brings a distinguished track record of delivering outstanding results for her clients, showcasing expertise across a spectrum of legal areas. Eliza is not just an attorney; she's your dedicated advocate with a proven record of achieving excellent results for her clients. Her representation spans numerous family law cases, including dissolutions, custody, support, probate, and civil litigation matters. Eliza's unique background as a Registered Nurse and licensed Attorney sets her apart. Before establishing her law practice, she served as a Registered Nurse in various hospitals across Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Notably, she contributed to prominent institutions such as Los Angeles County Public Health and the City of Anaheim. Additionally, Eliza ventured into entrepreneurship, managing her own Professional Fiduciary and Consulting business. Her legal acumen extends to civil litigation, personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, worker's compensation, and family law matters. Eliza earned her Bachelor's Degree in Nursing and Public Health from CSU Dominguez Hills. In 2008, she furthered her education, obtaining a Master's Degree in Nursing, Administration, and Healthcare Management, along with a Quality Improvement Certificate. Eliza culminated her academic journey by earning her law degree from the JFK University of Law in 2016. Eliza's multidisciplinary background uniquely positions her to navigate the intricacies of legal matters, offering a comprehensive and compassionate approach to her client's diverse needs. Eliza's diverse background uniquely positions her to understand and address your legal needs comprehensively. Trust her to navigate your case with care and dedication, ensuring you receive the support you deserve.

James S. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
December 13, 2023
Brian S. on ContractsCounsel
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Member Since:
December 15, 2023

Brian S.

Corporate Attorney
Free Consultation
Arizona, United States
23 Yrs Experience
Licensed in AZ, CA, DC, TX
South Texas College of Law Houston

I am a corporate lawyer with over 15 years of experience in litigation and in advising companies on a variety of legal issues, including mergers and acquisitions, securities regulations, and contract negotiations. I have a deep understanding of the technology industry and have represented numerous tech companies in my career.

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Startup Legal Questions and Answers

Startup

Convertible Note

California

Asked on Jul 30, 2023

Convertible note vs. equity financing?

I am an entrepreneur and I am in the process of raising capital for my startup. I am considering both convertible note and equity financing options and am trying to decide which one is best suited for my company. I need to understand the key differences between the two options to make an informed decision.

Thaddeus W.

Answered Sep 8, 2023

Good question. Convertible notes (as well as SAFE's, discussed below) differ from equity in several respects. The most fundamental difference is that a convertible note is debt. A second major difference is that, although the note is debt, its terms include the noteholder's right to acquire an equity position in the future; if a certain event later occurs (defined in the note, but typically the sale of preferred stock to a future investor (e.g. a venture capital firm), but also a sale of the company can have a similar effect), this will trigger the note to convert into equity and the note is "satisfied" ... that is, the debt is extinguished when the note converts and the holder thereby becomes an equity holder (typically coming to own shares of preferred stock very similar to that issued to the future investors in that triggering event). These two differences are related to a third. A convertible note is often issued without a valuation of the company. For example, when a startup business has no operating history, it is impossible for the startup founders or the investor to decide what the company is worth. Equity cannot be issued for a fair market value (FMV), since there is no basis to determine what the FMV is. A convertible note resolves that by giving the investor (the note holder) the right to convert the note into equity later on, when another investor and the company can agree on a company valuation. In other words, the convertible note allows the company to "kick the can (of valuation) down the road" to be dealt with at another time. But, since a convertible note is debt, is has a repayment provision, and normally carries interest. This means that the note is carried on the company's balance sheet as debt, and presents the company with the future obligation to repay the note if a conversion event has not happened before the note's maturity date. So, SAFE's are often used, especially now that they have become so familiar to investors. (SAFE stands for Simple Agreement for Future Equity). Essentially, as SAFE is a convertible note without the debt features. A SAFE carries no interest and does not have to be repaid. The investor in a SAFE will normally be sophisticated and able to assess the chances the company will do well enough for a conversion event (the issuance of preferred stock, or a sale of the company) to result in the investor's SAFE converting, and thus give the investor comfort that would otherwise be lacking in an instrument that has no repayment obligation. Like a convertible note, a SAFE kicks the can of valuation down the road, where a valuation can later be determined by the company and a future investor. Founders should exercise caution in issuing convertible notes or SAFE's. Among other reasons, founders commonly do not appreciate the impact that convertible notes or SAFE's can have on the founders' own ownership. Convertible notes and SAFE's often include a feature called a "valuation cap." This can result in surprising dilution, as well as the issuance of equity to the converting note or SAFE holder at what is effectively a very low price per share, costing the company far more than the founders may have expected. Also, notes and SAFE's with very similar, but different, terms can result in a complicated capitalization table, making negotiations with venture capital firms later on more difficult, an equity transaction more complex, and thus the process more time-consuming and (therefore) more expensive.

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Startup

Terms Sheet

California

Asked on Mar 30, 2021

What are the most important things to look at in a term sheet?

I am expecting to get a few term sheets from investors in the next month. I want to know what I should be looking for.

Ramsey T.

Answered Mar 30, 2021

Every term in a term sheet, by definition is important. A term sheet is a summary of the most important parts of a "deal" - a way of getting to and negotiating the hear of the deal before filling in the gaps with boilerplate. Therefore, you should make sure that you understand all of what has been proposed and negotiated in the term sheet - even the provision that don't seem that important - because they wouldn't be in the term sheet if they weren't a key term to one side or the other.

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Startup

LLC

Texas

Asked on Oct 26, 2023

What are the benefits of LLC formation?

I am a small business owner looking to expand my operations and protect my personal assets. I am considering forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and would like to understand the benefits of doing so. I understand that an LLC provides limited liability for its owners, but I am also interested in the tax implications and other benefits of LLC formation.

Jimmy V.

Answered Nov 3, 2023

The LLC has three advantages over other types of business entities: (1) it creates a liability shield for the owner's personal assets in case the business gets sued; (2) the LLC has "pass-through" taxation - in other words, unlike a corporation, there is no tax due at the entity level. All profits and losses "pass through" to the owner and are accounted for on the owner's individual tax return; (3) the LLC is a simple and flexible business structure that does not require as much paperwork as a corporation.

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Startup

Software Agreement

Florida

Asked on Jun 9, 2023

Software agreement and maintenance?

I am an entrepreneur who is planning to launch a new software product. I am in the process of negotiating a software agreement with a potential partner, and I need to make sure that I understand my obligations regarding maintenance of the software. I have limited experience in this area and need to ensure that I have a comprehensive agreement that covers all of the necessary points.

Daniel D.

Answered Jul 18, 2023

Your maintenance obligations will largely depend on what is written into the software agreement between you and your partner. If you and your partner agree you can have a very broad or very limited obligation, but it should be clear so you avoid any disputes in the future. A comprehensive agreement can include any provisions you and your partner agree on as long as it does not violate State Law or Public Policy.

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Startup

Single Member LLC Operating Agreement

Alabama

Asked on Sep 27, 2021

Start a trucking business as an owner operator

Experienced driver wants to own the truck and make a business out of it

John H.

Answered Oct 4, 2021

You will need to begin by picking a name for your trucking business and then proceed to reserving the name with the Secretary of State and then you will need to choose what business entity your business will operate under. I have experience drafting the paperwork you will need to get set up.

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