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Expert Witness Services

Property Management Expert Witness

 

Homeowner Associations

Apartments - Commercial

       

Condominium Associations

Condominiums

       

 

Michael Chulak is available as a litigation consultant and / or expert witness in any of the following areas:

Premises Liability Habitability
       
Mold Standard of Care
       
Landlord - Tenant Business Judgment Rule
       
Assessment Collections Maintenance - Repairs
       
Reserve Studies Developer Directors
       
Davis-Stirling Act Security
       
Negligent Hiring CC&R Enforcement
       
Dog Attacks Inspections
       
ADA Claims Housing Discrimination
       
Elevator Accidents Failure to Accomodate
       
HOA Fraud HOA Developer Fraud
       
Vermin Infestations Bed Bugs - Roaches

 

Mortgage Lending Expert Witness

Income Property Lending

Construction Loans

       

Residential Real Estate Loans

   

Michael Chulak is available as a mortgage lending litigation consultant and expert witness in any of the following areas:

Standard of Care Residential Loan Underwriting
       
Foreclosures - Fraud Income Property Loan Underwriting
       
Secondary Market Sub Prime Loans
       
Loan Sales Loan Documentation
       
Construction Lending Funds Control
       
Loan Broker Relationships Construction Inspections
       
Loan Repurchase Agreements Disclosure Requirements
       
Loss Mitigation Lending Procedures
       
Loan Modifications Loan Participations
       
Loan Servicing Loan Escrows
       
Risk Analysis Construction Loan Disbursements
       
Homeowner Association Loans Loan Processing
       

 

 

Alter Ego Expert Witness

 

Joint Venture Liability

Joint Enterprise Liability

 

 

Michael Chulak is available as a litigation consultant and / or expert witness in any of the following areas:

Alter Ego Claims

Joint Venture Liability

       

Piercing the Corporate Veil

Joint Enterprise Liability

       

 

Piercing the Corporate Veil

Alter Ego Doctrine

Joint Enterprise Liability

 

The concepts of Piercing the Corporate Veil and Alter Ego are important to the following:

Plaintiffs and their attorneys
   
Defendants and their attorneys
   
Corporation shareholders
   
Corporation directors
   
Members of Limited Liability Companies
   
Operating Managers of LLCs
   
People intending to form a corporation or limited liability corporation for asset protection purposes
   

 

Most people form corporations to insulate themselves from liability. The insulation exists because corporations are generally considered by law to be separate and distinct from their shareholders. For example, if a judgment is entered against a corporation, its shareholders will not be liable to pay the judgment except to the extent that shareholders have invested money by purchasing stock. This protection is often referred to as the corporate veil. While most people who incorporate believe they have no personal liability for the debts of the corporation, this is not always true.

Courts can disregard or pierce the corporate veil in situations where the shareholders disregard the legal separateness and the corporation acts as the alter ego of the shareholders in their dealings with third parties.

Alter ego is a legal theory that can apply to many defendants, and consequently, it can significantly expand the ability of a plaintiffs attorney to reach individuals and entities otherwise protected by the corporate veil. For example, corporations with subsidiaries or affiliates may be named as defendants in law suits on the ground that they are not actually separate. Thus, a corporate shareholder's exposure to liability may be greatly expanded.

In order for a court to determine that a corporation is the alter ego of the shareholders, two elements must be established.

First, there must be such a unity of interest and ownership that the separate personalities of the corporation and the shareholder (or the other entity) no longer exist, and secondly, that there will be an inequitable result if the acts are treated as those of the corporation alone.

Following are some of the factors that courts evaluate when determining whether to pierce the corporate veil:

Whether the funds of the shareholders and corporation have been kept separate or commingled
   
Whether the funds of the shareholders and corporation have been kept separate or commingled
   
Inadequate capitalization making the corporation a mere shell, conduit or instrumentality of the shareholders
   
Non-functioning directors
   
Whether shareholders are withdrawing funds or assets from the corporation for personal use without justification or documentation
   
Adequacy of insurance to protect third parties
   
Did the corporation comply with the law
   
Was the corporation properly licensed for its intended activity
   
Did the corporation issue stock to the shareholders
   
Whether the corporation conducts all of its business in the corporate name
   
Did the corporation engage in transactions with shareholders that were not at arms length
   
Have the shareholders placed any of the corporate assets on their personal financial statements given to third parties
   
Was the corporation used as an instrumentality or agent of the shareholders
   
Would there be an inequitable result if the corporate veil is used as a defense
   

Since corporate minutes are a first line of defense, they should include resolutions regarding the following:

Approval of large contracts
   
Compensation of officers
   
Acquisition or sale of significant assets
   
Designation of banking institutions
   
Approval of guarantees
   
Declarations of dividends
   
Approval of loans
   
Adoption of employee benefit plans
   
Authorization to sign documents and checks
   

While limited liability companies are not required to maintain the same formalities as corporations and the law on the subject is less clear, the veil of protection afforded by the creation of LLCs can still be pierced by a court if the two elements described above are satisfied.

In summation, alter ego is a well accepted principle in California. In developing the alter ego doctrine, California courts have balanced two competing considerations. On the one hand, they recognize that the law permits the incorporation of businesses for the purpose of isolating liabilities among separate entities. Since society recognizes the benefits of allowing persons and organizations to limit their business risks through incorporation, sound public policy dictates that disregard of those separate corporate entities be approached with caution. On the other hand, they have also emphasized that it would be unjust to permit those who control companies to assert their separateness in order to commit frauds and other misdeeds with impunity.

Closely related to the alter ego doctrine is the doctrine of joint enterprise liability or enterprise liability. While piercing the corporate veil provides a mechanism for holding a shareholder (person or entity) liable for the debts of the corporation, joint enterprise liability provides a mechanism for holding a non-shareholder liable for the debts of a corporation.

A joint enterprise is defined as an enterprise created by two or more persons or entities, by express or implied agreement, that have a common purpose and equal rights of control.

In order for a court to determine that joint enterprise liability exists, two elements must be established:

First, there must be such a unity of interest between the two (or more) entities that their separate existence has de facto ceased, and secondly, that treating the two entities as separate would promote an injustice.

 

 

 
 





Areas Served:



Los Angeles County:

Acton, Agoura, Agoura Hills, Agua Dulce, Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, Arleta, Artesia, Avalon, Azusa, Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Park, Bassett, Bell, Bell Canyon, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Bouquet Canyon, Box Canyon, Burbank, Calabasas, Calabasas Hills, Canoga Park, Canyon Country, Carson, Castaic, Century City, Cerritos, Chatsworth, Claremont, Commerce, Compton, Covina, Cudahy, Crystalaire, Culver City, Del Sur, Diamond Bar, Downey, Duarte, East Los Angeles, East Rancho Dominguez, El Monte, El Segundo, Encino, Firestone Park, Flintridge, Gardena, Glassell, Glassell Park, Glendale, Glendora, Granada Hills, Hacienda Heights, Hawaiian Gardens, Hansen Dam, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Highland Park, Hollywood, Huntington Park, Industry, Inglewood, Irwindale, La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta- Montrose, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, La Puente, La Verne, La Canada, Lake Hughes, Lake Los Angeles, Lake View Terrace, Lakewood, Lancaster, Lawndale, Leimert Park, Lennox, Leona Valley, Lincoln Heights, Littlerock, Lomita, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Marina Del Rey, Maywood, Mission Hills, Monrovia, Monte Nido, Montebello, Monterey Park, Mount Baldy, Mount Wilson, Newhall, North El Monte, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Norwalk, Pacoima, Palisades, Palmdale, Paramount, Pearblossom, Pico Rivera, Pomona, Quartz Hill, Rancho Dominguez, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rancho Park, Redondo Beach, Reseda, Ritter Ranch, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Rosemead, San Dimas, San Fernando, San Gabriel, San Marino, San Pedro, Santa Clarita, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Monica, Saratoga Hills, Saugus, Sherman Oaks, Sierra Madre, Signal Hill, South El Monte, South Gate, South Pasadena, Stevenson Ranch, Studio City, Sun Valley, Sun Village, Tarzana, Temple City, Toluca Lake, Topanga, Torrance, Tujunga, Universal City, Val Verde, Valencia, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Venice, Vernon, Walnut, Walnut Park, West Covina, West Hills, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, West Toluca Lake, Westchester, Whittier, Wilmington, Windsor Hills, Winnetka, Woodland Hills.

Ventura County:

Camarillo, Channel Islands, Faria Beach, Fillmore, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Oak Park, Oak View, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Saticoy, Somis, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Ventura (San Buenaventura), Westlake Village.

Orange County:

Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Balboa Island, Brea, Buena Park, Corona Island, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Foothill Ranch, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forrest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Orange, Placentia, Rossmoor, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Heights, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Tustin Foothills, Villa Park, Westminster, Yorba Linda.

San Bernardino County:

Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Big Bear, Big Bear City, Chino, Chino Hills, Colton, Crestline, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Hesperia, Highland, Joshua Tree, Lake Arrowhead, Landers, Loma Linda, Montclair, Morongo Valley, Needles, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, Running Springs, San Bernardino, Twentynine Palms, Upland, Victorville, Yucaipa, Yucca Valley.

Riverside County:

Anza, Banning, Beaumont, Bermuda Dunes, Blythe, Cabazon, Calimesa, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Cherry Valley, Coachella, Corona, Desert Hot Springs, East Blythe, East Hemet, El Cerrito, Glen Avon, Hemet, Highgrove, Home Gardens, Homeland, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Lake Elsinore, Lakeland Village, Lakeview, Mecca, Mira Loma, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Murrieta Hot Springs, Norco, Nuevo, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Pedley, Perris, Quail Valley, Rancho Mirage, Riverside, Rubidoux, San Jacinto, Sun City, Sunnyslope, Temecula, Thousand Palms, Valle Vista, Wildomar, Winchester, Woodcrest.

San Diego County:

Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas (Cardiff-by-Sea, Leucadia, Olivenhain) Escondido, Fairbanks, Ranch, Fallbrook, Imperial Beach, Julian, La Mesa, Lake San, Lakeside, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside (San Luis Rey), Poway, Romona, Rancho San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, Hidden Meadows, San Diego County Estates, Spring Valley, Vista.

San Luis Obispo County:

Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Avila Beach, Baywood-Los Osos, Cambria, Cayucos, Grover Beach, Lake Nacimiento, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Nipomo, Oceano, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, San Miguel, San Simeon, Santa Margarita, Templeton.

Santa Barbara County:

Ballard, Buellton, Carpinteria, Gaviota, Goleta, Guadalupe, Hollister Ranch, Hope Ranch, Isla Vista, Lompoc, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Mission Canyon, Mission Hills, Montecito, Orcutt, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, Solvang, Summerland, Toro Canyon

Alameda County:

Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, Union City

Contra Costa County:

Antioch, Brentwood, Clayton, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Hercules, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Mountain View, Oakley, Orinda, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Richmond, San Pablo, San Ramon, Walnut Creek

Fresno County:

Auberry, Big Creek, Biola, Bowles, Calwa, Cantua Creek, Caruthers, Centerville, Clovis, Coanlinga, Del Rey, Dunlap, Easton, Firebaugh, Fowler, Fresno, Friant, Highway City, Huron, Kerman, Kingsburg, Lanare, Laton, Mendota, Mercy Hot Springs, Minkler, Orange Grove, Parlier, Pinedale, Prather, Raisin City, Reedley, Riverdale, Rolinda, San Joaquin, Sanger, Selma, Shaver Lake, Squaw Valley, Tarpey Village, Three Rocks, Tollhouse, Tranquility

Imperial County:

Brawley, Calexico, Calipatria, El Centro, Holtville, Imperial, Salton City

Kern County:

Arvin, Bakersfield, Bear Valley Springs, Boron, California City, Delano, Frazier Park, Lake Isabella, Lebec, Maricopa, McFarland, Mojave, Pine Mountain Club, Ridgecrest, Rosedale, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, Wasco, Wofford Heights

Marin County:

Bel Marin Keys, Belvedere, Black Point - Green Point, Bolinas, Corte Madera, Dillon Beach, Dogtown, Fairfax, Hamilton, Ignacio, Inverness, Inverness Park, Kentfield, Lagunitas - Forest Knolls, Larkspur, Las Gallinas, Lucas Valley - Marinwood, Greenbrae, Marin City, Marshall, Mill Valley, Muir Beach, Novato, Point Reyes Station, Ross, San Anselmo, San Marin, San Rafael, Santa Venetia, Sausalito, Sleepy Hollow, Stinson Beach, Strawberry, Tamalpais - Homestead Valley, Tiburon, Woodacre

Monterey County:

Bradley, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Del Rey Oaks, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Salinas, Sand City, Seaside, Soledad

Sacramento County:

Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, Rancho, Rio Linda, Rosemont, Sacramento

San Francisco County:

San Francisco City

San Joaquin County:

Escalon, Lathrop, Lodi, Manteca, Ripon, Stockton, Tracy















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