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26Here's yet another case that shows that you should always have an attorney investigate any auto accident, and never just assume that the other driver is the only person who is at fault.
Joe Annocki was driving his motorcycle on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, when he crashed into a car driven by Terry Turner. Turner was pulling out of the parking lot of a restaurant.
The highway had temporary dividers at that point, so patrons could only make a right turn out of the restaurant. Turner attempted to make a left turn, encountered the dividers (which weren't very visible from the restaurant driveway), and tried to back up, at which point Annocki was unable to avoid crashing into him.
Annocki's family sued the restaurant. They claimed that the restaurant could easily have installed a "Right Turn Only" sign at the driveway, and that it was irresponsible not to do so because the restaurant owners knew the dividers were hard to see and could have foreseen the danger caused by customers trying to make a left turn.
The California Court of Appeal sided with Annocki's family. It said the restaurant had a legal duty to take reasonable, inexpensive steps to protect its patrons and others where it could see they would be encountering a danger.
It didn't matter that the crash occurred on the highway and not on the restaurant's property.

ecf3ec68 88f4 4114 8725 58df17fed46fBusinesspeople who have agreed on the general terms of a deal often sign a "letter of intent" that lays out these terms in writing. The idea is to make sure that everyone is on the same page while a formal contract is being drafted.
But what happens if you sign a letter of intent with someone, and then they walk away from the deal? Is that okay?
In general, the answer is yes - a letter of intent isn't a binding contract; it's merely an expression of a plan to negotiate a binding contract.
But that's not always true. Sometimes a letter of intent is so specific and leaves so little out that it can legally be considered a contract in itself.
For instance, in one case involving a real estate sale, the buyer and seller signed a letter of intent that included a description of the property, the sale price, the deposit and title requirements, and the time and place of closing. It said the buyer's offer was accepted, and that the two sides "shall" sign a sale contract that was satisfactory to both.
Before signing the sale contract, though, the seller changed her mind and agreed to sell the property to someone else.
The buyer sued, and the Massachusetts Supreme Court sided with him. It said that while the letter of intent wasn't a formal contract, it was so specific and clear that it amounted to a binding agreement.
If you're signing a letter of intent, be very careful if it's important to you to (1) preserve your right to back out or (2) make it as difficult as possible for the other side to back out.
Some letters of intent solve this problem with a "withdrawal fee." That is, they say that the letter isn't a binding contract, but if one side doesn't sign a binding contract on the stated terms by a certain date, he or she must pay a money penalty.

4f66a80b 6fd9 46d0 8c4d 3715c8dec2c2H & H recently joined forces to file an arbitration action against 2 California companies to enforce our client's rights under a Domain Name Lease Agreement.  We recognized that joining with the Union Wharf offices of Perry, Krumsiek, & Dolan  created a powerful litigation team that would greatly benefit our client and bring efficiencies to the litigation that would not otherwise exist.  We will keep you posted on developments in the case in future editions of our Newsletter.