Though we are a California based firm, through our membership association of over 190 independent highly-rated law firms worldwide, we provide clients with representation throughout the US and the world.
Representing Businesses and Their Owners
Since its inception, Coleman & Horowitt, LLP has focused its practice to provide a full range of services to businesses and their owners.
A Commitment to the Community
Coleman & Horowitt, LLP believes it’s not enough to merely provide exceptional service and advice to our clients. We also have a duty to serve the community.
We Have The Professionalism Of
25 YEARS OF SERVICE WITH OVER 100 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
Coleman & Horowitt, LLP was established in 1994 by William H. Coleman and Darryl J. Horowitt.
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Coleman & Horowitt, LLP Participates in Primerus’ Global Day of Service
The following is the Primerus press release regarding Coleman & Horowitt’s involvement in Primerus’ Global Day of Service. Download and read the press release here December 2020, Fresno, California – Coleman & Horowitt, LLP participated in multiple different acts of service during this holiday season. They partnered with Marjaree Mason Center, a nonprofit dedicated to serving adults and their children affected by domestic violence. The firm collected items on the Center’s wish list. Additionally, the firm participated in a Secret Santa exchange with senior citizens who do not have family members, collected toys for the yearly Toys for Tots Christmas campaign, and purchased items sought by foster children through the annual Angel Tree kids program. “Each year we choose to support local efforts within the communities we serve. We are delighted to partner with Primerus to advance their mission and raise donations for charitable giving.” – Darryl Horowitt, Managing Partner, Coleman & Horowitt. Though Coleman & Horowitt, LLP engages in community activities throughout the year, this holiday season’s volunteer effort was organized inconnection with the International Society of Primerus Law Firms’ Global Day ofService. Primerus is a highly selective society of high quality, small to medium size law firms. The Society has a set of core values, the Primerus “Six Pillars”, that all members are committed to upholding. One of those values is community service. Primerus organized the Global Day of Service to celebrate the commitment its members have made to giving back to their communities demonstrating Primerus members are in fact “Good People Who Happen to be Good Lawyers.” “There are people in need all over the world. The pandemic has only exaggerated the need. I want to thank Coleman & Horowitt and everyone at the firm that participated in the Primerus Global Day of Service. Their focus on community service embodies the spirit of Primerus and the drive all members share to make the world better by investing in their local communities. That these kinds of activities are happening all across the world, at the same time, is pretty special.” – Chris Dawe, Primerus SVP of Servicesview the article
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Tis the Season! Giving Back to Our Community
This holiday season, our Firm is giving back and we’re inviting you to join us. Our Fresno office will be a drop off location for two donation drives. For questions regarding donations and drop off contact Naji at (559) 248-4820 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We have provided information for how you can participate below: Toys for Tots Drive: Our office will serve as a collection site for Toys for Tots. Donations will be taken from November 30, 2020 to December 15, 2020. Anyone who donates a toy will be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card! Marjaree Mason Center: We will be collecting items November 30, 2020 to December 4, 2020. Below is a list of items that the Marjaree Mason Center is in need of as well as a link to their Amazon Wish List View the list here: https://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/G0YIFIY4K4PQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_ws_bSiGBbZXV0E0E Note all items donated must be in new condition. New meaning in package, or with original sales tags, and for personal items, unopened. Please bring FULL SIZED items only, travel sizes will NOT be accepted. Gift Cards are essential in assisting their clients in rural areas, and with items, they do not have room to store. Items with an * are items that are in high need. Marjaree Mason Center List of Needs: Personal Items Towel Set (body towel, hand towel, and washcloth)* Toothbrush Hairbrush Deodorant* Feminine hygiene products Adult sweatshirt/pants outfits (all sizes)* Children’s Items Baby teething rings Pacifiers Baby bottles Pedialyte Pull-Ups Children’s sweatshirt/pants outfits (all sizes)* Household Items Twin and full air mattresses* Pillows Twin size sheets* Full size sheets* Twin size blanket/comforter Full size blanket/comforter Waterproof twin mattress cover Laundry bag Paper towels Journal Gift Cards Bus tokens Dollar General Dollar Tree Food for Less FoodMaxx Gas MasterCard Payless Shoes Visa Walmart WinCo Targetview the article
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CALSAVERS – UNDERSTANDING YOUR OBLIGATIONS AS A BUSINESS AND ENSURING COMPLIANCE TO AVOID PENALTIES
By Stephanie L. Dunn Download a PDF of the article here First, in order to make sure your company or business is in compliance with CalSavers, it is important to understand what CalSavers is and the basic requirements for employers. The California Legislature established CalSavers in 2016 as a way to guarantee all working Californians have access to financial retirement security. CalSavers achieves this goal by creating a portable and low-cost option for workers to invest in their future. Specifically, CalSavers requires California businesses that employ five or more employees to do one of the following: (1) offer a retirement plan to their employees that is certified with CalSavers; or (2) provide their employees with access to CalSavers. If the employer fails to comply with the CalSavers requirements, they will be subject to a minimum penalty of $250.00 per employee. Employers that have fewer than 5 employees, maintain a Tax-Qualified Retirement Plan for at least 1 employee, or are an employer that is part of the Federal Government, the State, the County, a Municipal Corporation, or any government entity, are not subject to the CalSavers requirements. Other Tax-Qualified Retirement plans that employers have the option to offer to their employees instead of using CalSavers include the following: 403(a) – Qualified Annuity Plan or 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan 408(k) – Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) Plan 408(p) – Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers (SIMPLE) IRA Plan 401(a) – Qualified Plan (including profit-sharing plans and defined benefit plans) 401(k) Plan (including multiple employer plans or pooled employer plans) Payroll deduction IRAs with automatic enrollment If an employer decides they are going to use CalSalvers for their employee retirement plan, they need to make sure they enroll in CalSavers before the required deadline. The deadline for when a business must be in compliance with CalSavers depends on the number of employees employed by the company. Businesses that employ 100 or more workers were required to be in compliance with CalSavers as of September 30, 2020. If the business employs 50 or more workers, the deadline is June 30, 2021, and if the business employs 5 or more workers, the deadline is June 30, 2022. The number of employees of a business is determined by the average number of employees reported to the Employment Development Department (“EDD”) by the employer on EDD Form DE 9C for the quarter ending on December 31st and the previous three quarters of available data. If your business is required to comply with CalSavers, the State should have notified you of that requirement so you can register by the deadline if you do not have a tax qualified retirement plan in place already. Using CalSavers is a great option for employers who believe creating and operating their own employee retirement plan is too costly because it only requires a minimal administration fee on the part of the employer and does not require them to make any contributions toward the retirement plan. Instead, CalSavers provides all employees with an Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”) that is professionally managed. Additionally, by using CalSalvers, an employer does not have to worry about certifying their own retirement plan with CalSavers, nor do they have to worry about the fiduciary liability that would be imposed on them if they created their own retirement plan. With CalSavers, the employees are responsible for their own investment choices and are the only ones able to make contributions to the IRA account through monthly payroll deductions. As stated above, if an employer fails to comply with the new CalSavers requirements, they will be subject to a minimum penalty of $250.00 per employee. If your business fails to comply with the CalSavers requirements, CalSavers will report the defaulting employer to the California Franchise Tax Board (“FTB”). The FTB then has the responsibility to issue penalties to the defaulting employer. It has been reported that CalSavers will not be reporting non-compliant employers until after 90 days of continued non-compliance. This means employers who were subject to the September 30, 2020 deadline would not be reported to the FTB until the start of 2021. If the employer continues to remain non-compliant for more than 180 days, the $250.00 penalty will increase to $500.00 per eligible employee. Therefore, if your business has 100 or more employees and your retirement plan has not been set up or certified with CalSavers, you need to act immediately to resolve the situation before the start of the new year to avoid any penalties. So now you are probably thinking, “how do I sign up for CalSavers?” Signing up for CalSavers is simple and easy. First the employer needs to go to the CalSavers website to register and set up an account. Once an account has been created, the employer creates a payroll list to enroll all of the current employees. Then the payroll list must be submitted to a third party administrator. After the initial set-up of the account with CalSavers, the employer can use their existing payroll system to send the employees’ contributions to their CalSavers IRA each month. It is important for the employer to remember to update their account and add new employees when necessary. If you have questions, need help complying with CalSavers, or want to discuss your employee retirement options, we are here to help. Let us know at email@example.com. Stephanie L. Dunn is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and received her master’s degree from the University of Oregon. She received her law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law where she also earned a Certificate in Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law. At Pepperdine, Stephanie served as the Managing Editor of the Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary and published an article titled, “Please Don’t Make Me Pay Taxes: How New IRS Law Helps Art Collectors Avoid Hefty Taxes.” During law school Stephanie worked at the Pepperdine Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, the General Counsel’s Office at the Getty Museum, and the Pepperdine Athletic Compliance Department. Prior to joining Coleman & Horowitt, Stephanie worked in Los Angeles practicing worker’s compensation defense. Stephanie works in the transactions department of the firm’s Fresno and Los Angeles office where she represents clients in the areas of business transactions, real estate, intellectual property, and estate planningview the article
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[Podcast] How to Choose the Right Business Entity Structure for You
Listen to the episode here Attorneys Stephanie L. Dunn and Daniel L. Rudnick join the Valley Innovators podcast to share tips and tradeoffs for the various business entity structures (sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, etc.) including liability protection, tax implications, oversight required, and much more. Listen to learn more about the best business structure to support your needs. Listen to the episode here: https://www.valleyinnovators.com/podcast-episodes/episode/4b1ec0c2/how-to-choose-the-right-business-entity-structure-for-you Learn more about Valley Innovators here: https://www.valleyinnovators.com/listen to the podcast
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ROMAG FASTENERS, INC. V. FOSSIL GROUP, INC.: WHEN IS WILLFULNESS REQUIRED UNDER THE LANHAM ACT?
By Stephanie L. Dunn Download a PDF of the article here In trademark litigation under the Lanham Act (“Act”), one of the most significant claims sought by the plaintiff is the disgorgement of all profits earned by the infringing defendant. The disgorgement remedy is designed to be a major deterrent to trademark infringement. Until recently, there was a vast split in the Federal Circuit Courts regarding the showing the plaintiff would have to make in order to qualify for the disgorgement remedy. The First, Second, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Federal Circuit Courts held that in order for the defendant’s profits to be awarded, the plaintiff had to show the defendant’s conduct was willful. On the other side, the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eleventh Circuit Courts applied a balancing test to determine if profits could be awarded, where proof of willfulness was a factor to be considered, but not dispositive of the overall outcome. This split between the Circuits has now been resolved by the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Romag Fasteners v. Fossil, 140 S.Ct. 1492 (April 23, 2020). Romag stems from a case regarding fasteners for handbags and accessories produced by the well-known designer Fossil. Fossil originally signed an agreement with Romag to use Romag’s fasteners on Fossil’s handbags and accessories. Romag later discovered that Fossil’s factories in China were using counterfeit Romag fasteners and sued Fossil for trademark infringement. Romag requested part of Fossil’s profits be awarded as a remedy for the infringement. The court initially denied Romag’s request for profits because, while the jury found that Fossil had acted callously, they did not find that Fossil acted willfully and therefore, an award of profits was not supported by the Lanham Act (“Act”). Romag appealed and the Supreme Court ultimately reversed the ruling. Remedies under the Lanham Act for trademark violations are primarily governed by section 1117, while sections 1111 and 1114 create limitations to those requesting to be awarded profits. Upon review, the Supreme Court determined that when the various remedy sections of the Lanham Act are cross referenced with one another, they do not specifically require a plaintiff to establish willfulness on the part of a defendant to be eligible for an award of profits. The Supreme Court further noted that in enacting the Lanham Act, the legislature took great care to explicitly detail the mental states required for increasing statutory damages, and thus, the fact that the Act is silent on a willfulness requirement to obtain profits is reason to hold that such requirement does not exist. Fossil attempted to claim willfulness was required based on the phrase “subject to the principle of equity” in § 1117(a), arguing that historically courts of equity require a showing of willfulness before authorizing an award of profits for trademark disputes. However the Supreme Court stated that such claim would require the court to assume that Congress intended to incorporate a willfulness requirement even though there was no such requirement specifically set forth in the Act. Rather, the Act explicitly prescribed such conditions for other types of damages elsewhere. Additionally, the Supreme Court noted that the phrase “principles of equity” has been used by Congress and in the Lanham Act on multiple occasions, all with different meanings and contexts. As such, the Supreme Court held it was unlikely that Congress meant the phrase “principles of equity” to create such a narrow rule about profit remedies in trademark law. Ultimately, the court concluded that while defendant’s state of mind and willfulness is an important consideration in awarding profits to plaintiff, it is not an explicit requirement. The Supreme Court’s opinion might lead some to believe that they can be awarded a portion of an infringing defendant’s profits regardless of the innocence or intentional nature of defendant’s actions; however, they should proceed with caution. While Justice Sotomayor concurred with the majority’s ruling, she did so in judgment only. Justice Sotomayor noted the majority’s opinion appears to suggest that a court is just as likely to award profit damages against an innocent infringer as they would a willful infringer, even though doing so goes against the already well established legal authorities. Such legal authorities have rarely awarded profits for innocent infringement and goes against the long standing equitable principles that aim only to deprive wrongdoers of profits for their misconduct. Furthermore, while the Supreme Court ruled that willfulness is not a requirement in order to be eligible for recovery of profits, it is likely the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eleventh circuits will continue to use their established balancing test. Additionally, defendant’s willfulness or lack thereof will remain a key factor in determining what damages should be awarded to plaintiff in these circuits. Unfortunately, we will have to wait and see if the First, Second, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and Federal Circuits decide to follow the other circuits, or develop their own balancing test with regard to an award of profits. If you have any questions and want to know more or think you may have a trademark issue, we are here to help. Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stephanie L. Dunn is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and received her master’s degree from the University of Oregon. She received her law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law where she also earned a Certificate in Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law. At Pepperdine, Stephanie served as the Managing Editor of the Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary and published an article titled, “Please Don’t Make Me Pay Taxes: How New IRS Law Helps Art Collectors Avoid Hefty Taxes.” During law school Stephanie worked at the Pepperdine Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, the General Counsel’s Office at the Getty Museum, and the Pepperdine Athletic Compliance Department. Prior to joining Coleman & Horowitt, Stephanie worked in Los Angeles practicing worker’s compensation defense. Stephanie works in the transactions department of the firm’s Fresno and Los Angeles office where she represents clients in the areas of business transactions, real estate, intellectual property, and estate planning.view the article