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  Law Offices of
 Alexander GELMAN
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30021 Tomas.
Suite 300
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
Telephone: 949.334.2222
Facsimile:  949.334.2223

Email: Alex@GelmanLawGroup.com


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

“Why Do I need an attorney?  With all the do-it-yourself books, can’t I do much of it myself?”


If you have been injured in an accident, going through a divorce, or have business and real estate needs, your best interests are protected with an attorney.  An attorney is trained to recognize the issues and to guide a person or company through the particular problem.

Without an attorney, even with the same result being obtained, one will spend countless hours and unnecessary time and money.  

Retaining counsel ensures that someone who is knowledgeable about the law and legal processes handles your case until it is resolved.
"Is there any alternatives to the expensive litigation process?"

As a matter of fact, there is. Having acted as an arbitrator, mediator, and private judge for over two decades, Alexander Gelman knows the value of PREVENTING the blood letting so reflective of the present litigation system.  There is, however, only one way to resolve disputes without litigation....that is TO RESOLVE THEM before the costs cause the parties to entrench themselves in positions with gladiator style attorneys marching along while they bill for every second they spend.

This is done by MEDIATION or ARBITRATION.  Mediation is a settlement process which is voluntary.  Everything done in mediation is confidential unless an agreement is reached which encourages open discussions privately with the mediator of strengths and weaknesses of your position.  Arbitration whether binding or not binding is best described as a "mini-trial" where rules of evidence are often relaxed so as to permit the parties a forum for dispute resolution without the Court system.

Alexander Gelman is a recognized authority on mediation and dispute resolution.  He has written extensively and has lectured internationally on the subjects bringing to the mediation and arbitration forums a unique ability to help individuals (and attorneys) access strengths and weaknesses and make business decisions on how best to resolve their matter

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“What are some of your actual results?”

Personal Injury

   -    Published decisions in California law
   -    Motorcycle Accident -- $1.7 million
   -    Tire failure Accident -- $1.6 million
   -    Wrongful death against contractor -- $3.5 million
   -    Wrongful death against city and construction company $5.5 million
   -    Wrongful death against State of California $500,000
   -    Serious injury against State of California $1.5 million
   -    Serious eye injuries against homeowner $500,000
   -    Medical malpractice against doctor $1 million
   -    Automobile Death case -- $5.3 million
   -    Serious Muscle Sprains from Automobile Accident -- $220,000.00
   -    Job Site Injury -- $200,000.00
   -    Design Defects causing injuries in home -- $1.3 million
   -    Automobile cases of $30,000 - $250,000
   -    
Many more

Business/Commercial

   -   Representation of landlords in commercial lease negotiations
   -   Representation  of  insurance  companies in subrogation suits against individuals
       and entities in the millions of dollars
   -  
Representation  of Buy-Sell,  Stock Options,  Employment and commercial matters
       for  multinational  and  national corporations,  partnerships and individual entities
   -   Negotiated  franchise  and  leases  for  major  corporations   and  small  business
       representing both landlords and tenants 
   -  
Negotiated, and sold companies in the millions of dollars

“What is a Personal Injury Matter and why do I want representation?”

Personal injury and wrongful death cases often involve serious and permanent injuries including head injuries, spinal injuries, burns, fractures, shoulder injuries, disc injuries, back injuries, paralysis, paraplegia, quadriplegia and death.

Many injuries are caused not just by negligent drivers, which account for over 80% of the personal injury matters in the State of California.  Many injuries are caused by PRODUCTS, which are negligently designed, or badly maintained.  These include vehicle rollovers, shop equipment, and tire defects.

Many injuries are caused by failure of landowners or business owners to properly maintain the premises, failure to sweep, failure to provide security in high crime rate areas.  Many injuries are caused on job sites when individuals are careless.
“I hear a lot about tire defects and blow outs.  What is that all about?”

Law offices of Alexander Gelman has been involved in serious injuries and death cases involving tire defects.  Unfortunately, tire tread separations are a possible by-product of steel belted radial tire technology.  There are inherent difficulties obtaining adhesion of steel to rubber.  When the adhesion is not sound, this creates heat, which can separate the tread of a tire.  When a separation occurs it is typically a catastrophe.  Many times, this causes a tire blowout and even if the tire does not lose pressure, the driver may lose control of the vehicle.

Rollover accidents caused by tread separation and tire blowouts have resulted in thousands of serious accidents and fatalities.  Most people have heard about the Firestone tire problems, or Continental tire issues, or the Ford Bronco rollovers.  To learn more about tire defects, tire blowouts, tread separations and tire lawsuits, please contact our offices.
“What happens if I slip and fall on someone’s property?”

The type of law involving injuries that occur on real property of another is called “premises liability”.  This involves the legal responsibility of owners and occupiers of property for mishaps experienced by persons on the property and the resulting injuries.  This includes trip falls, slip and falls, uneven stairs, debris, spilled liquid or other defects in the construction or maintenance of the property.  Responsibility, under California law, for these injuries is not absolute as many people think.  Just because someone falls does not mean there is responsibility as the owner or occupier of land is responsible to warn or repair known defects of those defects of which they should have known if they had exercised reasonable care.

For instance, if one is accosted and beaten in a parking lot, the owner and occupier may or may not be responsible depending upon their knowledge of prior criminal conduct in the area.  It is this type of investigation of matters that has provided the Law Offices of Alexander Gelman the reputation it enjoys.
“What if my neighbor’s dog has bitten me?”

Animal attacks can result in far more that physical pain.  Disfigurement, a fear of rabies or other disease and even a long term fear of animals can occur.  Under California law, the owner of these animals may be responsible to their victims even if the animal has never before been violent.  Liability for such attacks, if any, will vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  A lawyer experienced in dog bite and personal injury law is the best source for accurate advice and information in these types of matters.
“I don’t understand Probate or Trusts, but I want to make sure my family is taken care of in the event of my illness or death.  Do I really need a Trust?”

Probate law is that field which relates to the essential transfers of property from an estate of a deceased to his or hers heirs.  Included many times in this general topic of law is the setting up and maintaining of conservatorships for those in need, whether that need is economic and/or physical.

Creation of a Family Trust can, in many situations, avoid the time, expense and possible taxation involved with a Probate of one’s estate.  Trusts can be set up to be revocable or partially revocable at times.  Trusts can be set up to prevent the squandering of your assets, or to guarantee education or benefits to your loved ones.  

A Family Trust can provide for smooth transfer of assets to your loved ones.  However, formation of a Trust must be done properly and with all formality.  Several taxation issues and potential problems can be created by the negligently formed Family Trust.  An Attorney knowledgeable of the Probate, Conservatorships and Family Trusts is vital to prepare for and properly protect YOUR desires as it relates to your estate.
I am a small business owner.  Someone promised to pay me money and refuses.  Do I really need an attorney for this?”

Many disputes can be resolved in courts designated in some jurisdictions as “small claims court”.  These are courts designed to handle smaller disputes (in many jurisdictions $7500 or less).  Attorney representation is not permitted in these courts.  There are limited rights of appeal if you do not like the decision.  However, disputes can be brought to the court many times for $100.00 or less in court costs and within a very short period of time.

There are disputes, however, in which attorney representation can be important.  Not every case must go to trial.  Settlement is as much a goal of a good attorney as fighting it out in a courtroom.  Alexander Gelman has, indeed, written the definitive chapter in textbooks used by colleges in California on conflict resolution.  When the dispute has some complexity to it or you wish simply to permit an attorney to handle the matter for you, "Mr. Gelman" can be an important tool to that resolution and/or trial.

Obtaining a judgment is one half the battle.  Many times, collection of the judgment is as difficult if not more difficult than obtaining the judgment itself whether that judgment is obtained in small claims court or trial.  The offices of Alexander Gelman are experts in collections.  For instance, in a matter based upon an automobile incident, many people are unaware that as a tool for collection you have the right to suspend a person’s right to drive in the State of California until they pay you your judgment amount and all costs incurred in the obtaining of the judgment.  Tools of collection can be garnishment, sale of real or personal property, assignment of assets and other procedures.

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