Practice Areas

Szeto Law Group provides excellent and personalized legal services to businesses and individuals in the areas of real estate law, landlord - tenant law, business law, employment law and civil litigation. We are dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals in a cost effective manner.


Business Law
Running a business requires dedication and hard work. Entrepreneurs should make certain that their efforts are not complicated by unexpected legal pitfalls. An experienced attorney can help businesses navigate through the process to ensure that their rights and interests are protected. Having assisted many corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, sole proprietorships and individuals in transactional and litigation settings, we are experienced in drafting business documents, negotiating contracts, counseling clients on pre-litigation matters, counseling officers and directors regarding their duties, as well as litigating business disputes. We have litigated numerous types of business related actions including breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unfair business practices, fraud, intentional misrepresentation, and negligent misrepresentation. Our wide-ranging litigation and court experience allows us to draft agreements and negotiate contracts that minimize the potential for disputes and litigation while achieving our clients' goals.

Our business clients run the gamut of business endeavors, engaging in various industries including high technology, software, engineering, e-commerce, marketing, media, event planning, transportation, real estate construction, real estate sales, mortgage lending, property management, temporary housing, hospitality, restaurants, retail establishments, product distributors and wholesalers. We have also counseled businesses, both established and new, regarding the legal structuring of their business, the drafting of vendor agreements, employment agreements, consulting agreements, contractor agreements and leases, enabling new companies to hit the ground running and established companies to keep their businesses operating smoothly. Szeto Law Group has also counseled clients in situations where businesses and individuals decide to dissolve or buy out shareholders or partners. Whether you are a new entrepreneur just preparing to start your first business, a seasoned business person or an established company, the attorneys at Szeto Law Group can counsel you regarding your rights and obligations.


Employment Law
We have counseled employers and employees on a number of employment matters ranging from drafting employment contracts, independent contractor agreements, subcontractor agreements, reviewing employee handbooks, advising employers and employees regarding employment termination, and negotiating severance packages. Because we represent employers and employees, we are able to effectively counsel our clients and not only see both sides of issues but also approach matters from different angles in order to assist our client achieve their goals. Our employment litigation experience encompasses cases involving discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, wage claims, failure to provide meals and rest breaks, and retaliation.

We have represented companies and individuals in a number of diverse industries including high technology, software, engineering, e-commerce, marketing, media, event planning, transportation, real estate construction, real estate sales, mortgage lending, property management, temporary housing, hospitality, restaurants, retail establishments, product distributors and wholesalers. Employment law is complex and dynamic. Employers face a myriad of compliance issues in operating their business. Indeed, even where employers endeavor to observe the laws and regulations governing employee rights, they oftentimes find themselves facing employment related claims. We assist both employers and employees understand their rights and obligations. At Szeto Law Group, our goal is to provide clients with the knowledge they need to protect their interests in a timely and cost-effective manner.


Real Estate Law
Real estate can be a lucrative investment in the San Francisco Bay Area, with the potential for significant returns. Furthermore, home ownership is the single largest monetary investment made by most people during their lifetimes. With so much at stake, purchasers should take steps to ensure that their interests are protected. It pays to have an attorney on your side to guide you around legal pitfalls. Maymei Szeto, the founder of Szeto Law Group, is an experienced attorney, who is also a licensed real estate broker, who helps both buyers and sellers during every step of the process to facilitate a smooth transaction. Even after a transaction is completed, Szeto Law Group is still by our client's side to assist with property management and landlord - tenant issues.

We have assisted clients with a large spectrum of real estate matters, including drafting and reviewing real estate sales contracts, purchase agreements, option agreements, tenancy in common (TIC) agreements, co-owner buyout agreements, residential leases and commercial leases. Our clients are individuals, companies, real estate investors, homeowners, homeowner associations, property management companies, landlords and tenants. In addition, we have litigated various real estate matters including partition, quiet title, judicial foreclosure, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty of real estate agents, negligence, fraud, intentional misrepresentation, and negligent misrepresentation. We have advised property management companies, real estate purchasers, real estate agents, real estate brokerages, mortgage lending companies, real estate construction companies, and property management companies. At Szeto Law Group, our goal is to keep our clients informed of their rights and obligations and help them avoid conflicts. Where conflicts are unavoidable, we are with our clients every step of the way, advising them and aggressively advocating for our clients' rights.


Landlord - Tenant Law
Landlord-tenant matters can present extremely important and sensitive concerns. Landlords need to protect their investments, making sure that tenants do not diminish the value of their real estate. On the other hand, tenants wish to live in habitable, safe and adequately maintained dwellings. Because of the involvement of such highly personal issues, landlords and tenants oftentimes cannot resolve their issues without an attorney, no matter how hard they try. Szeto Law Group is experienced in dealing with landlord-tenant issues and helping our clients reach their goals. Although landlord-tenancy is a more discrete area of law, it can be complex and our experience in this area is extensive. We have advised countless individuals and companies regarding both residential and commercial landlord-tenant law including issues concerning leases, subleasing, assignments, breach of lease, evictions, and security deposit refunds. We have also successfully negotiated numerous tenant buy out agreements. We have assisted clients with matters concerning apartment buildings, multi-unit complexes, condominiums, single family houses and commercial spaces.

Szeto Law Group provides its clients with sound legal and practical advice to prevent problems from escalating. Even when landlord-tenant matters seem to be getting out of hand, the attorneys of Szeto Law Group are often able to efficiently resolve these issues without resorting to litigation. However, if trial is the only solution, Szeto Law Group will be there to aggressively protect its clients' property rights and interests. We have litigated cases involving unlawful detainer (eviction), breach of lease, breach of covenant of quiet enjoyment, habitability issues, negligence, nuisance, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, fraud, intentional misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation. We have also represented clients in arbitrations before the San Francisco Rent Board.


Civil Litigation
When disputes cannot be resolved, it may be necessary to involve an experienced attorney. Szeto Law Group represents plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation matters. From pre-litigation negotiation through settlement or trial, we will aggressively negotiate with the opposition and relentlessly pursue our clients' rights in the courtroom. We provide our clients with cost efficient strategies throughout the entire process and advocate for the most beneficial result. We have successfully represented numerous clients with disputes concerning business law, employment law, real estate law and landlord-tenant law.

We have litigated a wide range of actions including lawsuits concerning breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unfair business practices, fraud, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, wage claims, meals and rest breaks, retaliation, nuisance, unlawful detainer (eviction), breach of lease, breach of covenant of quiet enjoyment, habitability issues, negligence, quiet title, and partition. Our clients are corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, sole proprietorships, and individuals and are engaged in diverse and various industries including high technology, software, engineering, e-commerce, marketing, media, event planning, transportation, real estate construction, real estate sales, mortgage lending, property management, temporary housing, hospitality, restaurants, retail establishments, product distributors and product wholesalers.


Arbitration
Arbitration is a less costly alternative to litigating a matter in court. The process begins with the parties selecting a neutral arbitrator, usually a retired judge or an experienced attorney, who will weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the case presented by each of the parties and then issue a decision. Whether the arbitrator's decision is binding, preventing the parties from later litigating the same matter in court, depends upon the type of agreement entered into by the involved parties prior to the arbitration. Commonly, in contractual disputes, the subject contract will include a provision stating that binding or non-binding arbitration is required. Whether the arbitration is binding or non-binding, in order to protect the party's interests, it is important that an attorney assists the party with presenting his side of the case. We will relentlessly pursue and protect our clients' rights and interests at arbitration. Szeto Law Group has successfully represented both claimants and respondents at arbitrations.


Mediation
For some individuals, mediation is an appropriate first step to resolving a conflict. Mediation may also be a mandatory initial step if it is contractually required. For example, most real estate purchase agreements require that the buyer and seller attempt to resolve their issues through mediation before they can arbitrate or litigate the dispute. Mediation generally begins with the parties selecting a neutral mediator who hears all sides of the dispute and then proposes a settlement or other type of resolution. The mediator is generally a retired judge, an experienced attorney, or a professional trained in conflict resolution. Throughout the mediation process, it is important that a party has an attorney to assist him with presenting his side and protecting his interests, especially if the opposing side has counsel. Otherwise, the unrepresented individual may be at a disadvantage from the start. We have advocated on behalf of our clients at numerous mediations while negotiating for the most favorable outcome.


Settlement Negotiations
Parties can participate in private settlement discussions, without the involvement of the court, or in settlement conferences ordered by the court in a pending court action. Either type of settlement may be advantageous as there are typically many benefits to settlement discussions including the following: parties are often able to better identify the strengths and weaknesses of their case through discussions with the opposition; parties may be able to resolve their cases without litigation or trial and avoid expending tremendous amounts of time, money and other resources; and parties may be able to work through their differences and come up with an amicable solution. Having an attorney's assistance during the settlement process may be valuable for many reasons, including providing advice regarding the reasonableness and practicality of specific settlement terms, and understanding the benefits and consequences of settlement provisions. We have participated in numerous settlement discussions, always negotiating for the most favorable outcome for our clients.


Small Claims
Small claims court is available to certain plaintiffs who seek $10,000.00 or less in damages, and to business entities, other than sole proprietors, who seek $5,000 or less in damages against defendants. Plaintiffs may only file up to two claims per calendar year for claims seeking more than $2,500, and there is no limit for claims seeking amounts up to $2,500. Small claims is a relatively quick, less expensive and more informal method to litigating a case. The hearing, conducted by a judge, usually takes only a few hours. Though parties may not bring an attorney for the hearing, prior to the hearing individuals should seek advice from an attorney to understand their legal rights and interests and the implications of their actions. An unsuccessful defendant may appeal the court's decision. At this appeal, all parties are allowed to bring their attorneys. We make sure our clients go to small claims court prepared to effectively present their case.

Call Szeto Law Group at (415) 337-0500 for a free telephone consultation.

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