Hello, I am Don Barker.
I was born and raised in Coastal Orange County. I was admitted to the Bar in 1989. I am a Sole Practitioner in the "O.C." My Practice focuses on Commercial Litigation, i.e., Employment, Corporate, Contract, Collections, Construction and other business matters
With today's technology, the practice of law is more streamlined and efficient than ever. In this new digital world, "Legal Staff" such as secretaries, law clerks and fancy, overpriced offices are antiquated and needlessly costly for the Client.
Most Clients would rather conduct all of their business, legal or otherwise, from home on their desktop computer or smartphone. I have many clients that I have never met in person. This is the new "Normal."
All court filings are done digitally, online. Just about all communications and transfers of documents with clients and other attorneys are electronic.
This allows a tech-savvy attorney to provide high-quality, quick and efficient legal services at reasonable rates. My hourly fee is competitive with the fees of "Big Firm" attorneys with much less experience.
I have conducted over 100 Trials and Arbitration's during my 30-year career, with Judgments in excess of $500,000.00. I am always available by phone and never charge for phone calls or emails with a Client.
Call for a consultation.
2151 Michelson Dr Ste 140,
Irvine, CA 92612-1334
- Business Law
- Employment Law
- Construction Law
- Landlord Tenant
- Arbitration & Mediation
- Corporate and Partnership Governance/Litigation.
- Free Consultation
- Contingent Fees
Hybrid Contingent Fee Retainers are acceptable. Under such Retainers, the client pays a substantially-reduced hourly fee, as little as $100.00 per hour, and the attorney receives a substantially-reduced "Contingent" percentage of any monetary recovery for the client. For example, such a Retainer may have a $100.00 hourly rate and a 20 percent contingency on the actual monetary recovery. The Hybrid Retainer allows a client to retain an attorney in a case that usually does not lend itself to a straight contingency retainer, such as many business cases. Conversely, the Hybrid retainer allows an attorney to take a case he would not take under a straight contingency retainer.
- Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
Hourly fees range between $250.00 and $300.00 per hour. Most Retainers are 10 hour minimum.
- State Bar of California
- 4th Circuit
- Federal Circuit
- English: Spoken, Written
- University of the Pacific
- J.D. (1989)
- Honors: Order of the Coif (Top Six Percent of Graduating Class). Graduated with Distinction and Dean's List.
- California State University - Long Beach
- B.A. (1986) | English
- Orange Coast College
- A.A. (1984)
- Q. I have a tenant who only gave a 10 day notice to leave and she wants to keep the key with her
- A: Assuming no other "Issues," in your situation, a tenant must pay rent when called for in the lease. If the tenant fails to pay, then you must serve a "Three-Day Notice to Pay or Quit." If she pays, life is good. If she does not, you have to file with the court and serve her with an Unlawful Detainer complaint. Life is now not good. It will take at least four weeks, if not many more, to get an "Order of Eviction" from the Court. The Order allows the Sheriff to forcefully remove her within about five days from date of Order. If she is this flaky, I doubt you'll ever collect any money from her, beyond regaining your rental unit. Give her a three-day notice and see what she does.
- Q. GC filing small claims 4 nonPmt of $10K. Defense argues improper HI contract. How do I find case law that backs me?
- A: "Substantial Performance" is the term you seek: "I ordered 100 flowers and you only brought me 95. I am not paying you." If a party "Substantially Performs" terms of contract, then payment is due, but payment may be prorated fairly. Here's a link to the CA Jury Instruction, and all kinds of examples of when it does and does not apply. I suggest you send homeowner a writing, NOW, seeking the chance to complete/repair any issues she has with your work. File in Small Claims. Here's link: https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/300/312/
- Q. DOES TRAVEL TIME NEED TO BE PAID AS OVERTIME IN CALIFORNIA
- A: CA Lab Law is employee-favorable. The risks and penalties for a labor violation can be drastic. Take the safe route (Pun intended) and pay employees for drive time, even if it results in overtime. If you do not, and you violate a Lab. Law, one disgruntled employee can result in an Audit of all your payroll records for years back. Here is simple guideline from CA DLSE: “The travel time is measured by the difference between the time it normally takes the employee to travel from her home to the assigned work place and the time it takes the employee to travel from home to the distant work site. This could calculate to no commute time if, for instance, the travel time is less from the employee’s home to the distant work site than the normal commute travel time by the employee.” (Cadell, Dept. of Industrial Relations (April 2003) Opinion Letter No.2003.04.22, Travel Time Pay for Employee with Alternative Work sites at p. 2.)
- Q. What is the process and how long should a libel suit take?
- A: Court's routinely schedule "Case Management Conferences" and "Status Conferences." The attorney usually appears by telephone. Go to this website, check "I accept" at bottom. Search with your Case number, and you can see every hearing held, scheduled and every document filed in your case. https://ocapps.occourts.org/civilwebShoppingNS/Login.do;jsessionid=A3A39F1275BA390E13108EA86F740B58
- Q. What penalties, if any, are there for an unlicensed contractor working at a senior care home?
- A: I am unaware of any additional "penalties" for performing works of improvement without a proper license on a Senior Care Facility. HOWEVER, regardless of the nature of the property/facility, here are your Bigger concerns: First, you cannot legally collect any monies owed from a property owner if you are not paid. People performing works of improvement without the proper license have no right to sue, period, no exceptions. If the property owner voluntarily pays you, then no harm no foul. Second, the property owner could sue you for return of any monies paid to you, regardless if you completed the work without error. Finally, it "can" be a criminal misdemeanor for performing works of improvement without a proper license. The State of California has enacted just about every imaginable barrier to unlicensed works or improvement.
- Q. Should I be making $26/ hr as an exempt employee?
- A: Yes, based on your "Facts," you are correct. However, whether you are an "Exempt" employee may be in issue. There are a few requirements for exemption from overtime, as as a "Management" Employee, beyond the double mim. wage requirement. Re "Exempt" status, see: Labor Code, § 515, et seq. Depending on the number and timing of hours worked, you may be/have been entitled to higher gross wages due to the loss of overtime pay you were not paid if miss-classified as an "Exempt" employee.
- Q. When are you supposed to sign a stop notice release ? Before or after you get paid ?
- A: After or simultaneously when the payment on the Stop Notice is "Honored," i.e., check clears your bank account or you have cash in hand. NEVER release before payment. If obligor on Stop Notice "all of a sudden" finds a problem with your work or services after you sign the Release but before payment, they can refuse payment, though you already signed the Release. It's like selling a car: Do not sign the Pink Slip until cash in hand.
- Q. Could a debt collector try to collect on debt that is 8yrs and that was included in a bankcruy?
- A: He can "Try" all day long. However, due to the BK and most likely the Statute of Limitations on collecting original debt, he has no legal standing to collect via judicial proceedings. Send him a "writing," instructing him not to contact you again, and he must stop, by law.
- Q. I am 1 of 2 employees for a real estate broker in San Diego. I am an exempt employee. I am not a licensed RE agent.
- A: Many possible issues with your payroll arrangement. Without more facts, it's hard to determine the specific issues. However, the Employer is most likely in Breach of your Employment Contract, as I doubt the Contract contemplates any deductions from your pay for Employer payroll costs. Plus: An employer can lawfully withhold amounts from an employee's wages only: (1) when required or empowered to do so by state or federal law, or (2) when a deduction is expressly authorized in writing by the employee to cover insurance premiums, benefit plan contributions or other deductions not amounting to a rebate on the employee's wages, or (3) when a deduction to cover health, welfare, or pension contributions is expressly authorized by a wage or collective bargaining agreement. Labor Code Sections 221 and 224.