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N. Munro Merrick

N. Munro Merrick

Business and contract disputes peacefully resolved by negotiation and mediation.
  • Arbitration & Mediation, Business Law, Real Estate Law...
  • California
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Summary

If you have a business dispute, you need a lawyer with business experience. My positions have included market research analyst, product manager, and international marketing, for an oil company and three electronics companies. I have also owned and managed a stereo-TV store, a service station, and a Goodyear Tire facility. From the day I received my law license in 1977, my practice has concentrated on two areas: business and real estate. I have negotiated, prepared and enforced contracts, and evicted defaulting tenants. Most importantly, I have negotiated settlements to most of the disputes that came in my door and served as a mediator for the San Diego Superior Court. Personal, diligent service is assured -- I am a sole practitioner -- in fact, a one-man office! Negotiation and mediation are better than litigation. If you have a business or real estate dispute, give me a call. I negotiate peaceful solutions to business and real estate problems.

Practice Areas
  • Arbitration & Mediation
  • Business Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Collections
Fees
  • Free Consultation
    One-half to one hour, depending on complexity.
  • Contingent Fees
    Depending on my evaluation of the case, a sliding-scale schedule.
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    I have always accepted my client's business or personal check with confidence.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
California
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Professional Experience
Judge Pro-Tem, Attorney Medation Panel
Superior Court, San Diego County, North County Division
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Two-attorneys selected by court from a panel settled more than 90% of cases before trial,
Education
Stanford University
B.A. | International Relations
Activities: Tennis, Swimming, Music, Bridge
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North County Lifeline, Inc.
Certificate, Mediation (2009) | Mediation
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Included are mock conferences with adversarial parties.
Honors: -
Activities: 40-plus hours of mediation training
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University of San Diego
J.D. (1976) | Civil Law
Honors: Law Review Invitee
Activities: Owner/Manager service station
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University of Oxford
M.A. (1953) | Philosophy, Politics, Economics
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Activities: Soccer, Tennis, Cricket
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Awards
Invited to Law Review
University of San Diego Law School
Professional Associations
North San Diego County Bar Association
- Current
Activities: Law Day (Free Clinic), Continuing Legal Education Seminars
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The State Bar of California
Attorney
- Current
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Legal Answers
156 Questions Answered

Q. My landlord disappeared and didn't collect rent for the last 8 years and she recently contacted us and wants us to mASAP
A: mASAP? What is your question?
Q. I have a really bad leak from the ceiling in my bedroom. I notified the manager about this issue over a month ago.
A: A lot more information would be very helpful. How long have you lived there? Do you have a fixed term lease or is it month-to-month? Would you want to move out, or do you want to stay and only want the problem fixed? Are you the sole occupant and tenant? How soon do you want the problem fixed? Are you in an apartment? If so, what floor ? Going to the city inspector to complain is a good step, but he will not fix the leak. Leaks can be very difficult to locate, because the source of the problem could be some distance from where the water is appearing in your bedroom. I suggest that you contact the landlord by telephone or email, confirmed by regular mail, and tell him that the problem is serious and needs to be fixed promptly. Also tell him that if he does not get someone the job within 5 days, you will hire someone and bill you for the cost. Tell him that you will have to move out if it is not fixed. He has already had a month, and he apparently did have someone come out who could not find it because it still leaks. You probably have a habitability issue and it would be useful to hire an attorney. It will also speed up the process of getting a solution.
Q. I need to break the house lease but I have a friend who can move in instead of me, will I be fined by landlord? CA
A: First point: When you have a problem involving your lease, always talk to your landlord first. He wants a tenant occupying the premises. The logical solution is to get a new tenant to take over. You thought of that - why not tell the landlord? I am sure he would be relieved to know he does not have to chase you for unpaid rent. He might suggest a sublease, in which case you remain a guarantor of the new tenant's performance. Better of course, is to have the new tenant sign a new lease, ending your liability, and that is what usually happens. He is required to be reasonable in his demands on the replacement tenant. For example, he cannot require a credit score of 800 or better if you do not have a similar score. If you had not found a replacement, he would have been required to use his best efforts to obtain a new tenant. Any rent replacing what you would owe would be deducted from what you owe.
Q. What's the law now in California about an employer forcing you into arbitration?
A: You need to explain what you mean by "forcing". If you signed a contract with that provision as a condition of being hired, you are probably bound to abide by your contract. Before fighting the provision, I suggest you think about it. Might be a good idea to consult an attorney on the pros and cons. Arbitration is usually quicker and cheaper that a court case.
Q. If the person doesn't pay the amount decided in arbitration, do we go back to arbitration, or sue in court?
A: You file an action in court to confirm the award, which means you get a judgment that you can go and collect on. Ask your arbitrator to assist you. He may even go to court with you.
Q. As a renter, if I am given a "50 day notice" of a rent increase that I do not agree with and plan on leaving, am I oblig
A: This is a Landlord-Tenant question. You have a choice. If you stay beyond the notice period, you have impliedly agreed to the rent increase, and you must continue to pay your current rent on time. If you fail to do so, he could send you a three-day Notice to Quit or Pay rent. If you do not agree to the new terms, you would have to move out by the end of the notice period, or else negotiate a new deal with the landlord.
Q. Is it possible to negotiate out of a franchise agreement - I already put money down, but can't pay the rest.
A: Basic fact: You can negotiate anything! Your franchise agreement probably has a provision for early termination, including probably a liquidated damages clause. That would require you to make a payment to get out of the deal, depending on you are in the process. A liquidated damages clause ins based on the assumption that the money damages are hard to calculate, and that they discussed that clause with you before you signed. I think you will need a lawyer to examine the franchise agreement.
Q. Is a landlord still required to provide 30 days notice if notice is given at the end of a year lease?
A: No, because you actually had I year's notice, right? He did not need to give you additional notice. If you wish to stay, you will have to pay his revised rent. You might try contacting him with a counter offer -- spit the difference between his new rent and your current. If you want to add an additional persuader, enclose a check for the new rent figure. Can't hurt!
Q. Car sold on Craigslist in CA to NJ buyer. Was represented honest but didn’t meet buyer expectations, threatening to sue.
A: Can he sue in NJ? Of course, he is a NJ resident. Do u have to go to NJ to defend, No. You have not stated what your problem is.
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15022 Paso del Sol
Del Mar, CA 92014-4117
USA
Telephone: (858) 755-4485