Understanding the Five Components of the Religious Land Use Act

24 Oct

The California law firm Laquer Urban Clifford & Hodge, LLP represents non-profits in their quest for religious freedom as guaranteed under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). In recognizing that religion-affiliated institutions were often unfairly treated in local building and zoning procedures, Congress passed RLUIPA in 2000.

Since then, lawyers at Laquer Urban Clifford & Hodge, LLP have been able to protect the rights of religious groups against unfair local regulations using the following five stipulations of RLUIPA.

1. Infringement of religious exercise. Religious organizations cannot be denied a place to worship or carry out their core mission.

2. Similar treatment to similar secular organizations. Any religious house of worship must be given the same rights for occupancy as other meeting organizations.

3. Discrimination between religions. All religions must be accorded the same status, whether the permit is for a Christian church, Jewish synagogue, or Muslim mosque.

4. Zoning cannot completely prohibit religious meeting places.

5. Zoning laws cannot limit houses of worship through such strict regulations that the religious organization is unable to reasonably meet requirements.

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About the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Shoot for a Cure

25 Sep

With an emphasis on real estate and labor and employment law, Laquer Urban Clifford & Hodge, LLP, has represented individuals, private businesses, school districts, and municipalities for nearly three decades. The firm maintains offices in California and Nevada. Laquer Urban Clifford & Hodge, LLP, supports a number of charitable organizations, including the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America, Pasadena Symphony and Pops, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Shoot for a Cure.

A nonprofit organization, Shoot for a Cure is dedicated to raising funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and other charitable organizations. Since 2003, Shoot for a Cure has hosted clay target shooting events around the country, introducing more than 6,000 people to the sport. Since its inception, the organization has raised more than $1.5 million for these charities.

Established in 1949, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has dedicated itself to providing education and services to those who have been diagnosed with the disease, and to funding important life-saving research. Since its inception, the organization has dedicated more than $814 million to this research.

What Are the Requirements of a Taft-Hartley Trust Fund?

9 Sep

In 1947, the Taft-Hartley Act was passed in an effort by Congress to limit union power. Since then, union trust funds have been required to adhere to restrictions strict enough to often necessitate the assistance of a law firm such as California’s Laquer Urban Clifford & Hodge, LLP. Attorneys at Laquer Urban Clifford & Hodge, LLP bring over 25 years of experience in Taft-Hartley administration and can ensure that a union’s trust fund remains completely compliant and audit-ready.

When a union maintains a trust fund, it must stay strictly within the guidelines of Taft-Hartley, beginning with the express purpose of the fund being for the exclusive benefit of its members and their families. Next, payments made by members into a collective pool must be held in a trust and not any other type of account.

Under Taft-Hartley, proceeds from a union trust can be applied only to pay medical bills, for retirement or pension funding, or as compensation from accidental injury. In a related clause, exactly how such payments are made must be detailed in a written document and kept on file.

Finally, the union must agree for labor and management to be equally represented on the Board of Trustees and to provide for a neutral decision-making means in case of a deadlock between members.

Sequential Lot Line Adjustments Allow Flexibility

19 Aug

As part of its real estate services, the law office of Laquer Urban Clifford & Hodge, LLP offers clients assistance in lot line adjustments. The attorneys at Laquer Urban Clifford & Hodge, LLP understand that seeking multiple lot line adjustments involves significant paperwork and time, but can avoid the hassle associated with creating a subdivision while achieving the same ends of reestablishing boundary lines within a property.

Traditionally, a lot line adjustment can be used where no more than four adjoining parcels are involved. These four pieces can be merged to a smaller number of lots, or the boundaries between the four can be redefined or the pieces reshaped.

A recent ruling by the California Courts of Appeal upheld the process of sequential lot line adjustments. In municipalities where it is permitted, real estate owners and developers can now apply for multiple lot line adjustments, as long as each application only involves four parcels and any subsequent applications are not submitted until the prior has been approved and finalized.

New Protection for Nursing Moms

6 Aug

Laquer, Urban, Clifford & Hodge, LLP, advises both organizations and individuals on employment and labor litigation issues in California and other states. Among other areas of focus, Laquer, Urban, Clifford & Hodge also practices in real estate and Taft-Hartley trust funds.

While California law has long protected against employment discrimination on the basis of sex, 2013 brought important new changes for women employees in the state. Now, breastfeeding and related medical conditions are protected under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). This new mandate builds on existing legislation requiring California employers to provide space for mothers to pump milk and adequate break time for expressing breast milk.

For nursing mothers, the new legislation makes them a “protected class of persons.” This means they are protected against all kinds of employment discrimination, including changes in terms of employment or unlawful termination, as a result of their breastfeeding status. Women’s advocates have praised the new mandate as a breakthrough for breastfeeding rights.

For employers, the revised FEMA provisions mandate careful attention to the treatment of breastfeeding mothers. Employers must take care not to enact any questionable practices, such as docking a woman’s pay for nursing breaks or limiting her access to promotion opportunities.

Introduction to the Los Angeles County Bar Association

10 Jul

The law firm Laquer Urban Clifford & Hodge LLP represents clients at federal, state, and municipal levels in California and Nevada. With practice focused on the areas of real estate and labor-management relations, including the Taft-Hartley Act, the firm maintains memberships in the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association, and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

The Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) serves practicing attorneys in the county and beyond by providing access to extensive resources, such as appellate case summaries, educational programs, and interactive listserves. With assistance available for both senior lawyers and new lawyers, the LACBA is a widespread, useful resource.

The LACBA Barristers group serves as a networking hub for new attorneys to make connections and to join with other new lawyers in professional and community projects. Senior Lawyers is a group for seasoned attorneys to experience camaraderie and to participate in programs that deal with the past and the future of the legal profession.

In addition to providing referrals for lawyers seeking to expand their practices or to change careers, the LACBA offers pro bono opportunities. The association invites volunteers to help legally with projects and cases involving domestic violence and immigration, among other issues.

The Pasadena Symphony & POPS

12 Jun

Transactional and trial law firm Laquer, Urban, Clifford & Hodge, LLP, which represents clients from the municipal to the federal level, maintains offices in California and Nevada. The firm also has assisted numerous nonprofit organizations, which has inspired support of several varied groups, including the Pasadena Symphony & POPS. Rooted in the Pasadena Civic Orchestra and founded in 1928, the group has matured artistically over the years, with talented musicians from the film industry and assistance from believers such as Laquer, Urban, Clifford & Hodge, LLP.

The orchestra officially became the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra & POPS in 2007, expanding its classical repertoire and performances to include popular music, with concerts held at the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena and on the lawn near the Rose Bowl. Conductor James DePreist, a National Medal of Arts recipient and the symphony’s artistic director since 2010, passed away in February 2013, but the beautiful music goes on for the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra & POPS and its appreciative audiences.