Quick Facts RE Women in U.S. – New CA Real Estate Legislation

Posted by Mack W. Borgen May 16th, 2022

 Blog No 147
 May 17, 2022
By Mack W. Borgen
Author (7 Books): The White Binder (2022); The Writings of a Lifetime (2021); Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America (Three Volumes) (2018-2019); and The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America (2 Volumes) (2013). As Advertised in The New York Review of Books. Recipient of Eight National Book Awards
For a “cleaner,” non-email presentation of this and my other blogs, go to  https://www.mackwborgen.com/  and click the “Blogs” tab.

Quick Facts

About Women in the United States 

U.S. Population (2022):                                                                                    332,404,000

Women – Education and Employment

Percentage of all college students who are women                                               60.0%

Percentage of all physicians who are women                                                         36.3% (Up from 27.3% in 2007!)

Percentage of students in medical school who are women (2019-2020 Data – Most Recent Data)      53.5%

Percentage of women who are attorneys in U.S.                                                   37.4%

Percentage of US Congress who are women                                                          27.0%

Percentage of S&P 500 corporate board seats held by women             30.0% (Up 12% in just the last five years)

Percentage of all U.S. businesses owned by women                                           40.0%

More significant data: Percentage of all businesses that employed third-parties:                                              19.9%

Labor Force Participation Rate (Footnote 1) of women with children under 18 years of age:                          56.6%

Women – Households and Motherhood 

Estimated number of mothers in U.S.                                                                   85,000,000 (25.6% of U.S. population)

Percentage of U.S. households with mothers who are either the sole or primary source of family income:     40.0%

Median Age at which women become mothers in the U.S.                            26.7 years

Percentage of Single Parents in the U.S. who are mothers:                          79.5%

Footnote 1. Definition of Labor Participation Rate: The percentage of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years and older that is working or actively seeking work. The importance of this percentage as a labor force measure is because it tracks the amount of labor resources available for the production of goods and services in the economy. Sources include Census Bureau American Business Survey, paygovernance.com., and Pew Research Center.

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Important California Legislation

Affecting the Acquisition, Leasing, and Management of Real Estate

Author’s Note: In my prior blogs, I have focused upon California’s many law changes such as those expanding the rights of homeowners to construct assessor dwelling units (ADUs) on their property. The following are some of the other more important and relatively recent California real property law changes.

Tenant Rights of Lease Termination in Event of Crimes. A residential tenant may now terminate a tenancy without penalty if the tenant, a household member, or an immediate family member of the tenant was a victim of a crime that caused bodily injury or death, an act of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, or elder abuse. If a tenant exercises their rights under this right of termination, the landlord may not keep the tenant’s security deposit or any advance rent. 

Homeowner Association Rights to Restrict Short-Term Leasing. While a homeowner is oftentimes not subject to any provision barring the leasing of the owner’s property, the association can prohibit short-term rental of 30 days or less or may adopt restrictions that limit the total number of rentals to 25% of the interests in the subject development.  

Transfer of Tax Assessments. Proposition 19, which was passed in November 2020, allows eligible homeowners (persons 55 years or older, with severe disabilities, or victims of wildfires etc.) to transfer tax assessments anywhere within the state. These tax assessments can be transferred to more expensive homes with an upward adjustment within two (2) years of the sale of the original home.

 Other Subject Areas of Considerable Recent Legislation (Not Detailed in this article):

Moderate-Income Housing. Multiple requirements that city and county General Plans designate sites to meet regional housing needs for moderate-income housing.

Rights of Homeowners’ Association to elect officers by acclamation in certain circumstances. (Effective January 1, 2022).

Reporting of Lead Hazard or Substandard Living Conditions. Requirement of city or county to inspect property if it receives a complaint about lead hazards or substandard living conditions.

Removal of Bias Factors in Real Estate Appraisals and Similar Items. Mandate that all property sales contracts include a notice stating that the property appraisal must be unbiased and not influenced by a multitude of specific factors (e.g., race, color, religion, sexual orientation, etc.). (AB 948) (Effective July 1, 2022). DRE licensees will also be required to deliver parallel notices with respect to refinancing of residential real estate property of up to four (4) units. Multitude of similar types of notice and assistance legislation.

Possibly Advisability of Get CASp (Certified Access Inspections) Prior to Acquiring Commercial Property. While it is far beyond the scope of this article, the article “Equal Access – Including Persons with Disabilities Under the ADA (Authored by Marty J. Nicholson and Janis Kent) (CA Real Property Journal (Vol 39, No. 4, (Nov. 2021)) is highly recommend for persons or entities acquiring real property — especially commercial property. The article provides a wide overview of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (the “ADA”) and related California laws) and makes a number of ADA-related recommendations such as the possible advisability of using CASp (Certified Access Specialist) inspections especially in the context of commercial property acquisitions.

 Thought for the Day

 “It’s easier to fool people,

Than it is to convince them that they’ve been fooled.”

Mark Twain

Fancypants Word of the Day

Obstreperous (Adj)(Latin) 1) Rowdy, rambunctious, and noisy; 2) Stubborn, uncooperative, or difficult to control.

Examples of uses in sentences:

Serious Example: School recess is full of obstreperous children running around the playground and burning off their energy. 

More Humorous Example: Our nation’s current political debate about our government’s obstreperous behavior is becoming itself more and more loud and obstreperous.

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My Last 20 Short Articles and Quick Facts – Highest/Lowest Tax Burdens – By State

Posted by Mack W. Borgen April 25th, 2022

Blog No 146 
April 26, 2022
By Mack W. Borgen
Author (7 Books): The White Binder (2022); The Writings of a Lifetime (2021); Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America (Three Volumes) (2018-2019); and The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America (2 Volumes) (2013). As Advertised in The New York Review of Books. Recipient of Eight National Book Awards
For a “cleaner,” presentation of this and my other blogs, go to  https://www.mackwborgen.com/  and click the “Blogs” tab.

Need a Brief Pause from Tracking the Stock Market? 

Maybe Just Enjoy My Short Articles 

It has been a tough spring for all of us in the stock market – with no assured improvement yet in sight. But this will pass – just like the social and political chaos and the 132 covid variants and subvariants we’ve had to endure over the last couple of years.

Though there is much we must do. Though there are many to keep in our prayers.

It IS also important to live, laugh, and think about — and those are some of the primary objectives of my now 145 articles. 

Some of my articles are serious — recent court rulings and important real estate and business law developments.

Some articles are humorous.

Some articles focus upon America’s twisty and cantankerous social and political life.

Some articles are humble ideas about how to “Fix America.”

But the hopeful, common theme is that they be thoughtful and fun.

Quick Facts – Best Songs Lyrics and Movie Lines  

And even Fancypants Words we can toss around before closing time.

 So, enjoy. It’s another week. Tax season just passed. Spring is here. Summer is coming. And we deserve it.

Quick Facts

(The Highest and Lowest Tax Burdens – By-State)

The most meaningful way to compare the relative tax burdens in different states is to compare the aggregate amounts of individual income, property, sales and excise taxes as a percentage share of one’s total personal income. The comparative tax burdens amongst the states varies greatly  — from a high of 12.75% (New York) to a low of 5.06% (Alaska). The ten states with the highest and lowest tax burdens are as follows:

Highest Tax Burden States (Range: 9.70% – 12.75%)

  1.        New York (12.75%)
  2.        Hawaii (12.70%)
  3.        Maine (11.42%)
  4.        Vermont (11.13%)
  5.        Minnesota (10.20%
  6.        New Jersey (10.11%)
  7.        Connecticut (10.06%)
  8.        Rhode Island (9.91%)
  9.        California (9.72%)
  10.        Illinois (9.7%) income

Lowest Tax Burden States (Range:  5.06% – 7.47%)

  1.        Alaska (5.06%)
  2.        Tennessee (5.75%)
  3.        Delaware (6.22%)
  4.        Wyoming (6.32%)
  5.        New Hampshire (6.41%)
  6.        Florida (6.64%)
  7.        South Dakota (7.12%)
  8.        Montana (7.39%)
  9.       Alabama (7.41%)
  10.       Oklahoma (7.47%)
Source: CNBC citing data from a WalletHub report, April 1, 2022.


(Nos. 125 – 145) (Dec 2020 – Apr 2022) 

Find these articles by going to www.mackwborgen.com . Just hit the Blogs tab, enter the month of the article, and scroll to your desired article.

Blog     Date                      Articles and Materials

125      Dec. 1, 2020     Article: Fixing America Idea No. 21 – We Attorneys Are a (Big) Part of America’s Problems (Part 1) ; Fancypants Word of the Day – Neophilia.
126      Dec. 3, 2020     Article: Fixing America Idea No. 21 – We Attorneys Are a (Big) Part of America’s Problems (Part 2); Fancypants Word of the Day – Ensurient.
127      Dec. 16, 2020   Best Song Lyrics of Modern America ; The New Words from Our Covid-19 Year.
128      Dec. 31, 2020   Article: Politics and Pandemic – More of the (Please) Go-Away Words of 2020.
—          Mar. 1,   2021   Announcement – Release of My New Book – The Writings of a Lifetime.  
—          Mar. 8,   2021   Announcement: Front Cover of My New Book and First Reviews.
129      May 17, 2021   Offer: Free Copies of My Books.
130      May 25, 2021   Quick Facts (Corporate Tax Rates); Best Song Lyrics of Modern America – Part 19; Best Movie Lines of All Time; Fancypants Word of the Day – Otiose.
131      Jun. 2, 2021     Article: Fixing America – Idea 22 – Ban Commercially-Driven, Direct-To-Consumer Pharmaceutical Drug Advertising.  
132      Jun. 29, 2021   Article: Fixing America – Idea 23 A (Much) Better Way to Vote.
133      Jul.  13, 2021    Quick Facts (More Paid Labor Hours and Less Parenting); Best Song Lyrics of Modern America – Part 20; Best Movie Lines of All Time; Fancypants Word of the Day – Spoonerism.
134     Jul. 27, 2021    Quick Facts (Wealth Distribution in U.S.); Article: Who to Believe? – The Most- and Least-Biased News Sources – Part 1.
135      Aug. 10, 2021  Article: Who to Believe? – The Worst and the Best News Sources in America – Ranked and Rated – Part 2
136      Dec. 10, 2021   Quick Facts (US Supreme Court and US Military Budget); Article: The (Mis)Use of Litigation, and the Need for the Close Review of “Boilerplate Terms.”
137      Dec. 14, 2021   Reader’s Brilliant Addendum to My Article (The (Mis)Use of Litigation).
138      Jan. 8, 2022     Article: The Please and the 10 Pleas for America’s New Year.
139      Jan. 25, 2022   Article: For All of Us – Major New Project – The White Binder –Your Personal Data Book.
140      Feb. 1, 2022     Announcement: The White Binder – Overwhelming Response.
141      Feb. 15, 2022    Quick Facts (Inflation and Wealth Distribution) – Baby Boomers; Best Song Lyrics of Modern America – Part 21; Fancypants Word of the Day – Potation.
142     Feb. 23, 2022   Article: New California Real Estate Laws – A Quick Summary (and Other New Laws of Interest).
143     Mar. 9, 2022    Announcement: Writer’s Heartbreak, March Madness, and Friends-Only Book Sale.
144     Mar. 22, 2022   Article: The Concept of Periodic Legal Checkups and the Wiser, “Preventive” Use of Counsel;Quick Facts (US Household Net Worth Percentiles); Alternative Post-Pandemic Work Policies.                   
 145     Apr. 5, 2022    Articles: Three Reasons to Read (O.K. At Least Skim) the Fine Print!; Important Employment Law Cases; Major Changes Pursuant to the CA Revised Limited Liability Company Act; Quick (Tax) Facts – US IRS Tax Audit Rate and Nine Recognized IRS Audit Triggers); Fancypants (Acadamese) Word of the Day – Asynchronous Learning.

New Fancypants Word of the Day

Mephitic (Adj)(Latin):  1) Offensive smelling, 2) Harmful or poisonous. Examples of uses in sentences:
Serious Example: “The man with dirty clothes and an overgrown, unruly beard was responsible for the mephitic air on the plane.” 
More Humorous Example: “That stack of dirty clothes in the corner of the room has already become mephitic, and if enough time passes, it could become dangerously mephitic.”



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IRS Audit Triggers – Revised CA LLC Act – Quick Facts-Fancypants Word – More Readers!

Posted by Mack W. Borgen April 4th, 2022

Blog No 145 

April 5, 2022

By Mack W. Borgen

Author (7 Books): The White Binder (2022); The Writings of a Lifetime (2021); Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America (Three Volumes) (2018-2019); and The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America (2 Volumes) (2013). The New York Review of Books. Eight National Book Awards

For a “cleaner,” non-email presentation of this and my other blogs, go to  https://www.mackwborgen.com/  and click the “Blogs” tab.

Quick (Tax) Facts

IRS Tax Audit Rate: Less than 1%

Removal of Age Limit on Funding IRA: Effective 2019, even a post-70-year-old person can now fund up to $7,000 in a traditional or Roth IRA (Until April 15th of the tax year).

Rarely Need for Concern about Estate Taxation: Except for the very wealthy, estate taxes are rarely a concern because of the high exemption (Federal Exemption: $12.06MM for 2022). This is similarly true for states with estate and/or inheritance taxes, although 16 states do still such taxes.

Nine Recognized IRS Audit Triggers:

1 –        Major changes in income or deductions from your prior year(s).

2 –        Suspiciously rounded numbers (e.g., all ending in a 0 or a 5).

3 –        Misreporting W-2 or 1099 Income.

4 –        Excessively large charitable gifts.

5 –        Claiming of home office expenses.

6 –        Using personal car for business (Recommendation: Keep mileage logs).

7 –        Commingling of business and personal expenses.

8 –        You claimed the first-time homebuyer credit between 2008-2011.

9 –        Non-filing of or incomplete tax returns relating to prior years.

US Taxes Compared to Other Selected Developed Countries:

Denmark                      31.1%

Germany                      30.9%

Australia                      24.1%

U.K.                               22.7%

Japan                             21.0%

Canada                          18.4

United States         16.0%

South Korea                 14.4%

Mexico                           10.8%

(Based on married couple, one income, no dependents). Sources: Ellen Stark (Money); Bruce Horovitz (USA Today and Los Angeles Times)

Thought for the Day

It is hard to imagine that Jimi Hendrix (B: 1942, Seattle, WA – D: 1970, London, England) would have been 80 years old this year. It us even harder to imagine a wide acceptance of his still-resonating line about peace and power (and, for us this year, the tragedies of Ukraine):

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

Three Reasons to Read (O.K.- At Least Skim) the Fine Print!

 According to a Deloitte survey, 91% of people agree to terms and conditions without reading the legal agreement. However, as tedious as it is – and as almost impossible it is in our “Click Here” / “User Agreements” world, there are at least three reasons why reading entire legal agreements makes sense.

Those three reasons are as follows:

  1. Exit Penalties or Auto-Renewals. Many agreements have an “exit penalty” which requires one to pay for a period of time after you terminate the agreement. Other agreements have trapping auto-renewal provisions.
  2. Conversion of Rights. Some agreements take rights from you such as (a) right to use your likeness and personal information for targeted advertising (Facebook), (b) right to use your presentation without your permission (without attribution) if you are using online tools, and (c) right to track your location (navigation software).
  3. Limitations of Liabilities for Data Breaches. More and more agreements are purporting to insulate companies from any liability with respect to data breaches. Thus, with this in mind, one should be cautious of providing personal information or one should consider obtaining identify theft insurance.

Seemingly boilerplate or otherwise, some clients establish parameters or triggers for close document reviews such as all real estate transactions or if more than a target amount of money is involved. In these instances, the agreement would be reviewed in detail or even by counsel. Sometimes (e.g., in real estate transactions) de facto indemnities or waivers from the other party can be readily obtained. In many other instances, negotiations are impracticable or impossible (such as trying to negotiate PayPal’s 50-page user agreement), and thus the review would be, as a practical matter, only for the purpose of deciding whether to accept or decline the proposed agreement.  Thanks to the CPA Client Letter of Bryars Tolleson Spires + Witton, LLP.

Important Employment Law Cases Pending Before the California Supreme Court

(Note: I routinely draft Employment, Independent Contractor, and similar documents, but I rarely deal with wage-and-hour and whistleblower matters. Nevertheless, as a part of my general business practice, I track such major cases.)

Whistleblower / Retaliatory Termination Claims. People ex rel Garcia-Brower v. Kolla’s Inc.  Involves retaliatory employee termination after a whistleblower claim in which the claim may have already been known by the employer or the subject governmental agency. See also, Lawson v. PPG Architectural Finishes Inc. (Possible imposition by California SC of a “clear and convincing” evidentiary standard).

 Waiting-Time Penalties. Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc. This class-action case addresses the issue of whether waiting-time penalties are recoverable for meal and rest period violations. Depending upon the outcome of this case, the potential penalties for CA meal and rest period violations could be substantially increased.

It’s Never Too Late to Remember  – Major Changes Pursuant

to the California Revised Limited Liability Company Act (the “Revised Act”)

The Revised Act became effective fully eight (8) years ago in 2014, but some of its provisions affect LLCs and the acts and transactions of LLCs created even before its enactment. Thus, it is important to remember to review the Operating Agreements of the then- and still-existing LLCs.

Many provisions of the Revised Act are the same as or similar to those of the old LLC Act, but there were a number of important substantive changes. The substantive changes, unless addressed by the LLC’s Operating Agreement, could significantly alter the rights of the members and manager in ways which conflict or override the LLC’s Operating Agreement.

To underscore the possible need to review one’s LLC Operating Agreement – especially if the LLC existed prior to 2014, some of the key – and exemplary — changes are set forth below:

Event of Conflict between Articles of Organization (the “Articles”) and the Operating Agreement. Under the Old Act, in the event of a conflict between the LLC’s Articles and the LLC’s Operating Agreement, the Articles would control. This has now been reversed. Now, in the event of a conflict, the Operating Agreement will control.

Member-Managed vs Manager-Managed. Under the Old Act, an LLC is by default member-managed unless the Articles provide otherwise. Under the Revised Act, an LLC is member-managed unless both the Articles and the Operating Agreement so provide.

Amendment of Operating Agreement. Under the Revised Act and absent an express provision to the contrary in the Operating Agreement, any amendment to the Operating Agreement requires unanimous member approval.

Manager’s Authority. Under the default rules set forth in the Revised Act, a manager has no authority to (a) sell, lease, or exchange LLC assets or (b) take any action “outside the ordinary course of business” without the consent of all members unless such rights of the manager are expressly so provided in the Operating Agreement.

Fiduciary Duties and Duties of Loyalty and Care of Managers and Members. The Revised Act is far more specific about these types of duties. For example, the duty of loyalty cannot be eliminated but the LLC’s Operating Agreement may identify specific types or even categories of activities which would not violate the duty of loyalty so long as they are “not manifestly unreasonable.” Similarly, under the Revised Act the duty of care cannot be eliminated or “unreasonably” reduced.

“Withdrawal” vs “Dissociation.” Under the Old Act, the departure of a member was referred to as a “withdrawal.” Now, this is referred to as a “dissociation. With respect to such “withdrawals/dissociations” there are a number of changes, but possibly the most important is the Revised Act’s defining of certain events which automatically result in a member’s dissociation. Such events include (a) the death of a member, (b) the appointment of a guardian or conservator, or (c) if the member is a trust, the trust’s entire interest is distributed. Possibly most importantly, under the Old Act if a member withdraws, the withdrawing member was not entitled to payment for such member’s interest unless other terms were contained in the Operating Agreement. However, this provision is not included in the Revised Act. Thus, unless the Operating Agreement affirmatively provides otherwise, a withdrawing member may claim entitlement to payment for such withdrawn interest.

Advisability of Review of Articles and Operating Agreement in Certain Cases. The foregoing examples of differences between the Old Act and the Revised Act are highly summarized, and they do not constitute all of the many changes. Especially if the subject LLC was formed prior to 2014 and is still conducting business, (a) the Articles and the LLC Operating Agreement should be closely reviewed to identify any de facto changes triggered by the Revised Act and (b) if and as necessary the members should be apprised of statutorily-enacted changes to their Agreement.

Attribution: The foregoing summary is based upon an excellent article about the California Revised Uniform Limited Liability Act prepared by the Law Firm of Freeman, Freeman Smiley.

Fancypants (Acadamese) Word of the Day

Asynchronous Learning:  Learning and instruction that do not happen at the same place and time.

Examples of use in sentences:

Serious Example: “Until the covid pandemic, I had never really thought much about the importance of using asynchronous learning.”

More Humorous Example: “Leave it to the academics to need a stupid phrase like ‘asynchronous learning’ to discuss the pros and cons of Zoom learning.”

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“Preventive” Legal Planning – New Concept of Periodic Legal Checkups – Quick Facts

Posted by Mack W. Borgen March 21st, 2022

Blog No 144 

March 22, 2022

By Mack W. Borgen
Author, The White Book (2022); The Writings of a Lifetime (2021); Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America (Three Volumes) (2018-2019); and The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America (2 Volumes) (2013). As Advertised in The New York Review of Books and Recipient of Eight National Book Awards

Quick Facts

 U.S. Household Net Worth Percentiles of Middle, Upper-Middle, and Wealthy Classes

One’s net worth is only measure – and a relatively poor measure – of one’s safety, security, and happiness, but for those who track their net worth, the following is a schedule of the approximate household net worth percentages in the U.SD.

Top 1%           $11,100,000 and above

Top 5%           $  2,585,000 and above

Top 10%         $  1,220,000 and above

Top 15%         $    795,000 and above

Top 25%         $    405,000 and above

 Mean Net Worth of Middle, Upper-Middle, and Wealthy Classes

        Wealth Class Category         Mean Net Worth

      Middle Income                        $104,700

        Upper-Middle                        $201,800

              Wealthy                              $608,900

Source: DQYDJ (Financial and investing websource); Frankenfield, J., Investopedia (10/18/2021).

Back When Zoom Wasn’t a Verb – Alternative Post-Pandemic Work Policies

Many corporations are evaluating their “post-pandemic” policies on remote work. Pre-pandemic, just 4% of employed Americans worked remotely. That percentage increased to nearly 50% by May 2020. To date, the corporate plans appear to be widely divided. Some companies (e.g., Apple, Netflix, Citi, and Goldman Sachs) have established deadlines for full office returns. Some corporations (e.g., Meta, Disney, and Lyft) are “hybrids” and are offering remote flexibility in order to retain talent. Lastly, some corporations (Shopify, Coinbase, and Slack) have deemed themselves remote-first companies. It is this author’s opinion that this sorting will continue for at least a couple of years. However, the likely outcome will be some variants (sorry to use that word) of “hybrid.” While remote work will be far more tolerated – indeed, at times, encouraged, most corporations will demand some in-office returns. A cautionary warning: if at least some regularly scheduled, in-office time becomes required by most corporations, the U.S. may have to endure another round of population and housing relocations.  Source: Robinhood.com. (March 14, 2022)

Humor for the Day

They said, “Do what you love, and the money will follow:”

So, I ate some chocolate cake and drank some tequila.


Source: My thanks to my friend, Marty Kauth.

The Concept of Periodic Legal Checkups and

The Wiser, “Preventive” Use of Counsel

We live in an increasingly complicated, fine-print, documentary, “Click Here” world. Many Americans will never be forced into litigation over any matter, however most Americans at some point in their life struggle with if-and-when issues as to the advisability of retaining counsel.

However, lost in the event-driven use of counsel is the possibly far wiser approach of regularly having one’s business, professional, financial, and familial affairs overview scrutinized – even if briefly for an hour or two, by a general business attorney. As will be explained below, by preventively using attorneys, clients may be able to avoid costs, achieve advantageous protections for themselves and their family and business, and – most importantly — become apprised of second or third options with respect to many matters.

Too often attorneys are retained either too late or not at all. This recommendation is based upon that costly reality.

This imprudent use of attorneys is due to three things: (1) the manner in which many attorneys themselves seem to primarily practice only “responsive” law; (2) the manner in which certain types of transactions are traditionally closed without the use of legal counsel; and (3) very bluntly, the darn cost – or expected cost – of engaging counsel.

But in some instances, this should change. Attorneys should rethink how they present themselves. They should expand the types of services which they offer. Likewise, individuals should consider regularly and routinely engaging counsel for periodic legal checkups; for even the limited services described below.

Allow me, first, to draw some parallels. We Americans do not think twice about having annual medical check-ups. Many aspects of health and well-being are approached from a preventive perspective. When we visit a doctor, sometimes all is good – the “no-news-is-good-news” visit. Maybe, additional bloodwork is ordered. Maybe, additional tests are needed. But still, we understand the necessity of preventive, responsive care. It is just something which prudent patients do. In a similar manner, we have our teeth cleaned every six months. We get our cars tuned up every 5,000 miles. And on and on.

But unwisely, we normally do not use legal counsel to even generally or lightly overlook our personal or familial finances and affairs except in certain limited contexts such as estate planning. Due especially to perceived cost, attorneys are too infrequently used in a preventive-care manner. Instead, counsel retention is event-driven – being sued, a contract dispute, starting of a new business, or the death of or divorce from a loved one.

It is here recommended that some individuals regularly having their “legal life” regularly and periodically reviewed from a legal affairs perspective. This would be particularly true in at least four instances: (1) mid-career individuals over the age of 45; (2) those with any level of substantial wealth; (3) those who own (or are considering purchasing) a business or equity position in a business as a shareholder, partner, or LLC member; and (4) those who own or have an interest in (or are considering purchasing) any real property other than maybe their personal residence. Also note that this is already done by many corporations and businesses. General Counsels sit in on many meetings, and nearly everything involves the “run-it-by-legal” step.

Admittedly, seeing the “right type” of attorney is important. Many law practices, just like medical practices, are highly specialized – antitrust, tax and estate planning, family or elder law, litigation, personal injury, and so forth. Thus, just as one normally sees a medical internist annually, one would normally want to see a general business attorney for this type of general liability and family documentation legal checkup review.

This recommendation is not made to seek additional work. Instead, it is because attorneys are too often brought in too late – after the lease is signed, after the property is sold, after the deal is done, after words are exchanged, after emails are sent, after the loan is made, after the employee is hired, after the event – whatever it is – has either happened or started to accelerate.

In the context of a periodic legal check-up of one’s affairs, an attorney will rarely be able to give specific advice without investigating the matter or reviewing any underlying documents. But that does not mean that useful advice cannot be rendered or that prudent cautions and considerations cannot be identified.

Such time-constrained, limited scope check-up counseling ideally would require only an abbreviated retention agreement, and the parties would have to make some special termination agreement in the event of a discovered conflict of interest.

Nevertheless, a brief, regular, once-every-year-or-two legal checkup can be invaluable. After even a cursory review of one’s assets, business, family structure, age and so forth, an attorney oftentimes can provide invaluable advice about things the client should consider. Even more important, the attorney sometimes can expand the horizon of options and alternative approaches to any matter a client wishes to address. Lastly, in even a two-three-hour overview, an attorney may identify risks that the client had not previously considered. The meeting could wander from the advisability of various types of life, long-term care, and general liability insurance to the preventive measures one might want to consider with respect to various business matters; and from the possible need for some tax, estate, or gift planning to cautions with respect to the leasing or sale of property.

Some firms will not want to offer this type of service. That is unfortunate, but it is probably true. In addition, any prudent attorney will only be able to render generalized advice based upon a client’s presentation of any given situation or matter. But after even an hour- or two-hour discussion, the client can sometimes quickly sense whether it may be advisable to engage the attorney further. Lest it not be obvious, all preventive actions and many prudent steps can only be taken early on – but not later or after the fact.

For many years, my practice focused in part upon real estate transactions. Thus, allow me to use the above “preventive” retention advice in the context of even a routine residential purchase or sale. Traditionally, such matters have been handled by real estate brokers and mortgage lenders. Possibly, it should be left that way. However, this author believes things have changed; risks have grown.

Today’s residential purchases are oftentimes $1.0MM or $2.0MM or more. These are substantial investments. And they have become more complicated. Especially with the passage of endless state laws, more issues can rise in many contexts.

Continuing with this example, this author recognizes that one is “just” buying a home. However, in today’s market, the amount of money involved is roughly equal to that necessary to launch a small business. The cost of buying a $1.0MM family home is now roughly equivalent to buying about 1,603 roundtrip tickets from Los Angeles to Paris (Single roundtrip ticket = $624). Color me crazy, but if a client were entering into a transaction to buy 1,603 tickets to Paris, it would seem that – even with the presence of an experienced real estate broker – counsel review may be advisable.

In even a limited two- or three-hour generalized legal review of the residential home purchase, what might be learned in this context? The list such things is lengthy – contingency dates; inspection reviews; strict, tax-driven personal usage limitations if it is a second home; leaseback liabilities and complications (especially with the covid lease termination protections available to tenants in some states); ADU impacts; renter’s insurance in the event of a leaseback; time-stamped video recording of house condition; costly propane and freon fill-ups; payment for re-keying; and on and on.

Again, this article is NOT offered as an empty encouragement for the use of attorneys. Instead, it is written because knowing when to retain and how to use attorneys can be a complicated, costly, and frustrating matter. Thus, this article is offered merely as an encouragement for the better, preventive use of attorneys. Anticipation of an issue is immensely easier and more cost-efficient than reaction to an issue. If we readily and almost without thinking, see our doctors once a year for medical checkups (whether we think we need to or not), it is recommended that we view our relationship with our family or business counsel in a similar manner — although I think that once every two years may, in many cases, be adequate. Also, a great amount of time, money, and anguish can be saved by developing a lasting and trusting relationship with an attorney or firm through the use of such periodic legal checkups.

The truth is:

I do not know which is more important – Saving money or having peace of mind –

Both are good.

And best of all,

Both are achievable.

And periodic legal “checkups” every couple of years may help.

A lot.

TO READ MORE OF MY, NOW 144 BLOGS, YOU ARE INVITED TO GO TO www.mackwborgen.com and just Click “Blogs.”

All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical without the prior written permission of the author.


Writer’s Heartbreak, March Madness, and Friends-Only Sale

Posted by Mack W. Borgen March 8th, 2022

Blog No 143
March 9, 2022
By Mack W. Borgen

Writer’s Heartbreak, March Madness,

and Friends-Only Sale

— You Gotta Smile and Then You Gotta Laugh — 

11 Years of Writing Now Going for Less Than a Gallon of Gas 

After This Sale, My Books Will Be Available Only Through Amazon and Other Publishing Websites

50%-60% Discounts  

For Yourself or For Your Family and Friends 

CALL OR TEXT ME at 805-450-2602 OR EMAIL ME at mwborgen@live.com. Payment only after your receipt of your books. 

The Writings of a Lifetime (2022) 

The Writings of a Lifetime

A semi-autobiographical collection of stories, essays, remembrances, and even poems. 


  • – – – –

Dead Serious and Lighthearted

The Memorable Words of Modern America

Vol I (1957-1976) (2018) (508 pp); Vol II (1977-1993) (2018) (400 pp); Vol III (1994-2015) (2019) (572 pp)

FIVE NATIONAL BOOKS AWARDS Including BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR  Dead Serious and Lighthearted Book SeriesRevolutionary new way to remember, enjoy, and learn the history of Modern America.

From “one small step to “if the gloves don’t fit, you must acquit;”

From “Heeeeere’s, Johnny” to Shock and aweandWe are the 99%”

Memorable Words – Seminal Books – Greatest Movie Lines

Over 800 entries – Each entry followed with narrative essay about the meaning, context, and import of the words.  

50% OFF 


3 HARDBACKS FOR JUST $49.95 (Amazon Price – $104.85) or 3 PAPERBACKs FOR JUST $29.95 (Amazon Price – $65.85)

– – – – 

The Relevance of Reason 

The Hard Facts and Real Data about Current America

Vol I – Business and Politics (408 pp) / Vol II – Society and Culture (438 pp)


These books expose fascinating truths about our country’s business, politics, society, and culture.

book cover



BOTH HARDBACKS FOR $24.95 (Amazon Price:  $49.90) // BOTH PAPERBACKS FOR $12.95 (Amazon Price: $49.90)  

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ALL 6 HARDBACKS $99.99 – or – ALL 6 PAPERBACKS $44.95 


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Best regards, Mack W. Borgen 


New CA Real Property Laws – Quick Summary – “End of Single-Family Zoning”

Posted by Mack W. Borgen February 22nd, 2022

Blog No 142 

February 23, 2022

By Mack W. Borgen

Author, The White Book (2022); The Writings of a Lifetime (2021); Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America (Three Volumes) (2018-2019); and The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America (2 Volumes) (2013). The New York Review of Books and Recipient of Eight National Book Awards. For a “cleaner,” non-email presentation of this and my other blogs, go to  https://www.mackwborgen.com/  and click the “Blogs” tab.



Every legislative session generates new laws affecting the ownership, development, purchase and sale, management, and leasing of real property. The last several years have been no exception. Some of the new laws may be clarifying. Some may be creative and constructive. Others – and especially, in the opinion of this author – the new accessory dwelling unit and land subdivision laws border on the absurd. But they all require compliance.

The following is a short summary of some of the recently enacted, more significant new laws affecting California real estate or the development thereof. Many of these laws will be the subject of litigation which may lead to their judicial clarification or even rejection. In some instances, I have referenced both the legislation number and/or the effective date.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Subject to limited circumstances, each local agency may now adopt regulations which allow an ADU to be sold or conveyed separately from the primary residence to a qualified buyer. (AB 345).

ADUs – Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (“CC&Rs”). Any provision of any CC&Rs which unreasonably restricts the construction or use of an ADU on a lot zoned for single-family use shall be deemed void and unenforceable. (AB 1954).

CC&Rs of Senior Citizen Housing. Such CC&Rs may establish intergenerational housing that includes seniors aged 55+ along with caregivers who do not meet the minimum age requirements and transitional age youths. The primary continuing requirement is that at least 80% of the development be occupied by seniors. (SB 591).

CC&Rs – Short-Term Rentals. A homeowner’s association may prohibit short-term rentals (i.e., less than 30 days) and may adopt rental restrictions that limit the total number of rentals to 25% of the interests in the development. (AB 3182).

Landlord-Tenant Law – New Rights of Tenant to Terminate Lease. Without penalty (including with no right of the landlord to retain any security deposit), a tenant shall be permitted to terminate a lease if the tenant, a household member, or an immediate family member of the tenant was a victim of a crime that caused bodily injury or death, an act of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, or elder abuse.

Real Estate and Appraiser Education. Implicit bias training will now be a required component of real estate licensing courses (SB 263) (Eff. Jan. 2023). “Cultural competency” and “anti-bias” training will also be a required component of the training of real estate appraisers. In addition, it shall now be unlawful for appraisers to discriminate to members of protected groups in the availability or making of their appraisals. (AB 948).

Residential Land Development – Subdivision. This new legislation designates that which a local agency can (and cannot) require in approving the construction of two residential units on a single lot or a single-family residence and an ADU. If certain requirements are met, then no discretionary review or hearing can be conducted. (SB 9). Some critics have designated this legislation the “end of single-family zoning.” They argue that “it streamlines the process by which (an) owner of a single-family lot can subdivide that lot into two separate parcels — and to subsequently construct up to two units per parcel. In other words, (now in California) a single-family lot can now bear up to four homes, subject to certain conditions.” (Conlan, Ellinghouse). (See also, “Residential Zoning” below). In addition, and subject to only certain requirements, a housing construction proposal which contains two residential units within an area zoned for single-family housing must be considered without discretionary review or hearing.  See also, AB 725 which, as of January 2022, requires city and county general plans to meet a statutorily designated 25% level for moderate-income housing.

Residential Land Development – Mixed-Income Residential Building Construction. In the construction of mixed-income residential buildings, common areas and entrances must be made available to all units. A developer may no longer separate or isolate low-income units to a single-entrance or wing of the building. (AB 491).

Residential Zoning. A local government may now zone any parcel for up to 10 units of residential density if it is located in a transit-rich area, a job-rich area, or an urban infill site. (SB 10) (Eff. 2022).

Short-Term Residential Rentals Ordinances – Increased Maximum Penalties for Violations Thereof. The maximum fines for violating any short-term residential rental ordinance were raised substantially from $100 to $1500 (first violation), from $200 to $3,000 (second violation), and from $500 to $5,000 (third or more violations) in one year. (SB 60)

Title Insurance Companies – Unlawful Restrictive Covenants. Any title insurance involved in the transfer of real property must identify if any documents contain unlawful restrictive covenants. (Eff. July 2022). If such unlawful covenants are found, then a modification document must be recorded.

Other New Laws of Interest

Adhesion Contracts. If an adhesion contract (a take-it-or-leave-it contract) specifies a time of performance, such time must be reasonable. (SB 389).

Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers. The sale of gas-powered leaf blowers and other small, off-road engines will be banned by 2024. (AB 1346).

Gender-Neutral Retail Law. Pursuant to this legislation, all large retail stores (more than 500 employees) will be required to provide a gender-neutral area for the sale of childcare items or toys regardless of whether the products have previously been marketed for boys or girls.

Mandatory Composting by 2025. This legislation mandates the adoption of regulations relating to both individuals and businesses with a goal of having all organic waste composted by 2025. Such mandate may require compositing areas in retail centers and or require occupant lessees to hire additional services for their composting retention and removal. (SB 1383)

Minimum Wage. Increased to $15.00. This minimum wage, the highest statewide minimum wage in the United States, is a $1.00 increase from 2021. It applies to all employers with 26 or more employees.

Sources: firsttuesday Journal (January 3, 2022); Conlan, K. and Ellinghouse, M. (“New Laws Affecting Real Estate in 2022) (January 28, 2022); Neva, S., Procopio (January 7, 2021).

Now Available – The Writings of a Lifetime

(2021) (268 pp)

The Writings of a Lifetime

A semi-autobiographical collection of stories, essays, remembrances, and even poems.


Just call or text me at 805-450-2602 or email me at mwborgen@live.com.

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Shipping, handling, and taxes just $3.95, and payment can be made after your receipt of your book (s).

Great Quote – Quick Facts – Best Songs Lyrics of Modern America – Part 21

Posted by Mack W. Borgen February 14th, 2022

Blog No 141 – February 15, 2022
By Mack W. Borgen
Author, The White Binder (2022); The Writings of a Lifetime (2021); Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America (Three Volumes) (2018-2019); and The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America (2 Volumes) (2013). As Advertised in The New York Review of Books and Recipient of Eight National Book Awards. For a “cleaner,” non-email presentation of this blog, just go to  https://www.mackwborgen.com/  and click the “Blogs” tab.

Great Quote 

“I never lose. Either I win or I learn.”

Nelson Mandela (B: 1918 – D: 2013) (Age 95).

For forwarding this great quote to me — My special thanks to Stephen MacIntosh of Santa Barbara, California — a wonderful friend and a great financial adviser!

 (Today’s) Quick Facts

Inflation and Wealth Distribution 

The media is aggressively reporting the rise of inflation – as it should. But it also should be reporting that many corporations are raising prices even though they are simultaneously making record profits!

The fact is that many price increases are not driven by inflation. Instead, they are merely being driven by the capitalism model which is fine – arguably even wonderful. However, especially because of America’s vast, since-the-1980’s wealthy inequality, these record profits are not widely distributed. Most of America is not in the stock market. Instead, the richest 10% of Americans now own about 89% of all stocks. The rest — the “bottom 90%” — own a mere 11% of all stocks.

While regulated capitalism and free markets should be encouraged, it must also be remembered that both the inflation rate and the stock market are oftentimes very poor measures of the wider American economy.

Get Ready — A Lot of Baby Boomers!!

By 2030, i.e., in just 8 years, there will be 71.5 million baby boomers over the age of 65 in the US. That is more than 21% of the projected US population and more than 1 in 5 Americans! Party hearty everybody — but the bars, restaurants, golf courses, estate planning attorneys, and care facilities should get ready!

Best Song Lyrics – Part 21

                Song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America. The lyrics of our favorite songs roll around in our heads for decades. Almost unconsciously, every day we honor the words of America’s songwriters who said something in that perfect, poetic, or clever way. Here is Part 21 of my assembled list — done over the nine years of my research for my series of books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America.

The Best Lyrics of Modern America – From 1957 through 2015 – Part 21

 Stranger Song (1967) (Leonard Cohen) (B: 1934, Quebec, Canada – D: 2016 (Los Angeles, California).

              “It’s true that all men you knew were dealers
                Who said they were through with dealing,
                Every time you gave them shelter 
                And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
                You find he did not leave you very much
                Not even laughter
                Like any dealer he was watching for the card            
               That is so high and wild
               He’ll never have to deal another
               He was just some Joseph looking for a manger ….
               And then leaning on the windowsill
               He’ll say one day you caused his will
               To weaken with your love and warmth and shelter
              And then taking from his wallet
               An old schedule of trains, he’ll say
              I told you when I came, I was a stranger
              I told you when I came, I was a stranger.”

 Opposites Attract (1990) (Paula Abdul) (B: 1962, San Francisco, CA).

             I take two steps forward
            I take two steps back
            We come together
            ‘Cause opposites attract.
            And you know, it ain’t fiction
           Just a natural fact
           We come together
          ‘Cause opposites attract.”

 Fancypants Word of the Day

Potation (Noun): 1) A drink, 2) The action of drinking potation.

Examples of uses in sentences:

Serious Example: “Sit down and join me for a potation.”

More Humorous (and ridiculously pretentious) Example: “Most of the plans for the bachelor party concerned copious potation.” O.K. Does anyone ever really talk like that? (Yes, sometimes I miss William F. Buckley and his Firing Line show (1966-1999) as well!).  

Please Get Copies of My Books – 8 National Book Awards

Best Nonfiction Book of the Year in Three Separate Categories! 

— U.S. History, Current Events, and Reference —  

Six Book SeriesDead Serious and Lighthearted book cover

Best prices. Fast shipping. Just go to http://mackwborgen.com/shop/  . All books signed by the author and shipped within five business days. Also available on Amazon.

ALSO Get a Copy of MY LATEST BOOK, The White Binder (2022)

Already in its Third Edition!!

For Organizing Assets, Listing Liabilities, and Defining Bequest Desires

 How To Order Your Copy of The White Binder 

Just call or text me at 805-450-2602 or email me at mwborgen@live.com. The White Binder is just $49.95 per copy plus $6.95 for tax, shipping, and handling. Payment can be made AFTER your receipt of your copy. 
All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical without the prior written permission of the author.

THANK YOU – Many Requests for My New White Binder Book – Get Life-Organized – Get Your Copy Now

Posted by Mack W. Borgen January 31st, 2022

Blog No 140

February 1, 2022

By Mack W. Borgen

Author, The Writings of a Lifetime (2021); Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America (Three Volumes) (2018-2019); and The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data about the State of Current America (2 Volumes) (2013). As Advertised in The New York Review of Books and Recipient of Eight National Book Awards.

The White Binder – My Latest Project …

Your Overwhelming Response … Thank You

Last week, I introduced my latest new project, a personalized organization book entitled The White Binder. This book is to assist you in carefully organizing all of your personal information, identifying your assets and liabilities, and articulating your bequest and asset distribution desires.  

THE RESPONSE WAS PRETTY OVERWHELMING. So, thank you. My first batch of binder/book shipments are going out this week.

Maybe the response was due to the post-Christmas lull of January. Maybe it was because of our newly found sobriety as we enter our third year of this worldwide covid pandemic. Maybe it was because we are no longer young, dumb, and stupid — although I loved those years!. Maybe was because thorough, personal organizing resources are hard to come by. I don’t know.

But whatever the reason, I am glad that my latest project seems to have struck a chord. And if you have not ordered your copy (or copies) yet, please do so today.

The White Binder is detailed. It addresses everything from names, residences, family structure, godparents, closest friends, and primary third-party contacts to religious affiliations and military service; from assets and liabilities and commercial/business investments to necessary terminations, cancellations, and closures … and on and on for 14 Chapters and 100+ pages.

Get your copy now.

For yourself and your loved ones — and as I humorously wrote last week, unless you are incarcerated, homeless, or entering your 7th marriage (in which case, I can’t help you, Sundance) — you need to complete The White Binder book.

I have tried to make the step-by-step instructions in the book very clear. Nevertheless, completion, document, and planning questions will arise. Thus, for the next 6-8 months (in addition to my regular law/business consulting practice), I will be offering my services to confidentially assist you in completing your White Binder. For this project, I will be offering a 35% discount off my normal hourly rate. I strongly recommend you and your spouse (and adult grown kids too?) each get a copy of this book — but my involvement is entirely up to you. No matter what, EVERYTHING we talk about will remain totally confidential.

When you have completed your White Binder, MOST EVERYTHING WILL BE DONE. Semi-annual and event-triggered updates are recommended, but other than that — everything will (finally) be in one place — – names, residences, family structure, godparents, and closest living friends; primary third-party contacts; religious affiliations and military; assets (personal, real, and intellectual property), commercial and business investments; necessary post-disability/death terminations, cancellations, and closures; email, social media, and password matters; quick reference cash flow schedule; insurance; liabilities and litigation; taxes, tax returns, and filings; desired special bequests (e.g. letters, artwork, jewelry, collections); pets; burial and cremation instructions … and on and on.

Tax and Estate Planning Matters – My Coordination with Greg Tolleson of Bryars, Tolleson, Spires and Whitton. If tax planning matters arise, I will work with your tax advisor or, if you have none, with Mr. Greg Tolleson of Bryars, Tolleson, Spires and Whitton LP of Mission Viejo, CA. I have worked with Greg for more than four decades. He is an extremely thoughtful, dedicated, and creative. With respect to estate planning matters (will, trusts, etc), I will work with your counsel. If you do not yet have one, I would assist you in locating such counsel and thereafter would coordinate and supervise their work.


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Just $49.95 per copy plus tax, shipping and handling – $6.95. Free shipping with 3 or more copies. No payment necessary until after the book(s) have been shipped.


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(Number of copies plus your shipping address) 




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The Writings of a Lifetime