Category Archives: Nick Feldman

SAM Client Resonant Announced $7.5 Million Private Placement

Resonant Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ client Resonant, Inc. (NASDAQ: RESN) a designer of filters for radio frequency, or RF, front-ends that specializes in delivering designs for difficult bands and complex requirements, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with an affiliate of Longboard Capital Advisors, LLC, an existing stockholder of Resonant to raise gross proceeds of $7.5 million. Congratulations to Resonant on this success!

To read the full press release click here.

Stubbs Alderton attorneys representing Resonant in this transaction were John McIlvery and Nick Feldman.

About Resonant Inc.
Resonant is creating software tools and IP & licensable blocks that enable the development of innovative filter designs for the RF front-end, or RFFE, for the mobile device industry. The RFFE is the circuitry in a mobile device responsible for the radio frequency signal processing and is located between the device’s antenna and its digital baseband. Filters are a critical component of the RFFE that selects the desired radio frequency signals and rejects unwanted signals and noise. For more information, please visit www.resonant.com.

For more information about our Public Securities practice, contact John McIlvery at jmcilvery@stubbsalderton.com

 

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SAM Client Alert: It’s Time to (Re-)Register Your DMCA Agent

Regardless of whether your company has previously designated an agent to receive notification of claimed infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the “DMCA”)—a United States copyright law which, among other things, provides certain safe harbors for internet service providers who may host infringing material—it’s time to do it (again).

Effective as of December 1, 2016, the United States Copyright Office (the “Office”) issued its final rule (codified as 201 CFR Part 201) regarding designation of DMCA agents via the Office’s new electronic system. Under the new rule, any service provider that previously designated a DMCA Agent must resubmit through the electronic system by December 31, 2017, or it will lose safe harbor protection notwithstanding any prior registration.

If you need to register, or re-register, here’s what you should do:

  • Create an Account. In order to designate a DMCA agent using the new system, you must create an account. You may also engage a third party, including your legal counsel, to complete the registration on your behalf.
  • Register Your Company. Once an account has been created, you or your designated representative can log in and register your company and its current agent within the system. The fee for online registration is $6 per designation, which is a substantial savings compared to the paper-based system’s fees of $140 or more.
  • Designate Your Agent. You may determine your agent in one of a number of ways, as it can be (1) an individual, (2) a title or position at your company, (3) a specific department within your company, or (4) a third party. You must then provide the name, address, phone number, and email address of the agent. If you do elect to register an individual agent, be sure to promptly amend the registration if that person departs your company or the relevant role within your company.
  • Verify Your Information. Verify that the information on your website matches the information you are submitting to the Office, and that both are correct. Failing to maintain accurate information and failing to ensure that the two match each create a risk of losing safe harbor protection under the final rule.
  • Re-Register Every Three Years. The Office’s electronic system will send automated reminders to review and renew your designation, and for that reason you should be sure to register with regularly monitored contact information to ensure you receive the reminders. You will also need to re-register upon any change in your agent, even if prior to the required renewal time; doing so will reset the clock on your renewal period.

If you haven’t registered a DMCA Agent, you should do it now—and if you have, you should renew. Failing to follow the new online DMCA agent designation procedures by the end of 2017 may result in the loss important legal protections.

For more information on this and other Safe Harbor topics, contact Nick Feldman at nfeldman@stubbsalderton.com or (818) 444-4500. Nick’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, private equity transactions and general corporate matters for both public and private clients, focusing on middle-market and emerging growth companies. In addition, Nick counsels companies in connection with entity formation, corporate governance, federal and state securities laws and compliance, joint ventures, employee incentive plans, executive employment agreements and other executive compensation matters.

 

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SAM Client Laugh Radio Raises $2.25M in Series Seed Financing

Laugh Radio Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ client Laugh Radio, creators of Laugh.ly a stand up comedy streaming service, announced this month that it has raised $2.25 million in their Series Seed financing round. Laugh.ly had previously raised funds through a SAFE note (the less complicated replacement for a convertible note.) The note included $750,000 from the founders, and $1.5 million from investors. Investors included  New York Angels, Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, the Wharton Alumni Angel Network, Social+Capital, Backstage Capital, Treehouse Capital, Accelerator Ventures and Atlas Holdings. Congratulations Laugh Radio on this success !

To read the full press release click here.

Stubbs Alderton attorneys representing Laugh Radio in this transaction were  Nick Feldman  and Greg Akselrud.

About Laugh Radio
Laugh Radio is changing the way people experience stand up comedy. Their mobile app, Laugh.ly, launched in August 2016 and it will allow big and small name comedians to grow and monetize their fan base. The company has lined up more than 400 comedians whose content will stream on its app, and a total of 20,000 individual tracks. Described as something of a Pandora for comedy, the app can create personalized “radio” stations of comedy, in addition to offering on-demand listening. To check out the app and download Laugh.ly click here.

For more information about our Internet, Digital Media & Entertainment practice, contact Greg Akselrud at gakselrud@stubbsalderton.com.

 

 

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SAM Client Milk and Eggs Closes $2.5M Financing Round

 

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP announced that it represented client Milk and Eggs in its $2.5M financing round led by Morningside Venture Investments.

Milk and Eggs is a farm-fresh grocery delivery service. Their goal is to connect customers to great farmers. Customers sign up for subscriptions of milk, eggs, dairy, meats, vegetables, and fruit on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, with free membership and delivery and the ability to change orders at any time. All vegetables, fruits, dairy, eggs, and meats will be the freshest available as they are locally acquired. And, with an environmentally friendly aggregation and delivery system, it’s a win for their customers and the environment.

SAM Attorneys that represented Milk and Eggs were Joe Stubbs and Nick Feldman.

For more information about our Venture Capital & Emerging Growth practice, contact Joe Stubbs at jstubbs@stubbsalderton.com.

 

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP Client THX Acquired by Leading Lifestyle Brand for Gamers, Razer

thx-logoStubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP client THX announced this week that Razer™, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, has acquired the majority of the assets of THX Ltd. and brought onboard the management and employees of the company. THX will continue to operate as an independent entity under its own management and apart from the ongoing business of its parent company. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ attorneys representing THX in the transaction include Scott Galer, John McIlvery, Sean Greaney and Nick Feldman

 

To read the full press release, click here.

 

About Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP (SAM) is a California business law firm with robust intellectual property, litigation, corporate, public securities, mergers and acquisitions, and entertainment practice groups.  SAM focuses on the representation of emerging growth companies, middle market public companies, large technology companies, celebrities and entertainment companies. SAM’s mission is to provide technically excellent legal services and outstanding results in a highly-responsive, service-oriented, and cost-effective manner. These principles are the hallmarks of our firm.

 

To learn more about our Mergers & Acquisitions practice, contact SAM partner Scott Galer at sgaler@stubbsalderton.com or (818) 444-4513.

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ Client Zephyr Receives $31M Investment from Frontier Capital

Press Release_Frontier-Capital-investmentLos Angeles, CA – May 13, 2016 Stubbs Alderton & Markiles announces that it represented its client D-Software, d/b/a Zephyr, one of the software industry’s fastest-growing providers of real-time, on-demand enterprise test management solutions, in an investment deal of  $31M from Frontier Capital.

Based in Newark, Calif., in the epicenter of the software industry, Zephyr provides more than 8,500 customers in over 100 countries with innovative applications, seamless integrations and unparalleled, real-time visibility into the quality and status of their software development projects. With additional operations in London and Bangalore, the company has more than doubled its customer base in the past 12 months by helping companies like LG Electronics, Adobe, HSBC, Honda, Oracle, Citibank, Amex, GE, Starz and Hyundai drive down costs and bring higher quality software to market faster.

The $31 million investment from Frontier Capital will be used to fund key growth initiatives for the company like enhancing the product portfolio and scaling sales and marketing capabilities, according to Zephyr founder and CEO Samir Shah.

“Partnering with Frontier Capital will help us realize our potential by investing in the critical business functions that will fuel our growth,” said Shah. “Their business acumen and experience helping similar next-stage growth companies achieve their goals will be just as, if not more, valuable to us than the money they have invested. We are excited to have Frontier on board as an engaged partner and look forward to working with them to build a market leader.”

SAM Partner Scott Alderton has represented D-Software, d/b/a Zephyr, since its inception and Stubbs Alderton as a whole is very proud of their success.  SAM Partners that led this deal include Scott Galer, Scott Alderton, Nick Feldman and Adam Bagley.

To read the full Zephyr press release, click here.

About Frontier Capital

Frontier Capital is a Charlotte-based growth equity firm focused exclusively on software and technology-enabled business services companies. Founded in 1999, Frontier partners with management teams that can benefit from capital to accelerate growth, fund acquisitions or generate shareholder liquidity. The firm makes minority and majority equity investments in high growth companies and has built an excellent track record of delivering returns to both investors and management partners. For more information, please visit frontiercapital.com.

About Zephyr

Zephyr is a leading provider of on-demand enterprise test management solutions, offering innovative applications, seamless integrations and unparalleled, real-time visibility into the quality and status of software projects. Zephyr products are the fastest-growing agile test management products in the world, with more than 8,500 global customers in over 100 countries. Their feature-rich products address today’s dynamic and global needs across a variety of industries including finance, healthcare, media, automotive, IT services and enterprise software. Zephyr is headquartered in Newark, Calif., with offices in Europe and India. For more information, please visit www.getzephyr.com.

About Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP is a business law firm with robust corporate, public securities, mergers and acquisitions, entertainment, intellectual property, brand protection and business litigation practice groups focusing on the representation of, among others, venture backed emerging growth companies, middle market public companies, large technology companies, entertainment and digital media companies, investors, venture capital funds, investment bankers and underwriters. The firm’s clients represent the full spectrum of Southern California business with a concentration in the technology, entertainment, videogame, apparel and medical device sectors. Our mission is to provide technically excellent legal services in a consistent, highly-responsive and service-oriented manner with an entrepreneurial and practical business perspective. These principles are the hallmarks of our Firm. For more information, please visit www.stubbsalderton.com.

Media Contact:
Heidi Hubbeling
(310) 746-9803
hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com

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Business Law Breakdown – FCC Issues Guidance for Companies Promoting Apps via Text Message

Nick-Feldman-smNick Feldman’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, private equity transactions and general corporate matters for both public and private clients, focusing on middle-market and emerging growth companies. In addition, Nick counsels companies in connection with entity formation, corporate governance, federal and state securities laws and compliance, joint ventures, employee incentive plans, executive employment agreements and other executive compensation matters. Nick also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Loyola Marymount University, where he lectures on media law topics.

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Text message promotions have long been touted as a marketing jackpot for mobile applications due to their high open rates and short click-path to download—look no further than companies like Lyft for success stories. However, refer-a-friend invitations have also come under fire for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the “TCPA”), a law originally implemented to crack down on invasive telemarketing. Class action lawsuits that successfully establish that individuals received unsolicited text messages could result in penalties of up to $1,500 per text message.

On July 10, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission released a Declaratory Ruling and Order clarifying portions of the TCPA. In response to petitions from app-based service providers TextMe and Glide, the FCC set out best practices for companies utilizing text message promotions. In doing so, it established that the app user, not the company, may be responsible for initiating the text message in certain scenarios, opening the door for wider use of refer-a-friend text message promotions.

In order to comply with the TCPA, the FCC determined that companies must satisfy a balancing test which requires some direct connection between a person or entity and the sending of the text message. Specifically, the test examines who took the steps necessary to physically send the text message and whether another person or entity was so involved in sending the text message as to be deemed to have initiated it.

Pursuant to the FCC’s 2013 DISH Declaratory Ruling, persons or entities that merely have some minor role in the causal chain that results in the sending of a text message generally do not take the steps necessary to physically send such a text message, and thus are not deemed to “initiate” the text message.

In the case of TextMe, the app’s users invited friends to use the service via text message by engaging in a multi-step process in which the users had to make a number of affirmative choices.  First, they were required to tap a button that read “invite your friends.” They were then able to choose whether to invite all their friends or individually select contacts, and finally they were prompted to send the invitational text message by tapping another button.

The FCC determined that, to the extent that TextMe controlled the content of the advertising message, the company might be liable under the TCPA. Despite that cause for concern, however, the TextMe app users’ choices and actions caused the user to be so involved in sending the text message as to be deemed its initiator. For that reason, TextMe’s invite flow was deemed not to violate the TCPA.

TextMe’s practices contrasted with those of Glide, which sent text message solicitations automatically to all of its app users’ contacts unless a user affirmatively opted out. In that scenario, the FCC determined that Glide initiated the text messages because the app user played no role in deciding whether to send the invitational text messages, to whom to send them, or what to say in them.

Ultimately, not all app providers are exempt from liability under the TCPA. In light of the FCC’s guidance, a company that desires for its users to send text message invitations to their contacts should require the user’s affirmative consent with respect to (1) whether to send a message, (2) who the message is sent to, and (3) when the message is sent. To further limit potential liability, the company should allow the user to determine or modify the language of the invitation message.

It is also worth noting that FCC’s declaratory rulings are not binding on trial courts, but are instead interpreted as persuasive authority. However, due to the limited amount of case law interpreting the TCPA, FCC opinions like this one are the primary source of guidance as to how companies should comply with the law.

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For more information about services for your legal needs, contact Nick Feldman at nfeldman@stubbsalderton.com or (818) 444-4541.

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Business Law Breakdown – Amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law Prohibit Fee-Shifting and Endorse Forum Selection Clauses

Nick-Feldman-smNick Feldman’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, private equity transactions and general corporate matters for both public and private clients, focusing on middle-market and emerging growth companies. In addition, Nick counsels companies in connection with entity formation, corporate governance, federal and state securities laws and compliance, joint ventures, employee incentive plans, executive employment agreements and other executive compensation matters.  Nick also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Loyola Marymount University, where he lectures on media law topics.

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DelawareOn June 24, 2015, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed several important amendments to the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware (the “DGCL”) into law. The amendments, which will become effective on August 1, 2015, prohibit “fee-shifting” provisions and endorse forum selection provisions, among other changes.

Prohibition on Fee-Shifting

In response to the Delaware Supreme Court’s decision in ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund, 91 A.3d 554 (Del. 2014), the DGCL amendments invalidate “fee-shifting” provisions in certificates of incorporation or bylaws of stock corporations. In ATP, the Court upheld a bylaw imposing liability for legal fees of a nonstock corporation on certain members of the corporation participating in the litigation.

The new legislation narrows the ruling in ATP by way of new DGCL Section 102(f). That statute provides that a certificate of incorporation may not impose liability on a stockholder for the attorneys’ fees or expenses of the corporation in connection with an “internal corporate claim” as defined in new Section 115 (discussed below). The legislation also adds a similar restriction on fee-shifting provisions in corporate bylaws to Section 109(b). An amendment to Section 114 provides that the restrictions on fee-shifting provisions do not apply to nonstock corporations.

While the legislation invalidates fee-shifting provisions in certificates of incorporation and bylaws of stock corporations, it does not bar such provisions in stock purchase agreements or stockholders’ agreements.

Authorization of Delaware Forum Selection Clauses

The 2015 legislation confirms the holding of Boilermakers Local 154 Retirement Fund v. Chevron Corporation, 73 A.3d 934 (Del. Ch. 2013), adding a new Section 115 to the DGCL which confirms that a corporation’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws may require internal corporate claims to be brought exclusively in the courts of the State of Delaware. “Internal corporate claims” are defined to include claims of breach of fiduciary duty by current or former directors, officers, or controlling stockholders, or persons who aid and abet such a breach.

 Section 115 does not expressly authorize or prohibit provisions that select a forum other than Delaware courts as an additional, non-exclusive forum for internal corporate claims. However, it does invalidate any provision selecting courts outside of Delaware, or any arbitral forum, to the extent such a provision attempts to prohibit litigation of internal corporate claims in the Delaware courts. And, as with the fee-shifting amendments, it does not invalidate non-Delaware forum selection provisions in a stockholders’ agreement or other separate written agreements with stockholders.

Stock and Option Issuances

With respect to stock issuances, the new legislation amends Section 152 of the DGCL to clarify that the board of directors may authorize stock to be issued by the determination of a person or body other than the board, in one or more transactions and in such amounts and at such times as determined by the authorized party. In order to do so, the board must set certain parameters at the time it authorizes the issuance(s), including fixing the maximum number of shares that may be issued, the time frame during which such shares may be issued, and a minimum amount of consideration for which they may be issued.

Additionally, the legislation permits the board to delegate the ability to issue restricted stock to officers of the corporation on the same basis that the board may delegate the ability to issue options under Section 157 of the DGCL. Both Sections 152 and 157 are further amended to clarify that the board may determine the minimum consideration for such stock or options by way of a formula which references or is dependent upon extrinsic facts, including market prices.

Ratification of Defective Corporate Acts

The 2015 legislation makes several amendments to Section 204 of the DGCL, which sets forth the procedures for ratifying stock or corporate acts that would be void or voidable due to a “failure of authorization.” The amendments clarify and confirm certain provisions of the ratification process and provide additional guidance as to the specific requirements for the filing of certificates of validation, including: (1) confirming the requirements for a board of directors and stockholders to adopt and ratify one or more defective acts; (2) providing for ratification of the initial board of directors where it was not named in the original certificate of incorporation nor elected by the incorporator; (3) addressing the voting standards applicable to the ratification of the election of a director where the original vote obtained was defective; (4) clarifying the requirements for certificates of validation; (5) confirming the scope of acts by the board of directors or officers that may constitute a defective corporate act susceptible to cure by ratification; and (6) confirming that certain “voidable” acts may be cured by ratification under common law.

Implications: Action Items for Delaware Corporations

A Delaware stock corporation that has adopted a fee-shifting provision should consider amending its charter and/or bylaws, as applicable, to remove the provision because it will no longer be enforceable once the new legislation takes effect.

Further, Delaware corporations that have not previously adopted a Delaware forum selection clause should consider adopting one. And, as with fee-shifting provisions, a Delaware corporation that has adopted a forum selection clause prohibiting litigation of internal corporate claims in the Delaware courts should amend the clause to make clear that such claims may be brought in Delaware in addition to, or instead of, the forum currently specified.

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For more information about services for your legal needs, contact Nick Feldman at nfeldman@stubbsalderton.com or (818) 444-4541.

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Business Law Breakdown – Five Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for Your Startup, and Five Things to Look For When You Do

Nick-Feldman-smNick Feldman’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, private equity transactions and general corporate matters for both public and private clients, focusing on middle-market and emerging growth companies. In addition, Nick counsels companies in connection with entity formation, corporate governance, federal and state securities laws and compliance, joint ventures, employee incentive plans, executive employment agreements and other executive compensation matters.  Nick also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Loyola Marymount University, where he lectures on media law topics.

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In a perfect world, a business lawyer isn’t the person you run to when things go sideways—it’s the trusted advisor you consult regularly to anticipate challenges and put you in the best position to succeed. While it may seem like a luxury for some startups, there are several important factors to consider that make hiring a lawyer earlier than later a smart decision.

 

 Five Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for Your Startup

Guidance

At the incorporation stage, the value of a lawyer has as much to do with helping you figure out what you need as it does with preparing documents. When it comes to what kind of entity to form, how to structure and distribute equity, or the best strategy to protect your intellectual property, a good lawyer will help guide you toward where you need to be—and then get you there.

 Ownership

 When people embark on a business venture together, it’s best to establish everyone’s rights and expectations at the outset in case there are disagreements down the road. It’s a lot easier to resolve a conflict before it arises, and you’d never imagine anything could break the bond between you and your co-founders… until it does.

 Intellectual Property

Intellectual property can be one of the biggest assets—and, if not protected, liabilities—of a startup company. Whether it means preparing nondisclosure agreements to protect trade secrets, drafting license agreements, defending trademarks, copyrights, or patents, or avoiding infringement of all of the above, a good lawyer will keep you protected.

 Taxes

It probably goes without saying that you don’t want to violate tax laws or incur unnecessary tax liability, and that you want pay the taxes you owe so as to avoid penalties. Tax laws can be complex, and a good lawyer will keep you ahead of the curve on tax issues and structure your business accordingly.

 Contracts

Finally, there’s the day-to-day legal that every startup encounters. Airtight vendor agreements, employment and contractor documents, and website terms of service and privacy policies are all invaluable for startups to get right—the first time.

 

Five Things to Look For When You Do

 Expertise

First and foremost, you want someone that is skilled and experienced with the types of legal issues you will face. This includes both the underlying business issues and the challenges specific to your industry—an attorney with knowledge relevant to your business is best positioned to become the advisor you need.

For many startups across the board, it’s extremely advantageous to hire an attorney (and law firm) with experience in both formation and financing. An attorney who regularly helps companies get “up and running” but is also frequently involved in seed-stage and venture capital financing will be able to give you better advice, and better facilitate accomplishing your goals.

 Fit

It’s also important that your lawyer (and his or her firm) is a good fit for your company. This means someone that you get along with and enjoy working with, but also someone who “gets” your business and industry and has the resources at their firm to serve all your potential needs. If a lawyer doesn’t speak the language of your business or understand the world in which you’re operating, it’s harder for him or her to adequately represent you.

 Responsiveness

It should go without saying that you want a lawyer who responds to your calls and emails in a timely manner. What’s equally important is how they respond. A good lawyer shouldn’t just tell you “no.” They respond to a problem with the right questions and a new suggestion of how to get what you want: “This is what you can do.”

 Connections

 You might be thinking about your lawyer in terms of connections or cache, and you wouldn’t be alone in that thought. While the expertise, fit, and responsiveness of an attorney should take precedence, the ability of your lawyer to introduce you to investors or potential partners—as well as their guidance in how to do so and the credibility they lend—is simply part of the value proposition.

 Fees

 Let’s be honest: one of the biggest considerations in hiring a lawyer is the bottom line. The lawyers most start-ups deal with typically bill by the hour, and the hourly billing rate may vary widely between junior and senior lawyers. Depending on the complexity of your issue, the lawyer may be able to offer a flat fee arrangement to offer you some predictability, or at least offer an estimate of the amount of time it will take to complete the task at hand.

 If you make the time and effort to find the right attorney and firm, you can get quality representation at a fair price. In the long run, hiring a lawyer for your startup is worth it—in time and money saved, and stress avoided, by starting down the best path in the beginning.

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For more information about services for your legal needs, contact Nick Feldman at nfeldman@stubbsalderton.com or (818) 444-4541.

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