760-579-7694 jstine@jstinelaw.com

Legal Services

Joseph Stine Law legal services are provided by an experienced Carlsbad attorney who handles legal issues regarding real estate and business in Northern San Diego County.

The information you obtain on this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

See below for further details on legal services offered by Joseph Stine.

Real Estate

Real Estate

house-1800rEffectively handling common real estate-related disputes is the cornerstone of my practice. I have represented buyers and sellers in disputes arising out of home purchases and commercial leases. I have enabled property owners to disengage from unworkable joint title arrangements with estranged family members or former romantic partners. I have helped clients deal with disagreeable neighbors on rights-of-way, overhanging trees, misplaced fences, nuisances, and other adjoining property issues. In each case, my experience as a mediator has allowed me to explore ways to resolve disputes without unduly prolonging or complicating the conflict.

When in litigation, I aggressively argue my client’s most favorable legal position while keeping an eye out for settlement opportunities that are reasonable and save money. Over ninety-five percent of all civil cases are settled or otherwise resolved without trial. California courts urge parties to use mediation and other alternative dispute resolution processes to resolve their dispute before the day set for trial. As a litigator, I look for potential avenues for settlement throughout the litigation process while at the same time preparing for trial in the event that a judge or jury must decide case..

Most of my real estate-related work arises from property disputes, issues, or transactions in northern San Diego County. If the matter goes to litigation, the case is typically heard in the North County Division of the San Diego Superior Court in front of independent calendar judge with whom I am familiar. The Vista Court offers multiple settlement processes including mediation, attorney settlement panels, and judicial settlement conferences. I have extensive experience in each of these processes and have settled hundreds of cases as a mediator appointed by the Court.

My law practice style is to vigorously advocate for the client’s interests without being overzealous or unnecessarily contentious. Every effort is made to look for cost-effective, creative avenues for resolution to prevent the dispute from degenerating into a highly personal confrontation that inflames party emotions. I am skilled in strategically employing the best settlement process for the particular real estate dispute and counselling the client on how to take full advantage of that process in order to put the case behind him.

I have many decades of experience serving clients in and outside of litigation in the following:

Residential & Commercial Transactions: escrow-related issues, due diligence reviews during pending sales, deposit retention and returns, undisclosed property defects, real estate agent issues, leases, options to purchase

Adjoining Property Disputes: access rights over private roads and pathways, encroachments, property line issues, nuisances, view disputes, trespasses

Ownership & Title Issues: co-ownership dissolution, title disputes, adverse possession claims, condominiums, foreclosure issues

Homeowner Association Disputes: covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R) violations, fees and assessments, noise complainants, informal and alternative dispute resolution processes, association governance, architectural standards, property maintenance issues

Public Land Use Controls: zoning, conditional use permits, variances, subdivisions, code compliance issues, fees and exactions, dedications, building and development permits, discretionary permitting processes, court challenges to governing body decisions

Business Client Services

Business Client Services

laptop-typing-890wBusiness is conducted in a sea of ever changing, often complex laws.  When we sign a contract, we create private laws that control our affairs with another party.  Every year the California Legislature passes new laws impacting commercial activities.  Courts interpret and apply these statutes irrespective of whether businesses are aware of them when they conduct business.  Yet the law is critical to a business’s ability to collect money due to it, avoid unnecessary litigation, understand its contractual rights and duties, and otherwise protect its bottom line.

Unfortunately, too often small to modest-sized enterprises make big legal mistakes because they do not have convenient access to an experienced business attorney who knows them, their business, and their legal needs.  Employing full-time in-house counsel is typically cost prohibitive for modest sized enterprises.  Without timely legal guidance, however, these businesses often leave themselves vulnerable to a variety of preventable legal claims that can deplete their finances and distract them from commercial activities.

My practice provides cost effective legal service to small and modest-sized businesses without in-house legal counsel in connection with contracts and claims. Whatever the size or type of business, I offer preventative legal counsel to reduce or eliminate liability exposures, draft contracts to protect their interests, and provide aggressive, yet pragmatic representation regarding damage claims in litigation or outside of court.

Contract Services:  Reviewing, preparing, and negotiating business agreements (e.g., joint enterprise arrangements, service agreements, buy/sell agreements) and real estate documents (e.g., purchase/sale agreements, liens on property, commercial leases).

Claims Services:  Representing businesses in recovering losses caused by others, defending businesses against claims seeking damages, including disputes that are in litigation (e.g., collections, breach of contract, business interference).

Resolving Civil Disputes

Civil Litigation

meeting-roomrCivil disputes come in many forms.  A person may have a disagreement with a neighbor, associate, customer, contractor, service provider, or party to a real estate or other business transaction. He or she may suffer a loss due to another’s failure to meet a commitment.

Often it makes sense to obtain an objective opinion from a competent attorney on whether a person has a legally supportable claim and, if so, what are the best options for obtaining money damages or other remedies at the least expense.  Perhaps someone refuses to pay as and when agreed.  A person buys a house and discovers undisclosed, significant defects. A business associate or property co-owner fails to meet an obligation or properly account for expenses.  A neighbor interferes with use of or access to an adjoining home.

Other times an attorney can intelligently evaluate and respond to a demand letter. A homeowners association threatens action against one of its homeowners.   A public entity determines that a property owner is in violation of local ordinances and demands the owner take or cease certain action.  A contractor records a lien against a house after the owner refuse to pay for construction work that he feels is substandard. An individual may be served with a lawsuit that requires a response must be filed in court within thirty (30) days.

Whether you are the complaining or defending party in a civil dispute, there are times that you need legal assistance.  Trying to represent yourself can compound problem.   (Attorneys personally involved in civil disputes often hire other attorneys to sort out alternatives and provide representation.)  Using a competent attorney as your “point person” in the matter may benefit you over both the short and long terms.

I have been helping private parties and public officials intelligently, effectively handle civil disputes since 1982.  A wealth of practical experience, including insights gained from working for judges, is utilized to assess legal problems and suggest the most appropriate course of action.  I persuasively present the client’s claims or defenses to opposing parties but with care not to needlessly increase hostilities. Every effort is made to explore options for reasonable resolution through negotiation while at the same time being aggressive in representing the client in court.

In the vast majority of civil disputes, I have been able to negotiate a settlement that avoids the need for an expensive trial.  Mediation is often timely employed to facilitate a resolution agreeable to all parties and preferable to prolonged legal proceedings ending with a judgment imposed by a judge or jury.  As an experienced mediator as well as an attorney, I am able to prepare clients to make the most of their opportunities to end the dispute on favorable terms during a mediation or settlement conference.

My legal services are particularly well-suited for pragmatic clients who desire rigorous representation but who would support a reasonable, cost-effective settlement negotiated through their attorney.