Helping You Navigate the Bankruptcy Process

Whether you have a large business or are just representing yourself, declaring bankruptcy is a complicated process. That is why Tsao-Wu and Yee LLP maintains a bankruptcy practice staffed by a seasoned legal team. Our firm based in San Francisco, California, handles both commercial and consumer bankruptcy cases. We counsel you both before and after bankruptcy, working with you individually to find workable solutions. Our team understands the difficulties you are facing and works tirelessly to aid you throughout the process.

Let our experienced professionals put an end to the misery of financial uncertainty. We help you determine whether you qualify for bankruptcy, figure out which type is right for your circumstances, and even shield you from creditor harassment before your petition is filed.

Many debtors are confused by the different types of bankruptcy available. There are several varieties, but the most common types fall under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.  According to Chapter 7, any property of value will be sold or turned into money to pay your creditors. However, you may be able to keep some personal items and real estate to protect the equity in your real property. Under Chapter 13, you can usually keep your property, but you must earn wages or have some other source of regular income. In addition, you must willing and able to pay part of that income to creditors.

In many circumstance, people file for bankruptcy to get a “discharge.” This is a court order stating that you do have to pay most of your debts. However, some debts cannot be discharged, including most taxes, child support, alimony, most student loans, court fines and criminal restitutions, and fines for personal injuries caused under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Numerous clients come to our bankruptcy team because they are worried about losing their home. If you own your home and are significantly behind in your mortgage payments, the mortgage-holding company may start legal proceedings to foreclose your home. If you have been served with legal papers stating foreclosure action against you, there is only a limited amount of time to save your home. Filing for bankruptcy before the scheduled date of the foreclosure sale automatically stops the foreclosure sale from taking place. Come to us as soon as possible to take action.

The Insight You Need for Business and Corporate Law

Keep your company strong with help from our business and corporate law team. Our attorneys provide the experience of a large firm, while also giving our clients the hands-on service that only a smaller firm can truly offer. We regularly go beyond the customary expectations, tailoring our work to your specific needs.

Our attorneys have decades of experience counseling companies and boards of directors in business and corporate law matters. Thanks to our knowledge, we bring you creative solutions for the development of your businesses, as well as resolutions for your legal problems that save you both money and time.

Armed with a long history of verdicts and settlements, we carry considerable weight into any negotiation or dispute. Our team is proud to assist domestic and foreign corporations with the following matters and many others:

  • Severance Package Creation
  • Employee Handbook Drafting
  • Representation for Contract Disputes
  • Representation for Employees in Employment Disputes
  • Corporation Creations
  • Employment Agreements
  • Employment Litigation
  • Business and Commercial Litigation
  • Representation and Arbitration Proceedings
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Asset Purchase Agreements
  • Shareholder Agreements

A Solid Legal Foundation for Your Construction Projects

Lay down a solid foundation for your construction project by working with our seasoned legal team. Our firm includes attorneys who specialize in representation for developers, general contractors, design professionals, and subcontractors. Count on our lawyers to assist you with a wide variety of legal issues, including contract drafting and negotiation, administrative law and insurance issues, and litigation representation for matters ranging from contract disputes to construction defect claims.

During construction litigation, our goal is always to aggressively represent our clients in a cost-effective manner. Our lawyers have extensive experience in handling litigation involving single-family detached homes, common area developments, and apartments, as well as matters involving commercial structures, bodily injury, property damage, and mold claims. We work closely with our clients to elicit their input in defending key matters and coordinating strategies with the insurer in order to develop the most effective defense.

Another significant benefit to our clients is the firm’s knowledge of insurance law and contractual indemnity issues. This specialized knowledge promotes a higher success rate in tendering claims to other insurers and parties, thereby either extricating our client’s involvement or significantly reducing the cost factor. We also ensure our clients obtain the full benefits of applicable insurance in order to minimize the overall cost of legal expenses.

Since our firm has in-depth knowledge of insurance law and contractual indemnity issues, we have a high success rate in tendering claims to other insurers and parties. This allows us to either extricate your involvement or significantly reduce your cost factor. We also utilize our specialized knowledge to ensure you obtain the full benefits of your applicable insurance to minimize the overall cost of your legal expenses.

Criminal Defense Representation Tailored to Your Case

Protect your legal rights by securing representation from a qualified criminal defense attorney. Our legal team has more than 30 years of experience with a broad range of criminal matters and we have conducted over 50 jury trials. In addition, we have several attorneys on staff who worked for the San Francisco district attorney’s office and the San Francisco public defender’s office.

We are well-accustomed to tackling tough cases, including those with immigration consequences. Our legal team is committed to serving our clients to our fullest capacity and conveying to the courts that our clients are individuals—not just another file from the court’s busy calendar.

To save you time, money, and stress, we aim to resolve your criminal defense issues without going to trial. We work closely with you through the discovery phase, the pre-trial or negotiation phase, and the sentencing phase to better your chances at a favorable outcome. However, if a trial is inevitable, we provide you with sophisticated and aggressive criminal defense. Our services include:

  • Criminal Record Expungement
  • DUI Case Representation
  • Sexual Offense Case Representation
  • Theft Case Representation
  • Domestic Violence Case Representation

General Litigation Assistance for Any Need

Thanks to our team’s wide range of experience, we are happy to provide general litigation services in every business area. This includes representing plaintiffs and defendants in contract disputes, business torts, zoning matters, real estate issues, licensing revocation actions, construction suits, employment and labor matters, bankruptcy, debtor-creditor problems, and probate litigation.

We are relentless advocates for our local and overseas clients. Our general litigation attorneys take your claim through every level of litigation and appeal if necessary, but also strive for the fastest and most practical solutions and settlements. At our firm, we have staff members with knowledge of every field of the law and experience from both sides of the aisle. Our flexibility allows us to handle everything from smaller cases against a single individual to complex litigation against major companies and government agencies.

Move Forward with Help from Our Immigration Team

As an international law, we are the team to turn to for all your immigration issues. We are committed to providing quality immigration services to both our corporate and individual clients. Our firm is known for its success in obtaining H-1B employment visas. We also specialize in family immigration and thrive at reuniting families from across borders and oceans. In particular, we have a strong track record with marriage-based adjustment of status petitions.

Our employment immigration services include assistance with EB-1 Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researcher, or Multinational Manager petitions, EB-2 National Interest Waiver petitions, Religious Worker petitions, and Labor Certification PERM. The employment immigration clientele we represent includes a wide range of professions, such as scientists, engineers, athletes, domestic workers, and even Buddhist nuns.

In the area of non-immigrant visas, our team has demonstrated success in securing many different types of visas for a diverse clientele. This includes H-1B professional worker visas, E-2 treaty-investor visas, TN visas for Mexican or Canadian citizens, P visas for athletes and entertainers, L-1 intercompany transfer visas, O-1 extraordinary ability visas, and R religious worker visas.

We are also established in the field of investment immigration. Our firm has experience with both the traditional, $1,000,000 investment program and the $500,000 regional center investment program. We strive to stay abreast of the changing laws and regulations to ensure that our clients’ investments result in permanent residency. In addition, we are able to draw on our business expertise to provide complete legal services to our clients, which may include company incorporation, formation, and structuring.

Over the years, our attorneys have assisted hundreds of clients with the citizenship and naturalization process. We even work around possible criminal issues that may affect your right to naturalize. Furthermore, we have successfully appealed on behalf of our clients before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in naturalization and adjustment of status proceedings, as well as before the immigration court in removal proceedings.

  • Patent Litigation
  • Patent Interferences, Reexaminations, and Reissues
  • Trademark Litigation
  • Copyright Litigation
  • U.S. International Trade Commission Litigation
  • Trade Secrets Litigation
  • Unfair Trade Practices and Unfair Competition Litigation
  • Appellate Litigation

Your Guide to Landlord and Tenant Legal Matters

Tackle confusing and often emotional landlord and tenant legal matters with help from our firm. In many Bay Area cities— including San Francisco— the residential real estate market is highly regulated by rent control ordinances. Not only do we help you navigate and comply with California law, we also carefully guide you through the complex rent control ordinances.

Our landlord and tenant services include assistance with unlawful detainer or eviction proceedings against nonpaying or noncompliant tenants, owner move-in (OMI) evictions, and Ellis Act evictions. In every case, we strive to achieve the best possible result for you. This may involve negotiations and settlements outside the courtroom so that both landlords and tenants can maintain a beneficial relationship. In the event that litigation is unavoidable, count on us to zealously advocate on your behalf.

We are also experienced in representing our clients at various rent board hearings, including decrease of services and illegal rent increase hearings. In addition, our legal team provides you with valuable legal advice and services regarding rent increases, security deposit issues, repair and maintenance issues, habitability, and revolving-tenancy issues.

Personal Injury Representation to Relieve Your Pain

Get on the road to recovery after an accident by working with our personal injury attorneys. Since opening for business, our firm has helped injured victims recover millions of dollars for injuries and wrongful deaths caused by the negligence of other people and companies. We specialize in representing individuals who are seriously harmed by automotive accidents, construction accidents, defective products, elder abuse, general negligence, insurance bad faith, medical malpractice, toxic substances, or unsafe premises. These often involve spinal injury, brain injury, and wrongful death matters.

When you suffer from a personal injury, you need a lawyer with a proven track record to handle your case and work towards getting the compensation that is due to you. Choosing an attorney to represent your case is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. In making this decision, you are taking the first step toward your financial and emotional recovery.

Count on us to represent you and your interest to the best of our ability throughout the entire process. We believe that effective representation entails more than just an initial consultation and a periodic phone call. Our personal injury team works closely with you because we understand that knowing where you stand with your case is essential to your peace of mind. When you hire us, we take an active, personal role in your case, advising you of your options, involving you in the decision-making process, and reporting to you on a regular basis.

Not all personal injury lawyers are the same. Many lack the experience needed to handle serious cases such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and wrongful deaths. More importantly, many lawyers have no intent on taking your case to trial if it is necessary to get you a fair settlement for your injuries. They simply settle cases for far less than the amount that you should be getting. Insurance companies know who these attorneys are and make settlement offers for a much smaller amount than you should receive.

While most cases do end up as settlements and never see the inside of the court room, having a personal injury attorney that will go to trial for you can help you get a much larger settlement offer. Our firm has a strong track record of obtaining the highest possible amount possible for our clients because our attorneys are always ready to fight for you. Furthermore, we handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless your case is won.

Cost-Effective Solutions for Real Estate Disputes

Work with attorneys who are committed to finding the most favorable and cost-effective solutions to your real estate disputes. Our firm’s property litigation lawyers have extensive trial experience before federal and state courts, arbitration panels, and administrative agency tribunals— including the California Coastal Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, and the California Department of Real Estate.

Join the many local and overseas clients who depend on our real estate legal team’s experience. Our clients include developers, builders, investors, commercial landlords and tenants, financial institutions, residential and commercial brokers, contractors, Fortune 500 companies, and multinational corporations. Reach out to us today if you need assistance with any of the following concerns:

  • Purchase and Sale Contracts
  • California Environmental Quality Act
  • Secured Transactions
  • Condemnation
  • Commercial Leases
  • Construction Contracts
  • Land Development
  • Construction Defects
  • Real Estate Investment Partnerships
  • Title Insurance
  • Brokerage Representation
  • Loan Modifications

Understand Your Rights According to Tax Laws

Take advantage of the existing tax laws to boost your financial health by consulting with our attorneys. We have extensive experience in representing both individuals and businesses of all sizes if you are in trouble with the IRS and the Franchise Tax Board. Our staff has experience in all areas of taxation, from offers in compromise and long-term payment plans to audit representation, late return filing, penalty abatement, wage garnishments, bankruptcy, and levy release.

Want to avoid imminent collection actions or remove levies and liens from your property? Our team can help. We also advise you on how to reduce or minimize the risk of future audits, penalties, and liens. In addition, consult with us to learn how to amend or submit unfilled tax returns to reduce the tax that the IRS or FTB has assessed against you. No matter what concerns you have, rely on us to give you the assistance you need.

Our firm is one of the few tax legal offices that is owned by lawyers. Most are owned by individuals who employ CPAs and enrolled agents. Furthermore, our office boasts attorneys who actually worked in government tax agencies, such as the Franchise Tax Board. With our inside knowledge of how public tax agencies operate, we leverage our experience and insight to better serve you.

Set up an appointment with us for a free initial consultation. During this consultation, our attorneys discuss with you the various ways we can help you with your specific tax problems. We work hard to negotiate installment payment agreements, secure the release of liens that are attached to your bank accounts, property, and wages, and work to reduce or eliminate tax bills that are in error. If you are unable to sell your home due to the tax liens, we help you request a discharge or subordination of tax liens to allow you to sell or refinance your property. Let our attorney know what issues are bothering you and our team will get to work right away.

Trust and Asset Protection By Qualified Attorneys

Preserve your wealth and prevent family crises with trust and asset protection by our firm’s qualified attorneys. Our full-service legal team offers estate planning, real estate legal representation, probate and trust administration, conservatorships, and all forms of real property, trust, and estate litigation, including arbitration. We can even be your staunch advocate in the event of a legal dispute and help you minimize your tax issues. Other services include family dispute resolution, Medi-Cal planning, and representation for elder abuse cases.

At our firm, we are proud to help business owners, executives, entrepreneurs, and other individuals and entities strategically manage their wealth to ensure maximum value in the future. Whether you are considering taking the first step in preparing for your future or you need to re-examine the arrangements you have made since your marriage or divorce, we encourage you to speak with one of our experienced trust and asset protection attorneys.

Our trust and asset legal team specializes in the preparation of trusts, wills, and other estate planning vehicles, as well as the administration of estates through probate or trust administration respectively. We encourage our clients to plan their estates wisely in order to protect their assets from unnecessary legal and tax expense. With our creative strategies, we provide you with continuity of management of an estate in the event of an untimely death or incapacity.

Contact our firm to learn more about our bankruptcy assistance, criminal defense representation, and other services. We proudly serve local and international clients at our offices in San Francisco and San Jose, California.