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Joseph Franklin Klatt

Joseph Franklin Klatt

The La Jolla Lawyer
  • Business Law, Legal Malpractice, Civil Rights...
  • California
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&AResponsive Law

Joseph F. Klatt is a veteran California litigator with demonstrated expertise representing individual and institutional clients in complex civil litigation matters. He is skilled in handling all facets of litigation, including initiating and planning a case, managing discovery, drafting dispositive motions and briefs, conducting depositions, trying and resolving cases, handling complex writs and appeals, and negotiating significant settlements in high stakes cases. He is recognized for handling complex, unique, and troublesome cases, providing innovative litigation strategies, looking at legal issues from multiple and unorthodox angles, and cost-effectively achieving his clients’ objectives.

Joseph was the Valedictorian of his law school class at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the McGeorge Law Review. While in law school he received Witkin awards for achieving the highest marks in over half of his graded units, including Contracts, Torts, Property, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Bioethics, Environmental Law, and Legal Process (Research and Writing). Joseph was voted the Outstanding Graduating Senior by the faculty, and is a member of the Order of the Coif and the Traynor Society. Joseph was a judicial extern for the Honorable Kimberly J. Mueller of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Joseph was born and raised in La Jolla, California, and graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in Cognitive Science with a Specialization in Neuroscience.

Practice Areas
  • Business Law
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Civil Rights
  • Real Estate Law
  • Appeals & Appellate
Additional Practice Areas
  • Litigation
  • Lawsuits and Disputes
  • Free Consultation
    30 minute free consultation. Additional consultation fees are waived for consults who sign with the firm.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
State Bar of California
ID Number: 258110
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Founder and Owner
The Law Office of Joseph F. Klatt
University of California - San Francisco
B.S. | Cognitive Science with a Specialization in Neuroscience
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University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
Honors: Valedictorian; Witkin awards for the highest marks in Contracts I & II, Torts I & II, Civil Procedure I & II, Constitutional Law I & II, Legal Process I & II (Research & Writing), Bioethics, and Environmental Law; voted Outstanding Graduating Senior by the faculty, and is a member of the Order of the Coif and the Traynor Society.
Activities: Editor-in-Chief of the McGeorge Law Review
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law Logo
Professional Associations
California State Bar # 258110
- Current
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Websites & Blogs
The Law Office of Joseph F. Klatt
Legal Answers
47 Questions Answered

Q. Some employees refuse to use company software - instant messaging - how can they be disciplined/forced to use it?
A: You should have clear, written policies about your expectations and the consequences. They should be applied uniformly to everyone. California employment is generally "at will" meaning you can fire and they can quit at any time. You can fire for any or no reason, with some limitations: you can't fire based on race, ethnicity, sex, religion, etc. or because they won't violate the law. A local employment lawyer can help you develop good policies and procedures, and good documentation to mitigate your liability risk if you have to terminate someone. You may want to look at an IT company to help you work with the software.
Q. If I am not a licensed psychologist, can I still say "I am a therapist"?
A: First thing, if you are not an MD do not hold yourself out to being one, directly or indirectly. For instance "psychiatrist" suggests a medical license. There are a number of paramedical professionals with degrees . You do not want to be confused for claiming a degree or license that you do not have. If you do, you may be accused of trying to practice medicine without a license. Now there are a number of therapist licenses, titles, and degrees you could have "e.g. marital and family". If you have that license, be specific. If not, be more specific. If you don't have formal credentials, then change your PR materials. For instance you can be a "xxxxxxx coach" without inferring any degree, but you can still promote yourself and your business. Just do not look like a fake doctor.
Q. My rental agreement gives me "nonexclusive" rights to 2 bedrooms. These are my only rooms. What does this mean for me?
A: This sounds like a lease that an attorney did not draft. But it says what it says, so you need to deal with it. Your lease gives you a right of possession to some real property. If it is non-exclusive it means that you cannot exclude another party who may have possessory rights too (this is common in common areas like walkways and pools). This necessarily diminishes any expectation you have of privacy or exclusive possession (e.g. "Mine, get out!"). This means that you may have to endure other people having access to your space. Now the landlord's ability to restrict, that is suspect. Unless your lease says otherwise, your right of possession to your rental means you can reasonably invite people into it. That another tenant or the landlord also has rights to the space does not diminish yours. Check the terms of your lease. And, not to be presumptuous, but, check for potential other places. This kind of situation tends to get worse, not better. Escape while you can.
Q. Can a restraining order me filed against me when I texted my ex after 2-3 years of non contact?
A: She can always seek a RO. Anyone can. Whether it will be granted is another story. It depends entirely on your history and that of your relationship with your ex. If I were you, I would stop any further contact. If you absolutely have to say something, say that you will respect her wishes and not contact her again. And then don't. Preferably, just don't. Whatever happened before, it is toxic now, and the best thing you can do is give it space to breathe.
Q. New owner of multi-family property is seeking copies of tenants' lease/rental agreements
A: Great question. Your first step should be asking the seller for the agreements. There is a decent chance that the purchase and sales agreement you used to buy the property requires them to provide this information. That failing, you can always ask the tenants. Just be aware that you are bound by the prior leases, for their full terms and whatever conditions and promises were in those leases. You can ask the tenants to sign new leases, but they have no obligation to do so. They will probably want to at the end of their term, because at that point you can alter the lease (although statute may limit the amount of rent increase you can ask for). There is no database that saves leases, so you have to work with the former owner or the tenant if you need a copy.
Q. Can I sue California for discrimination and unconstitutional gun laws?
A: You can challenge a law as being unconstitutional if you have been concretely and particularly injured by the law. The interpretation of the Second Amendment is in question right now, and there is a great deal of litigation involving the interpretation and extent of the Amendment. For a simple example, the 2nd Amendment says, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." People argue about the prefatory clause and whether a /regulated/ militia is a precondition to the right to bear arms. Some people challenge the definition of what "arms" are based on the types of arms that were available at the time the Amendment was enacted, as opposed to the weapons we have now. (George Washington never had an AR-15.) The analysis is nothing close to clear. (The late Antonin Scalia, a 2nd Amendment proponent, noted that the early colonies had laws against 'menace', which was brandishing a weapon in public, and those laws were within the conception of the 2nd Amendment). Some originalists or State's rights advocates will point out that the 2nd Amendment (and the entire Bill of Rights) applies to Federal power, not state power, and it was only the liberal Courts between the 1930s and 1970s that applied the limitations on Federal power to the States under the 14th Amendment. Those same advocates can and have argued that the Bill of Rights should not be reflexively applied to the States when they were originally intended to be a limitation only on Federal power, and what power is with the Federal government is retained by the States. The law is in flux. Lawmakers are trying to balance badly worded sentences from the 1700s with a modern reality that doesn't quite fit them. If you can contribute to that discussion from your own experience and knowledge that will be more effective than any litigation sortee. The constitutional litigation on these matters is already in full swing, and where it will land is uncertain. If you want to join it, I would suggest you look up the constitutional advocacy groups that are pursing this litigation, and find one that is consistent with your views.
Q. Can you be fired because someone does not like you?
A: Almost all employment in California is "at will." You can quit at any time, and the employer can fire you at any time, and for reason. The exceptions are when the termination violated public policy, such as firing someone because of a protected characteristic, such as race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, etc, or in violation of a law, e.g. retaliation against a whistleblower. The employer not liking you (it's not a good fit) is perfectly, generically acceptable, if it is true. You should look into claiming unemployment benefits, because such a termination is not for any "misconduct" on your part, and you may very well be entitled to unemployment while you look for another job. Talk to a local employment attorney if you have any questions.
Q. Filed a motion to disqualify opposing counsel for Ethical misconduct. The state bar also has opened up a case against
A: You can never know how much attention the Court gave to your papers. If they were properly filed ad formatted, then the odds are quite high that they were fully considered. The opposition is generally due 9 court days before the hearing (start at the hearing date, don't count the hearing date, and if the last date ends on a holiday or weekend, keep sliding backwards until you find an open Court day). Most courts have a tentative ruling system, where the Court will post its tentative (not final) ruling the day before the hearing, usually around 2:00 p.m. This gives you an idea of where the Court is headed so you can decide whether to contest the tentative, and if so, what to show up and argue.
Q. Can an employee work you a 101 hrs in a pay period without paying you any over time
A: If your pay period is twice a month or once every two weeks, then that number of hours will put you into overtime. Mr. Pedersen's answer is more specific as to the details on the ways you can get into overtime territory, but 101 hours in two weeks will necessarily put some portion of those hours into overtime (presuming you are a non-exempt employee). If you are paid monthly, it could be OT, and it could be OK. You are best off looking for a local employment attorney that is fluent in "wage and hour" cases. She can tell you what is OT and what is not, and can do the other related analyses for a wage an hour claim. This area of law can be quite technical, and you are best served by retaining a local employment attorney. In many cases of this type, you can recoup your attorney's costs and fees from the employer, provided you can prove your case.
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Contact & Map
Law Office of Joseph F. Klatt
1128 Wall St
La Jolla, CA 92037
Telephone: (858) 454-2500
The Law Office of Joseph F. Klatt
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. #959
Beverly Hills, CA 90210