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How Can Commercial Transactions Go Wrong?

Every business relies on the ability to efficiently conduct transactions with its customers, without being impeded by unnecessary hurdles or concerns. And yet, any business that is not careful can find itself dealing with the consequences of a poorly thought out contract or some legal problem they did not foresee. Here are just some of the ways that commercial transactions can go wrong:

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The Pros and Cons of a Limited Liability Company (LLC)

It has become increasingly common in recent years for people to structure their businesses as limited liability companies, also known as LLCs. These types of companies can be good for some businesses, but they are not necessarily the best for everyone. Here are some of the pros and cons of organizing your business as an LLC:

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What is a Conflict of Interest, and How Can it Affect Your Business?

An often underestimated, but potentially dangerous, threat to any business is the risk of a conflict of interest among its executives or directors. If left unaddressed, a conflict of interest can result in a conflicted director or executive reaping potentially substantial profits at the expense of the business as a whole. But what exactly is a conflict of interest, and how do you avoid the potential problems that can be caused by a conflict of interest?

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Have You Had a Lawyer Go Over Your Business Contracts?

For many business owners, the concerns about how to handle day-to-day business are more than enough trouble. However, with business dealings come plenty of potential legal issues, especially when it comes to business contracts. If you do not have a lawyer review or draft your contracts before you sign them, it could cost you a lot of time, stress, and money. Here are just a few reasons why you should make sure a lawyer has gone over your business contracts:

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Why Might You Need to Get a Business Divorce?

While not strictly a legal term of art, a business needing to be broken up due to its owners no longer being able, or willing, to do business with one another may lead to a “business divorce”. The process of a business divorce can be nearly as complex and stressful as a personal divorce depending on the issues involved. But why would someone ever need to get a business divorce?

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Federal Court of Appeals Upholds Verdict in Favor of Wal-Mart Truckers

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a ruling in favor of Wal-Mart truckers, upholding a $54.6 million verdict in their favor. The ruling pertains to a class action suit filed by the truckers, alleging they were legally entitled to compensation for various expenses related to their jobs, which Wal-Mart refused to pay. The Court of Appeals upheld the verdict from the lower court, which said that the drivers were, indeed, entitled to compensation for these expenses. Continue reading “Federal Court of Appeals Upholds Verdict in Favor of Wal-Mart Truckers”

Pier 1 Imports, Inc. Puts Forward Bankruptcy Proposal

Pier 1 Imports, Inc. has said it will close as many as 450 stores and lay off thousands of employees as part of a bankruptcy plan it has presented to investors. Pier 1 Imports, a retail chain specializing in home decorations, has had difficulty maintaining its profitability in the face of the shift from physical retail locations to online shopping. If the bankruptcy plan is accepted, it is not clear whether Pier 1 will survive. Continue reading “Pier 1 Imports, Inc. Puts Forward Bankruptcy Proposal”

What Do You Need to Incorporate?

Incorporating your business can seem like a daunting prospect for anyone who has not done it before. While it is less complicated than many people think, there are many factors that go into incorporation that need to be considered for anyone seeking to incorporate a business. Here are the most important things you need to do so you can incorporate your business venture. Continue reading “What Do You Need to Incorporate?”

Why You Should Consider a Pass-Through Entity For Your Company

There are many ways to potentially organize a business, from partnerships to corporations to LLCs and more. However, certain kinds of companies are treated differently from others, and they are known as “pass-through” entities. Depending on your business’ needs, a pass-through entity could be exactly what you need to protect your business’ bottom line. Continue reading “Why You Should Consider a Pass-Through Entity For Your Company”

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?

Even in the legal profession, there aren’t very many people who enjoy going to court. Aside from being a stressful and time-consuming experience, it is also expensive and can take substantial time to resolve a case. It is unsurprising, then, that other methods of solving disputes have arisen, to avoid the time and expense necessary to conclude matters in court. For those who have a conflict with someone else they want to resolve without going to court, there is always the option of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

ADR generally encompasses three kinds of dispute resolution: negotiation, mediation and arbitration. The first, negotiation, is commonplace and mostly informal, simply involving the parties in a dispute talking to one another and coming to an agreement. In this circumstance, the parties have total control over the terms of their deal, with no outside involvement. Ideally, a constructive negotiation would be the beginning and end of any dispute, but unfortunately, circumstances are not always so ideal.

The next kind of ADR, mediation, is when the parties to the dispute hire an impartial third party, known as a mediator, to direct the negotiation and help them come to a mutual understanding. The mediator keeps matters organized, allowing both sides to make their case and helping them to put together an arrangement that will, hopefully, resolve the conflict between them. Mediation is more formal than mundane negotiation, but less formal than arbitration or going to court, and it is also significantly cheaper. Mediators do not have authority to make decisions about the dispute, and any settlement reached through mediation would need to be enforced in a court proceeding if one side repudiates or breaches the agreement.

Finally, the last form of ADR is arbitration, which, like mediation, involves bringing in an impartial third party (known as an arbitrator) to help resolve the dispute. Unlike mediation, however, an arbitrator is empowered to make legally binding decisions about the dispute. While less formal and expensive than going to court, arbitrators nevertheless have great latitude in terms of what evidence they accept and how they resolve a dispute.  Once it is decided, an arbitration award is very difficult to overturn or reverse. This means that anyone who wants to resolve a problem through arbitration needs to be very careful, lest they wind up going to court to contest an arbitration award that is no better than what they could have gotten for just bringing a court case in the first place.

If you are considering an alternative method of resolving your dispute, contact an experienced attorney who can help you decide if ADR is right for your situation. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones & Sweeney are skilled in the areas of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration as well as other areas of alternative dispute resolution. Call (973) 256-0456 or fill out our contact form for a consultation.

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