My Business Partner Is Suing Me. What Should I Do?

Starting business is always risky and the end result – a successful trade agreement or unsuccessful bankruptcy process – mostly depends on its owners. In some circumstances, business partners fail to find a compromise and for many reasons one can sue another. Potential results from a lawsuit between partners can cause a dissolution of business, holding a partner directly liable for a breach of agreement, or even exclusion of one business owner from the business. Finding the best legal solution in this case depends on many factors, from the type of a lawsuit and partnership to the reasons which led to it. However, business attorneys from Mckoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC recommend to take these three steps upon receiving notice of being sued by another business partner.

My Business Partner Is Suing Me. What Should I Do?

Get in touch with a Lawyer

Because the result of a claim between business partners can be so substantial, it is recommended to talk with an experienced Chattanooga business lawyer who is well-informed about the legal issues Chattanooga area businesses Face. With the help of a lawyer, you could find the best legal options that can be offered in your particular case as well as assistance with preparation to any kind of possible results. Even more, if the lawsuit continues to litigation, then a lawyer will already know all the details and be able to advocate on your behalf in the courtroom.

Check out the Partnership Agreement

No business partnership can work without a partnership agreement which defines the rights and responsibilities of each partner to manage and conduct the business. Moreover, it describes the process and available damages to each partner in case of a legal action. However, not all of these provisions could be valid or enforceable, so it is important to have a lawyer to check out your partnership agreement and determine if it has any legal force. What is more important, our business lawyers at Mckoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC will definitely clarify the lawful terms of the partnership agreement, making certain that each business partner fully understands the provisions of a document and how they effect their rights and responsibilities.

Collect Business Records

Business documents will certainly be essential in any type of claim regarding the company. These consist of financial declarations, regulatory filings, as well as any kind of paper relevant to the lawsuit. Occasionally, during a legal action in between business partners, one of them could restrict access to these vital records. Consequently, it is necessary to retain a duplicate of your company records whenever possible. Furthermore, Mckoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC  will require as much details as possible to be able to provide detailed advice on how best to proceed in a lawsuit.

Because a legal action by a business partner could have serious, far-ranging consequences for you and also your business, it is necessary for you to connect to a legal representative that could ensure your lawful rights are protected. McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC offers the knowledge, skill, and experience needed to help clients navigate the legal complexities inherent in Chattanooga business law matters, large and small. If you are looking for a lawyer, schedule a consultation. (Please do not include any confidential information in your inquiry.)

Which Restrictions Are Legal In Employment Agreements?

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The law obliges all types of businesses and companies to conclude an agreement with their employees to secure both sides. Employment agreements also ensures that certain guidelines and rules remain in place, and the business also could impose limitations on employment that could cause fines for certain behavior. Meanwhile, the business should follow both state and labor laws as well as  federal wage and labor standards.

Protecting the intellectual property and confidential information within the company is essential for its operating. It is possible to enforce limitations that are practical and also ideal for the sort of information that employees will have to deal with during the working process. By developing as well as applying limiting contracts, the employer could offer a base of valid yet legit and secure activity both in and out the working space. This is possible through specific methods and legal responsibilities in agreements with workers such as the nondisclosure agreement, non-compete contract and various confidentially forms. It is also necessary that the proprietor has a lawyer to ensure such documents are enforceable in a law court. So, which restrictions are legal in employment agreements?

Confidentiality Restrictions

This is one of the most typical restrictions that can be found in almost any employment agreement. Confidentiality restrictions are designed to protect the company from an employee disclosing its information to third parties by allowing the employer to claim for injunctive and financial damages. Considering the last incident occurred to Elon Musk and his Tesla, Inc., where disgruntled employee hacked the system and stole confidential information, it is no small thing. It could additionally limit the use of confidential information by the worker while employed. The type of data that could be restricted is practically unlimited.

Termination Restrictions

Employment contracts can consist of constraints on termination. These restrictions could supersede any state law that presumes “at-will” employment. At-will employment suggests that either the employer or staff member may end the employment for any type of reason (or no reason) except for provided for by legislations securing workers from discrimination and various other illegal practices. Employment agreement could have “for  cause” constraints that don’t necessarily imply misbehavior but can consist of “continued incapacity to perform” or a few other given reason. If the term “cause” is not specified in the contract, the courts will need to determine what exactly the parties implied by the term.

Non-Compete Restrictions

In some situations, an employer will seek ways to protect the company from staff members taking customers or trade secrets should they leave. Because of the market being over-flooded, it is essential to stand out of the crowd of your competitors. To accomplish this, the employer puts non-compete restrictions in the employment agreement. However, numerous states have actually recognized such limitations invalid. For example, in Tennessee non-compete agreements or restrictive covenants are not always enforceable and are generally not favored by the courts. To determine whether such restriction is legal, courts review the possible risks the employer could face without it and the economic hardship imposed on the employee by the agreement.

Other Restrictions

The other types of restrictions may concern relationships with colleagues or the employer. For example, under the non-disparagement clauses, employee is prevented from saying negative or disparaging things about the employer. To avoid any interference into the relationships between the employer and customers or vendors, non-interference restrictions may be included in the employment agreement.  Non-solicitation restrictions protect against the worker approaching other workers for the purpose of getting them to leave the firm.

Legal Assistance in Employment Agreements

Whether you are an employee or employer, you should remember that the main purpose of employment agreements is to maintain confidence in the both parties interests during employment. It is strongly recommended to search for legal assistance while signing or concluding such type of agreements.

If the former or existing worker encounters unnecessary hardship for agreements as well as restrictive agreements, they could need to work with an attorney to seek a situation against the employer. The Chattanooga employment law attorneys of McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC, will work hard to shield the client from negative impact on the business or industry and seek a positive outcome. Contact us today!

Bankruptcy Options For Small Business

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Many small business companies stop working because of various factors, and frequently find themselves faced with deciding if filing for bankruptcy protection can improve the situation. Bankruptcy is a procedure you experience in federal court, designed to help your organisation get rid of or settle its financial debt under the guidance and protection of the bankruptcy court. Business bankruptcies are typically described as either liquidations or reorganizations depending upon the type of bankruptcy you take.

Depending on your company type, there are three bankruptcy options available for you.  Sole proprietors are lawful extensions of the owner. The owner is accountable for all properties as well as debts of the company. A sole proprietor can choose between Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Corporations and partnerships are legal entities separate from their owners. Because of this, they can file for bankruptcy protection Chapter 7 or Chapter 11.

Business Bankruptcy – Chapter 7

Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the most effective choice when the business has no future. It is generally described as liquidation. It is generally used when the debts of business are so overwhelming that restructuring them is not feasible.

Chapter 7 is also a good option when business does not have any kind of significant possessions. If a service is simply an expansion of a specific proprietor’s skills, it normally does not pay to reorganize. Chapter 7 bankruptcy generally suggests that the business is dissolved.

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a trustee is appointed by the bankruptcy court to seize the assets of business as well as distribute them among the creditors. Once creditors got what they lent and the trustee is paid, a sole proprietor obtains a “discharge” at the end of the case.

A discharge means that the business owner is released from any type of responsibility for debts. On the other hand, partnerships and corporations do not receive a discharge.

Business Reorganization – Chapter 11

Chapter 11 is a better solution for business that might have a future. Chapter 11 is a strategy where a company reorganizes and keeps on working. It is reorganized under a court-appointed trustee. In this case, the business owner might in fact be the trustee him/herself.

The company should provide a detail plan of reorganization outlining how it will handle its creditors which later vote on the plan. If the court considers your strategy to be fair and equitable, chances are your plan will be approved.

According to such reorganization plans, the company may be able to make payments to creditors for as long as twenty years. This may be useful if the amount of money is big and cannot be paid in the short term. However, Chapter 11 may be exceptionally complex and complicated if you’re not working together with an experienced Chattanooga Bankruptcy attorney.  It usually takes over a year to confirm a plan without professional legal help.

Personal Bankruptcy – Chapter 13

Though Chapter 13 bankruptcy is intended for reorganization of personal assets and properties, it still can be used for sole proprietors. You file a repayment plan with the bankruptcy court outlining exactly how you are going to settle your financial debts.

The amount you need to pay back depends on not only how much you owe, but also your income and assets you own.  If your personal assets are entailed with your company ones (this is typically the case for sole proprietors), you can stay clear of problems such as losing your house if you submit Chapter 13 versus Chapter 7.

As you can see, there are many options for a business that faces financial difficulties. But which to choose? McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC recommends to consult with a good Chattanooga bankruptcy attorney prior to making such an important decision. Our services range from debt consolidation to representing your interests in bankruptcy court – and everything in between. Call us today for a free consultation and start the process of getting your business back on track.

New City Hall Was Named After One Of Our Attorneys

In may, one of attorneys from McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC was honored to have a new city hall named after him. This decision was made by the commission at Thursday session on May 17. With more than 30 years of professional experience, attorney Arnie Stulce is known for helping Chattanooga with legal matters and being a mentor to many. It was also pointed out by Red Bank outgoing Mayor John Roberts.

A few years ago, Red Bank bought a building two doors down on Dayton Boulevard. In February, the commissioners voted to renovate this old building and open a new city hall which will cost $681,040.

After the renovation, the building will have offices for the city manager, the city recorder, the finance director, director of public works, office staff and a receptionist. Also, there will be a special room for local public meetings.

It has actually been designed to meet the city’s new design criteria using approved building materials and glass. The parking area will be defined by short walls and landscaping. Upon completion of the new building renovation, the existing structure will become the police department.

Attorney Arnie Stulce was truly surprised and shocked at the news. The team of attorneys at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC is glad to congratulate its member on such an occasion. It’s a real honor to work together with a person who did so much for Chattanooga. This is yet another proof of the high professionalism of the attorneys at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC. 

 

 

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