Why Your Chattanooga Business Should Have A Lawyer

So you’ve saved up some money, developed your own market strategy  and created a business plan. Congratulations on your primary steps in the direction of entrepreneurship! It might have been your childhood dream, or a spontaneous decision, but now you’re finally ready to get the ball rolling. But wait!

Have you contacted a Chattanooga Business Lawyer?

It’s usual to think people only require a lawyer when something is going wrong. This is a common misunderstanding! You don’t have to wait for a catastrophe to strike to hire a lawyer. This will benefit you both in the beginning stages and also before finding yourself in an urgent state. Below is a list of reasons why every business needs a lawyer.

1. Business Entity Formation

Your business structure will determine what liabilities you deal with, just how your entity is taxed, as well as how your profits are split. Right here is a brief checklist of the various types of business structures:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Corporation
  • S- Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

To learn more about this aspect, contact Mckoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce for a free legal consultation.

2. Trademark and Intellectual Property

You can have a wonderful product or service, but get lost it comes to picking the name. Did you know that Starbucks was nearly called “Pequod’s”? Or that Pepsi was first released as “Brad’s Drink”? However, a dull or ordinary name may just be the least of your concerns if you receive a cease and desist notice for unconsciously using somebody’s trademark.

Consulting with a lawyer first, can help you avoid this issue altogether.

At Mckoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, we understand that this is our work to research trademarks to make sure that you prevent infringement and to search any kind of potential issues. When your brand is developed, we will additionally assist in protecting your business’s name. Developing a trademark can be time-consuming. Having a lawyer take care of these matters can let you completely dedicate yourself to getting your new business started.

3. Contracts, Contracts, Contracts

Contracts play essential role in business, regardless of size and profits. This is a legal tool to handle sales, employees, and leases. Here are some examples:

  • Bill of Sale –  Formally specifies a property’s transfer of ownership
  • Warranty – As you may already know, a warranty compensates a customer if s/he receives a product that is defective or breaks down during its expected lifetime.
  • Employment Agreement – Though you may have discussed working conditions with an employee at the interview, this is not enough. You should have a legal document that outlines responsibilities and methods of payment to an employee.
  • Commercial Property Lease Agreement – One of the most crucial contracts you will have to sign. It’s the terms and conditions that you have with a property owner when renting out a space for your business. This concerns offices, stores, restaurants, and etc.

An experienced lawyer at your side can assist you in creating contracts to avoid potential legal issues. Mckoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce, PLLC will additionally lobby for your benefits in the contracts you make or enter into with the third parties.

4. Exit Strategy

Individuals most likely to have attorneys prepare a will to ensure that when the day comes, any type of disputes including the succession of their properties can be avoided. A Chattanooga business lawyer can help establish an exit strategy for your business as you expand, ensuring it will continue (or dissolve) in whatever manner you choose.

5. Disputes

In an ideal world, business partners stick together, nobody generates terrible ideas, and contracts are always upheld.

Yet, this is not always the case.

If there is anything lawyers are best at, it’s settling disputes. Nevertheless, when these problems do emerge, wouldn’t you want to have a lawyer that knows you personally and understands the aspects of your business?

When things fail, you’ll already have a legal team to lobby for your best interests. Contact McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stulce – Chattanooga lawyers experienced in  business law matters, large and small. (Please do not include any confidential information in your inquiry.)

What Should You Do If You’re Accused Of Shoplifting?

What should you do if you’re accused of shoplifting? Depending on the circumstances, it could be a minor little incident, or a potentially expensive criminal ordeal.

The amount of supposedly stolen products is a determining factor. It will influence whether  shoplifting will be met with a mere citation, or charged as a misdemeanor or even a felony. Exactly how you act when faced claimed shoplifting can also influence your case.

Here are five points to expect and also think about if you’re confronted a shoplifting accusation.

Remain Silent

Going mad could make things even worse and also often results in spoken hostility that you’ll want you might take back. Take a deep breath and count to 10 before you act or make any kind of statements. In fact, silence could be gold as just what you say could be used against you in court, so it might be best to request a Chattanooga criminal defense attorney and afterwards simply refuse to talk.

Know Your Rights

In terms of law, an owner of a store or security officers can actually detain you on suspicion of shoplifting while they wait for polices to arrive. Moreover, they have the right to check your bag or pockets for the proof of shoplifting, but should do it IMMEDIATELY and better with some independent witnesses. Otherwise, there’s a chance that somebody just planted a product on a person.

What you should also know is that they must have a strong reason that you were shoplifting, and can use only reasonable means and reasonable force to detain you. Any pressure or force that can lead to bodily injury is restricted and can serve as basis for a lawsuit down the road.

Know The Law

You do not need to actually “shoplift” to be charged. State legislations about theft differ, yet in several states, being a “lookout” or deliberately distracting bystanders’ focus away from a shoplifter could be prosecuted under shoplifting regulations. The crime of theft could likewise include changing or swapping price tags.

As for the Tennessee Law, the shoplifting or theft is defined by the following actions:

  • Concealing or removing the goods;
  • Changing or removing any price tags;
  • Removing the product from one container to another;
  • Causing a sales recording device (i.e. cash register) to show less than the actual price on a product;
  • Removing, destroying, deactivating, or evading a component of an anti-shoplifting device to commit or facilitate a theft;
  • Using an instrument, device, or container to commit or facilitate a theft; or
  • Activating or interfering with a fire alarm system to commit or facilitate a theft.

Contact A Lawyer

Criminal penalties are possible for all types of theft. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney could assist you examine proof and also obtain the most effective possible result for your particular situation. First-time founded guilty thiefs can usually get  social work or participate in an education program instead of tougher fines. In more serious shoplifting cases, a plea deal may be possible. That’s why spending some money for an attorney could possibly pay off big-time when you’re charged of theft.

If you need help with a shoplifting charge, contact a Chattanooga criminal defense lawyer immediately. McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC our Chattanooga criminal defense attorneys can protect the rights of the accused in the state and federal courts of Tennessee.  We have the resources and experience to handle a wide range of criminal charges, we are ready to step in and protect your rights as soon as possible.

Modifying Your Child Support In Chattanooga

Child support is the most controversial topic that parents fight over after divorce. Tennessee has “Child Support Guidelines” that courts should utilize to determine how much child support the parent without custody needs to pay weekly.

You can find out the amount of child support you must get with the help of Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. To fill in this worksheet, however, you will need info from the other parent’s financial statement. Since the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet has a built-in calculator you could use it to estimate how much child support the court may order. In some extraordinary circumstances, it could be a different amount.

Usually, the minimal amount of child support paid by another parent and determined by the judge is $80.00/ month. On the other hand, if a non-custodial parent has insufficient means, s/he can be discharged by the court from paying child support at all. But it doesn’t mean that one can simply quit the job not to pay. In case when another parent is unemployed, the court could order him/her to do job searches and to report his task search initiatives to the court.

Child Support: What If The Parent Has Other Children?

If the parent of your child has other children, you might get less amount of child support. Under the Child Support Guidelines, the court has to take into consideration the amount of child support the parent pays under an additional child support order before making a decision the amount of support for your child.

To find out just how this will influence your child support, you should understand how much the parent pays in support for the other children. Subtract that amount from the parent’s income before taxes. Use that number for the parent’s earnings when you use the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet to find out how much support s/he has to spend for your child.

For example, the other parent earns $200/week before taxes, and pays $50/week in support for another child. Deduct $50 from $200, and you get $150. This will be the amount to fill in the line for the parent’s weekly income when you use the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet to figure out how much support s/he must pay for your child.

Can I change my child support order to get more?

You could be able to get more child support if your “financial circumstances” have actually altered a lot from the moment of the last order. Some examples of changes that make a difference are:

  • the other parent’s income goes up by at least 20%;
  • your oldest child turns thirteen;
  • you made at least $20,000 when you got the order and also now you make less; or
  • one of your children was not living with you but has actually now moved back.

The actions to find out if the changes are sufficient to get your child support order changed are:

  • Check the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.
  • Fill out the new information.
  • Divide the answer you get on the Worksheet or online calculator by the amount of child support you get now.
  • If the answer is 1.2 or more, you might be able to obtain a new order.

You will certainly have to submit a Complaint for Modification to request for a new child support order.

Another important step is to pass a complaint on the other parent with the help of a sheriff or constable and include summons (a document that informs the other parent that the court is going to hold a hearing. At the hearing, the court could make a new order.). If your income is low, submit an Affidavit of Indigency form to ask the state to pay the constable’s fee.

As you can see, modifying the child support is a quite complicated process which requires collecting a lot of relevant information and documents. To avoid any mess with the paperwork or confusion, it is highly recommended to get in touch with a Chattanooga family law attorney. Whether you need a child custody attorney, a divorce lawyer, are trying to prove paternity and collect child support, or are unsure exactly what all might be involved with the impending dissolution of your marriage, your Chattanooga family law attorney at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC will protect your rights, help you pursue what is just, and ensure that your best interests are always at the fore of all proceedings.

 

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What Must Be Included In An Estate Plan

Approximately half of all Americans do not have a will, so if you’ve currently taken this vital step to protect your possessions and successors then you are to be congratulated – you’re doing everything right. While a will is an essential document that every person who has any possessions should have, it is still a relatively simple record that may not cover whatever you want it to. You could intend to take into consideration producing an estate plan that includes the use of a living trust, plus various other important documents like a power of lawyer for finances and also health care directives.
Below are some basic guidelines for what must be included in an estate plan.

1. Will.

A will provides for an executor of the estate, that will take care of handling the estate, paying financial debts, as well as distributing property as defined. The distribution of assets can be laid out in the will. This can be as wide or thorough as an individual wants. In a will, beneficiaries and also guardians for small children must be assigned. It could not appear essential to discuss minor children when going over seniors and also estate preparation, yet with the surge of grandparents raising grandchildren, this may without a doubt be an integral part of the will. A senior adult can spell out, in the will, how they desire their funeral and also burial to be carried out, too.

2. Living Will.

A living will describes an elderly’s wishes for end of life medical care. It could include, in as much details as the elderly desires, what medical therapies s/he would or would not want to have in certain circumstances. A living will takes the stress of making those choices off of family members and aids to keep peace in a family during times that can be tough and emotional.

3. Healthcare Power of Lawyer.

A healthcare power of attorney is likewise a key part of an estate plan. This legal document allows a person to lawfully make health care choices for an elderly adult. A durable power of attorney will remain basically for the senior if the senior ends up being incapable to make decisions.

4. Financial Power of Attorney.

A financial power of attorney assigns an agent that has the power to act on the senior’s behalf for issues connected with finances. The durable financial power of attorney remains in place if the person happens to be unable to manage their his/her affairs. By having a financial power of attorney in place, the stress and anxiety and cost of a guardianship could be avoided, and also the senior has the last word in who will take actions on managing finances.

5. Trust.

Setting up a trust could be beneficial for the distribution of specific assets or pieces of property. The benefit of a trust is that it does not go through probate, as compared with a will. Property is still distributed at the death of the trustmaker, yet it is done without the need of a court. This likewise ensures privacy of the trustmaker, where with a will as well as a probate, all of the deceased person’s assets and the the terms of their will is made public.
Having an estate plan is essential if you or your elderly loved one desires to have a word in what happens in the end of life and also with properties after death. Consulting and planning with Chattanooga elder law attorneys will help to ensure that all options are investigated and the most effective possible one is chosen.  At McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC, we will guide you through all of the necessary parts of the estate plan, provide explanation, and prepare the documents.  Chattanooga elder law attorneys will help take the guesswork out of estate planning.
If you have any kind of concerns regarding Elder Law or would like to get additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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Signs Of Retaliation In The Workplace

It cannot but please that working Americans across the country become more legally aware of their rights as employees. The cases of harassment or discrimination at work are well-known and typically found by the courts in favor of the plaintiffs. However, many still don’t know what is retaliation and don’t even realize they can fight back with the help of employment attorney. Unfortunately, sometimes it happens that the employer or manager harasses another employee not only basing on his/her origin and religion, but uses intimidation and humiliation. Here are the signs of retaliation in the workplace.

1. You’re Excluded or Left Out

Unfortunately, the silent treatment does not constantly stop after grade school. Actually, it’s one of the methods colleagues could exclude you from conversations connected to work. And if you observe that your co-workers are in a meeting and you’re still sitting at your workdesk, that’s another sign they’re leaving you out.

2. You’re Reassigned to a Different Shift or Department

An additional retaliation tactic is to relocate a staff member to a various division or switch their shift. Did you start from the advertising division developing exciting campaigns, and now find yourself stuck pulling reception duties?

Or perhaps you work at a telephone call center on the day change. All of a sudden your supervisor switches you to the 3rd shift after filing complaint. These scenarios make your life harder– a usual objective of office retaliation.

3. You Were Denied a Promotion or Raise

You’ve got an excellent feedback from your manager and applied for an internal promotion. A division you would certainly be working in has almost guaranteed you the job.

In the meantime, you have a conflict with one of the employees and submit a complaint with human resources. You believe there were a misconduct from his/her side – for instance, sexist remarks or rude behavior towards you. But this person happens to be a good friend of someone in a new division.

Next thing you find out, a younger employee with a lot less experience was promoted, and nobody will certainly tell you for what reason. Your supervisor fives you the cold shoulder when you try to clear things up and no one from the the other division is addressing your emails. Seems like retaliation for filing that complaint.

4. Your Salary or Hours are Cut

You work and perform your duties as usually but suddenly find out that your position with the company is at risk and the only way to save your job is to take a salary cut. Companies, especially small ones, often face financial difficulties and deduction of wages is a common instrument to stabilize the situation. However, this also may be a sign of retaliation.

But after a talk with the co-workers it seems strange that no one else in your department needed to take a cut in their pay. And it’s even stranger when a co-worker you just finished a project with received a bonus.

Another retaliation strategy is to considerably minimize your hours. If you typically work 30 hours a week but after some time realize that these amount dropped to 25 or even less without own initiative, think about it. Taking away your opportunity to work is as bad as reducing your pay, yet it’s much less noticeable.

5. You’re Fired from Your Job

This one is quite obvious. Let’s imagine you file a claim due to the fact that your employer isn’t really paying males and females the very same salary although they’re doing the same job. Next thing you know, you’re out of a work.

Though there are many reasons to be fired,  federal laws protect employees’ rights in such situations. For example, employers must not demote or fire a worker for taking qualifying or pregnancy leave.

Ending your employment with the company is just one of the most extreme retaliation tactics, however it takes place. And if that termination is a result of your complaint, it’s retaliation. State and federal law also prohibit retaliation against employees who assist in any harassment or discrimination investigations and any civil suits related to an investigation, as well as retaliation against employees who report any illegal activities of the employer to a government agency (also known as whistleblowers) or file claims.

A Chattanooga Employment Law Attorney Can Help Your

If you have noticed any of these signs of retaliation in the workplace, it’s time to protect your rights. The Chattanooga employment law attorneys of McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC,  have decades of experience representing public and private sector employees throughout Tennessee. Our employment law attorneys in Chattanooga handle state and federal court litigation, including trials, appeals, mediations, arbitrations, and settlements.

 

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