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.)

Tennessee Law: Crimes Involving Weapons

Using a weapon during the commission of any kind of crime makes the potential penalty for that offense dramatically harsher. In Tennessee these offenses are described as dangerous offenses.

A dangerous offense is defined by law as one that involves the usage or threatening exhibition of a fatal weapon if there is deliberate or recognizing infliction of a significant physical injury on another individual. A dangerous instrument can be anything that is utilized or threatened to be made use of that is readily capable of triggering fatality or significant physical injury. In some circumstances, this might be even a cushion. A deadly weapon is anything created for lawful use including a firearm. Dangerousness is an additional aspect that makes a normal felony offense worse.

The reason the dangerous offenses are so major is due to the fact that dangerous offenses carry their own sentencing structure. That suggests that a person who has not previously been convicted of a felony offense, who would usually be qualified for probation in most situations, would be called for to be sentenced to a prison sentence if convicted. To put it simply, even if it is the very first time a person is involved in a crime, using a gun can lead to a jail sentence.

Sentencing Structure

Dangerous offenses, like various other felony offenses, are identified depending upon the type as well as severity of the underlying felony offense committed. One of the most major dangerous offense, beyond murder, is a class to dangerous felony offense. The least serious dangerous offense is a class 6 felony, and also other offenses can fall anywhere in the middle. Each of these offenses carries with it mandatory prison sentences with the course 2 felony resulting in a much longer sentence than a class six felony. For instance, someone founded guilty of a class to dangerous felony offense would certainly be forced to spend in between 7 as well as 21 years behind bars with the presumptive or starting point being 10.5 years. In contrast, a person founded guilty of the same class 2 felony, without the dangerousness enhancement would certainly encounter a jail sentence range of 3 years to 12 years with a presumptive or starting point of five years in prison.

Dangerous felony offenses are extremely serious. They are considered to be among the worst of the worst offenses that a person could be charged with. Consequently it is incredibly crucial that you speak to a certified, experienced criminal defense attorney if you have actually been accuseded of a dangerous felony offense. Is very important to start working on these sorts of cases from the very beginning starting  to minimize the prospective risks an individual faces.

If you or somebody you know has been charged with a dangerous felony offense in Chattanooga or Tennessee area, please do not be hesitate to contact McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC. Our Chattanooga criminal defense attorneys are ready to step in at any point of the criminal process, from right after your arrest or when bail is posted to your arraignment or trial.  Discuss your rights with a criminal defense attorney and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome that you can in your case.

Tips To Avoid Contractor Disputes

Contractor disputes are amongst the worse possible problems that may occur through building projects as well as programs between parties. Understanding the best ways to reduce the damage as well as decrease the issues between both firm or individual and the contractor is important in maintaining the project progressing until the final arrangements.

One of the primary factors when hiring a specialist is the job contract. If the owner or firm and also the contracting owner or company has the ability to discuss a legal contract between them, they may have set goals and obligations. By keeping to the tasks within the agreement, it is much easier for both parties to make certain the job proceeds with minimal disputes. There are various other means to reduce the damage that disputes could cause and prevent problem that might lead to lawsuits.

Deviations from the Project

The first tip to avoid contractor disputes which are typically caused by construction delays is avoiding deviations from the initial plan. Very often some new tasks or requirements are added in the middle of the project. Such alterations to the initial construction plan may extend completion day, cause issues, postpone the current work as well as raise costs considerably. In numerous constructions, the professional does not receive extra payment unless the contract mentions it. Nonetheless, deviations might also trigger legal problems. Preventing adding any type of new tasks reduce the problem between the involved parties.

Lack Of Understanding

Unfortunately, this is the most common and worst reason why the construction projects end up with contractor disputes. This could happen within the agreement both sign or through modifications that become necessary. The delays might start with a modification that the owner wants, yet if the change is very important to keep the project progressing, the contractor would be forced to give up fighting over the issue. If other parties are involved into the project (for example, other subcontractors or contractors), this can result in greater misunderstanding of what is top priority for the project and owner.

Lacking an understanding of certain matters should increase communication to remove a possible dispute between the parties. The best method to eliminate a lack of understanding is to have an open dialogue concerning the potential issues and keeping track on what is happening with the project.

The Importance of Risk Assessment

To minimize conflicts between the contractor and the owner, interaction is vital. The risks of the project often lead to delays or even end of the project.  To prevent this as well as other problems, the two parties should assess the potential risks the work will have as well as any kind of dangers that might boost disagreements with the contractor or the owner. The importance of risk assessment of the project, materials, information, the range of tasks and other matters is terrific. Without appropriately assessing these issues, disputes can wreck the project and cause legal issues.

Through analyzing the risks in a break down in exchanges of information, the professional and owner might stay clear of possibly fatal issues. The conflict over payment, schedules, excusable and inexcusable delays and resources may have a remedy if both are open to a peaceful discussion. It is important to optimize each factor and aspect of the contract and project process at every stage of the job.

Legal Assistance with Contractor Disputes

Whether you are a general contractor, subcontractor, vendor, supplier, owner or developer, a construction law attorney from McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC will assist you in effectively and efficiently resolving your disputes. Even if legal action is not necessary, the lawyer may have details or advice on how to ensure the project progresses and disputes with the contractor will have a resolution. Contact us, if you face any issues with the construction law. 


What To Do With Construction Delays

Delay is one of the most common root cause of construction lawsuits for non-private, residential projects. Delays may descend from one specialist or company to another, creating a domino effect that can result in a very pricey conclusion. Besides, time is money, and delays on industrial tasks can mean expenses of thousands and even millions dollars to the property owner.

When the size of a few tiny, apparently unimportant delays are determined throughout an entire project, they can become really significant, as could their final cost to the project. Unfortunately, there is little that could be done to stop the actual delays from occurring. Even an iron clad contract could not prevent the delay, only try to change the damage brought on by the delay to an party more capable of stopping that delay.

In order to justify a claim for damages caused by a construction delay, one requires more than mere original plans and as-built drawings. Expertise and also experience are needed in areas such as accounting, job monitoring, scheduling, estimating, approaches, and performance evaluation, and usually you need to hire a specialist to help with all the analysis. This implies working with an attorney before job has actually begun who will certainly be able to help you minimize the damage brought on by any type of delays as well as to manage any type of prospective risks of delay by moving concerns as explained above.

It is also essential that you stay alert and hyper-aware of potential delay reasons. Occasionally, the delay can be as an outcome of poor weather condition, however many are the outcome or poor planning. Lots of possible delays could be foreseen early via the use of well-planned, detailed schedules. Failing to resolve scheduling issues at the very start is a major mistake, because unreasonable red- and deadlines will certainly not work themselves out throughout construction. Undoubtedly, risk management and preparation for possible delays and audit for them in any schedule might be the most effective method to mitigate any type of possible damage. Moreover, if the project finishes without delay, you will get everything done ahead of schedule, and it’s very encouraging.

If you suspect a delay after the start of a project, keep the records of all activities that might be affected and continue to update the schedule. In addition, collect detailed information of the impact of the delays on other project stages, labor costs and efficiencies. Usually, the party that maintains more detailed records will additionally be the party to prevail in a construction delay claim.

You need to additionally be aware of the typical types of damages you could deal with as an outcome of construction delays. Construction contracts progressively utilize liquidated damages provisions. These are used when real damages will be challenging or impossible to establish and, thus, a particular amount of money is listed in the agreement for each day the project is prolonged past the promised completion date. Liquidated damages are not considered a penalty, which is prohibited in many states, though many try to use them as such.

Other kinds of damages are a lot more complicated as well as require different techniques of analysis, such as critical path method (CPM). Real, compensatory damages are utilized when liquidated damages are either not provided for in the contract or available for some reason. Actual damages for owner delay claims can include:

(1) The owner’s project management and supervisory expenses
(2) Overhead
(3) Loss of use
(4) Lost rents
(5) Lost profits
(6) Insurance costs
(7) Construction loan interest.

Actual damages claims for contractor delay cases may include:
(1) Supervision costs
(2) Extended general conditions
(3) Jobsite trailer rental
(4) Temporary facilities such as toilets, fencing telephone, site power and water
(5) Liability insurance
(6) Equipment rental costs
(7) Equipment maintenance
(8) Field labor if the scope of work is increased by the delay
(9) Increased material costs
(10) Lost productivity caused by the delay due to disruption and inefficient task sequencing
(11) Hourly labor rate increases due to longer duration of project
(12) Demobilization and re-mobilization expenses for extended delays

Unfortunately, in most situations delays are unavoidable. The very best protection to a delay claim is to be prepared for a potential issue, record its effect, as well as be able to adjust the schedule to find time for fixing if the delay is on the critical path. To create the claim, on the other hand, the best is to prepare for it in advance, record the source of the delay, and also aim to change the burden for any resulting costs or loss of earnings to the other party by very carefully composing your contract. In either case, you must contact an experienced attorney proficient in construction delay cases as well as agreement prep work to help you with these matters. A little financial investment in legal services now will likely save you a big investment dealing with delay insurance claims later on.

The Construction Law Practice at McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC has significant expertise in all aspects of construction, from contract negotiation through litigation. We work closely with experts in the construction field to assist clients in understanding and evaluating their contracts, claims and litigation strategy. Don’t hesitate to contact us for everything involving Chattanooga commercial, residential and public works construction.

Know Your Rights When Stopped By The Police

Probably everyone has been in such a situation: You are driving down the highway when– unexpectedly– you see those blue and red lights behind. Stopping by the police is a very stressful situation, but it is better to stay in control anyway. This is because anything you do and say could have a massive result on any kind of lawful process that may comply with. Whether the traffic stop ends in a simple moving violation or an arrest for a more serious crime, the steps you take are critical.


Attorneys Mckoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley share the following important information about what drivers should do when they get pulled over in Chattanooga, Tennessee:

 Stop the car

When you realize that a police car is following you, you are obliged by law to stop your vehicle quickly, but safely. Please remain calm during this time. In most circumstances, stopping the car doesn’t mean you admit your guilt – you’re just a driver who is alert to everything happening around. Also, this is an opportunity to find out the exact reason of stop. This information can be useful should you and a lawyer later need to prepare a defense.

Turn off your engine

You need to turn off the engine and anything else that might interfere your clear communication with the officer. Usually, this indicates shutting off your music and throwing out a cigarette if you have one and any chewing gum within the vehicle.

Place your hands on the steering wheel

If you are alone in the car, keep your hands visible on the steering wheel. If there is anybody else inside, they also must keep their hands visible during the talk with the police. Even if you want to take out your documents or driving license, it is better to wait for the officer’s request.  Remember: he/she knows nothing about you and anyone can be asked to stop on the street. Although such a situation is stressful for everyone, you can make things safer for all parties by keeping calm and keeping your hands visible, as it may seem like you are reaching for a weapon.

Stay inside

Do not step out of your automobile unless the officer tells you to do so. Once again, this holds true for passengers also. Just stay inside not to make the police officer to feel nervous or in a potential danger. After all, police officers have been killed in traffic-stop situations, and the officer’s approach to the vehicle is potentially the most dangerous moment.

Don’t argue

Road is not the best place to argue about the reason of the stop. Being hostile has actually led many people to problems in future. Comply with reasonable requests and react appropriately where suitable. As an example, when asked to hand over your license, enrollment, and proof of insurance coverage, you should claim something like, “Okay,” or, “Sure,” and also hand over the papers.

McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC warns that sometimes policemen act as though they might change their minds if you cooperate so that they can get information or an admission out of you.


Talking to a legal representative

Simple website traffic offenses often do not call for the assistance of a lawyer. Much more major accusations– like a fee of driving drunk or possession of medicines– often do. If you need to know exactly how the legislation in your state puts on your scenario, get in touch with a seasoned criminal defense attorney. An experienced lawyer can identify whether there could be a basis for a movement to suppress proof and otherwise overview you with the procedure.

Very often, small traffic violations don’t require the assistance of an attorney. Much more major accusations — like a charge of driving under the influence or possession of medicines — often do. If you want to know how the legislation in Tennessee state applies to your situation, contact our experienced attorneys from criminal defense attorney. McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC can guide you through the process.

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