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The Whys and Wherefores of Commercial Litigation

A business law firm in today’s economy needs to respond nimbly and effectively to meet the urgent demands of start up companies and its entrepreneurs. We strive to meet the pressing needs of raising capital, creating strategic partnerships and evaluating investor suitability through our affiliations with clients who engage in the business of turnkey contract management and finance.

A Team Approach to National and International Business. Bringing Together the Thorwald Group Resources in Government, Finance, Consulting and Law

In law wrong questions get wrong answers. Often wrong questions have the “baggage” of false assumptions, misunderstandings or unrealistic expectations which can lead to bad outcomes. This article is about wrong questions, specifically the “quick question,”and the nature of law.

There are many popular approaches to determining and expressing who we are. These include eating, reading, hearing, measuring, art, music, spending money and what we do. I would like to add to the list “You are what you sell.” Because owning and operating a business can be so challenging and rewarding, interesting and exciting,enveloping and encompassing, thisanswer may work as well for many of the small and medium size business ownerswho are my clients.

#Winning. Most of us recognize the infamous hashtag of Charlie Sheen, who at the time was in the middle of an incredible episode of self-destruction. So, what is winning exactly and how winning apply in the practice of law?

Whispering “sweet nothings” in your business partner’s ear may not be a good idea, particularly if it is not that type of relationship. But, this article addresses legal issues that arise between business owners where a close friendship or personal relationship does exist.

We hear so much about immigration in the context of border controversies that we may forget the vital role that immigrant owned businesses play in our economy.

You are not buying or selling the business or its assets – you are buying or selling – what the legal documents say you are buying or getting.

Filing a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is more than just filling out a form and paying the fee; it’s a multi – step process lasting upwards of a year that can give rise to lawsuits and unnecessary expense if done incorrectly.

Unfortunately, about two out of three new clients come to our firm because they have a problem with their signed contract or legal documentation. Legal documents are like shoes. One pair is not right for all occasions, nor will one size fit all. Every day I see matters which could have been handled as brief, inexpensive office visits before the deal, but which later are the subject of time-consuming and expensive litigation. Worse, I see lives ruined because many mistakes are so devastating the client cannot recover. Here are a few quick pointers on how to use Google (or Bing or Yahoo, Firefox, etc) for legal information and to avoid finding yourself in similar, situations.

As with do-it-your-selfers on home projects, business owners who do legal work by themselves are not only likely to make serious, life-altering mistakes, but also to walk away from valuable knowledge, information and experience which the lawyer can apply in the form of tailored advice and contracts to the business owner’s particular business, customers, and operating history.

Truth needs an advocate and advocacy requires confidence. So, whether I am doing a deal, or doing a trial, my job as a lawyer is to determine the truth of the situation, and the truth of my client’s position, to reconcile these truths as best as I honestly and reasonably can, then advocate for not less than that outcome unless and until that it becomes clear that position is untenable.

Here is a list of reasons why I started my own business and why you may want to start your own small business.

Data breaches by the malicious Insider – Prevention and Recovery

Like many people with a standard Midwest religious upbringing I struggle to do the right thing and, sometimes, to know just what that is under the circumstances. But, as St. Paul discussed in Romans 71 “being good is not that easy, even when we are so inclined” (and he was a Saint).

Business contracts are like shoes: One size does not fit all nor is one pair suitable for all occasions. The same is true for most of the important things in life: Our mate, our friends, car, clothes, etc. For this reason, there are a number of problems with using standardized “(“form”) agreements such as those you get online or from a friend.

A decade or more ago a client of our business law firm needed some advice on an international transaction. We called several local firms that we thought might do that kind of work, but they didn’t.

A “Start-Up” company faces a number of organizational issues and milestones. This memorandum discusses some of the things we discuss in our initial client intake for a new company.

Business contracts are like shoes: One size does not fit all nor is one pair suitable for all occasions. *The same is true for most of the important things in life: Our mate, our friends, car, clothes, etc. For this reason, there are a number of problems with using standardized (“form”) agreements such as those you get online or from a friend.

Let us now praise opposing counsel. The good they do can live after
them.

Ropes to Skip and Ropes to Know In the Operation of Your Small Business

The Inside Story on Choosing and Using a Lawyer

A tenant under a commercial lease (the “affected tenant”) may have a claim of constructive eviction against a commercial    landlord who/which fails to take action to force another tenant who in breach of its own lease (the ‘breach tenant”) causes harm to the affected tenant.  While the commercial lease may state that the landlord is not responsible for the acts of the breach tenant, the court found that once the breach tenant breaches the lease then the landlord has the right and the duty to step in to cure the harm. This comports with the affected tenant’s reasonable expectation to call the landlord, not a lawyer. The affected client complained to the landlord, but the landlord said that it had no power to act under traditional property law because a lease is a “conveyance” of property. The affected tenant lost at the trial court level but prevailed on appeal.

In this economy many highly qualified people cannot find jobs. This includes veterans, retirees, new grads, and the unemployed or under-employed workers who need to create their own job.

The firm often receives calls asking about the price of X, where “X” is, say, an LLC. How do you know you need “X?” Y may be much better for you…

“There is no court house to run to in the middle of the Ocean.” Specifying applicable law, like the CISG, discussed below, and the forum for resolution — often through international arbitration in London or Geneva – is absolutely essential. Without such designation and agreement as to what law will apply and where the dispute will be heard, the parties can literally be “nowhere” in terms of dispute resolution and contract enforcement.

Two out of three new clients come to our firm because they have a problem with their signed contract or existing legal documentation. For example, their LLC does not have an Operating Agreement, so ownership and authority issues are unclear. The company does not have buy-sell agreement setting forth the conditions and terms under which business partners will part company (So money which might have been spent on “business as usual” afterward or orderly split, is spent on unproductive litigation). I could go on…

Many of my business law clients come to the firm, not because they have recognized a need and seek to avoid or prevent some problem or event from happening, but in response to that problem or event after it has occurred. In other words, the demand for our legal services is reactive, not preventative. This response-based, as opposed to prevention-based, approach to legal services has several consequences to and for the firm and the client:

An understandable, but false, assumption of some potential law firm clients is that a small case will cost less than a big one. After all, if I buy a small coffee I expect to pay less than I would pay for a larger size, so why do legal fees not adjust to the size of the case?

As a lawyer, or sometime in your life, you have probably heard the saying by Abraham Lincoln: “He who would be his own lawyer has a fool for a client.” (Mr. Lincoln also said “A lawyer’s time is his stock in trade.” a useful motto in our profession. My hometown lawyer had that sign above his receptionist’s desk.)

Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote the essays Self Reliance and Compensation, among others, would have loved my law firm clients who, just to name a few of their good character traits, tend to be hard-working, self-reliant, persevering and intelligent. In short, they have “character.” Too often, however, these good character traits cause them to fail. “How can this be?” you may ask. The purpose of this chapter is to answer that question. (From the book “Minding Your Own Business” by Donald W. Hudspeth).

Partnership disputes can occur for a number of reasons, including lack of money, false expectations, personality conflicts, or differences of style and vision. Where the company was founded by one majority owner, often that founder can be so dominant in terms of operational control that the practical and legal rights of other owners, even of significant owners, can be ignored.

A prospective new employer may not hire an employee who is subject to non-compete; the former employer may not release the employee from the non-compete because it keeps the employee off the market during the non-compete period. This scenario is especially likely where the employee leaves under unfavorable circumstances.

What others are saying about us
  • ""I would recommend Mr. Hudspeth unequivocally. Not only is he an outstanding business attorney, he also provided me with access to a divorce attorney. Thanks to his skill, and resources available outside the Phoenix law family, I was successful in challenging a “family law” mediation that was particularly and grossly unfair."" - Chandler, Arizona Private Individual

  • ""Thank you for the work you have done in creating these documents. It is always a pleasure dealing with this firm!"" - J. P.

  • "“An excellent response. Masterfully prepared. Thank you.”" - El Paso, Texas Real Estate Investor

Donald W. Hudspeth Attorney Photo
Donald W. Hudspeth
Principal Attorney

Attorney Donald W. Hudspeth has more than twenty years’ experience practicing corporate and business law. Before attending law school, Mr. Hudspeth held a stock brokers license at the age of 21 and owned his own business at the age of 23. He was a business law professor at Arizona State University, West Campus, and has conducted classes and seminars for a number of higher institutions and organizations. Mr. Hudspeth has published two books on law and is the founder of the radio programs Law on the Edge and Law Talk.

Brian K. Stanley Attorney Photo
Brian K. Stanley
Of Counsel

Attorney Brian K. Stanley has more than thirty years' experience practicing corporate and business law. Brian also worked for Sandra Day O'Connor in 1976-1977; Formerly with the Phoenix firm of Jones, Hunter & Lerch as of the dissolution of that firm in 1979. (Also Member, Law Office of Brian K. Stanley, PLLC).

Janae Ashley Perry-Meier Attorney Photo
Janae Ashley Perry-Meier
Associate

Janae Perry-Meier is a business and commercial law attorney focusing on international business. Janae handles both transactional and litigation matters, including: forming your business, drafting your contracts, franchising, business disputes, business divorce, mergers and acquisitions, private placements, securities compliance, and corporate governance. Janae also handles trademark registration, office action responses, and infringement cases.

Michael David Malin Attorney Photo
Michael David Malin
Associate

Michael Malin has been a practicing attorney in Arizona since 2013. He has represented clients through all stages of litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Michael litigated cases involving professional negligence, insurance bad faith, dram shop liability, personal injury and wrongful death, Indian law, probate, and criminal matters. Before attending law school, he worked for several startup companies in the then-nascent field of smartphone and tablet application development.

Natalia Beard-Artemieva  Attorney Photo
Natalia Beard-Artemieva
Attorney

Natalia (Natasha) Beard-Artemieva has been a practicing attorney in Arizona since 2014.

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