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QUESTION:    HOW CAN I KEEP MY BUSINESS GOING AND EVENTUALLY TRANSFER IT?

ANSWER:       SYSTEMIC BUSINESS SUCCESSION PLANNING CAN KEEP YOUR BUSINESS INTACT THROUGH THE UNCERTAINTIES AND CERTAINTIES OF BUSINESS CYCLES AND LIVES.

People die, get divorced, become disabled, or simply get mad at each other.  Businesses and markets expand and contract.  Capital and financing dry up.  Business cycles come and go, businesses thrive and fail.  How do you keep the enterprise on a solid footing through all of the vagaries of business and life?

Let’s start with the basics!

What is the Business and Who Owns It?

What kind of
Continue Reading Succession planning for business

QUESTION:     CAN I EVICT MY DELINQUENT RESIDENTIAL TENANT?

ANSWER:        THERE IS NO LONGER A FEDERAL MORATORIUM AGAINST EVICTIONS OF RESIDENTIAL TENANTS

What was Covered by the Nationwide Moratorium on Evictions of Residential Tenants?
“The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). . . imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions of any tenants who live in a county that is experiencing substantial or high levels of COVID-19 transmission and who made certain declarations of financial need.”  Alabama Association of Realtors et al. v. Department of Health and Human Services et al., 594 U.S. _______ (2021).
The
Continue Reading Residential Evictions

QUESTION:     DO CHANGES TO RECEIVERSHIP LAW MATTER TO MY COMPANY?

ANSWER:        THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE RECEIVERSHIP ACT CAN REALLY HELP YOU OR REALLY HURT YOU.

What are the statutory powers of these new receivers?

The Uniform Commercial Real Estate Receivership Act (“UCRERA”) grants some of the most frequently used equitable powers of equitable receiverships to statutory receivers by default, with no specific court order needed.  The receiver by statutory authority has the ability to:

  • Control and manage property;
  • Operate a business related to receivership properties;
  • Pay debts related to receivership property;
  • Assert claims on behalf of parties

  • Continue Reading When to Pass the Receiver

    QUESTION:     WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN APPEARING IN VIRTUAL COURT AS THE DEFENDANT?

    ANSWER:        DON’T MAKE YOUR TRAFFIC COURT APPEARANCE FOR A SUSPENDED LICENSE FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT OF A CAR!

    Watch that Zoom background!

    By now we all have a list of stories of things that should have been done differently in virtual meetings.  Simple things like closing the closet door or moving the hamper of dirty clothes before starting the Zoom meeting are overlooked repeatedly. 

    One party made a virtual appearance in federal court without his shirt!  And by now everyone has seen the video of
    Continue Reading Zoom Into Court

    QUESTION:   WILL THE DEADLINES SET BY THE SMALL BUSINESS REORGANIZATION ACT OF 2019 ACTUALLY SPEED UP SMALL BUSINESS BANKRUPTCIES?

    ANSWER:    SMALL BUSINESS REORGANIZATIONS WILL ONLY BE FASTER IF THE DEADLINES ARE ENFORCED.

    Other than sunrise and sunset, few deadlines are self-enforcing!
    The mandatory expedited deadlines in the Small Business Reorganization Act won’t speed up cases unless judges enforce them.  If the Standing Trustees and the creditors actively urge courts to enforce the rules, there is a chance that small business reorganizations will be timely completed.

    What are the basics of the new Subchapter 5 Small Business Bankruptcies?
    Currently, small business
    Continue Reading Streamlined small business bankruptcies?

    QUESTION: SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT THE SMALL BUSINESS REORGANIZATION ACT OF 2019?

    ANSWER: CREDITORS SHOULD BEWARE OF SIGNIFICANT NEW PROTECTIONS BEING GIVEN DEBTORS UNDER THE SMALL BUSINESS REORGANIZATION ACT!

    The History of Small Business Bankruptcies.In October 2005, I wrote:The costs of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization are often more than a small business debtor can handle.  Statistics show that many small business Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings eventually become Chapter 7 liquidation proceedings.  Congress wanted to help small business debtors move through the bankruptcy process more swiftly and so it created the concept of the small business debtor. 

    Congress set the
    Continue Reading The Small Business Reorganization Act: Blessing or Curse?

    QUESTION:     HOW CAN REMOTE ONLINE NOTARIZATION WORK?

    ANSWER:        MANY STEPS ARE REQUIRED TO ASSURE THE ACCURACY AND INTEGRITY OF THE NOTARIZATION AND SIGNING PROCESSES.

    How could remote online notarization go awry?

    During my career I have been able to prove at least two fraudulent notarizations when the rules required pen and paper signatures in the physical presence of notaries.  I probably also dealt with a few fraudulent notarizations that I suspected, but could not prove.  The most blatant fraud was the time the notary’s certificate expiration stamp indicated that the notary’s certification had expired prior to the purported date of
    Continue Reading Notarizing remotely!

    QUESTION:  NOW THAT BEACHES, LAKES, AND OTHER PLACES FOR WATER RECREATION ARE REOPENING, DO WE NEED SUPREME COURT GUIDANCE TO SPOT A BOAT?
    ANSWER:  THE U.S. SUPREME COURT SAYS THAT “NOT EVERY FLOATING STRUCTURE IS A VESSEL.”
    The United States Supreme Court plunges into important matters, such as healthcare reform, immigration, and voting rights.  The highest court in the land also dove into a case involving a maritime lien of $3,039.88 for dockage fees!
    Fane Lozman lived on the water in a 60-foot by 12-foot boat, or “floating home.”  Even though the home had a second level, the empty bilge
    Continue Reading Vessel to Buoy Your Spirits

    QUESTION:     ARE ELECTRONIC NOTARIZATIONS LEGAL?
    ANSWER:        ELECTRONIC NOTARIZATIONS ARE LEGAL IN MOST STATES.
    Electronic notarizations have been legal in Arizona for years, but they still required the signer to physically appear before the notary for the electronic signature and the electronic notarization of documents.
    Remote electronic notarizations originally were scheduled to become effective from and after June 30, 2020.  However, on April 8, 2020, in partnership with Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order allowing Arizonans to get documents notarized remotely, while ensuring secure and effective verification processes starting April 10, 2020.
    This
    Continue Reading Virtual Notary Services

     
    ANSWER:        A DEMOTION AND REDUCTION IN PAY CAN BE A “REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION” UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT!
    A deputy needs her shooting hand!
    Brigid Ford was a deputy in the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.  She started as a deputy sometime around the year 2000.  In 2008 she began working as a sworn deputy sheriff locating and arresting people with outstanding warrants.  Brigid A. Ford v. Marion County Sheriff’s Office, No. 18-3217 (7th Cir. Ct. App., November 15, 2019).
    In 2012, while on duty, Deputy Ford’s patrol vehicle was hit by a car that ran a red light. 
    Continue Reading HOW CAN THEY CUT MY PAY WHEN I WAS INJURED ON THE JOB?

     
    ANSWER:              FACEBOOK USES FACIAL-RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY TO MATCH FACES, BUT IT MAY NOT BE LEGAL UNDER ILLINOIS STATUTE.
    Expensive privacy violation on social media?
    Some citizens of Illinois brought a class-action lawsuit against Facebook claiming somewhere around $35 billion for privacy violations!  Patel v. Facebook, Inc., 932 F.3d 1264 (9th Cir., 2019).  (The plaintiffs apparently don’t understand that “private” and “social” are antonyms.)
    The Ninth Circuit said that Facebook runs one of the biggest social media platforms in the world and has over 1 billion active users.  About seven out of ten adults in the U.S. use Facebook.  (Our
    Continue Reading   CAN FACEBOOK USE FACIAL-RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY ON MY PHOTOGRAPH TO MATCH IT WITH OTHER PICTURES?

    Q:  HOW FAR DOES THE U.S. FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT REACH?
    A: THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ENFORCES THE FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT IN “EVERY CORNER OF THE GLOBE!”
    But I work for a foreign company, I am not a U.S. citizen and I never set foot in the United States?!
    In November, 2019, Lawrence Hoskins was convicted of six counts of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, three counts of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy in a U.S. District Court in Connecticut.
    Mr. Hoskins is a citizen of the United Kingdom and was working for a French company. 
    Continue Reading Punishing Foreigners for Corrupt Practices

    QUESTION:    CAN I MAKE OUR EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS ELECTRONIC?
    ANSWER:       YES, BUT YOU NEED TO PROVE THAT THE EMPLOYEE ACTUALLY              AGREED TO THE ELECTRONIC TRANSACTION.
    Can I sandwich an arbitration agreement in an electronic employment contract?
    Jaime Odom worked for Which Wich Superior Sandwiches as a marketing manager. She had a beef with the sandwich shops. She sued claiming that she was sexually harassed at the job, retaliated against for complaining about the harassment, and not paid her full wages. Which Wich said Jaime had to arbitrate the dispute because she had electronically
    Continue Reading HR Meets E-Sign

    QUESTION:    WHY ARE COMPANIES STILL STRUGGLING WITH ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS 20 YEARS AFTER THE LAWS SAID THEY ARE VALID?
    ANSWER:       PEOPLE HAVE DIFFICULTY UNLEARNING THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF RELIANCE ON HAND-WRITTEN SIGNATURES.
    The laws of electronic signatures and e-transactions.
    The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (“E-SIGN Act”) became the law of the United States on June 30, 2000. The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (“UETA”) was released by the Uniform Law Commission in 1999 and enacted in Arizona in 2000.
    The E-SIGN Act allows the use of electronic records to satisfy any statute, regulation, or rule of
    Continue Reading Beyond Pen And Paper… Digital Contracts

    C’MON! IT’S ONLY A COMMA!!!???
    A MISSING COMMA COST ONE COMPANY FIVE MILLION DOLLARS!
     
    Oakhurst Dairy had to pay its delivery drivers five million dollars to settle a wage and hour dispute about overtime pay all because of a missing comma! O’Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy, 851 F.3d 69 (1st Cir. 2017).
    What does punctuation have to do with an employment dispute?
    “For want of a comma, we have this case.” That is how the court started its opinion concerning a dispute between a Maine dairy company and the dairy delivery drivers. The case involved the scope of an exemption
    Continue Reading $5M in Overtime for Want of a Comma!

    QUESTION:    I THOUGHT THAT ONLY THE COMPANY COULD BE PENALIZED FOR FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT VIOLATIONS?
     
    ANSWER:       WHEN A TEXAS ROPE COMPANY GOT TIED UP WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, THE OWNER, PLANT MANAGER AND OFFICE MANAGER WENT TO JAIL!
     
    Numerous federal laws include civil liability for individuals who fail to comply with the laws. Some federal laws even provide for individual criminal liability for company owners and managers.
    Don’t let the boss rope you into breaking the law!
    The U.S. Attorney’s office charged that High Performance Ropes of America, Inc. did not pay overtime compensation,
    Continue Reading Criminal Penalties for FLSA Violations?