10 Tasks, Tips and Traps for Business/Commercial Leases

Business/commercial leases can be dangerous territory for a company or business client's legal counsel. I have encountered many requests from business clients like, "If you have a few minutes, can you look over a new lease I am thinking of entering into for new or existing leased space?" and "I don't need a complete review, just the basics."

Succession Planning with Life Insurance for the Family Business, Cottage or Farm

In my experience assisting families with succession planning for legacy assets such as their family business, cottage or farm, the biggest challenge I’ve found is making sure there is enough money to pay for the immediate obligations after the current owner’s death. These obligations can be in the form of taxes, possible interruptions to business operations, and revenue and debt service. The obligations also may extend to longer-term capital needs such as paying the bills for these assets. 

Should Your Business Have a Domestic Abuse Policy?

Domestic violence has been making news headlines lately, mainly because of the high-profile cases of the National Football League players Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and others. This publicity has drawn attention to the ambiguity surrounding the NFL’s established policy on domestic violence and other off-the-field transgressions by players.

Factors to Consider

Is Your Business Vulnerable to a Civil Rights Violation Complaint?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits the creation of a hostile work environment based on the prohibited forms of discrimination, such as discrimination based on sex or race. To hold an employer liable for the harassment, the plaintiff must show that the work environment was so pervaded by discrimination that the terms of employment were altered. Isolated or trivial occurrences are not likely to be sufficient.

Are You A Great Leader? How Effective Are You as a Business Owner, Executive, Manager, Employee Or Even a Parent in Leading Those Closest to You?

It is an honor to introduce my friend and colleague Dr. Tim Irwin’s latest book, Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything.

Dr. Irwin and I have worked together on behalf of common clients and collaborated on many projects together. Tim is one of the smartest people I know and has developed keen insights into the subject of leadership through his 25 years of experience and work with leaders of global companies.

Firing A Family Member Employee - Can You Fire A Family Member Employee and Still Keep the Family Together?

One of the biggest challenges in managing a family-owned business is firing an underperforming family member. Ideally, all of the family members working in the business recognize and agree to the need for firing a family member. I have found in these situations that it is difficult to engage in a process that can be accomplished in a way that relationships are maintained and where everyone can still attend family functions in the future with no underlying ill will or bitterness remaining between family members.

The Winter of 2014 – Slip Sliding Away ... How Accumulations of Ice and Snow Affect Property Owners' Liabilities to Third Parties

Under most states’ premises liability laws, a landowner owes duty to use reasonable care to protect individuals from unreasonable risks of harm posed by dangerous conditions on the owner’s land. This duty is breached when the owner knows or should know of a dangerous condition on the premises of which the third party is unaware and failed to fix the defect, guard against the defect or warn the third party of the defect.

The “Status” of a Third-Party Visitor to the Premises Dictates the Landowner’s Duty

Year-End Tax Planning Strategies for Individuals and Businesses

Tax Planning is critical at the end of the year. Here are some ideas to contemplate, along with the tried and true year-end tax savings techniques.

Individual Tax Strategies:

1) Game – The Standard Deduction

Planning: It's Not About Where You Are, But Where You Are Going

One of the challenges I often encounter in my practice, particularly in cottage succession planning and family business situations, is that clients tend to focus on how things work in the present. They assume that present methods of management, problem-solving, payment of expenses, use of the family cottage and how ownership interest would be transferred will work the same way in the future. That is a risky assumption.