Category: Business

DEFEND TRADE SECRETS ACT OF 2016

The following is a memo of law prepared by our office for our attorneys summarizing the new federal law regarding trade secrets. It is written with more legal jargon than I usually put in a blog post, but despite that, it gives a good bullet point summary of this law. Enacted May 2016 to provide […]

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Damages for Non-Compete Clauses

I’ve written before about non-compete clauses, particularly for employment contracts. Basically, the law allows for an agreement in an employment contract or contract for the sale of a business to limit that employee or former employee from competing with their former employer. As long as the competition is reasonably restricted as to how long it […]

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Read What You Sign. Except Doctors.

One of the first bits of free advice you’ll get from an attorney, is to read and understand before you sign a document. Even where the clause is buried on page 8 of fine print; or where there was a change from an earlier draft; or where the person was told something different; or where […]

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Have a Healthy and Effective Board

Attached is a Board Effectiveness Checklist from governance.pro that helps an organization determine if it is being as effective as it can be. The checklist applies to all types of organizations, so all the factors may not apply to every organization, but it is a good starting point. There are some additional specific items I […]

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Electronic Meetings

With the near universal use of email, texting, Twitter, and instant messaging, small corporations and homeowner associations frequently try to use these services for the business of the company. While this practice can be valuable and efficient to manage a company or planned community, it normally cannot be used to exercise the powers and authority […]

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Trade Secrets

The law in North Carolina tends to support the ability of people to work for who they want, and when they want. In most cases, with at-will employment, an employee can leave a job whenever they want to work for another company who may provide them more pay or benefits. On the other hand, the […]

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Indemnity, Exculpatory and Hold Harmless

Cropped screenshot of title from the trailer for the film Double Indemnity (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Has this ever happened to you? You are getting ready to race go-karts, rent a truck, scuba dive, or lease a storage unit and the owner hands you a document to sign. Maybe you read over it, maybe you just […]

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Breaking up is Hard to Do.

I have just completed a two and half day trial where I represented one of the owners of a small business. After working together for over ten years, the two parties split up, both professionally and personally. Although the two parties could agree that the business was over and should be dissolved, they had very […]

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Who’s in Charge Here?

Most Non-profit corporations, including homeowner associations, have a volunteer, part-time executive board, with a full-time professional manager, management company, or executive director. The relationship between these two parties can get tumultuous. After a large turnover in board membership, the new board members may see the professional manager as a holdover and supporter of the old […]

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Preventative Medicine

Once I had to explain to one of my kids why they had to brush their teeth every night. I told them I knew it was a hassle and took up ten minutes that they could use to play Angry Birds, but it was important because they could get cavities and we’d have to go […]

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Explaining a Fee Agreement

Any time you hire an attorney, they should provide you with a fee agreement to sign. The fee agreement provides both you and the attorney with some certainty as to what the attorney has agreed to do for you and what you are supposed to provide the attorney for his services. It is both good […]

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Business Judgment Rule in Homeowners Associations

Under the community documents (declarations/covenants, bylaws, rules and regulations) and under the planned community and condominium acts in North Carolina, an HOA has certain obligations, for example, maintaining or repairing the common elements of the association. Unless it specifically sets forth in the declarations how late the pool can stay open or how many times […]

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Corporate Pro Se Representation

In North Carolina, a person has a right to represent themselves in court, even if they are not a lawyer. However, even though a corporation or LLC is considered a “person” for many legal issues, they are not capable of representing themselves in court. Even a small corporation that is owned 100% by one individual, […]

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A Hobbit’s Contract

     My first-grader and I have been reading “the Hobbit,” in anticipation of the movie coming out this month. While it was one of my favorite books as a kid, I had not read it in many years. Doing so, I was surprised at the amount of legal issues in the books, particularly contract law, […]

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Asset Protection

Asset protection employs legal techniques that deter others from taking, or in some cases, attempting to take your assets. The complexity of any asset protection plan depends largely on what types of assets you have, and what type of work you do. A typical asset protection case involves the formation of one or more entities, […]

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Corporation Games

Image by limonada via Flickr Businesses can be organized in several different ways. One of the newer forms of business is a Limited Liability Company or LLC. The best way to understand an LLC is to compare it to a traditional corporation. Limited Liability Company A LLC is a legal entity that exists separate and […]

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