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Bethesda Business & Commercial Law Blog

Department of Labor tackles confusion over the new leave policy

Whenever regulatory law changes, you may wonder how it impacts your company as well as how to respond. Many business owners view these changes as an impending headache; new laws can throw off budgets, require policy updates and distract from other important business matters. This problem is even worse if the law is not clearly written.

Numerous Maryland business owners have been struggling with this issue regarding sick leave for workers. A new law, the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, came into effect February 11. This act amends several parts of the existing leave laws, but many company managers found the additions confusing.

Copyright infringement case takes on popular culture

Copyright laws are designed to offer a means of protecting intellectual property and other creative works. The laws that govern these protections are often very specific, as was recently highlighted in a case involving a trendy pop song and famous musical artist.

The artist: Taylor Swift. The song: “Shake It Off.” The case began in California, where a songwriter filed suit against Ms. Swift based on allegations of copyright infringement. The songwriter stated that his copyrighted lyrics “Playas, they gonna play / And haters, they gonna hate” were similar enough to Swifts’ “’Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate” to warrant application of the artists’ copyright protections.

When your kids don’t want the business

You built your business from scratch, putting in incalculable blood, sweat, tears and time to ensure its success. In addition to your family, it is probably what you are most proud of in your life.

So when it’s time to retire, you want to ensure it will be left in good hands with someone who truly cares for it the way you did. Who better than your children – having your babies take over ownership of your baby?

What can I do about a breach of my contract?

If you have an employment contract, you should expect some form of financial or legal obligation by which all parties must abide. However, in some cases, an employer may terminate your employment or violate your contract in some way or another, and it is left up to you to stand up for your rights or simply allow the breach.

If you believe that your employer breached some term of your contract, it is wise to speak with an experienced business law attorney. With professional counsel, you have all the tools you need to examine your contract to identify a breach and recommend an appropriate remedy. Professional legal counsel also ensures that you understand your rights and how to keep them secure as you navigate this difficult dispute.

Do you know how to dissolve your business properly?

When a business idea runs its course or partners in a venture simply cannot agree on how to continue running a company, it is often time to close a business for good. However, many business owners do not realize that very much like marriage and divorce, creating a business is often much simpler and easier than dissolving it.

Unfortunately, the parallels don't end there. Like divorce, if a business dissolution is not carefully planned and executed, it can leave business owners and others vulnerable to costly consequences later on. If you face the difficult process of closing your business, it is always wise to make sure that you have all the guidance and understanding you need to make sure that the dissolution is fair and complete, for every party's sake.

Opportunities for antitrust leniency

The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division offers a leniency program under which corporations or individuals involved in antitrust crimes may come forward and voluntarily confess to such crimes. By so doing, they can avoid conviction and associated penalties, such as fines and prison time.

What is an antitrust violation?

3 factors to consider when choosing your office location

Your business has finally outgrown your current office capacity. Maybe you were working out of your home or your team rented a studio, but now you have to figure out a long-term solution to allow your company to scale.

Finding the perfect office space is a major step for your business that can be risky. Real estate is an investment that can either pay off or cost thousands over time. We recommend paying attention to three factors that can make a difference for your company both financially and legally.

On the legal complexities facing businesses

Running a business, whether your are a small, intricate business in your local neighborhood or a large corporate entity, is about as far from a "simple" task as you can get. There are myriad legal complexities to this immense responsibility, and a company, no matter its size, will need to be flexible and savvy when dealing with the many issues that can arise over the course of its existence.

First of all, a business has to actually get off the ground. In order to do that, the founder needs to establish what type of business it is (limited liability, a partnership, a corporation, etc.) and then put forth a business plan in order to keep the business on track (as well as to entice investors, if that is needed).

Improving relationships with difficult business partners

There are many reasons you got into business with your partner – you trusted each other's business acumen, one of you had the funds to support the other’s vision or maybe you were friends who liked working together. Regardless of the driving decision to form the partnership, there are many reasons it can turn sour.

If your business partner is difficult to work or communicate with, consider the following tactics for improving the relationship.

Retailer sues real estate service company with possible fraud

Business managers expect transparency from companies they do business with. The ability to trust vendors, suppliers and partners keeps operations running smoothly. Not all companies live up to their obligations, however. And when trust is broken, financial loss can result.

Real-estate giant Colliers International is facing a lawsuit concerning alleged violations of trust. Representatives of Mattress Firm claim that top employees of Colliers plotted to persuade the retailer to buy more than 1,500 over-valued rental properties.

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Daniel S. Willard, P.C.
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Bethesda, MD 20814

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