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Orange County Business Litigation and Legal Malpractice Law Blog

Three things contractors should know about disaster relief

After just over a month removed from the wildfires that consumed nearly 200,000 acre of land in the North Bay (in Northern California) the process of rebuilding is slowly taking place. It is believed that given the extensive damage to land and property, the process will take years to complete.

To put things in perspective, and to show why this wildfire was arguably the state’s most destructive, consider this. The Oakland Hills wildfire of 1991 charred 1,600 acres and destroyed 2,900 homes and structures. The North Bay wildfire consumed 8,400 homes and tens of thousands of additional structures.

Determining damages in construction contract disputes

With construction contracts, it is important to establish expectations at the outset with regard to completion deadlines, construction costs, and measures to prevent overruns. Indeed, incorporating as much detail into the contract could help in resolving small issues before they become major problems.

However, when a party breaches a contract and resolution is not easily found, litigation may be only option. Nevertheless, construction companies (and the entities who hire them) must make sound business decisions when it comes to litigating a contract dispute. Essentially, decisions must be made as to whether a lawsuit makes good economic sense. 

Jerry Jones poised to sue NFL over Goodell's future compensation

Despite the off-the-field drama regarding personal conduct violations and the suspensions that come with them, the National Football League is about making money and protecting its brand. Some may argue that the recent headlines regarding commissioner Roger Goodell’s new contract is a threat to both goals.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently announced that he would likely bring suit against the NFL if it approves a new compensation package for Goodell that would begin when Goodell’s current contract expires in 2019. This is a sharp rebuke and a role reversal for Jones given that NFL owners unanimously decided in May to extend Goodell’s contract and authorized a compensation committee to work out the details. 

Sprint and T-Mobile walk away from potential merger

In what was poised to be the largest merger in the telecommunications industry this year, T-Mobile and Sprint recently announced that they would abandon their efforts to combine their companies. The joint announcement ended days of speculation that the two companies were having difficulties negotiating ownership of their respective shares of their coveted U.S. telecom holdings. The parties did not comment on any specifics leading to them walk away from negotiations, but some speculate that Sprint’s debt load, estimated at $38 billion, could have been a sticking point.

The proposed merger would have created a new company with more than 130 million wireless subscribers, which still would have been third in the U.S. behind Verizon Communications and AT&T. Sprint and T-Mobile are currently the third and fourth largest carriers, respectively. 

Partnerships and contractor compensation decisions

In a business partnership, there are many decisions to make. Some of these decisions can have big financial implications for a business, and thus major ramifications for all of the partners.

Among these are decisions related to contractors. This includes decisions on what compensation to offer contractors the business is wishing to get the services of. Various things about the specifics of the compensation packages offered to contractors can be very impactful, including:

Sarkisian lawsuit dismissed due to arbitration clause

The USC Trojans may still be licking their wounds after losing 49-14 to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but they still will look to secure another Pac-12 Championship in December. It resembles the increased faith of USC football program, which is arguably a far cry from where the program was just two years ago.

That was when the university abruptly fired then head Steve Sarkisian in the midst of a tough season. Sarkisian sued USC in December 2015, claiming that he was fired instead of being given an opportunity to seek treatment for alcoholism. Sarkisian was ostensibly removed for public displays of drunkenness during school events, and he sought the remainder of his contract, which had $12.6 million left on it, as well as unspecified damages. 

Don't Delay If You Suspect Attorney Malpractice

Typically, there is a one-year statute of limitations for legal malpractice claims in California, but the statute is tolled (frozen) while the attorney still represents the client. Thus, in many situations, the client has one year from the end of the representation to bring a legal malpractice lawsuit.

Protecting your brand on social media

Social media can be an effective tool for companies who want to expand their brand. But with such an extensive reach, social media may unfortunately be a platform for those who sell counterfeit goods under the guise of an established brand. This can lead to consumers purchasing fake goods or relying upon false information, leaving the brand owner to deal with the fallout.

Upon discovering that another entity is infringing upon a company’s trademark, the natural reaction is to send a strongly worded cease and desist letter to discourage any continued unauthorized use. But just like social media can be used to expand a company’s brand, it can also be used to disseminate a trademark owner’s demands in the context of a vicious rant. 

The benefits of certification

One way that fledgling construction companies can gain success is to become certified. Certification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), or a Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) can result in obtaining government construction contracts. This is because federal law mandates that a certain percentage of contract work be allocated to certified companies. Additionally, a growing number of private companies have established programs where work is contracted to certified companies.

To obtain certification as a DBE, MBE or WBE, the ownership, management or control of such a company must be at least 51 percent disadvantaged, minority or women, depending on the applicable certification. 

Secrets of success for small businesses and entrepreneurs

An entrepreneur may look like he or she has everything to be successful in the business world: market intelligence, motivational skills, a gift for leadership, and most of all, confidence. It may seem like an entrepreneur is born with these attributes; or a person just has is or they don’t. But the truth is that these successful skills are developed over time; mostly by avoiding mistakes and learning from the ones that are made.

So how can one actually develop these skills? The following tips can help.

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Klein & Wilson
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