directors officers mobile - The Role Of A Lawyer In Your New Startup

The Role Of A Lawyer In Your New Startup

directors officers mobile - The Role Of A Lawyer In Your New Startup

In all the excitement of setting up shop, it is easy to be a starry-eyed optimist – and ignore any foreboding. While a positive outlook is to be revered and cherished, don’t wait until something bad does happen to call on the services of a small business lawyer. It is the smart thing to do.

A small business attorney will provide essential counsel in just about every facet of your business – correct business incorporation procedures, zoning compliance, copyright and trademark guidance, liability and small business insurance. A startup lawyer focuses on setting up the legal structure which allows your startup to raise capital, issue equity to key employees, and scale quickly.

Who do you need?

Attorneys are increasingly specialized on specific aspects of the law. Choosing a firm that covers all, or at least most, of you needs is an important consideration from the outset. Some of the areas of law which are commonly needed by startups include:

  • Preparation and review of contracts between you and your customers and suppliers.
  • Analysis of the best way to organize your business – a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) – and the relevant paperwork.
  • Negotiation of leases for your commercial space.
  • Assistance with trademark and copyright protection.
  • Liability and small business insurance

What to look for in a small business lawyer?

  • The best place to start when selecting a lawyer is usually within your network. Asking for a referral is a reliable way to find a lawyer with whom you can relate, feel comfortable, and trust.
  • You want a lawyer who has the patience to explain the law to you so that you and your team can avoid legal issues ahead of time.
  • Competent law firms are experienced with the types of issues you may face. No one lawyer knows everything about every area of law. For specialized instances, your attorney should have a working relationship with a network of various law specialists.
  • Your attorney should be somewhat familiar with your industry and its legal environment. Ideally, though, your lawyer doesn’t have said knowledge from representing your key competitors.
  • One of the reasons small business owners are wary of hiring a lawyer is the costs involved. While an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, there are ways to reduce unnecessary expenses. Ensure that the law firm you go with assigns the right seniority for the job. While you don’t want a rookie to be negotiating on your behalf, you shouldn’t pay for a senior partner to prepare the documents.

To find a business attorney in Washington, DC, please contact us today.

insurance law - How Can Attorneys Assist You Regarding Insurance Policies

How Can Attorneys Assist You Regarding Insurance Policies

insurance law - How Can Attorneys Assist You Regarding Insurance Policies

Glossary

A glossary is normally found at the end of an article? In this case, it makes sense to clarify one type of insurance cover from another before we delve into the topic.

Primary insurance cover responds first to an insured loss, either on a first dollar basis or after allowing for deductibles. Once the primary coverage limits have been paid, the outstanding loss is covered by any excess insurance in place.

Umbrella insurance cover generally provides excess coverage over various primary liability policies, such as commercial general liability, auto liability, and employers’ liability. The umbrella policy:

  • provides excess limits when the limits of basic liability policies are depleted by the payment of claims,
  • drops down and picks up where the underlying policy leaves off when the amassed limit of the primary policy in question is exhausted by the payment of claims, and
  • offers protection against certain claims not covered by the underlying policies, subject to the assumption by the named insured of a self-insured retention (SIR).

Commercial General Liability covers business organizations against claims for bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) arising out of premises, operations, products, and completed operations; and advertising and personal injury (PI) liability.

The process

As soon as you contact your insurance company about property damage or other losses, the insurance company will instruct a claims adjuster to evaluate the loss and calculate a settlement amount.

Ideally, the insurance company will accept your claim and provide a fair settlement. If, however, the insurance company rejects your claim, proposes a settlement lower than warranted, or acts in bad faith, then you will need an insurance lawyer.

Insurance attorneys assess your case to ensure that all is in order prior to litigating. A commercial law firm protects your rights against unethical insurance agencies and negotiate a fair settlement.

To find an insurance attorney in Fairfax, VA, please contact us today.

First-party Property Insurance Coverage Policies And Your Business

Picture it: you drive to work, only to discover that your thriving business has suddenly disappeared – into a sinkhole. What is the first thing you do? Call your insurance broker of course. Having appropriate insurance is part and parcel of owning a business. You expect that they will cover you in instances like this – property damage resulting from a natural disaster, business interruption, or builder’s risk. The last thing you can afford is any kind of delay; or worse, denial of claim.

One, two, three

When reading your insurance policy as a legal contract, “first party” is the term used for the insured. The “second party” refers to the insurance company, but it is an industry quirk that this term is seldom used. Anyone who is neither the insured nor the insurer is referred to as the “third party”.

So, for example, if one of your customers has a slip and fall on your premises, they would have a third party claim. However, if you have suffered a loss of your own property, your claim would be described as a first party claim.

Salt in the wound

If you have experienced some type of property loss, being paid out is top priority. There are often delays in decisions and action, unreasonable valuations, or coverage disputes.

A court case is a headache: expensive, and time-consuming. Ideally your insurance lawyer will aim to collect your insurance without the need to litigate. Insurance attorneys evaluate your situation, working towards a swift resolution.

Best practises

  • Be honest and give the correct information to the insurer.
  • Fill in the claim form yourself rather assigning it to a staff member.
  • Draw a line across any space left after filling in the form.
  • Scan a copy of the documents
  • Read all the terms and conditions in fine detail.
  • Conduct thorough research before selecting an insurance company.
  • Don’t decide in haste. Do ask for clarification.
  • Tackle the paperwork – time delays can cause a claim rejection.

To find a business attorney in Washington, DC, please contact us today.

Arlington civil litigation law firm

Your Business Is Being Sued – Here’s What To Do

Arlington civil litigation law firm

Do you ever wake up in a cold sweat, having dreamt that your business is being sued? Despite your best intentions, accidents happen and misunderstandings occur; and before you know it, a disagreement has morphed into a legal claim – nightmares are made of this.

Being sued leads to tension and stress, not to mention the demands on your time and money. However, with the counsel of a commercial law firm, it need not mean the end of the world – or less dramatically, the ruin of your business.

Step-by-step

  1. Act quickly. Strictly follow the legal requirements, including deadlines. Failure to do so may give the claimant a way to obtain a default judgment against you.
  2. Speak to a lawyer, not the person suing you. A director can appear for the company, unless directors have been named separately as defendants, in which case a commercial lawyer will advise whether you will need individual attorneys. Do not admit anything before consulting a lawyer.
  3. Choose a strategy:

3.1 Even if you believe the plaintiff has a flimsy case, it may make sense to settle, both financially and timewise. A compromise offer can prevent both parties from risking time and money proceeding with a court case.

3.2 If you are at fault, it is generally best to consult with interested parties (like your insurers), acknowledge your liability, and then pay the amount in full, or negotiate to make payment in instalments. If you go this route, state at the very beginning of any correspondence that the negotiations are being done without prejudice. Accepting liability and counter-claiming is another possibility.

3.3 Defend the claim only if you have solid legal reasons for doing so. Be careful to defend just the charges which are included in the claim – and nothing more. When describing your version of what happened include as much documented evidence as possible. To avoid unnecessary costs, work with your lawyers to reach agreement with the claimant on as much evidence as possible before the trial starts.

To find an attorney in Fairfax, VA, please contact us today.

consumer protection - What Does A Non-Compete Really Mean?

What Does A Non-Compete Really Mean?

consumer protection - What Does A Non-Compete Really Mean?

Did you know that the recipe for Coca Cola is, in fact, not patented, but a trade secret?

It’s a secret

The difference between the two is that a patent is publicly recognized and registered with the government, while a trade secret is not. The business world’s equivalent of classified documents, a trade secret must consist of information, e.g. technical information and business information. These practices or processes of a company are generally not known outside of the company, but have an intrinsic economic value. Finally, judicious efforts, guided by a business attorney, must have been made to retain its secrecy. Merely wanting or intending to keep information a secret is not acceptable.

Trade secrets can be easy to steal and exploit, so why did Coca Cola choose that over a patent then?

A patent has a limited life of fourteen to twenty years. Once the patent expires, the information it protected must be publicly disclosed, and is then free for anyone to replicate.

Can you keep a secret?

Imagine knowing exactly how your competitors make that indestructible item, manage their cash flow, or access the top clients. Gaining such competitive advantage sounds great until you put the shoe on the other foot. Now imagine that one of your employees is fired, and in a disgruntled rage shares confidential information about your trade secrets or sensitive information upon working for a competitor or starting his or her own business.

Precaution

To safeguard them, you need all your personnel that are privy to the data to sign non-compete agreement. To avoid a non-compete agreement dispute a la Kai-Fu Lee and Microsoft, it is a good idea to hire a business law attorney to draw up a water-tight contract.

To find an attorney in Arlington, VA to safeguard your trade secrets, please contact us today for more information.

insurance claims - What types of cases can an insurance attorney in Washington, DC assist you with?

What types of cases can an insurance attorney in Washington, DC assist you with?

insurance claims - What types of cases can an insurance attorney in Washington, DC assist you with?

As a business owner, you should prepare yourself for having to deal with insurance issues at one point or another. An insurance lawyer in Washington, DC will help you protect your business from individuals, other businesses as well as any other unforeseen event that could damage your business.

Insurance law is a very broad and varied field of law. Whether you are interested in contract negotiation, making sure the insurance policies that you invest in are well-suited to your business or that your property rights are covered are key things that an insurance lawyer can help you with.

At Schleifman Law, PLC, we have years of experience in complex insurance cases for corporate and individual policyholders, domestic and international insurers as well as captive insurers. We represent both policyholders and insurance and we have a unique understanding of the issues that drive each side to insurance litigation. Some of the services that we offer in include the following: 

If you want to make sure your insurance matters are handled efficiently and effectively, then partner with Schelifman Law. We have couseled hundreds of insurance declaratory judgement and breach of contract actions throughout the country and we have successfully mediated, negotiated, litigated and arbitrate d numerous claims. Contact us for more information from our insurance attorneys in Washington, DC today.

insurance law - Do you have a viable insurance case in Fairfax, VA?

Do you have a viable insurance case in Fairfax, VA?

insurance law - Do you have a viable insurance case in Fairfax, VA?

If you think that you may have an insurance case that needs to be investigated, arbitrated, mediated or negotiated, then it is in your best interest to consult an insurance lawyer in Fairfax, VA immediately. These cases are often complex and require a considerable amount of documentation and legal representation and while you might be able to find information relevant to your case online, the only want to ensure the possibility of a successful outcome is by partnering with a law firm that has experience in this field of law.

Whether or not you have a viable insurance case will depend on the type of insurance you are referring to. For example, you could be researching information about insurance cases relating to directors and officers policies, employment practices liability policies, reinsurance and captive programs, subrogation, primary, umbrella and excess commercial general liability cases or property, fire and business interruption insurance cases, among others. Any insurance attorney will need to properly evaluate your policy, your claims and any evidence that might relate to your case.

Claims and appeals need to be documented and processed in various stages. As a business owner, you need to make sure that your lawyer is well versed in the industry and able to handle the claims for you.

At Schleifman Law, PLC, we have years of experience in insurance law in Fairfax, VA. We have negotiated claims arising under a broad range of policy forms and we can add value to your business by giving you the advice and legal representation you need. Contact our insurance lawyers today.

laws - Services your commercial attorneys in Arlington, VA should be offering

Services your commercial attorneys in Arlington, VA should be offering

laws - Services your commercial attorneys in Arlington, VA should be offering

Looking to partner with commercial attorneys in Arlington, VA? Then you need to make sure that they not only have the right kind of experience and a long list of happy clients, but you need to ensure that they are also offering the services that you will need. Here are a few services that your commercial attorneys should be offering:

Insurance services

Commercial lawyers should offer a variety of complex insurance services to corporate and individual policyholders, domestic and international insurers as well as captive insurers. Insurance litigation services that you can expect include property, fire, business interruption and other first-party policies; primary, umbrella and excess commercial general liability occurrence and claims made policies; directors and officers policies and employment practices liability policies, among others.

Civil litigation services

You might need your commercial attorney to pursue civil litigation cases regarding breach of contract; business torts and unfair trade practices; limited liability company, corporation and partnership disputes; commercial lease disputes as well as real estate and construction litigation.

Appellate legal services

Appealing to an intermediate court or a court of last resort is a complicated process. Your commercial lawyer will need to carefully track everything from transcripts of trials, exhibits and pleadings of the case in order to properly document and process your case. Make sure your legal team has experience in this field of law.

Need a commercial lawyer in Arlington, VA? Then partner with Schleifman Law, PLC today.

Arlington attorney

Get legal representation for insurance cases

Arlington attorney

To ensure that you are correctly represented in an insurance case, make sure that you hire a professional insurance attorney in Washington, D.C. At Schleifman Law, PLC, we provide professional legal aid to the following:

  • Corporate policyholders.
  • Individual policyholders.
  • Domestic insurers.
  • International insurers.
  • Captive insurers.

It is best to find an attorney who has in-depth legal knowledge and knows how to get to the bottom of an issue or matter to ensure that the problem is solved quickly and effectively.

When it comes to insurance, there are many claims that can arise under a broad range of policy forms. At Schleifman Law, PLC in Washington, D.C, we have effectively negotiated, tried, mediated, arbitrated and litigated these claims.

The type of insurance policies that our legal team has experience with includes pollution legal liability policies, life, health and disability policies, fidelity, bankers and credit union bonds, reinsurance and captive programs, employment practices liability policies, directors and officers policies, subrogation, property policies and even handling professional errors and omissions.

Get legal representation in Virginia from Schleifman Law, PLC 

If you require legal representation for an insurance claim or dispute in Virginia, Schleifman Law, PLC can provide you with professional legal aid and advice. Simply consult with one of our insurance attorneys in Washington, D.C, who will look over your policy and provide you with sound legal advice. We have experience in dealing with a variety of complex insurance cases for both insurance policy holders and insurers. Our legal team takes the time to fully understand the issues and responsibilities of each side of insurance litigation.

To learn more about our legal services, contact us via email or telephone at Schleifman Law, PLC today.

business attorney in Fairfax

How to buy a business in Arlington, Virginia

business attorney in Fairfax

Buying advice from Arlington, Virginia business attorneys: Buying a business in Arlington, VA, can be a great deal more beneficial than starting up a new one. As a buyer you will undoubtedly be focused on understanding the nature of the business you are buying and of course, ensuring that the potential risk of encountering post-sale surprises in minimized. When buying a business in Virginia, you can expect to be faced with the following steps:

  • Understand what you are actually buying. In some instances a sale will include the seller’s LLC or corporation, but this is not always the case. In other instances it is just the assets being sold. It is quite important to understand the difference and ensure that you know what you are buying. Chat to a commercial business lawyer in Arlington, VA, for sound advice on this!
  • Decide what you are willing to pay for the business. It is important to understand the exact financial situation of the business before you decide how much you are willing to pay. Some businesses come with a great deal of debt which should certainly affect the sale price. If you are asked to sign a non disclosure agreement before the relevant information is shared with you, make sure that your business law attorney looks over the agreement and ensures that all is in order.
  • Have your purchase agreements drawn up. It is important that these are handled by a professional business lawyer as the documents you sign will determine if you are faced with problems in the future or not.
  • Closing of the deal. If you agree with all of the terms of the sale and everything is properly prepared according to law, it’s time to close the deal. This is where all the paperwork is finally signed and money exchanges hands.

Buy a business the right way with the help of our business attorneys at Schleifman Law, PLC

A professional business attorney in Arlington, Virginia, will be able to assist you with being fully prepared for the purchase of your new business. You can rest assured that all documentation will be thoroughly inspected and that you will be fully advised of all potential risks.

If you would like legal advice on how to buy a business in Arlington, VA, contact us via email or telephone at Schleifman Law, PLC today.

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    Blog

    The Role Of A Lawyer In Your New Startup
    In all the excitement of setting up…

    Read More
    How Can Attorneys Assist You Regarding Insurance Policies
    Glossary A glossary is normally found at…

    Read More
    First-party Property Insurance Coverage Policies And Your Business
    Picture it: you drive to work, only…

    Read More
    Your Business Is Being Sued – Here’s What To Do
    Do you ever wake up in a…

    Read More
    What Does A Non-Compete Really Mean?
    Did you know that the recipe for…

    Read More