Austin Business Litigation Blog

Is construction mediation right for you?

Disputes between the various parties involved in a construction project are not uncommon. What is unacceptable about disputes is the time and money they cost. That’s why mediation is often the go-to route to resolve disputes.

Mediation not only allows for a quicker and often less expensive resolution than going to court, it can also help maintain the relationships between businesses that will eventually work together on another project.

Signs your business partnership may not be working

If you’ve entered into a partnership, you expect it to give your company an edge. An ideal partnership allows both sides to contribute unique strengths and make each other stronger.

Unfortunately, many partnerships are less than ideal. Here are a few signs your partnership may not be the optimal arrangement for your business:

Structures to consider when forming a business

If you are starting your own business, you will have to consider what tax entity your company will operate under. This important decision will establish the structure of your business, as well as the personal risk you are prepared to accept and the investment opportunities your business may provide. Because this decision can affect so many aspects of your business, it is important to be well-educated on your options before making making up your mind.

Sole proprietorships

City of Austin sued by MetCenter for change of plans

The Austin City Council agreed to lease a location from MetCenter for 10 years at a cost of $31 million to house the new Municipal Court. That was in May. Now MetCenter is suing the city for pulling out of the deal. The agreement was tentative, but MetCenter alleges bad faith negotiations and double-dealing. 

What businesses should pay attention to in commercial leases

When you’re starting a business, one of the main expenses is a commercial space.

If you don’t want to commit to purchasing commercial property, then leasing is your best option. What some business owners don’t realize is what’s not in the lease is just as important as what is.

Understanding the value of business mediation

As a small business owner, you understand that things don’t always go as planned. A major part of the job is resolving arguments and smoothing over tensions on a daily basis. Whether it be an employee disputing the amount of overtime they worked or a shareholder angry that their expectations are not being met, there will always be a fire to put out when you’re the boss.

As we discussed in our blog last month, one of the most effective ways to avoid business disputes is to carefully construct your business in a way that quells them to begin with. Make sure everything is in writing, make expectations clear, always have information available and so on.

How to avoid business disputes from the start

Starting a new business means taking on any number of new responsibilities as an entrepreneur. Choosing a business structure, developing a product or service and hiring employees are just a few of the many tasks to address in forming your company.

Each of those decisions may bring future consequences, good and bad. Without the correct documentation, agreements and guidelines, the business could end up in jeopardy down the line because of decisions made early on. What can you do to head off these potential disputes from the start?

Will you experience probate litigation?

Probate is the legal process for paying debts and distributing remaining assets after a loved one passes away. Occasionally, problems arise during probate that result in litigation. Often, families enter probate litigation to contest a will.

There are three common strategies to have a will invalidated.

· Unmet provisions. A beneficiary can argue that provisions in state statute were unmet during the execution of the will, therefore, it's invalid.

· Lack of capacity. Another common argument is that the decedent was not of sound mind at the time of the will.

· Undue influence. If a beneficiary believes that the someone influenced the decision of the decedent, they can claim undue influence.

Construction liens: Getting paid when someone won’t pay

Construction is a difficult business, with long hours, changing work conditions and occasionally unreasonable client expectations. These expectations can sometimes lead someone to withhold payment for a job, even when you’ve held up your end of the agreement. Fortunately, you’re not without options -- you can file a mechanic’s lien, which cover a wide range of issues when things don’t go as planned. Unfortunately, Texas has the most complicated filing rules in the country, which can be difficult to navigate. Here are some tips to demystify the process.

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