Austin Business Litigation Blog

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.

What options do contractors have to resolve a dispute?

Working as a contractor is a difficult, time-intensive job. Not only do you have to focus on completing a project in the time you bid, but you need to make sure the customer is on the same page.

When there’s a miscommunication between a contractor and their client, it can get ugly. Disputes can slow down projects and damage a contractor’s reputation.

Considering selling a business?

There are many types of businesses. Some are family traditions passed from one generation to the next. Others are entrepreneurial: built from the ground up, and then it’s time to move on to the next project. When an owner is ready to enter the next phase of life, be it for business or personal reasons, there are important factors to consider if you want to sell the business to a new buyer.

Partnership disputes: A threat to your business?

You and your business partner work together on a wide range of matters in connection to your company. It is natural that you two might not be in total agreement about all aspects of your business. Sometimes, disagreements between business partners are relatively minor and are able to be resolved without much trouble. Other times though, they can grow into full-blown disputes.

What should be included in a partnership agreement?

Partnership agreements are a valuable tool for any business. Partnership agreements, like any contract, give the parties involved promises that can be relied upon. Agreements also force the partners to think through important issues at the beginning of the company's life.

Here is a list of common provisions in partnership agreements.

3 legitimate reasons to challenge a will

It can be very difficult to prevail when challenging a will, because the court begins with the presumption that the will expresses the deceased's wishes. The will "speaks" for the deceased, and a strong legal argument is needed to get the court to go against what the will says.

In some situations, however, it is possible to challenge a will and win. In this post, we will look at three reasons to dispute the legitimacy of a will.

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