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Tilting the Scales Business Issues with a Legal Slant

Category Archives: Legal Risk Management

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Closely-Held Shareholder Derivative Actions are Alive and Well in Texas

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Family Issues, Legal Risk Management

After 30 years of running his family-owned business, Hillbilly Oil Co., Jed Clampett decided to retire in 2013. The board of directors elects Jethro Bodine as Hillbilly’s President and Elly May as Vice President. Both Jethro and Elly May sit on the company’s board of directors. Soon after taking over, Jethro is presented with a… Continue Reading

Hack Attack?

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Employment & Labor, Legal Risk Management, Social Media & The Internet

Breathing a sigh of relief that he neither works for U.S. agencies requiring security clearances nor do his hiring policies require the details of mental illnesses, drug and alcohol use, past arrests, bankruptcies, Joe Hyre was oblivious to the ranting of Dez Grunteld, a whining employee who he fired last week. Over the weekend Dez… Continue Reading

Foreseeability and a Business Owner’s Liability for Criminal Acts of Others

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Criminal Law, Legal Risk Management

Recently we’ve discussed how the foreseeability of the potential harm caused by a person’s actions can make them liable for negligence. Recent horrific events in Garland and Waco, Texas bring up a related question: can a business owner ever have a duty to protect his customers from the wrongful – even criminal – acts of… Continue Reading

Business Owners Don’t Have Crystal Balls: Foreseeability and Liability for Criminal Actions

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Legal Risk Management

Recently we’ve discussed how the foreseeability of the potential harm caused by a person’s actions can make them liable for negligence. Recent horrific events in Garland and Waco, Texas bring up a related question: can a business owner ever have a duty to protect his customers from the wrongful – even criminal – acts of… Continue Reading

The Top 3 Things Tom Brady Can Learn From Blue Bell Creameries: “Nothing is More Important To Us Than Maintaining Your Trust”*

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Legal Risk Management, Social Media & The Internet

Take it Seriously. A week ago, when asked about the “elephant in the room,” New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady replied before 4,000  cheering and laughing Patriots fans “Where? When I digest it fully, I’ll be sure to let you know how I feel about it… This is like a Patriots pep rally.” Last March… Continue Reading

Paying Child Support: Are Your New Hires Being Honest?

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Criminal Law, Employment & Labor, Family Issues, Legal Risk Management, Money

Knowing that his old high school friend Iman Dedbeet had just been taken to the cleaners by his ex-wife Goldilocks in a nasty divorce, Johnny Clueless decided to help Iman out by hiring him as his general sales manager at Clueless Automotive. Johnny knew that Goldilocks got full custody of Dedbeet’s kids and that Dedbeet… Continue Reading

Avoiding Job Applicants who Smoke: Is Snuffing out Smokers Discrimination?

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Employment & Labor, Legal Risk Management

Faced with increasing healthcare costs and wanting to be a good role model, Gus Grohcer of Canned Foods 4 Less advises all prospective employees that he does not hire smokers and tests for nicotine, making all job offers “contingent upon passing a pre-hire drug screen including nicotine test.” During the ninety day probationary period, Chimm… Continue Reading

Safety Over Convenience: When Should Employers Investigate their Employees’ Mental State?

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Legal Risk Management

Stephen F. Austin is the CEO of Alamo Lines, a bus line servicing Central Texas. One night, a young, promising driver, David Boone, confessed to Stephen that he was suffering from severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Boone did not mention that his depression was due to the breakup of his romantic relationship with co-worker, Samantha… Continue Reading

Partner Liability: Out of the Woods?

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Legal Risk Management, Money

Debbett Runnup Partnership, a Texas general partnership, was sued by Widgets R Us in 2010 for failing to pay Widgets R Us invoices. Judgment was granted to Widgets in 2012 against Debbett Runnup for $300,000. After chasing Debbett for over three years, Widgets’ lawyer Plinn T. Agreshun realizes that Debbett is penniless. Knowing that partners… Continue Reading

The Coming Silver Tsunami: Families May Lose 70% in Wealth Transfer

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Family Issues, Legal Risk Management, Money

Record Wealth Transfer. Over the next 30-40 years about $12 trillion from those born in 1920s and 30s will be transferred to the baby boomers, and the boomers are expected to transfer some $30 trillion to their heirs, with more than an estimated $59 trillion transferred from 93.6 million American estates from 2007 to 2061…. Continue Reading

A Measle-ly Lawsuit: Can Parents Who Don’t Vaccinate their Children be Sued?

Posted in *BTW - Noteworthy, Family Issues, Legal Risk Management

Yearning to leave the frozen wasteland of Dallas, Texas behind her if just for a moment, Penny McCrathy, an outspoken anti-vaccination advocate, took her unvaccinated children to Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Not knowing that her children had been exposed to measles by a foreign tourist, Penny brought them back to Texas and sent them back… Continue Reading

Selling What You Don’t Have…What Happened to my Super Bowl Tickets?

Posted in *Weighing In - IMHO, Legal Risk Management, Money

Thursday before Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix Ima Goen Nomattawatta, a huge Patriots fan, found an online broker Izzure Scalp with Super Bowl tickets for $2,500 apiece. Not believing that he could get 4 tickets at only $750 above face value, Nomattawatta quickly called three buddies, found flights and non-refundable hotel rooms, and all four… Continue Reading

Sony vs. N. Korea – Let Capitalism Fight Totalitarianism!

Posted in *Weighing In - IMHO, Legal Risk Management

Cyber terrorism, North Korea, Sony, extortion, free speech, The Interview, international relations, journalistic ethics, cyber security… can it get any better than this? Implausible – a C grade comedy movie The Interview about two hapless TV journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate a sitting world leader North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Appalling -… Continue Reading

An Invitation to Investors Risks Losing Control of Your Business

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Legal Risk Management

Cleve and I recently discussed how a business owner’s divorce might result in losing control of the business. While loss of business control by marital divorce is a real threat, many business owners lose their companies through “business divorces” after squabbling with their investors. Some new businesses are overnight successes, like Ben Distiller’s Texas Whiskey… Continue Reading

Divorce – Four Business Reasons for a Prenuptial Agreement

Posted in *BTW - Noteworthy, Family Issues, Legal Risk Management, Money

With an ongoing Oklahoma divorce case in mind last month Tilting wrote about Tigh A. Knott, his wife Lucy Knott and how a business owner’s divorce can impact his business and affect his partners. The real players were Harold Hamm and his wife Sue Ann. Last week the court granted Oklahoma oil tycoon Harold Hamm… Continue Reading

Divorce – Impacting Your Meddlin Hands Partners!

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Family Issues, Legal Risk Management, Money

To the other four minority owners who enjoyed the meteoric rise of Meddlin Hands Cleaning Products, when Lucy Knott sued their majority partner Tigh A. Knott for divorce, the divorce was anything but routine. Lucy wants half of the business and day to day participation. With no company agreement, the other shareholders face the prospect… Continue Reading

Cyber Security: Forewarned is Fair-Warned

Posted in *Weighing In - IMHO, Legal Risk Management

When Wei Wong, owner of Sushi Mushi, a popular Japanese food bistro in Texas, installed a phone add-on to take credit and debit card payments straight from his employees’ phones, his revenues skyrocketed. Yesterday the Feds told him that his customers’ credit and debit card numbers were posted for sale on an underground website. Malware planted… Continue Reading

IRS Tax Emails

Posted in Legal Risk Management

By now, you’ve probably heard about the IRS claiming they lost emails pertaining to the investigation of conservative groups applying for 501(c)(4) status. If you’re interested in a tax attorney’s perspective, watch Gray Reed’s own David Gair on LXBNTV.

What and How You Sign a Contract Matters

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Legal Risk Management

Needing a sales boost for his new line of fashion catheters, Sy Noff, owner and President of Med, Inc., retained advertising gurus Draper & Olson. Their contract provided for signature by Sy Noff as “President and CEO” of “Med Catheter Corp, Inc.” After a three-martini lunch, Draper & Olson run up a $100,000 bill creating an… Continue Reading