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Category Archives: *Way Out – Advice

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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

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

When Should You Turn Down a Billion Dollars?

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Money

Oil tycoon Harold Hamm and his now ex-wife, Sue Ann Arnall – whose divorce we have written about before – were involved in one of the largest and nastiest divorces in US history. Just last week, Mr. Hamm sent Ms. Arnall a personal check for $975 million in full payment of the cash award she… 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

Will Over-Serving Your Guests Ruin Your Holiday (Legally Speaking)?

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Around the Holidays

The middle of the holiday season means more than just busy shopping malls.  It is also the time when many people host holiday parties.  After attending Mora Rounds’ holiday party and consuming several adult beverages, Bitu Tipsy agreed to drive her friend Shannon home.  Shannon did not know Bitu had been drinking.  Unfortunately, Bitu crashed… 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

Protecting your Business from a Lack of “Wedded Bliss”

Posted in *Way Out - Advice

Richard and Rachel Rich married 30 years ago and enjoyed a tempestuous union ever since. One year prior to their marriage, Richard started up a small computer products company, Orange Computers. During the marriage, Orange Computers’ business skyrocketed after the introduction of their premier line of attractive digital personal assistants. Even after taking his business… Continue Reading

Trespassers – Can You Shoot ‘Em?

Posted in *Way Out - Advice

While riding the perimeter of his South Texas ranch in preparation for the upcoming dove season, Gaul Derrnit spies trespassers crawling through a new hole in his fence.  Twice before other illegal immigrants damaged Gaul’s fences and gates, water lines and water storage tanks, vandalized his property, burglarized an isolated ranch home and left massive… Continue Reading

WARNING to Liquor License Holders – “Open Carriers” Can Cost you your Liquor License

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Constitutional Rights & Issues

“Open Carry” advocates recently made the news by openly carrying rifles and shotguns into Texas businesses. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) issued a REMINDER to all those who hold a Liquor License that businesses licensed to sell or serve alcoholic beverages are prohibited by state law from allowing rifles or shotguns in the building…. Continue Reading

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

Whistleblowers, Do Tell?

Posted in *Way Out - Advice, Constitutional Rights & Issues, Employment & Labor, Money

Whizzle Blour, a professor of surgery at University Medical School, complained to his supervisor that trauma residents at University Hospital were treating and operating on patients without an attending physician’s supervision in violation of Medicare and Medicaid law.  After agreeing to settle those federal claims, University Hospital stripped Whizzle of his faculty chair position claiming… Continue Reading