When companies contract with one another for the sale and purchase of goods, those documents can later be used to prove liability if either party does not uphold its agreement. If the seller fails to deliver, the buyer can sue. If the buyer fails to purchase as promised, the seller can sue. grassseeds.jpg

That’s what happened in the case of Peace River Seed Co-Op v. Proseeds Marketing, where the Oregon Supreme Court determined that the aggrieved seller was entitled to recover the market price – and not just the resale price – of the goods that were not purchased as promised.

Maximizing your compensation in the event of a breach of contract is something in which our Boston small business lawyers are experienced.
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Wage violations in the Boston restaurant industry are more commonplace than you might think. rumdrinks.jpg

While Massachusetts laws regarding hours and tips are very strict when it comes to how restaurants must compensate workers, there is a decent chance that your meals are cooked and served by individuals who aren’t properly paid. Such abuses are relatively common in the food service industry, where managers and owners tend to take advantage of workers they assume won’t speak up.

One of the most recent cases is a class action lawsuit filed in Worcester Superior Court, in which Friday’s waiters and cooks allege a host of wage violations. Specifically, the workers say they were often required to work more than 40 hours in a given week, though they were required to work their overtime off-the-clock. Essentially, that meant they were getting paid nothing when they should have been making time-and-a-half.
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Entrepreneurs and owners of successful companies know that one of the most important decisions for which they are responsible is the determination of location. A firm’s location can make or break an operation. signing.jpg

Once a specific location has been identified, the firm will need to decide if the property should be purchased or leased. This decision, and the processes that follow, should be carefully overseen by a commercial lease attorney.

A poorly written or executed commercial leasing agreement can have a detrimental impact on an entity’s stability and long-term viability. A bad lease may also be more likely to result in costly litigation, which is what happened in the recent case of Pannell v. Shannon, reviewed by the Kentucky Supreme Court.
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The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts recently handed down a decision in the case of Selmark Assocs., Inc. v. Ehrlich, which has been ongoing since 2008. buildings.jpg

Our Boston business attorneys recognize the details of this case are extensive, but the core legal issues raised pertain to the duties that fellow shareholders and directors of corporations have to one another where contractual agreements define parts of their relationship. Also, the court wrestled with questions about the extent of damages to the aggrieved parties.

This complex business litigation reveals how important it is for corporations and shareholders to retain experienced attorneys for routine legal review of all dealings and contracts.
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A long-running dispute between former business partners has dissolved into a federal lawsuit filed by one of the parties. The former partner claims he was elbowed out of the business and denied the profits after developing the technology that made the company successful.
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The case, Morley v. Square Inc., filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, reveals how quickly business partnerships can crumble, and how carefully-drafted contracts can help to spare litigation.

Boston small business attorneys recognize that while the company in question, Square Inc., isn’t small now (it’s most recent valuation was somewhere around $5 billion), it started out with just three men and an idea a few short years ago.
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New entrepreneurs often display a passion and enthusiasm that is commendable. They believe in their product or service, they’re eager to thrive and they dive head-first into marketing. neonsigns.jpg

While advertisement is an important aspect of launching any firm, our Boston small business lawyers urge all new company owners to consult with their legal team on a strategy. Advertising practices are regulated by both federal and state laws, and Massachusetts has some of the strongest consumer protection statutes on the books.

Sales practices that are deemed deceptive or unfair are addressed by the Federal Trade Commission, as well as the Massachusetts Attorney General. Per the Federal Trade Commission Act, advertising has to be truthful and fair and advertisers have to back up their claims.
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In reviewing a breach of contract lawsuit filed by a cosmetics company against former “independent marketing executives,” a state supreme court ruled that language in the contract amounted to an illegal penalty and further, the company was required to prove its degree of economic damages before it could collect them.
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The previous verdict in the case of Melaleuca, Inc v. Foeller was therefore vacated and remanded by the Idaho Supreme Court back to the district court for further proceedings.

The evidence here suggests a clear breach of contract that would obviously warrant financial remedy. However, every word of a business contract has the potential for meaning in the event of a civil lawsuit, which is why companies must take the utmost care during the drafting phase of the process.
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Small business owners must enter into every contract with caution, making sure to have each line carefully reviewed by an experienced Boston business lawyer. Failure to do this can result in situations where the firm or even the individual owner is held liable in costly negligence or injury actions they might otherwise have been able to avoid. boston.jpg

In the corporate world, many contracts include contractual liability exclusions. This often pertains to the insurance world, but not always. In general, contractual liability (or quite literally, liability because of a contract) has a very broad meaning. It is a promise that can be enforced by the court. It creates liability where none existed.

So with regard to insurance, the insurance firm agrees that for a regular fee, they will reimburse and in some cases defend the business from claims or lawsuits brought by third parties. The insurance firm agrees to assume liability.
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The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision in Alexander v. Casino Queen Inc. that reversed a trial court summary judgment halting a race discrimination claim from moving forward.
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Now, two black casino cocktail waitresses who claim they were treated poorly in comparison to their white counterparts will be allowed to have their case heard at trial. The appellate court struck down the trial court’s earlier finding that the women had not established they had suffered adverse employment action.

This case involved the very same Illinois casino that just a few years ago settled a large racial discrimination claim brought by more than 70 current and former black employees.
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The structure of governance in any corporation is of key importance in terms of establishing responsibilities, rights and accountability within the firm. A strong corporate governance structure is one that clearly defines the company’s goals and objectives, specifies the rules and procedures for attaining same, and reflects the context of the industry’s social, market and regulatory environments.
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Having this pyramid carefully vetted and consistently re-evaluated by an experienced corporate governance lawyer can help a company avoid a host of issues, including costly litigation and a potentially tarnished public image.

Failure to establish a good corporate governance structure, particularly as it relates to accountability, has resulted in a number of high-profile company collapses in recent years, the corporate financing scandals of Enron and MCI Inc. (formerly WorldCom) are prime examples.
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MBA
Boston Bar Assosiation