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Who knew this sleepy-town family court judge would one day be the center of contention surrounding a multi-million-dollar lawsuit. Well, it appears Los Angeles superior court Judge Yvette Plazuelos has ruled that Judge Judy Sheindlin’s agent, Rebel Entertainment Partners, can go ahead with their lawsuit against CBS television.

Unless there is some sort of pre-trial resolution, the trial is set for October 23, 2017.

Judge Judy’s Salary Case Details and Allegations

CBS Corp Sues Judge Judy over Show Profits, Alleged Fraud | Denver Business Attorney

CBS Corp Sues Judge Judy over Show Profits, Alleged Fraud | Denver Business Attorney

The following case details and allegations surrounding Judge Judy’s controversial salary case were gather from new reports and court documents:1

Why it is Important to Create Profit-Sharing Agreements

Before you close a big deal between two separate companies or entitles. it’s important that you draft up and make a contractual binding profit agreement, so that there’s no disputes further down the road. Here’s a few things to keep in mind when wanting to make a profit sharing agreement:

Contact a Denver Business Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC

Does your business agreement or partnership need a profit sharing agreement? If so, contact Denver Business Attorney Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and his faithful legal team at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing legal representation to business clients for all kinds of business-related matters, including partnership agreements, profit sharing agreements and contract negotiations.

Let us take the hassle out of drafting complicated business agreements, call our Denver business attorney today at (303) 813-1111 or by email him us using the contact form on this page.

We’re based in Englewood, but we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

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1“Judge Judy's $47m salary at the center of lawsuit against CBS” published in the Guardian, July 2016.

2“CBS Sees ‘Judge Judy’ Lawsuit Over $47M Salary & Profits Get Trial Date” published in Deadline, July 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

The family of the late reggae superstar Bob Marley recently won $2.4 million in a trademark infringement lawsuit over the coffee brand carrying the family’s name. At issue, says parent company Jammin Java, is the fact that the family decided to nullify its contractual obligation with the coffee brewing company founded in 2007 by former chairman Rohan Marley, one of Bob Marley’s 11 children. Jammin Java counter sued for breach of contract.

“The viability of Jammin Java’s entire business is wholly dependent on its right to utilize the Marley Coffee brand name and other intellectual property owned by (the Marley family),” read the filing by Jammin Java president Anh Tran.

Marley Coffee Lawsuit Case Details and Allegations

Bob Marley Family Wins $2.4M Trademark Infringement Lawsuit | Denver Business Attorney

Bob Marley Family Wins $2.4M Trademark Infringement Lawsuit
| Denver Business Attorney

The following Marley Coffee lawsuit case details and allegations were gathered from news reports, press releases and court documents:1

Main Factor in the Court's Decision

U.S. District Court judge Stephen V. Wilson declared that that since Jammin Java did not to show any costs associated with the trademark, the damages award is the full gross revenue made from the Marley Coffee products.

Contact a Denver Business Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC

Has your company or group of investors experienced a breach of contract over a business dealing? If so, Denver Business Attorney Thomas E. Downey can help you get the matter worked out for the best possible outcome. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the legal team at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing legal representation to clients for all kinds of business-related matters, including contract negotiations and mediations.

Call our Denver business attorney today to see how we can provide you with legal assistance at (303) 813-1111 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page.

Our law offices in Englewood, but we also service clients throughout state and the U.S.

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1“Jammin Java Corp. Issues Shareholder Letter Regarding State of the Business and Providing a Litigation Update” published in the Global News Wire, August 2016.

2"Hollywood Docket: Bob Marley Coffee, Kardashian Beauty and Spotify's Settlement" published in The Hollywood Reporter, June 2017.

Have you ever wondered how safe your current (or a prospective) workplace really is? Well, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently enacted a new compliance measure, requiring roughly 750,000 employers (which operate about 1.5 million workplaces) to submit detailed annual reports regarding work-related injuries and illnesses online as of 2017. This new rule is reportedly set to take effect this month.

The New OSHA Rule: A Look at the Details & Requirements

safety first signs

According to the new OSHA reporting rule, businesses that have more than 250 employees and/or at least 20 employees in high-risk positions are required to file these online reports every year.

The new rule also includes provisions stipulating that:

Pros and Cons of Reporting Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

OSHA officials are hopeful that this new reporting rule will improve workplace safety across the U.S. - and enhance employers' compliance with OSHA regulations (due to the increased transparency).

There are, however, various critics of this rule. These critics contend that:

Opposing these critics, labor unions and organizations generally embrace the new rule. As Christine Owens, executive director at the National Employment Law Project, has explained:

More than 4,800 workers were killed on the job in 2014; almost 3 million more suffered serious injuries... This is an unconscionable toll of workplace disease and death for a 21st-century economy, and OSHA must do all it can to improve the safety and health of America’s workers. 

Contact a Denver Business Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC

For experienced, effective representation in an employment law or other business dispute, contact Denver Business Attorney Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC have been providing exceptional representation for various business legal issues, including those related to OSHA compliance issues, contract negotiations, and corporate governance issues.

Our dedication to our clients, coupled with our extensive experience handling complex matters of corporate and real estate law, means that our clients can always trust that we will aggressively protect their rights and help them achieve the best possible outcomes to their sensitive legal matters.

Call our Denver business attorney today at (303) 813-1111, or email our firm using the contact form on this page.

From law offices based in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

overcoming your mistakes graphic

Business succession planning can be pivotal to protecting your investment in an enterprise and ensuring the longevity of that enterprise. While there is no cookie-cutter way to plan for the succession of a business, however, avoiding the following mistakes can be key leaving a business on your terms and minimizing your liabilities in the process.

Don’t Make These Business Succession Planning Mistakes

  1. Assuming a family member will take over the business – Although family members may have helped start or run a business, they may not be willing to assume a leadership role when an owner is ready to retire. And making this assumption without speaking to family members can create extra stresses and complications in the succession process, especially if the selected successor is already committed to pursuing other professional endeavors.
  2. Selecting an unqualified successor – Depending on the nature and size of a business, the right successor to take the helm may need to be someone with managerial, business or other experience. If, however, the business is left to someone who is not qualified to run it, the chances are that the business will not remain successful or profitable for as long as it could had a qualified successor been chosen.
  3. Not sharing the plan with heirs or successors – Although business succession planning may cause some competition and conflict, discussing the plan – especially with those who may be successors – is critical, as this can help identify some extra plans that may need to be made now to avoid additional pitfalls or complications in the future.
  4. Waiting too long to start the planning process – Business succession planning is a process that, in some cases, can take years to finalize. In fact, it’s generally advised that business owners start thinking about succession planning about 5 to 10 years before they plan on retiring. Waiting too long can force owners to compromise their plans. It could also come at an added expense, especially if an accident, illness or some other event forces a quick sale of the enterprise.
  5. Developing a plan without the guidance of an attorney – This  may be the single biggest mistake that can be made in business succession  planning, as not working with a lawyer can significantly increase the chances of costly oversights, especially when it comes to tax issues, the sale of the business, etc.

Contact Denver Business Lawyer Thomas E. Downey

For experienced assistance with business succession planning, contact Denver Business Lawyer Thomas E. Downey.

For well over three decades, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing individuals and businesses with the highest level of legal service for their litigation, business, property tax and real estate legal issues.

To learn more about our various services and how we can assist you, call us at (303) 813-1111 or email us using the contact form on this page. From our law offices in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

walking through a keyhole

A business plan can be the roadmap to success and profitability for an enterprise. While traditional business plans are usually longer, detailed documents that include a number of sections and in-depth analysis, however, the business plan summary should only be about one page long.

Given that this summary may be the only thing potential partners, investors, employees or others read about your business (before making a choice to invest in or work with your enterprise), crafting a compelling business plan summary is essential. And, the most compelling summaries will typically be those that accurately and succinctly cover the following key elements:

  1. An overview of the business – This should highlight the main points, including the structure of the business, the name of the enterprise, the primary business location and all of the business owners. It should also explain what the business will do or sell and what experience the owners have to position the enterprise for success.
  2. A market summary – This aspect of a business plan summary should explain who the target customer base is for the business, how the enterprise stands out above competitors and what strategies the owner(s) intend to use to market and grow the business. If the enterprise will start out with limited products or services and then expand them, the plan for expansion should be explained here as well.
  3. The business financials – Here, it’s important to discuss the startup costs for the business, as well as where the funds to cover these costs will come from (including whether some portion of these costs will be paid directly by the owner(s)). This aspect of business plan summaries should also explain the current financial status of the business/its owners, as well as the projected profits for the first six months, one year, or some other frame of time.
  4. A plan for the future – This should clearly explain the vision and goals for the company, as well as the steps that will be necessary to take in order to meet these goal. Given the fact that these summaries need to be kept short, this section tends to work well as a series of bullet points.

Contact Denver Business Lawyer Thomas E. Downey

When you need experienced help forming a business, you can count on Denver Business Lawyer Thomas E. Downey.

Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing the highest level of legal service to our clients for their litigation, business, property tax and real estate legal issues.

To learn more about our various services and how we can assist you, call us at (303) 813-1111 or email us using the contact form on this page.

From our law offices in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

employee handbook

Employee handbooks can be essential to establishing good, lasting employer-employee relationships. While employee handbooks can cover a lot of issues, however, the following are generally the most important topics to details in these handbooks:

  1. General employment info – This should provide an overview of the business, along with general employment policies, such eligibility for employment, employee records, probationary periods for employment, and disciplinary/termination procedures. If employees for a business are usually unionized or if they are commonly foreign workers, including specific information for these types of employees in this section is also generally advisable.
  2. Standards of conduct for employees – This aspect of employee handbooks should generally outline the dress and ethics codes for employees, as well as policies regarding schedules, attendance, punctuality, telecommuting etc. If a business is subject to specific regulations or ethical rules, these should also be explained in this part of the handbook.
  3. Workplace anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies – If a business’ policies different from state or federal laws in any way, the differences should be explained in detail in the employee handbook. As part of this section, it’s also important to discuss reporting options for employees, as well as the general investigative procedures the business will use to look into discrimination- and/or harassment-based complaints.
  4. Safety & health issues – This aspect of employee handbooks should discuss how a business is compliant with the applicable OSHA regulations. It should also explain how employees are supposed to report work accidents, workplace safety hazards, etc.
  5. Employee compensation and benefits – With this section of employee handbooks, details regarding deductions for taxes, voluntary deductions for benefits and eligibility for overtime pay should be explained. Additionally, this aspect of employee handbooks should outline how and when performance reviews, salary increases, bonuses, etc. are administered (or available) per the company’s policies, as well as the various benefit programs offered by the company.
  6. Leave policies – This section should detail policies regarding family medical leave, military leave, and leave for any other reason, explaining how these policies are compliant with state or federal law.

Developing Employee Handbooks: More Important Tips

Contact Denver Business Lawyer Thomas E. Downey

For experienced help forming a business or resolving any business legal issues, contact Denver Business Lawyer Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing individuals and businesses throughout the U.S. with the highest level of legal service for their litigation, property tax and business legal issues.

To learn more about our various services and how we can assist you, call us at (303) 813-1111 or email us using the contact form on this page.

From our law offices in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

How to Prepare a Business to Borrow

How to Prepare a Business to Borrow

Funds to start and run a business can come from various sources – including from the owner’s (or owners’) own pockets, from other investors or even from third-party lenders.

While there may be special steps that business owners need to take when looking for investors, when trying to secure a business loan from a financial institution, taking the following steps first can help position the loan application for approval.

5 Steps to Take before Applying for a Business Loan

  1. Review your credit reports – This includes both your personal credit report, as well as the credit report for the business. Lenders will be closely reviewing both of these credit reports when considering whether to issue a loan to your business, so you will want to be sure that you/your business have good credit before you spend time, money and other precious resources completing the business loan application.
  2. Fix any errors on this report – If you notice any mistakes or errors on your personal or business credit report, get these fixed prior to applying for a loan to ensure these reports accurately reflect your credit history. While you may need to directly contact a credit bureau to correct errors related to personal identifying or contact information (like your SSN or your business’ address), you will likely need to directly contact a creditor if the erroneous information is related to debts noted on these credit reports.
  3. Prep the necessary supporting documentation – If your personal or business credit report shows more than one or two late payments or delinquent accounts, it may be necessary to provide some supporting documentation, explaining just why these issues occurred. This is because lenders may be willing to overlook some late or missed payments if prospective borrowers can verify that these issues were related to some isolated incident (like a divorce or illness), rather than a pattern of financial irresponsibility.
  4. Determine how much equity your business has – While lenders will not generally want to issue loans to business owners (and businesses) with bad credit, they will also typically be reluctant to loan funds to businesses that lack sufficient equity. In fact, the average lending institution will want to see that a prospective business borrower does not have debts/liabilities that exceed four times the amount of equity in the business. If the business lacks equity, it may be necessary to invest some of your own funds (or look for other investors) to boost the equity prior to applying for the loan.
  5. Prepare the collateral or find a co-signer (if needed) – This can be an alternative for businesses that lack equity, as lenders may still be willing to issue a loan to these businesses so long as the owners are able to put up sufficient collateral or another party is willing to co-sign the loan.

Contact a Denver Business Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC

For experienced help forming a business or resolving any business legal issues, contact Denver Business Attorney Thomas E. Downey by calling us at (303) 813-1111 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page. From our law offices in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

When preparing to form a business, there can be a lot of issues to consider and resolve ahead of time in order to position that business for success in the future.

maze being erased and man following new path

If you are getting ready to go into business for yourself, here are some essential questions to ask yourself and honestly answer so that you can start figuring out the next best steps to take to get your enterprise up and running:

  1. What will my business do or provide? – Be specific, providing details about the goods and/or services your business will offer, as well as the pricing for each of these offerings. If the products or services will be limited at first and then will expand with time, be sure to explain this also, providing the projected timeline for any additional offerings.
  2. Who is my target customer? – The answer to this question should reveal exactly who your business’ goods and/or services will be suited for. Think about age, interests, gender and/or other defining factors that describe your target audience. The more details that can be provided here, the better, as this can help inform future marketing efforts.
  3. Do I have the time and other necessary resources to start my business? – Time, money, labor and working space may be just some of the resources needed to get your enterprise off of the ground, and making sure you have what you need upfront can be essential to avoiding costly pitfalls later.
  4. How much financing is needed to get my business started? – And where are you planning on getting this business financing? For many new enterprises, financing comes from a combination of sources, such as from owner’s funds, from investors, from lending institutions, etc. Knowing where you will be pulling financial resources from can help you determine if you have enough financing and whether you may need to make some bigger adjustments to your business plan.
  5. Who is my competition? – Name business names here. Identifying the competition can be crucial to making sure you are providing something unique that will help you stand out in the marketplace.
  6. What unique offerings will my business provide? – Going hand-in-hand with the above, the answer to this question should specifically explain what new or different offerings your business will provide and how these offerings may be lacking in the current marketspace.
  7. What other logistics need to be in place to get the business going? – Other logistics to think about can include (but are by no means limited to) business insurance needs, business tax obligations and business marketing in the future.

With these answers, you can be equipped to start writing a formal business plan or executive business summary and move forward to form your business, obtain financing, etc.

What’s Next? Contact a Denver Business Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC

For experienced help staring a business or resolving any business legal issue, contact Denver Business Attorney Thomas E. Downey by calling us at (303) 813-1111 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page. From our law offices in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

When hiring staff to run a business, owners and managers can choose to take on their new hires as either employees or contract workers. Understanding the difference between these two types of staff can be crucial in appropriately classifying workers and, in turn, avoiding potentially costly disputes in the future.

What is an ‘Employee’?

types of employees

In general, workers who are employees will be those who:

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which released guidelines for determining whether workers are employees versus independent contractors earlier this year, “most workers are employees under the FLSA [Fair Labor Standards Act].”

What is an ‘Independent Contractor’?

In contrast, workers who are generally considered to be independent contractors will be those who:

Why the Right Classification Matters: Limiting Business Liability

While businesses of any size can benefit from staffing a mix of employees and independent contractors, appropriately classifying each staff member, based on the nature of his labor (and the factors noted above), is essential.

This is because, when businesses misclassify workers – hiring them on as independent contractors instead of employees, they can be sued by the misclassified workers.

And when these lawsuits result in wins for the misclassified workers, businesses can be ordered to compensate workers for their:

Punitive damages may also be awarded in some worker misclassification cases.

Contact a Denver Business Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC

For experienced help resolving any business legal issue, contact Denver Business Attorney Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing individuals and businesses in the Denver Metro Area and throughout the U.S. with the highest level of legal service for their business, litigation, property tax and real estate legal issues.

To find out more about our services and how we can assist you, contact our firm today by calling us at (303) 813-1111 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page.

From our law offices in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

A business plan executive summary may be your only chance to communicate how your business will achieve success to potential investors, partners, employees and others. Given that these summaries are limited in length, below are some tips on what to focus on in order to develop a compelling, effective executive summary for your business plan.

Creating a Compelling Executive Summary for Business Plans

  1. business plan and calculations

    Focus on the broad highlights, not the finer points – Detail the business’ name, location, products and services, target market, and the experience you/other owners are bringing to the table. Also, explain plans and projections for growing the business and meeting certain specific goals. Avoid, however, going into specifics about performance measurements, budgeting issues and other finer points that can (and should) be explained more thoroughly in the business plan.

  2. Avoid/eliminate vague language – There’s no room for it, and it will only detract from the important points/messages you are trying to communicate in the summary. A few helpful tips for eliminating vague language include to reread the summary and edit it a least a few times over the course of a few or more days (taking a break between readings to clear your head/eyes); and having a mentor or respected colleague read the summary for an outside perspective.
  3. Get specific with the numbers – Essentially, provide details about the financial position of the business now, what additional funds may be needed to get the enterprise (or a new division of it) off of the ground and what the projected earnings will be for the first quarter or year. While you can include a chart (or a few charts) to depict these projections, reserve the deeper explanations behind how you made these projections for the lengthier plan.
  4. Update the plan as your business evolves – With business plans and their executive summaries, it’s important for business owners and entrepreneurs to consider these to be evolving documents that will change as the business changes. Consequently, it’s critical to have a plan for regularly updating the plan and its summary (possibly even every 6 months or so) to ensure that they are always up-to-date.

Contact a Denver Business Lawyer at Downey & Associates, PC

When you are ready to start a business and position it for success, you can turn to Denver Business Lawyer Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing individuals and businesses in the Denver Metro Area and throughout the U.S. with the highest level of legal service for their litigation, business and real estate legal issues.

To learn more about our various services and how Mr. Downey can help you, call today us at (303) 813-1111 or email us using the contact form on this page. From our law offices in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

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