Legal Insights

  • Email Marketing for Lawyers: Tips and Best Practices

    You’ve built your social media profiles. You’ve started climbing up Google and enticing clients with your periodic blog posts. You’ve made infographics to turn complex legal issues into digestible and visually appealing information. You’ve even looked into podcasting in order to share your insights in a forum-style environment. But what else can you do to keep potential and current clients up to date with the latest legal news and information about your firm? The answer is one of...
  • Digital Inheritance: Decide What Happens to Your Digital Assets

    Having a will is always a good idea, regardless of your assets. Most people identify who they want to leave their property and money to, guardians to care for minor children, and the executor of their estate. However, most people do not think about who will manage their online and social media accounts. What will happen to your digital legacy? Most websites have terms of service and privacy policies that do not allow your loved ones to access your digital assets once you die. Below are...
  • What Employers Need to Know About Employment Taxes

    Business owners these days need to comply with a number of federal and state employment tax laws, which include not only paying some employment taxes directly, but also withholding taxes from employees’ paychecks and then paying those taxes to the appropriate government entity at the appropriate time. Along with those obligations come a number of forms that must also be obtained, maintained, and submitted by the employer. Employment taxes fall into several different categories—those pai...
  • Defamation on Social Media

    Social media is more popular and accessible than it has ever been, giving users the freedom and the power to connect, network, and express themselves like never before. People are able to share their thoughts and opinions on any subject and about any person, usually without fear of repercussion. What most people don’t realize is that words can cause real harm, in the form of loss of good reputation, loss of business, loss of money, and even damage to their personal wellbeing. As a resul...
  • Legal Questions Answered For Home-Based Businesses

    According to the most recent figures released by the U.S. Census bureau, home-based businesses--where business is conducted primarily from someone’s home rather than from a commercial office space—comprise more than 50% of all businesses in the U.S. Here are answers to frequently asked legal questions for home-based business owners. Is it legal for me to operate a business out of my home? Check your state and local zoning laws which govern what kinds of businesses you can legally oper...
  • Non-Compete Agreements: What is Enforceable? What is Reasonable?

    Jimmy John’s recently agreed to stop including non-compete agreements in its hiring packet for its New York franchisees and to void current non-compete agreements following a settlement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who deemed the practice “unlawful.”  The Jimmy John’s Conundrum From Crain’s Chicago Business: “The non-competes, thought to be some of the most stringent in the business world, prohibited sandwich makers for a period of two years after le...
  • Employment Law Series: Termination

    Just like many other relationships, the employment relationship does not work out sometimes. Employee termination can be tricky, regardless of the circumstances. All policies and procedures for investigating, disciplining, and terminating employees should be clearly defined, written, and communicated to employees. Planning for the End—at the Beginning The company’s employee handbook, as well as any employment contracts, should establish your company’s termination protocol. If the co...
  • Transacting Business Online - Legal Considerations

    Whether you are operating your business exclusively online or you have a brick-and-mortar business but are also taking orders, collecting customer information, and/or marketing your business online, you should be aware of the special rules and legal issues that apply.  Privacy and Security There are several categories of privacy and security issues facing those transacting business in today’s online environment. Customer Data and Credit Cards Business owners have a responsibility...
  • Employment Law Series: Compensation

    Wages and benefits are probably the most important concern to a company’s employees. Companies, regardless of size, must ensure they are adequately, fairly, and properly compensating their employees. Wage and hour laws can be very complex, and it is critical for business owners to be aware of and adhere to these laws. Wage and hour lawsuits are among the most popular employment lawsuits and are among the most expensive to litigate and defend. Minimum Wage The Fair Labor Standards Act (F...
  • Dollars & Sense: Buy a Home or Just Keep Renting?

    Homeownership has always been part of the “American Dream.” Conventional wisdom used to be that you grow up, settle down, and buy a house—because it’s a great long-term investment. The recent housing crisis and the corresponding recession made that dream a nightmare for many. The fallacy that homeownership equates to financial stability no longer exists. Today, homeownership is a personal decision that is heavily dependent on the prospective buyer’s specific set of circumstance...
  • Employment Law Series: Maintaining a Compliant Workforce

    It is important for companies, regardless of size, to regularly review human resources and benefits-related notices, records and procedures to ensure compliance with the law and prevent potential liability. While not exhaustive, this article provides general information on maintaining human resource compliance within your company. Hiring When hiring, employers must make sure job descriptions, advertisements, and interviews are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and also...
  • Alternative Corporate Structures for Socially Conscious Startups

    Sole Proprietorships, General Partnerships, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liabilities Partnerships, S-Corporations, C-Corporations; all part of the traditional business structures. However, for certain businesses, there are newer business structures such as B-Corp, L3C, and Flexible Purpose Corporations, all highlighted in a recent infographic from Notations on Nonprofits. These entities, designed for charitable, for-profit entities or other, for-profit entities that operate to help the grea...
  • Defend Trade Secrets Act: What Businesses Should Know

    A major change in a Federal Law passed recently, and it’s something you as a business owner may have missed. Passed by Congress in April and signed into law by President Obama in May, the Defend Trade Secrets Act amends current Economic Espionage Act of 1996, which criminalizes certain trade secret misappropriations, to allow civil lawsuits. While this is important for intellectual property owners, the law may have a much larger impact on your business than you may think. For starters,...
  • Attorney Marketing: A Live Chat Dilemma

    Have you ever gone to a website and noticed a small popup in the bottom left or right-hand corner, saying something along the lines of “Live Chat Online Now” or “Hello, my name is Alex, how may I assist you” with a little button that says “chat now”?  It’s a common practice among attorneys to use platforms like Ngage Live Chat, SnapEngage, Altrumedia, and more as an attempt to instantly connect with potential clients. How Attorney Live Chat Works In an oversimplified s...
  • Tips and Tricks for Tackling Law School Debt

    According to the American Bar Association, in 2012, the average debt taken on by a law school student who attended a public school was $84,000, and for a private school $122,158. This does not include the cost of an undergraduate degree or a master’s degree. Even if a recent law school graduate is able to get a coveted job at a well-paying law firm, the burden of student loans makes it more difficult for attorneys to establish themselves financially, including purchasing a home. The amo...
  • Employment Law Series: Recruiting and Hiring

    Companies, regardless of size, face the challenge of finding people who share in their vision and are willing to invest their time and energy for the sake of the company. Employment and human resources legal issues can easily get overlooked, and companies often make legal mistakes, which can make them targets in lawsuits by current and former employees. This four-part series will include the employment law issues companies must consider when recruiting and hiring, compensating, maintaining ...
  • How Attorneys Can Get Big Web Traffic with Infographics

    For attorneys, getting your name out in front of potential clients can be an uphill battle. This means that you need to pick your spots and get the most out of your marketing activities and dollars. To do this, you have to effectively put yourself in the shoes of your clients. What do they want to know, and how are you going to provide it to them? Infographics Are Your Secret Weapon In recent posts, we’ve covered podcasting for attorneys and social media for attorneys, but there is ano...
  • Is Your Ecommerce Website Liable for ADA Noncompliance?

    In what was described as a “landmark decision,” a California Court recently ruled that online retailers can be sued for failure to provide an accessible website to visually impaired users.  In Davis v. BMI/BND Travelware, Case. No. CIV-DS-1504682, the court granted judgment to the plaintiff before trial, finding that he “presented sufficient evidence that he was denied full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, privileges, and accommodations offered by Defendant because of...
  • Starting a New Law Practice: Go Solo or Join a Partnership?

    Whether you have just passed the bar or you have been in practice for years, many attorneys eventually decide to start their own practices. The first decision you need to make—and possibly, the most important—is whether to go solo or join a partnership. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to each option, but here are some things to keep in mind when deciding which option is best for you.Solo PracticeTaking on a solo practice will be a lot of hard work, and will require a si...
  • Protecting Your Business: Top Legal Needs for Start-Up Companies

    Starting a new business is a tremendous accomplishment and can be an exciting endeavor. In an effort to get their product or idea “out there,” some start-up companies may overlook the importance of legally protecting their products, ideas, the business, and even themselves as individuals. Here are some legal needs start-up companies must keep in mind at their inception: Incorporating the Company Many start-ups overlook the idea of incorporating their company. The most important reason...