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You received a notice from the bankruptcy court. What now?

When you started your small business here in Jackson, you did so with the intention of building relationships with your customers or clients. You provide them with your goods or services, and you receive payment in return. The process seems simple, but it can quickly become complicated.

You may feel awkward approaching your customer or client for payment, but you know you need to do it. However, at some point during your negotiation process, the other party filed for bankruptcy protection. You found out because you received a notice from the bankruptcy court.

Taking steps to challenge-proof your estate plan

The last thing you may want is to leave behind a situation that will fuel a dispute among your children or other heirs. Perhaps your family dynamic is already volatile, and you fear that some of the decisions you have made for the distribution of your assets may spark a battle in which there will be no real winners.

You are right if you believe that writing a will is one way to reduce the chances of arguments and challenges to your estate distribution. However, you may not realize that under certain circumstances, your heirs may challenge your will, creating exactly the situation you are trying to avoid. With the right legal help, you can create an estate plan that will minimize any options your heirs may have for fighting over your estate.

The 4 types of alternative dispute resolution

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an increasingly popular alternative to litigation in the context of business disputes. ADR facilitates discussions around disputes and accusations involving businesses. Instead of focusing on court-based resolutions to disputes, where conditions can be stressful, toxic, and drawn-out, ADR tries to find an efficient way for all parties to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

If you are a business owner currently involved in a dispute, you should consider whether ADR could be the right choice for you. The following is an overview of the four types of ADR methods.

Reporting wage and hour violations

Working to live is not an uncommon concept. Many workers in Tennessee and elsewhere rely on their job to make ends meet. In fact, some individuals put forth efforts to work overtime just so they can make more money each pay period. However, for some, this may not appear to be much more because an employer is not providing them with, "time and a half," which is afforded to them through federal regulations for overtime pay. In these matters, it may be possible to report such a situation.

Wage and hour violations can come in many forms. In cases of overtime pay, this looks like an employer failing to properly compensate an employee for working beyond 40 hours in a workweek. Failing to meet the requirement of paying time and a half for overtime is considered wage theft.

Guiding you through banking and business transaction issues

In order for a healthy state and national economy, business transactions must occur. While many of these are positive and lucrative transactions, some businesses and individuals in Tennessee and elsewhere encounter issues when it comes to making a purchase or going through the borrowing or lending process. Whether it is minimal or major, there are always risks when a business transaction occurs, making it imperative that individuals and businesses understand how to protect themselves while also maximizing their profits.

Beyond the financial transactions completed by individuals and businesses, banks are a major source for transactions coming in and out. And, as a lender, banks can face challenges when it comes to keeping everything current and up-to-date with regards to any recent regulatory changes. At Spragins, Barnett & Cobb, PLC, our attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of these legal issues, and it is our goal is to help our clients successfully work through them.

How can a property manager address eminent domain?

Owning property is a major endeavor for anyone, whether it is a personal home or property that they manage for leasing purposes. One thing is certain, though: no matter the property type or the length of ownership, a property owner intends to own their real estate property until it is sold or passes on to their heirs or beneficiaries after their passing. Unfortunately, there are times when property can be taken away. While many might be thinking of the foreclosure process for missed mortgage payments, what is being referred to is the power of the government to take private property.

This power is referred to eminent domain, and it can suddenly creep up on property owners when they least expect it. How can a property manager address eminent domain? While many do not realize this until they are in the process, it can be a very complex and tedious procedure to obtain just compensation for the property the government is taking. Yet, this is exactly what the law calls for when the government exercises eminent domain. Unfortunately, many property owners fall victim to having their property seized right out from under them, resulting in little to no recourse for them.

Will 2020 be the year you start a business?

As the new year quickly approaches, you may be ready to make some changes in your life. The start of 2020 may be the right time for you to take steps to achieve a dream you have contemplated for some time but never acted on: starting your own Tennessee business. You may have had other catalysts in your life pushing you in this direction, but you feel that a new year could mean a new career, and you are ready to get started.

Of course, starting a business is not an easy task, and even more difficult is achieving success through your business after getting it up and running. Before you even think about operations, you may want to make some key decisions and evaluations ahead of time.

Taking intermittent FMLA leave

There are certain life events that impact a person's ability to work. Some of these are joyous events, like welcoming a new baby into his or her life. Other events are not so positive, such as a diagnosis of a serious illness, an injury caused by an accident, or the need to care for an ill loved one. Because these life events can happen suddenly, employees often require time off from work at a moment's notice. With the help of the Family and Medical Leave Act, employees are able to take a set amount of time off from work without the fear of losing their job during their time away.

FMLA allows for an employee to take up to 12 weeks off for certain life events. This includes the birth, adoption or fostering of a child, time needed to care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition, time needed to care for the employee's own serious health condition that makes him or her unable to perform the essential functions of their job, or when a spouse, child or parent is a military member on or called to active duty and the employee needs time to address matters related to this. Additionally, FMLA allows for up to 26 weeks if the family member that is a military member is seriously injured or ill and the employee is caring for them.

How can you protect a trade secret?

What makes a business unique or successful is often related to a secret recipe, special component part, or even a method for making a product or certain part. These are known as trade secrets, and if others knew them, it is possible that a business would not be successful. Thus, it is important that businesses in Tennessee and elsewhere understand what they can do to protect this information.

How can you protect a trade secret? This process can best be achieved when a business takes the following nine steps. To begin, what needs protection should be identified. Next, documents should be labeled as confidential, and copies of these documents should be limited and circulated only to those deemed necessary. Third, monitoring of stored information should occur. Fourth, computers should be secured.

The most expensive legacy property is up for sale in Tennessee

Buying and selling property is a major transaction, especially when it comes to real property. Whether it is land or a dwelling, purchasing property creates a business relationship between a buyer and seller. And like any business relationship, issues or disputes could arise. For some, this could mean a dispute over certain terms, such as value.

According to recent reports, the most expensive legacy property is for sale in Tennessee. The property includes 1,600 acres of Traceland Farms. It is marketed towards those who want a quiet space to call home away from the bustling downtown of Nashville, and of course, those that can afford the hefty price tag.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you resolve your legal situation.

To discuss your specific situation and to learn more about how we can help, call us at 731-300-1592 or submit an inquiry via our online contact form.

Spragins, Barnett & Cobb, PLC
312 East Lafayette
Jackson, TN 38301

Phone: 731-300-1592
Fax: 731-424-0562
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