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Name 'Mountain Dew' is the subject of ongoing business litigation

Making "moonshine" is an important part of the history and culture of many areas in the Appalachian region, including Tennessee. Distilleries in the state will want to name their products in a way that encourages people to buy the product, but some may find some roadblocks along the way.

The distillery Ole Smoky Moonshine is pursuing business litigation against beverage giant PepsiCo regarding the phrase, "Mountain Dew." PepsiCo has a product called Mountain Dew, but Ole Smoky Moonshine, which is located in Tennessee argues that any distillery should be able to use Mountain Dew in the name of its alcoholic beverages.

Real estate transactions in Tennessee have many legal components

Deciding to purchase a home or commercial building in Tennessee can be a huge step in a person's life. After all, individuals looking to become homeowners have often worked hard to save a down payment with the dream that one day they'll own a piece of property to do with what they wish, and businesses looking to build or purchase their own premises do so with the intention that owning real estate will be better for their enterprise than renting.

However, from the moment an offer is made until the keys to the building have been handed over, real estate transactions have many legal components. A purchase agreement must cover all pertinent details and contingencies to be legally sound and enforceable. In addition, there is the process of having the property inspected, securing funding, obtaining the necessary regulatory permits, understanding and abiding by any applicable zoning laws and finally going through the closing process including transferring title. With the hundreds of thousands of dollars that are often at stake when individuals purchase real estate -- or even millions of dollars when it comes to commercial real estate -- it is often advisable to seek legal assistance when it comes to real estate transactions.

Tennessee businesses may face commercial disparagement

The business world in Tennessee can be cut-throat at times, but in general businesses act with integrity. Unfortunately, there will be those who will intentionally spread false information about a business, in order to prevent a third business from engaging in business deals or other commercial practices with that business, in order to cause that business to suffer financial losses. Depending on the circumstances, such unfair business practices could be considered commercial disparagement.

Commercial disparagement takes place when a person or business makes derogatory statements about another business, with the goal of keeping others from doing business with that business. It is different from defamation, which takes place when someone makes a false statement about another person, which is published and causes that person damages. Commercial disparagement is a business tort and protects the property rights of the business, not necessarily its reputation. Defamation lawsuits can be brought by anyone.

Are you prepared for driving in heavy wind and rain?

As you drive your vehicle to your intended destinations, you may not always think of every driving safety tip you have come across. After all, you consider yourself a fairly good driver and know that you have the skills necessary to avoid major hazards on Tennessee roads. However, certain conditions may present the need to remember safety tips.

In particular, driving in heavy wind or rain often presents a number of hazards that good-weather days do not. In addition to wet roads posing hazards, weather can influence how other people drive and how well they maintain control of their vehicles. Therefore, under such conditions, it often proves wise to remember how to stay safe.

Tennessee man sues employer claiming racial discrimination

Many strides have been made over the years to prevent discrimination in the workplace. Unfortunately, sometimes workplace discrimination still occurs, leading to a hostile work environment. For example, a black man in Tennessee is suing his employer, the Springfield Water and Wastewater Department, for $500,000 plus punitive damages, alleging that he was the victim of racial discrimination and that his employer permitted a hostile work environment to exist. In the lawsuit, the man alleges that his co-workers placed a rope around his neck and called him a monkey, among other incidents. For example, per court documents, one city worker referred to the man as a "black bastard" in a text message sent to other city workers.

City leaders contest that the incident involving the text message was the only incident that ever occurred. The city leaders stated that it was an isolated offense, and that an investigation took place after it was reported to supervisors, leading to disciplinary actions. The city also maintains that it reassigned other workers to stop any harassment from occurring. The city denies that the work environment was so hostile that the man was unable to continue working there.

Can lenders seek a deficiency judgment following foreclosure?

When a house is foreclosed upon, the proceeds of the sale generally go first to the lender that issued the mortgage. However, sometimes those proceeds are insufficient to cover all that is still owed on the mortgage. When this happens, Tennessee law permits lenders to pursue a deficiency judgement. This is a lawsuit brought against the mortgagor in which the lender seeks the remainder of what they are owed per the terms of the mortgage.

Under Tennessee law, if a lender seeks a deficiency judgment, absent issues with the foreclosure process such as fraud, collusion or misconduct, the lender may receive the full amount of the mortgage along with the costs incurred from foreclosing on the property, minus the fair market value of the property when it was sold. There is a rebuttable prima facie presumption that the price of the property when it was sold is the fair market value of the property.

Gay Tennessee law officer subjected to discrimination on-the-job

It may seem as though the gay rights movement has gained steam nationwide, protecting those of all sexual orientations. However, it is an unfortunate fact that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation still occurs in professions across the nation, including law enforcement. The issue of sexual orientation discrimination in law enforcement departments is becoming so problematic that some officers are suing their employers for alleged discrimination and harassment. Some officers are forced to endure taunting, hostile work environments and limited chances for promotion or protection, simply due to their sexual orientation.

Since 2016, 11 lawsuits involving sexual orientation discrimination in law enforcement departments have been filed in the United States. One of these suits was filed by a Tennessee officer at the Memphis Police Department. In his lawsuit, he claims that he was mocked for being gay and was held to a different standard than other officers, including being unfairly disciplined. He first filed a complaint internally, then brought his complaint to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before finally pursuing a legal claim based on the city's anti-discrimination ordinance.

Self-help evictions can backfire on landlords

Sometimes issues come up between landlords and tenants in Tennessee. A landlord may believe the tenant has breached their lease in some fashion. This can be frustrating, and the landlord may wish to retake control of the rental property as quickly as possible. It can be tempting to do this without going through the eviction process as outlined in state law. This is known as a "self-help" eviction.

Self-help evictions may seem like the answer to a problem, but they are often prohibited by state law and could even constitute landlord harassment. The eviction process must be used, no matter what the tenant has done in violation of their lease. Landlords cannot cut the utilities to the property, change the locks to the property, remove the tenant's possessions from the property, demand that the tenant leave the property or in any other way harass threaten the tenant.

When is a prenuptial agreement the right choice?

When a Tennessee couple starts planning their wedding, they are not thinking about what will happen if the marriage ends at some point in the future. Discussing divorce before the wedding may seem unromantic and unnecessary, but it is actually quite smart to think about potential contingencies down the road. One way you can do this is to draft a prenuptial agreement.

Many people think that these types of agreements are only for those who are rich and famous. While it is true that the very wealthy prefer to have this type of legal protection before they marry, it can be a smart step for couples of all income levels. If you are about to walk down the aisle, you may want to first think about drafting a prenuptial agreement.

Tennessee businesses do not have to handle legal disputes alone

Tennessee is home to many businesses from small sole proprietorships to large conglomerates. Running a business is no easy matter, but many successful entrepreneurs in Tennessee work hard to see their enterprise thrive. However, no matter how much success a business sees, it is inevitable that legal problems will arise.

For example, there could be an issue regarding the fulfillment of a contract. Shareholder disputes or partnership disputes can also arise. There could be a breach of duty by an officer or director. Businesses must comply with antitrust laws and other government regulations that are always in flux. Insurance coverage disputes are another issue many businesses face. And, employer-employee disputes can also become a problem.

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.

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Jackson, TN 38301

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