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Jackson Legal Blog

Lawsuits in Tennessee aren't limited to major corporations

Lawsuits involving major corporations routinely make the nightly news and receive a lot of attention. This is because there is often a great deal of money involved in these lawsuits, and when a company is a household name its reputation is on the line. However, even small businesses can be the subject of business litigation. Small business owners in Jackson should be aware of the fact that a lawsuit could cause their business to suffer financial damages that could ultimately lead to it shutting its doors and ceasing operations for good. There are certain types of issues that could lead to business litigation that small business owners should know about.

First, there are lawsuits brought by employees. For example, an employee could claim they were sexually harassed in the workplace or were wrongfully terminated. In fact, employment law actions are very common, so it is important to understand the laws regarding employment in Tennessee.

Businesses in Jackson can be structured in a variety of ways

There are many decisions that need to be made before a business can open its doors. One of these decisions involves choosing the type of business structure that best meets your needs. Our readers should consider the financial and legal aspects of various types of business structures before proceeding.

Of course, a person can always just go at it alone and open up a sole proprietorship. In this structure, a single person owns and operates the business. While there can be tax advantages to opening a sole proprietorship, it is important to remember that the sole proprietor can be held personally liable for the business's debts or if the business is the subject of a lawsuit.

Why should you have an attorney for a real estate closing?

Buying or selling a home could be an important step for your Tennessee family. There is more involved in this process than you may think, and you might need more than an experienced real estate agent to help you walk through the process without facing any unexpected issues.

Many people find it beneficial to have the help of an attorney as they walk through the entire real estate transaction process, including the closing. While the closing is the final step in this transaction, issues with this last step could be costly and stressful. You may find it helpful to have guidance and support as you work to complete this transaction and avoid complications. 

Is stepparent adoption a possibility for your family?

You consider your family to be complete. You and your spouse have found a comfortable rhythm, and your children seem happy and healthy. Nevertheless, there is one thing you wish you could change, and that is that you would have legal rights and responsibility for your spouse's child from a previous relationship.

In most states, including Tennessee, adopting a stepchild is typically easier than seeking to adopt in other ways. Because of the strong relationship that may already exist between you and your stepchild, the court often waives parts of the process to which other adoptive parents must submit. However, you still have important hurdles to cross if you are to achieve your goal.

Employment law disputes can be complex matters

Workers and employers in Jackson, Tennessee, have a lot at stake when an employment dispute arises. Some disputes can be resolved internally, utilizing the business's dispute resolution process. However, sometimes this doesn't work and either the employer or the worker wants to file a lawsuit based on an employment dispute.

The world of employment disputes has changed. Laws regarding employment have undergone transformations lately that significantly affect the rights of both workers and employers. Employers may need to update their employee handbooks to make sure that they are legally sound. And, as workers gain more protection under the law, should they suffer damages due to their employer's violation of the law, it may serve as the basis for legal action.

Can a Jackson resident challenge an eminent domain taking?

Property owners in Jackson may take pride in their homes and land. Some people make a living off of their land or property, for example, through farming or having a business they own on their property. A person's private land and the buildings on it may be the most valuable asset they own. However, does the government have any right to take a person's private land?

Under its power of eminent domain, the government is permitted, per the United States Constitution, to seize a person's private land for public use. However, it must provide the landowner with just compensation. Many people may be upset if the government is taking their private land, and they may feel like the compensation they are receiving is insufficient and unfair. However, it may be possible to challenge eminent domain takings.

Whistleblowers are protected by law from workplace retaliation

It takes a certain amount of bravery for a person in Tennessee to take action and "blow the whistle" on unlawful actions committed by their employer. Some unscrupulous employers will violate the law, for their own gain and at the expense of honest employees. However, workers may fear that their employer will reprimand them or fire them for speaking out as a whistleblower. Fortunately, federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws protect workers in such situations from being retaliated against at work.

The following are some examples of protected activities under EEO laws. A person cannot be fired for serving as a witness in an EEO charge, investigation or legal action. A person cannot be retaliated against for reporting workplace discrimination or harassment, or for refusing to do something discriminatory. Similarly, if a worker resists sexual advances from another worker or acts to stop such advancements made against others, the worker cannot be retaliated against.

Arbitration may be an alternative to litigation in Tennessee

Some business owners in Tennessee might be under the impression that if they have a business dispute, their only option is to litigate the matter before a judge in a trial. However, the litigation process can be costly, both in time and finances, that the business could be using to better itself. Litigation can also have a negative effect on worker morale and could tarnish the business' reputation. What business owners may not know is that not every dispute needs to be litigated. Alternative dispute resolution processes, such as arbitration, may be a possibility.

Through arbitration both sides to the dispute and their attorneys present their case to a neutral arbitrator. The arbitrator will then make a decision regarding the dispute. Unlike litigation, arbitration is not public and will not be heard by a judge or jury. Resolutions reached through arbitration are binding on both parties, meaning that it is not possible for a party to appeal the arbitrator's decision.

Know what to expect if you have to walk through probate process

The probate process involves distributing assets and money from a Tennessee resident's estate after he or she passes away. The court oversees every step, ensuring that debts owed by the estate are paid and that appropriate beneficiaries get the right assets. The probate process can be lengthy, complex and confusing for a grieving family.

It is possible to draft an estate plan in a way that allows for the avoidance of the probate process. However, if you have to walk through this process, it is beneficial to understand what to expect and what will happen during probate. Dealing with issues related to estate law is complex, but you do not have to walk through this process alone.

Tennessee landlords have rights when tenants abandon the premises

Renting out apartments can be a lucrative endeavor for many people in Tennessee. But, just like any other business dealing, this endeavor relies on contracts -- specifically leases. Landlords depend on their tenants to pay rent on time and to possess the premises. Sometimes, however, rent goes unpaid and the tenants cannot be found. Tennessee law addresses what rights landlords have in such situations.

Under Tennessee Code section 66-28-405, if a tenant abandons the premises, the landlord has express permission to go into and retake possession of the premises. A tenant is considered to have abandoned the premises if he or she has an unexplained or extended absence from the rental for at least 30 days and has not been paying rent.

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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