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Baton Rouge Business and Commercial Law Blog

What is arbitration?

Every now and then, disputes between business partners, contractors and sub-contractors in a construction setting can arise. For instance, when a dispute arises in the construction industry, the parties have the option to litigate the matter or they also have the option to partake in an alternate dispute resolution options such as arbitration.

In essence, arbitration is an alternative to litigation. Arbitration, in most cases, allows for a quicker resolution of the dispute in a much more cost-effective manner than the often expensive and time-consuming option of battling it out through the court system. Essentially, when both parties agree to resolve their dispute through arbitration, they agree to allow an impartial third party, who can be a single individual or a group of people, look over the facts of the dispute and render a decision, which may include an award of compensation to be paid by one or more parties. The decision that the arbitrator makes is in writing and is considered final, as well as binding on all parties involved.

What should Louisianans know about reasonable accommodations?

The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted by Congress to protect employees in Louisiana and across the nation from being discriminated against because of any disabilities that they may have that do not hinder them from performing a job just as capably as someone without the same disability.

In the hiring process, the ADA does not limit an employer from hiring the most capable person of performing a job, but it does impose limits on what an employer may ask an applicant during the hiring process with respect to a given vacant position. It also legally requires the employer to accommodate any needs that they might have so long as the accommodation is reasonable.

What is a corporate tax inversion and is it right for my company?

A Louisiana corporate tax inversion is a transaction that can be leveraged by a company to continue to operate in the U.S., but not be liable to its tax laws. This is achieved by allowing the company to restructure, and in doing so, it replaces the U.S. parent of the company by a parent company that is based in a foreign country outside the U.S.

It should be noted that current law does recognize the propensity for abuse of the corporate inversion framework by companies that may seek to relieve themselves of their tax liabilities. It also does impose tax fines on any company that appears to have conducted a corporate tax inversion primarily for that purpose. Given the rapid growth rate of tax inversion transactions that are taking place it is possible for regulators to closely scrutinize such transactions and fine companies.

What is a non-compete agreement and its implications?

Louisiana residents may be interested to know that more and more companies are instituting and enforcing non-compete agreements. A non-compete agreement is essentially a contract that an employee agrees to upon being hired by a company that lists stipulations on where and/or how long an employee that leaves the company must wait before they can work for any of that company's competitors.

Typically, such agreements are usually reserved for upper management, executives and employees of technology companies and firms. Their purpose is to help limit the dissemination of carefully guarded trade secrets that give a company an edge over its competition.

What should I know about FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted by Congress to allow employees to take unpaid time off from their job for specific medical and familial reasons without running the risk of losing their job once they are able to return to work.

However, it is important to note that FMLA does not cover all employers across the board. There are certain criteria that must be met before an employer can be covered under FMLA. In the public sector, all public agencies are covered under FMLA. This includes all state and federal government agencies without exceptions and irrespective of the number of employees that the agency employees at any given moment.

What are some risks associated with reserve mergers?

First and foremost it is important to have a basic understanding of what a reverse merge is. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission defines reverse mergers as an option generally utilized by foreign based companies or companies that are privately owned who want to gain access to U.S. markets. In order to do that, the company must merge with an existing publicly traded company. This is known as reverse merger.

The main reason that a company may elect to perform a reverse merger is to gain immediate access to capital markets. Another reason is that a reverse merger is generally regarded as a quicker and less costly alternative to getting listed on a stock exchange. However, as with any business transaction or investment there are risks associated with reverse mergers.

Natural gas plant to be built in Lousiana

Louisiana residents should be interested to know that the state's governor has confirmed that an area in the vicinity of Lake Charles will be the planned future site of a new natural gas liquification plant. The plant site will also house an export terminal. The growth of business in LA is generally good for the state's economic forecast.

Both the plant and export terminal are expected to cost an estimated $2 billion and to create about 100 new jobs. In addition, the project is also expected to generate around another 550 new construction jobs. Currently, the plant is slated to be completed at the end of 2019.

What should I do if I am involved in a construction dispute?

The construction industry is an intricate and multi-faceted one that can present multiple challenges. When a business is accosted with construction disputes or is facing a construction contract challenge in court, it is imperative that the business retain experienced legal representation that can defend its interest and protect its rights.

Construction law can be unwieldy and complicated and that's why businesses need a lawyer that can navigate the labyrinthine maze of the law that often gives rise to highly complex dispute scenarios.

Settlement may be on horizon for high-profile business litigation

Residents of Baton Rouge likely use Apple and Google products often in their everyday lives. These technology giants are among a number of tech companies listed in a class action lawsuit which may have recently been settled for a mind boggling $415 million. The staggering settlement amount, if approved, will be in addition to another settlement that was reached by the same companies for another $20 million, though that case was brought on by a different set of defendants.

The companies initially offered a settlement amount of $324.5 million but that offer was rejected by the judge presiding on the case. The judge reasoned that the settlement amount was much too low and was not commensurate with the number of technology workers that were affected by the case. She went on to state in her ruling that the settlement amount offered was below the range of reasonableness. The two other companies are also named in the lawsuit were Intel and Adobe.

How does offer and acceptance work in business contracts?

Essentially, a business contract is an agreement that can be legally enforced between two or more entities; a contract may specify actions that must or must not be taken by either entity or all entities involved, if there are more than two. An entity in this context could refer to either a person, company or a corporation.

Typically, contracts are enforceable according to the laws of the state in which the contract was drafted. To that end, there are two types of state law, which are often referred to as common law and the state's version of the Uniform Commercial Code. Determining which type of state law is applicable to a specific contract depends on the nature of the contract.

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