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Baton Rouge Business and Commercial Law Blog

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.

What is intellectual property and how to protect it?

The legal definition of intellectual property applies to creations that are usually somewhat abstract and mind dependent such as artistic and literary works, or symbols and images and even product names that are used in commerce to differentiate products and make them stand out in the business world.

Intellectual property can be subdivided into two categories. One category, called industrial property, encompasses such things as industrial designs, trademarks and even geographical indications. The other category is called copyright. Copyrights cover literary works like novels, short stories, poems and the like. It can also apply to music and film and artistic works such as sculptures, paintings and even architectural designs.

Employment litigation: Sony sued for violating ADA

Louisiana residents are likely familiar with Sony's recent problems. However, Sony is in the news again, but this time, it has nothing to do with North Korea. It appears that the electronics and entertainment monolith has agreed to pay $85,000 in a lawsuit that was filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The money will be paid under a consent decree that it entered in federal court to end a lawsuit. In the lawsuit, the EEOC accused the company of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, by firing a woman because she was disabled with a prosthetic leg.

What is a Louisiana construction defect?

Any Louisiana construction project has a number of steps that have to be executed correctly to produce the final result. These steps include the design, planning, supervision, inspection and construction of the building. If a deficiency occurs at any stage in the implementation of any of these steps that causes any portion of the building to fail to perform in the manner that it was intended, then that would qualify as a construction defect.

Some common place construction defects that also typically incur a high cost to rectify include any compromises to the structural integrity of the building. An example would be incorrectly mixing concrete without using the proper proportions, which then leads to a much weaker end product than what is needed. Another example would be any errors that affect the electrical wiring running through the walls that would require getting into the walls to trace and fix the problem. Similarly, improper sealing and caulking can lead to water seeping into areas that are susceptible to mold growth.

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