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Baton Rouge Business and Commercial Law Blog

What copyright and how does it protect intellectual property?

For some small business owners in Louisiana, the purpose of his or her company is to sell or distribute the work he or she created. The success of their company relies on the continual production or use of their work; therefore, it is essential for a business owner to take certain steps to protect this work. With regards to intellectual property, this means establishing copyright protection.

What is a copyright and how does it protect intellectual property? In order to understand the mechanism of protection a copyright could provide, it is important to recognize what intellectual property is. Intellectual property refers to the creations of the mind. In other words, these are inventions, literary and artistic works, names and images used in commerce.

Louisiana Senate passes bills to settle dispute with firefighters

When small businesses and large companies in Louisiana and elsewhere hire new employees or renew employment with current workers, employers have to take specific steps to protect the rights and interests of both the employer and the employees. Employment contracts provide not only the terms of employment but also certain stipulations for benefits and even termination. Thus, if an employer does not offer an adequate employment contract or one of the parties fails to uphold the conditions of the agreement, it is likely an employment dispute will emerge.

According to reports, the Louisiana state Senate recently approved three bills in a four-bill package that would provide for changes to the pensions of newly hired firefighters in New Orleans. Additionally, these bills would end a feud with the city government that has lasted for decades.

Employer liability for sexual harassment by a supervisor

Business owners and managers in Louisiana and elsewhere often deal with the complaints and concerns of their employees. While this is frequently a part of the normal course of business, other situations involve more pressing matters. When employees believe that they might be a victim of sexual harassment by a supervisor, this does not only potentially place liability on the supervisor named but could also result in employer liability as well.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits harassment of any employee based on their race, color, sex, religion or nationality. Harassment in the workplace can occur when any discriminatory treatment based on race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information takes place.

Examining the basics of reverse mergers

As a previous post suggested, going through a business merger or acquisition can be a complex business transaction. Although it is multifaceted, mergers & acquisitions or M&A, can be a very beneficial and lucrative process for a company in Louisiana and elsewhere. Nonetheless, this process is usually carried out by a public company or among several public companies.

The public status of the company aids the process. However, this is not a requirement for an M&A to occur. In fact, there are similar processes available for private companies, so they can enjoy the same benefits a public company does during a traditional M&A. This process is known as a reverse merger.

Helping businesses determine if a merger is the right move

Once a small business or company is established, there are several major events that could greatly impact the life of that business. One of those events is a merger & acquisition or M&A. When a business decides to merge with another business or acquire another business, this action not only effects the overall functioning of the business, but also impacts the many stakeholders involved. Shareholders, directors, managers, employees and customers could all feel the effects of a merger or an acquisition. Therefore, these processes should be carefully and intelligently entered into.

At Dunlap Fiore, LCC, we have the knowledge and skills to meet the business goals of those in the Baton Rouge area. Whether it is a new or old company, our legal team takes the time to fully understand the objectives of our clients, helping them achieve their business goals.

Filing a delay claim during a construction project

Preparing, planning and initiating a construction project can be an exciting time, no matter the size of the project. However, whether it is a small or major construction project, there are certain steps and situations that need to be addressed by individuals and business owners in Louisiana. While it is ideal that everything goes as planned and stays on schedule, it is important to note that minute and lengthy delays could occur at various points in project. Depending on the cause of the delay and the costs and damages caused by the delay, it might be in your best interest to file a delay claim.

A delay claim is based on the period of time a project has been extended or the period of time no work has been performed on a construction project sue to circumstances that were not anticipated at the time the parties to the project entered the agreement. While there are various reasons a project could be delayed, the most common reasons include differing site conditions, changes in design, weather, defects, unavailability of labor, material or equipment and interference by the owner.

How can you address the disputes in construction projects?

For the most part, construction projects are not simple. Even if the parties to a construction contract believe the agreement is fairly straightforward, issues and setbacks could occur. Moreover, the more complex a construction project is, the more working parts there are likely to be. If an unforeseen event occurs or if one party fails to uphold their part of the agreement, this could greatly harm the entire project.

How can you address the disputes in construction projects? The best way to tackle construction disputes is to obtain a clear picture of the issues involved. Oftentimes, parties might want to wait and see how the issue develops or if the problem will fix itself. While this could help avoid taking unnecessary action, this could also give the issue time to grow and impact more areas of the project. It is important to timely address issues as they occur.

Contract dispute between Ryback and WWE could mean no renewal

Whether it is a business contract or an employment contract, these agreements are entered into for a certain length of time. Once the timeframe of the agreement is up or close to being up, it is common for the parties to the agreement to come together to renew the contract. However, if the parties to the contract are unable to agree on terms or work through new or old issues, the contract might not be renewed. Such matters could stem from or evolve into a contract dispute, making it difficult for businesses in Louisiana or elsewhere to settle on a final agreement.

According to reports, WWE wrestler, Ryback, was recently pulled from television due to a contract dispute. These report suggest that Ryback was sent home due to his dissatisfaction with the direction he was going within the company and his bookings for the last three WrestleManias.

Using ADR to resolve contract disputes

While it would be ideal if agreements would be carried out without any issues, businesses in Louisiana and elsewhere understand that this unfortunately is not a reality in the world of business. Though issues and disputes regarding the terms and conditions of business contracts do arise in the normal course of business, there are ways contract disputes can be addressed, helping companies resolve these problems in a timely and effective manner.

In some cases, Alternative Dispute Resolution methods are ideal techniques to tackle contract disputes. While each process is diverse and embodies its own costs and benefits, most ADR techniques have a common factor -- role of negotiation. The parties to an ADR proceeding are generally agreeing a negotiating on a settlement without moving forward to litigation.

How can businesses avoid wrongful termination claims?

There comes a point when businesses of all sizes need to hire new employees. While this is a normal course of business, companies in Louisiana and elsewhere also need to deal with the possibility of having to fire an employee. Although this is not an ideal task, some situations arise when it becomes necessary. Whether it is due to downsizing, poor performance, violations of company standards or other similar instances, business owners have the right to terminate the employment of their employees if a situation presents itself. Nonetheless, even if an employer rightfully terminated an employee, an employee might still exert wrongful termination.

How can businesses avoid wrongful termination claims? The first thing to do to ensure a proper termination of an employee is to not carry it out as a spur of the moment decision but rather a well-documented process. This allows an employer to provide evidence that their actions were justified and the process was carried out appropriately.

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