Business Formation

Why do I need an Operating Agreement for my LLC?

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There are two key documents with regards to forming an LLC in Wisconsin. The first is the Articles of Organization, which is filed with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (WDFI). The second is the Operating Agreement, which outlines the agreement between the members (which could be thought of as the “partners” in the business.) […]

Other

Can you cover up defects in your house before sale?

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As a seller of residential (or commercial) real estate be very careful as to what you attempt to conceal or fail to disclose. The Wisconsin Appellate Court recently held that misrepresentations are not limited to oral or written declarations but also could include efforts to conceal defects, such as painting a basement wall to conceal […]

Business Litigation

What do I do if I have been sued with a frivolous claim?

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The dreaded “frivolous claim” is always a difficult situation. First, you have to show that it is actually “frivolous”, and second, you may still end up spending a fair amount on attorneys’ fees getting even a frivolous claim dismissed. It is sometimes difficult to define what exactly is frivolous. In most lawsuits the Defendant feels […]

Business Litigation

What if my employee is sabotaging my company?

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While your employees may not owe a duty of loyalty to you personally , the Wisconsin Supreme Court has held that employees do owe their employer a duty of loyalty. In Burbank Grease Services, LLC v. Sokolowski, an employee was accused of stealing trade secrets of the Company while employed to benefit a competitor. The […]

Business Litigation

Can I just close my doors if my business is sued?

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Unfortunately, as is the case with many legal questions, the answer is maybe. There are a number of factors to look at before that question can be answered, and most likely you would need to see a lawyer to evaluate each individual case. Generally speaking a party suing your business, if they obtain a judgment […]

Business Litigation

What happens if I get sued? – Part 5 Trial

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After all of the discovery, motions, and attempts at settlement are completed it is time to go to trial, where the case will be decided. I have seen numerous reports making varied estimate, but the general consensus seems to be that only 2-5% of cases actually go to trial, the other 95-98% are resolved in […]

Business Litigation

What happens if I get sued? – Part 4 Mediation

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While mediation is voluntary, in most counties in Wisconsin, including Milwaukee and Waukesha County, the Court will order the parties to attend mediation. This does not mean that the parties must settle at mediation, only that they will attend. What Happens at Mediation? Mediation usually takes place after most of the discovery has been completed […]

Business Litigation

What happens if I get sued? -Part 3 Motions

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While there are a number of motions that may be filed during and after the discovery process, such as motions to compel discovery, or motions for protective orders, what I want to talk about are motions which directly effect the outcome of the case. So even though the title of this section is titled “Motions” […]

Business Litigation

What happens if I get sued? – Part 2- Discovery

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After the initial pleadings are entered, there will generally be a scheduling conference between the Attorneys and the Judge to set the schedule for the case. Part of that schedule will include a date in which all discovery must be completed. Litigation has been described as playing poker with everyone’s cards face up. While this […]

Business Litigation

What Happens if I get Sued? Part 1- Pleadings

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The pleadings stage is the initial stage of any litigation. The Plaintiff (or the person bringing the action) will file a summons and a complaint. The summons will indicate that the Defendant(s) have either 20 or 45 days (depending on the allegations made) to answer the complaint. The complaint will contain all of the allegations […]

Business Litigation

What happens if I get sued? An overview of Litigation in Wisconsin

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If you run a business, sooner or later you will have a disagreement with a customer, contractor, or vendor that may lead to litigation. For many business owners litigation, and what is entailed, is clouded in mystery. The next few articles are going to attempt to illuminate some of those mysteries and explain the process, […]

Business Litigation

What are the damages for a breach of a building contract?

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In an ideal world we would always get what we pay for, and people would always live up to their obligations. Unfortunately in both residential and commercial buildings, the contractor does not always provide the quality of work that was contracted for. Often litigation arises to resolve the dispute. The focus of the litigation is […]

Business Litigation

Representing your LLC yourself- Owners and Managers Beware

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A fascinating and enlightening article by Renee M. Mehl in the March 2009 edition of the Wisconsin Lawyer presents some interesting and note worthy observations about the law in Wisconsin regarding LLC’s and its members or managers representing the entities themselves. You can see the entire article here For whatever reason the legislature has never […]

Business Law

The Importance of a Well Written Contract- Revisited

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I have written in the past about the importance of a well written contract, but as my litigation practice expands I am constantly reminded about how important this is. The importance of not only including all of the legal boilerplate, but also making sure the specifics of dispute resolution are ironed out is paramount. While […]

Business Litigation

What are my damages in a breach of contract lawsuit?

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In many litigation cases, the question is not, “was there a breach”, but rather “what are my damages.” As smart business people, the decision must always be what is my likelihood of success combined with my likely award. Unfortunately, there are many times when one party is as right as rain, but if the damages […]

Business Litigation

What is the statute of limitations for my business lawsuit?

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Generally speaking, in Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for a contract claim is 6 years. How that is interpreted however, can make a world of difference for your case. The Wisconsin Courts have held that the six year statute of limitations for Breach of Contract claim is an absolute six years, running from the date […]

Business Law

Using Non-Compete Clauses to Add value to your business

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I just came across a really well written article about non-compete clauses, you can read it here www.saleofbusinesslawblog.com . I am a big fan of Non-compete clauses to sweeten a deal. Chances are, that if you are selling the business, it is because you are no longer going to be performing that type of work […]

Business Law

What happens when there is a mistake in the Contract?

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Even when a contract is drafted by an attorney, there can be simple clerical errors that may change the whole contract. If you had an option to purchase, and on one line the wrong date was put for that option to end, it could materially change the terms of the contract. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending […]