Business Law

How to work with a business lawyer

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When a client works with us, I think a big key for me is just communication. To make sure that they know what’s going on with their case, and they can make informed decisions. I always tell my clients that we make recommendations, they make decisions. In order for you to make decisions, you have […]

Business Law

Does negotiating in my lawsuit make me look weak?

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In a word, No. It makes you look rational. Disputes happen. When they cannot be resolved, lawsuits happen. For better or worse, they are often a necessary part of doing business. At some point, if a dispute cannot be resolved, you have to have a third-party step in, and the best format we have derived […]

Business Law

Contracts is Contracts

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Say what you mean, and mean what you say. What happens when a contract has a provision in it that one party no longer likes or wants to honor? Can it still be enforced? Generally speaking, the answer is yes in Wisconsin. The courts follow the four corners rule and will enforce the letter of […]

Business Law

What should I do if my business gets sued?

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“The biggest thing really, other than consulting with council to find out what your options are and all those types of things, is to try to solve the problem. When it comes to businesses, they’re in the business of making money, doing what it is that they do, providing the services or making the goods […]

Business Law

Can I cancel a contract because of Covid-19 in Wisconsin?

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Like many things in life, the answer to this is maybe. Depends on the facts. First, if both parties agree, of course you can. It takes two to tango, and it takes two to make or unmake a contract. Anything you can agree on, you can do. Second, your contract might already have a procedure […]

Business Law

Engineering Dispute in Wisconsin

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The standard of care for engineers, and whether it has been breached comes up in all kinds of cases. We have represented clients that fabricated a part that failed and the ensuing dispute was about whether it was designed properly (engineering), fabricated properly (manufacturing), or installed properly (end user). We have also represented engineers seeking […]

Business Litigation

What if my Business Partner is Stealing from our Company?

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Forming an LLC or a Corporation for your business is a good idea. It shields you personally from liability and creates potential tax advantages, especially as to entitlement taxes for those opting for S-Corporation status. However, incorporation carries with it an often misunderstand effect, the company as an LLC or Corporation is an entity in […]

Business Litigation

What are my rights as a minority member of an LLC?

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The governance of Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) in Wisconsin is governed by Chapter 183 of the Wisconsin statutes. Those statutes set out the default rules regarding management and membership in an LLC. In an LLC, the owners are called members and have a membership percentage, rather than shareholders with shares of stock like a corporation. […]

Business Litigation

What if there is a judgment against my company?

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When your company is sued, the person suing you is looking for money. However, the mechanism for doing this is obtaining a judgment. After a trial or a motion for summary judgment the Judge (or Jury) will make a finding that you owe some money, and that finding will be reduced to a judgment. The […]

Business Litigation

How do I preserve my lien rights as a contractor in Wisconsin?

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Lien laws are both stringent and confusing. Any contractor who improves real property is given an extraordinary power of being able to place a lien on the property in the event of non-payment, before obtaining a judgment. However, in order to maintain that right, there are strict requirements for notice to the land owner that […]

Business Litigation

Contractors Beware – Theft by Contractor is Easier Than You Think

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Most contractors represent a shining example of the all-American hardworking small business owner. Unfortunately, a few bad apples have a tendency to poison the public’s perception of the whole bunch. Thus, the Wisconsin Legislature has codified its “Theft by Contractor” statute under Wis. Stat. 779.02 setting forth very draconian rules about the use of customer […]

Business Litigation

Is My Automatically Renewing Contract Enforceable?

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The Wisconsin legislature, effective May 1, 2011, has implemented strict notice requirements for any automatically renewing “Business Contracts” entered into after May 1, 2011. The rule is codified through Wis. Stat. 134.49, and sets forth that any automatically renewing contract that does not make the following disclosures, will be held to be unenforceable as to […]

Business Litigation

What lien rights do I have as a commercial sub-contractor?

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The short answer is potentially a fair amount of rights, though as with many things it depends. In general residential work, the main mechanism for enforcing payment for both general contractors and sub-contractors is through the use of construction liens. This may not always be the case in commercial projects as it makes a difference […]

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 […]