Category Archives: Business Litigation

Subscribe to Business Litigation RSS Feed

Iowa Specialty Business Court Off to Good Start

Back in January of 2013 I shared that the Iowa Supreme Court began a new specialty court for business cases. According to a recent article from the Des Moines Business Record it sounds as though the court is off to a good start. (Unfortunately the article is only available in the member’s section of the … Continue Reading

Entrepreneur Magazine Says Hire a Good Lawyer When Starting Business

Entrepreneur Magazine columnists Courtney Spritzer and Stephanie Abrams list Hiring a Good Lawyer as one of the four things a start up business owner should do that may not be in the business plan. Another professional they suggest engaging is a knowledgeable accountant. And I could not agree more. In fact, I get worried when a client … Continue Reading

Watch for Alleged Yellow Page Advertising Scams

I was recently contacted by a business client whose employee signed a “contract” purporting to be from YELLOW PAGE IOWA that had been faxed to their business for what appeared to be a free Yellow Page or Facebook ad. The contract is misleading and deceptive and the fine print actually attempts to lock the client … Continue Reading

Wall St. Journal Lists Troubled Franchise Brands

A recent Wall St. Journal article discussed some of the franchise brands with higher-than-average default rates. The highest on the list? Planet Beach at a considerable 41.1.% default rate for SBA loans from 2004 through 2014 according to the article. The franchising industry and its model of business does a wonderful job of marketing itself. … Continue Reading

5 Reasons to Hire a Franchise Attorney

 It goes without saying considering I am a franchise lawyer, but I agree completely with the Franchise King who offered his Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Franchise Attorney in a recent post. In my experience a lot of prospective franchisees skimp on hiring a franchise lawyer to review their FDD and franchise agreement. Many … Continue Reading

Selling or Buying a Business: Pay Attention to Why Deals Don’t Close

Steve Sink wrote recently wrote a blog post on IowaBiz covering Why Deals do not Close. I recommend buyers and sellers of businesses to read the post. Fortunately, most of the deals I work on tend to close but from time to time there are issues with a deal or perhaps even litigation after a deal closes. … Continue Reading

Vote ‘Yes’ to Renovate and Update Polk County Courthouse

I generally try to stay away from politics on this blog but there is an important vote on November 5th regarding Measure A:  The Polk County Public Safety Judicial System Bond. I encourage you to vote ‘Yes" for this measure. Our Polk County Courthouse has been in use for over 100 years. While it is … Continue Reading

Government Shutdown Teaches Lessons in Negotiation

 I read an interesting blog post on the LexBlog Network from Tom Crane of the San Antonio Employment Law Blog called What We Can Learn from the Government Shutdown. The lesson Crane preaches that bullying tactics usually do not work very well in negotiation and tend to invite an equal response from the other side. … Continue Reading

U.S. Patent Law Changes: The First-Inventor-to-File One Year Grace Period

* This is a guest post from Jessica Susie of the Brick Gentry Law Firm. Jessica is a registered patent attorney. The America Invents Act, which President Obama signed into law on September 16, 2011, has been gradually overhauling the United States patent system. March 16, 2013 marked the biggest change – the United States … Continue Reading

How to Deal with Partner Disputes

 I saw an interesting article on the LexBlog Network regarding how to deal with partner disputes. The post written by Texas restaurant lawyer, Matthew Sanderson, dealt specifically with restaurants, but the information contained in the post is applicable to any business. Sanderson recommends the following when a dispute occurs: Avoid the conflict by identifying motivators … Continue Reading

Iowa Business Court Judges Selected

In January  I wrote about the new Iowa Business Specialty Court Pilot Project.  This week the Iowa Supreme Court announced that three judges have been selected to hear cases for the business court. The judges include: Judge Michael Huppert of the 5th Judicial District, which includes Dallas, Polk and Warren counties; Judge Annette Scieszinski of … Continue Reading

Trend Moving Toward Greater Protection for Franchisees?

With the recent passage of a new state law in Ohio and a new bill offering greater protection for franchisees in California, it will be interesting to see whether this growing trend of more pro-franchisee laws continues. Interestingly enough it is Iowa that is often cited as a pro-franchisee state because of its franchise act. … Continue Reading

Iowa Business Law Services: Rush on Business Companion Web Site

 I am very happy to announce my new companion Web site to go along with this blog at www.iowabusinesslawservices.com. The site will feature information on my legal practice areas, a simple way to submit information for formation of a new corporation or LLC and also a video resources section with tips on business and franchise … Continue Reading

Lesson # 5 From Hard Luck Franchisees: Restrictions on the Products and Services Sold

 The Classic Battle A group of franchisees file a lawsuit contending the franchisor forces them to buy products and/or services at inflated prices while setting retail prices so low the franchisees cannot profit. The lawsuit also alleges that the franchisor omits or misrepresents key facts about its business operations when selling the franchise. The franchisor, of … Continue Reading

Lesson # 4 From Hard Luck Franchisees: Buying a Franchise in a Saturated Market or Industry

  I’ve seen it many times. A certain market or industry becomes "hot" and all the sudden franchises start popping up all over the place. For example, a few years ago the 24/7 fitness market took off. In the Des Moines, Iowa area there were all kinds of fitness franchises that entered the 24/7 fitness … Continue Reading

Lesson # 3 From Hard Luck Franchisees: Franchisor Reservation of Rights to Sell or Transfer Business

This is Lesson #3 in a five-part series on the top reasons I’ve seen franchisees fail.  Tucked away in nearly every franchise agreement is a provision that very few franchisees consider when they are purchasing a franchise business. The provision I am referencing gives a franchisor the right to sell or transfer its business to … Continue Reading

Business Partnerships Need Communication

 Mike Colwell of THE BIZ posted a presentation I have on Partnering for his Raising Capital series. One of the biggest things a partnership needs is communication. Like any good marriage, communication is the key. Business partners that communicate effectively are much more likely to be successful. Also, proper documentation is a key. Without documentation, … Continue Reading

Lesson #2 From Hard Luck Franchisees: Buying a Franchise with No Brand Recognition

The franchising model is available in almost every industry. (Even law firms apparently). Reports have indicated there’s nearly 1 million established franchised businesses in the U.S. Among those franchises are many unknown (or relatively unknown) franchises. In my opinion it is critical to buy franchises with brand recognition. Does that take out many new franchises … Continue Reading

Iowa Business Specialty Court Pilot Project

The Iowa Supreme Court has announced that it is beginning a three-year project for an Iowa Business Specialty Court for complex cases with $200,000 or more in dispute. To begin the project, three Iowa judges will be hired for the court based upon their educational background, judicial and trial experience with complex commercial cases and … Continue Reading

Iowa Supreme Court Rules Employer Can Fire Woman Because She’s Too Attractive

Happy New Year everyone! The first blog post of the year centers on a controversial Iowa Supreme Court decision handed down right before the holidays. In Nelson v. Knight, the Iowa Supreme Court was presented with the question whether a male employer could terminate a female employee because the employer’s wife, due to no fault … Continue Reading

Evaluating a Franchise Opportunity

In meeting after meeting with prospective franchisees I am asked what I would look for in a franchise opportunity. It’s not an easy question. But trust me when I say that all franchise opportunities are NOT created the same. What separates the good franchising opportunities from the bad franchising opportunities in my experience? Here are … Continue Reading

Employers Should Consider Policies on Ownership of Social Media Accounts

Daniel Burnick of the Alabama Employment Law Report has an interesting post on a case involving a disputed Twitter account where the employee left his employment, changed his Twitter account name and then kept all the followers he had with his former employer. In Kravitz v. PhoneDog, Kravitz used @phonedog for his Twitter account while … Continue Reading
LexBlog