Yes, you should always have your attorney review a contract to purchase a business or real estate or a lease before you sign the document. Most legal problems that come to me are the result of a poorly drafted or one-sided document. Legitimacy is only one concern; just because “an attorney” drafted a document does not mean that it serves your interests, unless the drafting attorney was your attorney. Your attorney will look out for your interests.
A mechanic’s lien is established and governed by Virginia statutes. They protect contractors and subcontractors who have not been paid for their services and provide specific steps for contractors and subcontractors to file a lien against the real estate they added value to.
Is someone you know involved in a family dispute after a parent has died? Over a Will? Family land? A family business? In legal terms, these are probate disputes. The usual trigger for a probate dispute is an unmet expectation of one or more of the beneficiaries.
Partition suits are filed when multiple owners of real estate cannot agree as to the sale or division of the property. Partition suits are frequently used as a method of settling the division of real estate among beneficiaries of an estate who cannot agree.
Having a Succession Plan is Important
A closely held business, especially a family business, needs a succession plan. A succession plan should be part of an overall business plan, just like profit and loss projections, product and marketing plans. Questions such as: Who will take over when the owner retires? Will the business be sold? To a co-owner? To an outsider? Who are the possible buyers? When will the business be sold? All of these questions need to be addressed.
Mediation is a useful tool in a lawyer’s arsenal to settle disputes. I recently took part in mediation involving three parties and their attorneys (of which I was one) using a mediator (a retired Virginia judge) to facilitate the process.
I recently took over a landlord/tenant case representing the landlord with substantial damage to the property when the tenant left. The landlord had drafted the lease using a document he found online. When we reviewed his evidence, I discovered the following weaknesses:
Be Prepared For Litigation
I recently defended a client in an equine litigation matter. The complaint provided veterinarians’ names and some radiographs; however, there were substantial gaps in the pattern of the information provided.
A client recently retained me to take over a lawsuit that had already been filed. After reviewing the documents and meeting with the client, it became apparent that the client didn’t realize that he would have to testify at trial in order to have his photographs and other exhibits admitted into evidence. The client was adamant about not wanting to testify and be cross-examined.
“I never realized I would have to testify at trial when I filed the lawsuit,” he said.
Based on my knowledge of estate planning, I recently gave a talk—titled “Planning for Your Future: Powers of Attorney, Wills and Probate”—to a group of approximately sixty people, and answered questions throughout. That hour was a wake-up call for some members of the audience regarding these important planning issues: