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Franchise Law | What Owners Need to Know

By | Business Law | No Comments

franchise lawIf you own a franchise, it is crucial that you take all the appropriate measures needed to ensure your franchise is protected. Unsure how you can receive the protection your franchise requires? Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville and Larson Law Firm understands how complex franchise law is and knows the appropriate precautions that need to be taken.

Important Franchise Law Considerations:

The Contract

The contract, also known as a “Franchise Disclosure Document,” is one of the most important considerations a franchise owner needs to make. Simply put: it is the glue that holds together the franchise. From the legal standpoint, having an airtight and detailed contract is a top priority for every franchise lawyer. The best franchise agreements are thorough, covering a number of crucial items. To give you an idea of how complex franchise law can be, consider the fact that the standard Franchise Disclosure Document includes the following items:

· The Franchisor, its Predecessors, and its Affiliates
· Business Experience
· Litigation
· Bankruptcy
· Initial Franchise Fee
· Other Fees
· Initial Investment
· Restrictions On Sources Of Products And Services
· Franchisee’s Obligations
· Financing
· Franchisor’s Obligations
· Territory
· Trademarks
· Patents, Copyrights and Proprietary Information
· Obligation To Participate In The Actual Operation Of The Franchise Business
· Restrictions On What The Franchisee May Sell
· Renewal, Termination, Transfer And Dispute Resolution
· Public Figures
· Earnings Claims
· List Of Outlets
· Financial Statements
· Contracts
· Receipt

To reiterate: Franchise law is a complicated area of the legal system that demands finesse and attention to detail.

Contract Negotiations

Despite popular belief, not all franchise contracts are non-negotiable. The matter of the fact is, assuming all the appropriate measures were taken, it is up to the franchise owner to decide whether or not the contract can be negotiated. In the event that your franchise is agreeable to a negotiation, you will want to be sure a well-versed franchise law specialist can mull over the details. Why? Your franchise is an asset that needs protecting, so it is important that the smallest of contract negotiations are looked over before any new agreements are made.

Consult a Franchise Law Expert Now

If you are a proud franchise owner who is seeking the assistance of a legal professional, contact our seasoned lawyers at Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville and Larson Law Firm. We are prepared to see after your every franchise law need, so be sure to contact us today.

For more information about our franchise law services, call (414) 273-1144.

Protecting Your Business Name

By | Business Law | 5 Comments

legally Protecting Your Business Name Your business name is something unique that helps set your products and services apart from the competition. However, unique business names are not always easy to come up with. In most cases, a business owner has spent a great deal of time choosing the right name for their business, and large amounts of money have been invested into branding this name. The last thing you want is for it to be stolen out from under your feet. So, how do you protect it?

Protecting Your Business Name

Step One – Register your name

The first step in protecting your business name involves ensuring that your business is registered in accordance to the law. When you register a business name, make sure to note the date of initial use, as it’s more essential than the date of registration. The date of initial use gives the owner exclusive rights over the business name. Registration of a business name is mainly done by the registrar of companies. To start the registration process the business owner is requested to propose his or her preferred business. The registrar then performs a business name search to ascertain whether there are businesses with similar or identical business names. If no other matching business name is found the register gives rights to the business owner to use the name.

Step Two – Identify intellectual property rights

The next step requires the business owner to identify their intellectual property rights. This limits the use of the owner’s original idea by others for exploitation or personal gain. Intellectual property rights are granted in the form of patents or trademarks. This helps in encouraging future innovation and investments. Businesses that violate the intellectual property law are liable for prosecution by the other business.

Step Three – Keep your records safe

The third step involves keeping business records safe and stored in a systematic manner. Business documents should be easy to locate and access when required. The documents will act as a proof of ownership in case of a dispute.

Following these steps will help you to protect your business name. At Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson, we understand the challenges of dealing with legal issues for your business and we are here to help. Give us a call and we will be happy to answer all your questions. Call us today at (414) 273-1144.

Legal Practice Board Certification

By | Blog, Business Law, Insurance Law, Medical Malpractice | No Comments

Board CertificationProfessional practice requires relevant accreditation or board certification, and legal practice is not devoid of these approvals. Currently, it is a requirement that before a lawyer is allowed to practice he or she must be licensed by the relevant authority. Aside from the federal or government oversight bodies, there are independent institutions, such as the National Board of Trial Advocacy, that certifies lawyers.

Board Certification Process

What does board certified mean? Before an individual is recognized by the board as a certified attorney, the candidate is subject to a comprehensive scrutiny process by the relevant committee. This is to ensure that experienced and credible lawyers are accredited. For the applicant to be certified they must:

  • Avail all the relevant documentation ranging from academic to professional to government clearance certificates.
  • Provide references from reputable practicing peers who are certified by the board and in good standing.
  • Sit through board certification exams.
  • Appear before the board certification committee.

After approval the member must abide by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (NBLSC) rules and at all time engage the board indulgence while practicing. The certified lawyer is closely monitored by the standards committee to ensure he or she upholds professionalism at all times.

Advantages of employing services of a NBLSC certified attorney

The board certification offers immense benefits to both the practicing lawyers and their prospective clients. There have been upsurges of rogue lawyers who offer substandard services or defraud their clients – most commonly for legal compensation lawsuits. To ensure that you work with the right attorney who will ensure your interests are taken care of and served professionally, it is a wise  to engage lawyers who hold board certification credentials.

Also, it is worth noting that the board has systems in place to receive complaints, settle disputes and discipline members who do not adhere to the required practicing etiquette. Since most of the certified lawyers regard accreditation from such institutions like the National Board of Trial Advocacy in esteem, they will always try to comply with the set standards.

The board has ensured the members are continually educated and equipped with the latest developments in legal practice across the board. The certified attorney must sit various continuous assessment exams geared to make sure that the legal experts sharpen their skills. Consequently, their clients can be assured of competent and high quality legal services. It is vital to grasp that the certificates are renewed after every five years and are only issued after an in-depth valuation of the lawyers conduct over the expired duration.

Going by testimonies of various persons it is a fact that you will draw immense benefits from a certified attorney. At Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson, we understand the challenges of dealing with legal issues and we are here to help. Give us a call and we will be happy to answer all your questions. Call us today at (414) 273-1144.

What Type of Business Lawsuits Can We Help With?

By | Business Law | No Comments

As business lawyers, the professionals at Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville and Larson Law Firm are trained to handle a variety of legal concerns for your business, no matter your field. From setting up a corporate entity and developing employee contracts to filing taxes and diving into franchising, there are a number of scenarios where hiring business lawyers makes sense.

When you face an unexpected business lawsuit, our business lawyers can fight the legal battle to come. Whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant in the case, our business lawyers have the experience and expertise to win your case.

What Kind of Lawsuits Do Our Business Lawyers Handle?

Breach of Proprietary Information Agreement

When a current or former employee, contractor, or consultant uses your confidential or proprietary information without your direct authorization, your business lawyers will help you bring suit against them to collect damages. Proprietary information can include a product, software, coding, client lists, a business model, pricing, graphic designs, budgets, techniques, marketing strategies, and more. When your employees, contractors, and consultants sign a Non-Disclosure or Proprietary Information Agreement, they are legally stating they will not share this information with any other person or business. If you discover that a current or former employee has broken a non-disclosure or proprietary information agreement, contact our business lawyers to discuss your case.

Non-Compete Agreements

As business lawyers, we can not only help you draw up non-compete agreements, but we can also enforce these agreements when current or former employees attempt to evade them. If you employee goes to work for a competitor and voids the terms of your non-compete, our business lawyers can expertly handle the case.

On the other hand, if you are a former employee of a business attempting to claim that you broke an invalid non-compete agreement, the business lawyers at our firm can work with you to establish the non-compete as void and secure your new position.

Complaints to the EEOC or Wisconsin ERD

If a current or former employee sues your business or lodges a discrimination complaint with the Wisconsin Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or ERD (Division of Equal Rights), our business lawyers will work on your behalf to clear your name. As business lawyers we understand that charges of discrimination are serious and harmful to your business’ reputation, and we will work against anyone who attempts to use these legal protections improperly to damage your business. And if you feel that your rights have been violated in the workplace, our business lawyers can also help you lodge the necessary complaints and pursue legal actions against your current or former employer.

Breach of Contract

Wisconsin | What Type of Business Lawsuits Can We Help WithWhen one party fails to uphold a written or oral business agreement, breach of contract has occurred and legal action may be pursued by your business lawyers. If you are accused of breach of contract by a current or former client, customer, employer, or employee, our business lawyers can handle your case. Likewise, if you feel that someone has breached a contract you held with them, our business lawyers can help mount your case against them.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Our business lawyers can handle lawsuits you bring against investment consultants for breach of fiduciary duty. If you feel that a consultant knowingly committed fraud or misrepresentation and violated Deceptive Trade Practices Act, contact our business lawyers to discuss your course of action. We can also help you if a current or former client claims that you breached your fiduciary duty.

Libel and Defamation

The business lawyers at our firm are well-versed in libel and defamation cases. If your business is under attack from current or former clients, customers, competitors, peers, or the Department of Regulation and Licensing, or other organizations, our business lawyers can defend your credentials and seek financial damages in a court of law.

Hire the Most Reputable Business Lawyers in Wisconsin

The business lawyers at Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson S.C. are widely known throughout Wisconsin for our expert handling of business lawsuits. We’ve achieved rare victories — such as judicial reversal of a Decision and Order of the Medical Examining Board against a physician — and secured substantial financial damages for an employer whose workers conspired to steal proprietary information. The legal expertise of our business lawyers ensures the successful, economical handling of your case, no matter the scenario.

Contact our business lawyers today at (414) 273-1144 or use our web submission form to request more information on our services.

How to Handle Theft or Embezzlement of Investment Funds

By | Blog, Investment Litigation | 2 Comments

With the economy recovering at a slow pace and the aftershocks of the 2008 financial crisis still felt nationwide, many people are reluctant to invest their money. Theft or embezzlement of investment funds is a reality that many Americans face, and it can have financial and emotional repercussions on victims for years to come.

If you are facing embezzlement of your investment funds, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin. A skilled investment lawyer can help you take the necessary steps to report the embezzlement and regain financial security.

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Lawyers of Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson, S.C. Win Milwaukee Civil Rights Case

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Civil Rights Lawyers in Milwaukee, WI

A Milwaukee jury unanimously found that a Milwaukee Police Officer violated the civil rights of our client by falsifying an affidavit in support of a search warrant that led to a SWAT Team invading an innocent man’s home and shooting him in the hand and shoulder (the shooter was attempting to shoot him in the chest.)  In this civil rights case, the jury awarded not only $750,000 in compensatory damages but awarded punitive damages of $250,000.

Milwaukee Lawyers Fights Civil Rights Case For Over 5 Years

The City of Milwaukee fought this civil rights case for over 5 years including an appeal to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (next step the U.S. Supreme Court) which confirmed the client’s right to a jury determination of whether the defendant acted recklessly or intentionally and whether the false affidavit led to the client’s injury.  The City of Milwaukee attempted to use the fear of  guns claiming that merely because the client owned multiple hunting rifles, the SWAT Team was justified in a executing a “no knock” search warrant with 15 team members, which included the use of an armored vehicle known as the “Bear Cat”, storming his house, shooting him and exercising a technique called a “shield stun” while the client was sitting on the floor, blood spurting from the finger shot from his hand and the wound in his shoulder that tore out much of his deltoid muscle.

Years of hard work by the dedicated civil rights lawyers of Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson, S.C.  led to a positive result and vindicated the client’s claim that he did not fail to comply with police commands.  Due to a briefing by the defendant, the SWAT Team was “wired” due to the unsupported belief that the client “disliked the police” leading to the “high man” on the entry team shooting without first warning.

“The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the personal rights that it secures has a long history.  At its very core stands the rights of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from governmental intrusion.”  Justice Potter Stewart.  A Milwaukee jury held a policeman accountable for our client’s privacy being invaded due to his misconduct and awarded substantial damages.

You can read more on the story here via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal.

For civil rights lawyers you can trust, call Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson, S.C. at (414) 273-1144 today!

Insights From a Business Lawyer: What Qualifies as a Misrepresentation or Fraud Case?

By | Blog, Business Law | No Comments

Misrepresentation is a common crime that can best be described as a civil wrong or tort. As any business lawyer will tell you, misrepresentation can create grounds for civil liability if it leads to the victim suffering any financial losses. For example, a speculator in real estate who sells swampy land masqueraded as an expensive, commercially-viable zoned plot is guilty of misrepresentation. The entity who purchased the property based on the speculator’s misleading declarations may sue to forestall or recover any monetary losses incurred as a result of the transaction.

If you’re not a business lawyer, it can be difficult to understand what constitutes a misrepresentation or fraud case.

Insights From a Business Lawyer on Misrepresentation & Fraud

What is Needed to Establish a Fraudulent Misrepresentation Case?

You don’t have to be a business lawyer to understand that misrepresentation involves making false statements to convince someone to enter a legally-binding agreement. Fraudulent misrepresentation is the most serious of the 3 major types of misrepresentation recognized under contract law.

Basically, the legal concept of misrepresentation allows a business lawyer to seek remedial action on their client’s behalf for any rescissions or damages resulting from fraudulent contracts. For the maker of a fraudulent contract to be proved liable, three things must be established by your business lawyer:

  1. There must exist a misrepresentative statement that was uttered by the defrauder to the victim in any reliable form that can be determined in court.
  2. The defrauder must be fully aware that the victim is completely reliant on the factual correctness of all their statements.
  3. Finally, the victim’s belief in the validity of the defrauder’s proclamations must have been strong, justifiable, and reasonable enough to have caused the misrepresentation to result in pecuniary losses.

What this meaMilwaukee | Business Lawyer | Fraud & Misrepresentationns is that for something to qualify as misrepresentation, it must be shown that one not only lied or falsified facts about a contract, but that you also did it intentionally, with the sole aim of defrauding the victim. As your business lawyer will inform you, this makes it the gravest among all types of misrepresentation and it attracts the most severe complementary penalties as well.

One must note, however that the misrepresentation does not necessarily have to be expressed as a positive assertion for liability to be established. Virtually anything that can be shown as having been intended to deceive the victim will suffice. Expressions like body gestures, hints, innuendos, allusions, half-truths, undertones, and even silence, can all be used to successfully prove misrepresentation. This is where a business lawyer will truly help your case, as they will guide you through the complicated process of building a misrepresentation case.

Legal Countermeasures Against Misrepresentation

Misrepresentation is classified as a civil offense, for which you can only sue for damages in civil court with a business lawter. The criminal court equivalent of this particular offense is aptly known as “false pretenses.” Civil court decisions made as a general remedy for most cases of confirmed misrepresentation will often involve rescission. As your business lawyer may inform you, the court will essentially assume that the misrepresented contract or transaction never actually existed in the first place. The victim will thus be compensated and all parties will be restored to their initial financial positions before the misrepresentation was perpetuated. Your business lawyer will help guide you through the legal process and ensure that you are properly compensated in your misrepresentation case.

Why a Business Lawyer Can Be Helpful

Though fraudulent misrepresentation may have the distinction of having the most significant consequences with respect to recognized types of fraud, it also happens to be the hardest to prove. Demonstrating the defrauders’ “intent” is ordinarily a tricky undertaking, because most can simply claim that they were unaware that their claims were false at the time. A competent business lawyer is essential for misrepresentation victims to successfully pursue their civil cases to a fruitful conclusion. Misrepresentation legislations and statutes are applied differently across every state, so an experienced business lawyer is best placed to inform you on how best to proceed with your suit, and to explain the kind of rewards you may expect.

Get a Reliable Business Lawyer Today

If you feel you are the victim of misrepresentation or fraud in Wisconsin, you’ll need an experienced, reliable business lawyer to shepherd your case. Gutglass, Bonville & Larson Law can connect you with the business lawyer you need. We serve the Milwaukee area. Contact us today for a consultation with a business lawyer.