WI Supreme Court Addresses Post-Death Discovery Claims

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently addressed whether the discovery rule applies to claims that may not be discovered until after a decedent’s death. In Christ v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 2015 WI 58, the issue presented was whether the discovery rule applied to survival and wrongful death claims that were not discovered until after the expiration of the statute of limitations. The plaintiff representatives of estates and wrongful death claimants alleged the decedents’ injuries and deaths were a result of exposure to benzene at a tire manufacturing facility.

The court held the discovery rule permits the accrual of survival and wrongful death claims after the date of the deceased’s death, if the plaintiff estate representatives and beneficiaries are able to demonstrate they exercised reasonable diligence in investigating and discovering their claims. You can view the entire discussion here.

WI Supreme Court Discusses Post-Death Discovery Claims

Trust & Efficiency Valued by Wisconsin Attorneys of Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson, S.C.

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Facing legal issues can be unnerving. Our attorneys are experienced professionals, highly regarded in the community and among their peers and will help restore you to a state of calm, as they work through the situation with tact and ease. Whether you’re a doctor or hospital facing a lawsuit due to medical malpractice, disputing a contract with an employer, or considering a product liability suit, our lawyers – based in Milwaukee but serving Wisconsin – will draw upon their 30+ years experience to assist you. Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson S.C. believes you deserve trustworthy attorneys who will pursue legal action on your behalf armed with the knowledge, passion, and professionalism to best serve you.

We’ve represented a wide range of clients, from individuals to large corporations, treating each with the respect they deserve. When you hire us to take your case, you hire trustworthy attorneys who will carefully, expertly handle the situation, no matter the scope. Our ethics, skill, integrity, and plain hard work set us apart from other Milwaukee law firms, and we’re proud of the trust that we earn from our clients with each new case.

We love the Milwaukee community, which is why we’re so proud to have successfully handled thousands of cases in the area, helping businesses and individuals pursue their goals and maintain their rights. We’ve taken on constitutional challenges before the Supreme Court and a landmark Milwaukee civil rights case.  When you invest your trust with GEBL as your Wisconsin attorney, your team will be led by a senior partner expert in the area of law where your case falls: business law, healthcare law, personal injury law, etc. Each of our senior partners have extensive trial experience in each legal area, allowing our firm to handle legal matters over a broad spectrum of issues and complexities with efficiency, economy and success.


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Milwaukee Lawyers Voted to "Best Lawyers in America" List

By | Medical Malpractice, News & Events | No Comments

It’s with great pride that we announce Milwaukee lawyers James Gutglass, Paul Erickson, Kathleen Bonville, and Mark Larson from Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville & Larson, S.C., were again selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America © 2015 (Copyright 2014 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). We’d also like to note that it’s been 9 years for James Gutglass’ inclusion on the list. Congratulations to all. Milwaukee Best Lawyers 2015

Milwaukee Lawyers Voted Best Lawyers in America

Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence since it was first published in 1983. inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor because it is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which almost 50,000 leading attorneys cast nearly five million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas – lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed. Best Lawyers has been coined by Corporate Counsel magazine “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

To be included year over year for inclusion in the next edition, attorneys must maintain these votes. So with the continued addition this year, our team of attorneys in Milwaukee shows a tradition of excellence – and that’s no surprise with over 30 years of experience.

We strive to truly represent the Best Lawyers title by earning our peers and clients’ trust through our ethics, skills, compassion, and integrity.

Award Winning Milwaukee Lawyers

Kathleen Bonville, since 2012

Lawyer of the Year 2014 – Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants (Milwaukee)

  • Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants

Paul Erickson, since 2012

Lawyer of the Year 2012 – Medical Malpractice Law (Milwaukee)

  • Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants

James Gutglass, since 2007

  • Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants

Mark Larson, since 2012

  • Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants

The Best Lawyers in America© 2015. Copyright 2014 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC

Slip & Fall Lawsuits

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If you have slipped, fallen, and injured yourself, the seasoned lawyers from Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville and Larson, can help. Slip and fall lawsuits are more common than you would think. Why? Slip and fall lawsuits know no discrimination; they can happen anywhere and to anyone: a storefront, the pharmacy, or even an individual’s front pathway can all be areas for slip and fall accidents. Unsure if an inquiry you have suffered qualifies for this type of lawsuit? You may be legally entitled to compensation for your slip and all-related personal injury.

Are You Entitled to Compensation?

If you received a mild to severe injury on an individual’s property or in a public space, you may have a solid case for a slip and fall lawsuit. The key? Proof that the injury was caused due to negligence is essential. Were dangerous conditions left unfixed? If the property owner knowingly allowed for unsafe conditions to exist or took no measures to have them prevented, resolved, or discovered in the first place, you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact an Attorney Now

If you are interested in filing a slip and fall lawsuit, or are unsure if you should, Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville and Larson Law Firm is prepared to provide you with legal assistance. Slipped and fallen? Call (414) 273-1144 to learn how we can help with your personal injury.

Proudly serving the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, community.

Franchising Basics: Selecting a Franchise

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In the business world, the franchise is a promising, yet often complicated prospect. Choosing to invest in a franchise involves serious consideration and a detailed plan of action.

The decision to buy a franchise is complicated, but it is a rewarding choice for many franchise owners. When you’re contemplating franchise ownership, you need trusted legal counsel. As franchise lawyers, we are familiar with the franchise process, beginning with the foundations and extending through the life of franchise ownership.

Foundational Franchise Decisions: Selecting a Franchise

franchise attorney

As you consider franchise ownership, there are a number of basic factors to consider. Exploring the basic foundation and the keys of successful franchise ownership will assist you in selecting a franchise.

Franchise Basics

What exactly is a franchise? The U.S. Small Business Administration defines a franchise in the following way:

“A franchise is a business model that involves one business owner licensing trademarks and methods to an independent entrepreneur.”

There are a few different forms of franchising. The SBA goes on to explain the two main forms of franchising.

1. Product or trade name franchising occurs when the franchisor owns the right to the business name or trademark and sells that right to a franchisee.
2. Business format franchising occurs when the franchisor and franchisee have an ongoing relationship, and the franchisor provides services to assist the franchisee through the business process.

Before You Invest in a Franchise

Before investing in a franchise, significant research is required. We’ve already addressed the “Franchise Disclosure Document,” the agreement that includes crucial details of the franchise agreement. Before examining the franchise disclosure document, you will start by considering what type of franchise in which to invest.

There are a number of questions to consider as you plan your franchise investment. Listed below are several items to explore with each potential franchise investment:

  • How much can you invest in a franchise?
  • How much financing will be necessary?
  • What are your goals?
  • How successful are other franchisees?
  • What does the competition look like?
  • What is the demand for the product or service?
  • How much support and training is given for franchisees?
  • How stable is the franchisor?

As you consider a franchise investment, you can trust the seasoned lawyers at Gutglass, Erickson, Bonville and Larson Law Firm. We are prepared to support you with franchise litigation.

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

Franchise Law | What Owners Need to Know

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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

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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?

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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.