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In today's blog post, we discuss five important contract clauses that can help you more quickly and easily resolve disputes.

The purpose of executing written business contracts instead of relying on oral agreements is to manage risks and expectations. When I draft contracts, my job is to state clearly the parties’ responsibilities under an agreement. My  job is also to prepare my clients for the possibility that things take a turn for the worse and the other party fails to fulfill their promises. A major benefit of having a contract is to help you more quickly and easily resolve a dispute if it arises. Quickly and easily resolving disputes means your business will spend substantially less money dealing with dispute resolution, so it is important for your bottom line that you ensure your contracts are well drafted to prepare you for…

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Contract Clauses

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We continue our Alternative Dispute Resolution Series with a discussion of Early Neutral Evaluation.

We continue our Alternative Dispute Resolution Series with a discussion of Early Neutral Evaluation. Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE), also known as “Neutral Case Evaluation” and “Case Evaluation,” is when one or both parties use a third-party neutral to evaluate the strength of their case, generally early in the life of the dispute. Just as with arbitration and mediation, there are different forms and styles of ENE, but the core structure is the same. In ENE, the third-party neutral reviews the evidence, listens to parties’ summaries of their cases, and gives the parties a written evaluation of the case.

The Benefits of Early Neutral Evaluation

Parties, including clients and their attorneys, often inaccurately assess the strength of a case. This can lead to…

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Early Neutral Evaluation

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In today's blog post, we discuss three mediation strategies and explain why using these strategies will increase your chances of success.

In our Alternative Dispute Resolution Series , we highlighted why mediation and arbitration are increasingly popular alternatives to litigation in business disputes. In this post, we’ll dive into three strategies you should employ when mediating a dispute.

Mediation is a commonly used alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method where parties can enlist the help of a third-party neutral (the mediator) to hopefully come to a resolution. As we discussed in our earlier post in the ADR Series, in mediation, the parties in dispute have much more control over the process than they would have in litigation. In this post, we’ll discuss how parties can take advantage of this process in order to increase their likelihood of success:

1. Separate the people from the problem

It is…

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Mountain Climbing

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A few weeks back a new website was unveiled that uses crowdfunding to finance high-value commercial lawsuits.

A few weeks back a new website was unveiled that uses crowdfunding to finance high-value commercial lawsuits. According to the Wall Street Journal and the company’s press release, LexShares connects accredited investors with plaintiffs in commercial lawsuits.

“Invest in Justice”

The company’s slogan suggests a novel idea in the crowdfunding world, and breaks away from the “traditional” reasons for raising capital through crowdfunding, which is raising operating capital to fund startups and small businesses.

LexShares’ staff of securities professionals review the lawsuits and only post suits that have “strong merit.” The target lawsuit for the company is one with $10 to $40 million in claim value. According to the press release, if the plaintiff wins the case, then the investors will recover an…

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Crowdfunding

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In this post in the ADR series, we discuss how mediation works and what you can expect at a mediation.

Mediation is a process where a third-party neutral (the mediator) guides the parties through the negotiation process, and the parties decide on a mutually-beneficial agreement. Mediation is generally a non-binding alternative to litigation that allows parties to work with a neutral to air their grievances and receive neutral feedback on how best to reach a resolution.

Mediation dates back to ancient cultures. The traditions of Confucianism and Buddhism encourage finding agreement through moral persuasion rather than coercion. The Ancient Greeks and Romans employed intercessors in settling disputes. And as the world became more connected, mediation took on a significant role in international relations. The United Nations Charter names mediation as an important means for peaceful resolution of conflicts.

In the United States, influenced…

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mediation history

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In this series, we'll discuss the basics of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and dive into the details of mediation, arbitration, etc.

The phrase “Alternative Dispute Resolution” (ADR) refers to the different methods parties in conflict use to resolve disputes rather than filing a traditional lawsuit in court. The process can be as simple as meeting to discuss a possible settlement or as formal as an arbitration that can look a lot like a trial. ADR is growing industry, because many “consumers” are fed up with the high costs of lawyers and litigation and the uncertainty surrounding a drawn out court battle. ADR generally decreases costs and expedites the process of reaching an agreement between parties in dispute. It’s popularity and benefits are so valued that many courts now require parties to a suit to go through mandatory arbitration or mediation before…

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alternative dispute resolution

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The Delaware court held that board resignations need not be in writing because Delaware Code Section 141(b) is a permissive statute.

A recent Delaware court case discussed what type of action is necessary for directors to resign from a corporation’s board of directors. Ultimately, the court held that director resignations need not be in writing because Delaware Code Section 141(b) is a permissive statute.

 Summary of the Case

The CEO of Biolase, Inc, Federico Pignatelli, thought that Biolase’s board needed more experienced directors, and he asked some of the board members to resign so he could fill their positions with more seasoned directors. The board members resigned. But without Pignatelli’s knowledge, the directors he wished to replace had also aligned themselves with the new board members in order to try and replace Pignatelli as CEO. In an attempt to disrupt the new board…

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Bullhorn

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Posting hyperlinks to copyrighted content is not direct copyright infringement of that content; some similar acts may create liability for your business.

Many types of businesses, namely those who operate blogs or otherwise deal in information, send links and post to copyrighted material. Many of these businesses are aware that merely posting a link to copyrighted material is not direct infringement of the copyright in that content; indeed, many of these businesses make a living off the advertising on their pages, which pages essentially offer as their only value a link to copyrighted material. This article is an attempt to identify the limits of the rule that posting a link to copyrighted material is not direct infringement, and to help indicate where pitfalls may lay. 

The General Rule

A federal court in New York  recently held that sending an email with…

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Copyright Infringement

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This post discusses what you should know about voluntary, administrative, and judicial dissolution of a business entity in Washington.

As a business owner, you may find yourself in a situation where you either need to dissolve your company, you are being forced to dissolve your company (either by other owners or by the state), or you simply want to know what your potential exits are. This post will explain dissolution in Washington, and how it can affect your business.

In Washington, closely-held corporations may be dissolved in one of three ways: 1) voluntarily, by vote of the shareholders or directors; 2) by administrative dissolution; or 3) by judicial dissolution.

Voluntary Dissolution

To voluntarily dissolve a corporation, generally the corporation’s board of directors may propose dissolution for submission to a vote of the shareholders. Two-thirds of the authorized shareholders then must approve the proposed dissolution….

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Business Entity Dissolution

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This post discusses how to collect the money your business is owed and avoid legal disputes relating to collection.

One of the first conflicts that often comes with any new business, and one conflict that is ongoing for nearly every business, is how to collect what the business is owed. A proper collections process will help you get paid more often and more quickly, and it creates a solid record to give you more leverage when you do find your business in a dispute. If you properly design your collections process, it will help ensure you get paid.

To prevent accounts receivable problems, you’ll need to understand where the problems come from. Here are general descriptions of the most common collections issues: 

You aren’t sufficiently clear in your agreement, so your customers dispute the amount owed or the date the…

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Ducks in a Row