Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC

Cleveland Business & Commercial Law Blog

Dispute resolution can benefit your business

When you own a business in Ohio, you naturally must handle differences from time to time. Whether the conflict is internal or external, unfortunately sometimes disagreements cannot be immediately settled. Litigation can resolve this conflict but can also become protracted and expensive. We here at Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC, have helped many clients resolve disputes using alternative methods to the courtroom.

According to Forbes, it is becoming more and more common for people to turn to dispute resolution instead of engaging in prolonged litigation. One reason is clearly for economic purposes, since a lengthy trial can exact a great financial toll on a business. A second motivation behind avoiding the courtroom is to maintain control over the course of action rather than turning it over to a judge. In doing so, the process may be less adversarial and might therefore salvage relationships. 

How to ensure your business contract is valid

Whether you are just designing the structure of your small company or you have been in business for some time, it is critical to ensure your business contracts are legal and valid. In you day-to-day business, you may be involved in creating and accepting a number of contracts. Contracts are initiated to document that a transaction has taken place. Both verbal and written contracts may be valid depending on the circumstances of the transaction. 

One of the most important factors to ensure a contract is valid is that all parts of the agreement are accepted by both parties. For example, if you are looking for a company to assist you with marketing, they may offer you a contract describing the terms of the services they offer, as well as how much they will charge for those services. If you accept, you will sign the contract and allow the company to begin the work. If you challenge any of the terms listed in the contract, you may wait to sign and further negotiate the terms. If either party does not accept the terms of the contract, the document will not be signed and is not considered valid.

How can you strengthen relationships with investors?

As an entrepreneur, you know firsthand the challenges of owning and operating a business in Ohio. One of the things that you may have learned is how important it is to network and form strong relationships with like-minded individuals who can mentor you and help you build the competencies that are critical to your organization's performance. Investors can provide invaluable support as you work relentlessly to build your company. Establishing long-term relationships is crucial to your ability to maintain their interest and contribution. 

Understanding how to develop and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship between you and your investors is certainly a process, but one that you can be confident in pursuing when you implement some strategies from the start. According to Inc.com, it is imperative that you actively and fairly contribute to the relationships you wish to grow. If you are not putting in the work, but are expecting successful results, you risk the chances of losing that relationship altogether. As such, put in the dedication you hope to yield. And in turn, if you are not seeing your efforts reciprocated, it may be time for you to move on.  

Mental challenges surrounding business litigation

For business owners, litigation can present various challenges, from those which are financial (legal costs, fines and a decrease in business activity following a lawsuit) to a damaged reputation. The mental and emotional side of business litigation should not be overlooked, either. A business owner may find themselves extremely stressed out leading up to a lawsuit, during litigation and even afterward. Aside from stress, other negative emotions are not uncommon, such as struggling with depression or even feeling angry or betrayed. It is essential for business owners to address these emotional challenges properly and focus on their company's future.

Unfortunately, a certain amount of stress is inevitable when it comes to business lawsuits. That being said, some cases are especially difficult in this regard, whether there is a lot at stake, or the litigation involves a key business partner, an issue that is receiving a lot of attention in the media or a case which could significantly damage a business' reputation. For example, someone who runs a company may fear that an unfavorable outcome in court could cause many of their customers to take their business elsewhere, ultimately leading to the closure of their company.

Does unfair competition have you considering litigation?

Running a business and achieving a desired level of success takes hard work and dedication. Because you have poured so much of your time and effort into your company, you certainly do not want rival companies taking shortcuts to undermine your success. Unfortunately, some competitors do take unscrupulous actions in attempts to get ahead.

In some cases, other businesses may create unfair competition. With such a scenario, a rival business may present dishonest information or carry out fraudulent acts in efforts to surpass your company. While all attempts at beating out a competitor do not fall into the category of unfair competition, some companies may carry out deceptive trade practices.

Proven legal counsel in the broad, diverse real estate realm

Some law firms hold out to the public that their attorney team engages routinely in truly comprehensive real estate-linked legal matters. And, indeed, some firms do devote extensive time and resources to resolving challenges and promoting opportunities in the complex real estate universe for diverse and valued clientele.

Others, well, dabble. In doing so, they test the accuracy of what actually comprises “full service” for clients justifiably relying on their subject-matter knowledge and applied acumen.

4 times acquisitions make sense for small business owners

Sometimes the best way to kickstart the growth of your business is to buy another business or property. You might not enjoy the same control as if you grew more organically, but markets are time-sensitive. Key acquisitions can help you capitalize on your ideas.

As the economy has picked up, we've seen mergers and acquisitions on the rise across the country, and Ohio is no exception. At the time this was written, Crain's Cleveland Business had already tracked 54 Ohio mergers and acquisitions. These mergers and acquisitions spread across 12 industries, proving that they're not just for big pharmaceuticals and multimedia conglomerates.

Resolving issues with staff members to avoid litigation

Business lawsuits can arise for a myriad of reasons, and this topic has been discussed in detail on our blog. Lawsuits which involve staff members are often especially tricky and there may be so much at stake. Not only do business owners have to worry about the financial penalties associated with these suits, but the outcome of a case involving an employee (or a group of employees) could influence other workers’ decisions in different ways. Sometimes, additional staff members may decide to take legal action following a co-worker’s lawsuit. As a result, it is crucial for business owners to prevent these lawsuits, when possible.

Whether your business is accused of wrongdoing involving overtime, non-payment of wages or other wage and hour violations, or someone who works for your company is considering legal action over allegations of racial discrimination or sexual harassment, the consequences of an employee’s lawsuit can be very damaging. In some instances, you may be able to clear up the misunderstanding and avoid a lawsuit by discussing the issue(s) with staff members. Unfortunately, communication does not always work, and litigation may be unavoidable.

Litigation over a construction accident

The construction industry can be particularly difficult for all sorts of reasons. Hard work in a difficult environment can lead to project delays or issues with workers quitting or failing to perform their job duties appropriately. Moreover, some workers even become hurt in a jobsite mishap, whether the accident occurred as a result of inexperience or some unpredictable factor. Even when construction workers and the companies that employ them prioritize workplace safety and preventative measures, things can go wrong, which may lead to a dispute (or even legal action) in some instances.

If you are in the middle of a lawsuit over a construction accident, it is essential to carefully review the different options that you could have. The way in which these cases are approached can play a major role in the outcome of the lawsuit, and it could have a huge impact on your business whether you run a large construction company or only employ a few workers. Sometimes, legal action can be avoided altogether when a dispute with an injured worker is handled in an appropriate manner.

Maintaining productive goals for your company

Goal setting is a critical component to furthering the initiatives of your company in Ohio. In fact, without setting goals, you will have an unclear picture of your company's progress, potential and future. At Dinn, Hochman + Potter LLC, we have helped many business owners to protect the most valuable assets of their organization. 

While your efforts to identify and set goals is a fantastic step in the right direction, if your business objectives are not regularly revisited to assess their progress and if other important factors are out of balance, any resources put toward achieving those goals may be far less efficient than they could be. In the worst case, you may be unable to accomplish your goals at all. Understanding the steps that you can be taken to align your company's goals with organizational processes will expedite your efforts to be successful. 

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