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Cleveland Business & Commercial Law Blog

Shareholder disputes can have a negative impact on a company

In order to operate, companies need funding. This funding can come from a variety of sources, including traditional bank loans and stock sales. The manner in which an Ohio company is funded often depends upon the type of company, the market in which it operates and the public's interest in the company. Many companies find it advantageous to open their company up to shareholders; however, such action also opens the door for possible shareholder disputes.

Recently, one such dispute has escalated into what some claim to be an attempt at a hostile takeover of the company. Apparently, several investors in Promega Corp., a privately held company, have expressed interest in selling their shares of stock back to the company. Reports indicate that these shareholders have insisted that their shares be purchased at above market value. Additionally, if this does not occur, they have suggested that they will attempt to take over the company and remove the current CEO.

Contract disputes and nondisclosure agreements

Ohio businesses often have information that they do not want made available to the general public or a competitor. Yet, this information must typically be shared to some extent in order for business to be conducted. Depending on how this information is shared and with whom, contract disputes may arise.

In order to prevent the sharing of such information, many companies will employ nondisclosure agreements. These agreements are formulated between the employer and the employee. In essence, the employer agrees to share sensitive information with the employee to assist the employee in performing the job. Likewise, the employer agrees to not share this information with others unless specifically allowed to within the contract and/or scope of the assigned job.

Non-competition agreements and employment contract disputes

Ohio businesses spend a great deal of time and effort generating business and creating goodwill with their customers. Likewise, employees of such businesses are the ones who make this possible. Depending upon the type of business and customer relationships, the business may ask employees to sign a noncompetition agreement. This type of agreement is often at the center of employment contract disputes when the employer/employee relationship comes to an end.

The noncompetition agreement is often used to prevent a former employee from competing with a business. From the perspective of the business, it is responsible for developing the product and the customer relationships. Additionally, it is likely that the former employee had access to confidential information regarding the business and its customers, which he or she could use as an advantage. At the heart of the matter is who should reap the benefit of such effort and knowledge.

Breach of contract disputes occur frequently in construction work

Contract disputes are common business conflicts resolved in the Ohio courts. Such disputes may involve the smallest businesses to the largest giants of an industry. In such matters, the parties often claim that the other side caused a breach of contract and the incurring of damages. One of the most voluminous sources of contract disputes is the construction industry.

Construction companies often run into contract disputes with other contractors, business customers, public agencies and private parties with whom they have contracts for the building or refurbishing of designated structures. One current contract conflict was ended on Nov. 15 when a jury awarded a construction firm nearly $1.4 million in damages. The contractor claimed that the client did not pay the balance due for completion of the project. 

Contract disputes over computer installation nets $2.6 million

Contracts are often a part of doing business in Ohio. Employers and employees sign employment contracts; businesses and vendors also sign contracts. These documents are typically effective in ensuring that each party understands and adheres to the terms of their agreement. However, there are times when disagreements arise and contract disputes occur.

In 2013, a state college system signed a contract with a computer technology company. The premise of the contract was that the technology company would install a new computer system at community colleges throughout the state. In addition to the installation, the contract called for the technology company to train the state college users.

Planning is an important part in business financing decisions

Planning is an important part of each Ohio business. Businesses generally just do not come about by chance. Prior to a business getting off the ground and beginning to generate profits, numerous hours are often spent analyzing the market and preparing detailed plans as to how a particular business will be a successful part of this market. This analysis is an important part of making the appropriate business financing decisions.

Unfortunately, not every new business venture will meet with success. However, those who analyze the market and create a detailed business plan often fair better than those who do not. This plan should include an analysis of opportunities present to generate profits, obstacles to these opportunities and competitors within the market. Lenders recognize the importance of planning and are more apt to lend money when a detailed business plan is presented as a part of the financing request.

Employment contract disputes can affect all involved

Employees are often the heart and soul of an Ohio-based company. When a customer calls or visits the place of business, the employees are usually the ones that take care of the customer. In addition to taking care of the customer, though, employees are responsible for taking care of the business. When either of these concerns is called into question, company owners or management may begin questioning the value of the employee. This can lead to possible employment contract disputes.

Depending upon the type of business being conducted, it is possible that an employee can have a contract worth a substantial amount of money. For example, although many do not think of a college athletic department as a business, it can be considered as one. These departments often bring in a significant amount of money to the college. Additionally, they are responsible for attracting numerous customers, otherwise known as students. When one of these department heads or coaches violates rules or terms of their contract, a contract dispute can ensue.

Wells Fargo facing new round of shareholder disputes

Shareholders invest in companies throughout Ohio as well as the rest of the United States with the intention of seeing a return on their investment. While this return is not guaranteed, shareholders do expect the company to do its part in the manner in which it conducts business. Depending upon the type of shareholders involved and the company, some shareholders also have a say in the election of company officers, payroll issues and bonuses. Thus, when information is not accurately disseminated to these shareholders and the general public, shareholder disputes become a possibility.

Over the past few years, Wells Fargo & Co. has faced its share of problems, and shareholders have now been given authorization to proceed with legal action. Apparently, Wells Fargo maintained a habit of inflating account and sales data. This information was reported to shareholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Can My Condo Association Foreclose on My Condo Because I Failed to Pay My Association Fees?

Every month condominium owners all across the state of Ohio receive bills from their condominium owners associations for common or monthly assessments. Although most people timely pay their bills, there are always a select few that choose not to pay them for one reason or another. Maybe the condominium owner feels the association is not performing its required duties or, it may be as simple as the owner cannot afford the payments. In either event, it is important to know that the failure to pay condominium association fees can lead to the association foreclosing on the owner's condo.

Contract disputes cause customer service problems

Customer service is an important part of most Ohio businesses. Regardless of who is to blame for service problems, the customer will ultimately look to the company with whom he or she interacts. The fact that contract disputes may cause problems between the service provider and its product source doesn't change the fact the customer is the one who ultimately loses out.

Once again, ATT&T, the parent company of both DirecTV and U-verse, has announced that it is attempting to negotiate its service contract with television companies throughout Ohio and several other states. However, due to contract disputes, it is possible that these stations will no longer be a part of the choices available for DirecTV and U-verse customers. In addition to local news and weather information, this can affect the available of sports broadcasts as well as favorite television shows.

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