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Litigation Doesn't Make Friends, Contracts Do

As quoted in Small Business Trendsetters, "litigation doesn't make friends, contracts do". Time and time again, clients come to T.Burd Law Group with a contract concern over a contract that was never reviewed or prepared by their own attorney. Sometimes they have an existing contract and other times there is no written contract at all. When I ask them why they did not consult an attorney previously, they often respond with answers such as: "Well, I trusted him"; "We were long-time friends"; "He's my husband's best friend"; "We've done business before." These reasons are counter-intuitive to their end goal.

Is a Verbal Agreement an Enforceable Contract? ... YES!

Let me begin with a disclaimer: I do not advise people to enter verbal agreements. That said, verbal agreements happen all the time, and it is important to know that they are enforceable. As a practical matter, it is important to know that your spoken word matters. This notion relates back to the hope that "people are good" and "trustworthy." When you tell someone you promise you will do something in exchange for something else, you can be legally held to that promise.

Talking to Jurors - Defense Litigation

The following is from an article posted and printed by GPSolo, a Publication of the American Bar Association. The original publication of the article can be found online here: GPSolo-- How to Pick and Talk to a Jury: Defense Perspective.


In civil law, good and evil are relative. I don’t mean to say that there are no inherent wrongs. But in a civil trial we are asking the jury to decide how evil or how culpable a defendant is for the damage allegedly done to the plaintiff. And anyone who has seen a children’s movie knows what it is like to see and hear a story from the plaintiff’s perspective. Every hero or heroine is a potential plaintiff injured by an evil defendant.

Distinguishing Volunteers, Interns, Independent Contractors and Employees

For any size business, it is important to understand the difference between a volunteer, independent contractor and employee. Businesses often try to cut corners by telling their "employees" that they're really independent contractors while still treating them as employees. Small businesses, in particular, often run into traps when they hire "volunteers" under the belief that they are providing education in exchange for labor. Below is some general information about the legal definitions of a volunteer, independent contractor and employee. The most important fact to remember is that what an employer and the subordinate individual agree upon is not sufficient to change the subordinate's legal status under the law. In other words, you cannot contract around these legal definitions.

Evicting Toking Tenants

Can a Landlord Evict a Tenant for Smoking Pot? Maybe, but it's not so easy...

Conflicting marijuana laws at the federal, state, and local levels have created uncharted legal territory across numerous areas of law including landlord-tenant law. This article addresses whether a landlord can legally and successfully evict a tenant for smoking marijuana; just how protected are a pot-smoking tenants rights?

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