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Archives for August 2016

WHAT IS COMPLEX LITIGATION?

Understanding Complex Litigation

Every company faces litigation at some point. Many of these are fairly standard lawsuits related to real estate or disputes with vendors. Almost any experienced business lawyer can help you resolve these matters with the best possible outcome. Not so with complex litigation.

While any lawsuit may be complicated, complex litigation refers to a specific type of large civil case that companies may face. Complex litigation encompasses any court battle with multiple parties in multiple jurisdictions, large amounts of money at stake, lengthy trials, or complex legal issues. These are the kind of lawsuits that can draw serious media scrutiny, and they will likely cost the company serious time and money, even if you eventually win the case.

Many kinds of lawsuits can fall into the category of complex litigation. Class action lawsuits, contract disputes involving subcontractors, international arbitration, and even simple sale of goods agreements across state lines gone wrong can evolve into fairly complex legal battles. These involve unique legal issues rarely faced by corporate lawyers without complex litigation experience. Unless your attorney knows exactly what obscure laws may come into play, your company can wind up paying big, especially since complex litigation can involve thousands, millions, or even billion-dollar judgements.

 

How Can I Mitigate the Impact of Complex Litigation on My Company?

Complex litigation requires an expert touch, or cases can drag on for months and even years, draining your company of much-needed resources. Just any corporate lawyer won’t be prepared to handle the massive amount of due diligence these cases require, nor will they be able to quickly sift through the data to determine the key issues–and the best course of action to address them. The best way to mitigate complex litigation is to trust a lawyer with experience on other complex cases involving similar legal and factual issues.

It’s also important to consider all your options. A complex litigation attorney that you trust won’t just show you the best way to win a case in court. They will honestly assess other options, telling you frankly when an out-of-court settlement may ultimately impact your company the least or when a summary judgement in your favor may be available. They will put minimizing court expenses and keeping your good name and bottom line in mind as a priority in order to minimize the effects of the lawsuit on company operations. At MAJ Law, this means staffing cases as leanly as possible to get results without allowing litigation costs to get out of hand.

As our society gets ever more litigious, even small businesses regularly face litigation beyond what you may be prepared to handle. Luckily, there are lawyers who can minimize the damage of these complicated and expensive lawsuits. If your company is facing a lawsuit that sounds like it may be more complex than you expected, it can help to speak to a complex litigation attorney today to find out if you may need special help.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS ASSETS

As a business owner, you know how important your assets are to your company’s success. That’s why it is vital to protect your business assets the best way possible from day one. Knowing exactly how to protect your business assets most effectively will depend in large part on the unique details that make your company competitive, including your industry, your business model, your IP, and many other aspects of the business. While all of these are important, here’s five things you can do immediately to better protect your business assets.

 

  1. Plan before a claim or data leak ever arises. The first and most important thing you can do to protect your assets is to start now. Once a claim or a leak has happened, it’s too late. This means that you also must regularly update your asset protection plan every time a major change in the status of your business or its assets occurs. Otherwise, you may find these instruments and plans to be lacking.
  2. Apply for as many trademarks, patents, and copyrights as possible. Every company has intellectual property–and in today’s business climate, intellectual property is just as, if not more, important as tangible assets. Keep all IP safe by registering it. At the very least, you’ll have a brand to protect by a trademark.
  3. Use confidentiality agreements and internal security measures to secure trade secrets, data, and business data. Trade secrets from client lists to business practices to operations procedures are often what makes you competitive in your industry. That’s why you must secure these as much as possible. Employee, third-party, and contractor confidentiality agreements will go far. Beyond that, it’s important to invest in other security systems, password protections, encryptions, and security methods to keep these vital business assets secure.
  4. Invest in proper insurance. Too often, small business owners neglect insurance, assuming that disaster won’t happen. When a physical (or digital) asset is compromised, insurance can minimize the impact of its loss. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but all major company assets should be well-insured.
  5. Use all legal protections that work well for your company’s needs, but keep it simple. There are many other legal protections that your business lawyer can help you leverage to keep business assets safe, but keep in mind that a simple, straightforward plan is best. When the an asset protection plan becomes so convoluted that not even you can understand the basics, it’s easy to create an accidental gap in protection. The best way to avoid unnecessary complexity is to let a single attorney or firm keep track of the big picture, so you are getting a comprehensive approach to asset protection, not a piecemeal approach that will fall apart when you need it.

 

Of course, this alone isn’t enough to fully protect every company’s assets. After all, every business is unique, so your asset protection plan should be just as individualized. Talk to an asset protection lawyer today to see what more you can do to keep your business assets safe.

THIRD-CLASS MEDICAL REFORM WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU?

 

 

On July 15, 2016, as part of the Budgeting Act to fund the FAA, legislation was passed that included the Pilot’s Bill of Rights II.  This included medical reform for certain private pilots, an alternate to the third-class medical exam.  This legislation was due to the efforts of the AOPA and EAA.  I hope to answer some of those questions I had when I reviewed the legislation, and voice some concerns or unanswered questions.  There are some areas that were expanded to our benefit, but one substantial limitation from the original “driver’s license” medical originally proposed.  Regular exams are still required with your own doctor, every four years.  Further, the FAA still has six months to add their regulations and procedures on how to make this happen.

 

  1. Who Qualifies? An individual holding a driver’s license, who has had a medical certificate issued by an FAA medical examiner within the last ten years.  The most recent application for a medical examination may not have been withdrawn or denied.  It is okay that the medical has expired, as long as it was issued within ten years, and it must not have been revoked or suspended.

 

  1. What Are My Obligations to Qualify? If you do not have a current medical, you must have completed a medical education course (to be developed), and completed a “comprehensive medical examination from a state licensed physician.”  I could not find a definition of a “physician,” and am looking into who might qualify as an appropriate physician.  When your current third-class medical expires, you will need to complete the medical course online, and have your personal physician complete an exam.  Then, every 2 years you will have to complete the online course, and every 4th year, complete the course, printout a sheet and see your doctor.

 

  1. What is the Extent of the Exam Required Every 48 Months? The airmen must complete a checklist, which is still being developed.  You then provide that checklist to your own physician.  The physician must review that checklist with the applicant and perform a “comprehensive medical examination,” in accordance with the checklist.  The full extent of the examination is still to be determined, but it will involve 22 separate items a physician must cover, which concludes with “anything else the physician in his/her medical judgment, considers necessary.”  It also appears a physician can order tests and must discuss all drugs that the applicant might be taking.  Further, the doctor must sign a statement that he certifies you are safe to operate an aircraft.

 

  1. What Are the Limitations? You cannot carry more than five passengers (applicable to flying a six passenger aircraft only).  Must be at or below 18,000 feet, within the U.S. and not exceed 250 knots indicated.  It is not clear whether the aircraft cannot be capable exceeding 250 knots, or if the aircraft is capable of that, you must restrict operations to 250 knots.  But, the new medical can apply without limitation to the number of engines, horsepower or gear type.

 

  1. When Can I Start Relying Upon The New Procedure? It looks like it will be sometime in January 2017, before the new procedure can take effect.  The legislation states that no later than 180 days after the passage of the Bill, the FAA must issue or revise regulations to ensure that you can operate an aircraft under the new standards that would be January 15, 2017.  If your medical expires before that date, you will have to see an AME and obtain a new medical certificate (if you want to continue to fly) or wait until the FAA has issued their regulations procedures.  We will have to wait to see what regulations are developed by the FAA.

 

  1. Can I Still Just Go to an AME? Yes.  Any pilot flying for compensation and hire will need a second-class medical, or for aircraft exceeding the limitations, will need at least a third-class medical.  The prior procedures remain in effect, and this legislation provides an additional way to qualify to act as pilot of command of certain aircraft.  You can always elect to see an AME every two years and obtain a third-class medical.  Further, if you are a new pilot or your last medical was more than ten years ago (before July 15, 2006), you need to get an exam with an AME.

 

  1. Can I Qualify If I Have Had a Special Issuance Medical? Yes.  This may be who benefits the most from the new regulations, especially if you can get a licensed physician to say you are safe to fly.

 

  1. What Issues Do I See As Being Unanswered? The liability of your physician, and whether or not they will be willing to sign the statement.  What about medical programs, such as Kaiser?  Will their doctors be willing or allowed to sign the statements?  Is there language in some insurance policies that might require an AME issued medical certificate?

 

  1. What Are My Obligations After Completing The Examination? You must keep the checklist and document signed by the physician in your logbook and make it available upon request.

 

Hopefully, this will evolve into real reform and not just more ways of doing something, that is as cumbersome as the prior exams with an AME.