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Portland Area Law Blog

Business law: Need help with corporate divorce proceedings?

When you started your business, you hoped it would succeed, and maybe it did for a while. Now, though, you are facing some issues with a partner or shareholders that have made it impossible to keep the company going the way you want it to. You have decided to close up shop and move on, but you are finding that corporate divorce proceedings are more complicated than you expected. An experienced business law attorney can assist company owners in Oregon through the corporate divorce process.

It does not matter if you are a small business owner or the head of a massive corporation, there are a lot of issues that may arise when dissolving a business. This is why it is something you should think twice about doing alone. It would be to your benefit to have legal counsel on your side, fighting to ensure the process is completed in a way that serves your best interests.

Oregon real estate: When zoning does not work in your favor

Every piece of property in the state of Oregon is zoned so it can be used for a specific purpose. When a person is interested in real estate that is not zoned for what he or she plans to do with it, the thought of letting the property go rather than fighting for it may be tempting. It is certainly the easier path; however, some things are worth fighting for. There are a few ways in which one might be able to get the zoning changed so that it does work for one's needs; it just takes time, effort and, possibly, litigation.

The three traditional paths to seeking a zoning modification are: filing for a variance, filing for conditional use and filing for complete re-zoning. The first two options would be for individuals who are interested in asking for permission to use the land how they want without changing the official zoning status. A re-zoning request would be for anyone who wants to use the entire property for a specific purpose that is not currently allowed and to have the zoning status changed completely.

Could naming a pet as an estate beneficiary lead to litigation?

Oregon residents who want to name their pets as beneficiaries of their estates may have questions about how to do it. They may also worry that doing so could end up causing other beneficiaries to contest the contents of the estate plan, requiring litigation to resolve the matter. Those who want to leave assets to their pet may, but they just need to go about it a certain way.

This topic has been widely publicized lately when it was announced that the late Karl Lagerfeld left millions to his beloved cat. The famed designer wanted to make sure his feline was able to continue enjoying the lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. While the cat has amassed her own fortune over the years due to various jobs, Mr. Lagerfeld still felt it necessary to take steps to ensure the feline was properly taken care of.

Alternative dispute resolution: The ins and outs of arbitration

In life, conflict is normal, and people need to work together to find acceptable resolutions. Sometimes, that is not possible, and certain matters may have to be taken to court. Sometimes, going to court may seem extreme, but some assistance in resolving the matter is deemed necessary by all parties involved in the issue. This is where arbitration -- an alternative dispute resolution method that is available to Oregon residents -- comes into play.

Arbitration is, more or less, an informal court proceeding. All involved parties will have the opportunity to present their sides of a case to a court-appointed arbitrator. That person will then issue a ruling on the matter. The benefits to arbitration over traditional litigation include:

  • Potential to save money
  • Potential to save time
  • Impartiality
  • Finality
  • Confidentiality

Business law: Did a former employee steal your trade secrets?

When an employee leaves his or her job at your company, he or she will likely use what was learned during the time at your business in order to perform well at his or her next job. There is nothing wrong with that, unless this individual has stolen your trade secrets and is using them to benefit him- or herself, or a new employer. What can Oregon business owners do if they believe former employers have stolen trade secrets? Can a business law attorney really help with this type of situation?

How does the law define trade secrets? A trade secret is any information or process used by a company, which is not protected by a patent or known to others but is of great economic value to the business. Under Oregon law, employers do have the right to take legal action against former employers who have stolen trade secrets.

Four questions to you might have when appointing an executor

Though most people do not like to think about passing on, estate planning is an important tool to protect your assets for your beneficiaries. It also provides peace of mind because you know your affairs will be handled as you wish.

However, you must do more than just create a will. You also need to name an executor for your will. The executor ensures your will is distributed as you described. Naming a trustworthy executor helps the process go much smoother. Here are four things you might want to know before you select an executor.

Oregon real estate law: When there is a problem with the title

Property, whether for business or investment, is generally a good thing to have in one's financial portfolio. While the real estate market goes through highs and lows, there is still a lot to be said for owning land and the structures placed on it. Unfortunately, a number of issues can arise in the real estate world that may affect one's purchase in a negative way. For example, every property has a title and any issues with that title can be expensive and time-consuming to address. Here are some common title problems often seen in Oregon and elsewhere.

Problem number one: clerical or filing errors. People make mistakes. When it comes to titles, they may file them incorrectly and they may fail to document vital information. Either of these issues takes time and money to fix.

Staying focused on your company’s needs when in litigation

There are all kinds of disputes that can come up for businesses. This includes disagreements with other companies, customers or current or former employees. Sometimes, such disputes lead to a company bringing or facing lawsuits.

So, litigation can be a very common thing for small businesses. When bringing or facing a lawsuit, what ultimately happens with the case can have major impacts on a company’s future. So, when litigation arises for a business, making sure it is handled appropriately is very important.

Alternative dispute resolution methods to solve legal issues

Are you dealing with an issue that is going to require a little legal assistance to resolve? It does not matter if it is a real estate issue, business problem or estate law matter, litigation is not always necessary or the best way to handle such a situation. Instead, alternative dispute resolution methods may be the better option for handling legal issues in the state of Oregon.

Going to court can be expensive, and it can drag out a problem for much longer than is necessary. It is not always in your best interest to take an issue to court. Some things can be resolved through mediation or arbitration. What is the difference?

Three ways to help prevent an inheritance dispute among your kids

Drafting a will or trust requires careful planning, especially when you have multiple children to distribute property among. Not only do you want to consider which child to give specific assets to, but also to ensure that none of your children feel left out. Family disputes can unnecessarily slow down the process of passing on your estate. Even if your children are not prone to arguing with each other, it is important to think about what steps you can take to ease the distribution process and transfer your assets as efficiently as possible. Here are three suggestions to keep in mind when drafting your estate plan:

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