Friday, October 26, 2018

3 Steps to Take If Your Business Has Been Sued

Whether it is a dissatisfied customer, someone who claims they got hurt on your property, or a disgruntled employee, any business can be vulnerable to being sued for a multitude of reasons. It is vital to know what to do if your business is being sued to avoid any costly mistakes or legal issues that may arise. Experienced business attorneys can help you understand what you are up against, negotiate on your behalf and develop effective strategies to protect your livelihood and your reputation.

1. Do not Ignore a Demand Letter or Formal Complaint

You may receive a demand letter before being formally sued, which typically comes from a person or business who is requesting that you take corrective action to resolve or fix an issue. Although a demand letter is not a lawsuit, consulting lawyers who are well-versed in small business legal matters can help you decide how to respond and help you reach an agreement and avoid being sued altogether. If you are served with a formal complaint, review it immediately and find out how soon you must respond.

2. Contact an Attorney

It is rarely a good idea to communicate directly with a plaintiff, their attorney, or their insurance company.  The sooner you contact an attorney, the more time your lawyer has to gather information, review the facts of your case, interview witnesses, and develop a defense strategy with you. Be candid with your lawyer about everything pertaining to the lawsuit. Being honest with an attorney who you can trust and rely on can ensure that you receive the best legal representation possible. Keeping secrets will only make your case vulnerable to surprises that could affect the outcome of the case.

3. Contact Your Insurance Agent

It is  important to take action quickly and notify your insurance company promptly to make sure your insurance coverage is preserved. Depending on the specific situation, there are various types of insurance policies that may cover you in the event of a lawsuit.  Third-party injury claims are typically covered by general liability insurance and lawsuits brought by employees may be covered by employment practices liability insurance, which is sometimes included in workers’ compensation policies. If you are a member of a union, trade association or other professional organization, check to see if they have policies available that may cover your business if you are sued.  Make sure you, your attorney and insurance agent review and verify all policies carefully.
Unfortunately, your own insurance company may not have your best interests at heart. Even if your insurance company’s counsel is involved in defending your case, having your own lawyer to review contracts and potential settlement agreements can ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
At Carosella & Associates, our experienced team is dedicated to providing top-notch legal representation that will protect your rights and interests. Our skilled business lawyers in West Chester can help you find effective solutions for any legal situation that may arise and work toward the best possible outcome for your case.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

3 Tips for Creating a Parenting Plan in a Divorce

Issues surrounding divorce and child custody can be challenging. Having an experienced attorney prepare a parenting plan not only outlines how your children will be cared for, it shows that your children are a priority and you are dedicated to putting their interests and well-being first. An experienced divorce attorney will determine the specifics that should be included in your parenting plan and help you work out the details of how you will co-parent with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

Vital Elements of a Parenting Plan

Each family situation is unique and there are many different factors that affect your parenting plan. Your children’s ages, school schedules and parents’ work schedules are essential issues to take into consideration when creating a plan that will run smoothly.
1. Create a parenting schedule. One of the most important parts of your parenting plan should include the details on how you and your co-parent will physically care for your children. If possible, work with each other to coordinate schedules and come up with a plan that allows both parents to spend plenty of time with the children. Negotiating custody for holidays, vacations and birthdays can be particularly contentious, especially when a schedule for these special days isn’t fully settled in advance. Your family law attorney, who is well equipped to anticipate contentious issues, will be able to handle negotiations regarding issues of custody and can make it easier to come to a fair agreement and help both parties avoid conflict and stress.
2. Outline plans for making big decisions. Education, healthcare, religious practices, and discipline are just a few important issues that should be discussed and included in your parenting plan. Negotiating these decisions ahead of time and including specifics about how they will be handled can facilitate better communication if problems arise down the road. Your attorney will advise you on how to move forward if you and your co-parent can’t come to a reasonable agreement on these decisions.
3. Address child-related expenses. Finances are often a source of serious dispute when it comes to divorce and child custody. That’s why it’s vital to have an attorney help you develop a specific plan that lays out clear expectations about how your children will be supported. You may decide that certain expenses can be split 50/50 while others may be divided differently. Medical insurance, life insurance and estate planning services are also vital subjects that your attorney should help you address in a parenting plan, especially if you have a child who may benefit from having a special needs trust for their future care.
You and your co-parent may not be together anymore but as long as it’s safe, children deserve to have a close, loving relationship with both of their parents. Seeking the counsel of a divorce attorney in West Chester who is well-versed in the nuances of family law will ensure that your parenting plan addresses important details you may have missed. At Carosella & Associates, our experienced attorneys will guide you in creating a plan that clearly defines rules, expectations and boundaries while keeping your children’s best interests in mind.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Is a Letter of Intent Legally Binding in a Real Estate Deal?

Many real estate transactions may seem straightforward, but all kinds of pitfalls can arise that may make or break a deal. One important document that has the potential to get you in a bind is the letter of intent. You may not think of a simple letter as a legally binding contract, but sometimes it can be. To ensure your interests are protected, it’s vital to seek the counsel of an experienced contract attorney who is well-versed in Pennsylvania law to draft and review all documents involved in your real estate transaction.

What is a letter of intent?

A letter of intent is an informal document that establishes certain terms of a proposed deal. They are commonly used in commercial real estate transactions, but may be utilized in more complex residential deals such as FSBO transactions that involve selling or buying property without a real estate agent. Letters of intent do have advantages—they can get the ball rolling on a real estate deal, help buyers provide documentation to secure financing and set forth terms that can be negotiated before a legally binding real estate purchase agreement is drafted.

How can a letter of intent be legally binding?

Under Pennsylvania law, a letter of intent can be legally enforceable if it outlines crucial terms of a real estate deal, including purchase price, property description, the buyer’s and seller’s names and a specific closing date. A letter of intent must clearly state that the parties do not intend for it to be legally binding in order for it to avoid becoming  enforceable down the road.
A skilled real estate attorney will know the specific language to include in your letter of intent to ensure that it is non-binding. Your letter of intent should clearly state that the deal is contingent upon all parties entering into a fully negotiated and executed final agreement, which can protect you from being legally bound by terms set forth in the letter. Your lawyer may also include other items, such as a specific date for buyers to complete due diligence to prevent the transaction from dragging on or having the buyer turn around and say the letter of intent is legally binding months later.

Do you need a letter of intent for your real estate transaction?

real estate lawyer in PA can also advise you on whether you need a letter of intent at all. Depending on the circumstances, if all parties are satisfied with the initial terms, a letter of intent may not be necessary.

A Real Estate Lawyer Will Protect Your Rights and Interests

Whether you’re buying or selling a home or commercial property, our West Chester real estate lawyers provide invaluable legal advice and resources that will save you time and money and help you avoid common mistakes that occur during the real estate transaction process. At Carosella & Associates, we guide you through the process every step of the way and help make your real estate transaction smooth sailing from start to finish.