Saturday, November 24, 2018

Do I Need A Lawyer To Write A Shareholder Agreement?

You have decided to start a new company and have chosen a business entity. So what’s next? Although corporate bylaws are required, they don’t address important issues that may arise if you have two or more shareholders in your company. One of the first things you should do is to have an experienced business lawyer help you create a shareholders’ agreement and other important legal documents associated with your business to make sure your company’s and shareholders’ rights and interests are protected.

What Is A Shareholder Agreement?

A shareholder agreement is a legal document that outlines how a company should be operated and defines shareholders’ rights, liabilities and obligations. When drafted properly, a shareholder agreement ensures that shareholders are treated equitably and protects them from certain actions that may be taken by other shareholders and outside parties.

What Is In A Shareholder Agreement?

In addition to outlining the privileges and protections of shareholders and how the company will be managed, shareholder agreements often restrict a shareholder’s ability to transfer shares to third parties outside the company.  Your agreement may also contain the number of shares issued, the fair pricing of shares, each shareholder’s percentage of company ownership, pre-emptive rights for existing shareholders to purchase shares, and specifics on payment if the company is sold.
A shareholder agreement also explains what will happen to shares should a shareholder pass away, retire or decide to leave the company. A shareholder agreement is often a vital element of small business succession planning and can ensure a smooth and equitable transition upon the death, retirement or disability of a shareholder.
A shareholder agreement may also address:
  • Membership of the board of directors
  • Officers of the corporation
  • Majority or supermajority voting requirements on certain decisions
  • Buy-Sell obligations, options or rights of first refusal
  • Issues surrounding termination and dissolution of a corporation
  • Employment agreements for shareholders/employees
  • Bonus provisions
  • Termination of employment of a shareholder
  • Shareholders’ life insurance
  • Dispute resolution processes

Why Do I Need An Attorney To Draft A Shareholder Agreement?

A shareholder agreement should have both the company and the shareholders’ best interests in mind. As a company grows and changes, conflict may arise, and a shareholder agreement can help you avoid costly legal battles down the road. Creating this type of agreement without assistance from a skilled business contract attorney may lead to contentious shareholder disputes.
An attorney who is well-versed in business law will create a contract that helps you understand your rights and responsibilities and ensures that your interests are protected. If you’re a small business owner or shareholder, it’s particularly important to seek the counsel of an experienced lawyer who can help you create bylaws, articles of incorporation, partnership agreements, nondisclosure agreements and other legal documents that will help your business start off on the right foot and run more smoothly.
From choosing a business entity to creating an effective business succession plan and shareholder agreement, the knowledgeable attorneys at Carosella and Associates  help make starting your business a smooth process.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Do I Need a Lawyer to Handle My Divorce in PA?

If you have decided to end your marriage, one of the most important questions to ask yourself is  whether or not you need a divorce lawyer. Although it depends on your specific circumstances, seeking the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney can put you on the right track and make the process less stressful for everyone involved.

The Risks of Handling a Divorce on Your Own

Many couples decide to divorce amicably and start with good intentions. However, dividing assets and debts, creating a parenting plan and settling issues of custody and support can quickly become contentious.  You and your spouse may believe you are on the same page, but emotions can run high once you get into serious discussions and negotiations.
When considering whether or not to hire a divorce lawyer in PA , it’s important to ask yourself a number of questions:
  • Does your spouse have an attorney?
  • Do you have children, shared property and assets or other factors that make splitting up complex?
  • Are you and your spouse able to communicate in a civil manner?
  • Do you understand the divorce process in Pennsylvania?
  • Do you know what you’re legally entitled to?
Even if your case seems straightforward and you have little shared property and no children, having an attorney review everything before your divorce becomes final is still a good idea to ensure assets are distributed equitably and help you avoid mistakes that can delay the process. It’s important to remember that even if you’re filing for no-fault divorce, you can still encounter frustrating roadblocks if a complaint is filed incorrectly or your spouse does not consent to the divorce.

Benefits of Hiring a Divorce Attorney

Many people file for divorce without the assistance of an attorney in order to cut costs, but having a lawyer handle your divorce can save you money, time and stress in the long run. Ending a marriage affects multiple aspects of your life, and the consequences of making mistakes or agreeing to unfavorable terms can be devastating and long-lasting. For example, a law firm that also provides estate planning services is a valuable resource when it comes to creating a new will and determining how your assets will be distributed in the event of your passing.
Even if you are in the initial stages of looking at divorce as an option, consider scheduling a consultation with an attorney–there are plenty of affordable divorce lawyers who will assess the complexity of your case and advise you on the best course of action to protect your rights and interests. From filing a divorce complaint with the Court of Common Pleas in your county to handling negotiations with your spouse, an attorney can provide the support and advice you need to make the process run more smoothly from beginning to end.
Whether you have questions about how to proceed with a divorce or need a divorce attorney to represent you in a challenging at-fault divorce case, our knowledgeable and understanding legal team at Carosella & Associates can help.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Traffic Violations: How to Keep Points off Your Driving Record

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) places points on your driving record if you are convicted of certain traffic violations. Accumulation of these points can lead to higher auto insurance premiums and license suspension, which can seriously impact your finances and affect your ability to get to work. If you’re facing points for serious traffic violations or multiple minor violations, an experienced local defense attorney may be able to get charges reduced or dismissed, lower the number of points that are placed on your driving record, and help you avoid costly fines, insurance rate increases and possible license suspension.

How Does the Point System Affect Pennsylvania Drivers?

The purpose of the PA point system is to help motorists improve their driving habits and keep the roads as safe as possible. Violations that can result in points being placed on your driving record include:
  • Failure to yield to a pedestrian using a crosswalk: 2 points
  • Failure to stop at a stop sign or red light: 3 points
  • Careless driving: 3 points
  • Failure to stop for a school bus with red lights flashing: 5 points and 60-day license suspension
  • Speeding: Number of points depends on how fast you were going and whether you were driving in a school or work zone
Although a few points may not seem like a big deal, they can accumulate fast. If you reach six or more points on your driving record, PennDOT will take corrective action.
When your driving record reaches six or more points for the first time, you are required to take a written examination. If you successfully pass the examination within 30 days, you can avoid driver’s license suspension and have two points removed from your record. The second time six points are reached, you face a 15-day license suspension and must take an on-road driving test. The third time six points are reached you are subject to a PennDOT hearing. If your driving record reaches 11 or more points, your license will be suspended automatically.

Points for Excessive Speeding

If you exceeded the posted speed limit by 31 MPH or more, you may be charged with excessive speeding and receive written notice of a mandatory PennDOT hearing. At the hearing, a PennDOT examiner will review your driving record and recommend that you take an on-road driving test or have your license suspended for 15 days. If you do not attend the hearing, your license will automatically be suspended for 60 days and you will receive five points on your driving record. At any PennDOT hearing, it is vital to have an experienced traffic violations lawyer by your side to protect your rights and minimize the amount of points placed your driving record.

Avoiding and Removing Points

If you haven’t had a traffic conviction for 12 consecutive months after the date of your last offense, you may have three points taken off your record.
The best way to avoid accumulation of points is to drive safely and follow all traffic laws, but mistakes happen. Seeking the counsel of an attorney who is well-versed in state and local traffic law can mean the difference between losing your license or staying on the road. Carosella & Associates’ skilled defense attorneys in West Chester will fight to protect your rights and help you win your case.