Delev & Associates, LLC

Cincinnati Business & Commercial Law Blog

Breach of contract one more challenge for company

Some businesses that operate in Ohio may be based solely in the state or may have operations in other locations as well. Some may even be owned by companies not only from other states but from other countries. While a contract dispute can arise in any of those situations, when very disaparate cultural views are held by the involved parties, the challenges may sometimes feel harder to overcome as there is no common philosophy or place from which both sides may be coming.

Such may well be the case in a situation involving a Chinese-owned automotive glass manufacturer that employs more than 2,000 near Dayton. The men who had previously held the positions of president and vice president were ousted by the Chinese leadership and the former vice president has actually initiated legal action against his former employer. The executive alleges that he was terminated because of his national origin. The company's Chinese leadersihp, however, insists the termination was the result of poor company performance and poor financial management.

What should I include in a construction contract?

If you are in need of developing a contract for an upcoming construction project in Ohio, it will be important for you to understand how to approach this process. A contract is a legally binding agreement and every word in the contract can make a big difference. In fact,, recommends that great care be taken to ensure as much clarity as possible around the terms of a contract. If anything is left open to interpretation, that may make enforcing a contract as one party views it more difficult should a dispute arise.

One of the primary things you will want to include in your contract are terms of payment. If none are provided, it may be assumed that no payment is due until work is completed. But, ambiguity could arise here as contractors and owners may have different definitions of "completed". For this reason, specifying a payment plan is wise. It may include multiple steps in the process at which payment is due. Milestones for each may be clearly identified.

When do I need an NDA?

If you have ever been asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement, you may have become aware that the party asking you to sign such an agreement was wanting to protect themselves in some way. That is quite true and was likely because they were about to share with you information that they did not want to have disclosed beyond you. On the other side of things, you should know when the use of an NDA may be beneficial for you to have signed by someone.

Forbes explains that there are many situations that may warrant the use of a non-disclosure agreement, also called a confidentiality agreement. One of these is when you hire new employees. For many people, they will naturally need to know some level of sensitive information about your business in order to do their jobs effectively. For as long as they work for you and even once they no longer work for you, you want to keep this information confidential. Some companies even find it useful to have potential candidates sign an NDA during the recruiting process.

Intellectual property protections

For many businesses, protecting intellectual property can be a very important part of maintaining a competitive advantage or position in the marketplace. There are multiple types of intellectual property protections and understanding the purpose for each and the type of protections or rights they grant to a person or a business is important before seeking one.

As explained by the World Intellectual Property Organization, patents, copyrights and trademarks each offer different things to the creators of things. Patents and trademarks in their own way each offer a level of exclusivity to the patent or trademark holder. A patent may allow an individual or a company to be the only one to produce a certain product or use a certain process for the period of the patent, which generally lasts for 20 years. Upon applying for a patent, however, the details of the product or process are made public.

Union sues employer for missed benefits payments

Ohio businesses frequently rely on contracts and contractual relationships in order to properly conduct their business. The nature of these contracts may range dramatically and some even apply to the benefits or treatment of employees. When one party in a contract fails to perform a stated duty, the other party may choose to initiate legal action. That is precisely what has happened in a case involving a labor union and a utility company recently.

As is common for many employers, the Penn-Ohio Electric Company was required to make payments into funds that supported the benefits of union employees. These employees were part of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local No. 712 union. However, reports indicate that some payments were not made. It is not known for how long payments failed to be made or if all payments were missed or just some payments.

Law to change tax debt collection

Ohio businesses and residents who enter into agreements with financial responsibilities outlined in some fashion know that sometimes there can arise a need to pursue means to collect on a debt. Laws are in place that are intended to provide a means for creditors to receive what is owed to them. Other laws are in place to protect consumers against unfair debt collection practices.

In addition to concerns about getting paid or fair treatment when collecting a debt, the public and businesses alike should be concerned about fraudulent attempts to collect debts that end up scamming innocent people. This can hurt not just consumers but creditors as well. Today, a new concern related to this has arisen due in large part to a law passed by the United States Congress two years ago. That law stipulated that the Internal Revenue Service would utilize outbound phone calls as a means for collecting outstanding tax debts.

How do buyer-broker contracts work?

When you are looking for a new home or a new-to-you home in Ohio, you have many options about how to find the best house or residence for your situation. Some of your choices may be determined by what you want. Perhaps you live in one part of the state and are looking for a property in another area as an investment or a second residence. This could change how you shop for a home compared to situations in which you are looking for your own primary residence in the region in which you currently live.

One thing that some people find helpful is to engage a broker to work on their behalf to find that right property for them. indicates that in these situations, the creation of buyer-broker contracts may be necessary. There are different types of contracts that can be used for these relationships that outline the length of an agreement, any compensation earned by a broker and the exclusivity or not of the relationship.

Bankruptcy and student loans

Many people in Ohio may have commonly heard and hold the belief that student loan debt may never be included in a bankruptcy proceeding. Lenders of these loans look to such protection to know that they will be appropriately repaid on their loans. However, some people may pursue options to have these debts forgiven. NerdWallet provides an overview of how this may happen.

Essentially debtors may try to take their lenders to court in what are called adversary proceedings. These are part of bankruptcy proceedings but require additional work and steps. In this process, the debtor must prove a few things. These include that good faith efforts to repay the debt had been made. Examples of these may even be getting a forebearance or a deferrment or making alternate payment arrangements. It is also important for debtors to prove that they are truly unable to make the payments. Part of how they may try to do this is to show that making these payments prevents the debtor from living a reasonable life.

Debtors and creditors brought together in mediation

While the nation has been enjoying some recovery from the great recession, that does not mean that some Ohio residents do not continue to struggle financially. Even out of what felt like a firestorm in the mortgage crisis that accompanied the recession, homeowners facing a debt crisis may look to bankruptcy to help them out. Both creditors and debtors in situations like this may need help to look out for their interests.

One option that some homeowners may pursue is a modification of their mortgages. This generally requires them to work with the banks directly. However, a program rolled out in New York may provide a good example that other regions may want to adopt. It involves rolling modification efforts into the bankruptcy process more closely. It also gives mortgage lenders the ability to more actively work with their debtors in this effort because such efforts are not in violation of the automatic stay that generally accompanies a bankruptcy filing.

What does the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act do?

Every day credit contracts and obligations are entered into by individual and companies alike in Ohio. While frequently debtors are able to repay their obligations as promised, there are times when this does not happen. In these situations, creditors may reach out to debtors in an attempt to receive the amounts due. However, in attempting to collect debts, you shoudl know that creditors are bound by legal requirements that dictate what they can and cannot do and how they may or may not treat consumers.

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau explains that these regulations are governed by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Entities that are covered by the FDCPA include attorneys that may be collecting debts, collection agencies or debt buyers. A debt buyer is a person or company that has paid another company to buy debts with the intention of attempting to collect on those debts.


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