Family, Myself

Happy Birthday Papa

It’s strange to be in his house and not hear his voice or silliness fill the space around us. I also know that spending the day in sadness is not something he would stand for so I will focus instead on celebrating how he lived his life: full of joy, energy and silliness.

I admit it’s not always easy to pretend that it doesn’t hurt that he isn’t here, but spending every moment bemoaning that fact not only dishonors his memory, it neglects the fact that he lived a full life.

The past few days have been hard for me as I stayed home in bed due to the flu, and I just felt him everywhere. Yet it’s also been a great reminder of how much of a legacy he left. So today I celebrate as best I can, and remind myself that I was blessed for how long I had him in my life for, and I get accept it in gratitude.

Happy Birthday, Papa. Sanjay Misses You.

Business Law, Legal

What Every Good Partnership Agreement Should Contain: Legal Reasons #69

Although not required, I strongly recommend that partnerships have a partnership agreement in place to detail the business ownership and responsibilities of partners. The clearer and more complete the agreement, the less that is up for debate or disagreement when partners don’t quite see eye to eye.

1. Contributions

Make sure you clearly lay out each partner’s stake in the formation and ongoing finances of the business. How much will each partner contribute to start the business and what will each partner’s responsibilities be for future needs? In your agreement, define what each partner will put forth—not only in the amount of money, but also with regard to time, effort, customers, equipment, etc.

2. Distributions

You’re all in the business to make some money and create and sustain a comfortable life, right? Your partnership agreement should detail how the partners will split your business profits? How much will each partner get paid and who will get paid first? Outline not only how profits will be distributed, but also define if each partner will be paid a salary (and of course how much that salary will be).

3. Ownership

What if something changes with regard to ownership of the business? If you sell it, which partners will get what? What is your partnership’s position on taking on new partners? If one partner wants to withdraw from your business, what happens then? What are the options for buying out another partner? Your agreement should carefully describe how ownership interests would be handled in various scenarios like those and others, such as in the event of any partner’s death, a retirement, or bankruptcy. And to protect your business from a partner leaving, setting up a new company, and stealing your customers, you should also consider adding in a non-compete clause. Better safe than sorry!

4. Decision Making

I can’t emphasize enough how important this is! Trust me, you and your partner(s) will not agree wholeheartedly about everything. You need to define how day-to-day management and long-term decisions will be made. Who gets the last say? Identify what types of decisions require a unanimous vote by partners, and what decisions can be made by a single partner. By setting up a decision-making structure that everyone understands and has agreed to, you’ll have the foundation for a more friction-free business.

5. Dispute Resolution

Ugh! No one wants to think about this, but you should. If things get ugly between partners, how will disputes be handled? Your partnership agreement should define the resolution process. Should mediation be the initial step? Will you require arbitration to settle differences? Keep in mind that if a dispute goes to court, lawsuits become part of public record. Setting up how you’ll handle disputes will take the guesswork out of navigating dissention.

6. Critical Developments

Sometimes, the unexpected happens. It’s what makes business so exciting—and unnerving at times. Your partnership agreement should address possible scenarios and concerns, such as:

  • A partner getting sick or dying—What happens then?
  • A buyout—How will the business be evaluated (and what is the split) if an offer is laid on the table?
  • Retirement provisions.
  • Circumstances under which you can modify your partnership agreement—and the process for making changes.

These are the most common issues. And there are numerous others you should think about.

7. Dissolution

Your agreement should also include what steps should be taken to legally end your partnership. You might opt to do this if you and your partners can’t agree on the future of your business. Also research what your state requires to dissolve partnerships. State law governs dissolution and your state’s website should define the process and provide the forms you need to complete.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

A Few Firsts

Today, I feel sorry for myself as I recover from the flu.I am beyond frustrated that within two weeks,  I have gotten sick twice. Yet, I can’t allow myself to wallow. Last week, I got my first pull up in and it felt amazing to know that something that was unattainable for so long was finally within reach. Then there were some very successful depositions that are leading to a mediation and a case that felt never-ending how has an end in sight. As I push myself to become comfortable being uncomfortable. it hits me that taking ownership and responsibility for my vision means never laying blame on others. It also means a hard look at myself when results are not there. And I have to say it sucks.

It is east to feel sorry and blame others, but when I live in responsibility and action, it means all roads come through me. No more excuses, justifications. and rationalizations. So I push through even on days  when I don’t feel a 100% or when I don’t want to do certain things. I know in order to grow, I get to stretch and remove all the reasons for why and focus on why not.

employment law, Legal

Employment Laws All Small Businesses Should Know

Parental Leave for Small Employers

An important new law requires that small employers provide new parents with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave.

SB 63, the New Parent Leave Act, requires small businesses with 20 or more employees to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to bond with a new child — leave that must be taken within one year of the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement. SB 63 requires employers to provide parental leave only for baby bonding; it does not require employers to provide leave for other reasons, such as a family member’s medical issue.

Ban-the-Box Law

AB 1008 prohibits employers with five or more employees from asking about criminal history information on job applications and from inquiring about or considering criminal history at any time before a conditional offer of employment has been made. There are limited exemptions for certain positions, such as those where a criminal background check is required by federal, state or local law.

No More Salary History Questions

AB 168 bans employers from asking about a job applicant’s prior salary, compensation or benefits (either directly or through an agent, such as a third-party recruiter).

In addition, employers cannot rely on salary history information as a factor in determining whether to hire the applicant or how much to pay the applicant. However, an employer may consider salary information that is disclosed voluntarily by the applicant without any prompting.

Worksite Immigration Enforcement and Protections

The Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) provides workers with protection from immigration  enforcement while on the job and imposes varying fines from $2,000 to $10,000 for violating its provisions.

This bill also makes it unlawful for employers to reverify the employment eligibility of current employees in a time or manner not allowed by federal employment eligibility verification laws.

 

 

 

Brownness, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Present Nostalgia

It’s been a mixed bag of emotions.  From berating myself for not doing well at Crossfit to belly filled laughter with an old friend who happens to be a Bhangra celebrity to tearing my hair out at operations at my studios, it has been another full week. I am noticing a new pattern in my life. Challenges come up. I handle them. Then when sometimes I am about to give up, an old picture of something or someone comes up, or I am reminded of an old memory, and so instead of feeling overwhelmed, a sense of peace comes over me.

As I stretch myself with the law office, Ziba, Crossfit, Writing. BNI, Artesia Chamber, it hits me that when I see all these are chores. I get a reminder in the form of nostalgia of how much fun it all can and has been. It is easy to construe all this work or really see it as a form of growth. Sure, it is not possible to do all of them well at the same time, however this is where structure, organization and passion come into play. I can either complain about or do something about it. So I communicate, renegotiate, or complete it. I keep moving, using Nostalgia as my fuel that one day I will look back, and reflect with pride, laughter or a lesson learned.

Happy Monday!

Business Law, employment law, family law, Legal

How Much Will It Cost? Legal Reasons #67

When clients ask, “how much does a lawyer cost,” the answer can vary from $150 to $350 or more per hour. But if you’re facing a legal issue, working with a lawyer is very helpful and can affect the outcome of the case. Before hiring a lawyer, you should talk to him or her about fee schedules, flat-rate vs. hourly billing, retainer vs. contingency fees, and a ballpark estimate of the total cost based on the case.

As you consider how much a lawyer will cost, think about how much you have to spend and what the outcome is worth to you.

For example, if you’re thinking about taking legal action against a local business that did not repair your refrigerator properly, do you have enough money available to hire a lawyer, present evidence, and get the court to rule in your favor? Even if you do have enough money, is the overall cost of replacing the refrigerator or having someone else repair it worth the trade-off?

If you decide to move forward with legal action, or you need assistance with a legal matter, ask all potential lawyers that you meet with about their billing practices and fees. If the lawyer is not willing to discuss the costs with you, it’s a sign of poor client service.

Most lawyers bill under one (or several) of the following arrangements:

  • Hourly rate: this is the most common way for a lawyer to bill. This process requires careful documentation of all time spent working on documents, reviewing case files, presenting information in court, and any other tasks related to the client’s case. The client and lawyer will agree on the hourly rate before getting started with the case.
    • A lawyer’s hourly rate varies drastically based on experience, location, operating expenses, and even education.
  • Retainer fee: many lawyers require a retainer fee up front, which is something like a down payment on the case. As the lawyer works on your case, he or she will deduct the costs from the amount you paid and send you periodic invoices showing the deductions.
    • If you drop a case for which you have already paid a retainer fee, it is most likely non-refundable.
  • Flat fee: a lawyer may offer a flat fee for a specific, simple, and well-defined legal case. Examples of cases eligible for flat fee billing include uncontested divorces.
    • Before agreeing to a flat fee, make sure you understand what is covered in the agreement. It may not include filing fees or other fees associated with the legal process, so you’ll need to plan accordingly.
  • Contingency fee: a lawyer may offer this type of billing in a  personal injury case. With a contingency fee, the client doesn’t pay until the case is resolved. Upon resolution, the contingency fee is a percentage of the settlement or money awarded on behalf of the attorney’s client.