Email Our Firm

Portland Business & Commercial Law Blog

Business litigation may concern severance for ousted executives

Many smaller corporate entities in Oregon have problems similar to the controversy over the severance package to be given to the former CEO of CBS, Les Moonves. CBS has been embroiled in a controversy about sexual harassment at the company and concerning the participation of Moonves in such activities. The intent of the company to give Moonves a $100 million-plus severance package has ignited criticism and led to business litigation by shareholders against CBS.

Although the former CEO denies the accusations by at least six women against him, he has admitted to consensual relations with three of them. Many employees, along with shareholders, have said that Moonves should be imprisoned or suffer economic penalties rather than be rewarded for illegal behavior. These sentiments appear to reflect a majority of opinion in the national polls and public opinion on the subject.

Business litigation cases seek solutions to private email abuses

The ramifications of private email use by public officials regarding governmental matters is a phenomenon that is generating litigation throughout the country, with the possibility for the same here in Oregon. Aside from the familiar political issues of improper email usage made by political parties against each other, consumer and public interest groups assert violations of access to public records laws caused by private email archiving. Consequently, a national web of business litigation cases may be an emerging trend.

There is a need to allocate financial risk and to fix the disorganized and unformulated policies currently existing. For a municipality, public body or an elected official who may be feeling the pressure and heat of not having selected appropriate government channels for all email communications, associating with an experienced business litigation law firm may be an essential first step in meeting the big challenges ahead. The Restatement and other uniform law groups may be at the cutting edge of fulfilling the need for uniform rules to guide private and public actors.

The advantage of starting a veteran-owned business

American veterans receive several well-earned benefits once they return to civilian life. They may receive employment preference, additional financial assistance for higher education or enjoy various discounts and benefits while traveling or shopping. These are just a few of the ways that the citizens of The United States say that they appreciate and value their service.

Less-known benefits that veterans have access to center around starting their own business. Enterprising vets may receive a host of discounts, boosters and education designed to help them get their business of the ground.

Business formation for a startup includes raising funding

Once the concept and preliminary plans for a new business are in place, finding funding in Oregon and elsewhere is sometimes a far greater challenge. Even where business formation has been accomplished with the assistance of a business law attorney, obtaining the funding to move forward may still be a major obstacle and point of stress for the company. Experts suggest that the new entity join its business' community and start some heavy-duty networking.

This is a time-intensive project because the startup's founder(s) do not know precisely where that funding will come from at first. Therefore, there is a need to talk to as many people as possible in one's particular business community and to keep networking until the funds are located. In addition, the startup's founder(s) must do their own due diligence and research the venture capitalists and angel investors that have expressed an interest. A particular investor may not be appropriate for the business selected.

Business formation includes building a brand and a brand name

Everyone agrees that a business startup needs sufficient money to get up and running. Some of the early steps of business formation require costs and fees that allow the business to go forward with the best and most appropriate business structure. Oregon is a state that hosts the initiation of many young business startups within its borders, making it a good choice to have a business attorney available during the procedure.

Many experts agree, however, that despite money being important, there are more intangible qualities that can help assure the young company's success more than monetary assistance. According to one entrepreneurial expert, time may be the most valuable asset that one needs for the startup enterprise. Time to research, time to prepare, time to study the market and time to put it all together.

Business litigation can overtax an unprepared small company

In Oregon and anywhere else the concern of a small business when it becomes embroiled in a court case with another company goes beyond just the dollars and cents pertaining to the disputed claim. The small business owner must also worry that the company does not get off of its focus and its mission by the distraction of an emotional adversary battle. That kind of obsession can build up in business litigation when the case involves multiple depositions of key executives and extensive e-discovery that is technical enough to get anyone out of focus.

One regretful aspect of the problem is that the company might be required to invest serious time and resources on issues that have little or nothing to do with the company's business activities. The claims may have more to do with fuzzy demands and unfounded legal assertions. These matters may nonetheless require large investments of time by high-level managers. Almost every case between business entities will involve time-consuming data searches looking for the answers to detailed inquiries by the other side.

Court dismisses business litigation for insufficient allegations

Shareholder disputes are a mainstay of corporate conflicts that can lead to litigation in Oregon and elsewhere. The board of directors of a corporation has a fiduciary duty to be transparent with the shareholders and to generally keep them accurately informed about the important transactions of the corporation. When one or more shareholders believe that the corporation has not kept them informed or has provided them with inaccurate information, they may bring business litigation to have the courts correct the breaches that have allegedly occurred and/or compensate for them.

One shareholder lawsuit in a neighboring state was recently dismissed by the federal district court judge presiding over the litigation. A shareholder had sued Amyris, a company that processes renewable products, alleging that Amyris falsified information about the company's true worth. If accurate information is not provided, shareholders cannot make reasonable decisions on whether to retain their shares, sell them or buy more. Failure to be transparent can also be a factor in proving fraud against the company if false information is disseminated about the company's net worth.

Some contracts in business can be set up for repeated uses

It is common sense that a business owner in Oregon should have a battery of business agreements to use for various situations that come up in the course of doing business. Contracts are something in which an experienced business law attorney excels. Whenever possible, obtain the attorney's expertise when attempting to draft agreements in the business. After all, the professional processing of business transactions is a win-win proposition which leads logically to increased business for the company.

There are some general contract-drafting principles that a business owner can remember. There may be times when it is necessary to act quickly and to create a contract for oneself, but it is also worthwhile to know these principles while working in cooperation with the company's business law attorney.  Make sure that all of the information that is the subject matter of the contract is detailed and recorded prior to attempting to draft an agreement.

When to break up with your business partner

When you start a business with another person, you never want to think about a time where you will want to “break up” with you partner. However, even the most successful businesses experience a partnership split.

You are not alone if you are contemplating breaking off from your business partner, as many business partnerships do not last forever. Plus, it is best to make an amicable split from your partner before things become disastrous. It is not always because your partner has done something criminal that you need to break up, so how do you know if it is time to make the official split with your business companion?

High tech business litigation settles for $400 million

High tech companies located in Oregon and other states appear to be occupied with a constant flow of patent and intellectual property litigation. One case that has lingered for years is a business litigation matter in which networking giant Cisco sued newcomer and hated competitor Arista Networks for allegedly stealing Cisco's vital intellectual property assets. Cisco alleges that Arista, which has been quite profitable and successful, made its mark on the back of Cisco's proprietary technology.

Cisco's claims are credible considering that Arista was formed and is being run by a group of renowned engineers who were a part of the inner circle of creators at Cisco in prior years. Recently, the CEO of Cisco announced that it will settle litigation with Arista for payment to Cisco of $400 million. The news seems to have benefited Arista more than its larger competitor. Arista's stock went up and its investors were reportedly enthused at the closing of the litigation for an amount that Arista could well afford.

Client Testimonials

  1. “Your business model is such a fresh approach to the way legal services are typically delivered.”

    President, Manufacturing
  2. “Phil will help you understand the process you are going through, and is very passionate about your needs and situation.”

  3. “Phil, responded to my numerous questions promptly and completely. Very reasonable rates, no overbilling. Kept me informed of progress.”

  4. “Ben legally clarified the language in my contracts without turning them into super verbose mumbo-jumbo.”

    Kevin L.
  5. “Everyone, that I've interacted with is professional, knowledgeable, forthcoming with information and educating and caring.”

    Alanna C.

111 Southwest 5th Avenue Suite 1940
Portland, OR 97204

Toll Free: 866-280-7562
Phone: 360-258-1268
Fax: 503-417-4250
Map & Directions