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If you are a business owner, you might operate your business under your name, a different name but as an unincorporated entity, or through a separate business entity. In Tennessee, it is common to operate businesses as a limited liability company (“LLCs”). This blog is to continue the discussion started in a previous post (click here for prior post) regarding the benefits of forming an LLC in Tennessee and to briefly discuss piercing the corporate veil, a mechanism to hold a business owner personally liable for the business’s liabilities..
Although it is always advisable to seek an attorney's advice when litigation appears imminent, perhaps you would like to avoid litigation altogether by settling a case quickly before the attorneys get involved. You're hesitant, however, to initiate any conversation regarding an out-of-court settlement, fearing that an offer to settle would be tantamount to either admitting liability on the one hand, or, on the other, admitting that your claim is invalid or worth very little. This fear is certainly reasonable, as you might have any number of reasons for settling a dispute that have nothing to do with your belief as to your liability regarding a dispute, such as avoiding the emotional, social, and other consequences of litigation.
Those who sign in a representative capacity on behalf of a corporation or other entity need to take note of the holding in Reginald M. Mudd et al v. Rexford L. Goostree, Jr. et al, Tennessee Court of Appeals Case No. M2012-00957-COA-R3-CV, decided April 5, 2013. In a suit to recover rent due and owing under a lease agreement in which a corporation was named as a tenant, the Tennessee Court of Appeals affirmed judgment in favor of a landlord against an individual who had signed a lease in the space of the signature box designated "Tenant." Even though the corporation was named as Tenant in the lease, at the signature box, Mr. Goostree signed as follows: Tenant: REX GOOSTREE, JR. by Rex Goostree, Jr. (italics where handwritten). The Court held that this was "a clear and unambiguous designation of [Mr. Goostree] as the Tenant on the lease agreement." The Court decided not to entertain other evidence of the parties' intent, indicating that "only if a contract is ambiguous does a Court look beyond the four corners of the document and consider evidence of the parties' intentions." Not only is Mr. Goostree liable for the lease and late fees, but also for the Landlord's attorneys' fees at trial and on appeal.
Lately, as an almost exclusive domestic law attorney, I hear questions as to whether child support is "fair". In this law firm, you will often times hear that the only thing fair in life is "fair skin, fair skies and the place you put your prized pig". It did not take long to figure out in this business that although the intentions of the law are to be fair to the parties, ultimately, it is rare, absent an agreement, that the parties feel they got a fair deal. Child support is one of those categories. With the divorce rate and children born out of wedlock rate, many people at least know of someone who has to deal with a child support issue, and/or are dealing with one of their own. Unfortunately, this knowledge typically influences new clients to feel like they know what is "fair".
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General announced today a comprehensive Clean Water Act settlement with the city of Chattanooga, Tenn. Chattanooga has agreed to pay a $476,400 civil penalty and make improvements to its sewer systems, estimated by the city at $250 million, to eliminate unauthorized overflows of untreated raw sewage. Chattanooga also has agreed to implement a green infrastructure plan and perform an $800,000 stream restoration project.
When forming a corporation, too many people simply visit the Secretary of State's website, or a form provider's website, download an inexpensive or free sample charter, and file it with the Secretary of State. Using such forms without careful consideration of the many variables that go into forming and operating a corporate entity, however, does a great disservice to you and your corporation.
Grant Konvalinka & Harrison, P.C., serves clients in Tennessee cities such as Chattanooga, Cleveland, East Ridge, Red Bank, Jasper, Collegedale, Athens, Decatur, Altamont, McMinnville, Manchester, Dunlap, Winchester, Fayetteville, Soddy-Daisy, Etowah, Dayton, Charleston, Tullahoma, Fort Oglethorpe, Dalton, Chatsworth, Calhoun, Summerville, Lafayette, Ringgold, Chattanooga Valley, Chickamauga, Tunnel Hill and Trenton.
Counties: Hamilton County, Bradley County, McMinn County, Sequatchie County, Grundy County, Franklin County, Coffee County, Warren County, Dade County, Catoosa County.