December 12, 2016
Words in contracts almost always mean something, especially in distributorship agreements, invoices and purchase orders. The thing is, you never really find out what they mean until there is a dispute. In a recent federal court case in Connecticut, (read the decision here) the district court transferred a case from Connecticut to South Carolina because of a forum selection clause (or choice of venue, meaning the location of the lawsuit) in a credit application that also appeared in the fine print on the reverse side of invoices. But in this case, the party that won the decision (the... Read more.
November 27, 2016
When does a prevailing party have to apply for an award of attorney's fees in Connecticut state court? Lawyers received an answer from the Connecticut Appellate Court last week in Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman. You can read the decision here. We've discussed attorney's fees before, which you can read here and here. Connecticut attorneys follow the Practice Book, which contains our rules of civil procedure. A particular rule, Practice Book Section 11-21, says that any application for attorney's fees "shall" be filed within 30 days of the final judgment. This means if you win your... Read more.
November 15, 2016
THE NEXT STEP – APPEAL
We talked last time about the hearing that takes place to determine if an employee should receive unemployment benefits. You can read that blog post here, and the others in our series for employers, here and here. In our last post we gave our view that having an attorney present isn't necessary and may cause more harm than good. At the next level, however, having an attorney represent your company is a good idea. It's the last chance really to present testimony and evidence, and if successful could save your company thousands of dollars. Here are the basics... Read more.
November 7, 2016
We've been writing lately about the unemployment benefit process in Connecticut. You can catch up on prior posts here and here. The process is pretty informal, but your company should know the basics of the hearings and appeals. In this post we will discuss hearings, and then next time, appeals.
If an employer indicates on the “pink slip" (it's not even pink, but you can access the form here) that the former employee quit or was discharged for misconduct or some other reason, a hearing will normally be scheduled with a Department of Labor adjudications... Read more.
October 30, 2016
Continuing our series to help employers understand the unemployment process, (catch up by reading this post) we now talk about circumstances when employees should not receive unemployment benefits. Connecticut employers contributed over $46,000,000 to the unemployment program last July, and protecting your contributions from undeserving employees (and maintaining a low unemployment experience rate) is just as important as a deserving employee receiving benefits.
Employees must be unemployed through no fault of their own. When a worker is fired, benefits will be awarded unless the... Read more.
October 22, 2016
BASICS OF UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION: Part One
We often find that businesses we represent could benefit from a basic understanding of Connecticut's unemployment compensation system. Understanding it better may help ease the comfort, a little, when a former employee receives benefits even though the employer is certain they shouldn't. We'll start here with the basics, and then, in a multi-part blog series, cover the basic topics under Connecticut's system.
Employers pay taxes that fund unemployment insurance benefits. All employers are legally required to provide a form UC-61... Read more.
October 17, 2016
Yes, I cannot resist. Trump is all over the news so why not our blog? A thought crossed my mind. Presumably most, if not all, of the Trump Organization's employees sign strict, and likely very broad, confidentiality agreements or non-disclosure agreements. Same is likely true of contestants on his show The Apprentice. If Trump is elected, (arguably even if he isn't) are those agreements enforceable? They probably are to an extent, however. employees have some protections when speaking out on matters of public concern. Connecticut, like most states, has codified these protections. And the... Read more.
October 13, 2016
We've talked before about the new LLC Act in Connecticut (which goes into effect in July 2017) here and here. The new Act will have a provision allowing a member to seek a court order expelling another member from the LLC. It's a remedy that should help keep more limited liability companies alive rather than dissolved by court order. To expel a member, the plaintiff would have to show one of the following:
(1) The member engages in wrongful conduct that has or will adversely and materially affect the LLC;
(2) The member materially breaches the operating agreement or his or... Read more.
August 26, 2016
It's Friday evening, and I don't much feel like blogging about law. Rather, I'd like to talk about my oldest son, Anthony. He is now a senior at St. Bonaventure University - where my wife and I went and met. I cannot tell you the emotions that brings up in me in a simple blog post, but use your imagination. And he is seriously considering going to law school. I think it's awesome. I don't much care for those lawyers that react negatively when younger people say they want to go to law school. Really? Typically I keep my mouth shut, but recently, during one of my son's many tag-alongs to... Read more.
August 11, 2016
All lawyers should include basic provisions in contracts for their clients. One basic provision designates or chooses the state's law that applies. If your client has the bargaining power, and is located in Connecticut, well, you choose Connecticut. But the language you use in your "choice of law" provision is critical. Simply stating that, for example, "Connecticut law governs the interpretation and enforcement of this agreement" will not guarantee that Connecticut law applies to extra-contractual torts. One of those tort claims can be found in Connecticut's Unfair Trade Practice... Read more.