Business / Commercial Law

Franchises

Posted in Franchises

Franchises

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has oversight of franchising, rather than the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The FTC administrates oversight via the FTC Franchise Rule.

The FTC announced an update to the franchise Rule on January 23, 2007, becoming effective July 1, 2007. After July 2008, all franchisors in the United States are to use the Franchise Disclosure Document with potential franchisees.

The FTC Act empowers the Commission to prescribe rules that define with specificity acts or practices that are unfair or deceptive. One such rule is the Commission’s Franchise Rule.

The Franchise Rule requires franchisors to make material disclosures in five categories:

  1. Nature of the franchisor and the franchise system;
  2. Franchisor’s financial viability;
  3. Costs involved in purchasing and operating a franchised outlet;
  4. Terms and conditions that govern the franchise relationship; and
  5. Names and addresses of current franchisees who can share their experiences within the franchise system, thus helping the prospective franchisee to verify independently the franchisor’s claims.

 

Contact us today with your franchise-related matter and we will get started on a solution for you right away.

In addition, franchisors must have a reasonable basis and substantiation for any earnings claims made to prospective franchisees, as well as disclose the basis and assumptions underlying any such earnings claims.

Franchise agreements typically involve retail outlets that bear the franchisor’s trademark and follow the franchisor’s business operations model, such as fast-food restaurants, hotels, and automotive repair shops. These are commonly known as “business-format” franchises.

Franchise business opportunities rip offs often do not entail a trademark or detailed business plan. The franchise business opportunity typically promises to provide the buyer with equipment that is used to sell products or services to the public, such as vending machines, rack displays, pay phones, or medical billing software, and frequently promises to find the buyer a market for the products or services. Many business opportunities are outright scams that disappear shortly after taking consumers’ money. Compliance with The Franchise Rule by business opportunity sellers is low.

The Franchise Rule requires franchisors to provide all potential franchisees with a disclosure document containing 23 specific items of information about the offered franchise, its officers, and other franchisees.

Required Franchise Disclosure Document topics include: the franchise’s litigation history, past and current franchisees and their contact information, any exclusive territory that comes with the franchise, assistance the franchisor provides franchisees, and the cost of purchasing and starting up a franchise. If a franchisor makes representations about the financial performance of the franchise, this topic also must be covered, as well as the material basis backing up those representations.

Franchise businesses can create many tangled legal situations that are best made with the help of qualified experts like the team at Vukelja Law. Contact us today to get started!

Wrongful Termination

Posted in Wrongful Termination

Wrongful Termination

Vukelja Law’s experienced Daytona Beach employment law attorneys understand the law when it comes to wrongful termination claims. We will work hard for you when a contract has been breached, a binding promise has been broken, a law has been ignored, or employers have engaged in ugly behavior.

Florida is an employment-at-will state. This generally means that if you don’t have an employment contract, your employer can fire you for any or no reason. However, your employer cannot terminate you for an illegal reason such as discrimination or retaliation. Even if you do not have an employment contract or protected status, you may have other remedies under Florida law available to you, such as a claim for defamation or fraudulent misrepresentation.

Our Daytona Beach contract attorneys often counsel clients who have been terminated with or without an employment contract, and clients with disputes involving those contracts. We also advise employers and employees about non-compete agreements and about disputes concerning when those agreements can be enforced. In addition, we represent employers and employees in negotiating and drafting employment agreements. As experienced Daytona Beach business litigation attorneys, we have the skill and knowledge required to enforce your rights, and the other party’s obligations, under any such agreements in a Court of law, and will fight hard and smart on your behalf. Your initial consultation is free, so don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment to meet us.

Whistle-Blower Retaliation

Posted in Whistle-Blower Retaliation

Whistle-Blower Retaliation

Both state and federal law can protect employees known as “whistleblowers” who report or oppose dangerous workplace conditions or illegal activity on the part of their employer. If you believe whistleblower protection might apply in your situation, contact Vukelja Law  for a consultation about your legal rights and possible recovery of damages.

If you’re considering whistleblower activity but fear retaliation by your employer, get in touch with Vukelja Law as soon as possible. After your initial consultation, you’ll a much better understanding of your rights under the Florida Private Sector Whistleblower Act, Florida Civil Rights Act, Title VII, FSLA, or the federal Family Medical Leave Act retaliation provisions – whichever state or federal employment law might apply to you.

It’s very important to recognize that different laws apply to different situations. The specific legal protections available to you depend a lot on many variables.

For example:

  • Are you a state or federal employee?
  • Do you work in a highly regulated industry?
  • Are there only a few employees in your workplace?

Not only do these questions help determine whether and how far your rights are protected, they can also affect the amount of time you have to file a claim or sue in state or federal court. Make sure you don’t lose your claim by missing a deadline, contact Vukelja Law without delay.

Trade Secrets

Posted in Trade Secrets

Trade Secrets

A trade secret is ordinarily a process, a concept, or an idea that is confidential, and contributes to the value of products. Examples of trade secrets include, certain customer lists, chemical formulas, and specifications on an engineering drawing. Businesses involved in disputes related to violations of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act or the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act often contact Vukelja Law to represent their interests.

Chapter 688 of the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act defines the kinds of confidential business information that qualify as trade secrets. The Vukelja Law firm represents plaintiffs and defendants in legal claims and lawsuits related to conflicts involving the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. We are focused, dedicated, and sought after among businesses in need of this type of counsel and representation.

Shareholder Disputes

Posted in Shareholder Disputes

Shareholder Disputes

Resolving internal business disputes can be as complex as handling problems with external entities such as suppliers, contractors and customers. State laws set forth rules that must be followed in the management and operation of corporate entities. They spell out the rights and obligations of the business owners and managers. Additionally, shareholders, LLC members and partners of a business enter into written agreements which detail who will be directors and managing members, provide rules about how decisions will be made and set limits on the sale or transfer of interests in the business and more.

Clients facing partnership and shareholder disputes have turned to Vukelja Law because we use proven and cost-effective methods to reach their goals. We represent owners, partners, managers, members, officers and shareholders in litigation involving businesses of all sizes, from small family partnerships to multinational corporations.

Common examples of shareholder and partnership litigation:

  • Breach of contract claims involving shareholder or partnership agreements
  • Allegations of officer or director misconduct and breach of fiduciary duty claims
  • Disputes involving minority shareholders, LCC and partnership rights
  • Conflicts of interest and self-dealing
  • Excessive management compensation
  • Unfair buy-out agreements
  • Shareholder, LLC member and partnership disputes
  • Failure to pay dividends or distributions
  • Corporate, LCC or partnership deadlock, freeze-out or squeeze-out disputes
  • Shareholder, LCC member or partnership appraisal rights
  • Stolen trade secret claims
  • Stolen trademark and intellectual property claims
  • Dissolution of corporations, LLCs, partnerships, family limited partnerships, closely held companies and other business entities

Sexual Harassment

Posted in Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment

If you are the victim of unwanted sexual advances, quid pro quo sexual harassment, or a hostile work environment, Vukrlja Law can help. We will advise you on all aspects of your situation, from documenting the facts of the case to proving the full extent of your damages.

Most cases of sexual harassment fall into one of two categories: sexually hostile workplace or quid pro quo sexual harassment.

What constitutes a hostile workplace?

  • Suggestive and unpleasant remarks about one’s appearance, clothing, or body
  • Inappropriate touching
  • The open display of grossly sexist or pornographic photographs or drawings
  • The circulation of sexually explicit or obscene pictures, jokes, or other material through e-mail
  • Rumors or accusations concerning one’s sex life or sexual orientation
  • Company functions or client entertainment being held at strip clubs over an employee’s objections

What is quid pro quo?

Quid pro quo, derived from the Latin phrase meaning “this for that,” involves pressure from a coworker, manager, or supervisor to provide sexual favors in exchange for keeping your job, getting a promotion or raise, or avoiding disciplinary action or a demotion.

Harassment can also involve threats of retaliation against the employee reporting sexual harassment or against workers who support a complaint filed by another. Employers with detailed written policies against sexual harassment can also get into trouble by failing to follow their own complaint investigation policies or by making exceptions in favor of high-performing perpetrators or managers. If you or another employee are feeing harassed, contact Vukelja Law immediately, we will help.

Overtime and Wage Disputes

Posted in Overtime and Wage Disputes

Most wage and hour or overtime claims are covered under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act or other Florida state regulations. These rules change frequently, and contain many exceptions, depending on the situation. Therefore, it is very important that you consult with Vukelja Law to assess your claim. Whether based on state or federal law, however, successful wage and hour claims generally allow an employee to recover double back pay, plus their attorney’s fees and court costs.

When facing an overtime dispute, or if your employer has misclassified you as an exempt employee, or if you were forced to work off the clock, Vukelja Law can help you recover your back pay and other damages. If similarly situated employees do not receive the pay they deserve due to systematic employer violations of wage and hour violations, we may handle the case as a class action.

Mortgage Foreclosure

Posted in Mortgage Foreclosure

Whether you’re a bank in need of legal representation or an individual in the process of foreclosure, Vukelja Law continually strives to provide the best service possible to our clients. We do this by never losing sight of what our clients’ goals are and what we have to do to achieve them.

The foreclosure process in Florida can involve a judicial process or a non-judicial process depending on the circumstances. Whether you are currently going through the pre-foreclosure or are actually in a litigation process it is important to know Vukelja Law can help. It’s important to note that you have only 20 days to respond if you have been served a notice of foreclosure, and this means that involving our firm as soon as possible is of the utmost importance. We can discuss your potential alternatives to foreclosure. Also, if you have been the victim of predatory lending we can assist you in reaching the best possible resolution to save your home and credit.

Vukelja Law never settles for second best when handling your case. We treat every client with compassion, and we apply all the experience we have to resolve you case, no matter if you are a financial institution or individual.

Lien Foreclosure

Posted in Lien Foreclosure

The only way to foreclose on a mechanics lien is through a lawsuit filed in Superior Court, and Vukelja Law is the perfect legal resource. It cannot be enforced in arbitration, nor can it be enforced in Small Claims Court. The contractor may be able to file the lawsuit himself, but if the contractor is a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company, then the law requires that the foreclosure lawsuit be filed by an attorney. If an owner desires to sell or refinance property that is subject to a valid mechanics lien, the owner can “bond around” the lien by posting cash or a bond for 150% of the face amount of the lien. The bond remains in place to satisfy the lien. Many lien claimants are unaware of the technical requirements regarding the time periods in which to record the lien. We can supply all the specific information you need, contact Vukelja Law today.

Landlord and Tenant

Posted in Landlord and Tenant

Commercial landlord laws explain both the rights and responsibilities of commercial landlords in Florida. Additionally, they cover the rights and responsibilities of commercial tenants. In residential leases, the rights of the tenants are more closely defined in order to protect the tenant.

It is important for Vukelja Law to review your personal situation with before you take any further action. Accepting late payments from commercial tenants can forfeit your right to terminate the lease or to obtain possession. It is critical to utilize the legal advice we give you in your landlord-tenant disputes in order to ensure that you are not taken advantage of. Vukelja Law is knowledgeable and are relied upon as authorities in the field of landlord tenant law. At Vukelja Law we understand how important your property is to you and we do everything in our power to effectively and efficiently represent our clients’ interests. Contact us now to discuss your situation.

Fraud

Posted in Fraud

Fraud offense is a type of theft that is perpetrated by intentional deception. Since it involves secretive means of deceiving clients or others from their money or goods, often in a business or political venue, fraud is usually considered a non-violent or white collar crime. Penalties for fraud-related offenses range from fines to more than 30 years in prison. So you can see how important it is to contact Vukelja Law if you think you are a victim of fraud.

Types of fraud include:

  • Insurance fraud
  • Organized fraud
  • Bankruptcy and tax fraud
  • Employment Fraud
  • Government Fraud
  • Check Fraud
  • Credit Card and identity fraud
  • Healthcare Fraud
  • Mortgage Fraud
  • Computer/Internet fraud
  • Securities Fraud

Employment Discrimination

Posted in Employment Discrimination

Vukelja Law defends all forms of employment-related claims. We can assist from the time a potential claim arises. We have the experience to represent clients through government body investigations,  mediation, arbitration or litigation and even appeals. Some of the types of claims we can assist with are as follows:

  • Age discrimination
  • Race discrimination
  • Pregnancy discrimination
  • Gender discrimination
  • Retaliation
  • Sexual harassment
  • Religious discrimination
  • Whistle blower retaliation
  • Wrongful discharge

Don’t hesitate to contact Vukelja Law to discuss how we can be of service to your business to resolve any employee issue.

Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices

Posted in Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices

Consumers are protected from unfair and deceptive trade practices under both state and federal law. Companies or businesses that intentionally mislead consumers about the nature of their services or products are subject to fines, penalties, and liability for any harm suffered by consumers. At Vukelja Law we are diligent in bringing litigation against companies who engage in unfair and deceptive trade practices. We will evaluate your case, write a demand letter, and begin the investigative process as needed.

Vukelja Law represents clients in litigation involving the following kinds of deceptive trade practices:

  • False advertising
  • Bait and switch sales tactics
  • Refusal to honor valid warranty
  • Failure to fully disclose loan or credit conditions
  • Taking advantage of an elderly person in refinancing a home mortgage
  • Claiming goods are of a certain quality when they are not
  • Making false claims about the ingredients or materials of a product
  • Refusal to honor a price guaranteed or promised at an earlier date
  • Claiming a product is manufactured somewhere it is not

Companies that look the other way while their employees engage in deceptive trade practices are often willing to call the bluff of consumers. Assuming no one will take them to court, but Vukelja Law will. If you suspect a company has been deceptive, speak to us before you do anything.

Contract Drafting, Negotiation, Review & Disputes

Posted in Contract Drafting and Disputes

Perhaps one of the most critical elements to the facilitation of business success is the contract. No matter your industry, field of specialization or the size of your company, contracts serve as an important way in which to protect your best interests during the course of business. When a contract has been properly constructed and implemented, it carries the full weight of the law behind it, and when a breach of such an agreement takes place, Vukelja Law is ready to represent your interests.

Commercial Lease Drafting, Negotiation, Review & Disputes

Posted in Commercial Leases

Discovering the perfect location for your business is an exciting step in establishing your company. It brings your business dreams one step closer to reality. Do not sign a lease agreement before having Vukelja Law review the lease and negotiate an agreement that could save you money today and for years to come. Commercial leases are highly negotiable, from the business terms to the legal nuances. We have reviewed, revised, and negotiated numerous commercial leases on behalf of our clients.

Vukelja Law can modify clauses that will affect your bottom line. Negotiating terms such as the costs that should be excluded from common area maintenance charges, clarifying the repair obligations of the landlord and tenant, providing the ability to terminate the lease if the tenant can’t obtain permits within a specified time period, adding hazardous substance and Americans With Disability Act warranties by the Landlord, are just a sampling of the many provisions we consider, revise and negotiate on our client’s behalf. There is no substitute for professional independent legal review by Vukelja Law.

Business Formation

Posted in Business Formation

Starting a business or forming a corporation is much less daunting when you have Vukelja Law at your side. We know what you need to do for business formation, licensing, contracts, real estate, employment law and everything else associated with new business start up. Get you business started on the right foot with our legal services.

Business, Corporation and Partnership Disputes

Posted in Corporation and Partnership Disputes

Maintaining healthy communication and relationships within a business or corporate endeavor could not be more important to the success of a company. Since corporate relationships are of such importance, gaining the assistance of Vukelja Law can be critical to your business’s success. Our attorneys can alleviate a great deal of the stress involved in facilitating an end to conflicts and disagreements.

While amicable ends to disputes are always preferred, our attorneys can also fight tenaciously for your interests at trial when necessary. Whatever your specific needs merit, procuring the counsel of Vukelja Law can allow you to focus on what is most important to you – running a successful business.

Appeals

Posted in Appeals

Vukelja Law is highly skilled in appellate and post-trial matters. The attorneys at Vukelja Law have handled cases resulting in state and federal appeals. Our experience allows us to handle appeals successfully where other attorneys may not be able to.

We understand that verdicts can be reversed and losing a trial can be turned around with skilled and effective legal representation. Speak with a Vukelja Law attorney about your appellate or post-trial needs today so that we can begin helping you immediately.

Americans With Disabilities Act

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990. It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush, and later amended with changes effective January 1, 2009. The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. Disability is defined by the ADA as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” The determination of whether any particular condition is considered a disability is made on a case by case basis. Which means it’s vital that you contact Vukelja Law to help assess your claim. Certain specific conditions are excluded as disabilities, such as current substance abuse and visual impairment which is correctable by prescription lenses.

We understand that the “original intent” of the law  was to create civil rights law protections for people with disabilities that would be permanent, would not be able to be reversed or weakened, and would prohibit all discrimination. It was also intended so that Americans with disabilities would be kept in the mainstream in terms of scientific and medical research and developments, especially opening future opportunities in Space exploration to them, as well as public policy changes, healthcare law and policy changes, and civil rights protections and public law changes for Americans with physical, mental and cognitive disorders.

Vukelja Law is ready to review your claim and provide professional legal services.

Arbitration and Mediation

Posted in Arbitration and Mediation

arbitration and mediation