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CT business lawyerBusiness owners and partners must make many decisions about how they will operate their business, address concerns that may arise, and plan for future growth. One of the most important decisions involves the way a business will be structured. During the business formation process, an owner will select a business entity and take steps to formally establish a company under a certain structure. By understanding the options for structuring a business, owners and partners can make sure they will be positioned for success.

Choosing the Right Business Entity

Business owners have multiple options for structuring their companies, including:

  • Sole proprietorships - The simplest type of business structure involves a person using their personal assets to conduct business activities. In these cases, there is no separation between the business owner’s personal assets and the assets owned by the business. While this may allow for less complicated and more streamlined business operations, it will not provide an owner with protection from liability, and they will be personally responsible for paying any business debts and meeting other obligations.
  • General partnerships - This type of structure is similar to a sole proprietorship, except that a business has multiple owners. In these cases, partners will be personally liable for business debts.
  • Limited partnerships/LLPs - A business with multiple owners may be structured in a way that provides some partners with protection from liability. In these cases, one or more partners may be general partners, while other partners may be limited partners who have a less significant role in managing business operations and are protected from liability. A business may also be structured as a limited liability partnership (LLP) in which all partners are limited partners. This type of structure is often used for professional practices such as medical practices, accounting firms, or law firms, and it will allow partners to be protected from being held liable for malpractice committed by another partner.
  • Corporations - A business may be structured as an independent legal entity, and shares of the business may be sold to investors to raise financing. Owners and shareholders will be protected from liability, and a company will need to meet a variety of reporting requirements to ensure that shareholders’ investments are protected. Depending on whether a business is structured as a C-corporation or S-corporation, it may be subject to corporate taxes, or taxes may be “passed through” and applied to the owners’ personal incomes.
  • Limited liability companies (LLCs) - This type of structure offers some of the benefits of a corporation, while still allowing owners and partners to maintain flexibility and control as they conduct business operations. LLC owners are protected from liability, and they can also take advantage of tax laws to apply certain types of deductions and avoid issues such as double taxation on corporate profits.

Contact Our Greenwich Business Formation Lawyers

At Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC, we can help you determine the best options for structuring your business. Whether you are starting a new business or looking to restructure your business to ensure that you can obtain financing and protect yourself from liability, we will provide you with legal guidance and make sure you meet all of your requirements to establish the correct business entity. Contact our Connecticut business law attorneys at 203-661-6000 to arrange a free consultation.

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NY injury lawyerPeople face multiple types of risks in their daily lives. Since most people spend a significant amount of time driving or riding in motor vehicles, they are aware of the ever-present danger of car accidents. Unfortunately, even if a person takes great care to follow traffic laws and drive as safely as possible, they may still be involved in accidents caused by others who fail to use the proper level of care. Distracted driving is one of the most common forms of driver negligence that can lead to dangerous collisions and serious injuries that affect drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.

Forms of Distracted Driving That Can Lead to Car Accidents

For those who drive every day, it can be easy to forget that they are in control of a deadly weapon. Passenger vehicles weigh thousands of pounds, and an impact from a car or truck will involve significant force, even at low speeds. The risks of injury are even greater when a vehicle is traveling at higher speeds. Because of this, drivers need to be sure they are acting as safely as possible since what may seem like a small mistake can have deadly results.

Unfortunately, many drivers fail to fully pay attention to the act of driving, especially when they are traveling on familiar roads. A distraction that causes a person to look away from the road or take one or both hands off the steering wheel may make it difficult or impossible to avoid an accident. A person may fail to notice that a car has slowed down in front of them or that a pedestrian has entered a crosswalk. If a driver is not fully in control of their vehicle, or if their attention is elsewhere, they may not be able to react in time to slow down or swerve out of the way.

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CT probate lawyerWhile dealing with the death of a family member may involve difficult emotions, legal and financial issues can also play a role in these situations. During the probate process, the person named as the executor in a deceased person’s will is required to file the will in court and oversee the process of distributing their assets to their heirs, while also handling other issues related to their final affairs. Our attorneys provide legal help with probate matters in Connecticut and New York, and we are prepared to help an executor or a person appointed as the personal representative of an estate complete this process successfully.

Understanding the Probate Process

When creating a will, a person will name someone as the executor of their estate. This is usually a family member or close friend who the person trusts to make sure their wishes are followed correctly. After the person’s death, the executor will begin the probate process. In Connecticut, this process must be followed if the deceased person had assets totaling $40,000 or more or owned real estate property, and a case will be handled in the Probate Court in the district where they resided. In New York, probate will be necessary if the deceased person owned assets worth at least $50,000, and a case will be handled in the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the person lived.

The executor will file the deceased person’s will in court, and a hearing will be held to verify that the will is valid and officially appoint the executor as the administrator of the estate. The executor will then take an inventory of all of the assets owned by the deceased person, and if necessary, appraisals may be performed to determine the value of certain assets. The executor will notify the beneficiaries named in the person’s will, and they will also publish a notice of the death in a newspaper to allow any creditors or presumed heirs to come forward and make a claim against the estate. Once the executor has paid any outstanding debts and taxes, they will distribute all of the deceased person’s assets to their beneficiaries according to the instructions provided in the will.

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CT injury lawyerThe spinal cord is one of the body’s most important systems. This bundle of nerves, which runs through the vertebrae in the backbone, transmits information to and from the brain and most of the rest of the body. Any issues that disrupt these signals can affect a person’s ability to move or feel sensations in different parts of their body. Because of this, spinal cord injuries can be very serious and depending on the location and severity of an injury, a person may suffer permanent disabilities.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Injuries to the spinal cord may be complete or incomplete. Fractured vertebrae, herniated discs in the spine, or other issues that damage the spinal cord may result in incomplete spinal cord injuries. These injuries will usually involve the loss of some function, but a person may not suffer complete paralysis. Complete spinal cord injuries, on the other hand, will involve severe damage to the spinal cord, including cases where the spinal cord is completely severed. These injuries will often involve total paralysis. While surgery or other forms of treatment may help minimize future harm, damage to the spinal cord is often irreversible.

The parts of the body affected by a spinal cord injury will depend on the level of the spine where the injury occurred. Injuries are classified into four general types based on the vertebrae where the spinal cord was damaged:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1065993944-min.jpgBusinesses have a number of methods that may be used to protect their interests. One issue that may need to be addressed is the possibility that an employee may leave the company and use their knowledge of the business’s operations, client base, or trade secrets to gain an unfair competitive advantage against the company. This issue may be addressed by having employees sign a non-compete agreement. However, employers will want to understand when these types of agreements may be used and when they can be enforced.

Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants

A non-compete agreement may place restrictions on an employee, limiting the types of companies they can work for, the positions they can hold, and the business activities they can participate in. If a former employee who had signed a non-compete agreement violates these terms, their former employer may take legal action, and they may ask that the person be required to follow the terms of the agreement or pay damages for any financial losses that occurred because of the violation.

To be enforceable, non-compete agreements will usually need to address the following issues:

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Greenwich CT motorcycle accident attorneyMotorcyclists face significant risks when they use the roads. Without the protection provided by the structure of a passenger vehicle or safety features such as seat belts and airbags, a person can be seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. A motorcyclist can suffer serious harm when their body is struck by a car or truck, and they may also be thrown from their motorcycle and suffer additional injuries when they hit the ground or other objects on or near the road. A motorcyclist may suffer additional injuries if they are thrown into the path of other vehicles, and being run over by a car or truck can result in permanent disabilities or wrongful death. In many cases, motorcycle accidents are caused by the negligence of other drivers, and victims can work with an attorney to pursue financial compensation from those who were responsible for their injuries.

Motorcycle Crashes Caused by Driver Negligence

All drivers are required to abide by traffic laws and take the proper measures to protect other people’s safety. Some of the most common ways drivers can act negligently and cause injuries to motorcyclists include:

  • Distracted driving - Even though Connecticut drivers are prohibited from using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving, many choose to text while driving or make phone calls with handheld devices. Any attempt by a driver to divide their attention between driving and other activities can cause them to miss important details and be unable to react in time to avoid colliding with a motorcycle.

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Greenwich CT probate lawyerThere are a variety of situations in which adults may not be able to fully care for themselves. In some cases, an elderly or disabled adult may be looking to create a legal arrangement in which someone they trust will be able to provide them with the care they need and help them manage their finances. In others, a person’s loved ones may wish to give themselves the legal authority to make decisions on the person’s behalf. While these types of arrangements are usually referred to as guardianships, the state of Connecticut uses the term “conservatorship,” and different types of conservatorship may be appropriate depending on a person’s circumstances.

Conservatorship in Connecticut

A probate court may appoint a person as the conservator of someone who is incapable of caring for themself or managing their own financial affairs. A conservator of the person will supervise the person’s health and personal needs, ensuring that they receive the proper food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. A conservator of the estate will supervise a person’s finances, including managing their property and assets and determining how any income or benefits earned by the person will be used. A person may serve as both types of conservator, or one person may be appointed as the conservator of the person, while another person, organization, or financial institution may be appointed as the conservator of the estate. However, a nursing home or hospital cannot serve as a person’s conservator.

A conservatorship may be either voluntary or involuntary. Any interested party may file a petition to establish an involuntary conservatorship that alleges that a person does not have the capability to manage their personal needs or finances. In these cases, a hearing will be held to determine if conservatorship is appropriate, and the court may consider medical evidence related to examinations performed by a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

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Greenwich CT personal injury lawyerThere are a variety of situations where a person may suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as a car accident, slip-and-fall accident, or assault. Even though injuries that affect the brain may not be as immediately obvious as other types of bodily harm, they can have a huge impact on a person’s health and well-being. Unfortunately, TBIs are not always easy to recognize, and their effects may not become fully known until days or weeks after a person was initially injured. By understanding the long-term impact of a brain injury, victims can recognize how these injuries have affected their lives, and they can take steps to recover compensation from the person or parties who were responsible.

Long-Term Symptoms of TBIs

A mild traumatic brain injury, which is usually referred to as a concussion, may result in short-term symptoms, such as loss of consciousness, headaches, dizziness, and temporary memory loss. In many cases, these symptoms will last for a few weeks, but if they persist for longer, this may be a sign of a more serious injury. In some cases, these injuries may result in blood clots in the brain, and emergency medical treatment or surgery may be needed to correct this issue.

Moderate or severe brain injuries can be much more serious, and their symptoms may persist for an extended period of time, or even for the rest of a person’s life. These injuries may occur because of a strong blow to the head, a skull fracture, or a penetrating injury such as a bullet wound. The effects of a serious brain injury can last for years, and they may include:

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greenwich contract lawyerContractual agreements are crucial for businesses. They may be used when making significant transactions, entering into a relationship with another business, or ensuring that employers and employees understand their rights and requirements. However, businesses may encounter situations where one party to a contract does not follow their legal obligations. In cases involving contract disputes, the parties will need to understand the potential remedies that may be available if a court determines that one party has committed a breach of contract.

Breach of Contract Remedies

During a civil lawsuit, a judge or jury will review the facts of the case to determine whether a breach of contract occurred. If the court finds that one party has not followed the terms of the contract, certain remedies may be awarded to the other party. These may include:

  • Compensatory damages - The breaching party may be ordered to pay compensation to the non-breaching party. Different types of damages may be available, and they will usually address the monetary losses that the non-breaching party has experienced, including losses that occurred indirectly because the breaching party did not meet its obligations. Liquidated damages may be awarded if a contract specifies an amount that will be paid if one party breaches the contract’s terms. If the breaching party willfully or maliciously violated the terms of the contract or acted fraudulently, punitive damages may be awarded as a form of punishment.

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Connecticut wrongful death lawyerThe loss of a loved one can be difficult in any circumstances, but these situations can be especially hard when a person was killed due to someone else’s actions. In these cases, a family will not only experience emotional trauma because of their loss, but they will most likely encounter financial problems related to issues such as medical bills and an unexpected loss of the income the deceased person would have earned. To address these and other losses, family members may pursue a wrongful death claim against the person or company responsible for their loved one’s death.

Connecticut Wrongful Death Cases

Under Connecticut law, a party who was legally responsible for a person’s death may be held liable for damages caused to the person’s family members. A legally responsible party may include a driver who caused a car accident in which a person was killed, a driver or company that was liable for a fatal truck accident, or a person who committed homicide or inflicted fatal injuries in an assault. A liable party may be required to compensate a family for medical expenses related to their loved one’s treatment, including the costs of hospitalization and nursing, as well as funeral expenses and other “just damages.” Recoverable damages will include:

  • Loss of income - A family may have relied on the income earned by their loved one to pay ongoing expenses and provide for other needs. Along with compensation for the income they would have been expected to earn throughout the rest of their working career, compensation may include certain other benefits they would have provided for family members, such as medical and dental insurance coverage or retirement savings.

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Greenwich business contract attorneysSeverance agreements contain important rights and responsibilities for both employers and employees. Whether you are an employer or an employee who has been asked to sign a severance contract, it is crucial that you understand what you are agreeing to. Failing to understand what the severance agreement actually means can lead to stress, misunderstandings, and even lawsuits. This is why it is important to discuss any questions and concerns you have about severance packages with an experienced employee contracts lawyer.

What is the Purpose of a Severance Agreement?

A severance agreement is a contract an employee signs upon termination. The main purpose of a severance agreement is to prevent terminated employees from filing a wrongful termination action against the employer. In exchange for signing the agreement, the employee receives severance pay, or compensation beyond the term of his or her employment.

Many employees are thrilled to receive severance pay, as this compensation can greatly reduce the financial strain created by a job loss. However, employees must carefully review the terms of the agreement and work with an attorney to understand the rights that they are giving up in exchange for severance benefits. Most separation agreements include restrictive covenants including non-disclosure agreements, non-compete agreements, and non-solicitation agreements. They also require the terminated employee to release all legal claims. This means that the employee gives up his or her right to sue.

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NYC pedestrian accident lawyersMany New York City residents and visitors traverse the city on foot. Unfortunately, the increased number of pedestrians sharing the roads with vehicles increases the risk of pedestrian knock down accidents. If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident in NYC, it is important to explore your legal options. A personal injury claim against the at-fault driver may enable you to recover monetary damages while simultaneously holding the driver accountable for the accident.  

Personal Injury Lawsuit Basics

A personal injury claim is a civil claim used to collect damages. Damages are monetary compensation for the harm caused by an injury or death. In some cases, personal injury claims accompany criminal charges brought by the state. However, criminal charges or a criminal conviction are not needed to bring a successful personal injury lawsuit. In New York, most personal injury lawsuits are based on an allegation of negligent or wrongful action.

Pedestrian accident injury lawsuits often involve:

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Metro New York personal injury from loose cargo attorneyCommercial trucks carry everything from building materials to consumer goods. When truck cargo is not loaded and secured properly, it may become loose or even fall out of the truck during transit. This can cause terrible traffic accidents in which people are severely injured or killed. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a car accident caused by dropped truck freight, it is important to learn about your legal options.

Suing a Trucking Company for an Accident Caused by Poorly Secured Freight

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted strict requirements for how truck cargo should be loaded and secured. Cargo must be evenly distributed in the trailer or on the truck bed so that the truck’s maneuverability is not adversely affected by the load. The cargo must be tightly secured so that it does not move around during transit. When trucking companies do not follow these rules, cargo may fall out of the truck and spill onto the road below. Cargo may strike a vehicle or become a dangerous obstacle that other motorists must swerve to avoid. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident caused by truck cargo, you may be able to sue the liable party for negligence.

Often, the trucking company or the party responsible for loading and securing cargo is liable for an accident caused by dropped truck cargo. However, it is also possible that design or manufacturing defects in the securement devices or the truck itself are to blame for the incident. In this case, it may be possible to sue the company that designed or manufactured the faulty products through a product liability lawsuit.

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Metro New York area Estate Planning attorney

Many people equate estate planning with creating a last will and testament. While a will can certainly be a useful estate planning tool, several other estate planning instruments may also benefit you and your loved ones. Trusts are commonly used to transfer assets without needing to go through the probate process. Trusts are especially beneficial for individuals with minor children or wish to leave an inheritance to someone with a disability. Utilizing trusts in your estate plan can also help you protect assets from creditors and minimize estate taxes.

How a Revocable Living Trust May Benefit You and Your Family

There is a trust for almost every estate planning objective a person can have. However, most trusts fall into two main categories: revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts. A revocable living trust is a trust that you establish during your lifetime and use to transfer assets to heirs upon your death. You maintain control over the property in the trust until you pass away. At this point, your successor trustee takes control of the assets and manages the distribution of those assets. Living trusts are revocable or adjustable. Assets transferred through a living trust do not have to pass through probate, meaning that the assets are transferred to beneficiaries more quickly than assets transferred through a will. 

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Metro New York area real estate attorney

In March 2021, there were over 1600 instances of felony assault and 34 murders in New York City alone. The New York criminal justice system is responsible for holding perpetrators of violence accountable for their horrific actions. While a criminal conviction may result in punitive consequences including imprisonment, criminal penalties do not directly address the harm suffered by the victim or the victim’s surviving family members. A personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit may allow for the recovery of damages as well as accountability through the civil legal system.

Filing a Claim Against the Perpetrator of Violence

Per New York law, a personal injury or wrongful death claim may be filed when:

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Metro New York POA Lawyers

It can be an uncomfortable subject to consider, but life is finite. Eventually, everyone passes away. Often, an individual’s death is preceded by an incapacitating illness or injury. If you ever become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself, who would you want to speak on your behalf? A power of attorney is an important estate planning instrument that authorizes someone to speak on your behalf regarding medical or financial concerns. Establishing power of attorney is a crucial component of a comprehensive estate plan.  

Power of Attorney for Property and Healthcare

If you are disabled and unable to communicate, you need someone to manage medical and financial decisions for you. A power of attorney assigns decision-making authority to a person called an agent. The agent is someone that you trust to make the same types of decisions that you would make if you were able to do so. A financial power of attorney or general power of attorney assigns financial decision-making authority. The scope of the agent’s financial responsibilities may be broad or limited. The agent is required to make decisions that follow the parameters established by the power of attorney document.

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Metro New York personal injury attorney

You probably already know that personal injury cases are intended to help injured clients recover financial compensation for damages. Medical expenses, lost income from missed work, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life are all damages for which an injured person may receive compensation. You may be less sure of how the personal injury claim process actually works. What are the steps involved in an injury case? How long do personal injury cases take to resolve? Will I have to go to court? These are all questions that vary from case to case. However, most personal injury cases follow the same basic steps.

Initial Investigation and Sending a Demand Letter

Whether you are interested in filing a personal injury claim after a car accident, assault, construction site accident, or another injury-causing incident, typically, the first step is investigating the cause of the injury. Your personal injury lawyer will ask you questions about the accident or incident. Next, he or she will start to gather evidence like police reports and records of medical treatment that you have received for your injuries.

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Metro New York business law attorney non-disclosure agreement

Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are legally enforceable contracts that establish a confidential relationship between two parties. NDAs or confidentiality agreements are a valuable tool for employers in every industry. Business owners may use NDAs to protect important information from being misused by potential investors, employees, consultants, or other parties. If a party violates the terms of a confidentiality agreement, the non-breaching party may be able to take legal action and pursue restitution.

How Can a Non-Disclosure Agreement Protect My Business?

In the course of business, business owners often disclose sensitive information to others. Employees are often privy to confidential information about clients, products and services, trade secrets, business strategies, and more. Through a non-disclosure agreement, you can require employees to keep this information confidential. NDAs are often required as a condition of employment or they may be part of a severance package. A confidentiality agreement may also be part of a settlement agreement. NDAs are often subject to misunderstandings, but these contracts are important legal instruments that have a wide range of uses. However, NDAs must meet certain criteria to be enforceable, so it is important to work with a skilled attorney when drafting non-disclosure agreements.

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Greenwich, CT personal injury attorney truck accident

Large commercial trucks are responsible for hauling most of the freight that is transported across the United States. While any truck accident can lead to severe injuries and death, accidents involving trucks that are transporting hazardous or flammable material are often especially gruesome. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a hazardous materials truck accident, it is important to know your rights. You may be able to hold the at-fault party accountable and recover financial compensation for your damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

Trucks Carrying Hazardous Materials Must Comply With Strict Safety Standards

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) categorizes hazardous materials into several different groups. Trucks carrying hazardous material must be labeled with a placard identifying the type of hazardous material being hauled. Hazardous materials fall into the following nine categories:

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Metro New York personal injury attorney car accident

personal injury claim can enable an injured person to recover financial compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. However, in order to receive financial compensation through a personal injury claim, the plaintiff must establish the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing. Whether an injury results from a vehicle collision, truck crash, construction accident, or another incident, there is usually a multitude of factors that contribute to an injurious accident. The injured person’s own actions may even contribute to his or her injury. In cases of shared liability for an injury-causing accident, is the injured person still entitled to compensation?

Connecticut Law Regarding Shared Liability for a Personal Injury

State laws regarding shared liability for a personal injury or wrongful death vary. A handful of states follow a legal doctrine called “contributory negligence.” In contributory negligence states, an injured person is barred from recovery if he or she contributed to the injury-causing incident in any way.

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