March 15, 2020

I am writing this now at the tail end of my first experience in a full-blown trial.  The date is March 2020 and I’ve been practicing law since October of 2013. That’s 6.5 years of practicing as a trial attorney before experiencing my first trial--3 years after we first filed it.  As they say, 95% or more of cases never reach a jury. Looking back, I can tell you this: A trial is a massive production, and the fact that so many cases don’t make it to trial is no surprise.

The trial process is all-consuming for an attorney.  The resources needed to put on a large-scale commercial trial are simply staggering.  For this one, I spent the better part of the month preparing for the ordeal. This requires reviewing and refining discovery responses...

April 10, 2019

If you’re getting serious about a startup business and wondering where to begin from a legal perspective, then read on.  Because based on our experience helping many new startups get up and running, consulting with an attorney very early on in the process is one of the most important things you can do.  Why is this?  Because having a solid foundation in the legal principles behind your business can avoid so many problems later on.

Put another way, consulting a lawyer before your get started will help you navigate many issues typically surrounding small businesses, including the following:   First, you should know the difference between a sole proprietorship, a corporation, and a limited liability company, and understand how limited...

April 4, 2019

Without question, contracts govern our businesses and how they interact with both customers and other businesses.  Contracts are commonly thought of as written documents, but even when your neighbor’s kid agrees on a handshake to mow your lawn for $20, you’re technically entering a contract. In fact, did you realize you enter a contract every time you purchase groceries at the store?

It’s easy to see how you don’t need to sweat over a $20 deal to mow the lawn; however, the more money that’s at stake in a given contract, the more important it becomes to have your legal rights carefully written down and well understood by everyone involved.  It may surprise you to know that we’ve had clients who entered commercial transactions (before coming t...

March 28, 2019

As small business attorneys, one of the most common questions we get is whether or not a business should pay the people it hires as either independent contractors or as employees instead.  This is a very important question, and if you run a small business and this has ever crossed your mind, then read on!

Many businesses elect to pay their hirelings as independent contractors.  The draw is quite tempting because you don’t have to pay payroll taxes, issue W-2s or, possibly, even pay for workers’ compensation.  Sounds like a good deal, right?  Not so fast.  The reality is, whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor depends entirely upon the job duties they have while working for you and how you instruct and control them....

March 22, 2019

In our modern age of information, it is all too common to be presented with a giant contract, full of fine print which, let’s face it–is a pain in the butt to read, let alone understand.  Depending who you are, you might be “signing” contracts like this every day.  For example, did you know every time you open an online user account for an internet service, by checking the box that says “I have read and agree to the terms and conditions” or anything to that effect, you are essentially signing a new contract?

Throughout the legal industry we refer to these form contracts as “boilerplate.”  “Boilerplate” is basically standardized language used in legal contracts–and while boilerplate may often seem innocuous, it is actually drafted by ext...

January 23, 2019

Many new businesses choose to structure their company as a Corporation or an LLC because of the benefit of limited personal liability for shareholders or members. The general rule is that these entities are separate and distinct from their shareholders, and individuals are not personally liable for the obligations of the entity. However, there are circumstances when individuals can be held liable on behalf of the entity through a theory called “piercing the corporate veil.” In Glenn v. Wagner, the court stated that the corporate form will be disregarded “when it is necessary to prevent fraud or to achieve equity.” Also, a shareholder cannot use the corporation to “shield criminal wrongdoing, defeat public interest, and circumvent public pol...

August 31, 2018

In the realm of legal terms, you may have heard the term “Fiduciary Duty” but have been uncertain as to what it actually means. You are probably not alone because even our courts have trouble defining and applying it. Fiduciary duties refer to the manner in which fiduciaries must treat those who they owe the duties to in the course of business. A fiduciary duty demands trustee-like behavior that exceeds the standards of the market place. For a fiduciary duty to exist, however, there must first be a fiduciary relationship.

So, what is a fiduciary relationship? Courts have generally declined to define “fiduciary relationship” because attempting to define such a broad term may exclude “any relation that may exist between two or more persons wit...

August 21, 2018

One of the first and most important decisions facing a new business is choosing the right organizational structure. Owners must take into consideration factors such as, taxes, personal liability, and complex business formalities. There are several types of business structures, and the most common types are discussed below.

Sole Proprietorship

The sole proprietorship is a business owned and operated by a single individual. There are no filings required to form a sole proprietorship, it simply forms when an individual engages in business for profit. The sole proprietorship is not a separate legal entity, so the owner and the business are essentially the same person. This means that profits are taxed as the owner’s income. Also, this means that...

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We are North Carolina litigation and business law attorneys. We focus our litigation practice on complex legal matters with significant issues of law or damages. Whether you are a private individual negatively affected by the actions of another, an entrepreneur starting or protecting a business, or working through governmental regulations, we have the experience and skills necessary to ensure you have effective, efficient legal representation. Call Wimer & Snider at Asheville Legal for your consultation today. 828-350-9799.

The attorneys at Wimer & Snider, P.C. in Asheville have represented clients in much of the United States, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, California, Virginia, and Texas. We are licensed to practice law in North Carolina and Texas. Our offices are conveniently located in the arts district of West Asheville, NC.   Phone: 828-350-9799

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