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Miami Business & Commercial Law Blog

Know how medical marijuana affects the construction business

While Florida's medical marijuana industry is just getting into gear, it's important for construction business owners to understand how the legalization of the drug can affect the industry and its relationship with employees.

The days when you could simply drug test and deny workers' compensation to an employee who tested positive for medical marijuana is gone. You also can't just ignore the potential problem of having employees who are high on the job -- not unless you want to risk some serious litigation when one of the makes a mistake during a demolition or some other project.

Embezzlement: What it is and why it often goes to civil court

Embezzlement is a type of monetary fraud and theft that's often hard to detect -- mostly because the people who do it are legally entitled to somehow access or control the funds in the first place.

For example, you often hear about famous celebrities, like Sting, Elton John and Uma Thurman, who wind up suing their financial managers for fraud and embezzlement. What frequently happens is that those celebrities, perhaps because of their positions and wealth, trust their money to someone else to manage it for them. They literally sign where they're told to sign in order to transfer money around. Sometimes they even surrender that power directly to their financial manager. So if a financial manager decides to embezzle money, that's the equivalent of handing the keys to the hen house directly to the fox.

What do you need to make a business contract valid?

Contracts are part of doing business -- you won't be in business long if you don't get a clear idea of what it takes to make a contract valid and legally enforceable.

In order to protect yourself and your business, keep the following facts in mind:

Equifax hack casts shadow over many small businesses

When most people heard about the hack into the Equifax database -- one of the top three credit reporting agencies used in the country -- the reaction was widespread shock. It's actually hard to comprehend how many people may be affected since the agency collects credit data on most of the nation.

Almost everyone has a reason to worry that their personal identification could be compromised and their credit misused as a result of the data hack. However, there's a subgroup of people who have even more reason to worry: the owners of small businesses everywhere.

Get help to understand the basics of construction defect disputes

Most people expect their contractors to know what they're doing and to deliver on their promises. When that doesn't happen, it's easy to end up in a lawsuit over a construction defect. If that's a possibility for you right now, there are some basics that you should know:

1. Construction defects usually into four main categories:

  • Design Flaws
  • Inferior Materials
  • Poor Construction
  • Foundation Issues

Florida taxpayers keep paying for failed website

There's a rule in business that applies to almost any situation: When you're in a deep hole, stop digging.

If the authorities in the Florida legislature had heeded that advice, they might be done with a problematic lawsuit and a long-overdue bill for a website that has never even gone live.

3 issues to investigate when investing in commercial property

When investing in commercial property, you need to be particularly careful about zoning regulations -- they can sometimes catch even seasoned buyers off guard.

Most towns and cities have their zoning organized into categories -- but never assume that a category that you're familiar with in one location means the same thing in a different jurisdiction. In addition, watch for the following issues:

What 2 steps do you take after you decide to form a business?

You and your best friends have a great idea for a new business and you believe that you have the perfect market -- you've even scraped together the funding to make your dream a reality.

What's next?

How to tell when your business is the target of legal scams

Malicious prosecution is something most people think about in terms of criminal charges and out-of-control prosecutors -- but it's also used to describe the actions of private individuals or companies as well.

Sometimes, the term is used to describe opportunists who try to use the legal system to bully a company into paying them "nuisance money" to go away rather than run up a legal bill in court. Essentially, these people bet that you'll throw a few thousand dollars their way to make a frivolous lawsuit disappear in order to save thousands more in legal fees to fight it -- even though you know you're in the right.