Carlson Dash Digest – June 2016

 

Summer in the Midwest is a fleeting affair chock-full of outdoor adventures, picnics and parties. Earlier this year Illinois joined the party by becoming the last state to adopt a bond lien statute. Make sure to catch our breakdown of the new statute’s notable provisions in our Monthly Insights. We also take a look at a case involving a Yelp review that netted the reviewer a $1 million dollar lawsuit as part of their vacation memories.

Wisconsin Welcomes You!

On May 31st, James Dash was admitted to the Wisconsin State Bar. Jim’s practice focuses on real estate-related litigation, with an emphasis on construction (including mechanics lien claims), as well as title insurance defense work. Jim has been consistently rated among the top construction law attorneys by Chambers USA, Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers and Jim is eager to expand his practice into Wisconsin.

Carlson Dash has many clients who conduct business in both Illinois and Wisconsin so having our attorneys admitted in both states is a great way for us to continue providing our excellent service in both states.

Illinois – Last State to Adopt Bond Lien Statute

Earlier this year Illinois became the last state in the country to adopt a bond lien statute. David Kabat reviewed the new statute and breaks down the key provisions for you this month. How does this affect your defense?

We “Value” Your Opinion

 

 

There is no shortage of opinions on the Internet, but in the case of a Texas couple, their opinion touched off a $1 million dollar lawsuit.

Michelle and Robert Duchouquette hired Prestigious Pets to care for their two dogs and one fish while the Duchouquettes were out of town. When the couple returned from their trip they had some issues with the fees charged and the overfeeding of their fish, leading Ms. Duchouquette to write a one-star review on Yelp. Prestigious Pets responded directly to the one-star review, but then took it a step further by filing suit against the Duchouquettes citing libel and requesting “actual damages, punitive damages and damages for the infliction of emotional distress” to the tune of $1 million dollars.

The Duchouquettes are fighting the lawsuit by arguing that Prestigious Pets cannot prove that the review was made with malice or that the non-disparagement clause in the agreement they signed waived the Duchouquettes’ right to free speech. This sentiment is echoed by Yelp. A visit to Prestigious Pets’ page on Yelp brought up a consumer alert warning Yelp visitors that Prestigious Pets “may be trying to abuse the legal system in an effort to stifle free speech…”

While Prestigious Pets’ response may seem extreme, a victory could restrict the free speech of future online reviewers who would be hesitant to leave a negative review of their experience. Read more about this case.

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© Carlson Dash. June 2016 Issue.

ILLINOIS
216 S. Jefferson Street
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Chicago, IL 60661
312.382.1600WISCONSIN
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Suite 100
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
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Carlson Dash Digest – May 2016




The devil is in the details! This month we take a look at easements and the potential for adverse claims stemming from them. We also review a copyright case tied to a Star Trek “fan film” in which the defendant’s argument was over just how many details were truly enough. Please be sure to check out new legal developments in our most recent blogs on overtime regulations and expansion of creditors’ rights.

As we head into this Memorial Day weekend, please take a moment to remember and honor those who gave all for our country. Thank you.

Paying It Forward

Last month, Kurt Carlson participated in a discussion on careers in the law at Warren High School in Gurnee. The purpose of the event was to educate juniors and seniors on careers in the legal field, including what classes and practical experience best prepares one for a career in the legal profession.

Kurt spoke to several classes throughout the day and was impressed by the questions the kids asked. Kurt enjoyed the experience and was left believing that students entering law school today have a much better idea of what is in store for them through law school and once licensed to practice law because of the level of information that is available to them through events such as this and on the internet.

Case Study: Whose Property Is It?

ABC Corp. is looking at selling high value real estate, but it is concerned with a potential adverse possession claim. To learn more about how to identify, assess and prevent adverse possession claims from destroying your commercial real estate transaction, read the full case study.

Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Last month’s article on DIY Law discussed potential pitfalls when handling a lawsuit without the guidance of an attorney. The copyright case dealing with a Star Trek “fan film” is an interesting example of the complexities of the law even when you do have an attorney guiding you.

Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios filed suit against independent production company Axanar Productions because of Axanar’s Kickstarter campaign to fund a Star Trek “fan film.” Paramount and CBS each own certain copyright interests in Star Trek and in their amended complaint listed almost thirty pages of characters, alien races, costumes, settings, plot points and other Star Trek features to be used in Axanar’s “fan film” that would infringe on the copyrights. Axanar filed a motion to dismiss arguing that the Plaintiffs were not specific enough because Plaintiffs’ complaint did not list “exactly which movie, book or TV episode” Axanar was allegedly infringing upon.

The US District Court for the Central District of California disagreed and denied Axanar’s motion to dismiss because the Plaintiffs did “define the Star Trek Copyrighted Works and include a detailed description of the allegedly infringing elements.” The Court also denied the Language Creation Society’s bid to file an amicus brief. Their brief would have argued that the Klingon language could not be subject to copyright law. Read more on this case.

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© Carlson Dash. May 2016 Issue.

ILLINOIS
216 S. Jefferson Street
Suite 504
Chicago, IL 60661
312.382.1600

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10411 Corporate Drive
Suite 100
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
262.857.1600

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Carlson Dash Digest – April 2016

 

 

Spring has finally arrived in the Midwest! With the nicer weather and longer days we are finally able to tackle the projects that piled up like snow drifts during the colder months. This month we take a look at whether the do-it-yourself approach works when it comes to legal matters your business may face.

IICLE Secured Transactions

The Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) has released its Secured Transactions – 2016 Edition. Jeffrey Altshul not only served as one of three general editors, but also authored the chapter on Rights and Remedies upon Default. This is Jeff’s fourth time editing this essential guide which is used as a resource by professionals who need help negotiating commercial transactions relating to security interests and priority issues under UCC Article 9. The guide is available for purchase on IICLE’s website.

 

DIY Law: A Good Start, But Not A Substitute

 

With the prevalence of online legal resources and do-it-yourself legal forms you may think DIY legal is easy and cost-effective. While business or legal issues may appear simple on the surface, even the online providers know their limitations and the value of an attorney’s time and advice. Read more on where DIY legal can fill a business’s needs and when it is prudent to get an attorney’s input.

 

Now That’s a Free Upgrade!

 

A debt associated with the purchase of a car that was to be used as an Uber vehicle was held to be dischargeable in a recent decision from the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The Debtor, Rodriguez, thought that he could supplement his income by becoming an Uber driver. When he signed up, Uber directed Rodriguez to an auto dealer that it worked with and told him to purchase a larger vehicle suitable for Uber. Within a month of the purchase of the auto, Rodriguez decided that things did not work financially and filed for Chapter 7 relief.

The company that financed the car requested that Rodriguez reaffirm the debt but Rodriguez refused. After this refusal, the finance company filed an adversary proceeding to have the debt declared non-dischargeable based on false pretenses and other grounds. After a trial, the Bankruptcy Court found that even though Rodriguez filed for bankruptcy protection within a month of the purchase, the car had not been purchased under false pretenses, knowing that he would file. Rodriguez testified that he realized that the Uber program would not earn him sufficient money to afford the vehicle. The Court also pointed out that Uber sent Rodriguez to the dealership and had some sort of existing relationship with it. Based on all this, after a trial, the debt was declared dischargable. Read more on this case.

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© Carlson Dash. April 2016 Issue.

ILLINOIS
216 S. Jefferson Street
Suite 504
Chicago, IL 60661
312.382.1600

WISCONSIN
10411 Corporate Drive
Suite 100
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
262.857.1600

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Carlson Dash Digest – March 2016



While the Winter of 2015 may have been easier on us than winters of years past, the joy of Spring still gives us a surge of hope and optimism about the opportunities that lie ahead. This month we look at a blossoming change in Illinois Mechanic’s Lien law and how that can benefit our clients. We will also share what could be one of Carlson Dash’s best kept secrets.

Carlson Dash in Wisconsin


Is Carlson Dash’s Wisconsin location our best kept secret?

Carlson Dash opened its Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin location in November 2011. Most of our attorneys are licensed to practice in Illinois and Wisconsin, enabling us to further assist our clients who do business in both Illinois and Wisconsin. The office is conveniently located at I-94 and Hwy 165, very easy for our attorneys and clients who travel the I-94 corridor to use for meetings, conferences and depositions. The addition of our Wisconsin office location has made it far easier for our clients to get our consistent, first-rate representation from Springfield to Madison and everywhere in between.

Carlson Dash Likely Obtains First Order Substituting Bond for Mechanic’s Lien

On January 28, 2016, on behalf of our contractor client, our firm successfully obtained what likely was the very first order approving a bond under the new section 38.1 of the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act that permits an owner, contractor or other upstream party to substitute the bond for the claim for mechanic’s lien.

The decision to seek this bond was driven by the circumstances of the particular case. Is such a bond desirable in all cases? Surely not. What are some of the factors you should consider when deciding whether to seek such a bond?

Your Bible is Exempt from Bankruptcy

The Bankruptcy Court and a Bankruptcy Trustee tried to take a woman’s bible from her and sell it as an asset of her bankrupt estate. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals would not hear of it. Now, for some context.

The bible was an 1830 first edition Mormon Bible she found while cleaning out an old library, and for payment of the cleaning job the library let her keep the bible. She had other bibles she owned as well, but when she filed her bankruptcy she decided, understandably so, to keep the 1830 first edition Mormon Bible. A true Book of Mormon, valued near $100,000. The Bankruptcy Code allows a bankrupt to keep “a bible”. It does not say which bible, or what the value of the bible might be. It just says “a bible”. The trustee thought she should keep a Gideon Bible, free at most motels. The 7th Circuit said, in a nutshell, it does not work that way. She gets to keep the bible of her choice, so she walked out of bankruptcy court with a $100,000 bible under her arm…I swear on a stack of bibles this story is true. For more on this, take a look.

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© Carlson Dash. March 2016 Issue.

ILLINOIS
216 S. Jefferson Street
Suite 504
Chicago, IL 60661
312.382.1600

WISCONSIN
10411 Corporate Drive
Suite 100
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
262.857.1600

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Carlson Dash Digest – February 2016

 

Once every four years we add an extra day to our calendar in order to keep it synched with the astronomical or seasonal year. While days and months can quickly spin by, keeping tabs on changes in employment law can greatly benefit your business. This month we take a look at religious accommodation in the workplace and the effect of a Wisconsin business’ decision to begin enforcing a company policy on scheduled breaks.

C. Douglas Moran heads up Carlson Dash’s employment law practice. Doug’s experience includes representing employers, banks and companies ranging from single member LLCs and closely-held corporations to Fortune 500 companies. Through his employment practice, Doug has advised employers, and litigated when necessary, issues related to state and federal laws. He has prosecuted and defended claims brought under the Uniform Partnership Act, the Fraudulent Conveyance Act, the Uniform Trade Secrets Act and the Uniform Commercial Code, as well as various contract and common law claims.
Doug has been a frequent speaker on employment issues in Michigan and Illinois and has developed and presented employment-related seminars for individual employers relating to all employment-related topics, including avoiding/investigating discrimination and sexual harassment claims.

Religious Accommodation and Undue Hardship:
Striking the Balance for Illinois and Wisconsin Employers

Ariens Manufacturing, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer had a long history of allowing prayer time for its Muslim employees, until the company decided to strictly enforce its break policies. This enforcement found the company facing accusations of religious discrimination. Read on to find out more about religion and Title VII.

Sexual Orientation – Still Not Protected by Title VII

The Northern District of Illinois recently emphasized that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect individuals who claim they are harassed for their sexual orientation. In David Igasaki v. Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, et al., No. 15 C 3693, Igasaki alleged his immediate supervisor gave Igasaki, a lawyer for the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, a good performance review in 2011, but then began harassing him the following year after discovering that Igasaki is gay. According to Igasaki, his supervisor humiliated him, gave him an extremely heavy workload, set impossible deadlines and assigned him a small work station that did not accommodate his gout. Igasaki was fired last March.

Judge Andrea R. Wood dismissed the count in Igasaki’s lawsuit that maintained he was a victim of a violation of Title VII. In her opinion, Judge Wood wrote that sexual orientation “is not a protected class under Title VII.” Wood also acknowledged that Title VII protects victims of “sex stereotyping” or “gender stereotyping.” In the lawsuit, Igasaki alleged that he was criticized for being “too soft” and “not aggressive enough.” Judge Wood wrote that Igasaki contended that such criticism evidenced sex or gender stereotyping—i.e., discrimination for failing to conform to stereotypical male roles of authority—which amounted to sex discrimination. However, Igasaki alleged these comments began only after his supervisor learned of Igasaki’s sexual orientation. Presuming neither Igasaki’s gender nor his approach to his cases had materially changed over the 20 years he was employed by the department, Judge Woods found the comments did not evidence sex or gender stereotyping.

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© Carlson Dash. February 2016 Issue.

ILLINOIS
216 S. Jefferson Street
Suite 504
Chicago, IL 60661
312.382.1600WISCONSIN
10411 Corporate Drive
Suite 100
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
262.857.1600

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Carlson Dash Digest – December 2015

 

As we wave goodbye to 2015 we would like to take a moment to thank all of our clients for allowing us to assist them with their legal and business matters, from commercial litigation to advice in business transactions, employment law, real estate, bankruptcy matters and so much more.

Carlson Dash was created so that we could act as true teammates with our clients. We are proud of the client relationships we have, and the goals we have achieved with our clients, and we are proud of the diversity in our practice areas and our ability to represent our clients in Wisconsin and Illinois, and more nationally in many areas. Since many of our clients have multiple issues, arising in multiple jurisdictions, this month we take a look at what one needs to do to make sure your company remains in “good standing” with the states it does business in, specifically Illinois and Wisconsin.

Happy Holidays to all of our clients and colleagues.

CBA’s Mechanics Liens & Construction Claims CLE

Jim Dash presented at the Chicago Bar Association’s Mechanics Liens and Construction Claims CLE – AM Session on December 9th. Jim discussed the perfection of mechanics liens on private projects.

Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic

There is a lot of attention given to charitable causes and community service during the holidays and it is wonderful that so many choose to make the holiday season a brighter time for those in need. Like you, many of us at Carlson Dash volunteer our time to causes throughout the year to interests related to the law, as well as those outside the practice of law.

This month we are featuring the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic, where Carlson Dash attorney Bryce Cox volunteers his time. Bryce had this to say about his time at the clinic: “I like volunteering there because you get to help people who really need legal help, but can’t afford it and don’t know where to turn. Often you can see distress in their faces when talking to them and it feels good to help alleviate that stress. It reminds me that I’ve been fortunate and that I should give more of myself whenever I can in other areas as well.”

Corporate Status: Good Standing is Good Practice

It’s that time of year again, and we are not talking about the joyous arrival of gifts, cookies, presents, and family. Instead, it’s the mundane that drives this information sleigh: annual corporate reporting. Whether you like it or not, it needs to be done and it needs to be done timely. To make sure you remain in good standing read on.

Baby It’s Cold Outside

The end-of-year holidays are usually a mix of family, friends, cheer, and hurried shopping in variations of snow, rain, sleet, or the other delicacies Mother Nature gifts us with from November through January. Those delicacies often lead to wet store entrances as customers and patrons track in ice and snow. If you’re a store owner, you might find yourself on the other end of a complaint, or even a lawsuit, by a customer who has slipped and fallen on the snow or ice tracked in your store by other customers. If you are a storefront business owner in Illinois, what’s your responsibility to customers to keep your entryways dry?

In Illinois, property owners and business operators are not liable for injuries resulting from the natural accumulation of ice, snow or water that is tracked into the premises. Under the so-called “natural accumulation rule,” property owners and business operators do not have a duty to remove the tracks or residue left inside the building by customers who have walked through natural accumulations outside. However, if the property owner voluntarily implements safety measures, such as placing mats or mopping up wet areas, the property owner has a duty to exercise due care in implementing those measures. And if the customer can establish that the means of ingress and egress was unsafe for any other reason than a natural accumulation, including that the flooring was made of a particularly slippery material, or that the design of the building led to an unnatural accumulation of water or snow, then the property owner may be liable.

Of course, slippery floors will likely keep some customers at bay, so consider ultimate business goals when determining how to handle your storefront’s messy entryway. To the extent owners do decide to voluntarily implement safety measures, they should use due care and common sense to keep those entryways as safe as possible for customers.

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© Carlson Dash. December 2015 Issue.

ILLINOIS
216 S. Jefferson Street
Suite 504
Chicago, IL 60661
312.382.1600WISCONSIN
10411 Corporate Drive
Suite 100
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
262.857.1600

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Carlson Dash Digest – January 2016

 

We hope you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends. As we march into 2016 with a renewed sense of purpose, we are not alone in our resolve to make changes. This month’s Digest takes a look at the proposed changes affecting secured lenders in Chapter 11 bankruptcies. It has been said the only constant in life is change.

Wendy M. Reutebuch recently completed ten years’ service on the Board of Directors of the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance (GPCA). The GPCA, in partnership with the Chicago Park District, runs the programming, exhibits and events for the Garfield Park Conservatory and raises funds to support the programming, exhibits and events at the Garfield Park Conservatory.


During her tenure as a GPCA Board member, Wendy served on the Executive Committee, the Fundraising Committee and as Chair of the Nominations Committee. Wendy also served as chair for the GPCA’s first Fleurotica event in 2008, which has become one of the GPCA’s signature events.

Proposals for Change in Chapter 11 Affecting Secured Lenders

The American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) formed a Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 which has submitted a report containing a number of proposals for change. The Commission’s aim was to reduce barriers to the entry of a Chapter 11 filing, facilitate more certainty of resolutions and timeliness of disputes, enhance exit strategies for debtors and resolve uncertainty between court circuits. Read about the four biggest changes that could affect secured creditors.

Costly Bathroom Breaks

Many workers are familiar with having to clock in and out when they start or end their workday, but a publishing company in Pennsylvania took it a step further. American Future Systems, Inc. dba Progressive Business Publications forced workers to clock out for short breaks, including bathroom breaks. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania decided that Progressive failed to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act and faces a fine of up to $1.75M for the unpaid breaks.

Progressive plans to appeal the decision. The company views this as a “generous” work policy that allows employees to take an unpaid break for any reason and length of time. If upheld Progressive stated they would need to discontinue this policy which is “greatly valued” by employees. Learn more.

 

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© Carlson Dash. January 2016 Issue.

ILLINOIS
216 S. Jefferson Street
Suite 504
Chicago, IL 60661
312.382.1600
WISCONSIN
10411 Corporate Drive
Suite 100
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
262.857.1600

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Carlson Dash Digest – October 2015

 

 

This month we celebrate one year of the Carlson Dash Digest. We started the Digest with the goal of providing practical, relevant and topical content to our clients and peers. The feedback we have received tells us we are hitting that mark and our hope is that the Digest will become a trusted knowledge resource that you can refer back to when the need arises.

Feel free to share the Digest and also follow Carlson Dash on LinkedIn to see our weekly blogs as they post. Past issues of the Digest are also available on our website. The Digest is for our clients and peers so we welcome suggestions on topics that interest you that we may not have covered yet. Thank you for your support and interest.

Last month, Jeff Altshul attended the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ) in Miami, FL. The NCBJ is an association of U.S. Bankruptcy Judges that provides continuing legal education to judges, lawyers and other involved professionals; promotes cooperation among the Bankruptcy Judges, to secure a greater degree of quality and uniformity in the administration of the Bankruptcy system; and improves the practice of law in the Bankruptcy Courts of the United States.

Jeff also had his article Contract Illegality Cannot Be Used as a Defense to Adequate Protection published on the American Bankruptcy Institute’s (ABI) website. Read the article.

“Deemed” Substantive Consolidation – A New Theory

Creditors servicing troubled and/or bankrupt borrowers are forced to navigate numerous obstacles and pitfalls to protect their investments and loans. Included in this vast array of concerns is the significant substantive consolidation, and the significant impediments it levies on a creditor’s right to recovery in bankruptcy proceedings. In recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases, crafty debtors (and on occasion even subordinate co-creditors) have sought to impede creditors through an even more convoluted variant of substantive consolidation, dubbed “deemed substantive consolidation.” Read on to learn how this non-formal approach could impact your claim.

Good Faith Can Save a Creditor

Creditors recently won a protection from debtors while investigating potentially exempt assets. Under both state and federal law, debtors are entitled to assert certain claims that assets may be exempt from seizure by creditors. However, many debtors do not act quickly to supply the required information to support the claim. Is the creditor at risk during this period of claims for damages? A recent case decided that there was a safe haven for the creditor while it investigated the claims in good faith. Click through to read the full case summary.

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Carlson Dash. October 2015 Issue.

ILLINOIS
216 S. Jefferson Street
Suite 504
Chicago, IL 60661
312.382.1600
WISCONSIN
10411 Corporate Drive
Suite 100
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
262.857.1600

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Carlson Dash Digest – September 2015

September, the month where things get back to business; kids are back in school and summer officially ends. This month we had the pleasure of speaking with Leslie Smith, the President of EPIcenter in Memphis about all things startup. If you’ve been thinking about taking the step to start off on your own, or if you have expertise to offer startups in your local area and want to partner with them in some way, you will want to read this month’s article.

Don’t forget to check out the In Case You Missed It section at the end of the Digest to catch up on blogs that you may have missed since our last Digest. To see these blogs when they post, pop over to LinkedIn and follow the Carlson Dash company page.

Jim Dash – Speaker at Mechanics’ Liens Illinois Seminar

On September 16th, Jim Dash spoke at the National Business Institute’s seminar on Mechanics’ Liens in Illinois. Jim spoke throughout the day on a variety of topics including: Lien Entitlement: Activities, Materials and Properties Lienable; The Payment Process: Practical Considerations; Notices and Claims: Preserve and Perfect Your Lien Rights While Avoiding Fatal Defects; and Ethical Issues Relating to Mechanics’ Liens and Enforcement Actions.

If you were unable to attend, the entire seminar and materials are available on NBI’s website.

Startups – Poised for Success

Leslie Smith, President of Memphis-based EPIcenter took the time to share her experience with both EPIcenter and TechTown Detroit. We summarized our talk which focused on what startups need to know and the services that are available to give them their best shot at succeeding, and have included a list of local incubators in both Chicago and Southeast Wisconsin. Read on.

Memorialize Your Decisions…

You did it! After years of thinking about it, you finally took the step and started your own business. It’s just you and your closest friend or trusted family member, so you skip the formality of documentation. Conversations take place, emails pick up where conversations left off, the business is launched and things are sailing along better than you could have expected. Then the inevitable monkey wrench is thrown in and things get sticky. The questions start; who is responsible for next steps, what was compensation supposed to look like in good times and bad? You search your emails, rack your brain to recall conversations from memory, but everyone recalls and interprets the conversations differently and the emails are cryptic and vague.

Taking the time to document your business decisions is one of the most important things you can do for your business and it’s not just during the start-up process. Just look to the lesson The Walt Disney Company learned when they failed to thoroughly document events and decisions in their board meetings. The lack of detail in their minutes led them down a path of litigation for almost a decade. Many business owners lament about the amount of administration and paperwork they need to deal with as an owner. Documentation is certainly not glamourous or exciting, but doing so up front can definitely lessen future headaches you will inevitably encounter.

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Carlson Dash. September 2015 Issue.

ILLINOIS
216 S. Jefferson Street
Suite 504
Chicago, IL 60661
312.382.1600WISCONSIN
10411 Corporate Drive
Suite 100
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158
262.857.1600

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Carlson Dash Digest – August 2015

While summer may be winding down, construction season is still in full swing. This month we turn our focus to construction law, specifically mechanic’s liens, starting with part one of a three-part series on this interesting and complex area of construction law.                

Illinois Appellate Court Ruling on Section 30 of MLA

Last month, our own Dave Kabat won an appeal in the First District Appellate Court in the case of GX Chicago, LLC et al. v. Galaxy Environmental, Inc., et al. In ruling in our client’s favor, the court held that the term “contractor” under Section 30 of the Illinois Mechanics Lien Act (MLA) was limited only to a lower tier subcontractor’s immediate upstream contractor and not the general contractor.The significance of this opinion is that this is the first time an Illinois appellate court has construed Section 30 and in holding that the phrase “the amount due from owner to contractor” is limited to the immediate upstream contractor when liens are asserted by lower tier subcontractors lacking privity with either the owner or owner’s general contractor. For a more in-depth analysis of this case and the opinion, read the memo here.

Pay If / When Paid Clauses in IL & Mechanic’s Lien Seminar

Jim Dash’s article, “Pay If/When Paid Clauses in Illinois,” was published last month in Building Knowledge, the newsletter of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Section on Construction Law. The article looked at the enforceability of “Pay When Paid” and “Pay if Paid” clauses in a contract, the differences between the two and the effect these clauses have in defense of a breach of contract and a mechanic’s lien action. Read the full article here.Jim has also been invited to speak at the NBI’s Mechanics’ Liens in Illinois seminar on September 16th in Naperville. Jim will be speaking throughout the day on a variety of topics including: Lien Entitlement: Activities, Materials and Properties Lienable; The Payment Process: Practical Considerations; Notices and Claims: Preserve and Perfect Your Lien Rights While Avoiding Fatal Defects; and Ethical Issues Relating to Mechanics’ Liens and Enforcement Actions. For more information on the National Business Institute, visit their site.

 

 

Illinois Mechanic’s Liens: General Overview

In part one of this three-part series on mechanic’s liens we take a look at what a mechanic’s lien is and a recent law signed by Governor Rauner. Read the full article.Future blogs will focus on who is entitled to a lien and what property a lien extends to. If you have any questions on mechanic’s lien, or construction law, Jim and Dave are happy to assist.

…But I Already Paid My Contractor

As if property ownership was not already stressful enough, did you know that if your contractor fails to pay their subcontractors you could face a lien being placed on your property – even if you have paid the contractor for the subcontractor’s work? Mechanic’s liens are a legal claim to your property securing payment of supplies purchased and/or work performed by anyone in the contracting chain for qualifying services.  If a mechanic’s lien is placed on your property, selling the property may be very difficult until the lien is removed.

In addition to vetting your contractor for quality work and timeliness, you should also insist on strict compliance with the payment system required to protect yourself under Illinois law.  While the system is not perfect in all situations, following the system will protect you in the vast majority of cases.  If you need assistance with implementing a system for your project, we would be happy to help.

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Carlson Dash. August 2015 Issue.

 

 

ILLINOIS
216 S. Jefferson Street Suite 504
Chicago, IL 60661
312.382.1600
WISCONSIN
10411 Corporate Drive Suite 100
Pleasant Prairie, WI 52158
262.857.1600
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