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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Foreclosure Hearing - Mecklenburg County NC - Wells Fargo

Foreclosure hearing, justice, law, North Carolina Foreclosure

The following is a summary of a foreclosure hearing that McGrath & Spielberger assisted a borrower with, and is provided for informational purposes only. Each case, each client, each situation is different, and each matter may have a different outcome.

Mortgage Loan Servicer / Foreclosing Bank: Wells Fargo; Wells Fargo Bank NA

Prosecuting Trustee / Law Firm: Shapiro & Ingle, LLP

Property Location: Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

Property Type: Primary Residence

Borrower’s Attorney: Jason McGrath, Esq.

Hearing Date: 11/2017

Actions Taken by McGrath & Spielberger on Behalf of Client in Relation to the Foreclosure Hearing: Mr. McGrath attended the foreclosure hearing with the client and negotiated a Motion to Continue to the court in order to help client avoid foreclosure.

Foreclosure Hearing Outcome: Mr. McGrath successfully moved to continue the hearing; foreclosure avoided.


If you are facing home foreclosure Charlotte NC or Mt Pleasant SC, seek assistance from McGrath & Spielberger today. Many homeowners do not know that foreclosures can often be avoided. Our attorneys are here to be your advocate through these tough times and will work to get you the best possible outcome.

Find related helpful resources on our website at
McGrathSpielberger.com/online-resources/helpful-resources/mortgage-loan-and-real-estate-related-resources/

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Arbitration Provisions: Law & Venue Video

Arbitration is sometimes referred to as ADR, which stands for alternative dispute resolution. Simply put, it is a legal procedure in which an unbiased third-party attempts to settle a dispute outside of court. In this two minute video, Attorney Jason A. McGrath of the McGrath & Spielberger law firm discusses the logistics of an arbitration proceeding.


Arbitration Provisions: Law & Venue

1.      Where is the arbitration to take place?
2.      What state's laws apply?

Make sure that the arbitration clause in your contract provides that the arbitration will take place in a specified geographical area (city, county, even state). You'll also want to have the arbitration clause specifically provide that the laws of a certain state will be applied.

Be careful to protect your interests when drafting the arbitration provisions in your contracts.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Business Contracts: What Should Yours Say Regarding Recovering Attorneys’ Fees in Case of Dispute? (Part 2)

As a business law attorney who handles business contract issues on the front end (business contract drafting, analyzing, etc.) and the back end (business law disputes), I’m always mindful how a legal agreement addresses the possibility of the “prevailing party” recovering attorneys’ fees and other legal type costs. This Part 2 addresses some of the factors and strategies which should be considered in deciding which option may be best for your situation. Part 1 addressed four (4) different ways to approach the costs and fees issue in a business to business contract.

calculating legal fees and cost
1.    The “prevailing party” in the business to business contract dispute can recover legal costs and fees, including attorneys’ fees. Why might – or might not – you want this in your company’s contracts?

One perspective is that the business more likely to sue would prefer that its business contracts specifically state the prevailing party can recover legal costs and fees. This potential outcome aligns with the likelihood of being the aggrieved party, or even just being the more legally aggressive party.

Another consideration is whether a party with lesser economic means is more able to obtain an attorney to work the case if recovering legal costs and fees is possible. The thoughts here are at least twofold: a) perhaps an attorney will take the case on contingency or at least partial contingency; and/or b) the party may be able to commit to paying for the case up front (non-contingency fee agreement with attorney) if the party believes that expenditure will be temporary and will be recovered, whereas the party wouldn’t or couldn’t justify the expense if recovering those legal costs and fees was impossible.

2.    Each party will bear its own legal costs and fees, including attorneys’ fees, regardless of who prevails in the business to business contract dispute. Why might – or might not – you want this in your company’s contracts?

The business less likely to sue may prefer that each contractual party bear its own legal costs and fees, so as to perhaps discourage litigation by another party.

The ‘smaller fish’ in a business to business contract may be concerned that the parties paying their own legal costs and fees, regardless of case outcome, may increase the chances of the ‘bigger fish’ using its presumably greater economic power to drown the smaller fish in litigation costs and fees. The thought here is that the smaller fish will give in more easily, as it knows it cannot recover legal costs and fees even if it prevails, and because it needs to stop the financial bleeding that a lawsuit has come to represent.

3.    A hybrid clause in a business to business contract which allows a prevailing party to recover legal costs and fees, including attorneys’ fees, in specified situations. Why might – or might not – you want this in your company’s contracts?

Let’s say that you generally like the concept of each business having to bear their own legal costs and fees, but there is a particular scenario which may reasonably occur, and if that is the scenario, then you want the prevailing party to be able to recover legal costs and fees from another party. A practical example might be a business which is a service provider and who doesn’t usually have legal disputes, but when it does, the disputes are most commonly that it has not been paid for its services. That company’s business to business contract might state that each party bears its own legal costs and fees, unless the dispute is regarding payments for services rendered, in which case the prevailing party may recover its legal costs and fees (and costs of collection), including attorneys’ fees, from the non-prevailing party.

Keep in mind that this is a much less “tried and true” (less common) option and might be more subject to challenge.

4.    Intentionally failing to address the issue of legal costs and fees in relation to a dispute between the parties in a business to business contract. Why might – or might not – you want this in your company’s contracts?

Failing to address this issue in a business to business contract doesn’t necessarily end up harming (or helping) one business vs. another – or at least that issue cannot be completely predicted and will vary from circumstance to circumstance. There are occasions in which a party (or the party’s attorney) may receive a contract from another party for consideration, note that it does not address this issue of legal costs / attorneys’ fees, and a conscious decision might be made not to interject that issue into the agreement or the contract negotiations.

The choice not to raise this topic might be to avoid dealing with a contentious issue, to not risk slowing down the negotiation process, and/or to not risk interfering with the actual joint work moving forward. Also, the smaller fish may be concerned that if this issue is raised, the other business may use its (probable) superior leverage to force an agreement on legal costs and fees to favor it, meaning perhaps better not to raise it at all.

If the contract between the businesses does not address this issue, then the default law on the award and recovery of legal costs and attorneys’ fees should apply.

Cautionary consideration. Please also note that the default laws and rules which apply to the recovery of legal costs and fees, including attorneys’ fees, can sometimes overrule contractual agreements on these issues. Even when that is possible, it’s obviously still better to customize your business law contract to suit your preferences.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Business Contracts: What Should Yours Say Regarding Recovering Attorneys’ Fees in Case of Dispute? (Part 1)

As a business law attorney who handles business contract issues on the front end (business contract drafting, analyzing, etc.) and the back end (business law disputes), I’m always mindful how a legal agreement addresses the possibility of the “prevailing party” recovering attorneys’ fees and other legal type costs. Below I list four (4) different options; the second part of this article will address some of the factors and strategies which should be considered in deciding which option may be best for your situation.

1.    The “prevailing party” in the business to business contract dispute can recover legal costs and fees, including attorneys’ fees. This concept is pretty straightforward. However, when put into actual practice, identifying the “prevailing party” can be complicated. Further, the costs and fees at issue have to be tied to the claim(s) that said party prevailed on. Even if you clearly “win” on Count 1 of the lawsuit, what if you lose on Count 2? It’s nearly impossible to clearly distinguish, in detail, exactly what time, costs, fees, were devoted to working on Count 1 vs. Count 2 throughout the course of a case.

2.    Each party will bear its own legal costs and fees, including attorneys’ fees, regardless of who prevails in the business to business contract dispute. This is the least complicated option. It also discourages lawsuits in many situations; more on that concept is covered in Part 2 of this article.

3.    A hybrid clause in a business to business contract which allows a prevailing party to recover legal costs and fees, including attorneys’ fees, in specified situations. I am not sure I’ve ever seen this outside of contracts that I / my firm have drafted or edited – I’m confident others have done this, I just haven’t seen it. Here is an example, shortened and simplified just for example purposes here in this article:
“In case of a legal dispute over this Agreement or its subject matter, each Party shall bear its own costs and fees, including but not limited to attorneys’ fees, except to the extent the dispute is over Company’s payments to Contractor for Contractor’s Services, in which case the prevailing Party may recover those costs and fees from the non-prevailing Party.”

4.    Intentionally failing to address the issue of legal costs and fees in relation to a dispute between the parties in a business to business contract. If a business contract fails to address the recovery of legal costs and fees, then that issue is typically governed exclusively by the default laws and rules which apply to that contract. These laws and rules are more nuanced than many realize, and this issue can get particularly complicated if the parties are not located in the same U.S. state.

business contract, contracts, corporate contract, business agreement, contract dispute
Please also note that the default laws and rules which apply to the recovery of legal costs and fees, including attorneys’ fees, can sometimes overrule contractual agreements on these issues. Even when that is possible, it’s obviously still better to customize your business law contract to suit your preferences.

These types of contractual clauses can apply to both formal lawsuits and to arbitrations. However, the contract lawyer writing or editing the agreement should be careful to use language precisely, such that the intent is clear and covers both formal lawsuits and alternative dispute resolutions such as via arbitration. With arbitrations in particular, close attention should be paid to the issue of the cost of the arbitrator and items such as securing space for the arbitration hearing versus the costs and fees that each party incurs for actual work performed and advancing or defending the claims.

Monday, July 24, 2017

North Carolina – A tax friendly place to live and work

North Carolina, NC, Smoky Mountains National Park
          If you live in North Carolina (or you’re looking to move here), then a bill recently passed into law by the N.C. Legislature might give you some relief from taxes. The bill was vetoed by Governor Roy Cooper, but the Legislature overrode his veto to pass the bill on June 28, 2017. The new law makes three beneficial changes to the State’s current tax code that you will want to be aware of as a resident (or soon to be resident) of North Carolina. These three changes will become effective as of January 1, 2019, except for the corporate income tax rate as stated below. The bill also set forth a budget plan and created an incentive program to bring new jobs to North Carolina.

(1)    Personal Income Tax Rate   

The personal income tax rate will drop to 5.25% for a taxpayer’s North Carolina taxable income. The 2017 personal income tax rate is 5.499%.

(2) Corporate Income Tax Rate

The corporate income tax rate will drop to 3% for every C corporation doing business in the State, effective as of January 1, 2017. The corporate income tax rate will drop even further to 2.5% for taxable years beginning January 1, 2019. The current corporate income tax rate is 4%.

North Carolina corporate tax rate, new business, income tax, business tax rates, personal tax rates
New corporate tax rates may bring about a spring of new business in North Carolina.

(3)    Standard Deduction Increased   

Additionally, each filing status will see an increase in the standard deduction.
  • Married, filing jointly/surviving spouse    $20,000 (currently $17,500)
  • Head of Household                                    $15,000 (currently $14,000)
  • Single                                                         $10,000 (currently $8,750)
  • Married, filing separately                          $10,000 (currently $8,750)

Kelly J. Brown is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, South Carolina, and U.S. Tax Court. Her areas of practice include business law, tax, real estate, and mortgage disputes. She also uses her Master’s in Tax Law and Master’s in Business Administration to assist her clients.

For more information on Attorney Kelly J. Brown, or the other business & contract lawyers at McGrath and Spielberger, PLLC, please visit McGrathSpielberger.com.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Does an Airline have the Right to Kick Overweight Passengers out of Exit Rows?

The answer, generally, is yes. Within certain parameters, individual airlines have the right to design their own rules with regard to passenger safety and fairness. Interestingly, one of the most successful airlines in American history - Southwest Airlines - is also one of the most controversial in this area. It, as well as AirTran and Alaska Airways, now have policies which ban the largest passengers from sitting in exit rows. Passengers on Southwest flights in recent weeks needing seat belt extenders have been told they are not qualified to sit in exit row seats. Since Southwest does not have assigned seating, it doesn't know who is going to sit - or attempt to sit - in exit rows on its flights until the passengers are already on board.

As many of you know, the minimum requirements for sitting in an exit row, per Federal Aviation Administration regulation, are:

1)    to be at least 15 years old;

2)    to be able to follow directions[1]; and

3)    to be capable of opening the door, including lifting up to 50 pounds.

These are minimum requirements, and airlines have the right to add their own additional - and presumably reasonable - requirements. Southwest is now enforcing a policy that prevents passengers who need seat belt extenders from sitting in exit rows, with the justification being that seat belts with extenders attached reach down to and across the floor, creating a tripping hazard for persons attempting to exit the airplane in an emergency. (Although not mentioned by Southwest in its public statement, it's also easy to envision an unfastened end of a seat belt extender flying back and forth through the air if a plane is in trouble, easily injuring or even disabling someone attempting to pass through the exit row and out of the plane.) 

In 2009, the Society of Aerospace Engineers (many of its members are experts on aviation safety) authored a position paper which concluded that exit row seating requirements and regulations are not strict enough. It pointed out that, based on studying past airline disasters, an exit row obstacle causing mere seconds of delay could mean the difference between life and death.

==================

I am not obese, and have never been, and thus cannot credibly put myself in the place of those passengers needing seat belt extenders.  However, for years I traveled frequently all over the United States, often sitting in exit rows, and often on flights in or out of south Florida. As such, I'd often look at the partially disabled senior citizens sitting right next to the exit door and wonder how in the world such a physically weakened individual was allowed to sit there.  In fact, on more than one occasion, I actually had very brief conversations with other able-bodied passengers nearby, wherein we agreed that, in case of emergency, I would handle one of the doors and they the other, as clearly the passengers closest to the doors were going to be a hindrance and not a help.


The bottom line, to me, is that safety is paramount. If there is even a small chance that a reasonable change in exit row seating requirements will make my loved ones safer as they fly the not-always-so-friendly-skies, I approve of that change. An exit row seat is not a right, it's a duty.


[1] Following directions on a US flight typically includes being able to understand and speak English.  This is why good flight attendants, before take off, ensure that each exit row passenger verbally responds in English when agreeing to perform duties required of exit row passengers.

Learn about McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC by visiting http://mcgrathspielberger.com/
 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Arbitration: setting the rules and identifying which arbitration organization will be used

When it comes time to go to arbitration for commercial disputes, there can be a whole lot of questions that need answering. Those primary questions usually extend to which organization will conduct the arbitration and which rules will be used. It is important to understand these issues before including this in an arbitration agreement and before moving forward toward arbitration.

One of the most essential components of this process is the arbitration clause in your contract. This is where the name of the arbitration organization can be included and there is also the option to include a set of arbitration rules. Doing so will help to speed up the process and avoid additional legal fees arguing about such things later.

arbitration, business arbitration, commercial arbitration, arbitration law, arbitration Charlotte NC, arbitration Mt Pleasant SC, arbitration lawyer, legal settlement, business, business dispute, commercial dispute, business law, contract law, business lawyer Charlotte NC, business lawyer Mt Pleasant SC, business lawyer, business settlement
Setting rules may be the most integral part of arbitration as it establishes the guidelines that will be used. Many arbitration hearings use rules set forth by the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The AAA has a set of streamlined rules for business cases, which are commonly used. It is important to note that not all contracts include AAA or similar rules. In arbitration proceedings that do not specify AAA or similar rules, there can be uncertainty regarding the process. Individuals could find themselves bound by rules that they may not be comfortable with. That is why setting rules in an arbitration clause is extremely beneficial.

On the other hand, there is less flexibility when arbitration clauses are overly specific. So it may be better to leave room in your business contracts, which can demand a bit of a balancing act. When there are discrepancies regarding rules or the arbitration organization, the process of ironing out those details can take up lots of time and money.

Which arbitration organization you choose is an important component to consider. Some arbitration organizations have track records of ruling in favor of certain clients, which could make for an uphill and seemingly unfair battle.

Overall, it’s simply better to cut down on possible disagreements about the logistics or arbitration; reducing the issues to argue over will save time and money. Establishing the rules and the arbitration organization, business lawyer, well before an arbitration is ever needed is advantageous and recommended.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Necessary Knowledge: March Edition

March


McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC publishes a newsletter periodically where we share relevant blog posts and firm news. Our latest newsletter was published recently at no cost to subscribers. The March newsletter was all about our business clients and featured helpful articles by our partners Jason McGrath and James Spielberger.



Your New LLC: Maintaining Your Limited Liability Protection is part of a continuing series of articles by Attorney James Spielberger to assist you with your LLC needs. This series of blog posts is all about your New LLC and some tips for managing it's legal needs.

The Number One Problem for Small Limited Liability Companies is a blog post by Attorney Jason McGrath that sheds light on a common business problem often encountered in our practice and how you can protect your small business.

Why Does Your Corporation or Limited Liability Company need a Registered Agent?  is  a video blog by Attorney Jason McGrath.  You can find more video blogs on Contract Law and Arbitration on our website.

You can become a subscriber before our next newsletter publishes - it's free!



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Friday, March 31, 2017

Recently engaged? 5 reasons why you should consider a prenup

As most of my friends are getting married or are recently married (myself included), I frequently get asked why anyone would want a prenuptial agreement. Prenups can get a bad reputation because many people assume signing a prenup means you are preparing for divorce in the future. However, this is NOT necessarily the case! There are many reasons (other than divorce) that future spouses may want to sign a prenup before getting married.


Here are my top 5 reasons for signing a prenup.


  • A prenup promotes communication between future spouses so they are fully aware of the other’s financial situation and other issues prior to marriage. In North Carolina and South Carolina, each party must voluntarily provide a full and fair financial disclosure about his or her property and financial obligations (unless waived in writing).
  • A prenup can establish how property matters will be handled in the future. If you are a person who has substantial individual or family assets, a prenuptial agreement may be a great way to specify how debt and other financial issues will be handled during the marriage.
  • A prenup can determine the rights and obligations of each party with regard to the right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, or otherwise dispose of, control, or manage certain property. In North Carolina and South Carolina, property obtained during the marriage is generally treated as marital or joint property, but a prenup can change the general rule for property acquired during the marriage.
  • A prenup can protect a person that has a professional practice or other service business. For all the entrepreneurs out there, this is a great way to protect your hard work, while still being able to provide for your new family.
  • A prenup can be viewed as a proactive dispute resolution system, as it can simplify the divorce process. A prenup may reduce the chance of litigation upon divorce and, in addition, reduce those litigation costs. This may be beneficial for a party that is entering into a second marriage or those who have children from previous relationships.


Contact us today to get started on your prenuptial agreement.


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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Arbitration Fees - How Much do Arbitrators Cost?

Business law Attorney Jason McGrath shares some information about how much you should expect to pay in fees to an Arbitrator in this short video.

https://youtu.be/_mJseLaXzM0


Here are some of the key points contained in this informational video:

  • Arbitrators typically charge fees similar to what lawyers charge.
  • Does the Arbitrator require a minimum amount when the arbitration is scheduled? This may be called a cancellation fee or a retainer fee. The arbitrator may require this to offset a loss if the arbitration cancels.
  • Arbitrators can sometimes be bargained with to lower fees but normally these are set fees.
  • Arbitration fees (which are mostly made up of the Arbitrator’s fees) are often split evenly between the parties, but this can be altered by contract, law, or court order.

You should get advice from an attorney to assist in handling litigation issues like arbitration.

This is part of a continuing series of video blogs on contract law and arbitration - you can find the first part of this series on our blog or on our YouTube Channel.

If you need legal services in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, or Tennessee we invite you to fill out our confidential client form for possible legal assistance.



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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Substitute Trustee Services Inc. - Foreclosure Hearing Result

Substitute

The following is a summary of a foreclosure hearing  that McGrath & Spielberger assisted a borrower with, and is provided for informational purposes only. Each case, each client, each situation is different, and each matter may have a different outcome.

Mortgage Loan Servicer / Foreclosing Bank: RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation

Prosecuting Trustee / Law Firm: Substitute Trustee Services, Inc. and Hutchens Law Firm

Property Location: Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

Property Type: Primary residence

Borrower’s Attorney: Jason A. McGrath, Esq.

Hearing Date: December 2016

Actions Taken by McGrath & Spielberger on Behalf of Client in Relation to the Foreclosure Hearing: Mr. McGrath attended the foreclosure hearing with the client and argued a Motion to Continue to the court in order to help client avoid foreclosure.

Foreclosure Hearing Outcome: Mr. McGrath successfully moved to continue the hearing; foreclosure avoided.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Foreclosure Hearing Result - Embrace Home Loans

embrace

The following is a summary of a foreclosure hearing  that McGrath & Spielberger assisted a borrower with, and is provided for informational purposes only. Each case, each client, each situation is different, and each matter may have a different outcome.

Mortgage Loan Servicer / Foreclosing Bank: Embrace Home Loans, Inc. c/o RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation

Prosecuting Trustee / Law Firm: Substitute Trustee Services, Inc. and Hutchens Law Firm

Property Location: McDowell County, North Carolina

Property Type: Primary residence

Borrower’s Attorney: Jason A. McGrath, Esq.

Hearing Date: December 2016

Actions Taken by McGrath & Spielberger on Behalf of Client in Relation to the Foreclosure Hearing: Mr. McGrath attended the foreclosure hearing with the client and argued a Motion to Continue to the court in order to help client avoid foreclosure.

Foreclosure Hearing Outcome: Mr. McGrath successfully moved to continue the hearing; foreclosure avoided.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Newsletter: February Edition


NECESSARY KNOWLEDGE: FEBRUARY EDITION

McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC publishes a newsletter periodically where we share relevant blog posts and firm news. Our latest newsletter was published recently at no cost to subscribers. The February newsletter was all about our business clients and featured helpful articles by our partners Jason McGrath and James Spielberger.

Moving Your LLC To Another State is part five of a continuing series of articles by Attorney James Spielberger to assist you with your LLC needs. This series of blog posts is all about your New LLC and some tips for managing it's legal needs.

Arbitration Provisions in Business Contracts is part of a continuing educational series of video blogs by Attorney Jason McGrath. You can find more video blogs on Contract Law and Arbitration on our website.







Monday, February 27, 2017

Where Does an Arbitration Physically Take Place?

Attorney Jason McGrath shares some information about where you can expect an arbitration proceeding to physically take place in this short video.


Here are some of the key points contained in this informational video:

Understand the practical logistics of an arbitration that may arise from a dispute about your business contract.

Where will the arbitration physically take place? What city or county? An attorney’s office? The courthouse? City hall?

  • As far as city or county, arbitration often takes place where a related lawsuit would be (or is) taking place.
  • Some arbitration agreements will dictate what city or county the arbitration must occur in.
  • Arbitration can usually occur anywhere that the parties agree.
  • The arbitration hearing could take place at a private law office or the arbitrator’s office.
  • Arbitration doesn't usually occur in the courthouse.

Occasionally a court will enter an order as to the logistical specifics of arbitration, such as the hearing location.

You should get advice from an attorney to assist in handling litigation issues like arbitration.

If you need legal services in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, or Tennessee we invite you to fill out our confidential client form for possible legal assistance.


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Monday, February 20, 2017

Red Bridges



Oftentimes I have to go to court in other counties for motions, petitions, and even trials. Most of the time, I end up in Gaston, Buncombe, Guilford, Forsyth, and Wake Counties. But my latest adventure took me to a place I haven’t seen in a long time: Cleveland County. Cleveland County—County Seat Shelby—is located just at the precipice of the rolling Piedmont foothills in southwestern North Carolina.

On this particular occasion, I had to argue a Lienholder’s Petition in Superior Court. In Lienholder’s Petitions, I represent banks and other lenders in obtaining court orders that release cars that have been seized in DWIs and other arrests. If the Defendant/Owner is in default on the loan, the court can release the car, which is collateral for the loan, back to the lender.

But when you’re in Shelby, it’s what happens after court that ends up being really special: Red Bridges Barbecue. Situated along I-74 (aka Dixon Blvd.), Red Bridges has been and remains a staple eatery not just in Shelby, but in North Carolina since 1946. And if the site Thrillist is to be believed, America as well. As in the best barbecue in the United States, with 80,000 votes to back it up.

According to Bridges website, the business started in 1946, when Red and Lyttle Bridges opened the restaurant under the name Dedmond’s, making pit-cooked Lexington-style barbecue for Shelby folks. The rest is history, but of note Red and Lyttle’s daughter, Debbie, runs the business along with her two children to this day.

Bridges looks much like did back in the day. There’s nothing fancy, no music, no funky d├ęcor, just an honest ‘cue house that has all you need: knock it outta the park pulled pork pit barbecue. Order the jumbo plate, because you’ll want to keep tasting it. Bridges’s red barbecue sauce is a sweet, savory, and tangy delight, but the meat can stand on its own without sauce.

The sides abide as well. Bridges’s barbecue slaw is a tangy blend of cabbage, vinegar, and red sauce (I think). I rank it up there with my other favorite vinegar and oil slaw—from Primanti Bros. The hush puppies are fried up so they’re nice and crispy on the outside, and are great dipped in the red sauce or mustard.

So the next time you’re in Shelby, stop by Red Bridges Barbecue to experience a legend. It’s right off of I-74 and is almost impossible to miss. You don’t even have to be in Shelby on other business; going there specifically for Bridges is as noble and worthy a pursuit as anything else.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Arbitration Agreement: How to Get to Arbitration if A Lawsuit Was Filed First

Attorney Jason McGrath shares some items to consider when your contract has an arbitration provision but the other party has already filed a formal lawsuit in the court system in this short video.

https://youtu.be/J23FU7EDFB0


Here are some of the key points contained in the video:

What do you do if the other party has already filed a formal lawsuit in the court system?
  1. You go to the other side and point out that there is an arbitration clause in the contract and demand it be honored.
  2. If the other side refuses to halt the lawsuit and go to arbitration, you file a motion asking the court to dismiss or stay the lawsuit and order arbitration.
  3. This type of a motion needs to be filed before the case goes to far in the formal court system.
  4. If the court believes the arbitration clause to be valid, it will typically order arbitration and halt the lawsuit in the meantime.
  5. More often than not, arbitration clauses are enforced by courts.

You should get advice from an attorney to assist in handling litigation issues like arbitration.

If you need legal services in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, or Tennessee we invite you to fill out our confidential client form for possible legal assistance.



Thursday, February 2, 2017

Foreclosure Hearing Outcome - Trustee Services

Trustee Services

The following is a summary of a foreclosure hearing that McGrath & Spielberger assisted a borrower with, and is provided for informational purposes only. Each case, each client, each situation is different, and each matter may have a different outcome.



Mortgage Loan Servicer / Foreclosing Bank: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Prosecuting Trustee / Law Firm: Trustee Services of Carolina, LLC and Brock & Scott, PLLC

Property Location: Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

Property Type: Primary residence

Borrower’s Attorney: Jason A. McGrath, Esq.

Hearing Date: August 2015

Actions Taken by McGrath & Spielberger on Behalf of Client in Relation to the Foreclosure Hearing: Mr. McGrath attended the foreclosure hearing with the client and argued a Motion to Continue to the court in order to help client avoid foreclosure.

Foreclosure Hearing Outcome: Mr. McGrath successfully moved to continue the hearing; foreclosure avoided.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

“Your New LLC” – Part 5: Moving Your LLC to Another State

So you started your LLC in one state, and it becomes successful, but you then decide to move to a new state for family or other reasons. Now what? Well, you have a few options that will enable you to continue on with your business – some of which may result in only minimal hardships and/or expenditures. Because all of the options discussed below need to be analyzed based on your specific circumstances and involve multiple state’s laws, you are strongly encouraged to seek legal advice from a business law attorney in both your current/old state and your new state. This can make a law firm that has attorneys licensed in multiple states, such as McGrath & Spielberger, with attorneys licensed in FL, GA, NC, OH, SC and TN and attorney connections in most other states, a very valuable resource.

  1. Maintain Your Current LLC in its Original State and Register it in Your New State. As discussed in Part 4 of our series on limited liability companies, when you transact business in a state other than the one where your LLC was formed, you typically need to register your LLC in the new state (often called filing for a Certificate of Authority or Foreign Qualification). Well, this “registration” can be used in the new state even if it becomes your home state, but the original state where you formed your LLC will remain the “home state” for your LLC. This is usually completely fine from a legal standpoint and is quite common. However, there are a few downsides to this approach. You will likely need to pay annual LLC fees in the LLC’s home state as well as in your new home state. You will also likely need to continue to pay for a registered agent and registered office in the LLC’s home state. These may be unnecessary expenditures if you no longer have any ties to the LLC’s home state and/or you simply want to have your LLC’s home state be the same as your new home state. The below options may alleviate these issues in many cases.
  1. Form a New LLC in Your New State and Dissolve Your Current LLC. Another option is to form a new LLC in your new state and dissolve the LLC in your old state. This can be accomplished with one LLC formation filing fee and, usually, one small LLC dissolution fee, which will eliminate the need for the ongoing expenses in your old state that may result if you went with option 1. However, when you form a new LLC you are considered a new business entity which is separate and distinct from your original LLC – even if your new LLC has the same name as your current LLC. This means you will need a new Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), new bank accounts, etc. You may also lose any corporate credit or   history and will likely need to transfer all assets, including contracts, permits, license, trademarks, etc. to the new LLC. This can be problematic for a company that has been in business for a while and has a lot of existing contracts, loans, clients and employees. But this “clean start” option may very well be a viable alternative for a newer or very lean business.
  1. Domesticate Your Current LLC into Your New State.  Some states will allow you to convert or transform your LLC formed in another state into an LLC in their state. This process, called domestication, allows the LLC to move to a new state (and become an LLC under the new state’s laws) and maintain its corporate history, credit, EIN, contracts, etc. It essentially means that it is the same LLC but just considered to exist under the new state’s laws. While this is seemingly the best option in most cases, the problem is that many state’s laws do not yet allow for domestication of an LLC. For example, in South Carolina a corporation can domesticate into South Carolina from another state, but an LLC currently cannot. However, if the end-result of domestication appears to be the best result for your situation but domestication is not available, then it may make sense to consider the next option – an LLC merger.
  1. Merge Your Current LLC into a New LLC formed in Your New State. While this option may be the most complex from a legal standpoint, if done properly the results may be very similar to those of domestication – you can often remain as the same business with the same EIN, corporate history, contracts, etc. even though you are technically forming a new LLC. The process, although it is simplified here, is to form a new LLC in your new state and then merge your current LLC into the new LLC. The new LLC basically consumes the current LLC and the new LLC can, in many cases, continue on with the business of the current LLC without any disruptions or the need for any asset transfers, etc. The complexities of this option arise in determining what needs to be done to successfully accomplish the merger in both involved states. Depending on the states involved, Articles of Merger, Articles of Dissolution or Termination, or similar forms may need to be filed in one or both states. Custom merger documents may even need to be drafted in some cases, so please discuss your situation with an attorney(s) before proceeding.



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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Decision On An Arbitration Provision In A Contract

Attorney Jason McGrath some items to consider when deciding to include an arbitration provision in a contract matter in this short video.

https://youtu.be/rOPNhRSSLVE


Here are some of the key points contained in the video:

  • Arbitration: do you prefer arbitration or a formal court case if there is a dispute?

  • The intent of an arbitration provision in a contract is to avoid a formal court case.

  • Arbitration provisions are, in general, enforceable and typically will be binding in the same way that a civil court judgment can be enforced.

  • There are ways to appeal an arbitration decision but they are limited.

  • Arbitration is usually less expensive than a formal court case.

You should talk to an attorney for advice when considering including an arbitration provision to your business contract.

If you need legal services in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, or Tennessee we invite you to fill out our confidential client form for possible legal assistance.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Necessary Knowledge: January Edition



McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC publishes a newsletter periodically where we share relevant blog posts and firm news. Our latest newsletter was published recently at no cost to subscribers. The January newsletter was all about our partners Jason McGrath and James Spielberger.

In order to introduce them to you all we showcased a bit of personal information about them both in January. They also contribute a lot of knowledge on our bog. You can find a list of Jason's blog posts and Jim's blog posts on our website.

Jim is currently writing a series of blog posts about your New LLC and some tips for managing it's legal needs. Jason is currently doing a series of video blogs on Contract Law and Arbitration.

You can become a subscriber before our next newsletter publishes - it's free!



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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cleveland County North Carolina Lender Petition Hearing

cleveland

Lienholder's / Lender Petition Hearing to Obtain Vehicle



The following is a summary of a leinholder's petition hearing to obtain a vehicle seized by police that McGrath & Spielberger assisted a lender with, and is provided for informational purposes only. Each case, each client, each situation is different, and each matter may have a different outcome.

Lender/Lienholder Bank: CarFinance Capital, LLC

Prosecuting Agency: Cleveland County District Attorney

Property Location: Shelby, Cleveland County, North Carolina

Property Type: Vehicle, 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage

Lienholder’s Attorney: Lee A. Peindl, Esq.

Hearing Date: December 8, 2016

Actions Taken by McGrath & Spielberger on Behalf of Client in Relation to the Lienholder’s Petition Hearing:  Mr. Peindl attended the hearing on behalf of the client and argued a Petition to Return Seized Vehicle to the court in order to return the collateral to the lender client.

Hearing Outcome: Mr. Peindl successfully obtained a certified Order to return the seized vehicle to the Lender/Lienholder. After which, Mr. Peindl ate some of the state’s finest barbecue at Red Bridges in Shelby.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Foreclosure Hearing - June - Wells Fargo Bank - Charlotte, NC

June

The following is a summary of a foreclosure hearing that McGrath & Spielberger assisted a borrower with, and is provided for informational purposes only. Each case, each client, each situation is different, and each matter may have a different outcome.



Mortgage Loan Servicer / Foreclosing Bank: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Prosecuting Trustee / Law Firm: Trustee Services of Carolina, LLC and Brock & Scott, PLLC

Property Location: Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

Property Type: Primary residence

Borrower’s Attorney: Jason A. McGrath, Esq.

Hearing Date: June 2015

Actions Taken by McGrath & Spielberger on Behalf of Client in Relation to the Foreclosure Hearing: Mr. McGrath attended the foreclosure hearing with the client and argued a Motion to Continue to the court in order to help client avoid foreclosure.

Foreclosure Hearing Outcome: Mr. McGrath successfully moved to continue the hearing; foreclosure avoided.
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Monday, January 2, 2017

Necessary Knowledge: December Edition



McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC publishes a newsletter periodically where we share relevant blog posts and firm news. Our latest newsletter was published recently at no cost to subscribers. Here's a list of what we included in the latest installment of our "Necessary Knowledge" as a free service to our clients and subscribers.

How Do You Expand Your Company into North Carolina from Another State? by Jason McGrath, Esq.

Your New LLC: Transacting Business In Another State by James Spielberger, Esq.

How Do You Choose The Arbitrator in an Arbitration? by Jason McGrath, Esq.

You can become a subscriber before our next newsletter publishes - it's free!



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