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Austin Business And Probate Law Blog

Supplier sues Dick's Sporting Goods for breach of contract

Dick's Sporting Goods, a national retail chain with outlets in Texas, is the target of a new federal lawsuit filed by Battle Born Munitions Inc. The munitions company claims in court filings that Dick's failed to accept orders of custom branded goods and meet payment deadlines. The delays allegedly violated the supply contract and cost Battle Born Munitions millions of dollars.

The contract at the heart of the dispute stated that Battle Born Munitions would customize large quantities of ammunition with Dick's brand name and packaging. The retail chain agreed to accept delivery of the custom goods by November 16, 2016. The plaintiff goes on to accuse the retailer of fraud because the company allegedly knew when it executed the contract that it would not meet deadlines.

Stages of mergers and acquisitions

Companies in Texas can use mergers and acquisitions to improve their shareholder value and generate long-term profits. However, executing mergers and acquisitions entail navigating complex agreements and deals that that can cause organizational difficulties. In order to overcome these challenges and generate value, it will be necessary for the integration of the two companies to be executed in a manner that generates organizational efficiencies and eases the way for business to be conducted with trading partners. In order to ensure success, companies that are taking part in mergers and acquisitions often consult with merger and acquisition professionals or with technology partners who have specific experience with these types of business transactions.

There are four stages in the merger and acquisition process, including due diligence, agreement, integration and the attainment of value. Even though the process can be broken down into these four stages, it is very important for companies to realize that each phase has its own opportunities and difficulties, even as all four stages are interconnected.

Woman ordered to pay back over $1 million in probate case

Many people in Texas expect to inherit money from their families at some point. In Milwaukee, a family sued in probate court over a $1.6 million inheritance that had been left to the financial adviser of a deceased millionaire. The family was awarded most of the inheritance in a settlement, leaving the financial adviser with only about $150,000, enough to cover her court costs and attorney fees.

The man died at age 92 of dementia. He developed a friendship with his financial adviser during his final years and had little contact with relatives. She soon became his power of attorney and the sole beneficiary of two annuities and executor and sole beneficiary of his estate.

Benefits of a prenuptial agreement: Take these into consideration

As an engaged couple, you have many big decisions to make about the future. While you focus a good portion of your time on your upcoming wedding, you should look past that. When doing so, you may come to realize that a prenuptial agreement is in your best interest.

Even though you may understand the benefits of a prenuptial agreement, it doesn't mean your soon to be spouse has the same knowledge and feelings. In fact, this person may look down on a prenuptial agreement, thus putting you in a difficult spot.

Making the most from a corporate merger

Without a strong integration strategy, it can be harder for Texas companies to get maximum value from an acquisition. Ideally, a company will have a plan for the first 100 days after it acquires another business to increase its value. Without such a plan, the deal could be hampered by unnecessary delays and other problems. When executed properly, an acquisition plan allows for relationships to be created and metrics to be implemented.

While the plan for the first 100 days should be clear and thorough, it should also be flexible. It isn't uncommon for an acquirer to learn more about the target during the due diligence process. This could result in new opportunities to make money or problems that weren't anticipated prior to the merger taking place. The plan should consider what value the acquired business provides as well as the market conditions it faces.

Heaven Hill sues Bob Dylan's whiskey company

Intellectual property in Texas is protected by federal law. Heaven Hill, a Kentucky-based whiskey maker, is suing Bob Dylan's whiskey company over allegations of trademark infringement.

The lawsuit alleges that the mark used by Heaven Hill is so similar to one used by Heaven's Door whiskey that the similarity could cause confusion among consumers. Heaven's Door is a reference to Bob Dylan's song titled "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."

Resolving disputes when a business dissolves

Business owners in Texas may want to bring an end to their enterprise for a number of reasons. Whether the company has been a great success and it is time for retirement or a particular venture did not thrive as expected, it is important for an entrepreneur to be certain that everything about the company is dealt with properly. If you are thinking about ending your involvement in a business, it can be important to understand the next steps.

Some business transitions may happen when business partners have different visions for the future of a project and one partner decides to move on separately. In other cases, an individual wants to transfer ownership as they plan their own future in retirement after a sale. In either case, there are a range of legal and financial requirements that can accompany this type of change. Business owners may want to work with a lawyer in order to protect their interests and achieve an efficient solution.

Photographer's copyright upheld in Marilyn Monroe photos

Marilyn Monroe fans throughout Texas may be interested to learn that the copyright protection of a photographer, Bert Stern, was recently upheld for a number of famous photos of Monroe. One federal district court judge ruled that a trust for the photographer's heirs rightfully holds the copyrights for 2,571 photos taken by Stern in June 1962. Taken weeks before the star's death, they are widely esteemed as some of the most iconic celebrity photographs of the period.

The photographer's trust filed suit against twin sisters who had served as Stern's assistant before he died. The trustee, Stern's widow, alleged that the two had violated the photographer's copyright by selling prints and modified versions of some of the photos on the internet. The sisters claimed that Conde Nast, the publishers of the photos in Vogue magazine, was the real copyright holder for the images and that the trust did not have standing. They also filed separately to allege that the widow refused to provide them with a bequest given them by Stern, and they claimed the photographer had given them permission for the online sales while he was alive.

3 things to know about professional negligence claims

Owning a business in Austin, like any other area, comes with a certain amount of risk. For instance, imagine you saved money for years to start your own accounting practice. The first few years of owning your own practice may be hard and require long hours with little profit. The risk you took by investing most of your savings may seem like it might not pay off. However, after a few more years, your business is thriving and you have even had to expand your office to accommodate additional staff. You might begin to feel more secure and that risks and threats to your practice are almost non-existent.

Unfortunately, one threat that will remain for the entire time you operate your business is a professional negligence lawsuit. These types of lawsuits are becoming more commonplace across Texas as well as the rest of the country. If you own a business, here is what you should know about professional negligence claims.

Litigation of intellectual property and trade secrets increases

As information has become easier to share in the digital age, protecting trade secrets through litigation has become a more popular tool for a variety of companies. Due to the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, or DTSA, many of these cases have gone from Texas to federal jurisdiction, making the stakes even higher. DTSA disputes can involve everything from patent violations to misappropriation of trade secrets. More than a thousand cases have been filed since the law passed in 2016.

Two sectors using DTSA the most are healthcare and life science. Some of the biggest companies in these industries, including well-known pharmaceutical firms and medical device businesses, have filed major lawsuits in federal court. Representatives from some of these companies have claimed that many of these cases are the result of ex-employees stealing information and passing it on to competitors.

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