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Shannon L. Carney
Attorney

No one wants to think about death and dying, and making a will is probably the last thing on your list of things-to-do.  However, a will is necessary to ensure the well-being of your family.  If you die without a will, the laws of the state will dictate how your assets are divided.  Don’t let the state of Kentucky decide who is important to you.  Everyone should have a will.  However, there are certain events that make a will even more important, such as:  marriage or divorce, having children, buying a house, starting or owning a business, and serious illness. Don’t wait to get your estate in order because there is such a thing as “too late”.  
 
 
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Nolia G. Batey
Attorney

Are you a small business?  Do you utilize social media in your marketing efforts?  If not, you’re potentially missing out on some free marketing.  Our law firm utilizes a number of social media outlets, including Pinterest.  We don’t run many contests or sweepstakes, but we know that many of our small business clients do.  We thought our small business readers might be interested to know that Pinterest recently updated its Acceptable Use Policy for businesses running contests and/or sweepstakes.

What’s New?

Pinterest now encourages your business to “…encourage authentic behavior, keep Pinterest spam-free and be sure to comply with all relevant laws and regulations.”  Unlike the previous policy, now just three rules apply:

1)      Don’t require anyone to Pin a specific image, but you can give your Pinners the option to select from a group of Pins you provide or even from a certain website;
2)      Don’t allow more than one entry per Pinner;
3)      Don’t suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses the promotion.

We know all about the value of social media marketing here at Batey Law Office.  Contact us at (502) 509-9407 to learn more about how we can help you navigate intellectual property law and social media marketing. 
 
  

 
 
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Nolia G. Batey
Attorney at Law

OSHA’s Zika Guidance for Employers with Outdoor Workers

Today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued interim guidance for outdoor workers.   If you employee outdoor workers, check out the following snapshot of OSHA's guidance on preventing exposure to the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

  • Inform workers of their risks of exposure.
  • Provide workers insect repellants and encourage their use.  
  • Provide workers with clothing that covers their hands, arms, legs, and encourage them to wear the clothing. 
  • Consider providing your outdoor workers with hats that have mosquito netting that covers the neck and face.
  • Eliminate sources of standing water which are considered mosquito breeding areas.  Train workers to recognize the importance of eliminating these breeding areas.
  • Consider reassigning indoor tasks to any female worker who indicates she is pregnant or may become pregnant.  Do the same for any male worker who is partnered with someone who is pregnant or may become pregnant.
  • Advise workers to seek prompt medical treatment if infection symptoms develop.


You can read the full announcement here.


 
 
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Nolia G. Batey
Attorney at Law

I admit that I've been known to catch a few Pidgeys and Rattatas with Niantic's new app, but I have often wondered about some of the potential legal issues.  Not surprising, the popular game has already attracted litigation.    In a recently filed class action, the Plaintiff alleges that a number of the Pokémon Gyms and Pokéstops are directly adjacent to private property, and that Defendants placed the Pokéstops and Pokémon Gyms in those locations without consent of the owners.  The legal claims are nuisance and unjust enrichment, but the complaint lacks any real specificity re damages. 

As a player, I don't know that I've actually felt "...encoura[ged]... to make incursions" onto private property as the complaint alleges. 


 
 
Nolia G. Batey
Attorney at Law
Kentucky’s new expungement law takes effect today, July 15, 2016.  Kentuckians convicted of certain Class D felonies can now potentially have their records expunged.  Batey Law Office, PLLC has successfully expunged misdemeanors for clients prior to the effect of House Bill 40.  However, this new law expands the scope of expungements to Class D felonies and streamlines the administrative and judicial processes. 

While the law does make it easier to get a felony record expunged, legal counsel is still sometimes necessary.  Unfortunately the Administrative Office of the Courts and its employees cannot provide legal advice or assistance regarding felony expungements.  But our firm can and does. Call 502-509-9407 today for a free consultation.
 
 
Caleb Batey
Paralegal
A former owner of MCC Construction Company has pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct a government proceeding before the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) (Source: Justice.gov Press Release). In addition to a likely 10-16 month prison sentence, the former owner has agreed to pay restitution of $165,711. The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice investigated and determined that MCC Construction Company had unlawfully bid for federal contracts intended for small businesses.  The DOJ maintains that it will aggressively investigate those who profit by fraudulently competing for contracts meant for small businesses.

The multi-agency investigation revealed criminal conduct by MCC Construction Company conspiring with two other companies that were eligible for the contracts, with the understanding that the work would be passed on to MCC. As a result, MCC won 27 government contracts intended for small and disadvantaged businesses totaling approximately $70 million dollars.  A status hearing is scheduled September 20, 2016, and will be presided over by the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  As part of his plea deal, Harper waived a federal indictment that would have required a statutory minimum of 5 years in prison. MCC itself has already agreed to pay $1,769,924 in criminal penalties and forfeiture.


There already exists opportunities for large corporations to bid on federal contracts. It’s just that MCC opted to dip into the types of contracts reserved for small and disadvantaged businesses, and many lost opportunities to participate. Bidding for these particular contracts requires certain conditions to be met. MCC tried to skirt around these conditions by using smaller businesses to win the contracts. The scheme failed, thanks to the investigative efforts by the aforementioned agencies.

Here at BATEY LAW OFFICE, PLLC, we counsel large and small businesses on regulatory compliance.  Navigating laws in heavily-regulated industries can be tricky for the layperson.  We also provide counseling services to businesses here in Kentucky involving all types of disputes with bids and contracts. While not every situation leads to reversals and revisions, a competent business attorney can review the circumstances to determine what can be done. If you find yourself in need of a business attorney, then reach out to us today and
let us know how we can serve you.

 

The Business Plan

06/03/2016

 
Nolia G. Batey
Attorney at Law
After starting up your business, the next step is devising your business plan. You’ll need this document in place if you intend on applying for business loans or setting up business partnerships. The potential loan provider or business partner would want to review your business plan, which would give them the confidence they need to proceed in investing their time and money in your business venture.

While there’s no fixed length for the size of a business plan, there are some essentials you’ll want to cover in the plan, particularly the organization and management structure. Start with an executive summary that provides a brief outline of what the business plan will cover, including your company profile, objectives and goals, and long-term vision, usually 5 years down the road. Include a market analysis that discusses the industry in which you’re competing, some brief information on your competitors, and sales strategies and market trends you intend to engage.

Importantly, discuss your product or service, including its lifecycle. What is its benefit to the consumer base? How is it better than your competitors’ products or services? And finally, why is it so important to you? This personal touch provides everyday ordinary folks the means to relate.

In concluding your business plan, finish it out with funding plans and financial projections. When it comes down to it, it’s all about the numbers. Does the math add up? Is the plan feasible, practical, and doable? A well-drawn out business plan gives potential investors, loan providers, and partners confidence that any funding invested will lead to a return. While they’re just projections, they should have a realistic basis.

Not only would such a document benefit potential partners, but it would also provide you with the confidence you need to proceed with your dream of running your own business. It’s a living document, revisable as your business grows, as your dream expands, and as your success becomes more evident each passing day. Of course, here at BATEY LAW OFFICE, PLLC, we review and draft business plans for small, mid-size, and large businesses. We know the finer details that strengthen the business plan and empower the business owner. Be sure to contact us for further information.

 
 
Nolia G. Batey
Attorney at Law
So one day, you make the decision to be your own boss and start your own company. It's a thrilling but daunting prospect. Where to begin? What needs to be done? Who knows? The first step for a prospective small business owner is to visit the secretary of state page. The secretary of state is the state's administrator in regulating businesses operating within the state. From there, the prospective owner would look up the rules and regulations as well as the forms necessary for filing. Typically, a small business owner would have to choose what type of business is most appropriate to his or her needs. Is it public or private? Is it a sole proprietorship or a partnership? Is a limited liability company the best option?

The one piece of advice that is often recommended is for the prospective owner to seek counsel from both a lawyer and an accountant. The do-it-yourself mentality is noble, but it can get folks into trouble, both legally and financially. While the secretary of state does offer much needed information, the office itself does not offer a more personalized legal or financial counsel. They simply cannot, because it isn't in their budget. Add to the burden of starting up any legal issues arising, such as issues related to advertising, to intellectual property, to tax compliance, and so on.

The solution is to seek out a business attorney, especially one who fights for the rights of small business owners. Here at BATEY LAW OFFICE, PLLC, we understand the frustrations associated with running a small business, because we are one. As such, we've made it our business to assist other businesses. One particular need of every business is the registered agent who can receive service of summons or subpoenas. 

BATEY LAW OFFICE, PLLC is currently the registered agent for many local and statewide businesses and non-profit organizations in Kentucky, both big and small. We've assisted businesses with forming their organizational documents, with negotiating contracts and agreements, and representing business clients in highly contentious litigation. We go to the board room, to the court room, and even to the client's living room. We're committed to serving your legal needs so that you can commit to the business of running your business, so if you're starting out, contact us to learn what we can do for you.
 
 
Caleb Batey
Paralegal
Another Japanese company has been indicted in the U.S. on bid-rigging/price-fixing charges. Such conduct isn't illegal in Japan, but it does violate U.S. law, specifically the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 (Sherman Act, 26 Stat. 209, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1–7). It's not that Japan condones illegal activity, per se. It's just a difference in philosophy on what conduct is permissible to promote corporate welfare.

Unfortunately, many Japanese and Korean companies aren't fully cognizant of the extent of U.S. law against such conduct as bid-rigging and price-fixing. Corning International Kabushiki Kaisha ("Corning IKK") is the latest to fall victim to its own price-fixing schemes. As a result of the investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, over 59 individuals have been charged, including a former executive of Corning IKK. Japanese national Nobuhiko Niwa was indicted in the Eastern District of Michigan on May 11, 2016. The DOJ alleges the conspiracy ran from July 1999 to July 2011. See this DOJ press release for further reading.

Through our own preliminary investigation, we know that—statewide and locally here in Louisville—Kentucky distributors, resellers, and even indirect purchasers (i.e., automobile customers) have been financially injured by this price-fixing scheme. Kentuckians paid more through artificially inflated prices and bid-rigging, and are entitled to recovery through Sherman Act antitrust litigation. If you think you might have been injured, contact us today to find out how you might be able to recover monies lost due to Corning IKK's price-fixing schemes dating back to 1999.