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Atlanta Business & Commercial Law Blog

Sears CEO’s hedge fund buys rest of chain’s assets

The long saga of Sears department stores has a new and possibly final chapter. The 132-year-old chain recently confirmed that that the ESL hedge fund of Sears CEO Eddie Lampert has won tentative approval to purchase the final 425 stores as well as the rest of the chain’s assets during a bankruptcy auction (the company filed Chapter 11 in October of 2018). The purchase for $5.2 billion is subject to court approval on February 1. If approved, the deal would then close on February 8.

Liquidation avoided

Controversial congresswomen did not pay workers’ comp

Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has quickly become one of the most discussed figures in politics. Advocates point to her social media skills and quick wit as fresh and invigorating. Detractors, some of whom are in her own party, grumble that 29-year-old from New York really does not understand how things get done inside the Beltway, and she is also often faulted for her far left politics.

Therefore, it comes as a surprise that several news outlets report that the Congresswomen’s campaign was fined $1,500 for not providing workers’ compensation to campaign staff from March 31, 2018 to April 30, 2018. While detractors are quick to point out the hypocrisy, it is potent example of why businesses need to stay up to date and compliant with all laws involving business and employment.

OSHA urges employers to be aware of winter hazards

Folks here in Georgia do not see the same kind of cold that our neighbors in the north do. However, it is a fact that the temperatures do drop and it does not need to be sub-zero for workers to suffer from weather-related injuries or illness.

The U.S. Department of Labor has now issued a warning that employers and employees take necessary precautions during the winter months. Employees may not be used to working in the cold and fail to dress accordingly, or they fail to maintain proper levels of hydration, which is harder to monitor but still important during the winter months.

4 advantages of purchasing a franchise operation

Let us say you have some experience with restaurant management and enjoy that kind of work. It is time to go out on your own, but should you start your own business from scratch? There is another option. Here are four advantages of becoming a restaurant franchise owner.


Supreme Court to look USPTO's judgement on explicit trademarks

The Supreme Court last week announced that it would examine whether the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) could reject trademark applications based on the nature of the trademarked subject matter and language. The USPTO currently has the 113-year-old statutory provision in the Lanham Act, which forbids scandalous, immoral, vulgar or deceptive trademarks.

The case of Iancu v. Brunetti is being heard this spring at the request of the government as well as clothing designer Erik Brunetti. Brunetti founded the Fuct street wear clothing and has been trying to trademark the clothing line’s name since 2012. The application has been rejected because of the implication of the name, but the clothing company also did not help its cause by often using explicit sexual imagery in its advertising copy.

Creating an effective employee handbook

A good employee handbook can help your business run more efficiently and establish clear, positive employer-employee relationships. The goals of a handbook should include communicating expectations and setting out processes and chains of command to address various issues.

Your handbook should reflect your business values and facilitate the running of your company. Thus, it needs to be customized to your specific circumstances and goals. Consulting an attorney during the drafting process can help you avoid potential legal pitfalls.

Boy Scouts face bankruptcy in light of sex abuse allegations

The U.S. Catholic Church has faced billions of dollars in lawsuits in the last 30 years. This has led to bankruptcy, the selling of property, the dismissal of staff and a decline in church attendance. Now in the last 10 years the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are facing allegations from former boy scouts who say the organization did not do enough to protect them and also covered up allegations of sexual assault by volunteers.

Look back law increases number of cases

Getting that nondisclosure agreement right is essential

Trade secrets are one of a company’s biggest assets. While trademark law and intellectual property law protect signature products and services, some companies do not take the necessary care in addressing non-disclosure agreements that protect trade secrets. The confidential information employees are often involved in include marketing plans, business plans, financial information, customer databases and other sensitive information. Generally speaking, trade secrets are defined as information that is not generally known and the owner takes great pains to keep that information private.

Why NDAs need to be carefully crafted

Strategic considerations for defending a trademark

The circumstances of each trademark dispute are going to be different. According to some, it is just as important to focus on how and when to enforce that trademark protection as it is to get it in the first place. The trick is to have a plan about how to handle defense against infringers.

Strategies for enforcement

Using FINRA arbitration to resolve a securities dispute

When a securities dispute arises, the two parties do not necessarily have to take the case to court. Instead of litigation, they may choose arbitration. 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., or FINRA, regulates and enforces stock exchange operations, and the private corporation also oversees dispute resolution in the form of arbitration.

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