Monitoring Employees’ Computer Use in the Age of Encryption

The right to monitor the performance of an employee by monitoring computer use is recognized by most courts when the employer is a private, as opposed to a governmental, employer. Indeed, in some instances the right to monitor becomes a duty to monitor. Thus, an employer who receives a complaint of sexual harassment and fails to investigate may be liable for the harassing … [Read more...]

Wage Insurers, Enforcers and a General Contractor’s Role

In 1931, the Nevada Legislature enacted a statute that made general contractors (GC) liable for the labor-related debt of their subcontractors. This statute, now codified as NRS 608.150, was set up to protect Hoover Dam workers to make sure they were properly compensated for their work. The statute ensures payment of not only wages, but also benefits. The legislature imposed … [Read more...]

Are Unpaid Internships Becoming a Thing of the Past?

Read the Nevada Business Magazine February 2014 article: Are Unpaid Internships Becoming a Thing of the Past?

Employers in Nevada and every state have historically used unpaid interns for a variety of reasons, it being taken for granted that the research, filing and coffee-schlepping were necessary steps to career growth. Now, as 2014 gets underway, a series of closely-watched lawsuits may mean that the army of interns may not be back next summer—or at least not in the same … [Read more...]

Seven Pitfalls To Avoid When Negotiating Business Contracts

Avoid these seven pitfalls when negotiating business contracts.

1) Letters of Intent A “non-binding” letter of intent is commonly pursued when parties begin business discussions. Unfortunately, if one of the parties has a change of heart, the letter of intent may work against those who attempt to walk away. Certain phrases can cause the letter of intent to mean more than was originally intended. A court may interpret the letter of intent … [Read more...]

Mediation: A Litigation Alternative

Why mediation? Mediation can avoid the delays, high costs, uncertainty, the precedent setting effect and public spectacle of litigation.

“Real peace is not the absence of conflict. Rather it is that state where conflict is managed effectively, efficiently and respectfully.” – Unknown Conflict resolution can be viewed on a continuum, with negotiation on one end, and a decision(s) by a judge(s) on the other. In between lies mediation, which is facilitated negotiation and arbitration. The latter includes a third … [Read more...]

Following Through With a Judgement: Working Towards a Successful Debt Collection

In debt collection, there are various options available to seek payment.

When a business sells goods or services, that business can expect to be paid. However, payment is not always the reality. If a business is not getting paid, there are options to seeking repayment, either informally or formally. If the informal methods of trying to convince the debtor to pay have been unsuccessful, business owners should consider formally seeking payment by … [Read more...]

The Unintended Franchise: If It Quacks Like A Duck . . .

Are you operating a franchise system without realizing it? If you are licensing to others the right to use your trademark for a fee, the answer could be yes. Under both federal and some state laws, a business relationship may be a franchise -- even if neither of the parties intended to create one. At the federal level, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is the body that … [Read more...]

Deriving Value from Patents: Strategies for Handling the Legal Challenges

Deriving Value from Patents: Strategies for Handling the Legal Challenges

While a patent holder may derive substantial revenue though licensing its patent portfolio, engaging in licensing negotiations presents a number of potential traps for the unwary. In the April issue of Nevada Business Magazine, we discussed the risk that, by entering into licensing negotiations without exercising due care, a patent holder can subject itself to being sued in an … [Read more...]

Nevada Business’ Duty to Cooperate in a First Party Insurance Claim


One of the favorite tools insurance companies use to deny a claim is to assert the insured failed to cooperate or somehow impeded the insurance company’s investigation. In order to avoid this potential pitfall, Nevada businesses must be aware of their contractual duties to cooperate. First-party insurance policies, that insure the policyholder’s own property as opposed to … [Read more...]

Opportunities Abound in Gov’t Contracting for Women-Owned Small Businesses

The federal government is the world’s biggest customer of goods and services with purchases totaling more than $425 billion per year from construction and technical services to office furniture and grounds maintenance services. This allows for many revenue opportunities for small businesses, especially women-owned, disadvantaged, service-disabled veteran owned, and businesses … [Read more...]

America Invents Act Significantly Changes Patent Law: Understanding the New Law

Excellent Business Idea

Thanks to the recently-passed America Invents Act, Nevada businesses may find it easier to get “patent pending” status for their inventions, but the race against competitors has not yet begun. Perhaps most notably, the Act will transform the U.S. patent system from a “first to invent” to a “first to file” system, the first major reform of the patent system in over 60 years. … [Read more...]

Series LLCs: Protect Your Investment

Series LLCs: Protect Your Investment

With home prices at historic lows, and mortgage interest rates around 4%, real estate investment is on the rise. If you own (or are considering owning) multiple rental properties, consider starting a series LLC (“Series LLC”) to maximize liability protection and save costs. Since the creation of limited liability companies (“LLCs”), an owner of multiple real estate … [Read more...]

“Baseless” Case Merits Five and a Half Hours Before U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to review the case brought by 26 states challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  Some legal commentators believe that this is the most significant case to come before the Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade.  Underscoring the importance of the constit Tutional questions posed by the case, the … [Read more...]

Independent Contractor or Employee?: IRS Will Now Settle Employment Taxes

After receiving much success from its Voluntary Offshore Bank Account Disclosure Program, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has now decided to provide an opportunity for businesses to come clean by reclassifying workers as employees for federal employment tax purposes. The IRS announced on September 21, 2011 that it has developed the Voluntary Classification Settlement … [Read more...]

Green Building: Growing from Voluntary to Mandatory

Green building emerged as somewhat of a proactive or “feel good” movement.  While some may dismiss “green” as a passing trend, regulators from local to federal levels are creating laws and regulations that will ensure green building is around to stay for at least the near future.  Perhaps most significantly, recent EPA action will regulate nearly every commercial building by … [Read more...]

Taxes, Taxes & Taxes… Oh My!: Lawmakers trying to poach more from private industry

“Revenue solutions” are the talk of Carson City as the Nevada Legislature heads into its final week. Unsatisfied with Gov. Brian Sandoval’s newest proposals to hold state spending in the next budget cycle at a similar level to the current budget cycle, majority Democrats are pressing for more taxes on Silver State businesses, workers and consumers. These tax increases would … [Read more...]

Nevada’s Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act: Understanding Out-of-State Subpoenas

From time to time, attorneys get calls from clients who have just received scary-looking subpoenas “commanding” them, in ALL CAPS, to produce documents in legal proceedings pending in other states.  These subpoenas often seem, at first blush, to have nothing to do with the client.  Sometimes the subpoena seeks employment records of current or former employees; at other times it … [Read more...]

Understanding the Law: Regarding Non-Compete Agreements

Q:  "I just discovered that I hired an employee who is bound by a non-compete agreement with his former employer.  What do I do now?" Under Nevada law, a post-employment restrictive covenant -- sometimes referred to as a “non-compete agreement” -- is enforceable against a former employee if it is reasonable and not countered by a prevailing public policy.  But in certain … [Read more...]

Residential Foreclosures: How the mortgage process is changing in Nevada

The avalanche of foreclosures over the past few years has resulted in many changes to both the nation’s banking laws and Nevada’s residential mortgage foreclosure process. Many of these changes seek to provide greater protections to homeowners against perceived lender abuses. Stricter procedures on how banks can foreclose on a home may also be on the horizon. Until the … [Read more...]

A Trustworthy Investment Option

Senate Bill 61 offers new opportunities for business trusts Over the years, common law trusts have been to preserve and protect property due to their flexibility. However, as the common law underpinning trusts is slowly becoming outdated, 15 states, including Delaware, have codified business trusts in their business entity statutes. Through Senate Bill 61, effective July 1, … [Read more...]