BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS/CORPORATE LAWWhether you are buying a business, selling business assets, organizing a non-profit entity, or thinking of starting your own business, you will need well researched, clearly written, and strategically effective transactional documents. Those can include operating agreements for LLCs, bylaws for corporations, or partnership agreements. I draft these documents with the client’s individual needs in mind and my goal is to help you avoid the contingencies that often emerge in the course of business dealing. An attorney drafting these documents must both have access to the latest legal developments in the governing law and take the time to really understand the client’s goals. In negotiating the terms of a business transaction with an adverse party, an attorney must effectively balance putting the client’s economic and legal interests first with the continuity of dialogue with the opposing party and counsel. Whether that requires an email to opposing counsel after work hours, a well-timed anecdote to lighten the mood, a catered lunch, and/or extensive conference calls, I know how to get it done. Not only can I help you set up your new business, but I can also advise on the various issues that businesses face such as: collecting money owed for services rendered or goods sold, employee issues such as unemployment, audits conducted by the Department of Labor, EEOC complaints, and drafting policies and procedures.
CIVIL LITIGATIONLitigation can be expensive, draining, time consuming, and merciless. As both a mediator and a litigator, I am trained to know when to fight and when not to. I keep in mind your potential legal costs and help you decide if trial or settlement gets you the best results. Furthermore, because litigation is governed by very precise and technical rules, attorneys without the requisite knowledge and skill can severely damage the client’s claims. An effective litigator has to keep an eye on what path gets the client to the results they want. I have a vast range of experience with civil litigation on a variety of claims.
CRIMINAL LAWFrom one perspective, criminal law can seem pretty simple and zero sum: either the client was convicted of a crime or the client was not. Either the client is incarcerated or they are free. However, the practice of criminal law is much more nuanced than those simple alternatives. Both the State of North Carolina and the Government of the United States of America wield enormous power in many ways, but perhaps none of those powers are greater than the ability to charge people with crimes, hold them in a facility pending trial, and sentence them to a term in a jail and/or prison. Simply put, our criminal system calls for the enforcement of laws through many punitive measures, including fines, probation, etc. However, if the client is convicted of a crime, the client’s actual liberty interest to move around freely may be in jeopardy.
Effective criminal attorneys have a thorough knowledge of the applicable legal authority; maintain good working relationships with state court prosecutors, and work to eliminate risk for the client. The effective defense attorney not only works for the client to achieve the best possible outcome, but is also ready, willing, and able to try the case before a judge and/or jury. I understand this delicate balance. I have 15 years of criminal trial experience in front of juries as well as Judges. Above all, I understand that your rights, contentions, and positions must be correctly presented and argued at all times.
GOVERNMENTAL COMPLIANCENo matter the party of the political regime in charge and no matter what type of business the client operates, regulation is a fact of both business and life. Both state and federal governmental agencies promulgate regulations with which business owners must comply. For example, environmental (pursuant to both federal and state law and agencies), healthcare (HIPAA, HITECH, etc.), workplace (federal and state departments of labor, OSHA, etc.), and transportation regulations heavily influence the business environment. Quite often, when dealing with regulatory compliance issues, the business owner cannot simply pick up the phone and ask officials at the appropriate state or federal agency any compliance questions. To further complicate matters, business owners often rightfully feel as if they have no direct recourse or forum in which to address the contentions of state and federal regulators and officials. These officials often seem completely insensitive to the cost of compliance and have no knowledge of what it takes to actually run a business. I can help you to navigate through the complex and daunting regulatory compliance maze and achieve compliance in a cost effective manner.
EMPLOYMENTThe workplace is controlled by a complex, ever-evolving, and large body of both state and federal law and regulation. Employers need to be empowered to handle things without the intervention of an attorney. They need practical, simple, and individually tailored solutions to the issues that emerge in the workplace. Small businesses with fewer employees often need very different solutions than much larger employers. In either event, the goal should be to ensure that employers can run their businesses more efficient and profitably, all the while avoiding litigation and unnecessary expense. In order to achieve these goals, the effective employment attorney not only can effectively defend the client against alleged violations of Title VII, FMLA, ADA, ADEA, USERRA, WARN, GINA, FLSA, NLRA , NC REDA, etc., but can also help the client create policies and systems to both help keep costs down over time and be extremely prepared to respond to any such allegation. I can assist in creating individually tailored comprehensive policies and systems for employers and defending employers against the claims of employees.
TRAFFIC/DRIVING WHILE IMPAIREDAlthough many traffic violations may seem minor, many offenses may result in either a suspension of your ability to drive, an increase in your insurance premiums, incarceration, or any combination thereof. An effective traffic attorney must be well versed in the various penalties that result from each distinct traffic offense. Even more importantly, an effective traffic attorney must also know the nuances and tendencies of the district attorneys and judges in each county in which the attorney handles traffic matters. I have the requisite knowledge and experience to help you to seek the best possible outcome on your traffic matters.
North Carolina’s penalties for DWI offenses are among the most severe in the nation. To complicate matters, North Carolina’s DWI law (including penalties) changes relatively rapidly. Handling these charges on your own may result in incarceration, large fines, the suspension of your ability to drive, and more. Furthermore, I have the requisite court experience, knowledge of the law, and trial experience to help you with these charges and may be able to achieve a better outcome for you.