2014 16 Jul

If you own a small business and have customers and clients, there is a good chance that someone, somewhere has published an online review of your company and its goods or services. From Yelp to Angie’s List to TripAdvisor to any number of websites tailored to particular interests or industries, online reviews have proliferated in the past 5-10 years and can have a profound impact on your business. Even one negative review can be devastating because it may be seen by anyone doing even cursory research about your company.A 2011 Harvard study quantified just how big an effect negative Yelp postings can have: A one-star increase among reviews of Seattle restaurants led to a 5 to 9 percent growth in revenue.

2014 7 Jul

If you are a business owner with 15 or more employees, you are subject to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). One of the fundamental obligations of employers under the ADA is to provide “reasonable accommodation” for individuals with disabilities, unless it would cause undue hardship to the business. A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way a job is performed that enables a person with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities.  (more…)

2014 30 Jun

Henry David Thoreau once wrote: “Things do not change; we change.” I’m quite sure Thoreau was not writing about estate planning documents at the time, but he might as well have been. While we are constantly changing – jobs, relationships, homes, finances, family – the estate planning documents that have been sitting in a drawer or safe deposit box for years do not. This includes the beneficiary designations in those documents, which designate the people you chose to inherit your 401(k), company stock, and life insurance benefits. (more…)

2014 23 Jun

In October 2010, President Obama signed into law the “Plain Writing Act of 2010.” The law was the latest response to decades of complaints about the incomprehensibility of many government regulations. An Executive Order subsequently signed by the president stated that federal agencies “must ensure that regulations are accessible, consistent, written in plain language, and easy to understand.” Sadly, no such law applies to attorneys. Not without reason, members of the legal profession have often been accused of using language that is inaccessible, unnecessarily stilted and complicated, archaic, and confusing. Throw in some gratuitous Latin, and what is often written or said by attorneys may as well be in another language entirely. There’s a reason that “legalese” is a word. When clients come to me with questions or concerns about a legal issue, they are doing so because...

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