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Las Vegas Litigation Law Blog

How ESOPs can help family owned businesses

Business owners of Nevada might be surprised to learn that even though family-owned businesses are responsible for hiring about 60 percent of the American working population, about 70 percent of these same businesses don't make it past a single generation. Consequently, family-owned businesses are very wary when it comes to succession planning, especially if their owners are anxious about the business lasting for more than a generation in the family.

Fortunately, business owners can use an employee stock ownership plan, also called an ESOP, which is something that has proven very useful for people worried about business formation and planning. An ESOP is a tool that can help transition the company from one owner to another in an internal, tax-advantaged way while causing minimal disruption to the current company culture. Ergo, ESOPs are a viable tool for selling a business that almost every business owner should consider. Furthermore, seeing as ESOPs offer the new buyers certain tax advantages, ESOPs can be used to sell companies in a much more tax-efficient manner.

Recurring factors in car crashes in Nevada

Nevada car crashes are usually caused by human negligence, an there are a few common factors. One of the most common is distracted driving, with many choosing to multitask rather than concentrate on the road. Distracting activities include calling, texting, using a navigation system, eating, drinking, applying makeup and even talking with other passengers.

Driving under the influence is considered a human error, too. It should be kept in mind that even prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication can impair driving. Those with medical conditions are not infrequently involved in accidents because they can experience a medical episode. It can be anything from a seizure or stroke to a heart attack, and it includes falling asleep at the wheel as well.

How to position a company for success

For a startup to be successful in Nevada or any other market, it needs to have a product that meets the needs of its target customer. It will also need to survive in the face of possible legal or regulatory changes. Ideally, a company will begin by first examining the current economic landscape to determine if its product could be better than what the competition has to offer.

This may be done by spending time talking with potential customers to find out what their needs are. Going to trade shows can also be a good way to determine how a startup would fit in the current marketplace. Generally speaking, the initial product doesn't need to have a lot of features and options. Instead, it should seek to solve a core problem better than available alternatives. From there, a company can add features or options that it thinks customers might want or otherwise pay for.

Woman dies after slip and fall in subway station

There are inherent dangers involved in subway stations. Every year, people are victims of crime or accidentally fall onto the tracks. But one danger Nevada residents might not have considered is the possibility of a trip and fall down the stairs. Unfortunately, a woman in a New York City subway station recently died from an accidental fall coming down the stairs.

The accident occurred on the night of Monday, Jan. 28th. The woman was attempting to navigate down the stairs into the subway station while carrying her 1-year-old baby in a stroller. The woman lost her balance, which sent her tumbling the stairs. When first responders arrived, both the woman and the baby were unconscious. The child was returned to its family, but the woman was ultimately pronounced dead.

Brain injury linked to higher risk of PTSD

A new study published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry says that victims of mild traumatic brain injuries in Nevada and other states are at a higher risk for developing a mental disorder. Specifically, victims are at a greater risk for PTSD and depression than victims with non-brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries can occur when the head is given a jolt, blow, or bump or when the skull is penetrated. The study involved more than a thousand patients over two years.

More than 60 percent of victims who receive traumatic brain injuries do so in car accidents. The rest were a result of falls, accidents, assault, and some unknown causes. Symptoms of mental disorders typically show up about three to six months after the injury. Those who had mental health problems before their injuries were at particularly high risk for developing PTSD and depression. While the study provides valuable information, more research is needed before the results can be generalized to hospitals.

Orangutan bites and detaches thumb of Toledo Zoo volunteer

Zoos are not the safest places, especially for the staff. Nevada residents may remember how in December 2018, a 22-year-old intern was killed by a lion at a zoo in North Carolina. This time, at the Toledo Zoo, an incident arose with an orangutan although the injuries were non-life-threatening.

In mid-January, a zoo volunteer, together with two paid staff members, entered the area where the orangutans were feeding. A 14-year-old male orangutan reached out of the mesh enclosure, bit the volunteer's hand and detached her thumb. The volunteer was sent to the hospital for treatment.

Certain types of phone use worsen distracted driving risks

Nevada residents have a tendency to do a lot of things on their phones that don't involve talking. Habits like this aren't necessarily anything to worry about -- unless the phone user is also driving. A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compared the habits of drivers in 2014 and 2018. Researchers found that nearly 60 percent of 2018 drivers were more likely to be preoccupied with phone-related tasks such as texting and emailing. However, they were less prone to be seen using or holding hand-held phones.

Research suggests manipulating a cellphone while driving increases car accident risks. While the new study didn't report evidence of an overall increase in distracted operation between the two survey years, it did show that drivers are using their devices in riskier ways. The results echo similar data also showing that motorists are talking less on hand-held phones but still operating them more in other ways.

Succession planning for family businesses

A business succession plan can be the key to maintaining company profits and growth after the original owner steps down. The issue for many Nevada ventures, though, is that their owners fail to prepare for the next generation. It can be emotionally difficult to take the time to put together a succession plan because it requires an admission that the owner will retire, die, or become incapacitated at some point. No matter how qualified or accomplished the children, the parents may have questions about their ability to take over.

According to a survey by the Family Business Alliance, part of the National Bureau of Economic Research, 43 percent of all businesses that are family-owned do not have a succession plan in place. At the same time, approximately 75 percent of the owners plan to pass the businesses on to their children. The managing director of the SunTrust Business Transition Advisory Group opined that business owners don't address succession in many cases because they are so busy handling daily operations.

Legally addressing and resolving breach of contract disputes

Most Nevadans entering into a legal binding contract expect the other parties involved to honorably uphold their end of the agreement. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. If the terms of a contract aren't upheld for one reason or another, it could be a breach of contract. What establishes a breach of contract will depend on how the document is worded and what was agreed to by the relevant parties.

How contract disputes are handled legally will depend, in part, on whether a breach of contract is classified as material or immaterial. For instance, if one party makes a delivery a day late because of unforeseen circumstances, the contract violation would likely be deemed immaterial. However, if the contract stated that a timely delivery was absolutely essential, the breach of contract would likely be deemed material. After a contract violation occurs, there are several possible resolutions. One party may simply insist the other hold up to their end of the bargain or provide reasonable compensation for any financial harm.

Study links gene with worse TBI-related psychiatric symptoms

Researchers at the have found that a variant of the APOE gene may be the trigger behind worse psychiatric symptoms in the victims of a traumatic brain injury. Nevada residents should know that TBIs increase the risk for psychiatric disorders like PTSD, depression and anxiety. An earlier study of over 13,000 veterans found that 80 percent of TBI victims had a psychiatric disorder.

The VA San Diego Healthcare System study focused on 133 veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, 79 of whom had a mild or moderate TBI and 54 of whom had no TBI history. These had undergone DNA testing and were found to have the APOE4 gene: a gene well-known as a risk factor for Alzheimer's. APOE stands for apolipoprotein E, which helps in neuron growth and maintenance.

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