Law Blog

Is Your AZ Business Prepared for Coronavirus Liability?

Is Your AZ Business Prepared for Coronavirus Liability?

Liablity, Workers Compensation
As of the close of last month, more than 150 class actions had been filed relating to or stemming from the Coronavirus pandemic (Source: AdLawAccess.com). This article covers what steps your startup or small business can take to help prepare you and your company for the coming wave of COVID-19-related claims. It focuses specifically on potential Coronavirus liability from customers and third-parties and not from the company's employees, which I will discuss in a follow-up post. Have You Formed A Legal Business Entity? If you're a business owner reading this, chances are you already operate your company through a formal, legal entity, such as an S-corporation or LLC or even Limited Partnership. If not, there may be no better time than now to do so. Compared to the overall cost…
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‘Red’ Alert: After Redbox, Is It Time to Revisit Your Online Terms of Service?

‘Red’ Alert: After Redbox, Is It Time to Revisit Your Online Terms of Service?

Contracts, E-Commerce, Technology, Terms of Service
In this article, we discuss one of the more recent and interesting (or, depending on your perspective, exasperating) Federal trial court decisions looking at the enforceability of online terms of service, Wilson v. Redbox, why the case matters, key takeaways for your online business, and what it should be doing in response. A brief re-cap, Wilson, a Redbox user (amazing to think it was not that long ago that we actually went to kiosks for our movies--what a hassle!) sued the popular DVD movie rental company under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. § 227) for continuing to send automatic text messages to her phone despite her having opted out. Redbox’s "Terms of Use" (represented by hyperlinks in both its kiosk and website checkout screens require mandatory arbitration of…
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Why Your Startup Needs Bylaws

Why Your Startup Needs Bylaws

Business Formation, Corporations, Entity Formation
To help your startup succeed with as few internal complications as possible, founders should make having a set of robust corporate Bylaws a priority from the beginning. In this post, we take a look at what Bylaws are, what they do, and why your startup needs to have them in place (hint: it's the law in Arizona). What are Bylaws? While it's tempting to believe that corporate Bylaws are only for large, faceless, mega-corporations, as opposed to your lean, development-stage startup, nothing could be further from the truth. Any company (of whatever size) that chooses the corporate form through which to conduct its business should really have a well-crafted set of Bylaws in place. In a nutshell, a corporation's Bylaws are the internal guidelines that deal with how your corporation…
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Thoughts on The Open COVID Pledge

Thoughts on The Open COVID Pledge

Intellectual Property, Licensing
Like most of you, in the wake of the unprecedented (in modern times, anyway) COVID-19 pandemic, I have been spending the past several weeks working remotely from home and self-isolating.  Certainly when compared to the heroic efforts and sacrifices of our healthcare workers and first responders (and let's not forget those collecting our trash and re-stocking the grocery store shelves), there really is nothing quite like a deadly pandemic to make me and my law degree feel completely useless.  As I've been taking the routine conference calls, responding to e-mails, and completing other client work from the comfort of my home office, I have been trying hard to think of ways that I could make my decades of legal experience useful to the Arizona biotech, research, and medical device community in…
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Can Our Independent Contractor Claim Unemployment under the CARES Act?

Can Our Independent Contractor Claim Unemployment under the CARES Act?

Independent Contractor, Unemployment Insurance
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis affecting the country and specifically Arizona, our Phoenix law firm has been getting questions from business clients who have received notices of unemployment claims filed by their independent contractors whom they had to let go due to the impact of the Coronavirus. This article examines whether your former independent contractor can even apply for unemployment benefits and what you as their most recent "employer" should do if you receive a notice of their unemployment claim here in Arizona.  Can Independent Contractor's Apply for Unemployment in Arizona? It is not unusual for tech startups to use independent contractors to address companies' short-term needs for certain skills, without taking on the financial and tax obligations of a regular, "W-2" employee. Under normal circumstances (at least…
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