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Deadline extended in cable giant's contract negotiations

California fans of cable television shows may lose out on some of their favorite channels, due to a dispute between Viacom Inc. and Charter Communications. A distribution deal between the network provider and cable television company was set to expire. If the deadline passed and a resolution was not reached, popular channels including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV would no longer have been available to Charter Communications customers.

Cable television customers may be relieved to hear then, that the two companies have agreed to extend the contract deadline for renewal. Initially it was set to expire on October 15. If a media blackout occurred, it could impact over 16 million customers.

Advantages and disadvantages of written employee contracts

Employees are critical to the proper functioning of a business. However, in some cases, they may become a great liability. For this reason, some employers teeter between at-will and written employee contracts.

Before you sign your next employee contract, make sure it is the best decision for you and your business. There are strong advantages and disadvantages to hiring employees with written contracts.

Protect yourself and family with a buy-sell agreement

Contracts are an important part of any business. They not only help to ensure the legitimate operation of a business, but also capture the intent of various operations and procedures. 

For a business owner, a buy-sell agreement may be essential to protecting her or himself and the family. As you determine the contracts you need for your business, consider the benefits and essential elements of a buy-sell agreement.

Are all officers onboard with dissolving the corporation?

The C corporation you work for is in financial trouble, and you and all but one of the other executives feel the time has come to dissolve it. The dissenter, one of the founders of the business, is part of the problem; his mismanagement helped to create the financial turmoil.

You think it best to seek legal help, both to deal with the obdurate executive and to ensure that the dissolution of the corporation is handled properly.

Tech industry awaiting Supreme Court contract dispute ruling

One rising star in the technology industry in California is the ridesharing company, Uber. However, just like any other company, Uber is not immune to employee complaints. In fact, one employee's case against Uber has reached the Supreme Court, and the technology industry is keeping a keen eye on the outcome of this case.

The dispute is a contract dispute. The woman who is pursuing the lawsuit against Uber had signed a contract that required her to go through private arbitration if she had a dispute with the company. The contract also required her to give up her right to join a class action lawsuit against the company. The Court will consider whether such clauses are enforceable.

A general overview of royalties in the entertainment industry

Many people doing business in California, especially in the entertainment industry, are paid in part through royalties. Royalties allow others to have access to intellectual property owned by another, while also providing the owner of the intellectual property with payments for that access. For example, one might earn royalties by selling their intellectual property, such as the copyright to a piece of written work, and then receiving payments that have their basis in the money generated from the sold intellectual property.

While each royalty contract is different, in general, there are some provisions that can be found in most of them. The contract will have a detailed definition and description of the intellectual property at issue and its owner. The contract will also contain provisions describing the scope of how the intellectual property can be used, as well as any limitations on its use. There will also be provisions regarding the royalties themselves. The contract will include statements regarding when the owner will receive the royalties, how the royalties will be paid and in what amount, along with how the parties intend to keep records of the royalties paid.

Watch our commercial to find out why you need a business attorney

Your business is going smoothly, so legal issues may be on the back burner. However, regulatory compliance, employment contracts, as well as contracts with vendors and suppliers are all a part of day-to-day operations. Forward thinking businesses need to address legal issues every step of the way to proactively mitigate risk and foster growth.

Legal issues that business owners need to address 

What types of false advertising are illegal under California law?

Deceptive trade practices are those in which a person or company uses false information to convince a person to purchase their products or utilize their services. Although the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act has not yet been adopted in California, there are state laws that address deceptive trade practices, such as false advertising.

There are a number of ways a company could engage in false advertising. One is deceptive pricing. In such a tactic, the company has a "sale" that is actually not a sale at all. The company may want to sell a product for $100. So, to entice people to purchase the product at that price, the company might price the product at $200 for a short amount of time, and then put the product on "sale" for $100. The point is that the company intended to sell the product at that price from the beginning.

Resolving business disputes through mediation

In the end, what any business in Irvine, California is concerned with is their bottom line. Even though running a business necessitates spending a certain amount of money, most business owners want to ensure that they spend wisely so that their business is profitable. Therefore, when business litigation issues arise, some business owners may seek an alternative way to resolve their dispute without having to go through the time and expense of going to court.

For example, a business owner may decide when facing a business dispute to try to resolve the situation through mediation. Through mediation, a neutral third party will facilitate discussions between the parties as the parties work to negotiate a resolution to their dispute. Mediators do not make decisions; it is the parties that will ultimately control the outcome of the mediation process. In addition, the parties can still retain their own attorney to assist them in mediation proceedings.

California-based hot sauce company files breach of contract suit

The hot sauce Sriracha has certainly seen an increase in popularity among foodies nationwide. However, the California-based business is currently pursuing a lawsuit against its chili pepper supplier, alleging that a contract between the two parties was breached.

According to Huy Fong Foods, the maker of Sriracha, the chili pepper supplier Underwood Ranches did not return millions worth of equipment and would not issue Sriracha a refund for almost $1.5 million in an overpayment made. According to court filings, after the chili peppers were harvested in 2016, the two parties were unable to reach a production agreement for the following year.

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