What Happens If You’ve Delayed In Bringing a Court Claim?

What Happens If You’ve Delayed In Bringing a Court Claim?

Generally speaking, any party that wants to initiate a court action must do it within a couple of years when he/she first becomes aware of the existence of the claim. This period is called the limitation period and there are many considerations that define when a limitation period commences for a particular claim. Many times you may be dealing with a problem with your landlord or a neighbour or your workplace. Sometimes the issue is so small and at a nascent stage that many individuals wait quite some time before they decide to take legal recourse to initiate action and seek a remedy. At such times, a court may or may not grant you the permission to bring in a claim. For instance, in the case of Presley v Van Dusen, 2019 ONCA 66, the Ontario Court of Appeal recently confirmed that for the limitation period to commence, one of the key considerations that must be asked is whether or not a legal proceeding is really an appropriate means to seek to remedy the injury, loss, or damage?

It is quite common for people to suffer an issue long before they opt for the legal route. Typically, in this Presley v Van Dusen case, the claim for a defective septic system was filed in August 2015, although the homeowners had already started noticing problems with the septic tank in the spring of 2011 itself. In this particular case, the Small Claims Court judge dismissed the claims stating that the claim was started too late after the problem was first noticed. Even after an appeal against this dismissal was made in the Divisional Court, the homeowners did not get the solicited remedy as this court too agreed with the decision of the Small Claims Court judge. Unfortunately, neither courts acknowledged that it was only after trying for a long time to get the problem fixed, the homeowners realized that a legal proceeding was the only way left to address their issue.

From the Court of Appeal’s point of view, one important aspect of this case was that the septic installer kept providing ongoing guidance and feedback to the homeowners for solving the problem. Moreover, he also promised that he would be returning to the home to fix the issue and due to this manifestation of intent, the homeowners probably did not take the legal recourse sooner.

The Court of Appeal found that the homeowners did not know that filing a claim would be an appropriate means of seeking a remedy till they were convinced that the septic installer was not intending to follow through on his promises.

In conclusion, the law respecting limitation periods needs to be applied in a way as to deter needless litigation. However, having said that it is extremely important to regard the timing of the issue when it comes to filing a claim. Typically, a two year limitation period needs to be taken into consideration. If you are thinking about filing a claim and are not sure whether it is too late for filing one or are interested to know your legal alternatives, talk to a qualified and experienced lawyer from Verhaeghe Law Office. Their team of best civil lawyers in Edmonton can provide sound legal advice on any civil, immigration and or for defence in any court-related matter.

Legal Pros and Cons of Joint Ventures

Legal Pros and Cons of Joint Ventures

Legal Pros and Cons of Joint Ventures



The decision to sign onto a joint venture agreement is both exciting and daunting. On the one hand, joining two or more companies could lead to the creation of something truly innovative, but it could also lead to severe conflicts of interest. Consider this information before making such a commitment.

First, be aware of the difference between a joint venture agreement and a partnership agreement as many people confuse the two. A joint venture agreement involves two or more companies that come together with a specific goal in mind. They each keep their business or entity during the contract. A partnership agreement relates to the ongoing relationship between two or more parties. Everyone takes responsibility for everyone else's actions, and each side shares the profits and risks associated with the business. Partnerships are continuing business ties while joint ventures tend to be goal specific and terminate once those objectives are achieved. There is more to lose with a partnership agreement, which is why most companies sign a joint venture agreement instead.

To ensure a joint venture is successful and productive, it is essential to start with fair and transparent guidelines. These are the criteria that should be included in a joint venture contract:

  1. Obligations of all parties
  2. Percentage of profits and losses shared
  3. Level of control of all parties
  4. Outline of decision-making processes and all parties authority on matters
  5. The share of supply and collaterals
  6. The percentage of capital investment
  7. Type and period of payment
  8. Source and type of insurance
  9. Mode of dispute resolution

A joint venture contract can take on several forms and so the legal concerns for a venture will depend largely on the medium used to build the project. At the most basic level, a joint venture will require that you establish a separate legal entity. All parties hold investments in the entity, and the entity holds its own assets, allowing it to sue and be sued through its own name. Most joint ventures are companies or relationships between participants such as trusts, partnerships, or other types of association.

Once you become familiar with the components of a joint venture agreement, you can start to consider whether the benefits outweigh the risks for your particular enterprise.

Pros

  1. Provides the opportunity to invest in new partners and broaden each companies market prospects
  2. Liability is equally shared, reducing the level of risk
  3. All parties get access to diverse resources
  4. The contract is flexible as its term is limited
  5. Coming together for mutually beneficial goals
  6. Can complete a project that may otherwise be impossible individually
  7. Increased growth opportunities

Cons

  1. Adapt to other work arrangements, workplace cultures, and management styles
  2. Poor decisions could lead to poor results
  3. Lack of commitment from any parties to the project
  4. Lack of clarity of obligations
  5. Ineffective conflict resolution

Most of the risks associated with joint venture agreements can be mitigated with a thorough contract. Book an appointment with our experienced law firm to get personalized information about joint venture agreements. We can help you draft a fair agreement that covers every contingency.

Top 10 Reasons to Hire an Edmonton Corporate Lawyer

Top 10 Reasons to Hire an Edmonton Corporate Lawyer

Hire a Corporate Lawyer
Are you on the fence about whether or not you should hire a corporate lawyer in Edmonton, Canada? Read on to learn why you should hire a corporate lawyer.

When most people launch a business they focus on the financial, marketing, and staffing matters first. Hiring a corporate lawyer is often last on the to-do list.

In fact, most businesses don't hire a lawyer until after they have a problem. That's not smart. Shrewd business planning means consulting a lawyer to identify potential problems. A good corporate lawyer helps you avoid problems before they occur.

Dealing with legal issues is expensive and frustrating. Business owners can't expect to be familiar with every law that applies to Edmonton companies. That's why the most astute business owners get competent legal advice.

Legal problems can show up in any size business. Keep reading to learn why you a lawyer for business dealings like contracts, partnerships, and employment is so important.

When Should You Hire a Corporate Lawyer?

The simple answer is you should hire a lawyer before you need one. Corporate attorneys know how to help clients prevent problems, and maintain their legal affairs.

When you hire an attorney after a disaster, the lawyer spends valuable time and resources getting up to speed on your company's situation. They have to review company history and business practices. They must question and understand everything before they can guide you.

A lawyer hired at launch, or long before the crisis already knows your business. An attorney who is familiar with how the company works, and what's at stake can act immediately. There won't be a delay, or added expense before the issues are addressed.

Small business owners hire professional accountants and insurance agents without pause. You should hire your corporate attorney the same way. Set up a relationship so you are both ready if you need consultation or representation.

If you're still unsure, here are ten reasons for hiring an attorney for your business.

1. Protect Against Lawsuits

If you hire an attorney after you've been sued, it's probably too late. At that point, a good attorney may get the charges reduced, but they can't get rid of them.

If you're proactive and put your business affairs in proper legal order at the outset, you may avoid the lawsuit.

A corporate lawyer tries to preempt problems by including protections in the client's legal documents. For example, a well-defined agreement has clear information on everyone's rights and responsibilities. It addresses issues that may occur if something goes wrong.

2. Mitigate Damages

If you find yourself in a personal injury case a lawyer can help mitigate the damages. It may be an employee or a customer who files the lawsuit.

Either way, the lawyer needs complete honesty from you so he can get the best result. If the employee or customer was hurt due to your actions, say so. It's better for your lawyer to learn the details from you so he can prepare your case.

3. Draft and Negotiate Contracts

Doing businesses means entering into contracts. When a customer, employee or supplier requires a contract, ask your lawyer for advice on legalities. A lawyer knows the legal ins and outs and can review a contract to be sure your business is safe.

It's easy to miss important points that could cause trouble later. One example of this is signing a contract that doesn't have a dispute clause. Without a dispute clause, your business could end up in a lawsuit. The dispute clause allows for mediation as a way to solve the issue.

What if you have an executed contract, but the other party breached it? Your attorney can explain your legal options and responsibilities.

Experienced corporate lawyers draft and negotiate all kinds of contracts. Here are just a few examples:

Sales Contracts

  • Bill of Sale
  • Sales Agreement
  • Purchase Order or Offer
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty
  • Security Agreement Between Lender and Borrower

Employment Contracts

  • Contract for Employment
  • Noncompete Agreement
  • Independent Contractor
  • Consultant Agreement
  • Distributor Agreement
  • Sales Representative Contract
  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • Nondisclosure Agreement, Reciprocal Nondisclosure Agreement
  • Agreement for Employment Separation

Leases

  • Lease for Real Property
  • Equipment Lease

General Business Contracts

  • Franchise Agreement
  • Advertising Agency Agreement
  • Indemnity Agreement
  • Covenant Not to Sue
  • Settlement Agreement to End Lawsuit
  • Release from Liability
  • Transfer Assignment of Contract
  • Stock Purchase Agreement
  • Shareholders Agreement
  • Partnership Agreement
  • Joint Venture Agreement
  • Agreement to Sell Business

In most cases, a corporate lawyer generalist can create your contracts. If the situation calls for a specialist, your lawyer can help you make that decision. That's another reason to have a strong attorney relationship in place.

4. Incorporate a Business

There's more to incorporating your business than paying a fee. You need a legal pro to help you navigate the process so you get through it without complications. If you're not familiar with all the legalities, a corporate lawyer can guide you. The first step is to decide if the business is a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a Limited Liability Corporation, nonprofit or corporation.

The type of business structure you choose determines your exposure to legalities like liability, tax obligations, setup fees, and other expenses. It also affects how you can legally fund your company.

A consultation with an experienced corporate lawyer is vital for making the best decisions as you start your business. The attorney can help with documents as well as decisions.

5. Local, Province, and Federal Compliance

The government in Canada, Alberta, and Edmonton all have laws and regulations. Rules can differ between provinces. That's why its essential you consult with a lawyer who knows how to comply with the law.

If any government entity investigates or files suit against your business, you need an attorney. The cause for an investigation varies.

It may be a labor investigation due to an employee complaint. Or, perhaps there's a tax dispute. Your attorney can direct you on the best way to deal with any legal issues.

You're probably aware that province and federal laws each have their own procedures. Each government has rules on construction, taxes, and more.

There are additional regulations when your business has dealings across the country and overseas. You need legal expertise to guarantee your company follows necessary rules and regulations.

You may feel comfortable researching regulations on your own, but it will take valuable time and effort away from your work. A lawyer knows the law.

Hiring one at the start saves money in the form of time and potential legal problems. A corporate lawyer makes sure you are in compliance at every level of government.

6. Employee Concerns and Issues

Unfortunately, employee-related issues are a major factor in any business. If a situation goes sideways you'll be short on money and help. But, if you have an attorney versed in employment issues, you can resolve problems faster.

The place to start is with your hiring processes. A lawyer can help you avoid employment-related issues in several ways.

  • Facilitate hiring
  • Administer worker's compensation
  • Draft employment agreements
  • Employee dismissals with no legal repercussions

No company wants an employee lawsuit. If you have a lawyer on retainer you can reduce the risk.

Consult your lawyer when deciding whether to hire someone as an employee or an independent contractor. There are specific legal requirements for both. An experienced attorney knows how to stay in compliance with employment laws.

If you hire an independent contractor, your lawyer can draft an agreement that suits your company. If you use an existing contract, ask the lawyer to review it before anyone signs it.

Always consult an attorney before hiring or firing employees. You don't want to put your company, or yourself, at risk for a discrimination complaint. A lawyer advises on what you can and can't ask during an interview.

He also protects your interests if you face an employee lawsuit.

7. Filing a Patent

Have you designed a new product or service? If so, you must file for a patent to protect your interests.

Patents are time-consuming. Sometimes they're hard to get approved in a timely manner without a lawyer's help. If your corporate lawyer isn't familiar with patents, get a referral for a specialist.

An experienced patent attorney knows the ins and outs of the process. A lawyer with patent experience can help you get your patent in a reasonable amount of time.

8. Purchase or Sale of a Business

Legal issues arise with both buying and selling a business. It's more complicated than other everyday purchases. It's smart to have an attorney involved. A lawyer can help with valuation of the business.

If you need agreements, permit transfers and licenses a lawyer can handle it. An experienced corporate lawyer can help you get the most value from the transaction.

An attorney is useful during the sale. He can monitor proper stock transfers, vet buyers, and help to negotiate the deal. A corporate lawyer works to get the most value for your money when you're the buyer.

9. Environmental Issues

Environmental issues are a big deal. Federal compliance standards are part of society working to save the environment. If you aren't aware of regulations your company could find itself in the middle of a lawsuit. Or worse, you could face a federal complaint.

A business lawyer knows the issues on a local and federal level. He can help your company stay compliant so you avoid issues before they happen.

If an environmental issue arises and you don't have an attorney, consult one right away. Issues can come from manufacturing, emissions, developing raw materials, or waste disposal.

There are other ways you can encounter environmental issues. You may buy land and learn later that it has hazardous waste beneath the surface.

You'll need an attorney to sue the seller for not disclosing it. The attorney will pursue your case so the seller pays for cleanup costs.

It's important to note that engaging a lawyer before the purchase may have exposed the problem. You could have walked away from the deal, or made the sale contingent on an environmental cleanup.

Either way, a corporate lawyer can save you time, money, and frustration.

10. Business Structure

Beyond incorporating your business, you'll need a legal education on:

  • Setup costs
  • Tax obligations
  • Continuing expenses
  • Potential liabilities
  • Employee concerns

Legal documents aren't a DIY project. Sure, it's tempting to handle legal aspects on your own. Yet, it won't save you money if you don't fully understand what you're doing.

In fact, trying to save money could end up costing a lot more in the form of a lawsuit or penalty. Consult a lawyer to structure your business properly and avoid legal problems.

You'll be glad you can focus on your company instead of a court case. Let your attorney create and file all the documents required for your business.

Hire a Corporate Attorney Before You Need One

A good corporate attorney is a valuable asset to every business. If you haven't hired an attorney yet, consider it now. It's never to early to build a relationship with your lawyer so he's ready to assist when you need legal help.

Remember, corporate law is complicated. Navigating corporate law requires a well-trained and experienced professional. You need a team to guide your company through any and every potential legal ramification.

When you take proactive action towards potential problems, often you can avoid them.

Don't wait to hire an attorney until you have a legal problem. Find the best lawyer for your situation. Study their website, review testimonials, and ask friends and family for referrals.

If you need a corporate lawyer, contact the team at Verhaeghe Law Office in Edmonton. Our lawyers have years of experience in corporate law for both small and medium size businesses. From Federal Incorporation to Provincial Incorporation to Succession Planning to Builders Liens to contract review and drafting, with few exceptions, we can handle pretty much anything that comes our way. We look forward meeting with you and becoming your corporate lawyers. As an added bonus, when we become the registered office for your corporation, we will not charge for any personal guarantees, notary services or travel consent forms.