Latest Articles from Our Blog

Can You Sue For Failure to Disclose Property Defects?

Maryland law requires sellers to disclose certain known defects to buyers. If these defects aren’t disclosed, buyers can file a claim to receive compensation for the costs they face from undisclosed defects. However, to truly understand this issue, you must first understand the two different paths a seller can take: disclosure and disclaimer. Failure to disclose defects isn’t just a bad practice, it is also against Maryland law. The property’s owner should be forthcoming about defects that they are aware of. The agent or party selling the property should communicate those defects to buyers. If a buyer discovers defects after a purchase, they might be forced to spend money on repairs. Buyers then have the right to hold the party who failed to disclose property defects accountable for those costs. Obviously, if a seller doesn’t know about a defect, they can’t disclose it. In the case that a seller isn’t…

What are the Types of Business Structures?

desk with papersBefore you launch a small business, two questions you should consider are: What are the types of business structures, and which one best fits my needs? The main types of business structures in the United States are: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC). Here we’ll discuss the various types of legal business structure in depth and how they differ in terms of liability and tax implications. Sole Proprietorship. A sole proprietorship is the simplest type of business structure, and it may make sense if you don’t plan to have partners or employees. Partnership. This is a legal structure designed for two or more people who go into business together as equals, or partners (not employees). Corporation. A corporation is the most complex business structure and operates as a separate legal entity from its owners. Limited Liability Company (LLC). An LLC is a hybrid structure that can be formed as a partnership…

What Business Contracts Should (and Shouldn’t) Accomplish

Maryland Business Contract LawyerNo one starts a business because they love paperwork. For most business owners, worrying about things like contracts is simply part of doing business, and it can seem tedious or even boring. For most of us, the contracts we have with employees, clients, contractors and landlords are something we hope to just set and forget. We notice these contracts only if they end up causing us problems. However, a well-drafted contract can save you an unimaginable amount of work and stress, just like a poorly drafted contract can spell doom for a business. Not every contract you sign will be drafted by you or your attorney. Over the course of running a business, many entrepreneurs will be asked to sign things that are given to them by other businesses - and, by the way, you should be asking your attorney to review any contract given to you by someone else…

What Freelancers and Small Businesses Should Know About Liability

If you are a small-business owner or a freelancer, you most likely don’t have deep pockets to reach into if you get sued and lose your case. As the sole proprietor of your company and its assets, you are personally liable and could end up losing everything: your business, your home, your money. At Lusk Law, LLC, we pride ourselves on being Advocates for Life’s Obstacles and Opportunities. As experienced Maryland business law attorneys, we know the complex challenges that small-business owners face. Whether you need representation in a lawsuit or advice on any other legal matter, we offer personalized service grounded in a thorough understanding of the law. Why Would Someone Sue My Business? You do your best to offer a high-quality service or product and it’s important to you to keep every customer and employee happy. But no matter how ethical and conscientious you are, problems will crop…

Legal Considerations for Debt Collection, Explained

You work hard, provide a service, and take pride in what you do. Not only is it frustrating when your invoices go unpaid, it puts your company at risk. As a business owner, there are steps that you can take to maximize the likelihood you’ll be paid in a timely manner and to collect payment from delinquent clients. Rebekah Lusk and her associates are well versed in Maryland law regarding collection of debts. If you are a business owner or landlord who needs help collecting a debt or assistance drafting a payment contract for prospective clients, call Lusk Law, LLC. Understanding Debt Collection Law While you may feel victimized and angry about a client or tenant who refuses to pay you what you’re owed, you have to be careful about how you attempt to collect a debt. Consumers in Maryland are protected by federal law (the Fair Debt Collection Practices…

What is the MD Consumer Protection Act – And How Does it Affect You?

If you live in Maryland and have been the victim of an unscrupulous landlord, service provider, or seller of consumer goods, you have a powerful tool to help you fight back and win restitution: The Maryland Consumer Protection Act (CPA). Created in 1973 to protect citizens against unfair and deceptive business practices and “restore an undermined public confidence in merchants,” the legislation is designed to “set minimum statewide standards for the protection of consumers” with the recognition that existing laws were “inadequate, poorly coordinated and not widely known or adequately enforced.” More specifically, the CPA strives to offer “strong protective and preventive steps to investigate unlawful consumer practices, to assist the public in obtaining relief from these practices, and to prevent these practices from occurring in Maryland.” Realizing you’ve been duped or scammed is frustrating, embarrassing, and can cost you money that you can’t afford to lose. Call the skilled…

Minimum Standards of Care for Animals

Domestic animals are completely dependent on their human caretakers for food, shelter, medical care, and their overall health and happiness. If they are being abused or neglected, they can’t speak up, and they don’t have recourse to improve their quality of life. We understand that as the proprietor of an animal-based enterprise, you face the same challenges as any small business, and then some. Whether you’re a farmer, veterinarian, dog walker, trainer, groomer, or pet boarder, you have to juggle the needs of customers, employees, and the animals in your care — all while watching your bottom line. The well-being of your charges is paramount. In Maryland criminal code 10-604, the state defines the minimum standard of care that every animal is entitled to receive. Attorney Rebekah Lusk not only knows animal and equine law inside and out, she runs a horse farm and boarding facility herself, giving her valuable…

What Are Replevin/Detinue Actions?

If another person has taken — or borrowed and refused to return — property belonging to you, you may be wondering whether you have legal recourse to recover the item or items. Yes, you do, in the form of replevin and detinue actions. These two types of cases are very similar, but there are a few key differences. The lawyers at Lusk Law, LLC are happy to sit down with you and discuss the specifics of each type of action and which is most appropriate for your situation. A Replevin Action Is Quicker, but Temporary If you want the fastest possible return of your property, a replevin action may be the best first step. When you file for replevin, you must demonstrate in a Show Cause hearing that you are entitled to gain possession of the property right away. Just because you own the item or have title to it…

5 Steps Businesses Should Take to Reduce the Threat of a Lawsuit

It’s an unpleasant part of doing business, but it’s an increasingly common one: If you’re a business owner, you may very well find yourself facing a lawsuit. In fact, a recent poll found that 43 percent of small-business owners in the U.S. have been threatened with or involved with a civil lawsuit. And as luck would have it, the U.S. legal system is the world’s most costly. A report by the Small Business Association Office of Advocacy found that the cost of litigation for small firms can range up to $130,000. That’s a big bill for a small business trying to make ends meet. As a business owner, you might be sued by one of your customers, accusing you of providing faulty goods or services or claiming to have been injured on your property. You might also be sued by employees claiming, for example, discrimination or other breaches of HR policy. Prepare Now to…

How Small-Business Owners Can Reduce Slip & Fall Liability

How Small-Business Owners Can Reduce Slip & Fall LiabilityAs a small-business owner, you likely don’t have the deep pockets of a large corporation. If sued, you can’t pay out a hefty settlement and then just move on. One costly lawsuit may have the power to break you and your company. The good news is that Maryland is one of the few states that applies a principle called “contributory negligence” to personal injury claims. As opposed to the “comparative negligence” rule that most states follow, contributory negligence is more favorable to defendants. Basically, it means that in order to win compensation, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant is entirely responsible for the incident that led to injury. In comparative negligence states, the party being sued may be on the hook for some damages even if the plaintiff is found to be partly responsible for the accident. That said, it’s in your and your customers’ best interests to make…