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Lusk Law Client Spotlight: CK Electric

A person wiring a house | Lusk Law Client Spotlight CK ElectricAt Lusk Law LLC — Advocates for Life’s Obstacles and Opportunities — we work hard to meet our clients’ needs, earn their trust, and build lasting relationships with them. As a small business ourselves, we have a deep understanding of the hard work, determination, and passion that’s required to build a successful company from the ground up. Our Client Spotlight series is designed to recognize outstanding businesses serving our community. This month, we’d like to celebrate CK Electric, a veteran-owned and operated company based in Sykesville with a mission of providing high-quality electrical work at an affordable price. CK Electric is owned by Carl Kirkpatrick and his wife, Nancy, who moved to the area from Montgomery County, attracted by the more rural lifestyle. Originally from Haynesville, Louisiana, Carl is a disabled veteran of the United States Marine Corps who spent eight years honorably serving his country with tours in Japan,…

Tips for Creating a Business Succession Plan

You’ve put countless hours of hard work into building your successful business, but have you put any time into considering who will run your business once you retire? If you’re like the majority of small business owners, you probably don’t have a succession plan in place, which can be detrimental in the future to the business you’ve worked so hard to build. By following some tips for creating a business succession plan, you can help ensure your company stays prosperous after you are no longer running it. Seven Tips for Creating a Business Succession Plan Many people put off creating business succession plans because retirement seems so far away and running the business consumes all of their time. However, while retirement might be years or even decades away, depending on your age and circumstances, you can’t be sure what the future holds. Should you become seriously ill or suffer a…

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 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 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…

Lusk Law Client Spotlight: 22 Karrots Health & Wellness Bar

At Lusk Law, LLC, we’re incredibly proud of the relationships we build with clients. We’ve had the pleasure of working with many business owners who are inspiring and forward-thinking individuals. One of our clients, Lauren Cross, recently launched a new business venture called 22 Karrots Health & Wellness Bar. Lauren is a juice junkie, health enthusiast and the perfect ambassador for the health-conscious and delicious offerings she’s serving to patrons in Frederick, Maryland. Lauren was kind enough to share with us her story and her business goals. Tell us about yourself and your business.  My name is Lauren, drawing from my roots in the Frederick community and my 10 years of business, project management, and accounting experience. My position at a leading accounting firm in Bethesda, MD, has propelled me to master critical skills, including the management of customers, vendors, and business partners, multitasking, resolving discrepancies and complaints, and much…