As they say, breakin’ up is hard to do. Business break-ups are even harder to do, because they are intricate and complicated. Many times, business divorces are between family members, the children of a deceased business owner, or lifelong friends, which add a high degree of personal animosity. A number of issues typically arise in business divorce cases including the valuation and sale of assets, allocation of liabilities, taxation issues, allegations of fiduciary misconduct, and avoiding continuing liability. Chase has experience in developing exit strategies and drafting separation documents when business owners decide to part ways. When necessary, Chase uses his business litigation skills to litigate business divorce issues including buy/sell disputes, fiduciary duty claims, involuntary business dissolution, and majority/minority shareholder claims.
In a perfect world, contracts would be clear and unambiguous, and they would always be honored. Unfortunately, we live in a world where contracts are sometimes unclear and routinely breached. In some instances, contracts are disregarded because it makes more economic sense for a business to breach the contract and cover damages than to remain obligated. When contracts are breached, there are a number of remedies available including damages, attorney's fees, and even court-ordered specific performance of the contract. Chase has significant experience in advising his clients about their rights in contract disputes, including claims for quantum meruit and promissory estoppel when no enforceable contract exists.
Chase has represented several general contractors and subcontractors, and has significant experience litigating construction related issues including breach of construction contracts, change order disputes, payment disputes, construction defects, design defects, delay damages, foreclosure of mechanic's liens and payment bond claims. Chase is familiar with the notice and filing requirements for mechanic's liens on residential homestead and nonresidential commercial projects and advises his construction clients on their rights under the Texas Prompt Payment Act.
Chase works closely with his business clients to ensure they're using thoughtful employment agreements and implementing sound policies to minimize the risk of litigation brought by employees. Chase also guides his clients through the process of terminating employees and assists with preparing severance packages and separation agreements. When litigation of employment matters becomes necessary, Chase is equipped to handle claims in both federal and state court involving the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, unpaid wages, failure to pay overtime, the classification of independent contractors, retaliation, wrongful termination, disability, discrimination, theft of trade secrets, violations of non-compete agreements, breach of employment agreements, and violations of non-solicitation agreements.
covenants not to compete
Savvy businesses use non-compete agreements to retain a competitive edge by preventing employees from disclosing trade secrets and confidential information with competitors. These agreements, when effectively drafted, allow a business to share sensitive information with the employee, free from concerns that it will face unfair competition when the employment relationship ends and the employee begins working for a competitor. When these agreements are violated, it often causes irreparable harm to the business. Often, an aggressive response is necessary requiring immediate injunctive relief from a court at law. Chase has extensive experience in enforcing and defending non-compete agreements. Chase also advises his clients on the enforceability of these agreements.
real estate litigation
Real property disputes are almost always high-stakes. Today's real estate market and the current DFW construction boom have created a fertile bed for litigation involving real estate and construction contracts, boundary disputes, construction defects, landlord/tenant disputes, deed restriction disputes, quiet title actions, and adverse possession claims. Chase has represented property owners, lenders, homeowner associations, purchasers, investors, sellers, developers, and construction companies in these areas and more.
Businesses, much like people, can be harmed by the wrongful acts of others. Examples of business torts almost always involve wrongdoing within a business relationship: one party defrauds another party by making material misrepresentations about a good or service; one party commits deceptive trade practices by passing off goods with certain characteristics which they do not have; a fiduciary for the company engages in self-dealing; an employee misappropriates the company's trade secrets in favor of a competitor; or a company slanders its competitor to gain a competitive advantage. Chase has significant experience in prosecuting and defending multi-million dollar business tort cases for his clients involving fraud, fiduciary duty, disparagement, tortious interference, and theft of company property and trade secrets.
business counsel in family law cases
When parties with ownership interests in businesses go through a divorce, their family law attorneys sometimes use the assistance of outside business counsel to help guide the parties through complex business and investment related issues such as valuation of business interests, characterization of the marital assets, drafting corporate documents, addressing buyouts of a spouse, and even litigating business issues incident to the divorce. In other instances, the parties find themselves needing to litigate business issues many years after the finalization of the divorce. Chase works closely with high net worth individuals, business owners, and their family law counsel when they need help with complex business issues incident to a divorce.
Chase has been formally trained to mediate complex business disputes, and has accumulated more than 40 hours of mediation training in addition to years of trial and appellate experience. Chase’s experience in the courtroom brings a unique perspective to mediation that allows the parties embroiled in a business dispute to evaluate the risks of proceeding in litigation versus settlement. Chase can resolve your business dispute in either his Frisco or Dallas office, or he can travel to your office. Chase does half-day or full-day mediation sessions.