Law Offices of Jesse D. Cook, PLC Arizona Litigation and Transaction Attorneys Thu, 28 Sep 2017 06:09:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 141642522 Commercial Zoning Issues Beg Input From Proven Business Attorney Wed, 26 Oct 2016 11:09:27 +0000 Getting a new business off the ground — both figuratively and literally — in the Phoenix metro area or elsewhere in Arizona entails hundreds of hoops and hurdles, with government regulations spanning subject matter that ranges from A to Z.

In the commercial context, that latter reference often centrally refers to zoning considerations, which can be — in fact, customarily are — myriad and complex, especially for a business enterprise of material magnitude.

Where zoning is concerned, notes an online overview of the subject, a business principal should “consider speaking with a skilled business and commercial law attorney” to help ensure that every important issue is identified, fully evaluated and legally complied with in all particulars.

Because if that is not the case, troubles down the road are sure to follow.

Consider, for example, a case where business entrepreneurs do not duly consider municipal zoning ordinances prior to executing a commercial lease. It could turn out to be the case that a particular land use or contemplated commercial activity is enjoined for the property they have leased.

Alternatively, owners might quickly find out that the granted variance allowing for a property use that is disallowed for other local businesses applied only to a previous tenant. Or they might discover that, while a zoning edict permits a certain use, that use is conditional upon new lessees satisfying a specific mandate, such as creating parking spaces or implementing noise-abatement measures.

The bottom line regarding zoning matters relevant to the negotiation and execution of a commercial lease is to have a proven real estate attorney on board early to help ensure that all legalities are duly complied with.

Call Cook & Price, PLC today at 480-407-4440 or email us through this website.

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Litigation “Flurry” In Wake Of Massive Health System Hack Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:09:10 +0000 Much about Phoenix-based Banner Health is big. The non-profit health system employs many thousands of people and operates hospitals and specialized clinics in many states. Banner Health’s patient list is long, and its revenues impressively large.

These days, what might reasonably strike many people as being particularly outsized about Banner is the sheer magnitude of its litigation woes. Those are linked with the company’s disclosure this past August of a data breach that might have compromised the personal data of 3.7 million patients who use Banner’s services.

Such a potentially large records hack has understandably bred great concerns in the general public and, concomitantly, a reported “flurry of civil lawsuits from a doctor and patients who allege harm from the data breach.”

Litigation has been filed in both Maricopa County Superior Court and in federal court in Phoenix.

In commenting on the filings, a Banner spokesperson says that the company will not divulge details, given that the judicial claims against the health provider are pending.

Banner’s problems are far from being singular or isolated within the health care industry, given the clear attraction that medical and related records hold for cyber criminals. As one recent Arizona media report on the large-scale Banner hack earlier this year notes, hackers view medical records/data “as an easy target that can retrieve a lucrative return when sold on the dark web.”

That is of course scary, especially since confirmation regarding the attractiveness of medical targets for hackers is readily provided by other instances of hacking. Reportedly, Anthem Blue Cross suffered an attack of unprecedented proportions early last year involving the potential pilfering of confidential information from close to 80 million people.

Cyber attacks against business are both a well-entrenched reality and a growing phenomenon. As such, it is unquestionable that they will increasingly feature as subject matter in civil and criminal litigation.

Call Cook & Price, PLC today at 480-407-4440 or email us through this website.

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Approaching Revenue Recognition Changes Will Affect Many Businesses Wed, 12 Oct 2016 11:09:11 +0000 January 1, 2018, is a looming date of reckoning for public companies in Arizona and across the United States — and American companies doing business internationally, as well — that sell goods and services to customers over a time period that is differentiated from a single, discrete point of sale. For private companies, the first day of 2019 will have a similar impact.

The businesses that need to be paying attention to new guidelines that will take legal effect on those respective dates are those that Forbes states offer “subscription” services.

For quick clarification of what that means, readers might simply think of things like mobile service providers or software vendors. As opposed to instances where consumers pay cash for a service or product they receive immediately and in its entirety, subscription scenarios can be far more complex when it comes to recognizing revenue. Is a sale accounted for when a contract is initially signed or on the date it expires?

That moment of accounting is important for many individuals and entities. The IRS certainly wants to know for taxation purposes. Regulators and investors want an accurate picture of an enterprise’s financial performance and health.

There are of course long-tenured domestic and international recognition standards in place, but concern has grown that they aren’t optimally compatible and that greater harmony and consistency need to apply though closer alignment of American and global rules.

And, thus, the newly proposed guidelines, which Forbes states affected companies need to be paying attention to and readying for now, given their complexity and new learning that will be required to stay legally abreast of changing requirements.

Forbes notes that there will be “huge implications for public, private and not-for-profit organizations.”

Implementation is not far off, with companies that need to make adjustments having much work to do to get ready and be compliant in a timely manner.

Affected businesses might reasonably want to consult with proven professionals regarding readiness, with experienced business law attorneys and other advisers being well placed to offer guidance and input on preparations for the new revenue recognition standard that will soon be put into place.

Call Cook & Price, PLC today at 480-407-4440 or email us through this website.

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“C” Or “S” Corporation? A Proven Business Attorney Can Advise Fri, 07 Oct 2016 11:09:09 +0000 If you and perhaps some additional Arizona individuals comprise a group of smart entrepreneurs focused upon forming a dynamic new commercial enterprise, congratulations.

A prospective business launch in the Phoenix metro area or elsewhere within the state is an exciting moment for any new company.

And, obviously, the considerations surrounding key details are critically important. How a business is legally defined will have both immediate and long-term repercussions that centrally link to profit, liability, taxes and other material concerns.

We note in an article on our website at the established Tempe business law firm of Cook & Price, PLC, one key distinction that faces many Arizona entrepreneurs as they seek to begin a new business.

Business principals, we note therein, “need to know the difference between an S corporation and C corporation.”

Proven business/commercial attorneys can help them fully understand those differences, appreciate the pros and potential cons of each business form in light of company objectives, and help them work through the requisite legal details that must be attended to in order to implement a specific corporate form.

Indeed, discussions and an ultimate determination regarding business formation mark exciting moments for many entrepreneurs, given the flat importance of making proper decisions at the inception of a new business entity.

What’s better, a C corporation or an S corporation?

We necessarily note that “there is no one-size-fits-all answer” to that question, which can be determined only after thoughtful discussions with seasoned legal counsel.

Guidance from experienced business attorneys will fully touch upon all relevant considerations, ranging from federal and state tax treatment and company accounting methods to asset shielding, stock issuance and more.

Ultimately, and as we note in the above-cited article, close, candid and timely communications with proven legal counsel can help ensure “that all legalities are properly thought through ahead of time so that the best choice is ultimately made.”

Call Cook & Price, PLC today at 480-407-4440 or email us through this website.

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Sometimes A Business Needs A New Perspective, Fresh Ideas Wed, 28 Sep 2016 11:09:08 +0000 “Today’s business owners realize they have much to lose by acting without legal counsel and much to gain by having accurate, relevant advice.”

We make that comment on a relevant page of our Phoenix metro area-based law firm at Cook & Price, PLC, where we provide studied and on-point legal advice and representation to diverse business clients from all across Arizona, and we wholeheartedly believe it to be true.

Strong legal input and advocacy of course extends — and routinely so — to discrete and one-time transactions, such as contract negotiation and drafting or representation in court on a litigated matter, but it also applies to ongoing commercial operations across a wide universe of concerns.

That is duly noted in a recent article discussing the continuing needs of many already established businesses that have currently hit a plateau or lost drive and momentum in their continued pursuit of success and relevancy in the marketplace.

That simply happens sometimes. Perhaps, as that media piece observes, a business just loses a bit of entrepreneurial vision in its strategic planning. Maybe a company is stalling because of inertia bred from past business successes. Perhaps some partners or other high-echelon managers who were dynamic and at one time continuing fonts for new ideas have grown overly conservative and risk-averse, which has resulted in lost corporate opportunities.

It might be the case that necessary discussions and understandings concerning legal matters — permits, zoning, environmental compliance, licensing, risk identification and mitigation, or myriad other matters — have been delayed or shelved for any number of reasons.

Proven business lawyers can be a key part of any business team seeking to identify and fully explore strategic options. As we note on our site, a tenured and experienced commercial law firm is “always ready to respond to needs that require legal counsel.”

Call Cook & Price, PLC today at 480-407-4440 or email us through this website.

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Insurance Matters: Often At Crux Of Business, Contract Disputes Tue, 20 Sep 2016 11:09:26 +0000 Insurance is at once many things to many people and businesses.

For starters, it is what individuals and entities that are engaging in risk analysis and response quite rightly refer to sometimes as “a necessary evil.”

Actually, that “evil” tag might be a bit uncivil. When insurance is needed and works the way it is supposed to, it is in fact a most valuable asset and something that is thankfully in force. And it is certainly a sign that adverse outcomes — and, most importantly, catastrophic events — have been avoided when it is not needed.

The problem with insurance is that, even when it is secured through the due execution of a policy, disputes can still occur when a claim is brought.

No reasonable person argues that such is never the case. In fact, insurance-related disputes are a commonplace in business matters in Arizona and across the country.

When they occur, the close and timely assistance of a proven business and commercial law attorney can be essential for resolving them.

And the reasons for that are myriad.

For starters, insurance law and related matters — ranging from policy language and coverage to multiple other issues — are complex. “Read and understand the fine print” is an admonition that is central to insurance contracts, with even seasoned business professionals needing to tread carefully and methodically in their evaluation and negotiation of an insurance policy prior to executing it.

The issues that can surface regarding insurance policies and coverage encompass many questions. What does the contract language say? Is it explicit or ambiguous? How might a court rule? Are there stated exceptions? Is there a rider that is centrally in play? Are there multiple parties that might be pursued for liability? Is a claim being unfairly limited or even being denied in what is arguably bad faith?

The parties and business entities needing help on insurance matters can be many. Private individuals with damage claims often have legitimate questions and grievances. Business enterprises often need guidance, both as a precautionary matter and following a loss. And insurers, too, obviously need outside counsel in many instances.

Standing ready to offer needed input and, when necessary, diligent legal advocacy is the role of a proven law firm that routinely represents clients having insurance-related concerns.

An experienced insurance dispute attorney can provide further information.

Call Cook & Price, PLC today at 480-407-4440 or email us through this website.

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The Wide-Ranging Business Needs Of Professional Athletes Tue, 13 Sep 2016 11:09:26 +0000 To say that top-caliber athletes in Arizona and across the country have singular concerns when it comes to things like negotiating and executing business contracts, weighing marketing and various endorsement deals, working with financial planners and forging agreements related to housing and perhaps other realty/property is an understatement.

In fact, and as we note on a page of our business and commercial law website at Cook & Price, PLC, in Phoenix, “Professional athletes often have unique legal representation needs.”

And, given that, they need to look for attorneys who understand their differentiated financial and business universe. It is immediately understandable why that is the case, and why professional athletes — as well as many top-shelf amateur athletes playing in college programs or with rising stock in upper-level farm systems — seek help from lawyers with proven records advocating on behalf of athletes.

Myriad and broad-based legal concerns routinely arise for pro sports participants, whether they are professionally engaged at the highest level in football, baseball, basketball, hockey or another sport. Our attorneys acutely appreciate the needs of this special community, with our website noting the “customized legal counsel” we bring to all our athlete clients.

To enhance our ability to promote all the business and related needs of pro and select amateur athletes, we operate Onyx Sports Management, a full-service sports agency. Onyx aims to provide seamless legal services to each of our clients in an integrated and encompassing way.

Although that can mean varying things to different clients, our representation broadly encompasses contract negotiation and drafting, advocacy in arbitration and court when necessary, liaison with other professionals such as tax planners, financial experts and realtors, advice concerning endorsement deals, and additional matters.

We welcome questions to the firm and the opportunity to apply our advocacy and related skills on behalf of athletes and their families, seeking in every matter to fully promote the interests of our clients across every conceivable spectrum.

Call Cook & Price, PLC today at 480-407-4440 or email us through this website.

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Consumer Fraud: A Prevalent Problem In Arizona, Nationally Fri, 09 Sep 2016 11:09:25 +0000 If you are an Arizona resident who has been ripped off in a business transaction by an unscrupulous company or business agent who purposefully defrauded you, you can at least take heart in the fact that you’re far from alone.

In fact, consumer fraud is activity engaged in by bad-faith actors to an almost unimaginable degree in daily life, with individuals who justifiably rely upon the assertions of those they are contracting with for goods or services often paying a heavy price for their reliance.

And the gamut of unscrupulous behaviors intended to defraud Arizona consumers and others across the country is wide, indeed.

As we note on our business and commercial law website at the East Valley law firm of Cook & Price, PLC, fraud targeting innocent customers spans a virtual universe of misstatements and deceitful practices.

Consumers are routinely bilked by illegal conduct engaged in by car dealers, for example, with legal complaints commonly spotlighting odometer tampering and misrepresentations or omitted disclosures regarding vehicle accident history and post-crash replacement parts.

And then there is fraud committed by telemarketers engaged in scams, of course, which many people fall prey to. Additionally, consumer fraud occurs in retail/store transactions, with deceptive sales tactics and hype not based on reality fleecing many people. False promises, false premises and other misrepresentations also result in harm for consumers engaged in insurance, real estate and other transactions.

Protecting individuals and families from fraud-based commercial exploitation has long been a concern of regulators and law enforcement officials, and there is considerable state and federal legislation that addresses fraud and provides remedies to those who have been victimized by it.

A proven consumer protection attorney can answer questions and advocate knowledgeably and aggressively on behalf of any client who has suffered damages resulting from the fraudulent acts of another party.

Call Cook & Price, PLC today at 480-407-4440 or email us through this website.

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Corporation Or LLC? An Experienced Attorney Can Help You Decide Tue, 30 Aug 2016 11:21:49 +0000 A group of impassioned Arizona entrepreneurs often commands sharp collective knowledge when it comes to fully understanding the material details of the products or services they seek to supply, their intended market audience and other core business considerations.

They also know the importance of all applicable laws and rules, which, as we note on the business formation page of our commercial law website at the Phoenix metro-area law firm of Cook & Price, PLC, include “tax laws, insurance coverage and employment law.”

Knowing the cumulative complexities involved in those things, start-up principals logically turn their focus to the proper entity selection for their enterprise, knowing that various business forms entail distinct advantages and, in some instances, disadvantages for the type of business that is contemplated.

Fledgling business teams often pose this question internally at a very early stage of a company’s development: Should we opt for a limited liability company or choose a corporation for our business model?

It’s a good — indeed, a critically important — query.

As noted in an online overview that discusses both those business forms, timely and close consultation with a proven business and commercial law attorney can be vital to help enterprise founders fully understand and evaluate the relative pros and cons of all formation possibilities.

A corporate form can yield many pluses for a new business. We note on our site “the importance of incorporating for liability protection, potential tax benefits and branding,” to cite just a few.

And many entrepreneurs can be equally excited by what the above-cited primer calls the “flexibility and simplicity” of a limited liability company. An LLC can also bring some advantages when it comes to avoidance of double taxation on property that rises in value.

Selecting the proper business form at the inception of an enterprise is obviously an exciting and critically important task. Having a knowledgeable legal team on board to flesh out the process and assist with all key details can help ensure long-term company viability and success.

Call Cook & Price, PLC today at 480-407-4440 or email us through this website.

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Business And Commercial Law: Integrated Or Differentiated? Wed, 24 Aug 2016 11:21:58 +0000 Many law offices across the country describe themselves as full-service business and commercial law firms, with that depiction certainly defining who we are and what our attorneys do at the Maricopa County law firm of Cook & Price, PLC.

Indeed, and as noted in an online overview of commercial and business law, those two areas of law “have so many overlapping issues that most attorneys who practice one will have expertise in the other.”

We certainly strive to provide our many diverse clients with top-notch and comprehensive service that spans the entire universe of concerns facing corporate actors. Our representation can sometimes focus narrowly upon a single concern of a business entrepreneur or manager. Alternatively, and at other times, our advocacy can apply to a wide gamut of issues that face a business.

Whether our representation pertains to a “business” or “commercial” concern can sometimes seem like splitting hairs, given the overlap noted above.

What exactly is business law? As the above-cited primer states, it might simply be convenient to think in terms of what goes into forming a company, how it will be organized, how principals’ rights and duties will be set out, how contracts will be negotiated and executed, how property will be bought and managed, and so forth.

On the other hand, commercial law can reasonably be seen as a legal realm that focuses more narrowly on the sale and distribution of goods and services. When the term Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is invoked, it invariably concerns some aspect of commercial law.

The bottom line is that it simply might not be all that worthwhile to quibble over terms. As the aforementioned overview notes, “A business that sells products will almost certainly need a lawyer with experience in both [business and commercial law] fields.”

We welcome readers’ visits to our blog, as well as personal contacts to the firm from business principals with legal questions or concerns that relate importantly to their livelihood.

We reiterate what we state above, namely, that Cook & Price makes best efforts always to advocate diligently and in the best interests of all our clients in every business and commercial law matter.

Call Cook & Price, PLC today at 480-407-4440 or email us through this website.

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