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Frequently Asked Questions

Jay Kaskie - Attorney at Law

Affordable, Experienced Legal Representation with an office in Port Aransas

Q: Do you charge for initial consultations?

A: No. Initial consultations are free. Reasonable email, fax and phone communications are portions of the free consultations. Once the first appointment is scheduled and service is determined, my hourly rates apply. Just call for an appointment.

Q: What are your hourly rates?

A: The hourly rate is $150 per hour on an uncontested basis - lower than other lawyers with similar abilities. Uncontested family cases with no children and/or property issues start at $600.00.

Q: Do you offer payment plans?

A: Yes. Payment plans are available. We will be happy to discuss your circumstances.

Q: I have an uncontested family case. Is it less expensive than normal cases?

A: Uncontested family cases start at $600.

Q: How much do you charge for a simple will?

A: A single simple will, by itself, could be $250. Additional related documents including medical directives and powers of attorney are available for a small additional cost.

Q: What is a business's 'duty of care"?

A: A business's 'duty of care' is part of the tort of negligence and must be proven by someone taking a company to court for negligence. The duty existed where the relationship between the parties involved is close and where the damage caused was foreseeable. A further criterion has been added, suggesting a duty of care' must be "fair, just and reasonable" to impose on a company.

Q: How does "negligence relate to business activity?

A: Negligence is a tort, meaning it is a kind of wrongful act giving rise to a civil court action, usually for damages. Business activity can give rise to negligence in many different ways, for example, through selling defective goods or defective services. To show there has been negligence a plaintiff (someone bringing a case of negligence against a company) must prove the company had a legal duty of care, was in breach of its duty and that there was damage caused by the negligence.

Q: Does a contract need to be in writing?

A: Generally a contract for the sale of goods may be written or verbal, but certain contracts must be in writing. A contract for the sale or transfer of land must be made in writing. It must include all the terms that the parties have agreed in one document and be signed by, or on behalf of, each party.
Employees should be given written contract of employment within two months of starting work, under the Employment Rights Act 1996. Failure to provide a written statement does not affect the validity of a contract of employment, but it does entitle an employee to refer the matter to an industrial tribunal.
A contract of guarantee must also be given in writing (for example, if someone is acting as your guarantor when you borrow money). The absence of a written contract does not make the
agreement invalid, but if one of the parties wants to enforce the contract in court, the written notes or memorandum must be produced.

Q: I'm the owner of a small business and am concerned about the welfare of the business if I suddenly died or become incapacitated. My family knows very little about the business. Is there anything I can do to help my family run the business and assure its continued success?

A: Yes, there is. Some people in your situation create a written "disaster plan" that their family can refer to in case of an emergency.

Q: Do I need to create a business plan even if I'm not going to borrow money?

A: Absolutely. A business plan isn't just window dressing to attract potential investors or market your business to potential lenders. A solid business plan should sell you, the potential owner, on the financial viability and soundness of your business idea. Creating a business plan will force you to think about key issues before you start you business.

Q: Should I form an LLC or incorporate and elect an S Corporation?

A: If you need legal or financial advice as to the type of corporation or LLC that would best suit your business needs, I will be glad to consult with you on the subject, free of charge.

Q: When should I put an employment agreement in writing?

A: When it's clear from job descriptions and the terms of compensation that employees are being hired on an "at will" basis, it may very well make sense to hire them. Most small business employees can be fired without the formality or expense of a written contract, but you'll want to consider negotiating a written contract when you're hiring:

Q: What should be included in an employment contract?

A: While contracts vary depending on the industry and the particular employee, you'll definitely want to include a nondisclosure clause. This will stop your employee from giving away trade secrets or using confidential data like customer lists for a competitor's benefit. This clause should be as detailed as possible, bur also include a catchall phrase that covers a broad range of protected information. Also, a Non-compete clause should be considered. This prevents an employee from joining ranks with your competition after leaving your company.


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