What is Your Agreement’s Term?

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Can you be terminated today for no reason?

Lawyers are a lot of things, but we are not magicians. Most times, we cannot make language in your agreement appear different than it actually is. The basic rule in contract interpretation, which is generally followed by the courts, is to give the words in a contract their plain and ordinary meaning. And if your contract lacks a term, then there is simply no term, expressed or implied.

One of the most common calls that I receive from independent manufacturers’ representatives is the one where she or he has just landed the … Read the rest

Home-Field Advantage

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In sports, there is no doubt that home-field advantage is quite significant and can mean the difference between winning and losing. In the book, Scorecasting, by Professors Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim, statistics were compiled on the probability of winning when teams play at home. It recorded soccer having the largest average home advantage ranging from 60 to almost 70 percent. In basketball, the NBA teams win approximately 62 percent of their home games; in cricket, the NHL and rugby, home teams win about 60 percent of the time.

Although not a game to most litigants, litigation, … Read the rest

Litigation is Expensive.
So, How Do I Afford It?

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You are a representative who has been terminated even though your written contract states that you cannot be fired until a certain condition precedent has occurred. Or you have improved or created a product or process, and your principal or your customer is marketing it as their own without providing you with any credit. Your friends and colleagues tell you that you should hire a lawyer and do something about it — and MANA has several excellent lawyers on its roster from which to choose — but you fear that any litigation would be too expensive to pursue. So do Read the rest

How To Beat A Non-Compete Agreement: Five questions that might free you from a restrictive trade agreement

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In a nation that rewards competitiveness, non-compete agreements sound like an anomaly. While employers tend to favor them, anyone who has ever been asked to sign one will probably complain that they hinder the free and open competition that has made our economy prosper for 200-plus years.

Philosophical issues aside, what do you do if you ever have to deal with a non-compete? How might you negotiate a more favorable deal for yourself, prevail in court against one or, better yet, avoid the restrictions in the first place?

Dozens of state and federal court decisions, fortunately, suggest some practical

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