Yearly Archives: 2013

To see articles written by our attorneys on a range of topics, just use the links to the right.
Beware of the “Harmless” Letter of Intent

When you sign a “non-binding” Letter of Intent or Term Sheet before negotiating a lease, you might logically believe that you will not be bound by it. Unfortunately, based on recent trends and case law, that is not true. Letters of Intent and Term Sheets (both referred to as “LOIs” here) serve the same purpose:…MORE

Author: A. Howard Metro

Maryland and District of Columbia Employers Alert: New Legislation on Wages

On October 1, 2013, both Maryland and District of Columbia employees were given powerful tools to collect unpaid wages from their employers. These new remedies have the potential to cause significant problems for employers. If you are a business owner, it is imperative that you understand these new laws and take steps to minimize your…MORE

Author: admin

Should I Convert My Commercial Building into a Condominium?

Often, I am asked by my clients whether they should consider converting their commercial building into a condominium. If you are thinking about selling a commercial property that you own or plan to build in Maryland, then you may want consider this opportunity. It is very possible you could generate a more favorable return if…MORE

Author: Michael A. Faerber

Big Issues, Short Takes – September 2013

Unlike many other states, Maryland does not have a “dram shop” act that places liability on bars and restaurants for serving or continuing to serve intoxicated individuals. Recently, the Court determined that there is no relationship between a tavern and an injured third party as a result of the tavern’s serving alcohol to the drunk driver responsible…MORE

Author: Ronald E. Lyons

Big Issues, Short Takes – June 2013

“Rain Tax, Rain Tax, Go Away!” You can chant “Rain Tax, Rain Tax, go away”, but it won’t stop Maryland’s new levy, implemented to offset the costs of runoff from impervious surfaces into the Chesapeake Bay. The Rain Tax affects you if your home, business or non-profit is located in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Frederick, Anne…MORE

Author: A. Howard Metro

The Potential Cost of Unpaid Summer Interns

Summer has turned into the season of the unpaid internship. Job-hungry students with little or no hope of a paid position agree to take their “compensation” in the form of practical job experience. It sounds too good to be true, and it probably is now that the Department of Labor (DOL) is focusing on the…MORE

Author: Ronald E. Lyons

“A new perspective, a new insight”…

Those were the words used by Justice Kennedy to describe our country’s evolving understanding of same-sex marriage. In his opinion finding the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, he declared that “same-sex couples should have the right to marry and so live with pride in themselves and their union in status of equality with…MORE

Author: Lawrence S. Jacobs

How Your Business Can Prevent Wage Discrimination Claims

Do you have a fair and well-thought-out policy for how your business sets employee compensation? It can go a long way towards preventing a claim for discrimination. A recent federal case arising out of Arkansas illustrates this point. Lakishia Hill was an employee for the City of Pine Bluff, working in its office of Inspection…MORE

Author: Ronald E. Lyons

Medical Lease Negotiations: Ten Items to Consider

When medical professionals lease new space there are complicated issues that can cause long-term problems if they are not addressed correctly. When we work with physicians or other healthcare-related businesses on leases, here are some of the things we look for: 1. Build-Out/Construction Issues Medical offices often need numerous rooms for different purposes and layouts…MORE

Author: Michael A. Faerber

Big Issues, Short Takes – May 2013

Independent Contractors – Construction Many federal and state agencies are auditing employers to make sure they are properly classifying their workers as employees or independent contractors. A recent District of Columbia law, the Workplace Fraud Act, presumes that workers in the District of Columbia construction services industry are employees unless the employer can otherwise demonstrate that the…MORE

Author: Donna M. McMillan

Why and How to Update Your Employment Manual

Your employment manual should be a living document that grows and changes as the company evolves. Both employees and management view the manual as a guide on how to resolve conflicts and problems that arise in the workplace. You need to be able to apply policies consistently to resolve employment issues and reduce the company’s…MORE

Author: admin

10 Things to Check Before Signing a Commercial Lease

A commercial lease is one of the largest financial and legal commitments a business makes. So before signing a lease, you should ask your attorney to review it to understand what costs, responsibilities and liabilities the landlord is passing on to you as the tenant. You should also determine which, if any, terms you can…MORE

Author: Michael A. Faerber

Big Issues, Short Takes – April 2013

Cyber Security – Stronger Passwords A few years ago, we thought 8-character passwords were strong. Then the Georgia Institute of Technology tested 8-character security using commonly available programs and cracked the passwords in two hours. But it would take thousands of years to crack a 12-character password using the same technology. Moral of the story:…MORE

Author: A. Howard Metro

Monthly Tax Tip: Don’t Be Afraid of the IRS

Collection notices from the IRS are daunting, but addressing them quickly can prevent bank and wage attachments. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights is designed to protect taxpayers. However, you must timely respond to the IRS to take advantage of these protections. If the IRS violates your rights, you may be entitled to recover damages from…MORE

Author: Robb A. Longman

The Nightmare of General Easements

Easements are interests in real estate which usually provide a benefit to owners of one parcel of land, while burdening another parcel of land over which the easement runs. Sometimes the creators and drafters of easements describe them generally and do not ever provide their specific locations, or even specify the full nature or extent…MORE

Author: Tracie L. Clabaugh

The Mistake – “Just Sign Here” Software Development Contract Problems

Businesses often call us about disputes involving signed contracts that require payments of thousands of dollars for software development, although the software was never fully developed or made functional. Unfortunately, our assistance would have been far more valuable before the software development contracts were signed. Too often, form software development contracts protect only the developers….MORE

Author: A. Howard Metro

Terminating Your Employees: The Final Paycheck

When an employer terminates an employee, it can easily expose itself to liability by not issuing the final paycheck on time. Not surprisingly, this subject is heavily regulated by the states. Sometimes companies hold on to the last paycheck until all company property is returned. Employers should NOT do this because it is often prohibited…MORE

Author: admin

Real Property Taxes – APPEAL NOW!

Owners of both residential and commercial real property in Maryland recently received notices from the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (“SDAT”) indicating the newly assessed values of their real properties. These notices are generated by the SDAT every three years. For many, the assessed property values have increased since the last assessment date. Therefore,…MORE

Author: Robb A. Longman