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Houston Business Litigation Law Blog

Getting back on your feet after someone defrauds you

The strength of a Texas business often depends largely on deals with other companies. At Massey Law Firm PLLC, we understand what is at stake when our clients bring their contract law disputes to us. It is not just money, your whole business and the lives of each of your employees could be adversely affected if you were defrauded.

One of the major struggles we see in this type of case is that business owners are often struggling to maintain daily operations of their companies while simultaneously seeking compensation for the fraudulent act.

When do I need a non-disclosure agreement?

For Houston business owners, information is king. That’s why you must take the proper steps to safeguard your most valuable information, which is exactly the type of protection a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) affords. Entrepreneur offers a few situations when you should absolutely have an NDA drafted to protect your business interests.

To protect against employee disclosures

Is your business a victim of trade libel?

Having someone speak negatively about your business can be devastating, especially if their words have a financial impact on your business. If someone has published something that is untrue about your company, it may be considered trade libel and you could likely be entitled to damages.

What are the different elements of trade libel?

What is tortious interference?

Competition can be healthy, but it may also bring out the worst in Texas business owners. If a competitor seeks to damage or impair your business relationship with others by improper means, the competitor's behavior may fall under the category of tortious interference.

According to FindLaw, the most common form of tortious interference is an induced or forced breach of contract between you and a third party. Other common forms of tortious interference may include an inducement to discontinue an informal business relationship, in which a contract is not involved, or interfering with the sale of a business.

When your business partner breaches a contract

Entering into a Texas business partnership involves a certain level of trust, but in some cases, partnerships that once thrived and helped further your company’s best interests can turn sour. At Massey Law Firm PLLC, we understand how potentially damaging it can be to your business when a partner breaches a contract, and we have helped many people facing similar scenarios pursue recourse after a business partnership contract breach.

Per SmallBusiness.Chron.com, while business partnership agreements do not always have to be in writing to be valid, it can certainly help your cause to have a written agreement, should a situation arise when your business partner fails to uphold up his or her end of a bargain. If your business partner breaks a contract, whether by breaking confidentiality rules, investing capital without consent or what have you, you will typically have several options at your disposal as far as recourse.

The consequences of breaching fiduciary duty

Texan residents who have a fiduciary relationship with a client will hold some form of fiduciary duty. This comes with some important rules and regulations that must be followed stringently, or the duty holder can face severe penalty.

FindLaw first defines fiduciary duty and what a breach of this duty looks like. Whenever one party is obligated to act beneficially toward another and is held legally responsible to do so, this is called fiduciary duty. Therefore, breaching fiduciary duty usually entails doing something that is not beneficial, or even detrimental, to the client. Potential breaches can include withholding information due to conflict of interest, acting out of self-interest, or acting in a way that directly conflicts with the client's interests.

What is a failure of disclosure?

Texan business owners have a duty to fulfill any contract that they sign into. Many actions can be considered a breach of contract, though. This includes any potential failure to disclose information, knowledge, or other key pieces that are crucial to fulfilling the contract.

Cornell Law School defines a failure to disclose as any situation in which a person or entity - such as a company - did not accurately or fully disclose all information that the other involved parties should have been aware of from the start. Factors that may be examined can include:

  • How important the disclosed information was
  • The extent that the person or entity knew information wasn't being disclosed
  • How many times this happened
  • If you or your company have a history of failing to disclose information

How can you solve a business dispute?

Texan business owners like you understand that unfortunately, a time may come in which there are disputes arising in your business that you need to deal with. Massey Law Firm, PLLC, is here to help guide you through this difficult time and reach a conclusion that suits your business well.

Fortunately, you don't need to worry about jumping into legal action right away. In fact, many different disputes among business partners, vendors, or employees can be resolved through simple negotiation. If possible, you may want to have a professional mediator on hand. They will provide a neutral third party that ensures everyone feels they're being treated fairly and without bias. They can help keep personal feelings out of the equation, leading to an end result that benefits everyone.

How to recognize and handle embezzlement

Texas business owners usually think they can trust their employees. If they realize the company finances are not balancing, however, people may find themselves in a difficult situation. Embezzlement can happen at even the smallest companies, so it is important for people to recognize the signs and understand what they should do.

If business owners suspect someone at the company is embezzling money, it is important to take action. FindLaw says that people should usually figure out which employees had access to the missing funds. They should generally interview each of these people and keep notes. It is a good idea to have a neutral person in the room to monitor each interview. Once business owners know who embezzled money, they should usually ask this person to leave his or her job. Many people may want to recover the money they lost. It is a good idea to speak to the business's insurance agent to understand if the company needs to file a claim.

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Massey Law Firm PLLC
601 Sawyer St.
Suite 225
Houston, TX 77007

Phone: 346-800-6101
Fax: 713-588-8437
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