Houston Business and Family Law Blog

Hold Your Horses, OSHA: You're Upping Fines?

The maximum OSHA penalties will go up by 78%.

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There was recently a period of radio silence, wherein the Occupational Safety & Health Administration seemed less interested in handing out citations for safety violations and imposing fines, or so it seemed to us at Kerr, Hendershot & Cannon, P.C. There were simply fewer of these types of cases over much of the past year.

But if the latest news is any indication, OSHA may be preparing to step up enforcement once again, or at the least, will have additional motivation: On Aug. 1, OSHA fines are set to increase.

One Internet Entrepreneur's Approach to Fighting Off a Patent Troll

Fark.com: 'We don't make news. We mock it.'

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Fark.com is an internet news aggregator boasting millions of monthly page views. Drew Curtis originally registered Fark.com in 1997. Since then, Fark has grown to become one of the most successful sites of its kind.

Are You Entitled to Your Ex's Pension Post-Divorce?

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This is a common issue. In practical terms, funds held in retirement accounts and pensions aren't generally disbursed immediately upon divorce. The tax penalty for early withdrawals on a 401(k) is one reason. Another is that pensions usually don't pay out until your ex retires from service at the company. All of this may happen several years in the future.

  • Because you're looking at a long-term future event, you must ensure that the divorce decree accurately represents your rights and interests.

Thus, you begin here, with the divorce decree: Read the original court order and any other documents. What do the documents tell you?

How Hard Will This Divorce Be On My Finances?

A Quick Guide to a Solid Financial Footing Post-Divorce

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The easy - but tough - answer is that divorce will be hard on your finances. Divorce is change, and any change like this will change how you've been managing your money. From those with modest income to the wealthy, it is a matter of degree. Even wealthy couples may suffer financially in a divorce. So, it comes down to (1) how well you manage your finances and (2) how well you protect your rights during the divorce process.

The Divorce Article That Just Might Save Your Marriage

This might sound strange coming from a divorce lawyer...

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We know what you're thinking: that we want you to get divorced. After all, that would mean another case. But, contrary to what you're thinking, we don't want that to happen to you. More divorces might mean more cases, but taking that idea to its logical conclusion, it would mean that the institution of marriage wasn't working. And that is not a world we want to live in.

But we do live in a world where some marriages end in divorce. The challenge is how to deal with that reality.

Ex-Wife Not Giving You Enough Time with Your Kids?

Today is Friday. It's almost the weekend. It's 80 degrees here in Houston and it looks to stay that way through the weekend. Perfect weather, plenty of sunshine. Maybe you'll spend some time outside with your kids.

Hold that thought.

Maybe you won't, because your ex-wife won't let you see them nearly enough.

It's time to change that.

Trade Secret Misappropriation: 3 Ways to Fight Back

Get a big red stop sign from the judge.

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You have valuable source code, customer lists, a product design - you name it, if it's your trade secret, protecting it is a top priority. All too often, however, companies face misappropriation. Perhaps a competitor gets its hands on your product and is now trying to reverse engineer it, or a former sales rep has taken your firm's customer lists to his new employer.

One way to stop it is through an "injunction" - a big red stop sign issued by the judge, which orders the competitor or former employee to stop what they're doing.

You Can Run, But You Can't Hide (From Patent Trolls)

Actually, you can't really run, either.

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Your HQ might be in Silicon Valley, but patent trolls can sue you in any jurisdiction in the U.S. Don't ask us if it's fair (it's not) - being able to pick the forum for litigation is unique to patent trolls, and a bit of a headache for entrepreneurs and executives like you.

We've got Advil, but before it starts working, your headache is only going to get worse.

Who Gets the Private Jet After Divorce? (And Other Unique Assets)

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If you read only the first paragraph of this post, make it this one:

  • There are multiple methods of "dividing" unique assets, some of which will not require you to give up what you want to keep. The key is properly valuing these assets and dividing other property in a way that accounts for the value.

To take a private jet as an example, divorce will call into question what happens to your fractional ownership interest and/or mileage points. (The financial liability of aircraft maintenance will also require attention in a divorce.)