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Can a Company Go Out of Business and Enforce a Non-Compete? And More Free Legal Advice – Free Joe 10/5/12

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On Tuesdays and Fridays, attorney Joe Escalante answers legal questions for free on the LegalZoom Facebook Page. Did you miss the last Free Joe? Don’t worry. We’ve got it all right here.

Sherri: I have a question about non-competes. I was laid off yesterday because my company is going out of business. I was told from HR that my non-compete was still in effect. Is that legal?? Thx.

Joe Escalante: That’s probably their fantasy. If they are not in business, they wont have anyone to enforce the non-compete, which is probably not enforceable anyway. You have a right to earn a living. That is the governing principle behind the non compete.

Frank: how can I seall my records were I want have a felony or so I felony in the state of Florida

Joe Escalante: The surest way is to speak with a criminal defense attorney in Florida who has experience with expunging felonies. This can theoretically done on your own, the first step is to file for eligibility with the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement. This just determines eligibility, but it’s the first step.

Gerod: legally do i have to have kids in order to get a vasectame(excuse the spellin)

Joe Escalante: No Gerod, you just have to hate them.

Ruth: If a person has a quit claim deed done years ago but did not register it is it still good when that person passes if the survivors register it then?

Joe Escalante: It may be, but you might have the problem of the owner quit claiming it to someone else after quit claiming it to you. You will have a mess if they pop up, or have already registered it.

Gerod: and how do i get my name changed

Joe Escalante: You petition the court to have your name changed legally. Legalzoom can help with this, check out the link below.

LegalZoom: Here you go, Gerod:

Kara: how can u get full cusdty of a child from another partent if they dont come and see them anymore?

Joe Escalante: You go back to the court were the custody order was issued and you petition that court to terminate the parental rights of the absent parent. It’s not easy, and almost impossible if the the absent parent objects and makes an effort to pretend they care.

Angela: I created a logo for my company and have been using it for at least 7 years. However I did not trademark it and now a LARGE company is using it. Will I have to recreate my logo?

Joe Escalante: Trademark’s are issued based on use. If you can establish use in interstate commerce, you can still get protection from the U.S.P.T.O. You should probably do this right away. If you haven’t used it in interstate commerce, you would still be protected someone by state law. No one can make you change it if you put up a fight. Click below and get the process started.

LegalZoom: Here’s the link, Angela:

Daniel: Joe,
If we opened a Nevada LLC on Oct 1, 2011 … and we want to close down the LLC on Oct 5, 2012 (no business transactions, operations, nothing has taken place)… what would the legal steps be and does LegalZoom offer this service of dissolving the LLC that was also originally created with Legalzoom.

Reason: I moved to South America and was not able to start doing any business intended in Nevada.

Joe Escalante: Use the business dissolution service below. Legalzoom will make painless for you.

LegalZoom: Here you go, Daniel:

Megan: Can a woman still get unemployment if she doesnt go back to work after her maternity leave? Woman lives in nj and works in pa.

Joe Escalante: Generally, if you quit your job, you are not eligible for unemployment. This sounds like good old fashion job quitting to me.

Gilbert: my father got a loan about 10 years ago the deed is under my name now aweek ago i was trying to get a refi to lower my rates the bank told me i have come in like if im buying the house from my father so now if i do that u know they will tax me what would u do in this case thanks joe

Joe Escalante: This is more a case of bank policy and tax issues. So since I don’t make bank policy, and I’m not a tax advisor, I don’t have much to say about it. Mortgage rules instituted by banks are based on a government that doesn’t know what it’s doing. You can’t win.

Terry: I have a company in North Carolina. It is dealing with wind and hail damages on roofs. I need to know if yall could get me the proper forms I need. From an agreement to let me be the sole roofing company do the job. And agreeing to signing insurance check over. Plus all forms to send their mortgage company to get them to sign off on the checks and endorsing it to me. Thanks

Joe Escalante: This is a lot of stuff that would take specific advice for each issue. My advice is to look into the Business Legal Plan at Legalzoom. You get to talk to an attorney that will nail down what you need. Then you may be able to get them from Legalzoom, but if not, you have your new attorney buddy that can draft them for you. Click the link below.

LegalZoom: Hi Terry, you can get attorney help for a flat monthly rate with our Business Legal Plan. Get more details here:

Jeffrey: Joe; Could I get in trouble by posting this on Twitter or Facebook.
Corvette’s utilize high performance magnetic shock dampening, why don’t you. DAMPS Technology MKIV Magnetic Smart Boots. USA/World

Joe Escalante: Unless the Boring Tweet Police get you, you’re probably OK.

TOny: Joe, the Pasadena (CA) court house cannot file my documents correctly. I’ve been trying to get divorced since December. When we try to file acknowledgement or other forms they dissapear. We do have the stamped copies.

What can I do at the courthouse for help? I’ve asked what’re my files copies are and their only response it to re file which I’ve done. It’s been a few months now.

Joe Escalante: The court house is a mean and unforgiving cesspool of bureaucratic dung heaps. If you paid for a filing, your receipt should prevent you from paying again. If they lost it, you are going to have to file it again because it’s gone. They can’t schedule a hearing if they don’t have it. Give them another copy. Good luck.

Ayana: Are attorneys in Family Law of a higher discipline than those in Child Welfare?

Joe Escalante: I do not know Ayana. To me, it would be the same discipline.

Alon: If my permanent residence is NYS but I want to open a small business in California… well, how would I do that? And if I have a federal EIN, what more would I need to be able to buy from wholesalers?

Joe Escalante: If you are a corp or an LLC, you would have to register with the California Secretary of State as a foreign corporation doing business in the state. The minimum tax is $800 or so. That’s why people go to Texas. To buy from wholesalers without paying tax you would need a number from the state board of equalization.

Opher: I’m an independent software consultant. Two years ago I was hired by an out-of-state public university to do some project work. Recently I was contacted by another group at the same university to return. I got an email confirming dates, etc. and did not look for other work for two weeks leading up to the anticipated start date. Then, the Thursday before the start date I was told I would not be hired – someone during the earlier project had “red-flagged” me with the Purchasing department. Since I turned down work during the two-weeks, do I have a claim for damages?

Joe Escalante: They don’t have to hire you, but if you could prove that why they didn’t was unreasonable and they should have seen that your damages in reliance on their promises would be be certain if they broke their promise, you have a case. However, it may cost more to prosecute the case then it’s worth. Small Claims Court, might be an option. You will still face the same issues.

Sherrod: What are the pros and cons of LLC and Incorporations.?

Joe Escalante: This is mainly a question for your tax pro, because it has a lot to do with your individual tax situation. However, I can tell you that LLCs are quite popular because they offer the liability protection of a corporation with less paperwork and administration. They also offer similar tax advantages.

Janice: Is it true that 98% of all first time patent applications get denied?

Joe Escalante: Sounds high to me. Those guys will grant a patent for anything, in my opinion.

Carol: What can a person do if the novacane never wore off after two extractions? Sue?

Joe Escalante: If you don’t like the way it feels, you might want to sit down with a local malpractice attorney. Click the link below to find one in your area. Good luck.

LegalZoom: Here’s the link, Carol:

LegalZoom: Joe will be back next week with more free legal advice. Join us on Tuesday to post your questions and have a great weekend!

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October 9th, 2012 at 11:48 am