Category Archives for "General"

Primer on Forming Your Own Business

There are many rewards for those who chose the pathway to form their own business, but there are also challenges and pitfalls along the way. Seeking counsel from an experienced business attorney can help you avoid many of those problems. Business Form. Once you have a business plan in mind, the first choice is what type of legal entity you will require for your business. The form of your business will have significant impact on your personal risk as well as tax ramifications, control issues, and financial rewards. Company Name. Selection of a company name should be one of the first steps. The company name should convey your message to potential customers and be unique. In order to determine if a name it available in Hawaii, you should refer to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) website. A business name cannot be the same or confusingly similar to […]


A Guide to Basic Estate Planning

Estate Planning Guide

Estate planning can be compared to the creation of a personal legal “suitcase” in which all types of property ownership can be placed including personal belongings, assets, business holdings, financial resources and real estate. The person creating the “suitcase” or Trust is referred to as the Grantor or Settlor and initial Trustee. During the Grantor’s lifetime, the Grantor is in control over all of the assets placed into the Trust or “suitcase” and can take assets out and change the features of the Trust however they want. Because the Grantor has total control over the Trust, the Trust is referred to as Revocable or is frequently named a Revocable Living Trust “RLT”. There are no separate tax returns filed by the Trust and no separate identification numbers required as the RLT is considered the same as the Grantor. The big advantage of the RLT is that the Grantor has already […]


Pandemic Puts Mediation Up Front

As we all individually and collectively do our best to ride out this pandemic, it is worth thinking about how we will behave when we emerge from these dark times. Will we engage in the same processes that have failed us all too often or will we be wise enough to turn to alternatives that can lead us to better outcomes? I hope we choose the latter. As a lawyer with more than four decades of experience in litigation, I know only too well how the system, more often than not, fails the individual and fails the community. We need to use this crisis as a prompt to pivot and seriously adopt the use of mediation to solve problems.Mediation is a very different way of problem-solving. Right now, problem- solving is based on who is right and who is wrong. That is a very destructive way of thinking. Mediation, on the […]


Before You Sue, Consider Mediation

Mediation Alternative

Have you ever reached a point in your dispute with a contractor or another professional or a family member when you have said: “I’ve had it. I need a good lawyer. I’m going to sue!” As a lawyer with over 40 years in practice, let me offer a word of advice: Wait. Take a deep breath. Before you sue, consider mediation. Before you sue — which, in effect, means turning yourself over to a lawyer who will then direct and control all your communications — take stock of the power you yourself have to determine the outcome of your dispute. Mediation is the key to using that power wisely to reach a resolution that would in all probability elude you in our legal system as it is today. The data tells us that this is so. Fewer than 5 percent of the millions of cases filed annually nationwide ever see […]


Win, Lose … or Mediate


America’s legal system is not good for society. It makes enemies out of friends and it exacerbates strife, hostility and ill-will. Win or lose. Those are the two options offered to us in America’s adversarial system of justice. It is estimated that about 60,000 disputes are filed every week nationally, but few, very few, ever get resolved through the courts the way the original parties had dreamed or hoped they would be. Relationship disputes — the largest category of cases that are causing gridlock in our courts — are especially ill-served by our binary (win/lose) system of justice. All of us, at some point or another in our lives, experience disputes in our personal or professional relationships. They arise between a husband and wife, a merchant and customer, a landlord and tenant, an employer and employee, a professional service-provider and her client, and in the course of many other workplace […]


Teaming for Success


Using Partnering Principles to Support Collaboration and Communication in Government, Non-Profit, Business and Community Groups Partnering is a process that was originally developed and used in the construction industry to redesign the relationship of all stakeholder parties so that project-related problems were resolved in a cooperative manner before they escalated into conflicts, disputes and lawsuits that would have delayed the project and added costs. As a proven conflict prevention approach, the principles of Partnering can be applied to any project or group working together. The Partnering process stresses the importance of developing positive relationships, honest communication and moving beyond differences to achieve a common vision and goals. It addresses miscommunication, misunderstanding and personality clashes that can impact productivity, delay timelines and affect success. It focuses groups on prioritizing action steps, to efficiently implement a plan and achieve the targeted goals. It strengthens collaboration, communication and mutual respect. Read the full article.

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