Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A.

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Litigation Strategy Issues

Sep 29, 2017

Shareholder Oppression: What Every Business Owner Should Know

David C. Roberts, a Member with Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A., is pleased to present a seminar for all business owners that will answer many of the questions, both known and unknown, a shareholder would have, such as:

  • What, exactly, is “shareholder oppression?”
  • How do I remedy oppression?
  • Are my rights limited by a shareholder agreement or an operating agreement?
» Read More

Jun 29, 2017

It’s Never Too Late to Gain Allies in Business Divorce Litigation

In closely-held businesses in New Jersey with multiple owners, it seems fairly obvious that the more co-owners you can recruit to your side in a business divorce litigation, the better.  You don’t need a lawyer to tell you that.  However, what is not so obvious is the possibility of recruiting co-owners to your side once the litigation has commenced.

Litigation – especially business divorce litigation – can be quite divisive. » Read More

Dec 13, 2016

Some Pitfalls of Negotiating Your Own Buyout in a Business Divorce

More and more shareholder dispute litigations are settling earlier than ever before, which is obviously a good thing for anyone who does not want to pay a fortune in legal fees (i.e., everyone).  The reason is simple – in all but a handful of business divorce cases, it is obvious to everyone involved that the oppressed minority shareholder will wind up on the receiving end of a buyout. » Read More

Oct 10, 2016

Court-Appointed “Tiebreakers” In a 50/50 Ownership Setting

When two people start a company, neither wants to give control to the other, so ownership is usually split 50/50.   This sounds like a great idea at the outset, when everyone is on the same page, and there is usually no other practical way to proceed.  But when you and your partner start having different ideas about the direction of the company, and significant trouble ensues, the law of New Jersey may provide the practical remedy that you are looking for.» Read More

Sep 13, 2016

New Case Addresses LLC Member Expulsion in New Jersey

The New Jersey Supreme Court has decided a new case addressing what it takes to expel a member from an LLC in New Jersey.

The applicable statute in New Jersey (42:2C-46(e)) has three subsections dealing with expelling a member, two of which are fairly clear.  One section permits the expulsion of a member by the Court when he or she engages in activity that may hurt the company in a material way, or is about to engage in such activity; and another permits expulsion when a member willfully and persistently breaches the Operating Agreement or the member’s fiduciary duties. » Read More

Aug 31, 2016

What To Do If Filing Shareholder Dispute Litigation Might Potentially Harm The Company

To negotiate – or to sue?  That is the question when the decision to sue might potentially hurt the company.

A minority shareholder (or LLC member) in New Jersey is often faced with a difficult choice.  Confronted with mounting evidence of shareholder oppression and improper conduct by the majority, minority shareholders may have the right to sue and attempt to force a buyout of their shares. » Read More

Aug 10, 2016

Choosing an Accountant? Choose Wisely and You Could Avoid Shareholder Dispute Litigation!

When you find yourself involved in a minority shareholder dispute, whether you are the Company (majority), or the minority owners, the role of the company accountant is often somewhat unclear.  The more experience your company accountant has with dealing with differing shareholder factions, the better.

For example, New Jersey law spells out precisely what financial documents a minority shareholder is absolutely entitled to see, and the list is not terribly long. » Read More

Jul 27, 2016

Steps a Company Can Take to Inoculate Itself Against Shareholder Dispute Litigation

As discussed many times on this blog, shareholder dispute litigation can be extremely costly and terribly disruptive to company operations.  From the company’s point of view, it should be avoided if at all possible.  Once an oppressed minority shareholder complaint is filed, or is about to be filed, it is often too late to avoid.  This post is more focused on what company management can do to make sure the circumstances that could lead to such a lawsuit do not infect your company.» Read More

Jun 20, 2016

Oppressed Minority Shareholder Litigation – Choosing a Lawyer

Many times, minority shareholders pursuing their shareholder oppression rights, as well as majority shareholders being sued for minority shareholder oppression, feel the important thing to look for in an attorney is experience dealing with the particular industry that the company occupies.  For example, the President of a chemical company retained counsel to represent the company on all corporate matters due to his long history representing chemical companies, since he clearly understood issues relating to that field, particularly the environmental regulations that company routinely encountered. » Read More

Dec 23, 2015

What Really Underlies Related-Party Shareholder Dispute Litigation?

Shareholder dispute litigation, especially among family members, is often about much more than the controversy actually at stake in the litigation.  There are often underlying psychological underpinnings for what has led to the lawsuit.

For example, in a recent case, the majority shareholder suddenly cut off his brother, a one-third owner, from all financial information.  Despite repeated demands, the majority shareholder simply would not share anything related to the business. » Read More

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