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Tagged Posts: business divorce’

Business Divorce and Attorney-Client Relationship

November 3, 2016

In our previous blog post titled Is My Company’s Lawyer Also My Lawyer?, we talked about attorney-client relationship in the context of an LLC business divorce case.  In that case, Yun, one of the two business partners, refused to produce certain documents in her possession during discovery, claiming attorney-client privilege.  For a party to asset this privilege, however, there must be an attorney-client relationship, which arises when someone contacts an attorney in his or her capacity as an attorney for the purpose of obtaining legal advice. … Read the rest

Resolving Business Partnership Disputes, à la UFC

October 4, 2016

This author is not a big fan of fighting sports, but the news of the sale of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”) in early July was hard to miss.  Nay, it wasn’t the eye-popping price tag ($4 billion) attached to the sale of the company to a group led by talent agency WME-IMG, which the media says is the largest deal in the history of professional sports,[1] but the way the former majority owners, Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, agreed to settle disputes.… Read the rest

When a Business Partner Withdraws: Interpretation of Payout Provisions Under a Partnership Agreement

August 9, 2016

As you know, we write and speak frequently about various issues involving business partnership, including the four Ds (death, disability, divorce, and disagreement).  Although many business owners starting a new venture would like to think that they are somehow immune from the four Ds, the odds are that most, if not all, businesses are bound to experience at least one of them if they are around long enough (really, who can avoid death?).  Disagreement, in particular, can precipitate the withdrawal of one or more business partners at an unexpected time, and when that happens, figuring out the financial aspect of the breakup can be messier than you would want.… Read the rest

Is My Company’s Lawyer Also My Lawyer? (Part II)

July 7, 2016

As the case progressed, Meissner and Yun, the two former business partners, entered the discovery phase.[1] Meissner sought the disclosure of some email threads between Yun and attorney Christopher Kelly. Yun claimed that they were protected by attorney-client privilege and refused to produce them.

As the court noted, for a party to assert this privilege, an attorney-client relationship must exist. And such a relationship exists when a party contacts the attorney in his or her capacity as an attorney for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or service.… Read the rest

Is My Company’s Lawyer Also My Lawyer? (Part I)

June 30, 2016

In our previous blog on Meissner v. Yun, a New York case decided under Delaware law, we discussed the importance of a written LLC agreement (sometimes also referred to as member/operating/company agreement, depending on the jurisdiction) that spells out each member’s rights and obligations with specificity in the context of a break-up between two business partners.[1] In that case, the business partners did not have a signed operating agreement, which led to a dispute surrounding capital contributions and ownership.… Read the rest

Shawn McBride Talks About Business Partnership in a Podcast Interview with My Time Is Now

June 21, 2016

What’s Love Got To Do with Business Partnerships and Business Laws.

On June 21, 2016, Shawn will be featured in a podcast interview with Charlene Gilman, a producer of a weekly podcast titled “My Time Is Now” that airs every Tuesday with a worldwide audience covering United States, South Africa, and Australia.  In this interview, Shawn talks about how business partnerships can quickly go sideways when business laws are ignored during business changes and shares some tips on keeping business partnerships healthy and successful. … Read the rest

Business Divorces: What Happens When Partners Separate

January 26, 2016

A Delaware Case: Meissner v. Yun. In our previous blog series on business divorce (available here), we focused on the break-up between two or more business owners due to disagreement or other circumstances, leading to a deadlock, forced sale of the business, or total dissolution. Oftentimes, disputes arise either because there is no written agreement, or if there is, it is poorly drafted, inadequately addressing keys terms like ownership, buy-out, and dispute resolution mechanisms. As we emphasized over and over, the importance of advance planning and carefully thought-out “business prenup” should not be underestimated.… Read the rest

The Perils of Joint Representation (Part 3)

September 26, 2015

Addressing a Conflict of Interest in a Joint Representation.

If you and your business partner still insist on the services of one lawyer, you would be relieved to know that the existence of a conflict of interest does not necessarily preclude a lawyer from representing more than one client in the same transaction.  But it is something that needs to be addressed proactively in light of all the facts and circumstances.

First, the lawyer needs to determine whether a conflict of interest exists and, if so, whether it can be waived by the clients’ informed consent.  … Read the rest

All postings are intended to be planning tools to familiarize readers with some of the high-level issues discussed therein. No posting is intended to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your transaction planners including attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity.