Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock, S.C. Attorneys at Law — Founded 1908

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Do You Have a Motorcycle License?

WisDOT - Did you know that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has a "Law of the Month" section on its website? You do now.

Motorcyclists

March's Law of the Month revolves around motorcycle licensure. Motorcyclists will be pulling their bikes out of the garage very soon and are required to be licensed to drive. Find out all about it at http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/news/law/

If you've made the mistake of driving without your license and gotten caught, our attorneys can help you through the Court process.

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Bring Legal Questions, More to Score Panel

Green Bay SCORE will give entrepreneurs an opportunity to question a panel of experts when it presents "Let's Talk Business," 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 6 at Rasmussen College, Green Bay.

The workshop will feature David Daul, an attorney with Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock; Mike Hall, CPA, and consultant with QuickStart, Inc.; KaraLynne Moore, Senior Analyst with Community First Credit Union; and Bob Jahnke, owner of Top Hat Marketing, Inc.

All are SCORE volunteers.

The panel will field questions from the audience during the open panel discussion. Daul, who specializes in business law and advises and represents clients on every aspect of business, says the No. 1 question he is usually asked relates to the need for a legal entity.

"Most entrepreneurs are wise enough to know that they need something," Daul said. "About 90-95 percent of the time, it will be a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). This is a better option for small businesses because there are few legal requirements."

With an S-Corp or C-Corp, there will be formalities such as annual meetings, bylaws, agendas and operating agreements, and if these items are neglected, it could result in the loss of recognition of the corporation. The LLC is easy to form online at the Department of Financial Institutions and has one principal necessity.

Daul said: "People need to understand that personal finances have to be separate and distinctions need to be bright and sharp. The corporation is an individual entity, and if the line is blurred, there is a question of whether there is an actual corporation here."

That means that assets and liabilities should go into the corporate name. Personal income and expenses should never be meshed with the business.

Although the LLC is likely best for small startups, the situation could benefit from the assistance of an attorney if it is a partnership. Daul says in this case, the bank likely will want to see an operating agreement that clearly defines the roles of the partners and has procedures in place for any eventuality. He cautions against downloading some boiler plate online that doesn't fit the situation.

"When you get something off the Internet, it might not be tailored to your needs. I have seen people try to use something that met the requirements of a different state and didn't comply with Wisconsin statutes," he said.

As the business grows, an attorney can assist in converting from an LLC to different type of corporation depending on the tax benefits. It's also wise to seek the advice of an attorney when preparing the variety of documents that will be used in day-to-day operations such as employee and company handbooks and policies.

Daul emphasized the importance of getting agreements and policies in writing because the world has never been in a condition where you can safely operate on a handshake.

Another major issue for businesses is the question of whether to lease or purchase real estate, and he recommends giving the business a chance to grow before making a huge investment.

"People come to me all the time, and they want to jump right in," Daul said. "Let the business grow before taking that step and owning an asset that might be hard to sell."

With the legal issues facing businesses being so numerous, Daul will be happy to talk about lease terms, social media, employee issues, discrimination, contracts, online shopping sites, product liability and any other legal topics that participants would like to discuss. Other panel members will be on hand to provide information in their areas of expertise.

Additional information and registration is available at www.greenbay.score.org.

Tina Dettman-Bielefeldt is co-owner of DB Commercial Real Estate in Green Bay and district director for SCORE, Wisconsin.

Tags: SCORE entrepreneurs

Landlord - Tenant Issues?

Landlords and tenants have often found themselves on opposite sides when it comes to moving out. Especially if there is lack of communication on either side. So many variables come into play when a tenant is moving out, not the least of which is:

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What can they take with them?

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Is your security deposit also your last month’s rent?

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What about the water bill?

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Is there any unpaid rent?

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Is there a valid lease?

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Did the tenant give proper notice?

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What is the last day of occupancy?

What can they take with them? Is your security deposit also your last month's rent? What about the water bill? Is there any unpaid rent? Is there a valid lease? Did the tenant give proper notice? What is the last day of occupancy? If you've found

yourself on either side of a Landlord/Tenant dispute, let our attorneys help you work things out.

Tags: landlord tenant

Collection Issues for Small Business

Small business owners have to wear many hats. One of them, unfortunately, is collecting past due accounts. This one, is most times the hardest one to tackle and the first one put off for another day. The biggest problem is it hurts the bottom line. Hard. When customers don't pay for the services you have rendered them, it can be a detriment, and sometimes, it can break a small company.

Our attorneys have vast experience in helping business owners collect debts in the Brown County Small Claims Court system from customers who owe them. Let them help you work through the process and put your mind at ease.

Tags: small business collection

IF YOU HAVE BEEN IN AN ACCIDENT, MAKE SURE YOU ARE REPRESENTED

Accidents happen, at any time of the year.  In Wisconsin, we have added liability by way of weather.  Low visibility, icy Green Bay roads, freezing drizzle, to name just a few.  Add these to the mix of increasing driver inattentiveness and it can spell trouble.

What happens when you are in an auto accident?  Do you know what you should do?  What about after the accident?  Did you know many things can factor into any settlement you might make or receive?  Was anyone injured in the accident?  Were the roads in horrible condition?  Was the other driver paying attention, texting?  Is there property damage?  Are there repair or medical bills?

Insurance companies will pressure you into settling for meager amounts if you aren’t protected.  If you find yourself involved in an accident in the Green Bay, Wisconsin area, seek legal assistance to ensure your rights are represented.  Don’t let insurance companies deny you money you may need to make a full recovery. 

The attorneys at Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock, S.C., are experienced in personal injury litigation and will work hard to make sure you receive everything you are entitled to. Contact our firm today. Call 1-920-437-8191 to learn your rights. We will help you determine if you can receive money for your injuries.

Tags: representation accident

HAVE YOU PLANNED AHEAD FOR WHEN YOU ARE GONE?

While it can seem unpleasant discussing what happens to your property and/or money when you are gone, it is necessary.  Especially if you have children.  It is even more so in today’s world of blended families and families in which the parents have decided not to marry.

What happens to your children when you have passed away?  Will they be provided for?  Have you recently been divorced?  How about remarried?  Who will stand to inherit your property and money when you pass?  How about the probate process, will your family need to deal with this?  And, will there be large tax consequences to how your money and property are transferred?  Wisconsin has very specific laws on this subject.

Your attorney can help you assess your needs and how you want your possessions to be handled upon your passing.  Things can happen in the blink of any eye.  The attorneys at Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock, S.C. can assist you with your estate planning needs.

MILITARY BOARDS OF CORRECTIONS FOR OFFICIAL RECORDS

All branches of the Armed Forces have statutorily created boards which review service members records, upon application, for errors, injustice or omission and correct these where the applicant reaches a certain standard. These changes can run from the routine, such as obtaining orders for an earned awards or more substantive issues such as correcting points used to calculate military retirement pay. The service member does not have to be on active duty and may apply for correction after discharge from the armed forces. Small changes can have dramatic effects on calculating pay and entitlement. However these claims must be brought within a limited period of time so the service member must be prompt in bringing such claims. Although the application process is not complex, supporting the application with citation to applicable regulations and legal standards is sometimes out of the reach of applicants without a legal background. Attorney David Daul is also a JAG officer in the Army Reserve and has many years of experience with legal military matters. You should consider consulting with Attorney Daul if you believe you have records that should be corrected by one of the military boards of correction for military records.

BROWN COUNTY WISCONSIN SMALL CLAIMS COURT

Wisconsin small claims court have a limit on claims up to $10,000.00. Some types of claims are limited to $5,000.00. Often times however the legal process can be very difficult to navigate with confusing rules for service of process, legal procedure and evidence. Small claims cases are varied, encompassing everything from breach of contract to repossession to disputes involving the return of property. Being unrepresented in these cases can present serious disadvantages to the parties involved in the dispute. Consider retaining the assistance of a legal practitioner that routinely practices in Brown County Small Claims court. Call Attorney David Daul today for a free legal consultation (920)437-8191.

LONG TERM DISABILITY BENEFITS

Many employers offer group employee benefits policies offering coverage for short term disability and long term disability (LTD). These policies of insurance are usually governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). When an employee becomes unable to work through disability the employee may apply for short term benefits under the policy. If the employee meets the definition of “disabled” under the policy then the employee will receive short term disability benefits. Short term disability benefits are only paid for a short period, usually only 24 months at the maximum. If the employee’s disability persists the employee may then apply for LTD benefits. Many policies contain provisions that define what “disabled” is differently for LTD benefits. Often the degree of illness or inability to function is much higher for continued receipt of benefits. Because the definition for LTD benefits usually requires a much higher level of disability such benefits are often denied by the insurance company. Many times the denial is done unjustly because of an overly conservative or unreasonable view of the employees problems. Unfortunately employees only have a short period of time to fully document their claims for LTD which is why it is very important to consult with an experienced legal practitioner when LTD benefits are in question or denied outright. Having legal representation can make the difference between having no benefits and all benefits of LTD. LTD benefits are often crucially important to persons so disabled they can no longer work. Attorney David Daul has handled many of these cases including litigating these cases in Federal Court. Call for your free consultation today at (920)437-8191.

ESCALATOR CLAUSES IN COMMERCIAL LEASES

Persons wishing to execute long term commercial leases are often apprehensive that the cost of maintaining the property may eventually exceed the monthly rent. For example where a fixed rent amount becomes insufficient because of a sudden rise in property taxes or insurance. For this reason land lords often employ “escalator clauses” which incrementally increase rent to cover additional costs. This can be done either by using a formula, such as a fixed annual increase in the rent at an agreed upon percentage or by more ambiguous means such as a term which indicates the rent will increase as required by costs incurred. A third method is to use the consumer price index or another inflationary index. It is very wise to include such a term, however any of the three methods come with potential problems. There is often abuse in Common Area Maintenance charges. Leases often fail to define what an “operating expense” actually means. Most leases do not provide for any audit rights for a tenant wishing to challenge a poorly explained increase in operating expense. A fixed percentage can eliminate many of these problems but the land lord will be very dissatisfied with the rental situation if the cost of maintaining the property actually begins to exceed the rent. Proper drafting and foresight will eliminate such problems, however legal assistance should be sought out. Our skilled attorneys are ready to assist you as a prospective tenant or land lord in devising language that suits your particular needs. Call David at (920)437-8191.

Obtain Legal Help You Can Rely On

To get in touch with one of our attorneys about your case, call our firm at (920) 437-8191 or fill out the form below.