Salem, Va Business Attorney
For 26 years John M. Loeschen has represented large and small businesses, municipalities, boards and public entities. The Firm has been retained as General Counsel to handle a wide range of matters from mergers and acquisitions of multi-million dollar businesses to setting up single owner LLCs. Purchase and sale agreements, operating agreements, corporate governance, franchise distributions and litigation all fall within the Loeschen Law Firm’s area of expertise. Intellectual property protection, computer espionage and computer trespassing have been an increasing area of the firm’s representation in recent years.
Employment Law and Labor Relations
In addition to his legal training, John Loeschen is trained in as an arbitrator and mediator. The Loeschen Law Firm has represented management and employees on all matters of labor relations. The firm has successfully represented both management and employees in civil rights litigation, wrongful termination claims, contract and labor disputes. The firm regularly represents employees and employers in labor arbitrations and panel hearings. The Loeschen Law Firm also serves as general counsel to several unions in southwest Virginia. The Loeschen Law Firm has experience drafting enforceable non-compete agreements as well as successfully challenging those which are not enforceable. The Loeschen Law Firm has experience in matters concerning professional employment contracts, from both a litigation standpoint as well as in negotiating individual employment positions for professionals. Severance packages, bonuses and intellectual property issues are frequently handled by the Loeschen Law Firm.
Intellectual Property (IP)
In an era of community web sites, blogs, electronic forums and various sites that encourage the sharing of information, there are always opportunities to expose design ideas, concepts, schematics, drawings which can be adapted for a viable program, product or purpose. While these sources of information are a valuable resource, they also lend themselves to corporate espionage and misappropriation of different types of intellectual property. The Loeschen Law firm knows how to protect intellectual property and to pursue claims against those who misappropriate such information. The key to protecting intellectual property is to put those protections in place before it is in the public domain, and the Loeschen Law firm knows how to do that.
A large part of the Loeschen Law Firm practice concerns contractual matters and particularly, contract disputes. The firm serves as General Counsel for several corporations and works with contracts or all kinds on a regular basis.
Even the most simple contracts should be in writing. The job of counsel is to make sure that all the essential provisions of the transaction are in place: terms, conditions, time of performance, interest, legal jurisdiction and damages in the event of breach should all be included in any contract. Many contracts are for services where one person agrees to provide some benefit or service to the other. Intellectual property rights, and the right of access to disclosure of information between the parties in the course of providing those services should be considered in a contract as well.
Health Records and Employment Records
Given the prevalence of cyber attacks and security hacking of electronic information, confidentiality in health and employment records is more important than ever. The Loeschen Law Firm knows what is necessary to secure your health and employment records, and knows how to hold those persons accountable who don’t. Often employers will not release employment records to an employee. The Virginia Code allows an employee to obtain employment records at a nominal cost from the employer under certain circumstances. The Firm can assist in meeting those criteria in order to get all employment records that are available. For employers, the Firm has previously served as General Counsel to several businesses and can advise as to when it is appropriate to release employee records and when those records should remain confidential. Health care providers have special obligations under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act. Release of records can be authorized only in certain circumstances and with appropriate releases. The penalty for an unauthorized release under HIPAA is severe and any release of records should be undertaken with caution.
Covenants not to Compete
Covenants not to compete with another potential employer can be complicated. A covenant not to compete prohibits and employee form working for the competitor or potential competitor of a business for a period of time in a particular geographic area. Covenants not to compete are usually only applied to employees that have access to sensitive or trade secret information of the employer, such as sales contact information, technological information, or materials processing. The more information the employee has, the more restrictive the covenant not to compete is likely to be. In most circumstances a covenant not to compete can be enforced for six months up to a year, and for a radius of up to 50 miles. A time or distance beyond these limits in most cases is not likely to be enforceable. Generally a covenant not to compete will only be enforceable with a direct competitor, not necessarily an entire industry. For example, a software game manufacturer may be likely to enforce a covenant not to compete with another electronic game company, but not the entire computer software industry.
Slander, Libel and Defamation
The Loeschen Law Firm handles libel (printed false statements) and slander (oral false statements) cases. Both types of cases fall under the broad definition of defamation. If the statements are specific as to a time, date, place, particular type of conduct that is demonstrably false and were published to a third party, there may be grounds for a defamation claim. Typically in these types of cases the Plaintiff must be able to show that there was some type of damages suffered. This means that the Plaintiff must show that there was injury to reputation, and some tangible loss that can be measured in damages. For example, the loss of a job opportunity, a refusal to enter into a contractual arrangement or some similar type of economic harm. While proof of economic loss is not always necessary, the difficulty of proving damages in these types of cases usually requires some proof of economic loss.