Repossession by Creditors

A creditor must be considered a secured party to your goods before it can repossess them. Generally, a party is secured if it takes a security interest in your personal property to ensure payment from you (otherwise known as collateral). For example, an electronics store that finances the sale of a TV generally has a security interest in the TV. A party that is unsecured, for whatever reason, has no right to repossess your goods. A secured party may repossess and sell your goods if you default on your debt.

Tax tip: Consider Incorporating for Corporate Taxes

If you’re operating a sole proprietorship or partnership, you might want to consider the advantages of incorporating your business. You will not only enjoy the benefits of limited personal liability but also generally pay less in taxes, namely the self-employment/Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax.

"Assuming the risk" as a defense

"Assuming the risk" is a defense that a party can assert to try to limit or bar a plaintiff's recovery in a tort action. A plaintiff is said to "assume the risk" when he  or she willingly and knowingly places himself or herself in a position where inherent risks are involved. The burden is on the defendant to prove the plaintiff voluntarily assumed the risk. Common situations in which a plaintiff might have assumed the risk are participating in a violent sport, ignoring a safety warning or attending a baseball game.

Email Libel & Email Defamation

A nasty e-mail written about you by a co-worker could be the basis of a case of defamation, or libel, against that person. Libel occurs when 1) someone makes a false statement of fact in writing, 2) someone else reads the statement, and 3) the statement harms your reputation. In the case of e-mail, it's generally clear that someone has written a statement and someone else has read it. To win in court, you also must prove the e-mail harmed your reputation. In response, valid defenses the co-worker might assert are that the statements are either true or are merely the writer's opinion.

Forming a Partnership

In some states, a partnership may be formed as soon as two or more people associate to carry on as co-owners of a business for profit. In other words, no formalities exist when forming a legally recognized partnership in these states. The partnership agreement may be either expressly written or implied through the conduct of the parties.

However, some states require a partnership agreement to be written if the partnership cannot be performed until a certain amount of time after its inception. When determining whether a partnership has been formed by implication, courts may consider any expression of intent to be partners, any sharing of profits and losses, and participation in control of the business.