New Orleans Real Estate & Corporate Law Blog

Business litigation: Bakery awarded in defamation lawsuit

In the business world, a company's reputation can make or break it. Though Louisiana business owners often do their best to ensure customer and client satisfaction and operate their companies without questionable actions, some individuals may try to tarnish a company's reputation. In some instances, business litigation could result if libelous rumors are spread.

It was recently reported that a jury came to a verdict regarding such a case in another state. The situation began when three college students were accused of attempting to obtain alcohol illegally at a bakery. The students were taken into custody by police, and one was charged with attempted robbery and two others were charged with misdemeanor assault. One student confessed to attempting to purchase alcohol illegally, and the two others pleaded guilty to attempted theft and aggravated trespass. However, because the students were African-American, the college that they attended accused the bakery of racial profiling and discrimination.

Scrutinizing the abstract of title when purchasing Louisiana land

Many people assume that when they purchase a piece of land, they own it outright with no hindrances, and rightly so. However, the unfortunate truth is that is not always the case. For this reason, thoroughly reviewing the abstract of title is vital whether that land is here in Louisiana or elsewhere.

The abstract of title lets a prospective buyer know whether there are any items in the history of the property that require addressing prior to making the purchase final. It should list any liens, encroachments, easements or other encumbrances that could prevent free and clear ownership of the property. Other things to look for are errors in the recorded documents.

The essential elements of a binding contract

Though verbal contracts are still legal, the days of doing business on a handshake are mostly behind us. In today’s uncertain world, a well-drafted contract can protect you in case a dispute arises.

In order to provide protection, a contract has to be enforceable. Here are the essential elements of a legally binding contract.

There is no such thing as TMI when it comes to selling your home

For many people, purchasing a home is a rite of passage. And while you probably did not know much about real estate when you bought your first house, you inevitably learned a lot through the process.

When it comes time to sell your home, you have another learning curve where you can apply some of the information you gleaned in making your investment. As a seller, you should be aware of the disclosures you must provide for potential buyers. Although your disclosure paperwork will likely include “known defects,” do you know what might be included?

Letters of intent provide clarity for business transactions

Louisiana business owners usually have big dreams for the future. For some, this involves merging with or acquiring another business. Business transactions such as these can seem complicated and even somewhat overwhelming, but a letter of intent can help address any concerns that a business owner might have.

A letter of intent is what some people refer to as a precontract. These written documents are generally -- although not always -- not legally binding, and instead act as blueprints for future contracts and other legal actions. It also confirms that all parties have an understanding of the general basics and main points of the upcoming deal.

Issues that make real estate transactions complicated

Buying or selling a home is one of the most complex financial transactions that a person will make in his or her lifetime. There is a lot at stake in this process, and it is beneficial for a Louisiana buyer or seller to avoid any missteps that could be costly down the road. There are specific challenges to selling a home smoothly and without complications. 

There is more to selling a home than simply putting a sign in the front yard. One of the most significant challenges that a person faces when selling is choosing the right selling price. Industry analysts believe that home prices will continue to rise this year, potentially pricing out many buyers. Another concern is the sustainability of the home that a person is trying to sell. Buyers are more aware now of issues like climate change and the potential for natural disasters, and they are concerned about how a home will hold up over time.

Thinking long term when buying a home

The process of looking for the right home for a Louisiana family is not easy. It can be a complex and lengthy process to find the right place, make an offer and negotiate. Buying a home can be an exciting process, but buyers would be wise to think long term at every step, ensuring they do not allow their emotions or the appeal of a home to expose them to risks in the future.

The popularity of home improvement shows and entire television networks dedicated to remodeling and flipping homes has led to a significant change in the way people shop for a house. Sellers often find they have better luck staging their homes in a way that allows a home buyer to picture themselves and their family living in the space. By making it easier for a person to imagine a personal connection with the home, it will make it more likely a seller will get an offer.

Netflix facing discrimination lawsuit

Federal and Louisiana laws protect employees who become pregnant by prohibiting their employers from firing them, harassing them or taking other negative actions simply because of their pregnancy or plans to take maternity leave. Any of these actions constitutes gender discrimination and can lead to serious consequences for the employer. Nevertheless, it is still common to hear of discrimination lawsuits alleging employers fired women who had recently announced their pregnancy.

A recent case involves Netflix and a filmmaker who says her supervisor began treating her badly after she told him she was expecting. The woman claims her boss removed her from important projects and stopped including her in group emails to other employees. The employee also claims her supervisor repeatedly insulted her about her appearance and created a hostile and abusive work environment for her. The day after she announced her plans to take maternity leave, the supervisor fired her.

The financial impact of purchasing a home

There are often costs and financial responsibilities associated with owning a home that go far beyond just a mortgage payment. Before purchasing a home, Louisiana buyers would be wise to carefully consider the financial implications of this significant decision. While buying a home is a smart step for many people, others may find this is not the right move for them at the time.

One of the most important considerations for a person contemplating a home purchase is to think about whether the individual's lifestyle is suitable for owning a home. People who move often or are not ready to settle down may find this is not the right time to make this commitment. It is not always easy or fast to sell a home, and a buyer may find that he or she needs or wants to sell sooner than expected.

Avoid complications when buying a home with friends

The process of searching for, finding and making an offer on an ideal home can be lengthy and confusing for a Louisiana homebuyer. For many, finances preclude them from owning a home on their own, but buying a home with a friend or multiple friends can give them the opportunity to stop renting and start building equity. While this may seem like an ideal way to enter homeownership, there are many potential pitfalls when two or more people decide to buy a home together.

Buying a home for the first time is an important milestone, but there are important things to consider in order to reduce the chance of financial issues and legal disputes when doing this with another person. One step is for both parties to be completely honest about their ability to make payments, come up with a downpayment and contribute toward things like utilities and insurance. Both parties should also discuss how they will share the house and if that should affect how much each person has to pay toward the mortgage. 

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