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Don’t Just Ask “Why?” Ask “Why Not?”

Posted by on 5:32 pm in Real Estate Investing | 1 comment

           It seems to be part of human nature that when something bad happens, we immediately begin to ask, “Why did this happen? Why did I deserve this? What went wrong?” When anything good or bad happens, look at it from the perspective of both why and why not.             A deal closes and you make some money. Analyze why it was successful, but also ask yourself why you didn’t make more money. When a deal fails or something goes wrong, figure out what went wrong. Why didn’t it work? What could have been done to improve the outcome?...

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The Duty to Defend and Indemnify

Posted by on 1:08 pm in Real Estate Investing | 0 comments

            In my two previous emails, I talked about the importance of making sure you have a good business liability insurance policy given some of the concerns regarding the doctrine of respondeat superior and how entrepreneurs can be held liable for the actions of independent contractors. There are two important features of a good business liability insurance policy.             The first important feature is the duty to defend. This is where the insurance company undertakes, at their cost, the representation and defense of you, the...

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Being Liable for Your Contractor’s Actions

Posted by on 6:28 pm in Uncategorized | 4 comments

            In my previous post I briefly explained the doctrine of respondeat superior, which is Latin for “let the master answer.” In today’s vernacular, it means “let the employer be financially responsible for the conduct of employees and agents.” Remember, an agent can be either an employee or an independent contractor.             I’ve seen cases in which the day-to-day operations and performance of an independent contractor were so carefully and precisely controlled and managed by the general contractor or the owner who hired them that...

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The Doctrine of Respondeat Superior

Posted by on 4:41 pm in Real Estate Investing | 1 comment

           In continuing with the theme of the previous posts regarding the differences between employees and independent contractors, I want to cover briefly one of the major legal issues that has often caused people not to want to have employees – the doctrine of respondeat superior. This is a Latin phrase meaning “let the master answer,” and it goes back to a centuries-old legal doctrine which says that the master or employer is responsible for or has vicarious liability for the actions of their employees or agents if the negligent or...

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Part 2 – Employee vs. Independent Contractor

Posted by on 1:45 pm in Real Estate Investing | 0 comments

            Here are some statements that are codified in various statutes I’m familiar with that are used to determine whether a person is an independent contractor or an employee. You can use these in your business to determine whether someone on your team is truly an independent contractor or if they are really an employee.             If you get this wrong, you are exposing yourself to significant risks. If you treat someone who is really an employee as an independent contractor, they may become disgruntled with you; and if you are...

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Employee vs. Independent Contractor

Posted by on 1:31 pm in Real Estate Investing | 6 comments

            With tax season just behind us, questions are now arising regarding categorizing individuals as employees or independent contractors. One specific question that I was recently asked by a client was, “Can independent contractors be paid by the hour for the work they do?” My answer was that when a person is being paid by the hour for work they are doing, that is a very strong indication in the eyes of the IRS that they are an employee, not an independent contractor.             Independent contractors are individuals who are...

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Clarity in Communication

Posted by on 1:40 pm in Uncategorized | 4 comments

            The other day I was instructing my assistant on a minor change that needed to be made to one page in a document we were preparing for a client. Due to the fact that I was not specific in providing detailed instructions, my assistant did it in a way that was perfectly correct but not exactly what I was looking for. A few hours later I had a phone conversation with a gentlemen who shared with me his belief regarding communication. He said, “If I leave you in doubt as to my communication, then I have done you a disservice by leaving...

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Who Is Signing and Why?

Posted by on 8:01 pm in Real Estate Investing | 5 comments

            Some of my recent emails have discussed some of the more complex and powerful lending documents out there that apply in both commercial bank and hard money lending situations. I had an occasion to assist a client who was looking at loan documents for money they were borrowing for their business. I noticed that the loan documents were prepared in such a way that the husband and wife, both member-owners of the borrowing LLC, were asked to sign on behalf of the LLC as well as to personally guarantee the loan.            After pulling...

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Part 2: Auditing Your Self-Talk

Posted by on 2:00 pm in Uncategorized | 3 comments

            In my previous post, I gave you a look inside how I talk to myself in certain instances. I hope it inspired you to critically analyze how you talk to yourself. Those repeated conversations – things you say to yourself at least one or more times a day – what are they like? Are they encouraging, uplifting and rewarding, or are they negative and destructive?             I suspect that if you’re like me, you have some of both going on inside your mind. Here are two things I’ve been doing, one much longer than the other, to deal with...

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Auditing Your Self-Talk

Posted by on 12:52 pm in Uncategorized | 3 comments

            Have you ever stopped and listened – I mean really listened – to how you talk to yourself? I recently realized that I need to audit (critically analyze) the way I talk to myself. Let’s face it, we all have conversations with ourselves. Those conversations may be short, but they can be very powerful.             For example, when I was in high school, I would say to myself every day, “If I could just run a 5-minute mile!” Then, as a senior, I ran a mile in 4:55. As a young husband, father and lawyer, I kept saying to myself, “If I...

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