Can a squatter sue me if he trespassed into my vacant property and caused a fire that ended up injuring himself?

This is an insurance and liability question as much as anything. As indicated by other attorneys, you need a pen and $150 to sue someone (and indigents don’t even need $150. You should advise your insurance company immediately and should defend the suit. You may face an argument that the area was not properly secured. You might want to check local ordinances to see if you were obligated to fence the property or something like that. If you were and it wasn’t, that could be an argument…




Partnership Agreements

An attorney and the managing principal of the Veritas Law Group, Darren Malek is licensed to practice law in Michigan and Illinois. Darren Malek is knowledgeable and experienced in business law and has worked on matters involving contracts and business formation.

When starting a private company with a business partner, the parties should write a formal agreement to protect themselves as shareholders or LLC members. A shareholders agreement is a firm representation of what is expected from each person as joint owners. It sets forth the responsibilities of each person, the process for dissolving the company or for an owner to leave the business, and the valuation of the ownership interest. Other major points covered in shareholder or operating agreements include financial contributions to the company, allocations of losses as well as profits, the decision-making process, and admittance of new owners.

Most states have statutory standards for shareholders or operating agreements but allow for substantial flexibility for owners in creating a binding agreement governing their relationship.

Darren and Chris Kalamazoo

Conflict Management Plan

Attorney Darren Malek has practiced business law for nearly two decades. A member of the American Bar Association, Darren Malek has a wealth of experience litigating cases that involve business disputes among private professional practices.

Business disputes can arise from many issues, such as property management inconsistencies, partner disagreements, and contractual discrepancies. Implementing a conflict management plan can help to prevent differences from growing into costly legal battles. The plan should address how a company should deal with different conflict situations as they develop. As a company builds its conflict management plan, it is important to incorporate resolution actions for customer and employee relations, as well.

The conflict management plan should outline a process that identifies the needs and wants of both disputing sides. Options such as mediation and arbitration procedures should be included as resolution methods. In particular, mediations are cost-efficient, as the meeting between both parties eliminates the use of court system resources. In many cases, mediation can end with both entities compromising, and therefore ending the dispute. Should mediation fail to determine a solution, the company and disputing party can move forward to arbitration proceedings.

Employment Contracts and Wrongful Termination Law

A member of the American Bar Association, attorney Darren Malek is highly skilled in business law. Joining the Veritas Law Group in 2008, Darren Malek has experience litigating cases involving contracts and employment disputes.

Employee disputes may derive from employee compensation, discrimination, or disciplinary actions, which includes wrongful termination. In many cases, wrongful termination can be easily resolved by referring to the employment contract to determine if the employer fulfilled the outlined stipulations. In addition, the contract will state whether or not the employer enforces the employment-at-will doctrine.

The employment-at will-doctrine states that the employer and employee are entering into a voluntary business relationship, where both parties are free to terminate their work within the company at any point in time. No specific cause is required to end the employment relationship. However, good faith and fair dealing provisions allow individuals to still fight wrongful terminations in special circumstances.

Four Options for Distressed Borrowers

Darren Malek has served as an attorney and managing principal with the Veritas Law Group since February of 2008. In his position with the firm, Darren Malek represents a variety of clients in legal matters ranging from general business litigation to distressed borrower representation.

Debtors who find themselves unable to repay in full or within the time frame established by the loan agreement become known to lenders as distressed borrowers. There are multiple ways lenders can deal with a distressed borrower. In the event of forbearance, the borrower is granted reduced payments or a period of no payments until a new agreement can be structured to get the borrower back on track. If a borrower has recently come into money or for some other reason can pay back the delinquent amount in a single payment, a lender often opts for a reinstatement.

A loan modification is similar to forbearance; however both parties move forward with the knowledge that the original loan agreement terms will not be resumed at any point and the borrower will continue with the reduced payments over a longer period of time until the debt is paid. Finally, in dire situations, a distressed borrower can sell his or her home to cover the unpaid balance, even if the total sale does not match the full unpaid balance. This process is known as a short sale.

Veritas Law Group

2008_12080025Currently the managing principal of Veritas Law Group, Darren Malek earned his juris doctor from the College of Law at DePaul University, where he served as an associate editor of the law review. Throughout his law school years, he worked as a paralegal for JPMorgan Chase. This exposure gave Darren Malek a valuable understanding of the banking system and the relationship it maintains with the business world.

Veritas Law Group serves businesses in Michigan and Illinois as well as other parts of the Midwest. The firm’s attorneys are adept at handling the intricacies of doing business in various states. Many professionals, such as doctors, dentists, architects, engineers, and the like are highly trained in the details of their profession, yet they often have little practical experience in operating a business.

Doctors, for example, cannot simply rent an office, hang out a shingle, and start seeing patients. Before the very first patient walks through the door, there is a host of issues that must be addressed. For instance, will the practice be a partnership, a corporation (S Corp or C Corp), or a limited liability company (LLC)? How will accounting, bookkeeping, invoicing, bill payment, and salaries be handled? What insurance plans, if any, will be accepted?

The time professionals spend attending to these sometimes mundane but critically important issues is time lost from their practice. Well-versed in the minutia of business law, the firm addresses these and other matters, including issues like compliance with employment, safety, environmental, and other regulations.