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Brian M Gottesman

Brian Gottesman’s Answers

145 total


  • Threatening email from amazon. Can I sue?

    I have very good purchase history in myhabit.com. I had bought 27 items in 2015 and returned only 7 items due to genuine reason. Despite of this amazon has sent me threatening email saying that my buying behavior is inappropriate and they will clo...

    Brian’s Answer

    Read your Amazon terms and conditions. They are entitled to deny your account for pretty much any reason or no reason at all, at their sole discretion. Unfortunately, from the facts you provide it does not appear you have any cause of action against them.

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  • What licenses are needed for moped taxi?

    I'm located in Charleston, South Carolina, and I'd like to charge passengers to ride on my moped. Moped aren't legally defined as motor vehicles here, but do they still require a taxi license nonetheless?

    Brian’s Answer

    Charleston does require a license for pedi-cabs. As others have noted, a motorized pedi-cab may or may not be legal.

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  • Any legal troubles reserving parking spots, with cars, on private property including Walmart parking lots for a dollar amount?

    No transaction would take place on the property.

    Brian’s Answer

    Unless Walmart enters into a lease agreement permitting you to do this (which they will almost certainly not do), what you are describing is trespassing. You may be criminally liable and you can be sure Walmart will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law, to discourage others.

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  • Is our company liable?

    If an employee with a suspend drivers license drives his own van to a customer repair job are we liable for any accident he might have; while he is currently resolving the matter? Can he qualify a hardship (working permit) license. It was suspende...

    Brian’s Answer

    If an employee is driving his own vehicle on company business and gets into an accident, the company may be liable regardless of whether his license is suspended or not under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

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  • My 50/50 business partner is preventing me from cashing/receiving my paycheck. What rights do I have?

    My business partner and I recently had a falling out and we are in the process of closing our LLC. We are the only two members and everything is 50/50. Before the falling out, we both got 1099's from our company (our paychecks) of equal amount. Sh...

    Brian’s Answer

    Your partner has essentially placed 100% of the burden of dissolution costs on you, and paid herself at your expense. That is a clear breach of fiduciary duty and unless you have an extraordinarily poorly drafted LLC Agreement, a breach of that contract as well. Unfortunately, as others have pointed out, the amount in controversy is too small to justify hiring a lawyer to recoup your loss.

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  • Can an LLC that is taxed as an S corporation have non-voting members?

    An S corporation has only one class of stock so all shareholders must have voting powers. But an LLC can have members that do not have an voting rights. My belief is that it would be ok since the LLC is the legal form of entity and the S election ...

    Brian’s Answer

    The IRS does allow nonvoting stock in S-corporations:

    “A corporation that has more than one class of stock does not qualify as a small business corporation. Except as provided in paragraph (l)(4) of this section (relating to instruments, obligations, or arrangements treated as a second class of stock), a corporation is treated as having only one class of stock if all outstanding shares of stock of the corporation confer identical rights to distribution and liquidation proceeds. Differences in voting rights among shares of stock of a corporation are disregarded in determining whether a corporation has more than one class of stock. Thus, if all shares of stock of an S corporation have identical rights to distribution and liquidation proceeds, the corporation may have voting and nonvoting common stock, a class of stock that may vote only on certain issues, irrevocable proxy agreements, or groups of shares that differ with respect to rights to elect members of the board of directors.”

    I am not aware of any authority on the issue dealing specifically with LLCs classified for tax purposes as S-corps, but I can't think of any reason the treatment would differ.

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  • Does my 50/50 business partner own half of the trademark that I created if the company uses it?

    I started a brand a few years back -I used it in commerce continuously. Only recently, I partnered up with someone 50/50 to create an LLC for the brand (it's an annual event, and we were both to operate and manage the event since I needed more hel...

    Brian’s Answer

    Based on the limited facts provided, it sounds like the LLC may have some equitable claim to the ownership of the trademark, even if it wasn't formally assigned. But note that this does not mean that your partner, individually, has any ownership interest in specific LLC property (she does not).

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  • What are the legal aspects of starting a business similar to an already existing business providing the same service ?

    I am A 21 year old female college student. I am always brainstorming on ideas that would make great businesses, or sources of income. I recently came up with a great idea that I am sure would be successful. I started asking friends and family abo...

    Brian’s Answer

    As long as you are not infringing on any of the competitor's intellectual property or trade secrets, there should be no legal impediment to starting your own business in this field. Whether you are going to be able to successfully compete with an established entity like the one you describe is a business question, not a legal one.

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  • Do I have to get arrested?

    I cashed a bad personal bank check at a check cashing store. I didn't know it was bad, I had done work for the man

    Brian’s Answer

    More information is needed, but it doesn't sound like you committed a crime (although the person who wrote the check for you may have).

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  • What are my options? The lady next door has a vendetta and calls police, firemen, and city officials to come harass my family.

    Six months ago me, my finance, and our two autistic children began renting a house with the option to buy. The old lady next door would call me over occasionally to question me and threaten me that she was watching so we better watch what we do. I...

    Brian’s Answer

    What your neighbor is doing is a crime, and no different from what the "rogue social worker" in this article did (and was arrested for): http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/08/17/rogue-social-worker-targeted-neighbors-with-fake-calls-to-child-protective-services/

    You should report this conduct to the police and your local state attorney's office. It is unlikely that you are the first people she has done this to. You may be able to obtain a restraining order against her or press charges through the state attorney.

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