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Christopher Paul Berney

Christopher Berney’s Answers

9 total

  • Can I open my own company if I signed a Non compete agreement with another company doing the same thing?

    The owner of the soccer company I used to work for sold his territory back to the franchise. The franchise was not able to go in and set up a season with the other schools until they found a new franchise owner and reestablished their business in ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    As the other attorneys have mentioned, the documents that you signed are critical to the answer. In general, it is a typical of a franchise to have franchisees sign non-compete agreements. It is less typical for the franchisor to require all of the employees of the franchisee to sign a non-compete agreement, but it sounds like this is what you did. In addition to reviewing the documents and providing a clear analysis on your liability, you should have your intellectual property (curriculum, logo, etc) reviewed for protection through copyright and trademark registration. I congratulate you on striking out on your own and would love to discuss your business and provide a comprehensive review of your situation for an affordable fee.

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  • Can a large fee for "consultation services" be enforced without a formal contract & the "services" provided are inadequate?

    I manage a musician in the ATL area. I am green in the music business so I asked a major player in the music industry if he would consult for my current project. He asked for $10,000, broken up into $1500 per month & I agreed (maybe by email, I ca...

    Christopher’s Answer

    From what you have presented, it appears that you have an oral agreement which is enforceable in the State of Georgia. The question is what are the terms of the oral agreement. When there is no signed, written agreement, the Courts will look to other evidence outside of a contract to determine the intent of the parties. This is known as "parol evidence". This can be oral testimony or emails discussing the deal, etc. If you terminate his agreement, and he sues you for the remaining payments, you may have to show that the "value" of his service is not equal to the fee charged. Depending on his reputation and stature, he may be able to show that he is worth the fee. In the entertainment industry, connecting with a major player has value in and of itself. Another issue here is that the consultant may have a conflict of interest with his record company by offering these services to you which might explain the loose oral nature of the agreement - he doesn't want a record of the agreement. This might make far less likely to come after you for payment. In any event, you agreed on the price and some services. If you feel he is not offering the services he agreed to provide, you need to let him know in certain terms what was expected and how his performance has fallen short of the mark. You should provide him an opportunity to cure his breach of the agreement. If he refuses to or fails to perform, then consider taking him to Court. You should consult an attorney on a case like this to raise the proper causes of action. Let me know if I can help.

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  • Is it a HIPAA violation if i told a patient that her friend does not have an appointment?

    A patient of ours said she was referring her friend to see us. The patient asked if i could check and she if her friend had made an appointment. I did look and told the patient no she has not made one yet. My supervisor called me in her office and...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Physicians (or their staff) or allowed to confirm appointments with the patient and to leave messages on the home answering machine but the message should be limited to appointment confirmation. Similarly, a physician can communicate private health information to a patient's companion if it is in the best interest of the patient. If the patient requests confidentiality on these issues, the wish must be respected. In your case, it is unlikely the need to communicate the appointment with a "friend" was in the patient's best interest, and therefore, the disclosure would likely not be allowed under HIPAA. Georgia is a right to work state and you can be terminated for any reason or no reason. Best of luck to you.

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  • Can I be put out of a bldg if we have a verbal rental agreement?

    I lease space in exchange for profit from my business. The other person now wants the space back because I refuse to change the arrangement of our agreement to give him more money. I moved in December of 2012 what if any legal rights do I have or ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    If your verbal agreement does not specify when the lease ends, you are a tenant at will. In most cases, the Landlord can dispossess you after providing sixty days notice for you to vacate the premises. Lease of real property are usually one of the largest liabilities taken by a new business and often require a personal guaranty if its a new corporate entity. I strongly urge my clients to have their proposed leases thoroughly reviewed prior to signing them. It can save them a whole lot of money and frustration in the long run. In my view, it would be unwise to have a verbal agreement for a lease on a business (or a residence, for that matter). Contact a lawyer experienced in landlord-tenant law right away.

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  • If i pay and lawyer and dont need them how can i get money back and no papers sign

    how can i get money back if i dont the person and they havent done anything from start

    Christopher’s Answer

    I agree with the previous answers. It is unlikely that some portion of the monies you have paid have not been earned. If you want to terminate the attorney-client relationship, do it in writing and be clear about the termination. If the attorney is handling more than one matter for you make it clear which matters are being terminated if not all of them will be terminated. If the lawyer is not responsive, send him/her a certified letter with a return receipt requested. This action will get you a response in almost every instance.

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  • Apartment manager violated my lease agreement

    signed a 1 yr.lease and let a friend move in.When friend moved out it broke the lease so I ask manager to give me a key before the friend moved out and she manager would not return my calls for a week.I asked for the key in march, this is end of A...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Any attorney would need more information and to review your lease agreement. If you were named on the lease agreement and haven;t been legally evicted from the premises, you may have a claim for wrongful eviction if they are keeping you from your premises. It is unclear how you have rights to the premises but not the keys. A breach of the lease by the Landlord does not excuse the payment of rent. In most cases, you will be required to continue to pay rent into the registry of the Court until your matter is resolved. If you are successful, you may receive all or a portion of the monies you paid into Court back.

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  • Can I file a small claims suit for property I didn't receive? I owe $6000 to complete the sale, but the guy ignores my calls.

    A guy in Byromville, GA is selling a 12x24 concession stand for $12,500 which includes all equipment (stove,fridge, fryers,freezer, and all supplies). Everything ready to go to start cooking. He said it can go anywhere in ga because it meets all g...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You have a breach of contract issue. The real questions is whether you breached the agreement or the seller did. Without more information, it is impossible to know what the repayment terms were and if you completed your end of the deal. Not being able to reach the person on the phone is typically not a defense to payment of a debt if the terms were otherwise clear. For instance, if you knew when you were supposed to make the payments and where to send them, but called instead, you might be in breach of the agreement. You need to take an initial consultation with an attorney and let them review the document you signed.

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  • What do you put in a lease agreement for a family member that is not paying rent?

    She may pay some rent when and if she has money, but she will not be paying every month.

    Christopher’s Answer

    I am assuming you are talking about a residential lease here. While this is not an "ideal" situation, the best you can do, assuming you will not evict her if she doesnt pay some months, is to place a stipulation in the lease that any unpaid rent at the end of the lease agreement will be converted into a promissory note she will sign over to you for the amount of unpaid principal plus some reasonable interest rate. The promissory note would be payable on demand and then if she didnt pay, it would be quite easy to obtain a judgment and levy against any property further down the road.

    Contact me if I can be of any assistance to you in this matter.

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  • I paid a deposit for a tattoo the artist refuse to do the tatt, he is mad at me and refuse to return my money can I charge him

    I paid 230.00 total for the tatt, he is my ex-boyfriend and now he is mad and refuse to do the tatt or give me the drawing, which i dont need the drawing because I don't trust anybody else to tatt my body. Can I press charges against him for thelf...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You can certainly file a Magistrate Court case against him in the county of his residence. He may have a claim for part of the monies paid to compensate him for the conceptual drawing of the tattoo. The value of this should be established by another tattoo artist with suitable experience.

    I agree with the earlier post, $230 may not be worth the hassle of litigation when there are personal relationships spilling over into the business end of things - most courts would raise a somewhat skeptical eye to this kind of transaction.

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