Skip to main content
Gavin Nathaniel Johnson
Avvo
Pro

Gavin Johnson’s Answers

130 total


  • Can I sign a new job contract before my current contract expires?

    I have a job contract with a software company in California and I am working in Washington State for that company. I am also a Washington State resident. I found a better job in Washington and they offered me a contract. Can I sign the new contrac...

    Gavin’s Answer

    Before you sign the new contract, sit down with an attorney and review your current contract to determine your rights and obligations. You may be restricted from signing the new contract until the prior one is terminated.

    Many attorneys offer free initial consultations. Feel free to contact our Tacoma office ((253) 666-6562) for a consult.

    See question 
  • No writ/signed contract w/contractor, only e-mail from him re his fees & costs. Job done & contractor charging me 5 thou more.

    Can he charge me 5 thousand more if we verbally told him over and over again not to go over amount the insurance company gave us? We have witnesses. He also did poor work and we have pictures.

    Gavin’s Answer

    I agree with the prior answer. If you agree to pay X for Y services, then you should only be required to pay X for Y services. When there is no written contract, you look to the facts and circumstances surrounding the transaction to determine the terms of the contract, which may include emails and verbal agreements.

    You should review all of the evidence you have (e.g. emails, pictures, etc.) with an attorney to determine whether you have enough evidence to defend any claims the contractor may bring against you to collect the extra money.

    See question 
  • Clarification on Non-compete clause

    I work in marketing, for a company in Seattle that has multiple lines of business. When I joined the company there was a non-compete clause in my signing documents saying I can't work for any competitor to the firm for a period of 1 year after lea...

    Gavin’s Answer

    The quickest way to resolve this would be to sit down and talk with a business attorney. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations.

    As the prior answers suggest, whether your non-compete is enforceable and to what extent it restricts your ability to work will depend on the language of the non-compete itself, the particular industry you work in, and your ability to make a living despite the non-compete. It would be best to proceed with caution before taking another position with any competitor.

    See question 
  • Hi, I have a question about forming an LLC with partners?

    HI there, I am forming an LLC with three equal share partners. However, we would like to add a fourth person and give them between 5%-7% equity. Do I need to add this fourth person when I form the LLC or can I add them later or write this in the o...

    Gavin’s Answer

    I agree with the prior answer that issuing securities as compensation to employees involves complexities that warrant a discussion with a business attorney (and a CPA). The consequences of failing to comply with securities regulations could result in your company becoming bankrupt, and potential personal liability on the part of the other partners (including yourself).

    You should contact a local business attorney to discuss the formation of your business and how to structure the compensation for the fourth partner. Depending on where you are in the formation process, it may be simple to structure the equity for the fourth partner. But it'd be wise to consult with counsel prior to moving forward.

    See question 
  • Did I sign my non-compete contract under duress and is it an enforceable contract?

    I have worked as a hairstylist (employee pd on commission) at a spa for 3 yrs. About 4 mos. ago the entire staff was told that we needed to be at the spa an hr before opening the next morning. When we came in we were told that the owner had sol...

    Gavin’s Answer

    I agree with the other two attorneys, and would reiterate that its a good idea to discuss your situation with an attorney before you invest much time or effort into your new salon. It sounds like (from the brief facts you provided) the non-compete is not enforceable since there was no consideration provided by the new owner; however, it'd be best to carefully review the facts and the contract with an attorney just to be sure.

    There are lots of attorneys that offer free consultations to review your situation and give you some preliminary advice on resolving your conflict and avoiding unnecessary liabilities.

    See question 
  • Contracts for hiring interns

    I am the founder of a startup looking to hire my first intern. I have a contract that was drafted to hire contractors (this was done by lawyer). Can i use the same contract when hiring an intern

    Gavin’s Answer

    I agree with the previous answers. The easiest answer for you would be to contact the attorney that drafted the independent contractor agreement for you and ask him or her if the contract will work in this situation. That attorney should be able to advise on whether the language in the contract should be updated or customized given the circumstances.

    Otherwise, a quick review of the contract by another attorney would be a good idea to make sure you are subjecting your startup to employment and tax-related issues.

    See question 
  • Starting a company in a different state than my resident state

    I stay in Portland, Oregon and want to start an Information Technology company in Vancouver, WA which is like 20-30 miles from Portland as Washington state has better tax benefits. Is there any obligation for me to start only in Oregon or can i st...

    Gavin’s Answer

    I agree with the previous answer. You can form your business in any state you want, as long as you have a "registered agent" in that state. However, you are required to register your business in every state you do business in. This means that if you are a Washington IT company doing consulting for companies in Oregon and California, you are "doing business" in California and Oregon and will be required to register your business with those states. Once registered, you will be responsible for the various business taxes associated with doing business in those states.

    There are other considerations for choosing where to form your business, and it'd be best to talk with an attorney about your objectives for your business in order to determine the best choice of entity and location for forming your business. It's always best to have the right foundation for growing your business.

    See question 
  • Can I back out of an operating agreement?

    I signed an operating agreement saying I would invest in a business that was formed on April 20th this year. The federal paperwork just came back, the state's hasn't. I was to give my investment in two sums, a month ago and still have not. The wom...

    Gavin’s Answer

    I agree with the prior answer, you should consult with a business attorney to review the terms of the operating agreement and let you know if and how you can walk away from the business. It's difficult to advise on the "legal loopholes" without seeing the operating agreement.

    Many attorneys offer free consultations to discuss your situation and determine how the attorney can help you out. I'd suggest using one of those free consultations to sort out your situation.

    See question 
  • How are "satisfied" & "completion" defined to determine when we must pay our contractor for kitchen remodeling?

    We are replacing our kitchen counter tops and appliances because our sink was leaking. The contractor left huge gaps two feet long that a finger will fit in them - between the counter and the walls. One of his workers (will fix) it tomorrow. ...

    Gavin’s Answer

    I agree with the prior answers. If there's no written definition of "completion" and "satisfied" then those terms will likely be defined by the industry norms, i.e. how those terms are typically defined in an agreement for contractor services in the industry and location where the services are performed. It'd be wise to contact an attorney that is familiar with the industry to discuss your options for resolving this situation. You may be able to recoup your original $5,000, depending on the terms of the agreement, and you may be able to have the contractor either (i) complete (or fix) the work or (ii) pay for another contractor to complete (or fix) the work.

    Long story short, you should contact an attorney to discuss your situation in more detail.

    See question 
  • Is there any legal recourse that an employer cant take if you did not sign a non-compete or verbally discuss any restrictions

    I work for an employer where I brought over some of my own clients and developed NEW clients by referral, I am ethical and my employer was aware I was building my own business but have not told any of my clients of my other business, however the c...

    Gavin’s Answer

    If there are no restrictions on your ability to compete with your current or former employer, then you may be able to take your existing clients with you. However, prior to doing so, you should consult with an attorney to discuss your situation in more detail. Even if you haven't signed any non-compete agreement, there are certain restrictions on your ability to benefit from using trade secrets or other information (including client lists, if the client list is considered a trade secret, which is a facts and circumstances test) you've acquired from your current or former employer.

    I'd consult with an attorney before you decide to take your clients with you because you could potentially end up in a messy dispute with your former employer depending on the circumstances. Many attorneys offer free consultations to discuss your situation.

    See question