Legal Articles and News

Pursuing your passion can allow you to enjoy your work and lead to success. Gainesville jewelry designer, Bernard Reller, learned how to work with metals from his father, but his passion and interests ultimately allowed him to find his niche in a business that is successful and meaningful to him. Formerly a pilot and treasure diver, Reller began helping his father craft precious metals in Miami, Florida.

At that time, Reller’s father specialized in making cigarette cases and other metal boxes. Bernard helped with lost wax casting, which is a way to create a pattern that can be duplicated on metal to embellish it. Reller enjoyed creating patterns and gradually began to create his own detailed designs, which often mirrored his interests in the sea and sailing. Eventually his distinctive style earned him an outstanding reputation and he branched out from his father’s business. Currently, he has a studio in Gainesville and spends the majority of his time designing jewelry.

Because of his nautical jewelry specialty, he has been commissioned to create jewelry out of sunken treasure. Now he has expanded his art and his business to creating many diverse lines of jewelry. Reller has designed a line of pirate-themed jewelry and has also created Swamp Gold, which features Gator-themed jewelry. Additionally, he designed a line of aviation-themed jewelry inspired by his love of flying.

Bernard Reller not only enjoys designing jewelry, he also markets his creations. He identified the need for self-adjustable rings that can accommodate the changing sizes of female fingers, and has begun to market them. His jewelry is sold in jewelry galleries  and other stores. He uses the Internet to display and sell his jewelry, as well.

As his success continues to grow, he is determined to maintain the quality and customer service that his father provided to his customers. His dedication to his craft and his customers helps his business flourish.

Like Bernard Reller, many entrepreneurs aspire to a career that allows them to make money doing what they love. This does not happen by accident. It takes planning and good business decisions.

Let the business attorneys at the Law Office of Knellinger & Associates help you get your business up and running.  We can help you choose the best corporate structure for your business, draft and negotiate contracts, and help you make sure that your ideas are protected.

Business travelers constantly face the problem of driving many hours for a meeting when a flight is too expensive or unavailable. Sometimes flights are available, but the number of stops turns a short flight into an all day trip. Charter flights are an option, but they are often very costly. Fortunately, DayJet is giving travelers a new option that is time-saving and more efficient for on-demand traveling.

DayJet offers three small passenger jets that provide travelers with the convenience of taking a direct flight without the expense of a charter flight. DayJet operates small jets to many small airports, and offers nonstop flights that may not be available or are unaffordable on other aircraft.

DayJet’s prices fluctuate depending on passenger flexibility. Sophisticated computerized pricing is based on the time frame a passenger is willing to book a flight; the larger the time frame, the more economical the flight. DayJet planes do not have the bells and whistles of large aircraft, but they are still comfortable. Additionally, passengers need to pack carefully because their luggage affects the balance of the small planes.

The company’s services are geared toward businesses and scheduling cannot be accessed without paying a $250 membership fee. DayJet is focusing on the consistent patron rather than the occasional person who wishes to take an isolated short flight. Nevertheless, DayJet is filling a need for providing affordable, convenient business air travel. As travelers take advantage of DayJet’s service, the service between airports is likely to expand.

Although you may not have an expanding transportation business, your business that meets the needs of consumers will likely grow. The Law Office of Richard M. Knellinger can help you negotiate contracts or purchase new equipment. Our experienced business attorneys can also draft and review non-compete contracts and financing agreements.

The shoes of a racehorse are essential to his performance. Unfortunately, Mucho Macho Man, owned by Patti and Dean Reeves, lost a shoe while racing in the Preakness. Despite his dislodged shoe, Mucho Macho Man managed to finish sixth in the race, but his trainer recognized that it was time for Mucho Macho Man to be fitted for different shoes.
Mucho Macho Man’s new shoes are synthetic shoes affixed with glue. They were designed by his new blacksmith, Curtis Burns. This shoe style, glued to the horse’s hoof, has been worn by other racehorses with success.

Although they are expensive, trainer Kathy Ritvo hopes that the new shoes will prevent future mishaps. The unique feature of the new shoes is that they were shaped to conform to Mucho Macho Man’s feet.

Past performances of other racehorses are increasing the popularity of the shoes. Mucho Macho Man’s trainer is optimistic that the shoes will help the horse achieve success in other races.

If you own a business and the demand for your products is rising, our business lawyers at the Law Office of Knellinger & Associates can help you manage your growth.

Additionally, if your business’ growth is driven by a new product you have developed, consult with our intellectual property attorneys. We can assist you in protecting your new product so that your business can continue to grow.

Workers who are not involved in the profession may envy teachers’ hours, their summer breaks, and their school vacations. Nevertheless, those outside of the profession may not realize the tight line that teachers straddle between teaching students, managing classrooms, interacting with administrators and satisfying parents. In addition to their many hats, teachers are now faced with dealing with legislative cuts and state standard requirements that are affecting their abilities to teach effectively.

In some districts, teachers’ evaluations and raises are also being more closely tied to students’ performances on standardized tests. Furthermore, the time period and age requirement to receive full pension benefits has been increased by three years. Thus, teachers are working harder than ever to balance the demands of the legislature and the needs of the students while their benefits are being cut or taking longer to accrue.

Districts are feeling the pinch of losing qualified teachers because of the changes and are worried that the increasingly high volume of retirements may impact students’ education. Districts know that senior teachers are familiar with the curriculum and have the expertise to mentor beginning teachers. Thus, they help many districts maintain their quality of education.

Meanwhile, many teachers and retirees from other professions may seek second careers or even become entrepreneurs.  If you are embarking on a second career, contact the Law Office of Knellinger & Associates so we can help you. We can review employment contracts, non-compete agreements, and help you negotiate better terms of employment.

If you decide to work for yourself, we can help you get your business off the ground. We can handle licensing issues, incorporation, investor financing, negotiate partnership agreements, and advise you on other business issues.

Additionally, if you are enjoying your golden years, our probate attorneys can review and draft wills, create codicils, create trusts, and advise you of needed documents that will ensure your assets are properly distributed when you die. The Law office of Knellinger & Associates can also assist you in making sure that your pension benefits are distributed according to your wishes. Contact our law offices for your probate and business needs.

Retailers and consumers should be aware that Florida ranks second for receiving complaints about stolen identities and consumer fraud. The areas with the highest volume of complaints were the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Port St. Lucie areas.

While many people associate identity theft with credit card fraud, the bulk of complaints involve using fraudulent documents or information to obtain government benefits. Examples of this type of fraud could cheat the victim out of social security money, tax refunds, government funded food or other benefits. Scams involving electronic transfers are typically used to commit this type of fraud.

Consumers can reduce their chances of becoming fraud victims by limiting the personal information they make available on the Internet. They should also refrain from responding to fishing expedition email requesting information about bank accounts or passwords. This type of email message also typically mentions an electronic transfer.

Similarly, consumers should only share credit card information on a secure website or call in their payment information. Paying via Paypal can also help reduce distribution of credit card numbers. Consumers should be aware that credit card theft can occur even if the consumer still has his credit card in his possession. The vital information on the credit card is all that is needed to make fraudulent purchases. Review credit card statements regularly for unusual charges and periodically check your credit history to ensure that it remains strong.

Retailers and banks can also do their part to protect against fraud. Employees should request identification before cashing checks or accepting credit cards.

If you learn that you are a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft, immediately close any bank accounts that are affected. Contact your credit card company and follow their procedures. Alert the fraud departments of credit bureaus to your situation and request reports. The Florida Office of Attorney General’s website can provide additional ways to minimize the effects of identity theft and fraud.

AxoGen is located in Alachua, Florida, but will soon merge with LecTec, which is based in Texas. AxoGen, founded in 2002, creates products that improve peripheral nerve damage and assist both surgeons and patients. Damage to peripheral nerves can impair the ability to maintain strength in the muscles and perform simple actions or movements. AxoGen’s products are used to alleviate peripheral nerve damage in both soldiers and civilians by repairing, connecting and protecting tissue.

When privately owned, AxoGen and its partner Cook Biotech, licensed technology from the University of Texas and accumulated significant funding from other investors. The merger between AxoGen and LecTec is expected to help AxoGen expand and market its products.

LecTec recently won an intellectual property lawsuit, which provided the funds they are using to invest in AxoGen. The new company will operate under the AxoGen name and  LecTec shareholders are expected to approve the deal in September, which provides for the company to invest $10.5 million in AxoGen plus an additional $2 million, if needed.

As companies grow by expanding their product line and market share, there are opportunities that involve mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructuring. If you have an expanding company and are considering merging with or acquiring another company, the Law Office of Knellinger & Associates can help.

We can help you ensure that company assets and revenues are what they seem so that you, as the purchaser, do not overpay for the business. Similarly, we assist business sellers with drafting sales agreements that represent the true value of the company at the time of the sale.

Negotiations to buy, sell and merge businesses can be lengthy and difficult.  Our business law attorneys can advise you during the negotiation process and help protect your interests. Once the terms are agreed upon, we can draft documents to ensure that they properly reflect the agreement of the parties.

We can also help with the more administrative, but no less important, details, such as government agency filings. Our services include drafting agreements pertaining to stock purchases, stock holder rights, financing and loans, and non-compete issues.

Gainesville residents John and Susan Perkins operate, Basic Black, a company that produces protective armor for armed forces and police. John is an engineer and grew up in a military family. However, he initially began developing protective armor from contacts he met volunteering as a Boy Scout troop leader. A parent of a child in a Boy Scout troop asked him to develop protective armor for police cars. Eventually other Scout parents, who were in the military, requested armor that was more protective. John enjoyed researching and developing products that helped those serving our country stay safe.

Perkins has created many products including an armored plate that protects the shoulder area, clipboards that can protect against rifle shots, and a safety shield that protects against flash bang grenades. Perkins strives to make his products better by constantly obtaining feedback from the men who use them. As he creates his products, Perkins needs the help of an intellectual property attorney to apply for patents and ensure that his ideas are protected.

Inventors want to enjoy success similar to John Perkins, but need to protect their ideas in order to do it. If you have identified a problem and have developed an idea that will solve it, the Law Office of Knellinger & Associates has patent attorneys that are experienced in protecting inventions and ideas. Please contact our business to learn how we can guide you through the patent process. We can help you determine if someone else has already applied for a similar patent, and how your patent application can be unique. We also can help if you believe that someone is infringing on your patents.

Dr. Steven Shores is moving his Gainesville area veterinary practice to a larger building that will the double the size of the animal hospital. The new Shores Animal Hospital, expected to open in November, will have updated facilities to service its many customers. The practice has approximately 30 employees, including three veterinarians.

Most business people hope that their business will grow and expand like the Shores Animal Hospital. Growth often leads to increased hiring and expanded services. However, as businesses grow, business owners are faced with new challenges and responsibilities which may include updating or reviewing their hiring policies, redefining employee expectations, executing employment contracts, and re-evaluating the corporate form of the business for tax, liability and operational purposes.

The Law Office of Knellinger & Associates can help minimize the risks and assist you with the challenges that arise as your business grows. Our business lawyers can assist you in negotiating a lease or purchasing a building that can accommodate your expansion.

Additionally, our business law attorneys can help you protect your interests by negotiating and creating employment contracts. We can help you put employment policies in place so your business is protected. We can also advise you of the best corporate entity for your size, growth and business situation.

Contact one of our business attorneys before you are faced with last minute challenges that can be difficult to handle. We can analyze your current situation and make recommendations, so you are not forced to make hasty decisions when issues suddenly arise.

Last week, an air traffic controller fell asleep while on duty in Miami. Falling asleep at work is not uncommon for employees who work the night shift. Nighttime fatigue extends to a wide variety of jobs including truck driving, nursing, public transportation, and many others where the workers are unable to balance adequate sleep with their work schedules.

The air traffic controller is currently on suspension and the Federal Aviation Administration is taking steps to prevent employees from falling asleep on the job. They have recently revamped the employee schedules and are also advising employees that falling asleep is not acceptable and can be cause for termination.

If you are an employer who hires night shift workers, it is important to be aware of this potential problem and to take steps to prevent and discourage your employees from falling asleep during their shifts. Falling asleep during a shift can be dangerous to both employees and consumers.

However, night shift workers and other workers who fall asleep on the job are not the only employees who can violate safety procedures, thereby putting themselves, customers or others at risk. When hiring an employee, it is very important to define expectations and indicate the repercussions for misconduct.

The Law Office of Knellinger & Associates can help you put the right procedures in place and draft contracts between you and your employees. Our law office can assist you in defining employee expectations and the consequences your employees can expect to face if they do not meet those expectations.

A trademark is a symbol that consumers associate with your company. A valuable trademark is unique enough to make consumers easily associate your products with your company without any confusion. When you create a trademark, it is important to make sure that other companies are not using a trademark that is too similar to yours. Your trademark should stand out. Consulting with an attorney can help you ensure that your trademark is unique, and that you are not encroaching on existing trademarks.

Registering your trademark helps protect it; registration ensures that other companies can find it, so that they do not duplicate it. You can register your trademark within your state only or you can choose to register it federally. Anticipating how you intend to use your trademark will help you decide how best to register it. Companies that have federally protected trademarks use the ® symbol to let the world know that their trademark is federally registered. If you anticipate selling your products nationally, you will probably want to register your trademark with the federal government.

The Law Office of Knellinger & Associates has been assisting clients with protecting trademarks for years. We can check to make sure that your trademark is not already registered or used by another business. A strong trademark helps clients remember your company and products.

Additionally, if you believe another company or person is infringing upon your trademark, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney to protect your rights. Trademark infringement often occurs in different jurisdictions, so an attorney may be able to help minimize the costly expenses of litigation that is out of your jurisdiction. Our attorneys at the Law Office of Knellinger & Associates can evaluate your situation and help you to keep your trademark protected.

The Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates provides legal advice and representation for individuals, entrepreneurs, and business owners in Gainesville, Florida, and communities throughout north central Florida, including cities such as Ocala, Starke, Palatka, Lake City, Middleburg, Trenton, Bronson, Lake Butler, Cross City, Williston, Chiefland, Alachua, Jasper, Live Oak, and Jacksonville, Florida.

Alachua County ● Putnam County ● Clay County ● Bradford County ● Union County ● Columbia County ● Gilchrist County ● Levy County ● Marion County ● Hamilton County ● St. Johns County ● Dixie County