Legal Articles and News

08Apr 2011

A devastating earthquake followed by a tsunami struck Japan on March 11, 2011. Although more than 3,000 deaths have been confirmed, the number of people missing suggests that the death toll is likely to be greater than 10,000. In addition to the deaths, the earthquake and tsunami have affected millions of people in a variety of ways. Homes have been lost and irreparably damaged, people have been injured, and many have lost their livelihoods.

As a result of this natural disaster, several explosions occurred at a nuclear plant, which caused high levels of radiation to leak into the atmosphere, particularly along the northeastern coast. The majority of the radiation entered the air as steam from boiling water, which was caused by a fire in Unit 4. Those living in the Fukushima Dai-ichi district were cautioned to remain indoors and to keep their windows and doors closed to minimize radiation exposure. When radioactive material leaks, there is a potential for fatalities depending upon the amount that escapes. While the Japanese government does not currently anticipate fatalities from the radiation leak, there has been cause for concern and radiation levels are being monitored.

The nuclear plant explosions, the earthquake, and the tsunami emphasize the importance of having your affairs in order before an unexpected disaster occurs. Floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters can happen anywhere in the world at any time. Even when people are ill and death is imminent, it is impossible to know precisely when they will lose their lives. Preparing for your demise by creating a will or trust is essential to help ensure that your loved ones are taken care of. It is important not only to think about the distribution of your assets, but also to designate guardians or other care for your children, pets, and other dependents. Life is filled with tragedies, both expected and unexpected, but being prepared can make it easier for those left behind. The Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates has experienced attorneys who can help you with your estate planning and probate needs. Start thinking about your future and the futures of your loved ones. Contact us today.

29Mar 2011

The University of Florida was recently identified by the NCAA as once again having one of the most profitable athletic programs in the nation. While the University’s teams boast impressive records that attracted over one million fans last year, it is not just the enthusiasm and support of the fans that generate revenue. While football and men’s basketball are the top revenue producers, the financial success of the athletic program is attributed to strong business management by Athletic Director, Jeremy Foley.

When Foley first started his job as Athletic Director, the teams were not profitable and the University Athletic Association (UAA) was in dire straits financially. However, his on-the-job training taught him how to successfully run the program like a business and eventually expand it. He credits his success to hiring excellent coaches, negotiating lucrative contracts and expanding the athletic program facilities which contributes to the maintenance of high quality teams and mirrors their success.

In addition to the revenue earned by selling sports tickets, refreshments, and other items related to games during the various sports seasons, the Gators teams have lucrative contracts licensing their logo on clothing, souvenirs, and even furniture. The UAA also earns revenue from every bowl game in which the football team plays and anticipates earning $15 million in revenue as a result of other Southeastern Conference teams participating in bowl games. The UAA also has contracts with certain companies that pay for the privilege of the teams using their equipment and clothing.

Securing and negotiating lucrative contracts and hiring the right people is essential for every business, not just for athletic programs. The Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates can help you protect your immediate and long-term interests by assisting you with negotiating beneficial contracts, such as employment contracts and partnership and licensing agreements. Contact us to find out how our business and intellectual property attorneys can help you with all of your business needs.

28Mar 2011

Local government and private businesses are coordinating their efforts to revitalize Gainesville. Three distinct areas, approximately 91 acres total, will be renovated. Innovation Square will be a multifunctional area that will combine the convenience of working, living and finding entertainment on Southwest Second Avenue. Another area located on Southeast Fourth Avenue will be called the Power Center. A third area, aptly named Depot Park, will include a renovated train station, a playground, a museum and other recreational activities.

Those involved in the projects and pushing for their advancement feel that the revitalization will take some time, but they are confident that it will become a reality. Other recent projects, such as new apartment buildings, the new Criminal Justice Center, and the growing downtown center of Santa Fe College, make these new projects look promising. Many private businesses, including Trimark Properties and Gateway Development services, support the projects and feel confident that the redevelopment of these areas will attract people who want to live, work and ultimately become consumers in these areas. The influx of businesses should increase available jobs in Gainesville and entice residents of all ages.

The revitalization is likely to increase the population in these areas of Gainesville, as well as improve commerce. If you are considering starting or purchasing a business in the Gainesville area, the redevelopment may help you to attract customers.  Our attorneys at the Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates have years of experience in business law. Please contact us to find out how we can assist you with your business start-up or purchase.

23Mar 2011

Although Gainesville’s home sales are higher than last year, sellers are not benefiting from the increase. Many purchasers are snatching up foreclosed properties, resulting in lower average home sale prices. In other words, realtors are selling more homes in the current market, but profits are lower compared to comparable houses sold last January. The sales increase appears to be driven by investors as opposed to new home purchasers.

Realtors believe that potential homeowners are having trouble purchasing homes because of more stringent credit requirements. Despite reduced interest rates and lower purchase prices, it is difficult for first-time home buyers to pass financing requirements.  Additionally, investors who can pay cash are more attractive to sellers even if they must reduce the purchase price. A cash deal is more likely to result in a sale because financing is unnecessary.

On the bright side, investors are likely to renovate homes in the hopes of making profits later. Improving the condition of foreclosed homes may make them appealing to renters while increasing the value of the home. Eventually, this may lead to a sale.  As the homes are renovated and attract more attention, business is likely to grow.

If you are moving to the Gainesville area and plan to start a new business, the Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates can help you achieve your goals.  Our legal professionals have years of experience assisting clients with business start-ups. We can help you to decide the best structure for your business, prepare any necessary contracts, and advise you regarding other issues that may contribute to the success of your new venture.

21Mar 2011

Marriage is a partnership. For some, this partnership pertains only to domestic life and each spouse pursues a separate career. For others, this partnership is a business one, as well. Operating a business with your spouse is no easy task. According to the Americans for Divorce Reform, statistics suggest that 40-50% of marriages end in divorce in the United States.

For couples who work together, sharing business responsibilities can make domestic and business decisions more stressful. Nevertheless, some couples manage to do it very successfully. Couples who are in business together seem to follow many practices that help to keep marriages healthy. They interact well and communicate about business problems effectively, just as couples with strong marriages discuss their personal issues.

Spouses who are business partners often divide the responsibilities. They take the time to evaluate their strengths so each spouse is handling the tasks that best suit him or her. Similarly, in order to have a healthy marriage, spouses must share responsibilities pertaining to child care, housework, finances, and other issues that face married couples.

Sometimes spouses do not agree on a business issue. In this situation, many couples consult others and listen to ideas with an open mind. A willingness to explore other opinions gives both spouses the opportunity to compromise and to come to resolutions that are best for the business. Couples who do not work together may also discuss issues calmly and reach resolutions in a similar manner. At times they may seek outside opinions, too. Other times, they may decide to put aside their disagreement, or one party may decide the issue is not important enough to pursue.

On the other hand, there are couples who try to work together, but are unable to balance the stresses of family life and the workplace with their spouse. In some situations, it is difficult to avoid bringing personal problems to the office or impossible to leave business concerns at the workplace.

Thus, while many couples manage to have a strong relationship managing their business and home life, pressures at the workplace or in the home can lead to divorce for others. When a couple who shares a business gets divorced, the dissolution of the marriage and the allocation of assets can be even more emotional and delicate. In some instances, divorcing couples move on with their personal lives while retaining their business relationship. In others, business buy-outs or other arrangements must occur because it is in the best interests of the business and the individuals.

If you are considering filing for divorce, whether or not you work with your spouse, the Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates can help. It is our goal to help you through this difficult family process. We have years of experience with divorce proceedings, custody issues and the distribution of assets and liabilities. We also have extensive experience with the sale and purchase of businesses and their assets. Please contact our Family Law Attorney at the Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates to find out how we can assist you.

17Mar 2011

John and Carole Rio breed and raise animals at Rosegrove Thoroughbred Farm in Ocala, Florida.  Both husband and wife grew up around animals and enjoy participating in day-to-day farm activities. Additionally, they enjoy taking the time to give their animals plenty of personalized attention, which means they get to know the animals very well. This year, the Rios’ care, knowledge and breeding abilities have caught the attention of judges, resulting in some of their animals receiving champion status.

The Rios were delighted when their dog, Marlex Classic Red Glare, was awarded first place at the 2011 Westminster Dog Show in the miniature pinscher category. In addition to Marlex Classic Red Glare’s recent win, the Rios have had two other dogs win top spots for their breeds in past Westminster Dog Shows.

Less than a week after Marlex Classic Red Glare’s victory, one of the Rios’ horses, Mucho Macho Man, won the Risen Star Stakes Race, advancing him on the list of Kentucky Derby contenders. The Rios acknowledge that the combination of Mucho Macho Man’s lanky physique and his June birthday made him difficult to sell initially since colts born closer to January who have a more athletic, solid appearance are favored. Mucho Macho Man is currently owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Dream Team Racing Stable, but the Rios still have a minority share in this special horse. Given Mucho Macho Man’s proven speed, his owners have already rejected sales offers well over two million dollars and are excited by his new rank on the list of possible Kentucky Derby winners.

Whether your pet is valuable to you financially or because of your companionship, you want to make sure that your pet is always cared for. The Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates has years of experience preparing pet trusts. Plan ahead by designating funds and a caretaker for your pet in the event that your pet outlives you. No one can anticipate the future, but providing for your pet’s care in the event of your death will ease your mind and ensure his well-being. Please contact the Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates to see how we can help.

15Mar 2011

Many people may not realize that heat-related illnesses in athletes can cause injuries, comas and can even be fatal. Dr. Nick Gravenstein, affiliated with Shands, became concerned about heat-induced illnesses on the football field when a University of Florida freshman football player, Eraste Autin died tragically in July 2001 during training camp. This unfortunate fatality was attributed to the high temperature, intense training and inability of the athlete’s body to maintain a healthy temperature. The tragedy inspired Dr. Gravenstein, along with Samsun Lampotang, to conduct research the led to the creation of a revolutionary cooling system.

Dr. Nick Gravenstein was recently acknowledged for the Temperature Management System that he and Samsun Lampotang invented. The technology has provided football players with greater comfort and a lower risk of heat-related illness. Dr. Gravenstein and Lampotang created a shoulder pad which contains a unique cooling system that effectively helps to keep the body cooler during rigorous training. Many college and professional players currently use Dr. Gravenstein’s invention.

Medical research is at the forefront of saving lives, and prolific inventions are constantly being devised in that field, as well as many other fields. However, you do not have to be a physician or even have an advanced degree to create a unique invention that addresses a problem. Useful inventions can be developed by anyone.

If you are an inventor interested in protecting your ideas, we can help you with licensing and royalty agreements and help you to connect with the necessary patent professionals. Please contact our Business Law Attorney at the Law Office of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates to find out how we can help.

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