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Trademarks are a powerful tool used to protect a seller or manufacturer’s intellectual property rights. A trademark is a symbol, phrase or word that is used to identify a specific manufacturer or seller’s products, as well as distinguish those products from others of like-kind. The use of trademarks makes it easier for consumers to identify products and the makers of specific goods. Trademarks also help sellers and manufacturers gain brand-recognition with their consumers. So, what makes a trademark a “trademark”? The mark must be distinctive in that it must be able to identify the source of a good. Trademarks have been...

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Series Limited Liability Company (LLC)

In the last decade, business organization development took a step forward with the emergence of series LLC's. In 2009, this business structure became available in Texas as an alternate to operating an ordinary LLC, limited partnership, or corporation. The insulation from liability that a series LLC can offer is unlike any other business formation, and allows the owner(s) great flexibility in its operations. A series LLC under Texas law allows a business owner, in their company agreement, to establish or provide for one or more designated “series” of members, managers, memberships interests, or assets. These designated series have separate rights, powers...

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Eminent Domain

Private property rights are a quintessential part of our legal system. Property rights guarantee each landowner the right to use, exclude, transfer, alienate, and possess property. These rights are not absolute however, and in special circumstances the government may have a right to condemn your private property for a public use under the doctrine of eminent domain. Eminent domain is defined as the taking of private property for a public use for just compensation to the landowner. So, what happens if you are approached by a condemning entity about your property? What are your rights as a landowner? To begin, who...

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Immediate Changes in Overtime Laws Are Here. Are You Prepared?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (or FLSA) guarantees a minimum wage for all hours worked during the workweek and overtime premium pay of not less than 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for those hours worked in excess of 40 in a single workweek. Unlike most other federal employment laws, the FLSA provides protections for individual employees throughout the U.S. rather than imposing blanket restrictions on all employers. It is estimated that the Act currently covers over 130 million US workers today, meaning that the vast majority of Texas employers are required to comply with the FLSA. However, even...

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Crash Course on the Fair Labor Standards Act

In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was implemented to battle the Great Depression. The FLSA set the U.S. standard forty-hour work-week, created a national minimum wage, and universalized the concept of overtime. It’s widely considered one of the defining laws of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. Today, the FLSA still applies to most private and public employment, and requires employers to pay covered employees who are not otherwise exempt, at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay. Recently, the FLSA has gained heightened media attention due to the U.S. Department of Labor’s announcement of changes to some of the...

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Top 10 Most Common Estate Planning Questions Answered

Top 10 Most Common Estate Planning Questions Answered Death is not a topic that most people like to consider. However, it’s an unavoidable part of life. Unfortunately, there are many common misconceptions that exist regarding estate planning and planning for incapacity. Because of that, many people feel prepared when in fact they are not. In order to help you understand how estate planning and probate works, here are the top 10 most commonly asked questions regarding estate planning and probate answered. 1. What is estate planning? Estate planning enables you to make vital personal decisions about the management and distribution of your assets,...

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