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Posted By Jennifer Willis-Jost, ASU Law Group, Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Agreements are the Foundations of your Business –Make Sure they Meet your Needs and Ensure your Success.

Are you getting conflicting advice? You’ve been told to get things in writing, but when things go awry and you ask for help, your mentors are shocked: did you really sign this? Many aspects of your business revolve around agreements – you offer to sell a product or service, customers accept. You solicit bids, vendors quote, you negotiate or accept. You recruit, make offers, and hire workers. Contracts can be as simple as an offer and acceptance -- the essence of your trade. When does it makes sense to be in writing and when do you check with an attorney before you sign?
These tips are for business owners about Promises, Promises.
Handshake deals are valid and enforceable in Arizona. Your promise is the same as signing your name to a contract. Look out for these types of contracts which by law must be in writing in Arizona and signed (digitally or inked) to be enforced:

➢ Real estate sales
➢ Leases longer than one year
➢ Contracts taking longer than one year to complete
➢ Agreements to pay someone else’s debts
➢ Purchase, sale of goods valued at $500 or more
➢ Business loans, extensions of credit greater than $250,000
➢ Contracts lasting longer than the life of the party performing the contract

Oral contracts work fine - until they don’t. If you haven’t put the basics in writing, it is your word against theirs.
It makes sense to “get it in writing” to protect your business and the terms of the deal. This in turn helps you get paid, get what you paid for, limits your risk, and provides a remedy if the other party defaults. Written contracts are nearly always more defensible.
Don’t Sign That [yet]
Contract mistakes can cost you money, or worse, which is why we say, “don’t sign that” until you’ve checked it out. Contracts are legally enforceable documents. Just because you made a bad deal is not good enough legally to get out of it.
Watch out for red flags:

➢ Multiyear term. Change is constant. You need flexibility.
➢ No termination clause. You always need an exit plan.
➢ No obligations on the other side. You promise, you pay, but no duty to deliver.

Before signing, review these contracts with your attorney or contract specialist:

• Settlement Checks, Releases, Waivers
• Confidentiality, Nondisclosure Agreements
• Leases – Real and Personal Property
• Hold Harmless and Indemnification
• Co-signing for Another
• Non-compete Agreements • Sale of Business Assets, Interests
• Real Estate Purchases, Sales
• Signing a Contract:
• after you’ve done the work
• a vendor’s quote/proposal
• after you got the job

Texts, IMs, Emails: Beware. Even though texts, instant messaging and emails are informal, courts have found these writings can satisfy legal requirements for a contract. Arizona recognizes ‘electronic signatures.’ A printed name at the end of an email, signature block, or “from” line, can be sufficient as ‘electronic signatures’ and binding. Train your workers about their IMs, emails and texts, to be cautious when proposing prices and deal terms, and not use legal terms like “offer,” “agree” and “accept.”
After all, the devil is in the details.

*This article is general legal information. Check with a lawyer for specific advice.

About ASU Law Group
ASU Law Group is a not-for-profit law firm with the purpose of hiring recent graduates of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU, to help them become practice-ready. To accomplish this, experienced attorneys mentor associates in core competency and professionalism skills, while delivering high-quality legal services. ASU Law Group provides a wide range of legal services for small to mid-size businesses and entrepreneurs including business organization, transactions, litigation, contracts, intellectual property, employment, real estate, leases, and professional and business licenses; for clients who are attracted to forward-thinking, collaborative services.

Tags:  legal  legal advice  legal services  small business 

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What You Need to Know About the Equifax Data Breach

Posted By Kenyatta Turner, LegalShield Independent Associate, Friday, September 15, 2017

What you need to know about the Equifax Data Breach:

Equifax, Inc – a major credit bureau, announced on Thursday, 9/7/17, that a massive data breach was discovered in July, which may have exposed names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and addresses of approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. The current US population is approximately 326 million, so this data breach potentially affected 44% of Americans! In addition, a smaller amount of driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers and certain documents were obtained. The breach lasted from mid-May to July of 2017.

This is just the latest example of how, no matter how careful you are, there are forces beyond your control that can still lead to your personally identifiable information being exposed.

At IDShield, we know how stressful data breaches are, and we are here to help.  As a member, please know:

  • You have full access to our dedicated and experienced licensed private investigators to ask any questions and get help if you are worried that you are a victim of fraud.
  • You have proactive credit monitoring through Experian and will be alerted if there are any changes to their credit report.

If you are not a member of IDShield, there are still steps that you can take to provide an extra layer of security.

  • First, set up a fraud alert. This will reduce the chance of a fraudster opening a credit or loan account in your name. If you place the alert with one bureau, they will ensure its placed on the other bureaus as well. Fraud alerts last for 90 days, but can be renewed. You can search online for placing a fraud alert and select one of the main bureaus to set it up through. To sign up via Experian, use this link: To sign up via TransUnion, use this link:
  • Second, be diligent. Don't give out your personal information if it sounds fishy. IDShield members, if you're unsure, this is a great time to call your licensed private investigator for advice!
  • Third, change your passwords for online banking and other finance accounts. This will reduce the risk of your money or assets being moved fraudulently. As you change your password, use your IDShield Vault password manager to generate a new strong password!

And of course, if you don’t yet have IDShield, this is a great time to sign up for comprehensive identity protection and full service, white glove restoration. Visit to learn more!


I'm here to help, so please do not hesitant to contact me!

Kenyatta Turner, LegalShield / IDShield Independent Associate, 602-367-1069

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Tags:  data breach  financial  financing  fradulent  fraud  hackers  identity protection  law  lawyer  Legal  legal advice  legal services  legalshield  lending  loans 

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Businesses Beware: Don't Get Hooked into Paying for Forms You Don't Need

Posted By Teresie Zmyslinski., Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

By: John “Jack” G. Sestak, Jr., Member, Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C.

Over the years, I have come across what appear to be “official” correspondences from companies portraying themselves as state-related representatives. Their purpose is to “scare” a business into hiring them to prepare form corporate documents, stating that all corporations must file annual reports with the Arizona State Corporation Commission; however, many businesses, such as limited liability companies, are not required to file annual reports. In addition, the letters offer to prepare annual director and shareholder meeting minutes at fairly significant rates.

The bottom line – understanding your business structure and its reporting requirements is extremely important to ensure you are compliant. It is also prudent to prepare and retain annual director and shareholder meeting minutes; however, do not get hooked into paying “service” firms for forms you may not need, or that may be substandard or simply false. It is in a company’s best interest to confer with its attorney, or seek experienced legal counsel, regarding business filings, compliance and other legal needs.

John “Jack” G. Sestak, Jr. represents small, medium and large companies in all areas of business and commercial litigation. He advises clients with matters related to corporate, administrative, creditors' rights, securities litigation, real estate, employment, professional negligence, and environmental matters.  

Mr. Sestak is an experienced litigator and has assisted with a broad range of commercial litigation issues, including general contract disputes, shareholder and partner disputes, employment issues, and arbitration proceedings. In addition, Mr. Sestak handles business and commercial transactions of all kinds, providing counsel and advice on business planning, as well as dispute resolution. He has also represented major financial institutions in dispute resolution and litigation matters. Mr. Sestak can be reached at 602.262.5827 or

Tags:  legal services 

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Arizona Supreme Court Upholds Arizona Prop 206

Posted By Teresie Zmyslinski., Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC, Wednesday, March 15, 2017


By: Otto S. Shill, III, Attorney, Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C.

The Arizona Supreme Court has unanimously upheld Arizona Proposition 206, which, effective January 1, 2017, increased Arizona’s minimum wage to $10.00, and requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees beginning July 1, 2017. 

The statute, known as the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act, is the result of a 2016 voter proposition. It has been highly contested by numerous business organizations; however, with this decision, employers must take immediate steps to ensure that they (i) are compliant with the minimum wage requirement already in effect, and (ii) prepare for the policy and recordkeeping changes that will be required for the addition of paid sick leave benefits beginning July 1.

While legislative efforts may be forthcoming to make changes to this law, permissible changes are limited because it was passed by voter initiative. So, a higher minimum wage, as well as paid sick leave for all Arizona employees, is now a reality that employers must acknowledge. The labor and employment team at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon is available to help evaluate your current plans and assist with the creation and implementation of new or revised policies to ensure your business is compliant. 


Employers have many options for hiring labor and employment legal representation; however, unlike Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, few encompass the reputation, history, experience, and full-service functionality under one roof.

Minimum wage and overtime issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act create unique challenges for employers. We offer creative solutions and swift litigation support. From internal compliance audits to Department of Labor investigations, we guide clients through the maze of regulations to ensure they comply with the ever changing laws, and defend clients facing wage and hour litigation in both individual and collective claims.

Our labor and employment attorneys are also experienced at handling the wide-range of employment issues that challenge businesses, big and small. They regularly assist clients in hearings before numerous administrative agencies, such as the EEOC, OSHA, NLRB, OFCCP, U.S. Department of Labor, Arizona Civil Rights Division, and the Arizona Department of Economic Security. In addition, our labor and employment attorneys are skilled litigators, defending clients in all types of lawsuits brought before state and federal courts (both trial and appellate). They also assist our clients in resolving disputes through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, early neutral case assessment and other alternative dispute resolution techniques.

For assistance with any of your labor and employment needs, please contact one of our experienced labor and employment attorneys:

John J. Egbert - - 602-262-5994
Chris M. Mason - - 602-262-5817
Otto S. Shill - - 602-262-5956
John "Jack" G. Sestak, Jr. - - 602-262-5827
Lindsay G. Leavitt - - 602-262-5825

Tags:  employment  legal services 

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A Restaurant Owner's Checklist for Commercial Lease Deals

Posted By Teresie Zmyslinski., Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC, Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Jennings, Strouss & Salmon attorney, Bruce May, is featured in the March edition of QSR magazine for his article : A Restaurant Owner's Checklist for Commercial Lease Deals

Tags:  commercial real estate  legal services  restaurant 

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