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Business Organizations & Transactions

You can have the world’s best products or services, but if you don’t have the legal safeguards you need to protect yourself and your company, you can lose it all very quickly. There are so many things to think about when you’re running a business, there may be areas of the law that you don’t consider: copyrights and trademarks, environmental concerns, consumer protection laws, health and safety regulations, state registration requirements, government reporting, employer-employee requirements, zoning and building codes -- the list goes on and on.

Whether you're just getting started with organizing your business or you're an established business developing and negotiating your contracts or planning new ventures, you deserve an attorney who understands both the legal and practical business aspects of your transactions.

JMT Law provides assistance for businesses in all stages -- from startups to long-established organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit --  working with you to design your documents to address both continued growth and unanticipated events. JMT Law will handle your essential documents to ensure that they are written, reviewed, and negotiated in plain language, with emphasis on reaching your goals while avoiding unpleasant surprises down the road.
JMT Law works with you to evaluate both, helping you to analyze potential risks and benefits so you can make informed decisions.

Contract Preparation

Contracts, both formal and informal, are the basis of everything from the home in which we live to the way we conduct our business. Whether you are signing a lease or selling a property, working out an arrangement with a new business partner or supplier, planning an event, or starting a new venture, having a clearly written, unambiguous, easily understood document can be the key to your success. On the other hand, a confusing, ambiguous document -- or no written contract at all -- can lead to early failure.

No attorney can guarantee you won’t be sued, or that you’ll win a legal contest – but the best way to avoid litigation is to have documents that both you and the other party can understand. With plain English documents, you’re less likely to get into disputes about what your contract language means.

And if you do have a problem down the road, a well-written contract could help you avoid drawn-out litigation. Attorneys will pounce on confusing contract language to defend their clients, even when they have broken a trust with the other party to an agreement. Though there is no way to avoid litigation if someone is determined to sue you, or if you have to take action to enforce your contract, a well-written document should make your court experience much less stressful -- not to mention far less expensive!

Negotiation & Mediation

If you want to negotiate effectively with both clients and competitors, you need someone who will effectively communicate your interests while working to reach a result that will achieve your goals. JMT Law has over a quarter-century of experience representing clients both large and small, dealing with both private and public sectors.

While many law firms take an adversarial stance on nearly all transactions, JMT Law strives to maintain a positive direction to achieve effective results with minimal conflict wherever possible. But when cooperation isn't in the cards, JMT Law will take the actions required to protect your interests. Remember, your attorney is your advocate.

Real & Personal Property Services

Whether you need specialized software to manage your business or space to expand, JMT Law can assist you in making a deal that fits your current and future needs. JMT Law also offers experience with both personal property and real estate transactions, from both owner and user perspectives.

Are you a landlord or equipment owner? JMT Law can ensure that your leases have the terms you need to safeguard your interests against default.

If you're a tenant or renter, your JMT Law attorney can go over documents with you to suggest changes that may be appropriate to balance the equities of your transaction, helping you to negotiate terms to your benefit.

If you've developed a product that you want to market through outside vendors or a program to help others in their businesses, balance is key in any successful business transaction.
JMT Law can assist you in building a license document that is both attractive to potential users and protective of your asset. If a document is too oppressive, you may not be successful in your marketing, but if the document is overly broad in its permissions, there is the potential for you to lose valuable rights in your property.

State Government Procurement & Construction

Whether you've had previous government contracts or you want to find out how to compete in this market, it's helpful to have an experienced eye and ear when you're preparing or reviewing applications, bids, and proposals. With over two decades of experience working in government procurement and construction, JMT Law can help you both in shaping your filings and in determining the best opportunities for your business to work with state agencies.

If you're a minority or woman-owned business, JMT Law can assist you from the application process for state and federal programs to finding work as a prospective subcontractor with a primary bidder.
Sometimes easily overlooked mistakes could lead to rejection of your bids and proposals. JMT Law can help you to avoid that costly error! And while it's better to avoid a bid protest situation if possible, JMT can also assist you in determining whether making a protest may be worthwhile and, if so, in preparing and arguing your protest.

Legislation & Regulations

Whether you want to keep up with changes in the law that affect your business or you need to contact your representatives to request special legislation, the language of lawmaking can be difficult to understand. Legislative and regulatory drafting use unique styles and change tracking that can confuse the uninitiated -- and sometimes even those with experience in reading the language of governing.

JMT Law can help to untangle the mysteries of legislating and regulating so that you understand the requirements imposed and options available. And when you want to advocate a position, JMT Law can help you to draft proposals that you can present to lawmakers and agency managers in the required format. If you are concerned about pending changes in the law, JMT Law can provide legislative and regulatory analysis to help you understand the potential impact of bills and proposed regulations so you can make an informed decision on how to respond.

Estate Planning & Health Care Directives

Not having a will, health care directive, or power of attorney is like driving without insurance: you might be fine, as long as nothing unexpected happens. But how often are our lives entirely predictable?
Whether you're a business owner, an employee, or a retiree; married or single; a parent or childless; or in a non-traditional relationship -- you want to be in control of your resources. If you were to become seriously ill or disabled, you may be unable to let your family and medical professionals know your wishes for continued medical care and for the handling of your property and other assets and liabilities.

When you use JMT Law's services, you don't get someone who just gives you a form without explanations; your attorney will personally walk you through the process, taking the time to determine your needs, explain the issues, and answer your questions. And JMT Law does all of this at sensible pricing.

JMT Law can prepare both temporary and durable powers of attorney -- customized for you -- that will ensure your designees honor your wishes in handling your business, your personal finances, and your medical treatment. You control when and how these powers take effect, as well as the extent of your designee's authority.

JMT Law will prepare advance health care directives and living wills according to the latest updates to the Pennsylvania laws governing these issues. Pennsylvania law requires health care professionals to follow your wishes -- or to refer you to a facility or doctor who will do so. Preparing these documents takes relatively little time, but it can ensure that your loved ones are not unduly burdened with difficult decisions if you are ever in a condition where you can't speak for yourself. It also ensures that those you trust most will be the ones acting on your behalf.

If it's been a while since you've updated your will, your JMT Law attorney will review the document with you at no charge and make suggestions if there are any areas you should consider amending. If you don't have a will, JMT Law's will questionnaire can help to identify the issues you should consider in making your will. JMT Law will also help you to determine if you may wish to consider using a trust to accomplish any of your goals.

With blended families now as common as the traditional family, it's essential to document your wishes so that you, and not the state, control how your assets are distributed after your death.

Prenuptial and Cohabitation Agreements

Let's face it: marriage is a contract where the details aren't written down. A prenup can provide a roadmap so that individuals come into a marriage with their eyes open, rather than clouded by emotion or passion. They can also make certain that partners in life understand where their respective assets and responsibilities lie rather than relying on unspoken assumptions that may not be shared. Extensive wealth isn't a prerequisite to having a prenuptial agreement. In fact, there are few couples who couldn't benefit from having a "prenup" in place prior to marriage.
Only living with someone, not planning to get married any time soon -- or possibly ever? Your financial arrangements are still interdependent, whether you're family, friends, or partners. Think about it: how many times have you argued with your parent, child, roommate, or significant other about money issues? Want to avoid those arguments? Then consider a cohabitation or loan agreement to protect everyone's interests and understanding. Hashing out financial and living arrangement issues up front can save you not only money but future heartache.
Here are some situations where a prenup or a cohabitation agreement may be particularly worthwhile:

  • You come into the relationship with personal assets including real estate, stocks, valuable collectibles, fine jewelry, or retirement accounts
  • You own a business or business interests
  • You have received, or you expect to receive, an inheritance
  • You have children/grandchildren from a prior relationship
  • One of you has significantly more or fewer assets than the other
  • One of you will be supporting the other through college
  • You are responsible for caring for loved ones such as elderly parents or a disabled relative
  • You have, or are pursuing, a professional degree or license
  • Your business or occupation may develop to bring you a big increase in income

  • A prenup isn't only to anticipate a divorce; it's also helpful to outline your plans in the event one member of a couple dies.

    Planning Services for Nontraditional Families

    If you are in a nontraditional committed relationship, it's especially important to name your partner in your health care directive as someone who has the right to receive information on your medical status. Rather than filling out HIPAA forms every time you visit a new doctor and hoping that the information is passed through to other medical professionals who may be involved in your treatment plan, presenting a copy of your signed health care directive ensures that your loved one will be able both to be involved in your care and to visit you when visitation is restricted.

    Because nontraditional relationships are not recognized under the law of intestate distribution, naming your partner as a beneficiary under your will avoids the heartache of breaking up a shared household due to unexpected death. It also gives the surviving partner legal rights that would not be available without a will that leaves no doubt as to your intentions.