Good advice. I haven’t worked too much on residential leasing, but the advice here would work well for commercial leases too.


In today’s economy more and more people are renting instead of owning their homes. Both tenants and landlords have certain rights and obligations. If you are having an issue with a landlord or tenant make sure to proceed according to local laws and the details of the lease; call us today and speak with an attorney about your issue.

Reviewing the lease:

To help prevent disputes from arising, it is a good idea to have an attorney review any lease before you sign. Both landlords and tenants want a lease agreement to cover their needs. Here are some things to consider before signing a new lease:

When are rental payments due? Is there a grace period before late fees or penalties are incurred?
How much is the security deposit? Is it fully refundable? How long after the lease ends will your security deposit be returned?
What is the procedure for…

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Blackberry trolling aside, this is an interesting read on what you sign away when you sign up for your new smartphone and data plan.

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Well, I couldn’t stand my BlackBerry anymore and decided to go with a free upgrade from Verizon. It will be an “underpowered” Android, which will be more enjoyable to use than the BlackBerry.

It’s a bit too late now, but Verizon has already thoroughly ruined my phone by installing Bing and other nonsense which I can’t seem to remove permanently. I’ll be contacting them shortly about that.

Meanwhile, if anyone else is going to upgrade their device or start a contract with Verizon, I thought I’d post the fine print on the checkout page here. It’s rather difficult (read: near-impossible) to find this on their website. A side note: They needed to run spell-check on this.

Verizon :

If you change your device or receive a Service promotion, you may be required to change your Plan to one that we are currently offering at that time.

My Privacy

We collect…

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Facebook Family Contract

A Geeky Dad

In our home we have an informal agreement with our daughters when it comes to Facebook. It goes something like this:

  1. Minimum 13 years old
  2. We always have the password
  3. No geo-tagging or checking-in to locations
  4. No public posts
  5. We reserve the right to veto friends
  6. We promise not to embarrass you too bad (because you MUST friend us)

I recently ran across one family’s formal written Facebook contract.  If your family does not yet have a Facebook agreement of some sort in place, you should check it out.  It’s pretty detailed and provides a great starting point for any family figuring out how to handle teens and Facebook.  It includes:

  • General ground rules for parents and kids
  • Non-negotiable rules for kids
  • Commitment by parents
  • Access and curfew

Click here to download a PDF copy for your own family to consider.


What rules does your family have in place…

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5 Quick And Dirty Tips From Content Marketing World and Inbound2012

How To Market To Me

Ever wish you could pick the brains of some of the marketing industry’s smartest people? Well…have I got a treat for you!

I recently attended–not one, but two– inbound marketing conferences back-to-back over two weeks. I met some amazingly smart people,  bought a suitcase full of marketing books, saw more orange articles of clothing outside a UT football game (my Knoxville TN peeps know what I’m talking about!) and, most importantly, learned a ton.

I initially wanted to share everything possible here (you should have seen my blog drafts on everything I learned), but I’ve decided to boil down the message to something super digestable. Here’s 5 quick-and-dirty tips I learned from Inbound2012 and Content Marketing World that you can implement in less than 5 minutes. I promise– they’re really that easy!

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Auto Company Factory Rep Indicted On Charges of Wire Fraud

Jim Radogna of Dealer Compliance Consultants blogged about the indictment of a former South Carolina Suzuki Dealer on charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud regarding fraudulent financing agreements and conspiracy to commit wire fraud regarding fraudulent reporting of sales to American Suzuki Motor Corporation.  You can read Mr. Radogna’s blog post on this topic here and for those who enjoy reading indictments (i.e. law students like me), you can read the indictment here.

While reading the indictment I was surprised to see that an employee of American Suzuki Motor Corporation (hereinafter “Suzuki”) was indicted along with the defendant owner and employees of Joe Gibson Suzuki.  Particularly, the allegation on the charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud as related to fraudulent reporting of sales to Suzuki piqued my interest.  My first job out of college was with Ford Motor Company as a field rep, doing a job similar to what the Suzuki employee involved in this case did (sans the fraudulent and illegal activity, of course).  In short, the US Attorney alleged that the Suzuki employee worked with his codefendants to report vehicles sold that weren’t really sold, so that the dealership could obtain incentive payments that Suzuki paid upon the sale of the vehicle.

Most of the blogs and articles in trade publications address ethics and compliance issues facing dealerships.  You don’t see similar attention paid to ethical issues and compliance matters related to activities of factory reps or other employees of auto manufacturers or suppliers.  For any factory reps out there reading this, remember that the laws apply to you as well.  Ignoring the law can mean indictments, civil and criminal penalties, and expensive legal fees, which are all things that you don’t want to face.

Source:  Dealer Compliance Consultants (as cited and linked to above) and WSPA

Online Advertising Compliance…It’s Not That Complicated

Today I perused the table of contents for Automotive News, as I try to do every Monday, to see if any articles caught my attention.  For those who may not be that involved with the automotive industry, Automotive News is the trade publication of record, more or less.    While typically focusing on news related to manufacturing, Automotive News has lately broached topics more pertinent to what’s on the mind of many owners of dealerships these days; online advertising and sales.  Today was no exception, and the article, titled The Wild West of Online discussed how new efforts to advertise online were running afoul of state and local laws in many jurisdictions.  The dealer quoted in the article, Mike Duman of the Duman Auto Group, hails from my home state of Virginia.  The Commonwealth (as many Virginians like to refer to the state) has particularly stringent laws regarding automobile sales and advertising.  For example, sales associates in Virginia are licensed by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.  Virginia also does not allow ‘bird dog fees’ which, in industry parlance, are fees paid by a dealer to an unaffiliated or unlicensed third-party as commission for a referral.  In contrast, my adopted state of New York forgoes such requirements, neither requiring sales associates to obtain licenses nor forbid bird dog fees.  As one may expect, variances between state to state regarding what is and is not permissible gives dealers and vendors problems.

To me, this issue really isn’t that complicated.  Unless otherwise stated by applicable law or administrative rules,  you should evaluate the legality of online advertisements in the same manner and using the same tools you would for advertisements placed in “traditional” media such as television, radio and direct mailing.  If you’re talking about a particular deal in a Facebook post, you should be prepared to offer disclosures required in your state.  If it looks like an ad, and it sounds like an ad, your state’s regulatory agencies are probably going to treat it like an ad.  Don’t rely on the vendor to tell you what is and isn’t kosher.  Merely doing something online does not shield you from requirements to comply with the law.  To the contrary, as more state and federal agencies catch on that the real action is happening online, they will examine your online activities with close scrutiny.  Don’t be caught unaware of what kinds of advertisements vendors are placing on your behalf and whether or not these advertisements comply with the law.

Worth noting, but largely absent from the Automotive News article cited above, is what happens with disputes arising from cross-border sales and what actions trigger your dealership finding itself within the jurisdiction of another state’s courts.  The circumstances triggering conflict of law and jurisdictional questions are not as far-fetched as you may think.  Suppose you have a dealership in Virginia and advertise a vehicle on eBay, a national listing website.  A customer in Illinois sees the vehicle and contacts your dealership.  You exchange emails and telephone calls, and the customer eventually agrees to purchase the vehicle.  What happens when the customer takes the vehicle back to his home in Illinois and a problem arises?  Do you answer to Illinois courts now regarding jurisdiction, or would the plaintiff have to bring suit in Virginia?  The answer is, as most are, complicated and depends largely on the facts of the transaction.  Needless to say the law is in a state of flux as more and more people shop in different states than their home states.  But, that’s a discussion for another post.

Source:  Automotive News

Image Source:  SheKnows