Business entities yield various tax pros, cons

In the last two articles we talked about the legal characteristics of the most common business entities. I hope you’ve already had your double-almond latte this morning because today is the day we talk about the different tax consequences of corporations and limited liability companies, or LLCs. I am not an expert on tax matters, so I conned my friend, Nicole Tepe, of Rudd and Company, who just happens to be a Read More

Establishing a company: corporation vs. the LLC

Ray  Martin is in the law office of Neal Able. Ray is a master electrician, who is about to form his own electrical contracting company. Ray is seeking Neal’s advice on how best to accomplish this. In their initial conference Ray and Neal determined that neither a sole proprietorship nor a partnership is an appropriate business format for Ray’s needs, primarily because neither would shield Ray‘s personal assets Read More

The legal ins and outs of setting up a business

The Declaration of Independence proclaims that all people are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These words are an invitation for us to dream big dreams. Two of the great American dreams include owning one’s own home and being one’s own boss. What’s involved in the pursuit of these dreams? For some it is simply a matter of Read More

Fees: How to coexist with your attorney

Let’s get right to the heart of the matter and continue the discussion on lawyer fees. Studies at Harvard have shown that the mere mention of the phrase “lawyer fees” will cause a grown man or woman to take to bed for several days. My guess is that disputes over hourly billing are the primary cause of this ailment. The vast majority of lawyer bills are calculated on an hourly basis. Unfortunately, the hourly Read More

Attorney billing varies widely between cases

Let’s talk about a subject which is of great importance to my children -- lawyer fees. Most of us -- by which I mean everyone who is not a lawyer -- consider lawyer fees to be one of life’s great mysteries. They are probably the single greatest source of friction between lawyers and clients. There are a number of different methods which lawyers use for billing clients. The most common arrangements include Read More

Unmarried couples and their legal rights after separation

Ever since the concept of marriage became so darn popular, we have elevated it to a special status. Our laws, our customs and our religions treat the marital relationship differently than other relationships, affording it a privileged status. Ownership of property is one area in which the law recognizes the uniqueness of marriage. A husband and wife may own real property, a house for instance, or personal Read More

Mediation can spare hassles of the court

Mediation is a process being used with increasing frequency in divorce cases as an alternative to going to trial. What is it and why would you choose it? You may be thinking, ‘just give me my day in court -- I just want the chance to tell my story. Once the judge hears the whole story, I know he will do exactly what I have been suggesting from the very beginning.’ If that’s your mindset, then mediation is Read More

So who pays for the kids after the divorce?

Last week we left off talking about the equitable distribution of assets and liabilities. The concept of equitable distribution is difficult to explain without applying it to a particular set of circumstances. Let’s say you have been married between 10 and 20 years, have a couple of kids, and most everything you own has been accumulated during the marriage. Both you and your spouse work. You own your house. Okay, Read More

Sorting through divorce

If you have not personally suffered through the experience this winter, you undoubtedly know one or two people who have. It is almost as common as a cold, and maybe just as contagious. Science has not yet determined whether it is caused by a virus or bacteria. If you catch it, it will take years to recover. What am I talking about? Divorce. I think many of us moved to our little Shangri-La in northwest Wyoming Read More

Revealing the rational behind “lawyer speak”

Questions: Is there an interest in reading a column about various law-related topics written from the perspective of a small-town lawyer?         Answer: Stay tuned.         What is it like to be a small-town lawyer working in Jackson Hole? Thank you for asking. For one thing, being a lawyer in this small town is different now than it was 26 years ago when I first became a small-town lawyer. In 1973, there were Read More