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Portland Business Law Blog

Understanding Conflicts of Interest in Business

Conflicts of interest arise in many contexts. Professionals such as attorneys, financial advisors, and realtors are all bound by ethical codes of conduct that address potential conflicts.

In the business context, too, conflicts of interest can pose a major concern, undermine the success of a business, and even expose stakeholders to personal liability.

As Oregon's Moratorium on Commercial Evictions Comes to an End, Tenants' Grace Period for Payments Begins

Times are tough for businesses. Many have struggled to stay afloat as they've weathered the economic impacts of the pandemic. Those hit the hardest--retailers, restaurants, bars, hotels, and others in the food/beverage and hospitality industries--have faced difficult decisions about whether to close their doors permanently.

On April 1, 2020, Governor Kate Brown issued a 90-day moratorium on commercial evictions, expanding on an earlier executive order prohibiting residential evictions. On June 26, the Oregon Legislative Assembly enacted House Bill 4213 (HB 4213), which extended the temporary evictions moratorium until September 30. Under HB 4213, commercial landlords could not, and could not threaten to:

Trade secrets: The fourth kind of intellectual property

The term "intellectual property" brings to mind patents, copyrights and trademarks. Those core protections cover a vast amount of information. And for many businesses, intellectual property (IP) is among their most valuable assets.

Another valuable type

Noncompete Clauses: Where Oregon and Washington Differ

There are significant legal differences between Oregon and Washington in how courts will determine whether a noncompete clause is legal and enforceable. Workers in these states searching for jobs that require knowledge of a company's trade secrets and protected information should be familiar with the basics of noncompete clauses in employment contracts.

Both employers and current employees should understand the differences in the law governing noncompete agreements in order to best protect their investment in the employment relationship.

What to Know About Adverse Possession in Oregon

Adverse possession is a long-established legal doctrine concerning property rights. Based in common law dating back centuries, the doctrine essentially grants property ownership to trespassers (hence its informal moniker, "squatter's rights.")

The doctrine is now limited by statute in most states, with little consistency between jurisdictions.

5 reasons to consider outside general legal counsel

Businesses have many options when it comes to hiring legal counsel. It's a big decision. Your attorney can be an invaluable ally who helps shape the success of your business.

For many small to midsized businesses, enlisting outside general counsel is a wise business decision. Why should you consider going this route?

What employers should know about landmark decision on LGBTQ discrimination

The U.S. Supreme Court recently resolved a longstanding debate over whether Title VII, the federal employment discrimination law, covers LGBTQ employees (and prospective employees). The answer? Yes.

The decision

8 steps employers can take to prevent employee embezzlement

An employer/employee relationship is one of special trust. Sometimes employees take advantage of that trust by stealing from their employer. Embezzlement can happen when employees take cash or reroute invoice payments from customers, but it can also happen when employees submit fraudulent invoices for payment or use the company credit card for personal expenses. Embezzlement hits companies, public agencies, and nonprofit corporations of all sizes. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that nearly a third of business failures are related to employee theft or fraud. Luckily, this is an area where an ounce of prevention can save your company from financial calamity down the road.

Eight particularly easy solutions you can take follow below:

5 important clauses to include in an employment agreement

When you are starting your business, you may be your only employee. But once you are ready to hire an employee, you should have an attorney draft an employment agreement (or several different agreements for different types of employees) to clearly outline the employee's responsibilities and the company's expectations.

Critical clauses to include in the employment agreement include:

3 Reasons Why a Proposed Merger or Acquisition May Fail

Acquiring or merging with another company can create significant business opportunities unlike any other. However, both are highly complicated, and many are unsuccessful.  When faced with the possibility of merging with or acquiring another business, it's important to consider some of the more common reasons why these arrangements sometimes fail.

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