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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

BUSINESS BROKER MISUSES ESCROW MONEY

Gross & Romanick, P.C. was recently retained by an individual who attempted to purchase a business through a “business broker” intermediary without the advice of legal counsel. The new client paid a substantial sum of money to the broker to hold in escrow until the buy-sell agreement closed. When the deal fell through, the broker refused to refund the escrow money. Eventually the broker confessed to the client that the money was spent and no longer in the broker’s account. Gross & Romanick, P.C. is now seeking a judgment against the broker through a lawsuit in the Virginia Court system. Gross & Romanick, P.C. learned that the broker was not licensed to transact business in Virginia as an escrow agent or otherwise. Although the client will likely prevail in Court and will obtain a judgment against the broker, he has been deprived of his escrow money for a significant period of time and there is always the risk that the judgment will be un-collectable.

The facts of this case illustrate how important it is that when negotiating for the purchase or sale of a business you have legal counsel review any documents related to the sale, and that due diligence is conducted to investigate any parties receiving commissions under the sale to ensure that they are legitimate business entities. Failure to do so can lead to detrimental results if the sale/purchase does not consummate.

Since 1980 Edward Gross of Gross & Romanick, P.C. has been negotiating and settling the sales/purchases of businesses. The experienced business law attorneys at Gross & Romanick, P.C. are more than willing to assist you and your business with any matter relating to the sale or purchase of a business.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

ACCEPTING A PARTIAL PAYMENT CAN BE DANGEROUS

After entering into a settlement agreement that provided for receipt of monthly payments for a substantial period of time, the opposing party paid only a portion of one monthly payment and refused to cure the balance. Gross & Romanick, P.C. was retained to file suit for breach of contract. The defendant now claims that the terms of the settlement agreement were orally modified by the parties, and that the acceptance of a partial payment represented consent to a “modified” agreement. Although the client should still prevail at trial, the situation illustrates the danger of accepting a partial payment. In this instance a factual dispute as to whether or not the agreement was orally modified is forcing the matter to proceed to a trial.

Consider this a warning!!! If you accept a partial payment under a contract that does not explicitly address partial payments, you may be compromising your ability to collect pursuant to the original terms of the contract. Therefore, do not accept partial payments unless the paying party acknowledges in writing that the payment is intended as a partial payment of an amount due. Failure to obtain an acknowledgment in writing can complicate any ensuing action in Court. Further, when entering into a contract, always include a provision requiring that any modification to the contract to be in writing. It is the best way to prevent the opposing party from asserting an “oral modification” defense.

Since 1980 Edward Gross of Gross & Romanick, P.C. has been drafting, reviewing, and litigating business and other related contracts. The experienced contract attorneys at Gross & Romanick, P.C. are more than willing to assist you and your business with most any contract-related matter. Contact them at 703-273-1400 or visit online at www.gross.com

Monday, October 29, 2007

WOLFTRAP AND MARIJUANA POSSESSION

The public should be aware that there are Fairfax County Officers and United States Park Police routinely patrolling the parking areas and concert grounds looking for individuals and groups smoking marijuana as well as looking for underage consumption of alcohol.

Gross & Romanick, P.C. has represented a number of individuals charged with possession of marijuana and underage possession of alcohol at the Wolftrap National Park for the Performing Arts. The majority of these officers are in plainclothes and not easily identifiable. Persons charged are typically detained for a short period of time and issued a summons to appear in either Federal or State Court.

Those charged by Fairfax County officers will have to appear in the Fairfax County General District Court. Under state law, possession of marijuana in an amount less than ½ ounce is a misdemeanor offense in Virginia. If convicted, first time offenders face the possibility of being sentenced to up to thirty days in jail, being fined up to $500, and losing their driver’s license for up to six months. They will also be required to partake in a probationary treatment program consisting of drug education courses and mandatory drug screenings. Multiple time offenders and those caught with larger quantities of marijuana face more significant penalties.

Those charged by federal officers will have to appear in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria. Under federal law, marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense. If convicted of possession of any amount, first time offenders face the possibility of being sentenced to up to one year in prison and being assessed a minimum fine of $1,000. For a second conviction, the penalties increase to a 15-day mandatory minimum jail sentence with a maximum of two years in prison and a minimum fine of $2,500. Persons charged may also be subject to an onerous pre-trial probationary period involving mandatory drug screens.

Possession of Marijuana is illegal under Virginia and Federal Law and a person should never illegally possess and smoke marijuana. It is particularly foolish to engage in such illegal conduct on federal property such as the Wolftrap National Park. If you are charged with possession of marijuana or underage possession of alcohol, whether wrongfully or rightfully, it is imperative that you retain an attorney to represent you in Court. The attorneys at Gross & Romanick, P.C. are experienced in this area and can use their expertise to zealously defend your rights.

Contact Gross & Romanick today at 703-273-1400 to retain an attorney.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Commercial Landlords

Are you a landlord? Own a few commercial properties in the Maryland, DC and Virginia area? As you well know, leasing to tenants at a shopping center, office building, warehouse or other commercial facilities involves complex issues from lease interpretation to collecting unpaid rent. Property managers and leasing brokers in the Metro area have come to depend on Gross & Romanick’s advice for management decisions, contract language and eviction proceedings.

Gross & Romanick represents many of the largest commercial landlords in the DC, Maryland and Virginia Metro area, as well as a national REIT. We take a practical, business approach to the following commercial landlord legal areas:

The Lease and Other Agreements
We prepare leases for all types of commercial properties and, through our considerable litigation, eviction and other experiences in this area of the law, Gross & Romanick has developed Landlord-favorable Leases, subleases, rights of first refusal, settlement agreements, termination agreements, and other legal documents.

Evictions
We’ll help you evict defaulting tenants and and handle thorny issues that sometimes accompany an eviction, such as abandoned property, illegal subtenants and bankruptcy.

Self-Help
Gross & Romanick canreview your lease and advise you of the risks and procedures of self-help and even draft a lease that will permit you to maximize your rights to self-help.

Bankruptcy
We help landlords pursue claims against tenants who have filed bankruptcy.

Litigation
We’ve represented landlords in hundreds of cases in the Washington, DC Metro area.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Personal Injury & Wrongful Death in Virginia, DC, and Maryland

Were you or a loved one injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident? Or have you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence? Loss of income, unexpected medical expenses and pain from an injury can all cause an incredible amount of stress so you need someone on your side. The attorneys at Gross & Romanick represent people just like you in serious injury and wrongful death cases in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Whether you’ve been in an automobile accident or are a pedestrian hit by a motor vehicle or even had an accident on an escalator of elevator, you need a legal team that’s responsive to your concerns and will work diligently and with integrity to find a solution to your legal problem. You don’t need to face this often grueling process alone. Gross & Romanic’s attorneys have extensive experience handling even the most complex injury and wrongful death cases and will, with the utmost professionalism, help you protect your rights and interests against those at fault and their insurance companies. Gross & Romanick received Martindale-Hubbell’s® highest ethical rating, so you can rest assured that we are as ethical as we are aggressive in our quest to help you seek fair compensation for your injuries, as well as recovery for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, if appropriate, punitive damages.

Cases we’ve handled in the past include:

* Truck, SUV & Car Accidents
* Traumatic Brain Injuries
* Truck Collisions
* Motorcycle Accidents and Bicycle Accidents
* Pedestrians Hit by Motor Vehicles
* Slips and Falls
* Attacks in Buildings/Premises Liability
* Escalator and Elevator Accidents

Contact Gross & Romanick today at 703-273-1400 or peruse Personal Injury or Wrongful Death webpages for more information about our practice.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fairfax Virginia Traffic Lawyers

If you have a ticket for or have been charged with Reckless Driving in Virginia, Driving on Suspended or Revoked License in Fairfax, Virginia, Driving without a License in Virginia, Hit and Run in Fairfax, Virginia, or Traffic Violations Involving an Accident in Virginia you need a lawyer. Facing such charges can be an incredibly stressful ordeal and navigating State and Federal Traffic Courts of Virginia can be difficult to say the least. You need an experienced lawyer on your side.

The attorneys at Fairfax-based Gross & Romanick have been defending such cases in the local area for over 20 years and work with a team of experts, including toxicologists, to secure the best possible outcome for you. And since they thoroughly understand the Federal, State and Local statutes and continually take part in continuing legal education classes, you can rest assured that Gross & Romanick offers the best legal counsel in the Fairfax, Virginia area for Traffic Offenses.

Don’t face Traffic Court alone: contact Gross & Romanick today at (703) 273-1400 or peruse their frequently asked questions about Fairfax Virginia DWI, DUI & Traffic Law.