Criminal Lawyers Firm With Over 30+ Years of Experience Between Our Partners
Weinberger Law litigates cases and counsels individuals, small business and large firms challenging unfair and anti-competitive business practices, including the use of patents and other intellectual property for the purpose of creating or maintaining unlawful monopolies. Our attorneys have successfully engaged with economists, high technology companies and nationally known defense contractors on a variety of competition issues. Our counseling practice focuses on resale price maintenance, distribution agreements and interlocking directorate issues.
Our lawyers’ experience includes:
- Prosecuting attempted monopolization and Lanham Act claims against leading supplier of cockpit voice recorders.
- Defense of sham bid protests filed with the U.S. General Accounting Office.
- Prosecution of antitrust and business tort counterclaims in patent infringement actions.
- Appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit regarding mandatory licensing of technology.
- Lobbying for and against proposed mergers with the U.S. Department of Justice.
We counsel clients in Scottsdale and throughout Arizona. Call (480) 536-9991 to schedule an appointment.
Antitrust law is designed to protect and maintain competition for a product or service. When there is competition for business, companies must update and innovate new products on an ongoing basis to attract customers. They cannot charge exorbitant prices, because if they do, the customers will simply go to one of their competitors to buy the product or service for less money. Business practices that reduce competition illegally, therefore, throw the system out of whack. Consumers no longer get the best product or service for the best price. This is what the antitrust laws are designed to protect against.
Unfair competition is defined broadly as business conduct that is “contrary to honest practice in industrial or commercial matters.” The types of conduct that fall within this definition are things such as trademark infringement, false advertising, misappropriation and what is referred to as “palming off.” A company is guilty of “palming off” when it makes representations or designs or packages its product in such a way as to confuse buyers as to which company’s product they are purchasing. The buyer purchases the product thinking it is one thing, only to find out later that they were deceived into purchasing counterfeit.
A practice is anti-competitive or illegal if a company uses its market power to reduce or eliminate competition in the market, or to reduce or eliminate competition in a secondary market in which it does not have such power. A good example is computers and printers. Today you can purchase a computer from one company and a printer from another. Say that I make such great computers that 80 percent of buyers buy my computer, but my printers are not terribly good and do not fare well when in competition with other manufacturers’ printers. If I use my market power in the market for computers to force customers to buy my printer too, when they would normally purchase the printer elsewhere if given the choice, that is an example of an anti-competitive practice.
Certain practices, such as price fixing, are so clearly harmful to competition that little more is needed than proof of the agreement to fix prices itself. If all of the competitors in a market agree to charge the same price, then there can never be any price competition. Most practices, however, require a more detailed analysis that always involves two questions:
(1) What is the relevant market? and (2) Does the defendant have “market power” in that market. The bigger and more powerful the company, the more likely its conduct can affect competition in the market. The more narrowly the market is defined, the more likely that company’s business practice will be found to harm competition. A rock dropped into a glass of water, in other words, is going to have a much greater impact on the water in that glass than if I were to drop the same rock into the Pacific Ocean.
Contact an Arizona business lawyer from Weinberger Law to represent you in your antitrust and unfair competition claim, call our Scottsdale, Arizona office at (480) 536-9991
With our emphasis in commercial law, the majority of our cases invariably involve one type of contract or another. This includes:
- Contracts for the sale, lease and construction of commercial and residential property
- Employment contracts
- Noncompetition and anti-piracy agreements
- Promissory notes
- Mortgages (deeds of trust)
- Development agreements
- Advertising agreements
- Investment agreements
- Operating agreements for limited liability companies
- Partnership agreements
- Bylaws for corporations
Business law encompasses a wide array of legal issues that include contract drafting, contract disputes, the formation of businesses, litigation and legal document review. In forming a new business, you typically need some form of governing document to get started. If you are starting a limited liability company (LLC), for example, then you will need an operating agreement. If you are starting corporation, it is best to have bylaws prepared. A good contract law attorney or contract law firm is invaluable in getting these documents prepared correctly.
Anytime that you or your business is entering into an agreement or transaction that you consider to be important, or that could have a substantial impact on your business, that agreement or transaction should be reduced to writing. A good business and contract attorney will help you protect your interests by drafting documents such as a partnership contract, development agreement, consulting agreement or joint venture agreement.
If you are buying a business, you will want to have an asset purchase agreement prepared that includes a noncompete agreement that prevents the seller of the business from competing with you after your purchase of the business has closed. If you are involved in real estate or in the construction of a building, a good Arizona real estate attorney will prepare a comprehensive construction contract or general contractor agreement that protects you whether you are the owner or the contractor.
Yes. Even if the law may not always require it, we strongly advise our clients to put their agreements in writing. The point of a written contract is to create clarity on what each party’s rights and obligations are. This is true of all types of transactions, but is especially true in the case of employment agreements, joint venture agreements, partnership contracts, operating agreements, corporate bylaws and promissory notes. When you enter into any kind of business or arrangement, you want to reduce your risk as much as possible. You want to have as much certainty as possible. A clear written contract spells out what is supposed to happen, when, and who is supposed to do it. It will either keep you out of litigation entirely or at least substantially reduce your legal expense should a lawsuit be filed.
The most common type of contract litigation is for breach of contract. A “breach” generally means that a party has either failed or refused to perform one or more of their obligations under a contract, or has done something to frustrate the other party’s ability to benefit from the contract. You can also file a claim asking the court to enter an order of “specific performance.” An order of specific performance is a direct order to a party requiring them to perform their obligations under the contract. Another type of contract lawsuit is for a “declaratory judgment.” An action for declaratory judgment asks the court to interpret one or more terms of the contract, or to resolve a dispute over what each party is obligated to do under the contract.
The types of damages that can be recovered in contract cases include compensatory (or actual) damages, consequential damages and liquidated damages.
- Compensatory damages are the amounts that you actually lost out of pocket as a result of the other party’s breach of contract. If you pay money to a vendor to sell you equipment for your business and the equipment is never delivered, then your actual damages will be the amount that you paid to that vendor plus interest.
- Consequential damages are additional damages that occur beyond your out-of-pocket losses. If, for example, the equipment that was not delivered to you was going to be used to manufacture products that you would have sold for a profit, then your consequential damages would be the amount of those lost profits.
- Liquidated damages are a set, specific amount of damages that your contract says you will be awarded if the other side commits a certain type of breach. They are intended to represent a reasonable forecast of what a party will actually lose if a breach occurs. If the amount of liquidated damages in the contract are excessive or appear to exceed a reasonable forecast of the harm that will actually result from a breach, the court may not enforce that part of the contract.
Weinberger Law litigates and counsels clients on employment issues ranging from:
- Noncompetition and confidentiality agreements
- Cases involving allegations of racial, age, religious and gender discrimination
- Cases under the Arizona Employment Act
- Violations of the Arizona Civil Rights Act
- Violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act
- Requirements and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act
We handle complicated cases involving issues such as the interplay between corporate and employment law, as well as discrimination claims before the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Civil Division of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
Employment law encompasses a wide array of topics: written employment contracts, at-will employment relationships, wrongful termination, noncompetition agreements, confidentiality agreements, claims under the Arizona Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, sexual harassment, overtime pay, wage disputes and accrual of benefits are but a few. Other classic examples of employment law matter are claims for discrimination. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of race, religion, age, gender or disability. Many jurisdictions also have laws that make it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The law in this area changes often. If you have any questions about a possible discrimination claim, it is best to consult with an employment lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you are doing everything necessary to protect your rights.
It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to enforce an employment agreement or wish to sue for breach of a contract, the agreement needs to be in writing in order to be enforceable. Oral agreements or the proverbial “handshake deal” on matters such as compensation, benefits and duration of employment will not be enforced. The contract can either be contained in a separate document or in an employee handbook or manual. The employee handbook or manual should state whether or not it is intended to serve as a contract of employment. Many employee handbooks and manuals state that they are not intended to be construed as a contract.
It means that both the employer and employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time unless both the employee and the employer have signed a written contract to the contrary that either (1) states that the employment relationship shall remain in effect for a specified duration of time, or (2) lists other restrictions on the right of one or both parties to terminate the employment relationship. At-will employees can be terminated for no reason at all, but they cannot be fired for an illegal reason. Examples of illegal reasons are where the employee is terminated in retaliation for exercising a legal right, or for refusing to violate a law, or if the termination violates a state or federal law such as the laws against discrimination or the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Yes, but that term is often misunderstood. Being a “right-to-work” state means that if employees decide to form a union, an employee cannot be fired for deciding not to join the union or for deciding to leave it. Right-to-work laws prohibit union security agreements, or agreements between employers and labor unions, that govern the extent to which an established union can require employees’ membership, payment of union dues or fees as a condition of employment, either before or after hiring. Right-to-work laws are not designed to provide a guarantee of employment to people seeking work, but rather, are designed to prevent employers and labor unions from agreeing to exclude nonunion workers or require all employees to pay union fees.
Many employers have their employees sign agreements in which they agree to waive their right to a jury trial and agree that all disputes between them will be resolved through arbitration. Arbitration is a more informal legal proceeding in which the case is decided, but often under a different set of rules than would apply if the case was tried in state or federal court. Agreements to arbitrate are often enforced, but can be challenged on several grounds depending upon the specific language of the arbitration provision and whether the provision creates a hardship for the employee.
Our practice spans both transactional and litigation services in connection with a wide variety of real estate-related issues, including:
- Residential and commercial real estate disputes
- Construction disputes
- Easement disputes
- Contractor warranty issues
- Property restrictions
- Title insurance claims
- Bond claims
- Mortgage disputes
- Complaints with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors
Our Arizona real estate attorneys are experienced in cases regarding, appeals of decisions relating to the enforceability and application of antiquated property restrictions, the representation of collocation/server facilities in suits alleging a failure to supply necessary facilities, and appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit challenging the finality of arbitration judgments in commercial real estate arbitration cases.
Real estate law encompasses both the drafting of real estate-related contracts and the litigation of property disputes. Contracts for the purchase and sale of real estate, leases of commercial and residential property, and easements are typical examples of real estate contracts. Real estate litigation often involves property line disputes, disputes over an easement agreement, construction disputes, property restrictions, adverse possession claims, construction defect claims, trespassing claims, disputes over the covenant of quiet enjoyment, landlord-tenant disputes, title insurance claims and HOA disputes.
A seller of property commits fraud if he:
- Makes a false statement regarding a material fact, or fails to disclose a material fact.
- Knows that his statement is false or has no idea whether it is true.
- Intends for you to rely upon him to provide complete and truthful information.
- You had a right to rely upon him to do so and did, in fact, rely upon him.
- You did not know that his statements were false or incomplete.
- And if you lost money or suffered some other type of injury as a result of the fraud.
If a fraud has occurred, the remedies that are available include money damages and rescission. Rescission means that the court declares the transaction null and void. The remedy is generally available if it is possible for the court to return the parties to the positions they occupied before entering into the transaction. Punitive damages may also be awarded for fraud if it can be proven that the defendant acted with an “evil mind,” which means that he or she specifically intended to harm the victim or was consciously aware that their conduct posed a significant risk of harm.
Generally, yes. Contracts relating to real estate are governed by an ancient English law known as the Statute of Frauds. Under the Statute of Frauds, any lease of property for more than one year, and all contracts for the sale or transfer of real estate or an interest in real estate, must be in writing and signed by the person against whom the contract is to be enforced. Agency agreements with realtors and brokers that call for commissions to be paid must also be in writing. Examples of contracts that convey an “interest” in real property are easements and deeds of trust (mortgages).
If you’re looking for an experienced real estate attorney, Weinberger Law has over 30 years of experience in a variety of real estate-related cases. During your initial consultation we can answer all the questions you may have. Call (480) 536-9991 today to schedule a consultation, our office is located in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Contact Weinberger Law
We are business lawyers, and we know that when lies threaten your financial well-being, the last thing you want to worry about are legal fees. We offer creative, personally tailored structures so we can get to work for you and get your business back on track.
Contact our Arizona business attorneys online or by calling our Scottsdale office today at (480) 536-9991.
Arizona Business Lawyer
The breadth of practice areas makes us a great fit to handle multiple legal needs.