Commercial Litigation

What are My Rights if My Contract is Wrongfully Terminated?

People commonly associate “wrongful termination” with employment contracts. However, any contract is susceptible to wrongful termination. Depending on the type of contract and the facts of your circumstances, your remedy may vary. A wrongful termination of a contract is a termination of the contract without lawful justification. For example, a subcontractor performs concrete work on …

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Utah Contacts: When is Substantial Performance Enough?

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com Under Utah law, must parties to a contract perform their contract duties strictly, literally, exactly, and completely? If they do not, are they in breach and liable for damages? No, not always. Sometimes all that is required is “substantial performance.” This article discusses what substantial performance is and what it is not, …

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Paying and Withholding Wages During Employment or Upon Termination and Other Issues Answered by the Utah Payment of Wages Act

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com Wage claims and disputes between Utah employees and employers are fairly common, unfortunately. The Utah Payment of Wages Act contains many of the statutes and guidelines that any employee or employer should understand when a payment question or dispute arises. This article explains some of the requirements under the Utah Payment of Wages Act …

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Does a DBA Protect Me from Personal Liability?

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com A client of mine owned a company that was involved in a lawsuit, and he was not worried about personal liability because the company was a DBA (“doing business as”). He, personally, had applied for and obtained the DBA, so he was mistaken. He, personally, was liable for any claim or judgment …

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Are Non-Competition Agreements Against Independent Contractors Enforceable in Utah?

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com Usually, a non-competition agreement is an agreement between an employer and an employee where the employee agrees to not compete with the employer’s business. These agreements are also known as non-competes, post-employment restrictive covenants, or covenants not to compete. They prohibit the employee from selling or offering to sell products, processes, or services that are similar …

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Preparing to Enforce Liens on Property Stored in Self-Storage Units

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com In Utah, the owner of a self-storage unit has collateral it can sell, if needed, to pay debts owed by tenants: the tenants’ property that is stored there. This does not mean that the owner can sell the property in any way it wishes. Rather, an owner of a self-storage unit needs …

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Utah Construction Liens: An Overview of the Five Basic Steps

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com In Utah, a construction lien is a valuable tool for any contractor, subcontractor, or supplier who does not receive payment for work it performs on a construction project. If the party who contracted for the work refuses or is unable to pay, the construction lien provides a second route to payment. It …

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The Final Steps of a Lien Claim: Winning the Lawsuit, Selling the Property, and Dividing up Proceeds

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com In prior articles, I explained four general steps to preserving and enforcing a construction lien (also known as a mechanic’s lien) in Utah. These steps include: 1) filing a preliminary notice; 2) recording a notice of construction lien; 3) filing a lawsuit and recording a lis pendens; and 4) prevailing in that lien foreclosure lawsuit. The …

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7 Tips for Utah Employers on Firing Employees

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com Owning a business is a rewarding and challenging experience. Perhaps one of the most challenging responsibilities for business owners is hiring quality employees and—when necessary—knowing when and how to fire employees. This article briefly discusses 7 tips that will help you avoid legal and other issues when you let an employee go. …

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Specific Performance: Forcing a Party to Sell Land or Perform Other Contract Duties

Joseph G. Ballstaedt801.365.1021joe@snjlegal.com After a party breaches a contact and fails to perform the contract terms, you might be able to force him to perform through what is known as “specific performance.” This doctrine usually comes up when a party agrees to sell real estate but then backs out. Real estate is a unique, one-of-a-kind …

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