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How Not To Solve A Property Dispute: Guns

CIVIL LITIGATION

WHAT IS CIVIL LITIGATION?

Essentially, a catchall category for disputes that do not involve cirminal offenses and need to be reviewed by a judge or jury to resolve the matter. An attorney who specializes in civil litigation is often known as a “trial lawyer”, taking on cases related to landlord/tenant disputes, divorce lawsuits, or personal injury claims, among many other areas.

Due to its diverse nature, practing this type of law requires a great deal of experience, constant continuing education, and strong negotiation skills. The key characteristic of a successful litigator is their devotion to conflict. Dunn Law is a family firm composed of highly skilled professional and recreational debaters. We know when to approach a case methodically and when to lay on the intensity.

THE BREAKDOWN

A litigated case has several phases: research, entries, pleadings, discovery, pretrial, settlement or trial, and occasionally appeal. The heavylifting your case work is often done outside of the courtroom. The discovery phase consumes a large portion of the timeline as findings are shared between parties, reviewed, and addressed before any thorough argument can be presented at trial. This often involves the client’s patience and participation as we gather relevant information, through depositions, interrogatories, and subpoenas. Scheduling conflicts, unreachable parties or witnesses, and sandbagging opposing counsel can all contribute to lengthening the process.

It is important to note that no two cases are identical and each suit may follow a different path. The willingness of each party to cooperate and subject matter of your case greatly influence how quickly sides either come to a settlement; some lawsuits are resolved just shortly after the discovery phase. A best case scenario.

When the process follows a more complicated path, parties often find themselves going to trial. This is the alternate timeline where a lawsuit may take months or even several years before a resolution. At your initial consult, your attorney will review your case and give you a realistic idea of what to expect.

SMALL BUSINESS

Whether you are a long-established “mom and pop” or have finally converted your passion project into a full-fledged start-up, you may inevitably find yourself wading into a legal-minefield. Small business law is a different beast from other areas of practice. You have a lot more on the line fiscally and emotionally than larger corporations who are capable of eating exorbitant legal fees and whose reputation and capitol can more readily rebound. As a boutique firm ourselves, Dunn Law is intimately familiar with the day-to-day struggles small business owners face. When it comes to defending your company and entrepreneurial future, the attorneys at Dunn Law can step in with wizened analysis and work with you to secure all that for which you have so tirelessly worked.

 

Business law casts a wide net; you may have encountered:

 

  • Contract disputes (see intellectual property)
  • Issues of liability
  • Negotiations for the acquisition of particular assets or another company
  • License and permit issues
  • Local, state, or federal level complaints filed against your business for operational violations
  • Former employees suing on various grounds (discrimination, wrongful firing, hazardous environment, harrassment)

 

Prophylactic measures:

 

With business, of any size or organization, prevention is key. Before you become entangled in a multi-year suit or find your assets being seized, consult. Though a healthy amount of information about legal business practices in the state of Ohio can be found online, nothing beats the experience of well-versed legal counsel. Find out what pitfalls to avoid with a consultation.

ENTERTAINMENT | IP

Entertainment law is something of a misnomer. Discovering that your creative property has been misattributed, having your former collaborative partner slander your name, or a client refusing to adhere to an agreed upon contract can seriously impede your ability to operate freely as an artist and business. Having to sift through a dry wasteland of government forms to properly attain a copyright or seeking proper compensation from a reluctant client can be a long, daunting process. Dunn Law can ease your burden, giving you peace of mind and the freedom to pursue your passion uninterrupted. Don’t gamble your creative future with self-representation and crossed-fingers – allow us to ensure your success.

 

The attorneys at Dunn Law understand the challenges and emotional hardship our client faces when protecting something they have poured a part of themselves into. The Wild West landscape of the Information Age leaves many vulnerable to having their creative property hijacked. Whether it be a joint-project gone-awry, a licensing disagreement, or exploitation by an employer, Dunn Law is well-seasoned and capable.

 

The attorneys of Dunn Law have offered reliable, successful representation to an array of industry professionals, but remain dedicated to examining each client’s individual needs and formulating a custom-tailored, legal action plan regardless of case affiliation, size, scope, or complication. Our firm’s objective is to provide our client with the highest caliber of counsel. You are entitled to a privileged attorney relationship regardless of circumstance.

 

Our highly motivated legal team works tirelessly as a detail-oriented force, applying the same devotion to our passion as you do to yours. Dunn Law offers an experienced hand for:

 

  • Media litigation
  • Copyright and contract issues
  • Communication matters
  • Website disputes

Consistent compassion for our clients, mercilessly defending your intellectual and creative property, Dunn Law gets things done.

LANDLORD | TENANT

Landlords and tenants occasionally find themselves embroiled in a contentious relationship.  Minor day- to -day skirmishes can usually be resolved between the two parties.  But sometimes the dispute escalates and requires the attention of an expert to untangle the legal implications. Our attorneys’ ensure your rights are being protected.

We focus our attention on providing cost-effective services that utilize our experience, knowledge and insight to settle the conflict outside of the courtroom. Our obligation is to assist you in understanding your rights as an Ohio landlord or tenant under the applicable state laws.  If mediation fails, we are prepared to be your advocate in court.
Landlord Rights
Our firm offers landlords representation in commercial and residential tenant disputes. These can frequently be complex issues that require resolution to avoid similar future disputes.
Tenants

We provide representation to tenants who believe that their rights have been violated. Our focus is the lease document which reveals if the landlord is in compliance with the terms and all legal requirements, as well as the Ohio Landlord Tenant Act..
In Ohio, a Landlord has a duty to:

1. Put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;
2. Keep the common areas safe and sanitary;
3. Comply with building, housing, health and safety codes;
4. Keep all electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems and fixtures in good working order;
5. Maintain all appliances and equipment supplied or required to be supplied by him/her;
6. Provide running water, reasonable amounts of hot water and heat, unless the hot water and heat are supplied by an installation that is under the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility hook-up;
7. Provide garbage cans and arrange for trash removal, if the landlord owns four or more residential units in the same building;
8. Give at least 24 hours notice, unless it is an emergency, before entering a tenant’s unit and enter only at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner;
9. Evict the tenant when informed by a law enforcement officer of drug activity by the tenant, a member of the tenant’s household or a guest of the tenant occurring in or otherwise connected with the tenant’s premises.

 

In Ohio, a Tenant has a duty to:

1. Keep the premises safe & sanitary;
2. Dispose of rubbish properly;
3. Keep the plumbing fixtures as clean as their condition permits;
4. Use electrical and plumbing fixtures properly;
5. Comply with housing, health and safety codes that apply to tenants;
6. Refrain from damaging the premises & keep guests from damaging;
7. Maintain the appliances supplied by the landlord in good working order;
8. Refrain from disturbing any neighbors and require guests to do the same.
9. Permit landlord to enter the dwelling unit, if the request is reasonable and proper notice is given.
10. Comply with state or municipal drug laws in connection with the premises and require household members and guests to do likewise.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

You were overjoyed – a new set of wheels, an unbelievable price. Of course there’s a catch. You unknowingly invest in a dysfunctional driveway ornament. It happens more often than you’d think, and is now a legal subcategory: Lemon Law. For more information, click here.

 

In the state of Ohio, laws aggressively protect consumers who are harmed by unfair or deceptive business practices. Many consumer laws require a company found to be involved in unfair or deceptive businesses practices to pay the harmed individual triple damages plus attorney’s fees and costs. In addition, a claim may result in improved public protection as a deceptive or negligent company can be ordered by the court to stop unfair or deceptive practices, preventing further harm to Ohio residents.

Consumers are also afforded a level of rights under consumer laws including canceling a sale within a specific timeframe and receiving a monetary refund and/or receiving financial compensation for time and trouble experienced.

 

Ohio offers a large array of consumer laws to protect buyers in many situations. Some common laws protecting people against physical and financial injuries involve:

  • Automobiles
  • Collections/Credit Reporting
  • Household Services/Improvements
  • Telecommunications
  • Professional Services
  • Shopping/Apparel/Accessories
  • Health & Beauty Services
  • Financial Services
  • Residential Mortgages
  • Computers & Internet

If you feel you have been a victim of consumer fraud, contact us today for a consultation and reclaim what is owed.

WILLS & TRUSTS

Many people put off estate planning until far too late, and we understand. Who wants to think about the end of their life? It’s a lot of hassle for something so far down the line.

Unfortunately, delaying the process of estate planning invariably means leaving your loved ones with the difficult, arduous, and expensive task of having to probate your estate after your death. Procrastination may rob loved ones of the support you had intended to provide upon your passing.

 

Like most states, Ohio has “default rules” about dividing an estate’s property when no clear plan has been designated by a properly executed will or trust. These rules dictate whom shall inherit your property regardless of your unofficial intent or wishes. However, if you take the right steps now in creating an estate plan, you can ensure your property ends up where you want it to after you have passed on.

 

At Dunn Law, we help our clients navigate the estate planning process so that they may not only prepare for their future, but the future for their loved ones. Whether your estate needs are complicated or fairly straightforward, we at Dunn Law will help you make sure that you have what you need in place when the time comes to guarantee that your ultimate desires are met.

 

Services Offered:

  • The creation and/or updating of a will to designate how your assets will be distributed;
  • A financial power of attorney that allows a trusted person care for your important financial matters in case you become incapacitated;
  • A living will or health care power of attorney allows you to control the direction of medical care or who may make those decisions in case you become unable to do so;
  • A trust that will allow you to provide for loved ones or any charity you wish to support;
  • Business succession planning to protect commercial interests;
  • General estate planning to make sure that the people you want to provide for are provided for in accordance with your wishes; and finally
  • Advanced health directives to prepare for unseen health complications.
DEFAMATION

We are innately social creatures and unfortunately, as a species, have not evolved beyond publicly denigrating the character of others in order to cause lasting personal or occupational harm. The law essentially categorizes defamation as either slander or libel. Slander is spoken defamation; libel is the written variety.

 

In Ohio you need to prove:

 

  • The defendant has either published or broadcast the statement in question. If someone tells you — and nobody else — that you stole their sink, it’s not defamation. If they hopped online and told the world you stole their sink, or verbally told another person about your alleged penchant for kitchen appliance thievery, then you probably have a solid case (provided you didn’t steal the sink, of course).
  • The false statement was about you, the plaintiff. However, the plaintiff’s name doesn’t necessarily need to be mentioned. If the statement includes adequate, identifiable facts that clearly point to the plaintiff, defamation may be claimed.
  • The statement caused harm to the plaintiff’s reputation. Opinion-based insults are rarely deemed legally defamatory.
  • The published statement was negligently made and merits no privileges.

 

To learn more, please contact us for a consultation.

PROPERTY RETRIEVAL

Though we tell ourselves material items are just things and can always be replaced, in the eyes of the law some “things” are actually your beloved pet or family’s plot of land. Property disputes are a common divorce sub-issue, but occasionally arise from other circumstances. Whatever your case may involve, at Dunn Law we make it our mission to not simply roll over and take a judgment, but fight with you to keep what is most rightfully yours.

 

This Land is My Land, This Land is … Whose?!

 

If you’re a property owner in Ohio, you likely have two or three neighbors whose land borders yours. While it may seem surprising, those neighbors might be able to gain legal title to pieces of your property under a legal concept called adverse possession. And while less likely, an unknown trespasser could also squat on your land and, over time, develop a claim to legal ownership.

 

For more information visit here.

 

What to do about Doggo?

 

When people divorce, or even when roommates part ways, disputes over what happens to household pets and pet custody can get contentious. Feelings over what is to happen to the family dog, cat, or bird after a split tend to be much more passionate than they are regarding what is to happen to a lawn mower, cappuccino machine, or even to that cool washer/dryer set.

 

As stated above, courts in this country, including Ohio courts, generally view pets as personal property. Because of that, and despite the near “child-like” status that pet owners place on their animals, Ohio courts will treat household pets like any other item of personal property when deciding “pet custody”. If people cannot agree on who gets pet custody, a reviewing court will next look at each individual’s relationship to the pet and will most likely award primary pet custody to the person who spent the most time taking care of the pet.

 

If you are considering adopting a pet with your spouse, significant other, roommate or sibling, try to avoid any dispute as early as possible. Consider a prenuptial agreement regarding your pet as soon as you adopt it or at least decide early on who will take the pet or how time with the pet will be split up if things go bad.