The Role Of Communication In Mediation

By William A. Ratliff   Whether it’s written or oral, communication is the legal profession equivalent of blocking & tackling — and it comes naturally to most attorneys. I suspect most of us would grade ourselves pretty highly on our communication skills. That said, I have to wonder if we’re intentional enough about what we […]

Wallace Jordan Remembers and Honors Sylvester Croom’s Historic Coaching Career

Excerpted from Previous Articles by Rick Bragg and Richard T. Davis History really was made here, in the college town of Starkville, Mississippi, not far from the Alabama line. One of the last unwritten taboos in college sports really was busted here, amid the darkpine barrens and clear-cut timber and nowhere roads, when Sylvester Croom was […]

Revocable or Irrevocable: Which Living Trust is Right for Me?

By Robert L. Loftin There are many options with estate planning, and people often ask about living trusts as an alternative to a will in order to avoid probate, avoid broad tax and creditor liability, high expense, or family feuding. (We’ll talk about avoiding probate another time.) A living trust (some “high brow lawyers” like to […]

Contracts and Employment Agreements for Coaches and Sports Administrators

By Richard T. Davis Some years ago, I was visiting with a retired coach who had been the head football coach at a major athletic program in the south. We were talking about the highs and lows of his career, as well as things he would do differently if he had it to do over. […]

Getting Your Mediation Off the Ground

By William  A. Ratliff Have you ever been involved in a mediation that ended before it started? I have. I don’t mean literally, but I do mean one that never gets past the first round of demand and offer. In one sense, conducting a mediation is like flying a plane: It’s not going anywhere if […]

Mediation As A Tool For Minimizing Risk

By William  A. Ratliff “You’ve got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em.” –Kenny Rogers For most people, risk is a four-letter word. It’s something lawyers deal with every day. You’re paid to minimize, evaluate, and know when risk is worth taking. When you draft a contract, your client expects you […]

Competitive Advantage? “Professional Exemptions” to Non-Compete Agreements in Alabama

By William Stewart & Tom McKnight “There are multitudes of businesses, but few professions.” So declared the Alabama Civil Court of Appeals in a decision from 1980. Generally speaking, professionals are exempt from the acceptable restraints of non-compete agreements as governed by Alabama’s restrictive covenant law. Yet who counts as a professional in the state? […]

Getting a Lease on Things? Considerations Before You Sell Commercial Real Estate Holdings in 2021

By Matthew S. Hale   Who loves paying taxes?  Not you? We don’t either.   Yet President Joe Biden has proposed a top federal tax rate of 39.6 percent on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends. Factor in average state taxes and a 3.8 percent federal surtax, and the wealthiest Americans could face a tax […]

Clearing Smoke: What Employers Need to Know About Alabama’s Medical Marijuana Law

By Michael L. Jackson Many employers in Alabama have experience with testing for employee use of marijuana. Yet there is now a new wrinkle to address: What about medical marijuana?  Fortunately for employers, Alabama’s new medical marijuana law is accommodating to employers and leaves employers with mostly the same discretion as to their treatment of […]

Selling a Family-Owned or Other Closely Held Business: A Buyer’s Market at the Crossroads

By Michael J. Brandt and Matthew S. Hale   In January 2020, the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the United States, changing the direction of the U.S. economy and bringing many businesses to, or even past, their breaking point.   According to Fortune Magazine, as of September 28, 2020, almost 100,000 small businesses in […]