Is Your Business a Cash Eating Monster?

Article by Liz Stevens and Chris Lark Where are my business’s profits going? What part of my business is eating up all the cash? Can I continue to operate my business this way? We frequently hear these questions from clients we represent - not only entrepreneurs and startups, but from businesses of all sizes. Businesses are created and sustained from a desire to provide products and services that benefit others. ... Read More

What does it mean to be a data-driven law firm?

At CLARK.LAW, we pride ourselves on being a “data-driven” law firm. The use of data in legal practice is a foreign concept for most lawyers, but it is gaining popularity. Leading edge firms are utilizing data to improve efficiency, ensure consistency, control costs, more accurately predict case values and outcomes, and better serve their clients. Here are four examples of how we use data in our business: ... Read More

Truly Mind Boggling

In February, regional banks BB&T and SunTrust announced they would join forces to become the sixth largest bank in the U.S. This merger is the largest since the 2008 financial crisis, with the new entity becoming the sixth largest bank in the U.S. with around $442 billion in assets, $301 billion in loans and $324 billion in deposits.  Earlier this month, the merging banks announced that “Truist” will be the ... Read More

My Trademark Search Results Revealed a Conflict – Now What?

Almost every new trademark engagement at our firm involves one or more trademark searches.  Some might argue that the search phase of a trademark project is the most important. A properly conducted trademark search reveals information that should be used to design a company’s trademark strategy.  Assuming the search was well-designed and the results correctly analyzed, I can’t think of a better way to predict a ... Read More

One Woman Said

People talk.  Sometimes they speak the truth, and sometimes they share what they believe to be true.  There is a three-letter acronym in the Russian language, OBS, that stands for what would be translated into English as “One Woman Said.”  It refers to widely believed misconceptions like sitting on a stone will unavoidably trigger a cold or vaccinating your child may cause autism.  Believe it or not, there are plenty ... Read More

Do You Have a False Sense of Security about your Brand?

Business owners frequently have misconceptions about the legal status of their core brand.  For the purpose of this article, when I refer to a “core brand” or simply a “brand”, I am talking about the name a business uses to identify itself.  A business’s core brand might also include one or more logos or slogans, but here I want to focus on the words that your customers or clients use to identify your business as the ... Read More

Prepare to Hate your Business Partners

I’m not sure I have ever written an article with such a depressing title before, but it does succinctly and accurately capture one of the single most important pieces of advice I give to entrepreneurs and business owners.  Contrary to what you might think, however, the underlying message is intended to help avoid future conflict and strife in your business. Read on and you’ll understand what I mean. In the early ... Read More

How to Effectively Terminate a Contract

By: Chris Clark and Christy Clark In one of my favorite episodes of the US sitcom The Office, office manager Michael Scott confronts his growing debt by seeking a fresh start. Michael walks out into the middle of the office, and the following exchange occurs: Michael (loudly): “I DECLARE BANKRUPTCY!” Oscar: “Hey. I just wanted you to know that you can't just say the word "bankruptcy" and expect anything to ... Read More

“Hand me that Kleenex, I am saying good-bye to my mark” Or Improper Use of Trademarks

Trademarks or services marks are used to identify the source of goods and services and enable customers to distinguish them from the goods and services sold or offered by others.  Proper use of the selected mark is crucial to building such an important and valuable asset as a brand name. A mark, being a symbol of integrity and quality assurance, allows its owner to develop public goodwill and brand reputation in the ... Read More

Commercial Loan Transactions – A Deeper Dive

This article builds on an article published last fall in which we covered some basics of funding your business through a commercial loan. In that article we advised that you plan well in advance (90-180 days to be safe), prepare a lender package that summarizes your business operations and finances, and expect to personally guarantee all, or at least a portion of, the loan. In this follow up article, we drill ... Read More