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Unilateral Termination of an Agreement for Services for a Fixed Term

Agreements involving the provision of services are entered into every day and there are countless models for this type of contract, which are used in day-to-day business.

It so happens that, precisely because they are so commonplace, the contracts are frequently adapted to the specific needs of each business, which leads to a number of distortions and technical improprieties, culminating in the generation of certain risks, which go unnoticed at the time of formalisation of such contracts.

One of these situations, frequently observed, is the provision for the possibility of unilateral and unjustified termination of contracts for a fixed term, free of any penalty. Thus, it is common to see clauses establishing that either party may put an end to the relationship, at any time, simply by communicating their decision to the other party, often the only obligation being to give a certain period of notice, without the need to respect the term initially established for such relationship.

This type of provision can lead the parties into real traps, since they are under the impression that the agreement may be terminated unilaterally without any consequences. However, many jurists take the view that premature termination without cause always entitles the innocent party to compensation, as provided in the Civil Code, in articles 602 and 603, as follows:

Art. 602. A service provider hired for a fixed period of time, or for a specific job, cannot take leave of absence or quit without cause, before the time has elapsed or the work has been concluded.

Sole paragraph. If he quits without cause, he shall be entitled to payment for the work done, but shall be liable for damages. The same shall occur if he is dismissed for cause.

Art. 603. If the service provider is dismissed without cause, the other party shall be obliged to pay him in full for the work done, and one half of the amount that would be due from then until the end of the contractual term.

The Brazilian courts have not yet reached a unanimous position on the matter, and the Superior Court of Justice is in fact currently discussing the need to determine (i) whether a clause in an agreement for services for a fixed term, authorising unilateral termination with a waiver of any type of indemnity, is legal, provided there is prior notice from the other party, and (ii) whether the party that enters into this type of legal transaction, agreeing to an express clause waiving any indemnity in the event of unjustified and premature termination, is guilty of contradictory behaviour (violation of objective good faith) if he seeks compensation in court.

Currently, there are many decisions that impose an obligation on the party that made the decision to leave the relationship prematurely to pay compensation, even if the contract expressly excludes any penalty or indemnity.

Accordingly, it is evident that something that appears to be simple may conceal an important contingent liability.

Thus, for as long as there remains no uniform opinion of the courts, it is recommended that the parties pay extra attention when entering into their contracts, and assess potential risks that may arise from a premature termination of relationships for a fixed term.

An alternative could be to enter into agreements for an indefinite term, with a provision for termination on giving a certain period of prior notice stipulated jointly by the parties, which may eliminate the risk of paying compensation on termination. However, the suitability of this alternative should be verified in each specific case with the advice of a legal professional, because even agreements for an indefinite term may give rise to additional obligations if, for example, the period of notice is not compatible with expectations created at the beginning of the term or investments made by the parties.

The discussion of termination of agreements for an indefinite term will be the subject of a future article.

Author Charles Wowk

Author Charles Wowk

Contact: Charles Wowk
Title: Partner in the Civil Area at Stüssi Neves Advogados – São Paulo
Email: [email protected]

6 Ways To Obtain Legal Advice For Personal Injury Lawsuits

Whenever personal injury cases arise, there has to be a defendant and complainant to launch malpractice claims. The malpractice can range from professional negligence, carelessness in public and private installation, and recklessness.

You need to form a good defence plan to protect yourself from the financial burden imposed by the justice systems and competently vindicate yourself. The same applies if you’re a victim of such malpractices and want to sue for damages caused.

You can begin by researching ways to shield yourself from compensation claims and learn numerous ways to maintain a clean sheet from such cases. It may entail seeking legal practitioners’ advice or getting recommended reading to understand the available options at hand. That way, you can decide the best approach to complainant claims.

Gavel, stethoscope and caduceus sign on books background. Medicine laws and legal, medical jurisprudence.

Below are six ways to obtain legal advice for personal injury lawsuits.

1. Reviewing Previous Lawsuits

Collect information from previous lawsuits that have been settled in courts. They can guide what compensation to expect from the corridors of justice. Also, you can compare the severity and the cause of your injury.

It’s important to identify who’s responsible for the injury and what legal reprieve is available for you. Furthermore, such cases have time limits for submission and may not be heard for that simple reason.

You can dig deeper into the archives to find out the best channel to use for your injury lawsuits. It gives you an outline of how the matters are settled in court by both parties (defendant and complaint.)

2. Insurance Recommendation

Underwriters play a crucial role in personal injury lawsuits, especially when claims are involved. Normally, they investigate compensation claims before proceeding to make payments. It can give insights on what steps to take when filing for personal injury lawsuits.

However, insurance companies aim to protect their interest and overlook or add other malpractices to your injury claims. They’ll want to work within your injury insurance package and leave the rest for your legal team.

3. Family And Friends Consultations

Family and friends are great sources of information and can give ideas on tackling personal injury lawsuits. You could get insights on how to manoeuvre in the corridors of justice regarding your cases.

Furthermore, consultations can help you develop the best strategy to apply when facing lawsuits. Family and friends can recommend lawyers who’ve handled such cases and competently represent you in courts.

4. Legal Practitioners

The simplest way to get information about the personal injury lawsuit is by asking for help from legal practitioners. They can give you the current bylaws concerning personal injury matters and how to defend yourself.

The lawsuit could be forcing you to accept liability for faults that the other party causes. Your lawyer can take the matter and request further investigations before court proceedings are allowed. That way, you’re guaranteed the best personal injury lawsuits representation and possibly a good outcome.

Also, legal practitioners can advise how much your lawsuit is worth and what charges to expect should you lose the case. That may include the legal fees and the lawsuits administration costs.

5. Online Research

The internet is a great way to collect information to guide you through personal injury lawsuits. You need to research the best practices against your claims of malpractice.

Knowing your responsibilities in your lawsuits can help you defend your position. When asked to produce evidence to prove your innocence, it might be the point of difference.

The online research allows you to analyse previous cases and learn how they were resolved. You get to address malpractice claims against the law provisions.

6. Legal Mediation Channels

Mediation is applicable in lawsuits that allow the parties in dispute to settle the matter out of court. They can give you information on avoiding pitfalls connected to the legal proceedings and avert huge financial costs.

Your representative can meet the other parties (complainant or defendant) lawyers and discuss how to resolve the matter. It reduces the hassle of running court battles to secure compensation or claims settlement.

The legal mediation channels can advise on the probable outcome and deliver a satisfying agreement between the two factions in the personal injury claims.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a defendant or a complainant in a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to have facts about the case. Both parties have a responsibility to prove who’s at fault and may help determine the settlement of the matter. Begin by looking for advice from various sources like reading reviews or testimonials and get recommendations from underwriters or family. It removes the guesswork and saves you time and money in the process. Above are ways to obtain legal advice for personal injury lawsuits.

Most Asked Questions About Professional Negligence Claims

You want something done, and you want it done professionally. You naturally search for companies or service providers that claim that they can do the job right. You hire one and lo and behold – they aren’t up to par with their claims and worse, your standards.

What do you do when this happens?

It is utterly disappointing and can be downright frustrating that despite spending a lot of money and time to look for a professional, the end-product doesn’t live up to expectations.

What can you do when this happens?

You can actually file a case against them, with the help of legal counselling. Before you go stomping into court or wave demand letters, learn more about professional negligence claims and how you can protect yourself in the future.

What are professional negligence claims?

In a nutshell, these are service providers that don’t make do with their promises. They don’t deliver the type of service they said they would, or their product/s didn’t perform the way they say they would.

Small or big, it doesn’t matter how large of a company or contract you entered into. As long as there is an established professional relationship between the seller and buyer, you can file a professional negligence claim if deemed necessary. Professional negligence claims are confined to certain industries. You can confidently file a lawsuit against a service provider or supplier.

If their failure has caused you financial distress and damages, you are in the right position to file a lawsuit. Some companies forget why they were hired in the first place – clients search for professional-grade products or services and they’re willing to spend for it.

What are the elements of a strong negligence claim?

Human error is common and expected in every industry. No matter how good of a professional one claims to be, they’re bound to commit mistakes one way or another. Can one mistake be a cause to file a lawsuit against them?

Not every error needs to be settled in court. Please consider the following elements that make up a strong negligence claim:

  • “Duty of care” is the professional’s responsibility and obligation
  • They acted negligently
  • You have suffered financial loss, damage to property and self or worse, resulted in death.

You must have all three elements to be able to file a strong professional negligence claim against them. What should you expect when you win the case?

You should be properly compensated for the financial losses and damages to property. They should be able to pay for any future expenses that might be incurred due to their negligence, such as physical therapy and such. Aside from these, they should also shoulder legal and court fees that you paid for when filed this professional negligence claim.

How do I file a professional negligence claim?

You should first talk to professional negligence lawyers in Brisbane. They are well-versed in the laws that surround such cases and they’d be able to assist you in fighting for your rights as a consumer.

The professional you intend to go up against is most likely aware of the laws that encompass his or her profession or industry. They’d most likely have connections too. This is why talking to one of the best lawyers in town will be your best hope in winning this case.

When you get a chance to talk to a lawyer, they’ll discuss with you every step of the way that needs to be faced to be able to win this case. While filing a professional negligence case is certainly time consuming and will probably put a dent in your wallet, you are fighting for your rights as a consumer and should be able to put up a good fight especially when you evidence is strong.

New Legal Regime on Stamp Duty Charges in Nigeria

The Finance Act, 2019 amended some provisions of the Companies Income Tax Act, Petroleum Profit Tax Act, Personal Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax Act, Customs and Excise Tariff etc. (Consolidation Act), Capital Gains Tax Act and Stamp Duty Act.

Sections 52 to 56 of the Finance Act, 2019 amended Sections 2, 4, 89 and the Schedule of the Stamp Duty Act, 2004. Section 55 of the Finance Act, 2019 deleted Section 90 of the Stamp Duty Act, 2004.

We shall discuss new trends in stamp duty charges under the Finance Act, 2019.

Modern innovations on stamp duty under the Finance Act, 2019

Section 52 of the Finance Act, 2019 amended Section 2 of the Stamp Duty Act, 2004 to extend the meaning of “stamp” to include “an electronic stamp or electronic acknowledgment” for denoting any duty or fee. Again, the provision extended the meaning of “stamped” to include “instruments and materially tagged with electronic stamp or national stamp on an electronic receipt”. The meaning of “instruments” is extended to “electronic documents”.

Similarly, Section 54 of the Finance Act, 2019 amended Section 89 (1) of the Stamp Duty Act, 2004 to include “electronic inscription whereby any money” is paid within the meaning of “receipt” for the purpose of stamp duty payment. Section 89 (2) is introduced to provide for “digital tag with electronic stamp or any acknowledgement of duty charged on an electronic transaction”.

Section 89 (3) is also introduced to provide that “electronic receipt or electronic transfer for money deposited in any bank” of N10, 000 (ten) naira and above paid by the owner of the account shall be charged a one-off duty of N 50 (fifty) naira.

Who is the competent charging authority?

Under Section 53 of the Finance Act, 2019 which amended Section 4 of the Stamp Duty Act, 2004, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is the competent authority to charge duties on instruments between a company and an individual, group or body of individuals.

The relevant tax authority in a State is the competent authority to charge duties on instruments between persons or individuals within the respective States of the Federation.

The FIRS is empowered to collect stamp duties on all banking transactions though its agents; Banks and other Financial Institutions.

How much is the duty on electronic receipt or electronic transfer?

By the provisions of Section 54 (3) of the Finance Act, 2019, a one-off duty of N 50.00 (fifty naira) shall accrue for amounts from N 10, 000 (ten naira) and above. Nevertheless, duty shall not accrue where a person pays or transfers money electronically between his accounts within the same Bank.

What are chargeable transactions?

Instruments such as agreements, contracts, receipts, memorandum of understanding, promissory notes, insurances policies and other transactions listed in the Schedule to the Stamp Duty Act, 2004 are subject to stamp duty.

Exempted transactions under the Finance Act, 2019

Section 56 (a) of the Finance Act, 2019 amended the Schedule of the Stamp Duty Act, 2004 to include exempt receipts as “receipts given by any person in a Regulated Securities Lending Transaction carried out under regulation issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission”.

Section 56 (b) of the Finance Act, 2019 amended the Schedule of the Stamp Duty Act, 2004 and provided that shares, stocks or securities returned or transferred by a lender to its approved agent or a borrower in furtherance of a Regulated Securities Lending Transaction as well as documents relating to regulated securities lending transactions carried out under regulations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are exempted from stamp duty.

Fred-young & Evans LP

Fred-young & Evans LP

Top 6 Reasons You Need A Lawyer

Lawyers have a unique duty as professionals to stand up for their clients or plaintiffs when legal issues arise. They can assist you in getting out of bad situations such as divorce, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) violations, and loss of job. Different lawyers have their expertise in a particular area. Some examples of these areas are business, crime, tax, and family, to name a few.

Not all situations require a lawyer, such as going to small claims in courts and issues with a speeding ticket. Although there are moments when one needs to call them as it can result in the loss of claims, broken agreements, and jail time. These are moments that you should not undermine as there are consequences. Overall, you might ask yourself, do I need a lawyer? Even if many law firms will help you to address your particular concern, read below to know why hiring a lawyer is a must.

Male Notary lawyer or judge consult or discussing contract paper

Male Notary lawyer or judge consult or discussing contract papers with Businessman client in office, Law and Legal services concept

1. Helps You In Business Problems

There are many reasons to hire a lawyer who specialises in business. First, they could help you in times of disputes related to contracts between businesses by acting as litigators. They also help protect the company in the long run by giving advice even before certain problems could arise. One example is providing tips on the best business formation suitable for your company, such as choosing whether to be a corporation, a sole proprietorship, or a partnership.

The third reason is that they can help you with compliance issues like hiring practices and employment regulations. Also, the last reason among others is that they allow you to deal with taxations properly. This is important as following tax laws can be complicated, and lawyers can be a huge help to address this complexity.

The given examples that provide reasons to hire a business lawyer show that your business will gain a lot from their assistance.

2. You Committed A Crime

It’s sometimes hard to traverse the consequences of a crime on your own. Jail time, loss of certain rights like driver’s license, and charges are examples of these consequences, and sometimes some individuals fail to have a fair trial. Those moments are the time when criminal lawyers set in. Criminal lawyers specialise in defending companies or individuals who committed violations such as murder or fraud throughout the stages of a criminal case.

Having a lawyer could ensure that a defendant will gain a fair trial and that his rights will be protected. These lawyers also can minimise the penalties related to the crime of a person or company. They can also prevent charges such as fines, court expenses, and other miscellaneous fees. Overall, they should be hired when there’s a crime as they know how to navigate through the legal system.

3. There Is A Family Issue

Family issues such as divorce, emancipation, or ending the parent’s duty to give child support, and adoptions happen in some families. These things can be complicated and can sometimes lead to further legal troubles. That’s why family lawyers exist to manage the legal issues that arise between family members.

Furthermore, these lawyers have different issues that they can address. One example is that they have the responsibility to look after the testament and estates of a specific person. They make sure the estate is properly distributed among the beneficiaries. Family lawyers also help in navigating the family laws related to adopting a child. They assist a person by connecting with adoption agencies on their behalf and negotiating fair terms with the biological parents.

4. They Have a Strong Network

A good lawyer can communicate with different individuals who can assist with a person’s case. Professionals of all types, such as officials in various government agencies and experts in a certain field or those with multiple specialties are examples of these networks.

One scenario in which a network of individuals is needed is when the client requires evidence to present in court. Non-attorneys can’t have those individuals that will assist a person and the only way to have proof is to contact a lawyer. This lawyer might contact an official like a police officer to gather reports regarding the incident that happened. They could also seek second opinions from previous clients that they have worked with as long as it could be beneficial for your case.

5. They Can Deal with the Issue in an Objective Way

Injuries and harm caused by another person can lead to emotional turmoil. A person can feel afraid, shocked, and angry, leading him to behave based on one’s emotions alone. This type of emotional turmoil hinders a person when facing a case, such matters must be dealt with rationality and objective thinking. Lawyers are adept at this type of thinking and they can prepare the right actions on how to deal with a particular case.

6. They Will Help You With Debt Settlement

Incidents like automobile accidents or sickness always cost money and sometimes the person involved can’t pay instantly. This type of situation is where debts can occur and debt can result in worries. Debt settlement lawyers specialise primarily in these scenarios as they can help you lessen some of your outstanding obligations or negotiate with your creditors.

There are many ways that you can pay a debt settlement lawyer. You can pay them per case, per hour, or through contingency fees. Overall, these payments are more than enough compared to the further costs and charges that can be applied to you. This usually happens once you fail to provide enough money to creditors or provide enough reasons for not paying.

Conclusion

There are various lawyers, each with its specialties. They have the responsibility to represent you in legal proceedings. Moreover, they have the proper knowledge to advise you on what to do legally in different areas of life, including business, debts, family issues, and crimes. As they are versatile in lawfully dealing with various matters, one should not avoid having them as they are not there to aggravate the legal problems. On the other hand, they’re there to help you and minimise such pertinent issues.

The Rights And Duties Of Heirs In A Wrongful Death Claim

Nothing is more devastating than a death of a loved one. It’s hard to cope with the death of someone close to you, especially in the event of untimely death due to someone else’s negligence.

Besides dealing with grief, the immediate family must also provide a decent send-off for their kin. The hospital and burial costs, together with coming to terms with the untimely death, can be too much for the immediate family to handle.

Wooden judge gavel and law books.

Wooden judge gavel and law books

Understanding Wrongful Death

Wrongful death occurs when a person’s death is due to the misconduct or negligence of another person or entity. Wrongful death can be caused by many things, including motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, manufacturing defects, or even criminal activity.

In such an event, wrongful death suits may be the best legal process that ensures that the immediate family receives justice, including financial support to cover the expenses incurred due to the untimely death of a family member.

After receiving the news of the death of a loved one, it’s common for people close to the deceased to be grief-stricken and confused. Most people don’t know what to do next. At this point, understanding wrongful death claims can help guide your next course of action. This article discusses the rights and duties of heirs in a wrongful death claim.

1. Pursuing Legal Action

The death of a loved one can be overwhelming, but as heirs, it may be necessary to pursue legal action. If you decide to pursue legal action, your next step should be consulting a wrongful death attorney to understand the process. In New York, however, only the representative of the decedent (the person who died) can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The lawyer can determine liability for the death of your loved one, gather evidence, build a case, and represent you in negotiating for any compensation you deserve. The lawyer can also get permission from the decedent’s representative, which can also be a family member of the deceased, to start legal proceedings.

While financial compensation can’t bring back your loved one, it may be the only option to ensure your financial security, especially if the deceased was the family breadwinner.

2. Bringing The Family Together

Once you’ve received news of your loved one’s demise, ensure that you have your family or friends to support you. Surround yourself with people who care about you. In the event of untimely death, most people tend to get depressed and can easily isolate.

Falling apart can only worsen the matter since you have to deal with the untimely demise of your loved one. Attend to members of your family with severe emotional challenges. To avoid any psychological or emotional damage following the death of your loved one, stick together as a family. It will ensure that you help each other cope.

3. Cooperating With Your Lawyer To Gather Evidence

While tasks like gathering evidence in times of grief can be tough, it’s also important to increase your chances of obtaining justice for the deceased. This can happen by cooperating with your lawyer in obtaining more evidence. Remember that the defendant will also protect themselves before the court, and a weak case might reduce the chances of getting suitable compensation.

4. Planning The Funeral

The heirs to the deceased have both the right and duty to arrange and plan a funeral for their loved one. They can decide when and how they will send off their kin. Whether by cremation or burial, heirs to the deceased have the right to decide what happens to the body of their family member.

5. Receive The Inheritance

Legally, heirs are the next of kin who will automatically inherit the estate of the deceased. In most cases, heirs are the deceased’s immediate family, for example, children or spouse. When a loved one dies due to wrongful death, the heirs are entitled to the lawsuit proceeds. However, heirs need to understand their rights to the estate of their loved one to ensure their interests are protected.

Conclusion

Heirs have the right to inherit the loved one’s estate in the event of wrongful death. They are also entitled to seek justice for the deceased. However, seeking justice while grieving can be overwhelming. It’s advisable to seek legal advice from a wrongful death attorney to know the way forward. If you aren’t aware of your rights and duties as heirs, the attorney will help you understand them to protect your rights and interests as heirs.