Legal Videos



The lawyers of the Contiguglia Law Firm: Tara Rismani, Andy Contiguglia, Holly Benham
The lawyers of the Contiguglia Law Firm: Tara Rismani, Andy Contiguglia, Holly Benham

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 1 - Stay out of court.

The courthouse is not a place you want to take your business. The reality is: you want to stay out of court. While you might be stuck on principle, there is never a guaranteed result in court. You are putting the fate of your case in the hands of a jury you've never met, or a judge who doesn't understand your business. Keep yourself out of court with solid agreements, good preparation and by reaching settlements and resolution.

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 2 - Negotiations

The key to negotiations is compromise. The power in negotiations comes from the strength to walk away. It's the most powerful asset you have in your negotiation.

Just the (Legal) Tip - No. 3 - Why you need a business entity

What's the importance of creating a business entity for your business? Three words: Protect your A$$(ets). Protect yourself from the work you are doing in the event someone sues you. Put a buffer between you and work. Without the proper business structure your personal assets will be at risk.

Thank you Lain Ehmann for reaching out with this question. Check her out at

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 4 - What is "Fair Use?"

Fair Use is a defense to the allegations of copyright infringement. If you're considering it, then it might be too late. Just because you think it falls under fair use, that doesn't mean it does. Seek permission first. Speak with one of our lawyers to evaluate your fair use argument as many factors are taken into consideration when determining the validity of fair use.

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 5 - Don't be business casual, put your agreements in writing

Take your business seriously. The oral agreement is dead. Written agreements help define your rights and responsibilities. They also give you proof of the contract, eliminating the "he said, she said". It becomes difficult to prove the existence of a contract. A written agreement will help you avoid that. The moral: put your agreements in writing.

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 6 - Is your business ready for 2017?

Is your business ready for 2017? Not every business is ready to start off 2017. Here are a few legal tidbits to make sure your business is ready to flourish in 2017. Are your business and corporate agreements in good shape? Are your public filing up to date with the local secretary of state? Make sure your relationships are intact and defined thorough proper contracts.

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 7 - Why it's important to have a lawyer in your business.

I get a little "ranty" in this episode. But my fundamental principle of “Legal Fitness”, or the concept of preventive law, is not only one of the most important keys to a successful business, it is the basis of security and peace of mind. I firmly believe that businesses that think they have no time for legal planning will sooner or later have to find time for legal disputes. Take care of your business. It’s your livelihood.

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 8 - Why insuring yourself is the best investment you can make

There's an old saying that you should always invest in yourself. It's no different when it comes to auto insurance.Make sure you have enough coverage. Evaluate your needs based on the assets you have.

The bottom line: always protect yourself and your assets.

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 9 - You gotta keep em separated!

I'm a firm believer in protecting your a$$ets. But there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. We see so many business, large and small, making the mistake of mixing their personal and business expenses and assets; which can create a serious problems down the line. The key: keep your personal and business assets and liabilities separated! You don't want to create a situation of an "alter ego" or give anyone the opportunity to "pierce the corporate veil". Always be careful to avoid the commingling of your business and personal assets.

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 10 - Hiring a lawyer.

What factors go into your decision to hire a lawyer? Well, we believe it's both "fit" and "fitness". Your lawyer has to have the right knowledge, but he or she must also be the right person for you. Make sure you're compatible. Lawyers are not one size fits all.

Our fundamental philosophy is to prevent legal disputes from occurring in the first place. However, many businesses put off hiring a lawyer until the dispute has gotten out of hand, or they are now involved in litigation. Bad luck! The time to associate with a good business lawyer is BEFORE the dispute arises.


Just the (Legal) Tip No. 11 - Keep separate bank accounts

It's like a peanut butter and chocolate thing. Just don't mix em!

Sometimes the smallest little things can make the biggest difference in your business. Separate bank accounts for personal and business expenses is important. But, as I've always said, we don't give tax advice. Speak to your accountant.

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 12 - Why you need worker's compensation insurance

Besides being the law, if you have employees, having worker's compensation insurance is a must! It's probably one of the best investments you can make in yourself and your business. Protect your employees and protect your business.Most states are going to have a requirement on your business to have worker's compensation. If you don't have it you can face significant fines, and in some circumstances, criminal or civil liability.

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 13 - Types of Bankruptcy

Holly Benham talks about the different types of bankruptcy. No business owner hopes he or she has to evaluate the need for bankruptcy. But the information you gain will be invaluable. It's important to learn what happens when an individual or business declares bankruptcy and how it will affect your business moving forward. There are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.


Just the (Legal) Tip No. 14 - Alternatives to Bankruptcy

Holly Benham is at it again. She can't seem to get enough of the camera. In this episode of Just the (Legal) Tip, she talks about alternatives to bankruptcy. Business can be tough, but don't fret, there's always a solution. Debt settlement is a great alternative to actually filing for bankruptcy. Keep this in mind if you don't have enough assets to make a bankruptcy feasible to you.

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 15 - The FTC wants YOU to be accountable!

If you are an online influencer, run an online business or mention products in your videos, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is going to hold you accountable for the information you disclose. Truth in advertising applies to all media, including social media. Compensation for a positive review affects the credibility of your endorsement. The FTC is going to hold you accountable.

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 16 - 5 reasons why you shouldn't wait to protect your intellectual property 

The best time to protect your intellectual property (IP) is immediately when you can afford it.  5 reasons you need to do it now: Assess the availability of your mark; establish a protectable legal interest; build you brand awareness; your mark has value; it allows you to grow into new markets and grow your market share.

For more details on these 5 reasons watch

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 17 - Using Forms in Business

I have mixed feelings about using legal forms in business. In some circumstances I think they are ok. On the other hand, I think forms are absolutely the wrong way to go. If you are looking to use legal forms from companies like Legal Zoom or Rocket Matter, make sure you understand the true nature of what you are agreeing to. And in the end, make sure you build a relationship with your customer.

Just the (Legal) Tip No. 18 - 5 Risks to Avoid when using Social Media in your Business

1. Limitations on how much you can say, and how you say it could create misleading advertisements and lead to material misstatements or omissions;

2. Your customer's posts about your business and its products and services could be construed as an endorsement;

3. Posting content owned or controlled by someone other than your business could violate copyright or trademark rights, or violate a site's terms of use;

4. The use and collection of your customer information through interactions on social media could violate privacy laws;

5. Don't disclose your business' confidential or proprietary information.