Barry O’Neil describes his practice in the videos shown below.
Commercial Litigation/Shareholder Disputes
- In what areas of commercial litigation is your practice most active? (1:21)
- What is a shareholder dispute? (1:13)
- What types of issues arise in a shareholder dispute? (1:35)
- What if some owners want to sell the business and others do not? (1:37)
- What rights do minority shareholders have in a shareholder dispute? (1:36)
- What is the procedure for asserting minority shareholder rights? (1:36)
- What are common examples of breaches of shareholder or partnership agreements that you’ve seen cause shareholder disputes? (1:32)
- How do you go about proving up your case in a shareholder dispute? (1:44)
- When should you contact a lawyer in a shareholder dispute? (1:34)
- What is the first thing a business should do if served with a commercial litigation lawsuit? (1:28)
- What if you inadvertently destroy documents after being served? What’s the potential downside? (1:19)
- How can a business best prepare for possible litigation? (1:39)
- What are the current trends in shareholder disputes? (1:32)
- Is it better to litigate business matters in state or federal court? (1:23)
- What are the best alternatives to court in business litigation? What do you recommend to clients and why? (1:41)
- Why would a client choose a medium size firm like Lommen Abdo over one of the BIG law firms for business litigation? (1:29)
- What are the current trends in business disputes? (1:32)
- What types of professionals do you represent in your professional liability practice? (1:04)
- What are some examples of the types of claims lawyers or accountants see in professional liability cases? (1:56)
- What are the different forums in which you handle professional liability claims? (1:10)
- What is the first thing a professional should do if threatened by a professional liability claim? (1:13)
- Are there any current trends in professional liability litigation? (1:23)
- What issues come up most in employment law litigation? (1:54)
- If I get sued by someone who is handling their own lawsuit without a lawyer, should I just handle my own defense, too? (1:32)
About Barry O’Neil
- What is your experience in civil ligation? (1:12)
- I see you are certified as a civil trial specialist. What is that? What qualifications do you have to have? (1:27)
- What is the most rewarding aspect of your practice? (1:35)
- What question do you hear most frequently from clients? (2:15)
What issues come up most in employment law litigation?
Probably the most frequent one is involving the termination of an employee. If we’re representing an employer, they may come to us and outline what they think an employee has done and ask, “Can I terminate ’em?” But any time you have an employee who might be in a protected class, minority, gender, you have to be very specific and careful about how you may terminate an employee.
Another area is non-compete cases. There are some common law things that employees can’t do when they leave a company. But a general prohibition on not competing isn’t something that the law recognizes. But lots of companies employ non-compete agreements, and they often come to us if an employee leaves to ask if something the employee may be doing at the new employer violates a non-compete agreement.
What rights do minority shareholders have in a shareholder dispute?
Minnesota law has protections in 302A. It’s a statute. And there’s a 751 section that provides that you have a right as a minority shareholder to not have the majority shareholders disadvantageously treat you or unfairly treat you. So there’s all sorts of rights in a closed corporation for…Minnesota law actually provides that you have a right to participate in management, you have a right to a salary, and a right to, really, have your interests treated fairly. So those are the general rights that a minority shareholder has.
What is the first thing a business should do if served with a commercial litigation lawsuit?
Well, a big issue these days is all of the electronic communications that go on, and emails and all sorts of files and servers and things like that. You really initially – and I advise all my clients once they are served with a complaint – [need] to put what’s called a litigation hold in place and make sure that they’re maintaining all their electronic files, which are called ESI, so that they’re…they don’t destroy anything that might be needed in the lawsuit that apparently has just been started.