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Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Proverbs 29:18

BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

The firm has 25 years in a broad range of experience in intellectual property, unfair competition, contract dispute and employment, corporate, securities litigation. Experience also includes shareholder, officer and director litigation, contract disputes, unfair competition and trade secret disputes and employment law matters of all types. The Firm has experience in State and federal courts all over Louisiana and as pro hac vice counsel in numerous other States, including Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, California, New York, Wisconsin, Illinois.

   


"The victorious army first realizes the conditions for victory, and then seeks to engage in battle. The vanquished army fights first, and then seeks a victory”

- The Art of War, Sun-Tzu

 

The Firm has experience in all forms of dispute resolution, including litigation, arbitration and mediation including the following:

Intellectual Property:
- Trade Secrets
- Non-Competition Agreements
- Patent litigation
- Trademark, trade name litigation
- Copyright

Unfair Competition:
- Theft of trade secrets
- Intellectual property
- Patent issues
- Trademark
- Trade name
- Domain names
- Anti-trust
- “Palming off”
- E-Commerce claims

Employment matters:
- Non-competition agreements
- Wrongful termination
- Whistleblower litigation

Corporate Litigation:
- Officer, director liability
- Shareholder litigation
- Contract issues
- Securities matters
- Sarbannes-Oxley
- Registration of Securities
- Blue Sky matters
- Contract disputes

Business Litigation:
- False Claims Act / Qui Tam
- Broker Fraud / Broker neglect
- or misconduct
BUSINESS AND CORPORATE LAW SERVICES

Business Sales and Acquisitions
A primary focus of the Harper Firm's legal practice is representing business owners in merging, selling and acquiring companies. Maximizing return and minimizing risk to our client are our foremost objectives. We counsel business owners through each step of the numerous and often difficult legal and practical aspects of buying or selling a business which includes:

Conducting thorough and appropriate due diligence;
Determining the proper structure of a transaction;
Negotiating letters of intent, definitive agreements and financing;
Complying with the rules and regulations of governmental agencies;
Advising business owners regarding their fiduciary duties to other owners, employees and others;
Addressing business owners about labor and employment issues related to the transaction; and
Providing tax analysis and planning for the most favorable tax consequences to the client.

Corporate Formation and Contracts
The Harper Law Firm's clients, both large and small, rely on us for a full range of corporate legal services. The firm handles the countless issues that arise throughout the life span of a business such as choice of entity, corporate governance, shareholder rights, fiduciary duties, capital formation, and operating and buy-sell agreements. The Firm's team of professionals regularly attends and advises clients at special and regularly scheduled shareholder and board meetings without charge, as a courtesy, which keeps the Firm abreast of the rapidly growing business needs and challenges of its clients.

Contracts
The Harper Law Firm prepares and negotiates commercial contracts in a variety of areas. A few examples include purchase and sale agreements, commercial and residential leases, property management agreements, sale and service agreements, internet and website agreements, promissory notes and deeds of trust, security agreements and employment agreements. We respond quickly and meet critical deadlines which often affect the success of your business.

Intellectual Property
The Harper Law Firm advises its clients on the creation, maintenance and defense of intellectual property including copyrights, trademarks, advertising, trade secrets, unfair competition and trade practices, non-compete agreements, royalties, licensing and franchising, antitrust relating to intellectual property, insurance coverage for intellectual property, cybersquatting, defamation and intellectual property on the Internet.

We have negotiated, prepared and enforced a wide variety of intellectual property related agreements including licenses, assignments, consulting agreements, employment contracts, confidentiality, and joint venture agreements. Our work includes domain name disputes; unfair trade practice and competition issues; protection of trade secrets, including employment issues; enforcement of and defense against claims of infringement of intellectual property rights; transfer of intellectual property assets in mergers, acquisitions and sales of businesses; and intellectual property disputes, including litigation.

Internet Law
The Harper Law Firm is on the cutting edge of this emerging commercial field. We counsel clients in many different industries who sell services and products over the Internet on numerous legal issues including taxes, licensing, government regulation, contracts, and intellectual property.

Labor and Employment Law
The Harper Law Firm counsels business owners and management regarding all phases of employment-related matters from hiring through post termination. Some of the legal issues with which the firm's lawyers are regularly involved include: wrongful discharge; retaliatory discharge; state law claims such as defamation, tortious interference with contracts, breach or enforcement of employment and non-compete agreements; workers' compensation; The Americans With Disabilities Act; employee handbook compliance; wage and hour laws; medical, disability, and family leave; employee benefits; affirmative action; OSHA; discrimination and civil rights; background and credit checks; use of polygraphs; military leave; and claims arising under employee benefit plans and the regulation of those plans.

Our attorneys evaluate our clients' current labor and employment circumstances and develop and document changes necessary to bring the client into legal compliance. We subsequently monitor our clients' labor and employment circumstances on an ongoing basis to assure continued compliance.

The Harper Law conducts in-house training of owners, supervisors and employees to avoid claims, charges and lawsuits. We also have experience creating incentive plans to motivate and retain key employees. We provide advice in developing and improving programs designed to enhance constructive employee relations and avoid union organizing efforts.

When necessary, the Harper Law Firm will champion its clients' rights in court before administrative agency in defense of unfair labor practice charges and litigation involving employment-related issues. We have broad experience in defending government agencies against Section 1983 violation claims.

Real Estate
Land developers, landlords, tenants, lenders and landowners look to the Harper Law Firm for a variety of real estate transactions such as property acquisitions and sales, project financing, contract negotiations, joint ventures, ownership entities (selecting and registering ownership forms such as limited liability companies and S corporations), tax advice, leasing, zoning issues and regulatory compliance. Our attorneys are experienced in all phases of negotiation and documentation of commercial real estate leases, including office, shopping center, warehouse and free-standing building leases. We also have advised and represented banks in connection with real estate secured loans.

Securities
The Harper Law Firm offers representation to clients regarding private equity financings, broker-dealer compliance, NASD registrations, and mergers and acquisitions. We vigorously defend parties to securities transactions in customer and industry disputes in arbitration and in court.

Trusts, Estates and Wills
The Harper Law Firm provides will and estate planning services to individuals and families. Our attorneys draft and probate wills and donations and counsel closely held business owners on transferring assets from one generation to the next.

Long-Range Business Planning
Long-range business planning has two primary goals: to maximize the value of the business over time and to prepare for the inevitable transfer of the business by the current owner's sale, retirement, or death. The Harper Law Firm assists clients achieve their goals numerous ways such as determining the best corporate form and structure under which to operate, creating incentive plans to motivate and retain key employees who may eventually become purchasers, and identifying, negotiating and documenting successful contracts. And whenever the time arises, the Harper Firm assists in planning for the transfer of the company at the minimum tax expense.

 

PUBLIC POLICY REPRESENTATION

"While we appreciate your reputation for energetic professionalism, more importantly we value your steadfast friendship."

Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA)

We recognize that sometimes our client’s objectives may not be fully attainable in the judicial arena alone. Our practice also involves seeking solutions through interaction with executive and legislative branch officials at both state and federal levels.

The Harper Firm is prepared to professionally address your legislative and regulatory concerns. As community leaders, we believe that it is essential to make elected officials care enough about an issue to listen to the arguments, pro or con, and take a position that benefits our client.

Our relationships with policy makers are the result of more than thirty years of personal involvement and that, combined with the knowledge of how to change public policy, is as important as the merits of any single legislative issue. The key to effective lobbying is relationships and communicating.

Better Communications, Better Policy
Clients need knowledgeable and effective advocacy to provide policy makers with relevant, accurate and timely information to make the tough decisions that can affect entire industries and communities. Through years of experience, The Harper Firm attorneys know the internal processes of government and are capable of delivering crucial information to appropriate decision makers at critical junctures in the decision making process.

"If you need strong effective legal representation, Jerry is the person who can deliver!! I've seen it time and time again!!"

Fmr. Sen. John Breaux (D-LA)