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December 2017 Archives

Caution is needed when terminating certain employees

Most employers realize that an employee cannot be terminated or penalized for making a Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) request. Making a leave request does not prohibit termination if the reasons are independent and unrelated to the FMLA. Employers in Texas should pay attention to a recent Missouri federal court case that illustrates how appearances can lead to actionable lawsuits.

Blackberry and Nokia settle legal matter

In the past, Texas residents may have been divided over whether Nokia or BlackBerry made the best phones. While that battle is largely over, the two companies have still been engaged in legal battles. However, on Dec. 1, BlackBerry agreed to pay Nokia $137 million in accordance with a ruling from the International Court of Arbitration. This doesn't mean that BlackBerry has stepped back from its assertion that Nokia has infringed on its intellectual property rights.

Factors that impact a commercial lease

Texas business owners who are looking for a commercial space to rent should be ready to negotiate the terms of a lease. This is because what a landlord may be willing to offer depends largely on market conditions. When times are bad, a business owner may get several concessions from a commercial landlord. Of course, it may be tougher to negotiate in good economic times.

Green building techniques protect asset value

Building practices designed to reduce energy and water usage along with carbon pollution have emerged as desirable characteristics in commercial real estate in Texas. Both tenants and investors want buildings that produce less pollution and have the ability to resist the effects of climate change. A representative from the Urban Land Institute's Greenprint Center for Building Performance said that building strategies that mitigate or adapt to changing climate conditions have produced value for real estate owners.

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