(703) 369-4738

1
Sep
2022

Prince William County’s Pathway to the 2040 Comprehensive Plan: One Step Closer

Written by: Olaun Simmons, Esq.

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors have been working diligently to finalize the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. When it is adopted by the Board of County Supervisors, the 2040 Comprehensive Plan will help guide future land use and development for properties in Prince William County.  

The most recent draft of the Land Use Chapter of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan was issued in August 2022. The goal of the Land Use Chapter is to provide an official statement of the County’s vision for land use and to provide the aspirational goals for the County’s future development and growth.

Additionally, the “Pathway to 2040 Proposed Long-Range Use Interactive Map” provides information regarding the proposed long-range use designations for properties within the County including primary and secondary uses, compatible zoning districts, and density designations.

If you have questions related to the draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan and the ways in which it may affect your rezoning application, special use permit application, or the desired use of your property, please contact me at (703) 369-4738 or osimmons@vfnlaw.com.


This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of legal counsel with respect to specific facts and situations. See disclaimer

17
Aug
2022

The Mixed Use District  – A Flexible Approach to Use and Density

Written by: Olaun Simmons, Esq.

In 2021, Prince William County adopted a new zoning district entitled “Mixed Use District (MXD).” The new Mixed Use District seeks to provide a thoughtful approach to development because it allows for flexible land development, promotes
transit-oriented development, and encourages a mix of residential and commercial uses in a single zoning designation. Under the MXD umbrella, there are three tailored mixed-use zoning designations that provide specific details and guidance regarding allowable uses and density.

Mixed Use District-Neighborhood (T-2)

The Mixed Use District-Neighborhood (MXD-N) is intended for smaller-scale mixed-use developments that are surrounded by lower-density residential areas, as well as in neighborhood corridors, or at the edges of town centers. The MXD-N allows for by-right uses such as single-family detached homes, craft breweries, and coffee shops; secondary uses such as child-care facilities and farmer’s markets, and special uses such as kennels and indoor shooting ranges. In terms of density, the MXD-N has a Transect 2 designation which allows for a residential density of 0 – 4 du/acre and non-residential density of 0 – 0.23 FAR.

Mixed Use District-Community Zoning District (T-3 and T-4)

The Mixed Use District-Community Zoning District (MXD-C) is intended to encourage a diversification of uses, including residential, commercial, and civic uses. The MXD-C is intended for a variety of sites and in smaller mixed-use areas that are well served by transit. The MXD-C allows for by-right uses such as distilleries, hotels, and religious institutions; secondary uses such as attached single-family dwellings and farmer’s markets; and special uses such as bed and breakfasts, retail stores, and restaurants. In terms of density, the MXD-C allow for more density than the MXD-N. The MXD-C has two transect designations: T-3 and T-4. Transect 3 allows for a residential density of 4 – 12 du/acre and non-residential density of up to 0.57 FAR, and Transect 4 allows for a residential density of 8 – 24 du/acre and non-residential density of up to 0.1.38 FAR.

Mixed Use District – Urban Zoning District (T-5 and T-6)

Finally, the Mixed Use District – Urban Zoning District (MXD-U) is intended to encourage the development or redevelopment of mixed-use centers that combine new or existing retail development with a variety of housing, offices, studios, live-work space, civic buildings, and other complementary uses arranged in a cohesive, compact, and walkable environment. The MXD-U zone must be located along existing or planned high-capacity multi-modal transportation corridors. The MXD-U allows for by-right uses such as assisted living facilities, multi-family dwellings, and hotels; special uses such as attached single-family dwellings on lots in excess of one acre; and special uses such as restaurants and self-storage centers.  In terms of the allowable density, the MXD-U allows for the most density. The MXD-U has two transect designations: T-5 and T-6. Transect 5 allows for a residential density of 20 – 50 du/acre and non-residential density of up to 2.30 FAR, and Transect 6 allows for a residential density of 50 -100 du/acre and non-residential density of up to 3.0 FAR.

The new MXD zoning designation is designed to provide developers with the flexibility needed to obtain the desired mix of commercial and residential uses and density on the site. The flexibility provided by the MXD will also be useful for developers who are seeking to revitalize aging properties within Prince William County.


This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of legal counsel with respect to specific facts and situations. See disclaimer

9
Aug
2022

The Importance of A Guaranty.

Written by: Guy Jeffress

The decision of the Supreme Court of Virginia in Grayson v. Westwood Buildings L.P., 300 Va. 25, 859 S.E.2d 651 (2021) highlights the need to confirm a tenant’s financial ability to pay the rent during the term of a lease and obtain personal guaranties regarding the same.

The facts of the cited case are complex but can be briefly summarized as follows: Landlord obtained judgments for unpaid rent against tenants. Landlord, upon finding that the tenants and their principals had engaged in a number of transactions that left the tenant entities all but insolvent, filed suit against both tenants and other parties claiming, in part, that the defendants engaged in a series of fraudulent conveyances and sham transactions designed to avoid the judgments. The trial court found in favor of landlord making each of the remaining defendants jointly and severally liable for unpaid rent, awarding the landlord attorney fees, and imposing sanctions. On appeal, however, the Supreme Court of Virginia reversed the trial court, vacated the judgments, and entered the opinion as final judgment. The court noted that the “badges of fraud” relied upon by the trial court to support its findings “did not apply here.” The opinion also noted that the landlord failed to perfect landlord’s security interest in tenant’s inventory and other assets (as landlord was permitted under the terms and conditions of the lease) and did not obtain a signed personal guaranty from principals of the tenants.

The purpose of this article is not to undertake a deep dive in the law of fraudulent conveyances but to illustrate some basic strategies a landlord could use to avoid an outcome similar to that in the above-referenced case.

First, as regards landlord lien rights we have noticed that many landlords are quick to negotiate their lien rights away. The lien right is a powerful remedy to landlord. If a tenant objects because the rights of a lender or lessor of equipment are primary, offer to subordinate landlord’s lien rights to that of the primary lien holder until such time as the primary lien is satisfied or extinguished. It is better to be in a subordinated position than to waive the lien rights altogether.

Second, obtain personal guaranties from tenant principals and their spouses. Under Virginia law guaranty agreements must be independent agreements that are supported by separate consideration. The terms and conditions of a guaranty should also include certain waivers including a waiver of the application of certain Virginia statutes. The absence of said waivers could delay or jeopardize a landlord’s recourse against the named guarantor.

Third, when vetting a tenant, a landlord should undertake sufficient due diligence to accurately determine the tenant’s management structure and its credit worthiness. Additionally, the landlord should try to keep tabs on a tenant’s financial condition throughout the term of the lease by including language in the lease that allows the landlord to request, from time to time, financial disclosures from a tenant which are (preferably) audited or certified as true and correct by a principal of the tenant.

Fourth, we advise letting one of our lease attorneys review letters of intent prior to sending them to prospective tenants. Our financing and lease attorneys frequently notice issues in letters of intent that put the landlord on its hind legs before the first draft of the lease is even circulated.

Fifth, do not negotiate against yourself and offer concessions the tenant does not ask for, and do not give into the frequent lament of tenant brokers, “it’s not market” without substantial and verifiable data to back it up.

Recent changes in the economy and lender practices are prompting building owners to review their lease forms. If you are feeling challenged by current circumstances or have not reviewed your lease forms in the last few years consider having the lease attorneys at Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C., review your lease and lease-related documents.

Call one of the attorneys at Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C., or email and let us see if we can assist you.

This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of legal counsel with respect to specific facts and situations. See disclaimer

10
May
2022

Billboard Regulation Survives at the US Supreme Court

Written By Martin Crim, Esq.

I think that I shall never see
              a billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps, unless the billboards fall,
 I’ll never see a tree at all.
—Ogden  Nash

In the 2015 case of Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a new rule that restricted local government regulation of signs. That case broadly defined “content-based” regulation in a way that caused alarm in local government circles because it threatened to render unconstitutional many zoning ordinances that addressed signs. One of the fears that it generated was that we might no longer be able to have one set of rules for signs that advertise products and services sold on-site and another set for signs that advertise products and services that are sold elsewhere (a/k/a on-premises v. off-premises signs).

Most billboards are off-premises signs, and the billboard industry aggressively protects its interests in those signs. The Reed opinion gave them an opportunity to increase the number and value of their stock of billboards if they could turn on-premises signs into off-premises signs by getting courts to strike down local ordinances that discriminated against off-premises signs. Federal and state beautification laws dating back to the 1960’s and 1970’s have curbed the ability to put up new billboards, so most billboards you see are “grandfathered” under zoning law – allowed to remain as long as they do not expand in size or upgrade their technology.

Since 2015, billboard companies have filed several challenges around the nation against ordinances that used the on-premises/off-premises distinction, arguing from Reed that an ordinance was unconstitutional if you have to read the sign to apply the ordinance – even if you need just a cursory examination. This became known as the “pillar of salt” theory, after the Biblical story that Lot’s wife got turned into a pillar of salt as punishment for looking back despite being commanded not to look.

Although Justice Alito’s concurring opinion in Reed said that on-premises/off-premises distinctions were still permitted, the failure of the majority opinion to agree with him cast doubt on whether a majority of the Supreme Court would agree. The lack of clarity in the Reed majority opinion left room for the “pillar of salt” theory to persuade some judges. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of local governments had sign ordinances that distinguished between on-premises and off-premises signs.

On April 21, 2022, the Supreme Court finally answered the on-premises/off-premises question, in a case (Austin v. Reagan National Advertising of Austin) brought by two advertising companies who wanted to digitize some grandfathered billboards. Austin’s sign code prohibited that, so the advertising companies sued. The case made its way up the Federal appellate court system to the top, where Justice Sotomayor  delivered the opinion of the Court, rejecting the “pillar of salt” rule as “too extreme an interpretation.”

Instead, the Supreme Court has now allowed sign regulations to distinguish between on-premises and off-premises signs as long as the regulations meet so-called “intermediate scrutiny” (i.e., requiring more justification than the “rational basis” test but not as much as the “strict scrutiny” test). For that reason, the Supreme Court remanded the Austin case for the lower courts to determine whether the Austin sign code had an “impermissible purpose or justification” and whether it was “narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest.”

When I worked on the model sign ordinance for the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia in 2016, we retained the on-premises/off-premises distinction, generally prohibiting all new off-premises signs. (Grandfathered signs have to be allowed as a matter of property law.) We held our breath at the time, and now we can breathe a sigh of relief.

If you have a question about whether a given sign ordinance is still constitutional – either in the abstract or in relation to an existing or proposed sign – I’d be pleased to consult with you and, if appropriate, to represent you in relation to that question.

Martin Crim is a shareholder at Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, and has been practicing law for over thirty years, primarily for cities, towns, and other local governments. If you have additional questions or concerns contact Martin Crim at mcrim@vfnlaw.com or call us at 703-36-4738.

This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of legal counsel with respect to specific facts and situations. See disclaimer[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

24
Jan
2022

Labor Reforms Targeted as Virginia Prepares for a Change in Administration

Written by: Monica Munin, Esq.

Republican governor Glenn Youngkin assumed office on January 15, 2022, enacting 11 executive orders including orders that; end mandatory masking for children in grade K-12; ban critical race theory from state classrooms; promise to “investigate wrongdoing” in Loudoun County Public Schools; and, promise to cut workplace regulations.  Consequently, the fate of recent labor reforms in Virginia, including a scheduled increase to the State’s minimum wage, domestic workers bill of rights, and the COVID-19 emergency standard, remains uncertain.  Republicans swept the State’s elections this year, claiming the governor’s office, lieutenant governor’s office, attorney general’s office, and a majority in the House of Delegates. Youngkin cast himself as an employer-friendly candidate who would eliminate “job-killing regulations” and oppose government lead vaccination mandates.

While it is not yet clear how far Republican can or will go to stem or otherwise reverse the policies implemented during the Governor Northam’s administration, Youngkin has wasted no time preparing for a change in priorities.  In addition to the 11 executive orders signed on his first day in office, Youngkin delivered an address outlining his plan for education and tax reform.  Prior to his swearing in, Youngkin had also announced that he intends to appoint George “Bryan” Slater, as state labor secretary.  Slater was a former U/S/ Labor Department official under the Trump administration and served as White House liaison to the Labor Department under President George W. Bush as well. Democrats currently retain control of the State Chamber, which is not up for reelection until 2023.

Nonetheless, incoming Republicans in the State legislature are hoping to capitalize on Youngkin’s win and pass a number of bills, including a freeze on the scheduled increase to the state’s minimum wage which would keep the minimum wage at $11, bills limiting domestic worker protections, and bills intended to prevent cities and counties from using government contracts to ensure wage rates and employee benefits beyond what is currently required by state or federal law.

Worried about what the change in administration means for your business? Confused about how to proceed? Please feel free to reach out by way of phone or email Monica Munin for guidance.

This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of legal counsel with respect to specific facts and situations. See disclaimer

21
Jan
2022

The Cost-Benefit of Engaging Business Counsel – Part 1

Written by: Tyler Blaser,Esq.

Part I: Protecting You & Your Business from Legal Liability

The Problem. As a young lawyer growing a business transactions legal practice, one of my toughest challenges is helping entrepreneurs in our community understand the cost-benefit value of consulting with a lawyer to plan and prevent legal problems, rather than contacting a lawyer for the first time in reaction to those problems when they happen. And, make no mistake, Murphy’s Law requires that these problems will happen – a fact every business owner will confirm.

While our law firm, Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C. (“VFN”), represents both national and international businesses, most of my personal clients are friends, family, and other close professional connections throughout the Northern Virginia area who have stricter budget constraints. One advantage stemming from these personal relationships is the opportunity to engage in intimate, frank discussions about how they operate their business, calculate and manage risk, and explore client perception of when they believe it is worth their capital to engage counsel. In having these conversations, entrepreneurs will tell me that they would consult with a lawyer more often, but the front-end cost ultimately leads them to incur risk without counsel.

Contrasting Approaches. While this approach may be common, and even understandable, any business lawyer can attest to the fact that this outlook is flawed from a cost-benefit analysis perspective, both in terms of avoiding future liability and securing payment of amounts receivable. This article explores the cost-benefit of obtaining legal advice as it relates to avoiding future liability while considering two hypothetical young entrepreneurs beginning small businesses:

Owner A wants to start a business and keep it afloat, but like many, faces financial constraints and is therefore cost-conscious. Owner A assumes that lawyers are a waste of money but runs into some issues with setting up its business entity. After some thought, Owner A sets up a free initial consultation with business counsel but declines representation to avoid paying the required hourly rate. Owner A decides to go it alone, begins business operation, obtains an SBA loan, executes a commercial lease, and agreements with customers and vendors, all without counsel.

Owner A’s business is thriving until it is served with a lawsuit filed by a disgruntled customer, seeking $100,000 in damages for work that the customer believes needs to be redone, plus another $200,000 in statutory damages and attorney fees, due to non-compliance with Virginia Consumer Protection Act (“VCPA”). Additionally, the customer filed a complaint with the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (“DPOR”), putting Owner A’s professional license at risk of revocation. Because Owner A did not follow corporate formalities in forming and operating its business, Owner A’s personal assets, including its home, vehicle, investments, and personal bank accounts are all at significant risk.

Owner A knows it cannot navigate the legal process to deal with complex legal issues of this magnitude and decides to engage counsel to defend this lawsuit. Luckily, Owner A is able to successfully defend the lawsuit, but in getting there, must pay its attorney ~$50,000 to prepare for trial, plus another ~$20,000 for related consultants and experts (both conservative estimates). Despite Owner A successfully defending the customer’s civil claims, DPOR suspends Owner A’s professional license due to violated regulations. Owner A is now ~$70,000 in the hole, without a professional license, or the income from its business, cannot pay its loan or rent payments when due, and eventually must file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Owner B starts in the same position as Owner A, also facing financial constraints, and is also cost-conscious. Owner B knows it does not have the expertise or time to devote to consumer protection or professional licensure compliance (or other legal complexities), so Owner B sets up a free consultation with VFN business counsel. After consultation, Owner B engages counsel to prepare its business entity’s articles and organizing documents. The lawyer provides these services to Owner B, and in related discussions, recommends Owner B forward its customer agreement for review. The lawyer recommends Owner B amend its customer agreement to comply with VCPA and DPOR requirements. The lawyer makes appropriate changes and counsels Owner B on the importance of following corporate formality.

Owner B pays a total of $2,500.00 for these services, but in doing so, avoids significant legal (and financial) exposure. If a lawsuit were filed against Owner B, its attorney is positioned to negotiate or dismiss any claims quickly, avoiding cost for trial prep, and fees for consultants and expert witnesses. Incidentally, Owner B also sleeps well at night, knowing its attorney is losing sleep on its behalf.

The Lesson. While I have intentionally simplified these hypothetical scenarios for contrast, any successful business owner can confirm the lesson they offer invest a little amount now to engage legal counsel and manage risk, to avoid major liability and expense down the road. You will thank yourself. The issues discussed in this article focus on business formation, corporate liability, and regulatory compliance of customer agreements, however, consultation with a business attorney is similarly valuable in the context of

  • purchasing a business;
  • raising capital and extending or obtaining financing;
  • buying, selling or leasing commercial property;
  • negotiating and navigating agreements with vendors and customers;
  • drafting corporate governance agreements related to decision making, distributions, and other ownership rights; and/or
  • selling your business’ equity or assets, when that time may come.

Consult with an Experienced Small Business Lawyer. VFN is one of the most highly regarded law firms in Northern Virginia, with seasoned and well-connected attorneys who can help you in any of these areas. While we also have experienced litigators who can help you in the event of a dispute, we would always prefer to help you avoid legal problems before they happen.

Remaining in contact with an experienced business attorney is the most simple, sure-fire way to avoid legal liability, and the resulting financial stress that comes with it. By doing so, you can make sure your business is in a position to thrive and will continue to do so moving forward.

If you need an attorney or just want more information, please give me a call at 703.479.3181, send an email to tblaser@vfnlaw.com, or visit my firm page at Vfnlaw.com.

This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of legal counsel with respect to specific facts and situations. See disclaimer

21
Dec
2021

Legal Risk Check-Up

Written by: Brett Callahan

Legal Risk Check-Up

It is almost the end of the calendar year! It is also a busy time for many businesses as they try to wrap up any deals, close their books for end-of-the-year accounting, recognize their employees, and celebrate their past year’s accomplishments. And let’s face it, making it through 2021 with a healthy business is quite an accomplishment. However, you may want to add something new to that end of the year to-do list: schedule a time in January to sit down and take a serious look at how your business has grown or changed over the past year or several years, and what that might mean for your legal risks. After all the new year is a time for new beginnings and what better fresh start could your company have than identifying and fixing threats before they snowball into a major problem?

The most cost-effective approach to business legal disputes is usually to avoid them altogether, but that isn’t always possible. Businesses have limited resources and can’t focus on everything at once. So, if you have to prioritize, what are the most common types of legal issues businesses face that either create legal troubles or make them more complicated and expensive than they need to be?

  1. Using inappropriate, outdated, or unfavorable contracts. Contracts are supposed to protect against legal risk. Odds are good if your business has been “using that contract forever” or no one remembers exactly where the contract came from, that the contract isn’t providing much protection. Remember when considering your potential exposure, even if each individual transaction under a regularly used contract may seem small, when you add them together you can get a big problem.
  2.  Not paying attention to the rules of a licensed or regulated industry. You study, take tests, and pay fees to get your real estate or contractor license. But how frequently do you check to make sure all of your practices and contracts are following the rules, including any new rules, of whatever board or agency issued that license? If your business going to take a serious hit if you (or an employee) lose their license, it isn’t enough just to pay your renewal fees. You need to make sure you are taking basic steps to actively protect that license.
  3. Not performing other business maintenance on a regular basis. When was the last time someone looked at the corporate by-laws or company operating agreement? Are you paying attention to what new labor laws apply as your business grows and adds employees? Your practices and policies need to be in alignment with any governing laws or any controlling documents for the business. Businesses change, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. Any major change, such as a large expansion, should prompt an immediate review of what new laws your business might now have to follow. But even if it seems like not much has changed in a while, if you review your legal framework, you might be surprised at what you find.

Risk management requires you actively manage those risks and not ignore them until it is too late. If you have any questions on where to start or need help ensuring you are using favorable contracts and complying with any applicable laws, regulations, or governing documents one of our business attorneys may be able to help.

This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of legal counsel with respect to specific facts and situations. See disclaimer

9
Dec
2021

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment – updated standard requirements

Written by: Guy Jeffress

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment – updated standard requirements

On November 1, 2021, ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) approved revisions to the ASTM 1527 standard, more commonly known as a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Report. Once the new standard is adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), purchasers of real estate will need to comply with the updated requirements.

Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), a property owner risks strict liability for environmental contamination caused by prior owners. However, CERCLA provides defenses for a current owner if the current owner satisfies certain requirements, i.e., the All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) requirement. To qualify for an AAI defense, a prospective owner, prior to the purchase, must make reasonable inquiries to determine if a property has existing contamination, this includes conducting a Phase I environmental site assessment undertaken in accordance with the ASTM 1527 standard.

Potential purchasers of commercial real property should ensure that environmental professionals are conducting Phase I Reports according to the required standards, i.e., ASTM 1527-13 or ASTM 1527-21. Likewise, lenders funding acquisition loans should keep an eye open for the upcoming change. Adoption of the new standard, ASTM 1527-21, by the EPA is expected to occur in December 2021. There should be a “phase-out” or transition period during which both standards may be allowed. Note that as a result of the new standard Phase I reports may become more costly and time-consuming as environmental professionals get up to speed on the new requirements.

Additional information regarding the revised standard can be found on the ASTM website: https://newsroom.astm.org/astm-international-revises-standard-practice-environmental-site-assessments

Contact the attorneys at Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C., if you have any questions regarding the purchase and/or sale of commercial real estate.

This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of legal counsel with respect to specific facts and situations. See disclaimer

17
Apr
2020

What should you do to best protect your business from litigation arising out of the Covid-19 crisis?

What should you do to best protect your business from litigation arising out of the Covid-19 crisis?

  • Stay up to date.  The federal government is passing a significant number of new laws in response to the crisis, especially related to employment.  Additionally, governors, administrative agencies, and courts are issuing orders changing how a business or individual can act, in light of public health concerns related to Covid-19. Some of these changes are intended to create new opportunities for businesses to keep operating without risking public health, but others create potential liability for businesses and individuals that don’t comply with the new laws and orders.
  • Document as much as possible.  You may not remember in a year why you did something, even though it seemed very important at the time.  Also keeping contemporaneous records helps protect your business against losing knowledge about an event because an employee leaves and helps protect against claims that someone in your organization is misremembering or lying about what happened.  Most litigation does not take place until months or years after the event at issue and people rarely realize that something could turn into litigation at the time it is happening. Keeping clear, consistent, and detailed records can often either prevent litigation or allow it to be resolved more quickly and for less cost than if records are minimal.
  • Don’t overpromise.  Whether dealing with customers, vendors, contractual partners, or employees the natural tendency is to try to make the other party happy or to emphasize the strengths and benefits of your product, service, or business.  But when this natural salesmanship goes too far it often leads to litigation. When a party feels like they have been “lied” to, even if that was not your intention, they are less likely to be reasonable in finding a solution.  Set reasonable expectations for both your business and those you deal with, especially in light of the known and likely future impacts of Covid-19.
  • Communicate clearly and document those communications.  Businesses are often asked by their customers, vendors, contractual partners, or employees for things they have no obligation to provide, either because it is not called for under the contract or the law does not require it.  This is especially true during an unusual or significant event like the Covid-19 crisis. In the interest of maintaining good relationships, many businesses will try to accommodate the request. Likewise, when ending or changing a relationship with vendors, contractual partners, or employee the instinct often is to soften the blow by being vague.  While it is not necessary to be rude, communications should be clear and not leave room for the other side to come up with their own interpretation of what you meant. If you are going to try to do something, but may not be able to, you should be clear about that. Likewise, if you have a contract, make sure you are clear about if what is being discussed is or is not intended to modify the contract.  If you do intend to modify the contract, make sure you review the contract and any amendment is done in accordance with its terms.  

By: Brett Callahan, Esq.

Do you have more Coronavirus related legal questions? Visit our Covid-19 business resource page HERE or call us at (703) 369- 4738. We are open and ready to assist new and existing clients.