Practice Areas

Experience you
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practices areas

Practice Areas

We serve businesses and individuals in Indiana and Michigan in the areas of Litigation, Estate Planning, Business Law, Bankruptcy, Family Law and Real Estate.

Business Law

Business Management Consulting

Businesses big and small present all sorts of challenges. Are you having problems with a client or key employee? Issues with your bank? Deadlock in the boardroom? Maybe you’re looking for an exit strategy? Or a way to bring a son or daughter into a leadership position?

With over a century’s worth of experience in business law, we’ve seen it all. And we’ve helped our clients navigate the tricky landscape of business management. We’ve aided clients ranging from local mom-and-pops all the way to multi-million-dollar corporations.

You can rely on our objectivity, problem-solving mindset, and personalized approach to ensure your business comes out on top. From the simplest of problems to the most complex, discover why businesses in Michiana rely on Jones Obenchain for all their business-management needs.

Entity Formation

There are so many different types of business structures to choose from. And when you’re starting up a business you must sift through all the options to determine which is best for you. Is an “S” or “C” corporation best? What about a limited liability company (LLC)? Or perhaps a general or limited partnership?

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or founding your first start-up, you’ll need to use one of these structures. But which one and how do you set it up correctly? Each structure will help address different issues, like how ownership responsibilities are designated, what happens if an owner quits or dies, and how are disputes between owners solved.

Because your business has its own needs, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We get it. At Jones Obenchain, you’ll reap the benefits of a diverse team of business lawyers focused on creating tailor-made solutions that are as unique as your business. So if you already have a few ideas about what you need or are starting from scratch, we’ll come alongside you wherever you are in the process to make sure all the pieces fall into place. Contact us to discover how we can help you!

Contracts

Contracts are legally binding promises…assuming they’re properly written. The law requires certain basic elements—mutual agreement on all essential terms, an exchange of something of value, legal age, and mental competence—and the parties supply the details. This might include what each of them is required or permitted to do and what happens if one of them fails to perform. Common types of contracts include real-estate purchase agreements, leases, non-compete agreements, operating agreements, and purchase orders.

Because agreements can cover everything from borrowing money from a bank or family member to buying or selling a business to offering your goods and services to someone else, having the right contract is important.

For a contract to be successful and, well, do what it’s supposed to, it must be written correctly. Leave something out or get careless with the wording and you end up in court. This leaves you to argue about what you meant and what you’re entitled to…hoping the judge agrees. Cut-and-paste do-it-yourself contracts from free internet sites are free for a reason.

The best solution? Get professional legal counsel to draft your agreement or to review a contract before you sign. We’ll walk you through every step, from evaluating risks to negotiating the final terms and everything in between. Our robust business-law services—backed by the knowledge of a full-service law firm—mean that we’ll consider every possible angle before drafting your contract. And when that time finally does come, you can rely on our experience helping everyone from small retail shops to national corporations, knowing your contract got done the right way. Our job is to do everything in our power to ensure you are protected. Give us a call to find out how we’ve been doing just that for over a century.

Non-Compete Agreements

A non-compete agreement is a legal contract between an employer and employee or between the owners of a business. It restricts a person’s ability to do harm to that business by taking away customers, other employees, confidential information, or new profit opportunities, not only after they leave, but while still employed.

What’s the key to a great non-compete? It must be properly written. Then, and only then, will a court enforce one. A non-compete must be “reasonable” and not “over-broad,” as defined by law. These and other factors play into non-competes, so they might look different for different employees. You need to protect your business while being fair to employees, all within the confines of the law. We’ve got your back.

With our experience writing hundreds of non-competes, and our knowledge of business law in general, we’ll be able to help you figure out exactly what your non-competes need to cover, how to form one, the time span, and the general scope of the contract. We’ll create a non-compete to fit your requirements, no matter if you’re a small online business or a multi-million-dollar corporation. You’ll get the same care and attention to detail no matter your size or needs. Want to learn more? Contact us today!

Employment Law

Employment law is a vast field, covering everything from EEOC employment claims, drafting employment agreements, prosecuting and defending non-compete claims, drafting confidentiality agreements, and updating personnel and policy manuals. Whether you’re an employer or employee, there’s no doubt that there’s a lot to consider. And a lot to handle.

So let us do some of the handling. Here at Jones Obenchain, we’ve been leaders in employments law for over 100 years for both local, regional, and national firms. Our employment lawyers have encountered, drafted, prosecuted, and defended every issue in the book. We advise on a wide variety of employment and human-resource matters, from pre-hiring practices to termination to severance issues. When we say we’ve seen it all, we mean it.

So when you say “yes” to Jones Obenchain, you’re saying “yes” to the knowledge and experience gained over a century’s worth of employment law practice. Contact us to find out what saying “yes” can do for you.

Unemployment Law

Usually, when we speak about unemployment law we’re addressing unemployment insurance. Unemployment insurance is a federal-state social program funded by employers who pay qualifying unemployed persons. It is regulated by the Federal Unemployment Tax Act. Unemployment insurance is nuanced because the details of unemployment law are left to the states. 

Once an employee submits a claim for unemployment benefits, the Department of Workplace Development notifies the employer, which must verify the claim. From there, the DWD will determine whether the individual is eligible for benefits. Either party may appeal that determination.  

Dealing with unemployment law can be tricky as it involves the challenging matter of a person’s ability to earn a living. Here at Jones Obenchain, we understand how difficult and personal this can be. We’ve helped clients in all sorts of cases, from assisting employees pursuing unemployment benefits to representing employers who don’t owe those employee benefits. Our extensive experience in employment law, backed by the knowledge of a full-service law firm, means that we can help you no matter what situation you find yourself in.

We know that every circumstance involving an employee’s separation is unique. There are many factors, including the employee’s longevity at the company, the details of the employee’s termination, the nature of the industry they worked in, and much more. No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, we’ll help you navigate the complexities of unemployment insurance to ensure your case is handled fairly. Contact us to find out how we can help you!

Mergers & Acquisitions

A merger or an acquisition is a big deal. And they can be a bit of an ordeal. They involve the fusion of two companies, like in a merger, or the sale of one’s assets and ownership to another business, as in an acquisition. Both a merger and an acquisition present signi­ficant and varying tax, economic, operational, and liability issues depending on how the deal is structured.

There are lots of questions to consider, like what assets might the buyer not want? Do all of the seller’s employees get to keep their jobs? Do any other customers, suppliers, landlords, banks, or government agencies need to sign off on the deal? And what happens if they refuse?

We’ll help you get to the bottom of these questions. And because mergers and acquisitions are often unpredictable, you can rely on our extensive experience to smooth the way. We’ll help you with on-the-spot challenges and to start planning for the future, because looking forward is the best part of any large deal. Give us a call to find out how we can get your merger or acquisition on the road so that you can, too.

Succession Planning

There’s no doubt: succession planning is tough—getting the older generation to let go, navigating family dynamics, and balancing the interest of children, especially if there is an obvious family successor and others who maybe don’t fit the plan…the list goes on. Planning is easier said than done. So what do you do when it’s time to hand over control to the next generation?

A successful succession plan is all about timing, transition, and potentially financing the ownership transfer. This might take place in stages or with an all-in approach. No matter what, we’ll help you create the optimal plan for you, your business, and your successor.

There’s a lot to think about, prepare for and execute in a succession plan. But with the experienced succession planning lawyers at Jones Obenchain on your side, you can stay a step ahead. Either way, the time to start working on succession planning is before it’s necessary. Find out how we can help you prepare for the future—give us a call!

Buy-Sell Agreements

Buy-Sell contracts exist between the co-owners of a business and govern what those owners can, can’t, and must do with their ownership rights. Such agreements look different for each business depending on size, structure, and number of owners.

Buy-sell agreements are important because they address things like how cash flow and profits are distributed, what happens when an owner becomes disabled or dies, how to raise more money from the owners, and how life insurance plays into the whole formula. Ultimately, it helps protect the owners individually and the business as a whole.

Because these contracts are so critical to the healthy functioning of your business, you need trusted legal counsel on your side. That’s where we come in. We’ve helped hundreds of businesses draft their buy-sell agreements. That’s experience you can rely on. No matter the size of your business, give us a call to discover how we can help you protect your business.