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Missouri contractor moves to compel arbitration in city case

After the City of Cape Girardeau, Missouri filed a lawsuit against a Poplar Bluff contractor, the contractor has filed a motion requesting that the court compels the city to go to arbitration and to dismiss the lawsuit. The contractor also filed a countersuit for up to $1.5 million if the case continues in court.

In February, Cape Girardeau filed a lawsuit against the contractor. The city is seeking to recover $596,000 in damages from the contractor because it claims that a road construction project was not completed on time. The city claims that the project was completed 122 days after when it was due. It also alleges that the contractor did not meet the extended deadlines that were given.

Choosing the right commercial property investment

Commercial real estate can be a rewarding investment for many in Missouri, especially those who wish to profit from a passive investment in the market. While investing in commercial real estate is far different than dealing with traditional securities, it can be a profitable, successful and secure opportunity. There are a few points of guidance that investors can keep in mind when selecting a real estate investment opportunity that is well-suited to their portfolio.

First, it is a good idea to review the sponsor of the project. The sponsor refers to the company or real estate development firm that is acquiring or developing a particular commercial property and seeking investors for the project. Sponsors, who are fiduciaries for project investors, have a responsibility to follow through on their business plans. Investors may have a choice between a more experienced sponsor with a long track record and a less experienced sponsor promising higher returns. In general, projections for experienced sponsors can be lower, but they are accompanied by a lower level of risk. Newer sponsors can promise higher returns, but the investment bears a greater risk of not meeting its goals.

Former executive sues MLB's digital companies

Kansas City Royals fans may be interested in learning about a lawsuit that has been filed by a former executive of the digital company that is owned by Major League Baseball. The lawsuit was filed against Baseball Advanced Media and BAMTech and alleges several causes of action, including breach of contract, fraud and unjust enrichment.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff worked for BAM for 17 years. In 2006, the executive received a 2 percent stake in BAM's non-baseball business from its board of directors in order to keep him from leaving to work for another company. In 2016, Disney bought a 33 percent stake in the company for $1 billion. One year later, Disney announced that it was acquiring an additional 42 percent for $1.58 billion.

Media company accused of breaching fiduciary duty

Corporate board members and other officials in Colorado and throughout the United States have a responsibility, or a fiduciary duty, to act in the best interests of others; in this case, they specifically must act to preserve the value of the corporation. When corporate officials engage in insider trading or other deals that could be detrimental to the value of the company as a whole, this can be a breach of fiduciary duty to other shareholders, even when some shareholders may benefit from the arrangement.

A lawsuit that has been filed against Media News Group, the owner of 50 newspapers throughout the United States, and its major owner, Alden Global Capital, a New York hedge fund, alleges that parties have engaged in mismanagement and potential breaches of fiduciary duty. The case, filed by a minority shareholder in the corporation, seeks the disclosure of financial records and investment information. The lawsuit was filed by Solus, an investment company that owns 24 percent of the voting shares of stock in the media corporation. Alden, the majority shareholder, owns 50.1 percent of the outstanding shares in the corporation.

Now may be a worthwhile time to invest in REITs

Investors in Missouri and throughout the country may be interested in putting their money into single-family rental REITS. This is because they have access to more funding and are even engaged in new home building to create additional properties to rent. According to the National Rental Home Council, demand for rental homes should continue to grow in 2018. In 2018, American Homes 4 Rent plans to spend up to $600 million to build new rental homes.

Of the 46,996 homes in its portfolio, 95.7 percent of them were leased in the last quarter of 2017. This was up 0.5 percent from the third quarter of 2017. In February 2018, Invitation Homes was able to close on a $917 million mortgage loan. It has a term of seven years and has a floating interest rate 124 basis points above LIBOR.

Long-term focus eases ups and downs of commercial real estate

The commercial real estate market in Missouri and nationwide has produced double-digit returns for the last two decades. Although Colliers International's 2018 Outlook has declared that 2017 was the peak for the commercial property market, investors could still expect moderate returns in the coming years. By keeping an eye on the long term, investors could shield themselves from missteps during market fluctuations.

Market peaks and bottoms are notoriously difficult to recognize before they happen, which means investors should value the long-term potential of commercial real estate. The fact that real estate takes time to sell insulates it somewhat from market crashes. Signs of trouble cannot force investors to sell their assets quickly. This is the opposite of liquid assets like stocks.

Avoiding IP issues when creating a website

One of the tools entrepreneurs in Missouri can use to promote their business is a website. However, there are certain copyright and trademark pitfalls they should avoid.

Using a trademark that belongs to someone else is one mistake that can be avoided by conducting a little research before launching a website. Internet searches should be conducted, including searches on foreign databases, to see if another entity is using a desired name for the same or related service or product. The rightful owner to a trademark can send a cease-and-desist letter, so the resources spent creating content centered on the brand may be wasted.

Contracts and AI software

Business owners in Missouri and around the country who routinely enter into contracts may be aware of how difficult it can be to keep up with them. According to estimates, inefficient contracting is responsible for a loss of 5 to 40 percent of the value of a deal. However, due to technological advancements, specifically artificial intelligence, businesses may be able to meet the challenges.

One of the main issues businesses have with contracting is the ability to manage the high quantity. There is usually no uniformity among the contracts, and they can be difficult to manage, update and organize in an efficient manner. Businesses lack a database that houses the contract information, and as a result, there is no quick way to conduct inquiries,such as identifying all contracts that use complicated outsourcing agreements. Any handling of the contracts, including drafting, executing and more, require significant manpower.

Merchants must focus on emerging trends to stay ahead

Missouri retail merchants know a major key to profitability is staying on top of trends and anticipating the next big thing. With consumers getting more needs met through the use of technology and concentration of resources, the plight of retail can seem dark, but there is hope for merchants who maintain focus and stay ahead of the curve regarding the evolving needs of consumers.

An increasing level of urbanization is a trend of significant note for retailers. Convenience to customers and immediate access remain advantages over online shopping. More than 60 million people are moving to cities around the world annually, which means more retail spending concentrated in and around city centers or transportation hubs. Location is always important, but savvy merchants will remain cognizant of this when considering expansion or relocation. The efficient use of time is another factor going hand in glove with location. Retailers need to consider their customer base and cater to the specific needs of that individual.

Lack of good investment opportunities stagnating CRE market

Commercial real estate investors in Missouri might be encountering the same barriers that have put downward pressure on property prices nationwide. The last three quarters of 2017 produced small but consistent declines in prices. For January 2018, commercial properties demanded prices 0.3 percent lower than the previous month. Although large investors hold billions of dollars, they are encountering trouble finding properties to buy with a good potential to earn a profit.

A lecturer from the Harvard Graduate School of Design explained that a lack of appealing properties has prompted the drop in demand even when investors have money to spend. Stiff competition in primary markets has prompted investors to look for cash-producing property investments in secondary and tertiary markets. Although investors generally assign more risk to properties in smaller cities, they do have the potential to flip quickly and earn a profit.

Our condo association was faced with monumental construction issues thanks to the original developer of our complex. We were cash poor and in no position to get legal representation without a contingency fee arrangement. Luckily for us, Scott Long and Burke Robinson were willing to take us on as clients. Their work ethic, professionalism and knowledge of condominium construction served our association very well. Any association would be well served in hiring these gentlemen to represent them.

Board of Directors - Plaza Gardens on the Lake Condominium Owners’ Association Lake of the Ozarks, MO

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