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Author: Jordan Stoltzfus

EQUES > Articles posted by Jordan Stoltzfus

Local Administrative Law, Part 1: Breaking Down Zoning

In Ohio, political subdivisions such as cities, villages, and townships often contain their own internal departments. Some entities have a single officer that handles the entirety of the concern, appointed by Council or the Mayor, and answerable only to them. Others, usually our bigger cities, have entire departments dedicated to a specialized area, with heads, dozens of employees, and their own internal policies and procedures. Regardless of the setup, these subdivisions of subdivisions are known as “administrative officers and agencies”, and they have very specific rules governing their operation. Generally speaking, most of these officers and agencies are governed by what...

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Are You Sure You Want To Go To Law School?

"What is law school like?" "Would you still go knowing what you do now?"   I am most frequently asked these two questions now that I am done with law school. However, the same people do not ask them. Those who have been through the process skip the first, as they already know that answer, and go directly to the second. The people that ask the first do not even know to ask the second.   The first is born of natural curiosity we humans possess: the desire to experience things we may never have the opportunity (or interest) to go through ourselves. I...

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How to Build a Prospectus

In the life of a small business, there are times when you will only be able to bridge the distance between where you are and where you want to be with additional resources. These can be very stressful times, especially if you have bootstrapped your small business and have not had to raise or seek out capital before. There are many questions about what investors or banks want to see. And if finances are your strong suit, then it can seem all the more daunting. But what you can miss amid this uncertainty is that you are the best person to talk about and...

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A Lot of Cases, A Lot of Lawyers

As I was recently choosing a legal trivia question for one of the community events we spoke at, I almost fell out of my chair.  The ultimate question—how many court cases were filed in 2019 in Ohio?   The Answer: 2,875,420!   Granted, this is the total number amongst all State Courts in Ohio—which is municipal court, mayor’s court, common pleas court, and the courts of appeals—this includes traffic, civil, and criminal.  However, it does not include threatened litigation, federal cases, and administrative proceedings.   Imagine that—out of Ohio’s population of almost 12 million people, this means that approximately 25% of people will face a legal issue...

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A Common Pitfall in LLCs: Do You Pay Yourself Correctly?

Starting a limited liability corporation (LLC) is a fairly simple way to incorporate a business that is separate from personal affairs, adding legitimacy to many self-started businesses. It is simple, easy, and inexpensive to do. Unfortunately, however, with any “easy” legal process, it can sometimes be over-simplified and operated in a way that opens the door to liability for the proprietor or entrepreneur running the business.   One of the most common reasons to start an LLC, rather than just running your business under your personal name, is to remove some of your personal liability. If someone has an issue with something...

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Location, Location, Location – It Really Does Matter

Last week, as I was nearing my exit on the drive home, my car stopped working. I managed to cruise along to a safe location with a wide, grassy verge – a better location for the tow truck - called my insurance company, and popped open a bottle of water. My insurance needed to know where I was. No problem, I was at the corner of Worthington and Beech, directly south-west of the 161 off-ramp. Everybody in the area knows where that is; my insurance company isn’t from the area, so they needed some more information.   Turns out, I was still...

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What Liability Do Your Board Members Have?

Nonprofit corporations must have a Board of Directors that steers the organization and ensures that it remains in compliance with state and federal regulations. Board Members, or would-be Board Members, often ask whether they can be held responsible for the actions of the nonprofit. It’s important that each Board member realizes their duties and realizes there is the possibility for liability. There are several different layers of liability that a Board member should be aware of, which can be summarized as (1) corporate liability, (2) federal liability, and (3) general liability.   First, Board members are the governing body of a nonprofit...

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