Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA Blog

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Attorneys File Final Briefs In Charleston Cruise Terminal Appeals

Can agencies regulate business licenses?

In 2012 the South Carolina State Department of Health and Environmental Control issued a permit to allow the State Ports Authority to renovate a waterfront warehouse in Charleston.  The State Ports Authority filed the permit to add more pilings in the water and turn the warehouse into a cruise ship terminal for passengers.  The Ports Authority proposed the $35 million dollar terminal after Carnival Cruise Lines decided to permanently base a passenger cruise liner in Charleston.  Opponents to the renovations filed arguments stating the new terminal will increase pollution while decreasing property values and the quality of life in the area.

In early 2014, an Administrative Law Judge upheld the permit on the basis that opponents lacked standing to appeal the original decision.  The Administrative Law Judge ruled the opponents, consisting of neighborhood preservation and conservation groups did not state “specific, admissible facts to support their allegations and statements.”  The groups appealed the Administrative Law Judge’s Ruling to the state Court of Appeals.  Opponents have suggested a different site for the terminal, which is further away from the Historic District.  The State Ports Authority said the proposed alternate site is not large enough for a passenger terminal and will be needed to support freight shipments for a proposed business expansion.  

In addition to the state suit, the site is also subject to a federal suit based on a permit filed by the Army Corps of Engineers.  The Army Corps filed a federal permit in 2013.  A judge ruled the Army Corps failed to consider the impact of the terminal on the Historic District.  The Army Corps agreed to expand its review to consider the impact of both the pilings in the water and the Historic District. 

A business typically has to file for permits when expanding or renovating existing building.  The process for filing, investigating, and getting a permit is extensive and involves many different legal considerations.  If your business is involved in litigation surrounding a regulatory permit filing or considering the process to expand your facility, contact the experienced business and corporate law attorneys at the Willcox, Buyck & Williams, P.A.  The attorneys at Willcox, Buyck & Williams have been in business for over 120 years and have offices in Florence (843) 536-8050 and Myrtle Beach (843) 461-3020.  


Monday, June 8, 2015

Lumber Liquidators CEO Abruptly Quits

Is a business responsible for the actions of its chief officers?

The CEO of Lumber Liquidators, Robert Lynch, abruptly resigned last week after three years on the job amidst a Justice Department investigation.  Lynch also served as the company’s president and director.

The company recently announced the Justice Department is seeking criminal charges against it after an investigation over flooring products it imported from China.  The laminate flooring reportedly contained a high level of formaldehyde.  The company recently suspended sale of its entire laminate flooring inventory made in China pending a review of its sourcing compliance program by a board committee.  

After discovering the chemical issue in the laminate flooring, Lumber Liquidators sent out free air testing kits for consumers who installed the flooring.  More than 97% of those customers who used the kits reported the level of formaldehyde concentration in the air was within the World Health Organization Guidelines.  The company also stopped buying Chinese laminate flooring and is purchasing the product from Europe and North America.  In the wake of Lynch’s departure, the company stated that its founder, Thomas Sullivan would take over as CEO until a replacement is found.  Lumber Liquidators refused to comment on the resignation.

Certain officers and board members of companies have a fiduciary duty to the company’s shareholders.  This means the officer is required in some situations to disclose particular information and knowledge to shareholders.  It is important for companies to have clear policies for its fiduciaries for disclosing information and to research the officers’ and board members past employment and potential conflicts of interest to avoid potential lawsuits.           

If you own a business, avoid a lawsuit for the actions of an officer by contacting an attorney to review business policies and disclosure requirements.  The law firm of Willcox, Buyck & Williams has been in business for over 120 years and its business and corporate law attorneys have extensive experience in preparing corporate papers, managing fiduciary requirements, and representing clients in business disputes.  They have offices in Florence (843) 536-8050 and Myrtle Beach (843) 461-3020.  Contact them today for a consultation.   


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Willcox Buyck & Williams Receives Partnership Award

Full Story here : http://www.florencenewsjournal.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=2&ArticleID=13564

The Florence Regional Arts Alliance hosted a reception during which several community members received recognition for their contributions to the arts community.

The Business & Arts Partnership Award Recipient went to Willcox, Buyck, & Williams, P.A. This award recognizes a Florence County business for its vital commitment to the arts as evidence by operational and/or project support provided on a substantial and ongoing basis. Willcox, Buyck & Williams, P.A. championed by Reynolds Williams changed the landscape of Florence in 2015 through its organization and support of the “Play Me I’m Yours Project.” Through the establishment of the Willcox, Buyck & Williams Foundation, this partnership built bridges throughout the community and brought people together through music and art. 

 



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Reasons To Review Your Current Will

6 Events Which May Require a Change in Your Estate Plan

Creating a Will is not a one-time event. You should review your will periodically, to ensure it is up to date, and make necessary changes if your personal situation, or that of your executor or beneficiaries, has changed. There are a number of life-changing events that require your Will to be revised...


Read more . . .


Friday, May 1, 2015

Leadership Florence Downtown Gala

Proud to have supported the

Leadership Florence Downtown Gala

benefiting

Care House of the Pee Dee http://thecarehouse.com/ 

S.N.A.C http://www.snacsc.com/

Help 4 Kids Florence  http://www.help4kidsflorence.org/

 



Sunday, April 26, 2015

Law Firm older than Florence

FLORENCE, S.C. –Willcox, Buyck & Williams, a Florence law firm, is celebrating an anniversary older than Florence itself. When it became a firm, Florence was still part of Darlington County. The firm will celebrate 120 years this year.
scnow.com

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Administrative Professionals's Day at SIMT

Administrative Professionals' Day Luncheon at SIMT with a Play Me I'm Yours, Florence piano! Thank you to all of our professionals for doing such a great job!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Stellar Award 2015 for Youth Project of the Year

Kendra Smith, an 18-year South Florence High School student, has won the Stellar Award 2015 for Youth Project of the Year for her own song Deep Down, produced by Florence’s Divine Records. Willcox, Buyck & Williams is proud to have sponsored Kendra’s trip to Las Vegas as a nominee, and to be the first to welcome her home in triumph.

Previous winners of Stellar Awards include Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama. The Stellar Award celebrates gospel music’s best and will be broadcast April 5 on TVOne.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Honor to have represented IRIX Pharmaceuticals

We are proud of the scientists and the leadership at IRIX Pharmaceuticals. It has been our honor to represent this outstanding research organization; it has now demonstrated that Florence means business on the international stage. http://youtu.be/T-oicuPnINU

Friday, January 23, 2015

15 entrepreneurs honored at FDTC gala including two of our attorneys

See full story here: http://www.scnow.com/news/business/article_b3f58e92-a2b1-11e4-a919-4b0a85d93a70.html

By JOHN D. RUSSELL Morning Newsjrussell@florencenews.com

FLORENCE, S.C. – Fifteen business people were honored Thursday night at Florence-Darlington Technical College’s inaugural Entrepreneurial Forum Gala.

The evening, at the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT), was part of a new effort by the school, which now offers courses in entrepreneurship. College President Ben Dillard has said one of the college’s goals is to give students the best opportunity possible to be successful. The school is hoping students will learn some lessons the honorees might have learned the hard way. The night conjured up warm feelings for honorees, who reflected on their own careers in different ways and offered advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Age Discrimination in Employment

The combined effects of an aging population and a sluggish economy have led to an increase in lawsuits alleging age bias in the workplace. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination in the employment of persons who are at least 40 years old. The ADEA covers most private employers of 20 or more persons. It forbids age discrimination in advertising for employment, hiring, compensation, discharges, and other terms or conditions of employment. Retaliation against a person who opposes a practice made unlawful by the ADEA or who participates in a proceeding brought under the ADEA is a separate violation.

The ADEA takes into account that sometimes there is a correlation between age and the ability to fulfill the requirements of a job, and that even older workers must comply with employers' rules and requirements that have nothing to do with age. An employer does not violate the ADEA if it takes an otherwise prohibited action where age is a "bona fide occupational qualification" necessary to the operation of a particular business. Nor is it a violation to differentiate among employees based on reasonable factors other than age or to fire or discipline an employee for good cause.

Before suing in court, an aggrieved person first must allege unlawful discrimination in a charge filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and then wait 60 days to allow the EEOC an opportunity to resolve the dispute informally before taking further legal action. Court remedies include injunctions (court orders stopping a discriminatory practice), compelled employment, promotions, reinstatement with back pay and lost benefits, and an award for attorney's fees and costs of bringing the suit. If a court finds that an employer's violation of the ADEA was willful, it may also award liquidated damages equal to the out-of-pocket monetary losses of the plaintiff.

It is not essential to an ADEA lawsuit that there be a "smoking gun" in the plaintiff's favor in the form of derogatory age-based comments about older employees. In fact, remarks of that kind will not support liability if they have no connection to the challenged employment decision. In a recent lawsuit brought by an on-air television reporter who was fired, a boss's comment that "old people should die" was an insignificant stray remark because it was made about the boss's own father. On the other hand, it was very helpful to the plaintiff's case that the same boss had stated repeatedly that she wanted to "go with a younger look" and she did not like having an older man appearing on the news.

Employers sometimes select older workers to be terminated as a money-saving measure, given their generally higher compensation and perhaps their being close to vested retirement benefits. There is no ADEA violation in a decision that treats employees differently because of something other than age, such as money. An employer will not be liable under the ADEA for terminating an employee solely to prevent his pension benefits from vesting. (That conduct might very well violate ERISA, however.) Such a scenario is distinguishable from situations in which employers face ADEA liability because they have made decisions based on the stereotype that productivity and competence always decline with old age.


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| Phone: 843.536.8050
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