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Questions

What would you like me to write about for SavvySME?

Next week I will be putting together my writing strategy for March and April, so I am wondering,... read more

Asked by:
Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
I know that it is important to have clearly written contracts and agreements, but when disagreements arise would it be wise to have them drawn up and signed as an audit trail to limit the same problem from resurfacing at a later time? If that is the case, would it be wise to have a third-party or notary sign-off on the disagreement document as well? I think knowing more about that would be helpful (at least for myself).
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Litigation and dispute resolution

Why I Do What I Do

When I am at networking events or social occasions I am often asked, after ten years as a... read more

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Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
What an inspirational story! I can see how important it is for clients to be able to express themselves (and feel that they were heard) can really help them cope with resentment. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing Rebecca.
Questions

Disclaimer text: is there any point to it?

Does the disclaimer text inserted at the bottom of many corporate emails actually hold any legal... read more

Asked by:
Lisa Creffield Senior Media Strategist at The PR Group
Yes a well worded disclaimer clause that is clearly stated will be enforceable. There are a number of different types of disclaimers or exclusion clauses. One type you have identified is on the bottom of emails but they are also found in most consumer contracts such as gym agreements, mobile phone contracts etc. They are enforceable as by signing those documents you are stating that you have read and understood the terms of the agreement and consent to waiving your rights. Exclusion clauses are also found in car parks, again if clearly displayed and worded will be enforceable. My advice is always make sure the clause clearly states what you are excluded, if it is vague it will be unenforceable. In terms of indemnify the company from inappropriate - remember you are vicariously liable for the actions of your employees. That means in simple terms -- you are responsible for every idiot you employ and the actions of that idiot. However if you have a clear social media and email policy then it could be a disciplinary action against the employee.
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Litigation and dispute resolution

Not Every Dispute is Suited to Mediation

Penalties avoided: WSW pay dispute settled in extra-time Why the Western Sydney Wanderers would... read more

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Litigation and dispute resolution

Negotiating vaccinations and other medical treatments.

Did you know that, in Australia, courts order that a child be vaccinated or given other medical... read more

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Litigation and dispute resolution

On not taking sides

"Mediator appears to side with teachers union in contract impasse" This recent headline from the... read more

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Litigation and dispute resolution

Performance Management or Constructive Dismissal?

  The Federal Court of Australia heard the matter of Ramos v Good Samaritan Industries, in which... read more

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Ben Thompson CEO at Employment Innovations (EI)
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Litigation and dispute resolution

5 reasons to try mediation

5. Cost - Mediation less expensive than a trial, 4. Time - Mediation can be quicker, both in... read more

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Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
A great article Rebecca. I had lunch today with some of my social media contacts and the subject of litigation came up. The clear consensus around the table was that if a matter reaches court it has to be seen as a failure of all parties. In most of the contracts we enter into we now stipulate that mediation has to be a part of any dispute resolution, not just for the reasons you outline above but it comes back to that core feature....respect!
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Thanks for the article Rebecca :)!
Litigation and dispute resolution

Make it work! tim gunn’s dispute resolution style

One of my favourite “reality” TV shows – in fact one of the few I watch – is Project Runway. Filmed... read more

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Questions

How do you handle small bad debts in your business?

What do you do with a client who after 90 days still hasn't settled a $209 invoice they keep saying... read more

Asked by:
John Belchamber Owner & Senior Consultant at Invoke Results
I assume you have had enough contact with them that there is no doubt this amount is neither overlooked nor disputed.  So it depends on the commercial value of the client to you: 1. This is the only invoice.  Send a letter advising legal action if not paid within 7 days.  They will either pay or not.  If they don't, write the debt off and move on.  Spending more time and money on a small, slow-paying client is just not worth it. 2. You have ongoing business for a reasonable amount with them.  Send a letter / email advising that your policy is to do no further work for clients with bills 90+ days overdue so their account has been suspended.  They need to pay within 7 days.  All future work will require a deposit in advance / be on a 7 day payment term. 3. You have no business at present but hope for some in the future.  Build it into the pricing for the future work and make sure the payment terms on that future work are cast-iron including an advance payment, and that they sign for the work before you start doing anything. Including a clear statement of payment terms in your T&C is also a good idea. BTW I once had a client who only ever paid on receipt of a 7 day warning letter.  Non-payment was clearly a cashflow management issue for them and the 7 day letter acted as a warning to them that it was time to stop resisting and pay up.  Once I knew the pattern I just made sure they got 7 day letters at 60 days when other clients didn't get them till 90 days.
Phil JoelDirector at SavvySME
This website (http://www.business.vic.gov.au/operating-a-business/managing-finances-and-tax/invoicing-and-debt-recovery/debt-recovery) gives very useful advice on steps you should take but to be honest you'll get a much faster response if a lawyer send the letter of demand. I went online and found that Somerville is offering to do this for $38.50. 
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Litigation and dispute resolution

Small Business Pays the Price for Discrimination

A small business offering shoe and leather repair, key cutting and engraving services in Perth has... read more

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Ben Thompson CEO at Employment Innovations (EI)
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Litigation and dispute resolution

Foxconn workplace injury crisis and workers’ position in China

Recently, Apple has been under a lot of negative media spotlight for a situation that has occurred... read more

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Melissa Davis marketing at Australian Foundation
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