Property Owners Association Refusing To Abide By Sale Of Marina

The Harborwalk in Hitchcock is a well known Galveston hot spot. Home to a marina, boat launch, restaurant, and even a swimming pool, it should be a bustling location. Instead, the entire area has been boarded up amidst a dispute among the location’s owner, the Flamingo Isles Municipal Utility District, and the Harborwalk Property Owners Association.

In total, the property consists of a 150-slip marina, yacht club, swimming pool, restaurant, ship store/welcome center, and extra real estate opposite the marina for expansion. The property was bought after previous owners went bankrupt; and, significant repairs were needed to get the property functional again. After pouring money into repairs, Harborwalk ran into a huge problem. The Harborwalk Property Owners Association has refused to vacate commercial properties and the Flamingo Isles Municipal Utility District has refused to properly dredge the marina. Although the utility district is responsible for dredging activities, it hasn’t dredged the Harborwalk, causing serious financial consequences. Without being dredged, the marina water is unsafe for boats. Last year, many boats were unable to dock at Harborwalk and many that tried were damaged. Harborwalk’s owner alleges the property owners association and the utility district are refusing to acknowledge and enforce the terms of the sale.

The dispute is a complicated one. Firstly, the utility district is a government agency, which means it has certain legal requirements and responsibilities to meet. Determining whether or not the agency has met these requirements and responsibilities is not always straightforward. Secondly, Harborwalk will have to contend with a property owners association, which also poses legal challenges. Property owners associations usually have their own bylaws and requirements for all members.

Commercial Litigation Attorneys

If our company is suffering severe financial injury due to a breach of a contract, you need an attorney who is able to offer innovative, aggressive legal representation. Feldman & Feldman has represented businesses in breach of contract litigation for many years. Litigation is the primary focus of our law firm. We know how to handle complicated commercial litigation matters. We have experience successfully resolving legal claims involving governmental agencies and other organizations. By using innovative and personalized strategies, we can help clients resolve matters quickly and efficiently. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our commercial litigation attorneys.

Beer Companies Pabst and MillerCoors Go To Court Over Partnership Dispute

Many individuals and businesses choose to create partnerships. Partnerships can help grow a business, combine resources, and bring together intelligent minds. As beneficial as partnerships can be, there can also be partnership disputes. Partnership disputes are common with businesses of all sizes, and some of the country’s largest beer companies are heading to court over one such dispute.

Pabst and MillerCoors have had a pretty close relationship. Since 1999, MillerCoors has been brewing all of the Pabst beer brands, which include Lone Star, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Old Style, and Natty Boh. This is called contract brewing and it allows small beer companies to meet demand by outsourcing the brewing process to larger companies with the technology and capacity to do so. The current partnership agreement is scheduled to end in 2020, but allows for two five-year contract extensions.

Negotiations regarding potential extensions have not gone so well. Pabst is alleging MillerCoors wants to stop brewing for them so they can take a better position in the market for themselves. Without MillerCoors, Pabst will face extreme hardship. There is only one beer company other than MillerCoors that is big enough to brew all of Pabst’s products and that’s Anheuser-Busch, but Anheuser-Busch does not do contract brewing. MillerCoors claims it does not have the capacity to continue to brew for Pabst and is not required to do so after the contract expiration in 2020.

The partnership dispute boils down to the inability of the companies to agree on how the contract extension should be negotiated. MillerCoors believes it has sole discretion to determine whether or not it will continue brewing for Pabst. Pabst, on the other hand, believes the companies are obligated to work “in good faith” to find a solution if Pabst wants to extend the agreement.

Luckily for Pabst, the companies were able to come to an agreement and settle out court. The trial had finished and had gone to jury deliberation, but a settlement saved Pabst from demise and preserved the partnership. While this may be considered a success, the reality is that the litigation has likely been costly for both companies and has generated a lot of negative press.

What Businesses Can Learn From Pabst and MillerCoors

An important lesson can be learned from the partnership dispute between Pabst and MillerCoors. Any business entering into a contract needs the document to be specific and thorough. The fact that the companies wound up disputing how negotiations should be handled indicates the contract was not sufficiently clear with regard to this process. Only by working with experienced contract attorneys can businesses ensure they are protected from future disputes.

Experienced Houston Contract Lawyers

Regardless of the size of your company, you can greatly benefit from utilizing an experienced contract attorney. The Houston contract lawyers at Feldman & Feldman have extensive experience drafting, reviewing, and litigating a variety of contract matters. Call us today to request a consultation.

Rights Citizens Have Under The Houston Sound Ordinance

In 2011, former Houston Mayor Annise Parker reported that the city receives approximately 60,000 noise complaints each year. To better address these sound complaints, the city passed major changes to the Houston Sound Ordinance in October 2011 to allow for better Houston Police Department (HPD) enforcement. Unfortunately, many Houstonians are unaware of their rights under the Houston Sound Ordinance.

Quick Facts About The Houston Sound Ordinance

The Houston Sound Ordinance protects citizens from all types of noises, such as cars and other motor vehicles, music whether live or amplified through speakers, animals, and other loud activities like those produced at a shooting range. When a noise complaint is made to HPD, law enforcement officers can issue citations without sound meters or sound measuring devices. Previously, police officers had to conduct a sound reading to determine if sound levels were in violation of the Sound Ordinance. Now, any law enforcement officer is permitted to use their best judgment when determining if a noise is too loud.

But just how loud is too loud? According to the Houston Sound Ordinance, sound cannot exceed 65 decibels during the day and 58 decibels at night in residential areas. Anything over this level requires a permit, and even with a permit there are restrictions. Permits can allow for sound up to 75 decibels until 10pm on Sundays through Thursdays and until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Violators of the Houston Sound Ordinance can find themselves facing hefty fees, paying up to $1,000 for the first offense.

Making A Noise Complaint

Noise complaints can be made to the Houston Police Department’s non-emergency line at (713) 884-3131. HPD will then dispatch officers to address the complaint. Citizens should not hold back when reporting disruptive noises and protecting their rights. Under the Houston Sound Ordinance, it is “unlawful for any person to make, continue, or cause to be made or continued any loud, unnecessary, or unusual noise that annoys, disturbs, injures, or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace, or safety of others.”

Unfortunately, some individuals and businesses will continue to violate the Houston Sound Ordinance even after numerous citations. This was the case for the White Oak Music Hall, which was disturbing its neighbors in the Houston Heights. At Feldman & Feldman, we take citizens’ rights very seriously. That’s why we represented Heights homeowners against the White Oak Music Hall and obtained a successful settlement that preserves the peace of the neighborhood.

Upholding The Houston Sound Ordinance

Because Houston does not have any zoning laws, homeowners can find themselves next door to noisy businesses, but this doesn’t mean they’re without legal rights to peace and quiet. If you are struggling with noise complaints in your neighborhood, contact us today to see how we can help.

Why Sexual Assault Victims Should File A Civil Lawsuit

There are few things in life as violating as a sexual assault. Victims not only suffer physical injuries, but also suffer from extreme mental turmoil. Emotions and memories from the event can haunt victims for the rest of their lives and affect every relationship they have or try to establish. While nothing can take away the physical and emotional pain from the assault, victims can pursue compensation in a civil lawsuit, allowing them to take back control of their lives.

Criminal Charges Against Offenders

The criminal justice system prosecutes individuals who commit sexual assaults. This helps take dangerous criminals off the streets and prevents criminals from engaging in additional illegal activity. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system is not designed to compensate victims for their injuries. Even after their attacker has been put in jail, victims still need help.

Filing A Civil Lawsuit

For victims of sexual assault, facing their attackers in criminal court is extremely challenging. Many victims don’t pursue charges against their attackers because of the pain of reliving the harrowing event in front of a judge and jury. While standing up to an attacker in court is difficult, doing so can do more than obtain justice. When sexual assault victims file a civil lawsuit, they can receive compensation that can relieve financial burdens so victims can focus on recovering. Compensation can also help cover the cost of mental health treatment and therapy so victims can work through their emotions.

There May Be More Than One Party At Fault

There are some instances when more than one person may be at fault for an attack. Obviously an attacker is responsible for his or her actions, which is why they face criminal prosecution; however, there are instances in which another person’s negligence can contribute to the situation. For instance, if a company fails to perform a background check on a newly hired employee with a criminal record, and this employee goes on to sexually assault another employee, the company can be found responsible because they should have known about the criminal record. Additionally, certain properties, such as apartment complexes and parking garages, have a responsibility to visitors and tenants to provide adequate security that protects them from harm. When they fail to do so, victims can hold them accountable.

Helping Sexual Assault Victims

Feldman & Feldman has extensive experience helping sexual assault victims. We fight for victims to obtain compensation that can help them put their lives back together. If you are a victim of sexual assault, contact us immediately. We can explain your legal options. You can trust our fierce advocacy to represent your best interests, so you can focus on recovery.