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Vann Attorneys, PLLC celebrating Small Business week with wonderful clients
http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/news-wire/2016/05/02/4-tips-from-mark-cuban-to-kick-off-national-small.html @CBJnewsroom
"Shark Tank" host Mark Cuban spent Monday morning with entrepreneurs at a Small Business Administration event celebrating their success. He also offered a few words of advice, starting with knowing that "without customers, we have nothing."
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The Significance of Trust, Especially in Business

http://vannattorneys.com/blog/the-significance-of-trust-especially-in-business/

The significance of trust is critical to building a relationship that furthers improvement, growth, productivity, involvement, high energy and a unified team.   This applies to business and personal relationships.  Think about a relationship or organization where the trust among people was cherished and valued.  More than likely, that relationship resulted in an efficiency and effectiveness of furthering the work of the organization and the energy level was positive and high.  Everyone on the team was kicking it in high gear!  This typically results in high performance and satisfaction among those where the trust is highest.  Ken Blanchard provides great advice on building trust in this article.  In providing legal counsel to clients, I often see relationships where trust is valued and encouraged or where it has fallen apart.  The following three factors typically are crucial in trust development.

Building trust in large part is dependent upon effective communication.  Being able to effectively communicate with others is key to building trust.  You know the message you want and need to send.  Think about the best way to deliver the message for clarity and building trust.  Communication is so important in every relationship.  If you fail to communicate, others around you start “filling in the gaps” with inaccurate information which often times is harmful.  Often times, this inaccurate information begins to break down the trust that has been established.

Listen to others around you.  Listening to others shows respect to team members which builds them up too.  Valuing the opinions and thoughts of others around you will often result in providing important information you may not have.  Listening to others builds trust among the team.

Another critical element the significance of trust is being honest with each other.  Being straightforward about the facts and circumstances is evidence of a strong relationship.  Relationships often times presents circumstances where honesty could be compromised.  We all know the value of remaining on the side of honesty.  It builds trust!
Working with others where trust is valued and encouraged furthers the trust factor even more.  Think about your personal and business relationships.  Where is trust the highest and why?  What relationships do you need to work on?  You know how.
We often see relationships where trust is valued & encouraged or where it has fallen apart. The following three factors are crucial in trust development.
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How to Respond When a Customer Issues an NSF Check?
What Options are Available?

http://vannattorneys.com/blog/how-to-respond-when-a-customer-issues-an-nsf-check-what-options-are-available-for-non-sufficient-funds/

Customer Issues a Check that Does Not Clear
Even with all the payment options available today, paper checks are still a popular form of payment especially in the business world. So, what options are available to you to help recover the check if your customer’s check does not clear? North Carolina law provides several options for creditors.

Civil Penalties
The person or corporation who knowingly issues a check or draft and does not have sufficient funds to cover the check may be held liable for the check amount, service charges imposed by the bank and processing fees imposed by the creditor. North Carolina law also provides that once a written demand is made by certified mail, return receipt requested to the debtor for the check amount, service charges and processing fees and if the amount is not paid within 30 days, the person or corporation shall also be liable for additional damages of at least $100.00 or three times the check amount not to exceed $500.00. For the creditor to avail themselves of the additional damages, two demand letters are required to be sent.

Processing Fees Available:
North Carolina law provides that a creditor who accepts a check that does not clear due to insufficient funds or because the debtor did not have an account at the bank the account was drawn on may add a processing fee of up to $25.00 for each check.

Criminal Penalties
North Carolina law also provides that it is unlawful for any person or corporation knowingly to issue a check or draft and who does not have sufficient funds to cover the check. The violation of this section becomes a Class 1 felony if the check amount is more than $2,000.00.

North Carolina law provides that a creditor may pursue and use both the civil and criminal law to collect the check. However, a credit may not collect twice on the check. Thus, the creditor may only collect the amount of the check and any penalties associated with it.

If you have any questions regarding your options as a creditor who has accepted a check which is returned for insufficient funds or the account is closed, please feel free to contact me.

North Carolina law provides that a creditor may pursue and use both the civil and criminal law to collect on the NSF check. | Vann Attorneys, PLLC
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Watch this video by James R. Vann, Attorney at Law, highlighting legal issues business owners encounter. https://youtu.be/n6FpyLcNQuw
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Hiring for Culture of the Company | What You Need to Know Before Your Next Hire
http://vannattorneys.com/blog/hiring-for-cultu…e-your-next-hire/

Tips on Hiring For Culture Protection

There is no secret about the importance of hiring for company culture.  Every business has a culture.  Culture is generally defined as the customs, beliefs and values of a particular group of people.  Some cultures are developed by accident while others are developed with intention.  Typically, we all like to be in an environment with like-minded people when it comes to culture.  There is a great comfort in working around others with the same core values.

I recently read an interview with Jessica Herrin entitled “Put the Culture Over the Quarter” that caused me to think about the business clients we represent and how their culture impacts their business.  What an honor it is to have the opportunity to work with focused business owners as they drive to improve and grown their business.

The advice provided by Jessica Herrin of being “fierce about your hiring filters” is so true!  It is almost evident when I work with our business clients as to those who are fierce about making the best hiring decision or those that are in such a rush to hire that they hire people who are almost good enough to fit the culture.  I am sure you can guess why I get a call from our clients about the employee is who is not on the same page any longer and what they should do.  Should they counsel the employee or should they terminate the employment.

Spending time ahead of hiring employees and doing some thought provoking reflection is essential in making the best hiring decision.  What type of personality are you in need of hiring?  What skill set should the employee possess?  What will success look like for this employee in their new role?  How will they be trained in your company and do they have the same culture and values as you and/or your business?

Once you have determined the answers to questions such as these, it is imperative to know how to interview potential candidates in looking for the best fit to protect the culture.  As an attorney, I thought I knew how to ask questions and solicit the information I hoped to get.  In a court setting, I know how to ask the right questions and how to handle the question and answer game.  But, in an interview for hiring employees, it is a different game.  It requires a different mindset.  It took a hiring consultant to teach me how best to ask potential employees to open up and tell me about themselves and get to their core values.

Knowing what drives, motivates and challenges a person will tell you a lot about their values.  What does the potential employee want to achieve in life?  What are they passionate about?  What is their authentic passion about work?  How are they motivated about self or others?
Most of the calls I get from our clients about employee problems can be broadly summed up in that the employee is not a team player or is not on the same page any longer.  In short, the employee does not share the same corporate culture.  Having employees who do not share the company culture is an emotional and financial drag on the business. It generally dampens the positive outlook of others in the company.

As a business owner or an invested employee of a company, be fierce in protecting the company culture.  Be known for your perseverance in protecting what you have identified as your core values and beliefs while you grow your business.

If you have questions or need help in this area, please feel free to contact me.
Spending time ahead of hiring employees and doing some thought provoking reflection is essential in making the best hiring decision. | Vann Attorneys, PLLC
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Something as small as a vacation can be very telling for a business owner.
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IBM is shifting from legacy businesses to what it calls its “strategic imperatives,” areas such as analytics and artificial intelligence. And Research Triangle Park is a big part of that game plan.
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Good news for internet access and business development @googlefiber @TriangleBIZJrnl http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/techflash/2016/04/economist-when-google-fiber-comes-to-the-triangle.html?ana=twt via 
Issi Romem, chief economist of BuildZoom, compiled permit data from Google projects in other cities, highlighting the complex installation process required to connect residents.
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The Lundy Group was the highest bidder for the land three blocks from the North Carolina State Capitol.
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Testifying before Congress, Court or a Deposition | Tips To Consider When Giving Your Testimony

Being subpoenaed or required to give your testimony before Congress, in Court or in a deposition is something many people do not celebrate. I read some recent articles about Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Valeant, (http://www.businessinsider.com/live-martin-shkreli-the-ceo-of-valeant-and-others-face-congress-2016-2) and his recent testimony before Congress. Regardless of the issues surrounding Valeant and its corporate leadership, giving your testimony requires planning and preparation. It has been a pleasure to work with clients in order to help them when they are required or need to give their testimony. Here are a few tips to consider when preparing to give your sworn testimony to make the process more enjoyable.

Realize the Purpose of Your Testimony. Knowing and/or understanding the purpose of your testimony is important. Who will be asking questions and why? Who are they representing and what is their interest in the matter?

I have a business friend who has a great understanding and knowledge about safety at a particular type of facility. His understanding and knowledge comes from work experience. In order to be helpful, he approached the management of a facility to notify them of some specific exposure areas regarding safety to avoid someone getting hurt. Well you guessed correctly. The unspeakable happened and someone died at this facility before management made a change. A lawsuit was filed. My friend approached one of the Attorneys involved in the case to tell them he had given management a-heads-up to avoid injury to others. It didn’t take long until my friend was subpoenaed to testify about his knowledge. He didn’t have a financial stake in the matter. He was doing what he believed to be right. But, when it came to giving his testimony, he didn’t have anyone to prepare him for what was coming. Both sides of the case tried to make him look silly and neither side tried to help him. The point of this story is simple. Know the purpose of your testimony. Why are you testifying? What do you know? Who will be asking the questions? What is the best way to answer questions?

Prepare Before Hand. Preparation is a must if you want to do well. Preparation is not determining a way to tell your story in a half-true manner. Preparation is using your own words to tell what you know. Preparation is thinking about the subject matter, the likely questions and how to answer the questions. Great advice in preparation for providing your testimony is to follow the rule of three:

1. Listen to the question being asked. Listen to the question being asked.
2. Answer the question being asked. Answer the question and then stop. Do not elaborate further. The more people add after answering the question generally gets them into other areas of questions. Do not assume or presume the purpose of the question or the next question.
3. Think before you answer. Listen carefully to the question. If the question does not make sense, ask them to ask the question again. Consider your answer to the question asked before you speak.

I represented a corporate CEO in a case and he followed these rules. I knew he was a smart guy but the way he handled himself was amazing. He listened to the questions being asked and only answered those questions. He thoroughly thought through the question before answering. He followed these rules so well. I thought the other side was going to lose it. It was like watching a chess game played by professionals.

Tell The Truth. It is imperative to tell the truth. Telling the truth goes back to the Ten Commandments and is required by law. Telling the truth makes life so much easier especially when you are required to tell your testimony another time. It also avoids the unpleasant side of being accused of being dishonest.

Demeanor Is Important. It is also wise to think about your demeanor, facial expressions and body language. Laughing, smirking or showing disrespect to the other side rarely proves to be beneficial. Think about how your demeanor should be given the circumstances and match it. Often times, a person’s demeanor says more about what they are saying than their actual words.

These are a few simple tips to help when you are required to give your testimony. If you have questions or need help in this area, please feel free to let me know. 
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1720 Hillsborough St #200 Raleigh, NC 27605
1720 Hillsborough Street #200USNorth CarolinaRaleigh27605
(919) 510-8585vannattorneys.com
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Today 8AM–5PM
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At our offices in North Carolina, we combine the varied backgrounds and expertise of dedicated attorneys and staff to provide clients with effective and efficient legal advice and representation throughout the State of North Carolina. Our clients range from individuals and privately held family and/or closely held businesses to corporations with national distribution and business associations.

Our mission  is to provide every client with the highest quality, focused representation, delivered with the utmost integrity and professionalism.

Vann Attorneys strives to be the premier law firm respected throughout North Carolina and beyond for its innovative and ethical representation of businesses and individuals. Our attorneys are leaders throughout the communities they serve.
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