Hi! I’m Michael Oswald. I am a business guy who also happens to be a lawyer. I love living in Boise, Idaho! I’ve also had the pleasure of living in Silicon Valley, Colorado Springs, Austin, and Orange County, CA. I started this blog so business owners and senior execs could find actionable guidance on common legal issues. Titles of posts I have previously written include: “The Managerial Overtime Exemption, and How to Keep It,” “Using a Sales Contract that speeds up Getting to Yes,” and “Tone at the Top is Vital for Preventing Sexual Harassment!” I provide a wide range of business-savvy legal services to small and medium companies and nonprofits. I am also certified to teach Real Estate Law by the Idaho Real Estate Commission. My favorite thing to do for a business is to take their standard sales contract and strip it down from an unintelligible 20-page monstrosity to a concise, 3-page doc that is easy for their customers to understand and to sign! I have experience in a number of industries, including Real Estate, Construction, Defense, and Technology (Hardware, Software and E-Commerce). I look forward to collaborating with you!

Fair Housing Act Tip: Watch Your Language!

I was asked recently what the owner of a rental house should do about the next-door neighbor who described as “crazy.” I posted that query to the Idaho State Bar’s … Continue reading Fair Housing Act Tip: Watch Your Language!

How Landlords can Avoid Discrimination on the Basis of Familial Status

Protected Classes Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) As I have written here Fair Housing Act Risks Touch More Businesses Than You Think! And here Fair Housing Act Trap for … Continue reading How Landlords can Avoid Discrimination on the Basis of Familial Status

What can Other Professionals Learn from Real Estate Broker Risk Management Practices?

My friend Fred Moreno is an engineer and former COO of a semiconductor equipment manufacturing company.  He was fond of saying: “A change of perspective is worth 30 IQ points.”  Come to think of it, I’m rather fond of that phrase myself.

Do You Know How to Comply with the Laws About Service and Assistance Animals?

Animals on your premises? Recent news broadcasts have highlighted the extent to which some people are claiming their pets (large and small) to be Emotion Support Animals. Business owners need … Continue reading Do You Know How to Comply with the Laws About Service and Assistance Animals?

Do Employers Really Face Criminal Liability for Immigration Law Violations?

You may not realize that employers could face criminal charges if they hire people who aren’t legally permitted to work in the U.S.  If not, consider this your wake-up call! … Continue reading Do Employers Really Face Criminal Liability for Immigration Law Violations?

Using Non-solicitation Agreements in California is Asking for Trouble!

California’s Public Policy in Favor of Employee Mobility California is already famous for prohibiting most types of non-compete agreements. A recent Court of Appeals Case in the Golden State now … Continue reading Using Non-solicitation Agreements in California is Asking for Trouble!

Reality Check – Employee Misclassification is Very Costly!

Why Use Independent Contractors? Business owners appreciate the flexibility and potential cost savings of using Independent Contractors to provide goods and services to their companies. What Are the Risks if … Continue reading Reality Check – Employee Misclassification is Very Costly!

A Business Case for Sexual Harassment Training in the #MeToo Era

The #MeToo movement has cost a number of entertainment industry figures their jobs (and arguably in the case of Bill Cosby, his liberty). The industry appears to have had a toxic culture when it comes to treatment of employees by powerful men.

Does Your Workplace Have an Effective Reporting System?

As I wrote in my October 10, 2018 article Preventing Harassment in Your Workplace employers have a legal duty to provide a safe, harassment-free environment for their employees, independent contractors, suppliers … Continue reading Does Your Workplace Have an Effective Reporting System?