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NYC administrative law attorneysGovernor Cuomo extended the New York State on PAUSE executive order for an additional two weeks, until April 15. At that time, the COVID-19 pandemic in New York will be re-evaluated to determine if the order should continue. During this challenging time for everyone, it is important to understand the guidelines of the PAUSE order and make sure that you and businesses you work for, know about, or own remain in compliance to protect everyone’s safety. If not, there could be administrative consequences. 

The 10 Points of New York State on PAUSE

As of Sunday night, March 29, 2020, nearly 1,000 people have died from the coronavirus in New York. With cases of the disease at that time in the state hovering around 60,000, more than half of which are in New York City, it is even more critical for people to follow proper safety precautions.

The New York State on PAUSE order went into effect on the evening of Sunday, March 22. Here is a brief summary of the safety guidelines from this order that must be followed:

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Manhattan job defense attorneyWith the coronavirus continuing to spread rapidly, workers—especially those in civil service and the hospitality industry—are faced with a major dilemma: what if they get sick with the coronavirus and their employer makes them come to work despite being sick? Could the employer file disciplinary charges against the employee if they refuse to work while sick? What kind of job defense options are available to workers during this challenging time? Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect against this, and there are options available to defend workers’ rights.

Know Your Rights When Sick

The coronavirus falls under the umbrella of the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). According to this rule, employers must provide their workers with a working environment that is free from hazards that could cause death or harm. This means employees should not be working while sick with the coronavirus and they should not be forced to work with people who have the coronavirus. In fact, you should not be forced to work by your employer if you are exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Dry cough

You should go home to recover. On the national level, it is recommended that you be free of any symptoms for 24 hours before returning to work but updated New York City Department of Health guidelines suggest 72 hours is preferred.

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NYC civil service job defense attorneysSo you have made it through several rounds of interviewing and you really hit it off with a prospective employer. You receive a job offer. Human Resources says if you pass the background check and drug screening, you will start working there within a few weeks. No problem: You do not do drugs and you have no criminal history. This should be a routine pass, right? But you do have one skeleton in your closet: a terrible credit report. The employer gets back to you and says the company cannot hire you because you did not pass the background check. You suspect it is due to your credit report, but are they even allowed to deny employment on the basis of poor credit? Actually, this scenario is against the law in New York, with some exceptions.

NYC Human Rights Law: Giving You the Credit You Deserve

Your credit report does not define you. You may have fallen on hard times—anything from dealing with an expensive, debilitating illness to managing extreme reductions in income or long-term unemployment— and failed to pay your bills. Or, you might have been married to someone who dragged your credit through the mud. You might have even had your identity stolen, and it has not been restored yet. The point is, any number of extenuating circumstances could have caused you to amass a disastrous credit report. That does not make you any lesser of a person. It does not mean that you are a horrible worker. It does not mean that you are untrustworthy. You could still do the job you are hired to do—maybe even better than most, regardless of your credit report. And that is why employers cannot consider it when making hiring, firing, and promoting decisions in New York.

The NYC Human Rights Law offers this legal protection. Specifically, the law states that:

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NYC criminal defense attorneysLarceny, the legal term for theft in New York State, refers to a crime in which a person “wrongfully takes, obtains, or withholds” property and intends to deprive the owner of it. The consequences for such an act are typically based on the monetary value of the property in question. The grounds for left and larceny charges, the differences in those charges, and the potential consequences that come with petit and grand larceny in the state of New York depend on a number of various factors.

Understanding Larceny Charges

The act of larceny is something above and beyond simply taking an item from someone. For example, there are many illegal acts that are considered forms of theft, including:

  • Embezzlement
  • Obtaining property through false pretense
  • Issuing bad checks
  • Obtaining property through extortion
  • Acquiring and withholding lost property

Additionally, there are distinct classifications and consequences for various theft crimes, including all of the following:

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NYC stalking defense attorneysWhen it comes to criminal offenses in New York State, especially those related to domestic violence and abuse, the crime of cyberstalking is one that is not always taken very seriously. This form of virtual stalking can, in many cases, receive the brush-off and not be considered a real threat. However, the reality is that it is no laughing matter and it may have just as many grave consequences as physical or more “traditional” stalking behaviors. As technology has developed and become such a focal point in our day-to-day lives, stalking behaviors and charges are more prominent today than ever before.

What Does a Cyberstalking Crime Entail?

If you find yourself accused of stalking someone through various modes of technology, it is important to inform yourself of how cyberstalking crimes are defined as you move forward with your defense. Virtual stalking is more than simply viewing someone’s social media sites regularly or excessively. The National Conference of State Legislatures considers this crime to be a pattern of malicious behaviors via a variety of electronic communications, including email and the internet.

Cyberstalking usually entails behaviors such as:

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NYC labor law attorneysMillions of American workers pay their union dues under the assumption that their officers will act in their best interests and protect the rights of the collective. Unfortunately, there is a deep, dark secret that unions do not want their members to know: Over the past five years, hundreds (potentially even thousands) of labor leaders have been removed from office and convicted for crimes that include embezzlement, racketeering, corruption, and engaging in organized crime. 

Signs of Trouble in Your Union

It can be difficult to spot union corruption, especially when you are not privy to the details involved in negotiations. However, there are some red flags to be aware of, including but not limited to:

  • Unnecessary or inappropriate purchases
  • Questionable invoices
  • Changes in behavior when hot-button issues come up
  • Potential conflicts of interest
  • Attempts to coerce employees
  • Abuse of power
  • Acceptance of deals that are clearly in the best interest of your employer
  • An erosion of your rights or benefits
  • Incomplete travel or expense forms

If you notice any of these signs—or any others that may suggest corruption in your union—it is important for you to take action. Otherwise, you and your co-workers’ rights could continue to be eroded, and the funds you put aside to benefit the collective will continue to be used for improper or illicit acts or items.

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NYC criminal defense attorneysOf all the crimes a person can commit, those that are prosecuted as felonies are considered to be the most severe. These acts also carry the harshest penalties for those who are convicted. What are these acts, and what can be done to minimize - or even eliminate - the consequences? If you are facing felony charges in New York, it is important to understand what is at stake. 

Felonies in New York State

Felony criminal proceedings are complex legal matters with varied levels of severity. Those at the highest level are considered Class A felonies. These include serious crimes and carry sentences of up to life in prison. Such acts might include aggravated murder, terrorism, criminal possession of a controlled substance, operating as a major trafficker, kidnapping, and arson.

Class B felonies are considered slightly less severe, so the potential consequences do drop. Most have a maximum sentence of 25 years. Such acts include armed robbery, drug trafficking, alleged homicide, rape, and violent assault.

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New York Labor Union LawyerIt can feel like a major accomplishment to finally land that union job—especially because you now have all the benefits you need to keep your family happy, safe, and stable, including health insurance, paid holidays, vacation time, and holidays. What you may not know is that union jobs offer additional benefits to their members, such as support, advice, and union representation if issues with your employer arise. Union members also have specific rights under union laws.

Your Union Member Bill of Rights

Every labor union in the United States is bound by Landrum-Griffin Act (otherwise known as the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act). Under this federal statute, you have certain rights as a member, including:

  • The equal right to participate in all union-related activities
  • Freedom of speech and the right to assemble
  • A say in the setting of union dues, fees, and assessment rates
  • Protection from unfair or improper disciplinary action from your employer
  • A voice in union elections
  • The right to file suit against your employer for unfair or improper treatment
  • Access to copies of any agreements made between your employer and the union

In addition, your union officers have certain responsibilities. Specifically, they are legally required to safeguard the best interests of their members, and violations can open them up to removal from office.

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NYC weapons violations attorneysPeople of all types own weapons. Some have them for the purpose of self-defense, while others are enthusiasts who simply enjoy collecting them. Unfortunately, not all types of weapons are legal in the state of New York. If you are charged with any kind of illegal weapon possession, you may be looking at criminal charges with grave consequences. 

Illegal Weapons: More Than Just Knives and Guns 

People often assume that the law does not concern itself with any weapon that is not a gun or a knife. Unfortunately for martial arts enthusiasts, hunters, unique weapon collectors, and even cosplayers, this simply is not the case. The law restricts a wide variety of weapons, and charges may be filed if you are carrying one that is considered illegal. A few examples include:

  • Swords
  • Sword canes 
  • Brass and plastic knuckles
  • Stun guns
  • Bludgeons
  • Blackjacks 
  • Tonfas 
  • Maces 

This list is far from exhaustive; you can face charges for carrying any item that could be considered a weapon with an intent to cause harm to another person.

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Manhattan domestic violence attorneysBeing involved in any domestic violence dispute, especially when you are the alleged perpetrator, is an alarming and sobering experience. Emotions run high when high-conflict tensions collide, and it is not uncommon for accounts of the events that took place to vary, with differing points of view. At times, the allegations may be heavily embellished, while other accounts reflect a mixture of both truth and fabrication. 

Whatever the circumstances, when a domestic violence case has emerged with your name on it, grave consequences can ensue and threaten your livelihood and reputation in the community. If an Order of Protection has been entered against you in the state of New York due to domestic violence claims, it is important to understand what this means and how the process works.

The Purpose of an Order of Protection

An Order of Protection may be filed against someone who has been accused of committing an act of domestic violence against an intimate partner or family member. In New York, domestic violence itself is a single, specific criminal act, but instead represents a category of criminal acts or crimes. For example, harassing, stalking, sexual assault, or any kind of threat or intimidation is considered an act of domestic violence. An Order of Protection is a tool that places legal limits on an alleged perpetrator’s behavior. It orders them to move out of the home (if applicable), have zero contact with the victim, surrender firearms, and to stay away from others listed on the Order.

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NYC Union Representation LawyerThe rights and benefits available to union employees are diverse and vast, but one thing a majority of union jobs have in common is a level of security. Such security is appealing to anyone desiring stable employment, especially when it enables us to provide not only for ourselves but for our families as well. When compared to the rest of the country, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2018, the state of New York accounted for one of the largest numbers of union members, with nearly 2 million members statewide. On top of that, another 155,000 hourly and salaried employees were associated with unions, whether they were covered by their main day job or represented through a contract, even if they were not union members themselves. 

Benefits to Which You May be Entitled

Considering the union culture’s wide scope of influence, it is helpful for anyone applying for a union job or existing members to familiarize themselves with the various benefits they can expect to receive as an employee. 

Some key benefits members may be entitled to include:

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Manhattan domestic violence lawyersIn the state of New York, the list of domestic violence criminal offenses is broad and comprises a variety of acts. Domestic violence is a term that represents categories of these criminal acts, not a name for a single, particular crime, making it tricky to define at times. When any of these acts are committed, the courts treat the crime as a family offense, as defined by the state’s penal statutes. Victims of domestic violence incidents who are considered by law to be family may file a family offense petition against the alleged perpetrator, a claim that states an act of domestic violence has been committed against them.

Who Can File a Family Offense Petition Against You?

Any individual related by blood or marriage, or anyone who shares a child with you may file a family offense petition against you if they claim you have committed of any of the following acts:

  • Harassment
  • Stalking or menacing
  • Sexual abuse
  • Assault, including attempted assault
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Coercion
  • Strangulation, or any form of obstruction of breathing or blood circulation
  • Grand larceny

Other criminal acts that may warrant the filing of a family offense petition include identity theft, reckless endangerment, or any form of criminal mischief. 

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Manhattan weapons offenses attorneysWhen it comes to weapons possession in New York, experts and residents statewide agree that the laws and restrictions surrounding possession can be downright confusing. While there are clear guidelines outlining what is permissible and what is not for many types of weapons, the details become complicated when determining which objects are considered weapons. For example, almost any sharp object can become dangerous or deadly and may be considered a knife. According to the American Knife and Tool Institute, even a possessor who does not exhibit any criminal conduct can face possible criminal conviction for merely possessing an object considered to be a dangerous knife. This creates significant risk for faulty or unjust criminal charges that, for many, can be life altering.

Weapon Possession Guidelines in New York

Whether you have recently been accused of illegal weapon possession or are interested in acquiring rights to possess and carry, it is important to familiarize yourself with a general overview of basic firearm and knife laws in the state of New York. Gun laws, of course, continue to be extremely controversial across the nation, in light of the media’s focus on the ongoing string of tragedies that have occurred in recent years - an even greater reason to inform yourself of how to legally own a weapon. 

To possess a handgun in New York means:

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New York DWI defense attorneysWhen a motorist is pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the police officer may administer a series of field sobriety tests in order to decide whether or not the driver is impaired or drunk. These tests can help an officer determine a driver's coordination and ability to understand directions. Since law enforcement will often use these assessments to decipher probable cause, citizens often believe their reliability. However, multiple factors can lead to an incorrect conclusion. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DWI, it is important to understand your rights and speak to an experienced attorney.   

Types of Field Sobriety Tests

In order to determine a driver’s level of sobriety, police officers may utilize a variety of different evaluations. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are three main tests used by law enforcement:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test: The driver will be asked to put their feet together and keep their hands by their side. While keeping their head still, the driver will be asked to follow a stimulus (pen, pencil, light) with their eyes only. The police officer will be looking for any variation of the instructions, as well as any involuntary jerking of the eyes, which may be more pronounced when a person is intoxicated. 
  • Walk and Turn Test: The motorist will be asked to place their left and right foot on an imaginary or marked line, and to walk straight, touching heel to toe. Specific instructions will be given on how the motorist should conduct his or her turning motion. The walk and turn test can help determine coordination and ability to follow instructions.
  • One-Leg Stand Test: The driver will be instructed to keep both arms at their side while raising one leg, six inches in the air. The driver will have to count out loud until instructed to stop. This test will help determine the balance and ability to understand instructions.  

Field Sobriety Test Statistics

The NHTSA’s own statistics prove that field sobriety tests are not always accurate. Out of these three tests, the NHTSA indicated that that the HGN test is the most accurate in determining whether or not a driver is intoxicated. Looking into the statistics, the administration estimates that when the tests are administered correctly:

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NYC wrongful death lawyersThe untimely death of a family member can be extremely difficult to overcome. Feelings of emotion coinciding with high levels of stress can lead to loved ones feeling overwhelmed or unsure about how to proceed. Medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and loss of future wages and benefits may cause a significant financial burden for the surviving family members. According to OSHA, more than 99 workers per week died on the job the United States in 2017. If negligence or misconduct contributed to the death of a loved one, financial compensation may be awarded. In order to understand your legal standing and you available options, it is important to speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney.  

Proving a Wrongful Death

In the state of New York, only the legal representative of the decedent’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Furthermore, the deceased must be survived by one or more relatives that have suffered a financial loss as a result of the death. Before restitution is granted to the plaintiff, it must be proven that negligence or carelessness from another party caused the death. For example, if a construction worker was killed due to falling off a broken ladder, the company may be responsible for fostering an unsafe work environment and providing faulty equipment. However, if the construction worker ignored safety regulations and committed an act that contributed to his or her death, the company could potentially avoid liability. A wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the death, according to the New York statute of limitations.

What if Both Parties Were at Fault?

If it is determined that the wrongful death victim failed to act prudently during the time of his or her death, contributory negligence may be established. Although contributory negligence or assumption of risk might have contributed to a person’s death, it would not prohibit the legal representative of the deceased from seeking compensation. It is crucial to note that the amount of damages that might be recovered could decrease in proportion to the responsibility of the victim. For example, if a construction worker was not wearing a helmet at the time of his or her death, the worker could be found to be partially responsible for his or her death.

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NYC domestic violence attorneysUnder New York law, domestic violence is not the name of a specific crime. Instead, it is a term that represents a category of different criminal acts. Domestic violence can include everything from assault, stalking, and sexual abuse to threats, intimidation, or grand larceny. If criminal acts such as these are committed in an intimate partner relationship, they are forms of domestic violence, and you do not have to be living with or even sleeping with a person to be considered an intimate partner of someone by law. Whether the relationship is over, you are legally married, or you share a child with someone, if you have been or are currently involved in an intimate relationship of some sort and find yourself accused of an act of domestic violence, the ramifications can be grave and far reaching. 

What Happens After the Police are Called on You?

The moment you are reported to the authorities for an incident of domestic violence, it is natural to feel a sense of panic or uncertainty. What will happen when the police arrive? Will you be immediately arrested? Where do you turn to share your side of the story, and how do you know your rights will be protected in the event of false allegations? If you ever find yourself in such a circumstance, it is helpful to be aware of what to expect after the police have been called. Here is what you need to know:

  • You could be arrested. Police have “mandatory arrest” protocol in New York State for cases of domestic violence. This means that they must make an arrest anytime a felony is committed, or when an abuser disobeys an order of protection. For example, if you were to violate an order of protection by committing a family offense crime or making contact when a stay-away order has been filed against you, the police will probably arrest you at the scene.
  • Exceptions may apply. If the victim requests to forgo arrest, and if there is no order of protection or the alleged abuser has committed a misdemeanor crime, the mandatory arrest does not necessarily apply. However, if the police feel arrest is still the best course of action, they may still proceed in taking the suspected abuser to jail, despite the victim’s request.
  • Running is not a good option. If you are accused of domestic violence and flee the scene before the cops arrive, you could still be subject to mandatory arrest. Not all arrests happen immediately after the moment the police are called.

Following Your Arrest

After the arrest, the abuser is subject to an arraignment hearing before a judge. This usually happens within 24 hours of the arrest. At this time, the judge can decide to grant you bail, hold you in prison without bail, or release you and have you come back to court later to address the charges against you.. An order of protection may also be issued against you, which establishes rules, terms, and conditions you must follow while the order remains in effect.

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Manhattan criminal defense attorneysIf you have been accused of an incident of domestic violence, it is natural to feel overwhelmed  and at a loss for what to do or where to turn as you discover the potential ramifications for such actions, especially when you feel the allegations are embellished or completely unjustified. Under New York State law, the term domestic violence is not a definition for a crime. Instead, this term is used to describe a range of specific acts, or a variety of crimes, that are considered forms of domestic violence. This can make understanding the charges you may be faced with more confusing, as there are many different types of domestic violence crimes and they are all handled differently, depending on their context. 

Examples of Domestic Violence Crimes 

To give you a clearer picture of what the law considers a domestic violence crime, here are some examples of acts that can lead to domestic violence charges:

  • Stalking, harassment, or menacing - Following, monitoring, or tracking an intimate partner, repeatedly doing something that causes them continual distress, or threatening them in some way with or without a weapon are forms of stalking, harassment, or menacing crimes.
  • Assault or reckless endangerment - Directly hitting, kicking, punching or using a weapon against someone is considered assault. This crime includes throwing objects at someone to cause them injury and harm. Any action that you take to deliberately put a person in a position that causes them physical injury is considered reckless endangerment.
  • Intimidation and threats - Whether you force someone into doing something or keep them from doing something, any words or actions that scare someone enough to control their decisions constitute a domestic violence crime.
  • Mischief - Destroying or taking property, even when it is shared property, is considered criminal mischief. Whether you take your partner’s car keys, destroy their computer, or slash their tires, these kinds of acts are punishable by law.

Other kinds of criminal acts you could face charges for include any kind of unwanted sexual conduct (sexual abuse), choking, strangling, or disorderly conduct, such as drunken arguments that result in loud yelling and commotion. If you are not only disturbing your household, but your neighbors, too, this can trigger serious consequences once the authorities get involved.  

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Manhattan Union Law AttorneyYou finally landed that union job—the one that offers you all the benefits you and your family need. What you may not know is that your new position offers you more than just medical insurance and paid holidays, vacations, and sick time. You also have access to advice, support, and representation from your union representatives if a problem with your employer arises. Union members also have specific rights afforded to them by union laws.

Union Member Bill of Rights

All labor unions in the United States are bound under the Landrum-Griffin Act. Also known as the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, this legal measure guarantees certain rights to union members, including:

  • Equal rights to participate in union-related activities
  • A voice in the setting of union fees, dues, and assessment rates
  • Freedom of speech and assembly
  • Protection of your right to bring suit against your employer
  • Protection against improper or unfair disciplinary action from your employer
  • Access to copies of any agreements made between the union and your employer
  • A say in union member elections

In regard to union member elections, you have additional sanctioned rights, including the right to run for office, cast a secret ballot, and protest the conduct or process of a union election. Additionally, members may file a motion to have a union officer removed from their position if they are found guilty of serious misconduct.

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Posted on in DWI

New York DWI Defense AttorneyFor those who have experienced the consequences of driving while intoxicated firsthand or know someone who has, it comes as no surprise that there are serious penalties for the decision to drive drunk. These penalties only intensify when there is a repeated offense, and these effects have the power to wreak substantial havoc on the offender’s reputation, home life, and finances. When it comes to being accused of driving while intoxicated (DWI), however, certain tactics the police may use may create circumstances that stack all the odds against you, leaving little room for your defense. This can be especially difficult if you already have an existing DWI on your record. 

How Are Repeat DWI Offenses Addressed?

Unlike an offense of driving while ability impaired (DWAI), which implies your blood alcohol content level (BAC) is at least 0.05 but no more than 0.07 and that your driving ability is impaired, a DWI indicates a higher BAC and that you are intoxicated. Two or more of these heightened DWI violations can quickly demolish a driver’s record. The penalties for the variety of alcohol and drug-related violations here in the state of New York are diverse, ranging from hefty mandatory fines and the loss of driving privileges to jail terms. Repeat offenses are treated as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances, and the penalties are determined based on the number of repeat offenses within specific periods of time. 

For example, a second DWI violation within a ten-year timeframe results in a Class E felony with fines up to $5,000 and a maximum jail term of up to four years, while a third DWI violation is deemed a Class D felony with fines up to $10,000 and a maximum jail term of seven years. As you can see, the fines and jail time increase as the repeat offenses pile up. If you are facing accusations of multiple DWI offenses, here are some other general penalties you can expect to come up against:

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NYC breach of contract attorneysNo matter what your line of work is, when your business entails the creation and signing of a contract to document a service agreement, it is important to do everything in your power to avoid a potential breach of contract. Many individuals and entities will not hesitate to sue for what they believe to be a breach of contract, and in many cases, these claims are embellished or in some cases entirely fabricated, depending on the plaintiff’s motives. Such allegations are usually a big source of anxiety for business owners, as these claims can not only affect their livelihood and income but also their reputation in the community, as well.

Are You at Risk for Being Accused of Breach of Contract?

Whatever service you agree to provide a paying client, you are technically at risk for being sued for breach of contract if you fail in any way to perform the service as promised or fail to adhere to any specific standards or criteria required as stated in the terms of your contract. 

Here are three common breach of contract scenarios business owners may encounter:

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