Gardner and Stevens Law Firm

KURT A. GARDNER
JOHN C. STEVENS
CONNIE J. STEVENS

Ephrata, PA 717-733-3330

Lititz, PA 717-626-7728

Lancaster, PA 717-299-0007


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General Practice

GENERAL PRACTICE

Serving Clients Across Lancaster County

Business and Employment Law

From existing small to large businesses, to people who are looking to start up a business or sell a business, our firm is able to provide you with the legal guidance you need. We are also able to help with employment matters.


Collections

Especially during difficult economic times, many individuals and businesses find that their need for a lawyer to aggressively pursue collection efforts has increased. Our law firm will discuss your options and will handle all aspects of collection, whether negotiations are warranted or whether we must file suit at the magisterial district judge level or in the Court of Common Pleas. We then assist after a judgment is entered in proceeding with converting a debtor's assets to satisfy the judgment.


Commercial Litigation

Our firm has the experience to represent businesses in contractual and other business disputes. We represent both small and large businesses whether as the plaintiff or as the defendant. We have handled amounts in controversy from under $10,000.00 to over $1 million in both jury and non-jury proceedings.


Contracts

We are able to draft contracts and other agreements that protect your business interests, whether it is an agreement of sale for business assets or for the purchase of an entire business or company, employment contracts, noncompete and nondisclosure contracts or real estate agreements. We also provide interpretation of contract language before you sign or when a potential dispute is on the horizon.


Corporations and Limited Liability Companies

Our firm routinely advises clients as to the formation of various entities such as corporations and LLC’s. Sheltering the assets of the owner of a business is the primary reason to move beyond a sole proprietorship or partnership. A properly prepared and maintained corporation or LLC will help insulate one's personal assets that may otherwise be exposed to satisfy the debts and liabilities of the business. Certain tax benefits may also be enjoyed with these entities compared to the existing way you do business. Additionally, a corporation or LLC designation to your business name suggests professional presence to your customers and to the public. Unlike a fictitious name filing, when you incorporate or file an LLC, you gain exclusive rights to the name of your business in Pennsylvania. We handle name availability searches, preparation and submission of organizational documents, shareholder agreements, operating agreements, buy/sell agreements and other related documents. Along with your accountant, we are able to help you make the right decision in choosing the appropriate business structure for your needs. We will also be there through the life of your business to provide legal counsel as the need arises.


Criminal Defense

Federal and State law provide a person accused of committing a crime with many rights, including a presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. These legal rights, however, must be diligently protected or they may be lost. If you have been charged with a crime, it is urgent that you seek skilled and experienced counsel as quickly as possible.

Our criminal defense attorneys have many years of experience defending criminal cases ranging from summary offenses to felonies. We are familiar with both the law and the state and local procedures, allowing us to provide you with the best possible outcome. We have found that the sooner a client calls us in the process, the better our chances are of minimizing the consequences to our client.


DUI/ARD

Driving Under the Influence is a serious criminal offense with serious consequences. Conviction typically involves a mandatory jail sentence and a lengthy license suspension. However, particularly for first-time offenders, a special disposition known as the ARD Program can drastically reduce or eliminate these consequences. Even for subsequent offenses, skilled negotiation can often result in a better sentence.

DUI cases involve strict deadlines, and they require seasoned experience in order to get you the best possible result. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience you need in order to successfully handle your case from start to finish.


License Suspensions

People are often confused when they receive a Notice of Suspension from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Some license suspensions are made in error, and many others can be successfully negotiated or defended. There is, however, a strict deadline for filing a License Suspension Appeal, and the failure to do so will result in your license being suspended.

We have many years of experience handling driver's license matters. You should contact us immediately if you have received any communication indicating that your license may be suspended.


Partnerships

As with corporations and LLC’s, our firm is able to provide legal counsel to established and new partnerships. We discuss with you whether changes are appropriate from making the move from a partnership or sole proprietorship to a corporation or LLC.


Real Estate

Our firm handles both residential and commercial real estate transactions. Whether it is purchasing a home or commercial building, transferring a deed, leasing or selling real estate, we are here to help. We handle matters including agreements of sale, issues involving seller's disclosure statements, assignment of leases and many other areas.


Traffic Violations

Many traffic tickets hold unseen consequences if you are convicted of or pleaded guilty to the charged offense. These consequences can include "points" on your driving record or even automatic suspensions of your license. To make matters worse, District Judges and their staffs are prohibited from giving legal advice, meaning that they will not warn you of these hidden consequences. These unseen sanctions are typically imposed by the Department of Transportation weeks after you have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to the traffic ticket, when it may be too late to address them.

In many cases, we are able to have a traffic ticket reduced to a lesser offense which includes milder sanctions or even no sanctions other than a fine. In some cases, we can even have the charge dismissed. These results are only possible, however, in the majority of cases if we are able to address your traffic ticket in its earliest stages, that is, prior to any initial hearing or guilty plea at the District Judge office. Our outstanding record in this area of practice has saved countless of clients from losing their driving privileges. A simple consultation in our office will allow us to advise you on any hidden consequences of your traffic matter as well as your options.


Unemployment Compensation

Unemployment compensation cases have become far more prevalent in recent years. Out-of-work employees critically depend upon receiving unemployment compensation benefits to make ends meet for their family. They cannot afford to have their claim unfairly denied. Employers with already stretched budgets, on the other hand, need to carefully guard against frivolous claims in situations where the employee has voluntarily quit or been terminated for willful misconduct. Our firm routinely handles cases on behalf of both employees/claimants and employers. The initial Unemployment Hearing or Referee Hearing is by far your most important opportunity to present your claim or to defend against one. Our experience in these hearings will help insure that you are properly prepared and that your case is accurately and completely presented.


Zoning

We are able to provide our clients with the knowledge needed to avoid pitfalls when it comes to zoning issues. Prior to purchasing a property or before making improvements to an existing property, be sure that you know that you are able to utilize the property consistent with existing zoning laws before you spend your time, money and energy. We have handled zoning and other municipal issues throughout Lancaster County.


The information contained herein is general in nature and should not be understood as a substitute for personal legal advice. A client-lawyer relationship has not been formed by simply viewing this website or contacting our firm for additional information. Please schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys to discuss the specifics of your individual case.