Category Archive: Publications

Apr 17

Free Tech Webinars for Kiwi-Startups and Businesses

American Attorney Zachary D Norris of Norris Echetebu Law presented the first of Meteoroid and Wharf42 Program free tech webinars for Kiwi start-ups ‘Understanding US Company Structures & Legal Contracts’. In the first of the Wharf42′s and Meteoroid’s free tech webinars below, Mr Norris talks about the different company structures available to New Zealand tech …

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Apr 01

Kiwi Firms Transacting with US Firms Should Understand UCC Liens

THE UCC LIEN For those businesses unfamiliar with US commercial law it is important to understand how integral the Uniform Commercial Code (the “UCC”) and UCC Liens are to this particular field of law. The UCC is a collection of model codes which was originally drafted by the American Law Institute and was adopted by …

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Feb 19

US Port Labor Strike: Does Force Majeure Apply for Kiwi Exporters?

THE US PORT LABOR STRIKE: FORCE MAJEURE? Many New Zealand exporters to the United States have felt the impact of the ongoing labor strike between the US Longshore and Warehouse Union (“ILWU”) and the Pacific Maritime Association (the association which represents US West Coast cargo carriers, terminal operators and stevedores). The dispute’s central issue concerns …

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Dec 17

US Workplace Safety Standards

US Workplace Safety Standards Imagine that a New Zealand business’s US subsidiary has been sued in the United States. One of its customer’s employees was injured by its operations on the job site. The CEO of the subsidiary has been placed on the witness stand and is being grilled by the plaintiff’s attorney as to …

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Nov 17

The Legal Risk of DIY

THE LEGAL RISK OF DIY New Zealand is a proud Do-It-Yourself (“DIY”) nation whose people demonstrate what we Americans admiringly call “rugged individualism”. This national character trait likely takes its roots from the construction of a society so far away from the rest of the world thereby creating a unique mixture of self-reliance and communal …

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Sep 23

US Intellectual Property Protection

PROTECT YOUR NEW ZEALAND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Understanding the protection afforded to your intellectual property by US law is of key importance when doing business in the United States. Many a hopeful entrepreneur has found his or her ideas stolen or their intellectual property copied because they did not take the necessary steps to protect themselves. …

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Aug 24

Retail Price Protection When Entering The US’ Commercial Markets

MINIMUM RETAIL PRICE PROTECTION WHEN ENTERING THE US’ COMMERCIAL MARKETS Norris Echetebu Law – American Law Specialists   It’s always a good idea to create and maintain a unified pricing strategy when taking your goods to market in the United States. However, protecting your retail price is more difficult than one might imagine. Unless you …

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May 17

Arbitration: Is It Really All It’s Cracked Out To Be?

Norris Echetebu Law – American Law Specialists Arbitration: Is It Really All It’s Cracked Out To Be? Most international commercial agreements contain clauses which provide for final and binding arbitration to settle any disputes between the parties. Many lawyers are inclined to tell their clients that arbitration is the best way to settle commercial disputes, …

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Apr 16

US Employment Issues – Part 2 – The Independent Contractor

US Employment Issues – Part 2 – The Independent Contractor* In our Auckland practice we have the privilege of working with many New Zealand clients that are expanding their businesses into the United States. Often times these clients enter into contractual relationships with American distributors or sales agents/marketing representatives rather than sending one of their …

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Apr 04

NEL Contributes US-NZ Legal Issues Column in Monthly AmCham NZ Newsletter

Norris Echetebu Law is honored to be a new contributor to the monthly American Chamber of Commerce New Zealand Newsletter. Our new column which is entitled “Legal Issues” will feature topics of interest to New Zealand- US business and legal matters. The first column which was published on March 24, 2014 is the first in …

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Mar 19

US Employment Issues – Part 1 – The At-Will Employee

US Employment Challenges – Part 1 – The At-Will Employee* New Zealand businesses expanding into the US often face the following decisions of whether: (1) to directly hire employees in the US; (2) to hire a third-party contractor who acts as the Kiwi business’s agent, (3) to hire a third party employment agency to manage …

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Jan 23

Don’t be fooled: You Need Legal Advice when Choosing your State of Incorporation

Have you been told that your US branch HAS to be incorporated in Delaware to take advantage of the management friendly laws, or that you NEED to incorporate in Nevada or Wyoming to escape state income taxes? Do you need to choose your State of Incorporation? Have you run across services boasting of the advantages …

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Dec 09

Jurisdiction Selection Clauses

Most agreements contain clauses which select the law of the jurisdiction, the Jurisdiction Selection Clause, which controls the interpretation of the agreement. Many business people fail to realize that this selection will also, for the most part, determine the law which controls any dispute over the contract as well. We have run into several cases …

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Jun 20

The Monsanto Protection Act Bill – Is All the Hype True?

The Monsanto Protection Act Bill – Is All the Hype True? Recently there has been a lot of misinformation floating around the Internet regarding what is dubiously referred to as “The Monsanto Protection Act”, giving rise to such claims as “the US Government has granted Monsanto absolute immunity from prosecution in US courts.” This claim …

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Apr 25

Tort Claims Act: Extra-territorial Application of US Law

The United States Supreme Court recently issued an opinion regarding the US Alien Tort Claims Act. Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (No. 10-1491, April 17, 2013). In this case, Nigerian nationals residing in the United States attempted to sue Shell Oil Company for violations of the “Laws of Nations” in Nigeria. Specifically, these Nigerian nationals …

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Apr 25

Frequently Asked ‘US Legal’ Questions

Our Answers to your legal questions. Have Questions? We are happy to provide you with Answers. We have compiled a list of our answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for you below:* 1. Why should use Norris Echetebu Law’s American legal expertise instead of a New Zealand-based Law firm for our US-related legal matters? Answer: …

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Apr 06

The American Rule and Attorney Fees in US Litigation

One of the most striking differences between the US and the NZ legal system is the rule regarding the payment of attorney fees by the litigants. In New Zealand, and in most other Common Law courts, attorney fees of the litigants are controlled by the English Rule. The English Rule provides, in general, that the …

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Mar 12

The Family Medical Leave Act and US Employment Law

About US Employment Law: The Family Medical Leave Act is a federal US law which applies to businesses with 50 or more employees.  It provides an employee with 12 weeks unpaid leave who has a serious medical condition or a close family member with a serious medical condition.  The employer is entitled to maintain any …

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Feb 26

Time Zone Dilemma (New Zealand Exports)

New Zealand Exports and the Time Zone Dilemma for exporting to America New Zealand exports: The future of New Zealand’s economy lays in exports, as the domestic population growth is too slow to raise domestic production significantly. That means that New Zealand businesses need to be ready to enter the global market place.  New Zealand …

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Feb 02

Big Problems in the State Courts of US Metro Areas

Perhaps no one wants to say it, or admit it, but there seems to be a crises in some state courts in the US. As part of our business in New Zealand, we regularly return to the United States to go to trial for my clients in both the US and NZ. However, it is …

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Dec 14

TPP Auckland Round Wrap Up – A Counterpoint to Campbell & Co

With the Auckland round of the TPP negotiations wrapping up this week, many Kiwi nay-sayers in the press have declared it an overall loss for New Zealand (See Gordon Campbell and Jane Kelsey). Yet my talks with almost every New Zealand business dealing in any way with the United States believe the exact opposite. Also, …

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Dec 03

TPPA: In Defence of Investor-State Disputes

TPPA As the next round of TPPA negotiations has come to Auckland, there has been increased chatter regarding the idea that the investor-state dispute mechanism in the proposed investment chapter should be scrapped. The investor-state dispute arbitration system, which has been around since the mid 20th century, has undergone recent scrutiny because of its perceived …

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Nov 15

The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement with New Zealand

The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement with New Zealand The United States, and therefore American Law, is entering into an exciting new era of economic participation in the Trans-Pacific arena (the market spanning the Pacific between North America, the West Coast of South America, the Asian Pacific, Australia and New Zealand). In the past American participation …

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Nov 15

US Interests in New Zealand

When I first came to New Zealand a year ago, I was astounded by the natural beauty and the warmth of the people. But this did not come as a surprise to me. What I was surprised by was the very savvy business culture which pervades New Zealand. It makes sense that an island nation …

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Nov 07

Why the American Election 2012 Matters in NZ

Why the American Election 2012 Matters in NZ American Election 2012: A contradictory sense of pride and trepidation enshrouds me every 4 years on the first Tuesday in November when the United States elects its president. Pride in that the soaring rhetoric of the candidates’ campaigns prompts a belief that the legacy of the United …

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Oct 16

Bringing Tinseltown, USA to New Zealand and Hollywood Entertainment Law

Hollywood Entertainment Law With the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key’s recent push to attract American television and movie production to New Zealand by offering a 15% tax rebate, we can expect to see an increase in the amount of entertainment employment available. New Zealand actors and film industry workers have experienced working with the …

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Sep 30

American Law and Incorporation in the United States by a foreign investor.

Incorporation in the United States: New Zealand clients wishing to incorporate in the United States should definitely sit down with a US lawyer and a US tax adviser to discuss the options involved. Many clients simply wish to have a business presence in the US where they plan on doing business. For the majority of the Norris …

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Sep 18

Kiwi Business, Litigation and American Law

New Zealand business and American Law As the co-founder of Norris Echetebu Law, the first dedicated American law firm in New Zealand, I am very interested in finding out what kind of American legal advice is most needed by Kiwis. While we offer a full range of business advice, a large amount of our Kiwi …

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