Business Services

Employment Agreements and Policies

As part of its comprehensive legal services for businesses, the firm covers the full spectrum of employment law matters for companies of all sizes.  We work with clients to complement their in-house Human Resources staff, or act as the direct resource for advice and assistance on HR matters for newer or smaller companies. 

We prepare Employee Handbooks and provide Policy Compliance advice.  SMS routinely assists businesses with employment Document Analysis, and advises on the drafting of:

  • Employment Agreements;
  • Independent Contractor and Consulting Agreements;
  • Restrictive Covenants;
  • Separation Agreements;
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements; and
  • Employee assignments of intellectual property. 

Our employment practices services include providing advice with regard to Federal and State Fair Employment Practices Laws including:

  • Title VII;
  • The Americans With Disabilities Act;
  • The Age Discriminating in Employment Act; and
  • The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

We provide advice with regard to Federal and State Wage Payment Laws including:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act; and
  • The Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Act.

We also counsel clients with regard to Federal and State Laws governing Employee Leave, including:

  • The Family Medical Leave Act; and
  • The Maryland Flexible Leave Act.

Employer Defense

In all cases, our goal is to reduce or prevent the risk of employment-related liabilities.  However, when claims do occur, our firm can provide aggressive representation.  We can defend you before the administrative agencies that handle such claims, and in the Federal and State courts where employment litigation occurs.  Our attorneys have acted as counsel for and successfully defended management in all types of employment disputes, including claims of wrongful discharge, employment discrimination, wage payment disputes, overtime violations, and sexual harassment.

Our firm can also assist your business in its response to claims for unemployment, and can advise and assist in its response to any wage and hour audits imposed by State and Federal agencies.

Technology And Intellectual Property

For a local firm, SMS has a unique ability to inform and educate businesses about the laws and agreements that can help a business or its owner protect ideas and inventions.  We assist our clients in maximizing the strategic value of their innovations.  That applies equally to the large, established company and the smaller company first seeking to take an idea from birth to bench.  SMS can help efficiently guide your venture and its growth. 

Our attorneys have experience in the purchase, transfer and management of trade secrets, patents, trademarks and copyrights.  SMS has used that experience in the context of medical improvements, e-commerce, software, “apps” and specialized sciences.  More importantly, SMS takes a practical business approach to IP that goes beyond details and processes and, instead, recognizes the value of IP as a tool for leveraging relationships.  

SMS assists clients through IP transactions, but also helps them develop effective business practices, internal processes and core disciplines to manage that IP.  The convergence of business and intellectual property law requires the ability to extract advice from both disciplines.  We combine our business services, acquisition services, and even employment services in a holistic approach to that management.  This allows our attorneys to structure technology transfers, licensing agreements, joint ventures and teaming agreements to your advantage.  Our goal is to help the client commercialize, preserve and protect its proprietary assets. 

Most recently, SMS has offered its support to the Northeastern Maryland Additive Manufacturing Innovation Authority, a non-profit entity dedicated to positioning the State of Maryland as a leader in additive manufacturing (3D Printing).  The Authority will improve connections between regional expertise and educational resources for entrepreneurs, innovators, and small businesses like those that SMS supports locally.  Like the Authority, SMS has also supported the Northeastern Maryland University Research Park, Inc.  This non-profit is dedicated to creating an advanced multidisciplinary academic, science and research campus to champion technology-led economic growth and the success of technology companies.  The campus will ultimately promote the development, transfer and commercialization of innovative technologies like those developed by some SMS clients