Dore Law - May 2020

THE D or É R eport

D ore L aw . com

MAY 2020

WHAT THE INDUSTRY OUTLOOK MEANS FOR YOU AND HOW OUR FIRM CAN HELP YOU WEATHER THE STORM

Things are moving at a lightning pace right now. It seems like every hour, if not every minute, I get an update on our evolving situation as an industry, a state, and a county. That’s why it intimidates me that, due to the nature of print publication, you’ll likely be reading this article a full month after I write it. What can I tell you that you won’t already know? Well, my guess is that a month from now you’ll likely be in even more desperate need of something — anything — positive that you can use to advance your interests and the interests of your company and family. Those interests all intersect. I know that. And I know how much you rely on the information and data our firm compiles for your projections and decisions. With that in mind, I want to give you both an industry overview and an update on immediate actions we can take, and are already taking, for you.

• Everyone had a remote office at the kitchen table, and we all became Zoom experts overnight (or tried to).

Knowing all of that, here is what we are doing, and will continue to do, for you:

1. For Your Family: We will prepare

Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Declarations to Physician documents for you and your family members at no charge. Just call. We can schedule a Zoom video conference to handle the virtual notary process. If anyone doesn’t have a will, we can discuss this need and assist as well.

Congressional Stimulus Bill Will Impact Me.” We have more in the works. By the time you read this, you should have already received notice of one that fits your needs.

4. For Your Future: Inside of this

newsletter, you will see that we added two new attorneys to our team on March 23, the first day of shelter-in-place for many of us. We know our expertise in the protection of your accounts and customer relationships is important to you, and we want to make sure you have the best, most comprehensive team in your corner. My team and I here at Doré Rothberg McKay recognize that many of our clients and friends are weathering hard economic times and being forced to make difficult decisions. We will do our best to help when you need us and work to ensure every dollar you spend on our services produces the largest possible return. Remember, no matter how dark things get, we’re always just a phone call away. -Carl Doré

2. For Your Company: Many of you are

already on our distribution list for the Bankruptcy Alert. If you’re not, just call to join. Every morning, we review all new business bankruptcies filed in the U.S. If any of those businesses are in the energy sector, we send out notifications with the information you need to make decisions on continuing work, suspending activity, filing preference claims, and all of the other immediate decisions you’ll need to make when your customer files for bankruptcy.

Here is what we knew at the end of March:

• Oil was $20.48 per barrel. • Natural Gas was $1.54 per mcf. • Those figures indicated much of

domestic U.S. production was marginal or uneconomic. • E&P companies were cutting spending projections, service companies were furloughing or cutting staff, and equipment sales and auctions were virtually halted. • Real estate markets were frozen in place, tenants couldn’t pay, and landlords couldn’t extend.

3. For Your Team: We are preparing a sequence of 15–20-minute webinars that will help you educate your team on economics. Immediate topics

include: “Master Service Agreements,” “Preference Claim Defenses,” “Critical Vendor Status,” and “How the $2 Trillion

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Achieve Innovational Success

WITH ‘LOONSHOTS’

Many entrepreneurs dream of catching lightning in a bottle — of harnessing new, powerful ideas that will propel their business to the cutting edge. Whether they call it disruption, innovation, or genius, many business books focus on the “lightning” side of the equation. But those flashes of brilliance mean nothing without a bottle to capture them in. According to author and physicist Safi Bahcall, if you want to turn momentary inspiration into tangible success, you need structure. Bahcall explores this idea in his book, “Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries.” He examines many successful innovations that were originally deemed “crazy” or “doomed to fail,” including the breakout success of the James Bond movies and how Lipitor became a pharmaceutical blockbuster. What these phenomena have in common is that they were supported and made possible by a positive work environment structured to nurture ideas that were “just crazy enough to work.” However, success stories aren’t the only focus of “Loonshots.” The book also examines companies that paved the way as innovators, only to stifle change and lose momentum. Bahcall puts Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), Polaroid, and other titans that let the lightning out of the bottle under the microscope to show readers where the companies’ organizational structures went wrong. To Bahcall, the way business owners organize their team is the same as

how temperature shapes water. You can be cold toward new ideas, which freezes progress and makes your company too brittle in the face of change, or you can be warm and let your team’s ideas flow in exciting new directions. Drawing on his experience as both a physicist and the co-founder of a biotechnology company, Bahcall is able to make his case in entertaining, down-to-earth prose. Beyond being a good read, “Loonshots” addresses an often overlooked factor in the ways innovative companies succeed at redefining their industry, making it a great addition to any entrepreneur’s library.

MEET OUR NEW TEAMMEMBERS

Doré Rothberg McKay is growing to serve you better. In the past couple of months, we’ve expanded our office space, added a training facility, and welcomed new staff to our location in Houston’s Energy Corridor. Since it might be a while before you meet our new hires face-to-face, we thought we’d introduce a few of them long-distance. Itzayana, Victoria, and Timothy can’t wait to meet you, and they’re already hard at work on your behalf. Itzayana Saldivar is likely the first person you’ll talk to next time you call our firm. Itsy is our receptionist and handles our substantial mail volume, making certain your liens are sent in a timely manner and you’re kept informed when they’re filed. Victoria Brianna Daywalt has both her law degree and an LLM in Taxation from the University of Houston Law Center. She was a summer law clerk for us a few years ago while she was law school, and we’re thrilled she has returned as an attorney. Tori brings a wealth of experience with her as, in addition

to working for us, she has handled tax disputes and analyzed corporate strategies for clients at Deloitte LLP in Houston. In her free time, she loves to paint in order to keep her creative juices flowing. Timothy Holmes Jr. has worked for Port Houston in the construction management and engineering departments for the last two decades. He has a law degree from South Texas College of Law Houston and is experienced in drafting contracts, which complements our firm’s work helping

clients review and negotiate Master Service Agreements as well as other legal documents. When he isn’t hard at work at the office, Tim maintains and shows classic cars. If you ever get him on the phone, just ask him about Corvettes! In these tough times, it’s our hope that having more sets of hands and eyes in the office will help us serve you better. If there is anything we can do for you, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. We’re ready to help.

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YOUR GUIDE TO FURLOUGHS AND FIRING How to Deal With the Harsh Realities of Layoffs

These are tough times for the oil and gas industry, and that means almost every executive and manager is going to be forced to do more with less. Making cuts will be difficult, particularly because for the past few years every company has already aimed to operate on as lean of a staff as possible. Unfortunately, our industry still inevitably faces furloughs and layoffs. So, how do you make the tough call about whom to let go and whom to keep? The business world is full of stories of companies and departments that prospered after the right person was fired. You’ve heard the line: Profit and workflow improved, and team moral soared when the “roadblock” was removed. The roadblock at your company might be a person who no longer fits their position or someone who was simply a bad hire. If you stop and think about it, there’s a good chance your gut will tell you where the problem lies. It’s possible that the problem employee is a good friend or someone who has worked with you for years — but if they are the problem, then they need to go. As cold as it might sound, you can use these challenging times to your advantage. This is an opportunity to streamline your operation to include only the people who are both “essential” and committed to your success. Cull employees who are trying to row the boat in a

different direction, or who are asleep at their oars. No one likes to fire or furlough people, but the truth is that your company and your work life could actually improve after this downturn. Hopefully, you come out of this crisis asking yourself, “Why didn’t I make this move sooner?” For expert tips on how to break the news of a termination or furlough gently, check out the Harvard Business Review’s article “The Right Way to Fire Someone” at HBR.org.

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GRILLED PRIME RIB Inspired by Primal Palate

Who says the cookout has to ruin your diet? Try this paleo-friendly recipe for a main dish that’s worthy of your next barbecue.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 lbs beef rib roast

1 tsp Himalayan salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Take rib roast out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling. 2. Season roast with salt and pepper and allow it to rest for 10 minutes while you heat a gas grill to 600 F. 3. Sear roast for 3–4 minutes on each side. 4. Turn off the grill but continue cooking the steak, flipping every 4–5 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 F. Remove from grill. 5. Allow the roast to rest — its internal temperature will continue to climb — for 5–10 minutes. Slice and serve.

BUTTERFLY

MAYFLY

OUTDOORS

FLOWERS

MEMORIAL

POLLEN

JEDI

MEXICO

SUNSHINE

LADYBUG

MOTHERS

TAURUS

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4 Ways Our Firm Can Help You Cope With COVID-19

How Crazy Ideas Become Innovations

Meet Our New Staff, Hired to Help You

Your Guide to Furloughs and Firing

Grilled Prime Rib

The Money-Saving Methods Most Entrepreneurs Overlook

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS? CHANGE THE LIGHTBULBS HOW SMALL SAVINGS CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE

Sometimes, a little change can go a long way. Walmart illustrated this perfectly when the megachain decided to switch to using more energy-efficient lightbulbs and cheaper floor wax. Those two simple substitutions have cut the company’s annual costs by $220 million. Of course, with thousands of stores nationwide, even the smallest savings will have a multiplying effect for a corporation like Walmart, but this lesson can still be applied by small-business owners looking to grow. As a business owner, it can be tempting to lose yourself in the big picture. Milestones like helping more clients, launching new marketing campaigns, and opening another location are the exciting investments that really get a CEO’s blood pumping. But beneath each of these major decisions, there are many minute changes that could save your company time and money. What standard operating procedure (SOP) needs to be made more efficient before you bring on a larger client load? Which social media site will give you the most bang for your marketing buck? How much more will you be spending on toilet paper with two locations? It’s tempting to overlook the minor details, but tackling these inefficiencies could save you more than you expect.

If you aren’t one to pore over every expense report and crunch the numbers, you’re not alone. The good news is that most likely, there are members of your team with the perspective and knowledge to help you out. This is especially true when it comes to day-to-day operations. Employees are great at noticing redundancies in SOP, underutilized spaces in the office, and other areas where money may be wasted. Empowering your team to speak up when they notice these money-saving opportunities can do wonders for your bottom line. Saving a few hundred dollars per year on things like lighting and floor wax may not sound impressive, but that’s money you can put toward improving your employee retention, customer experiences, and marketing effectiveness. In today’s competitive market, even the smallest changes can give you a vital edge.

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