Legal Services

If you scrolled down on the Home page, you already know why I practice law…to help people. I actually meant to say that, and honestly mean it. Consequently, if you come to Ruffin Law with a situation where you need help and I can provide the help you need, rest assured I will do everything within my capabilities to zealously represent you.

Now that we have that out of the way, following are the areas where Ruffin Law’s attention is focused on a daily basis. You may or may not realize it, but the following areas of law can be very intertwined to the point of not being able to adequately address one without consideration of one or some or all of the others.

Business Law

  • Entity Formation – it is imperative to know the legal, potential personal liability and tax implications of each type of structure available and know which one is best suited for your purpose. A few to consider:
    • Corporations
    • Limited Liability Companies
    • Professional Limited Liability Companies
    • Limited Liability Corporations
    • Limited Partnerships
    • General Partnerships
  • Operating Agreements – it is important to agree with your business associates in advance, in writing on many issues and potential issues surrounding the future of your business. A few considerations for thought:
    • Ownership Structure
    • How Are Earnings and Losses Shared?
    • Can the Business Borrow?
    • Who is Responsible for What?
    • Can New Owners Be Added?
    • What About a Current Owner Leaving?
  • Corporate Governance
  • Business Contracts
  • Executive Compensation
  • Real Property Leases
  • Personal Property Leases
  • Bank Loans and Private Financial Matters
  • Business Transactions
  • Buy-Sell Agreements
  • Business Valuation
  • Emerging Businesses
  • Franchise Law
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
    • Purchases of Assets or Stock
    • Sales of Assets or Stock
    • Mergers
    • Tax-Free Reorganizations
    • Leveraged Buyouts

There are many other possible areas of business law that may apply. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but more of a thought provoking process for the business minded.

Estate & Trust Law

This is a very important area of law that none of us should ignore. It is also an area of law that can be impacted by virtually every decision you make in your life, whether business, real estate or family related. In addition, there are many special tax consideration benefits that can be gained from properly using Estate Planning and Trusts. The bottom line here is the protection of your family and the assets you worked so hard to accumulate. It can be a mine field, but if you know where the mines are buried it can be successfully navigated and provide peace of mind and significant benefit to your family.

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Trusts
    • Revocable
    • Irrevocable
    • Charitable
    • Spousal
  • Lifetime Wealth Transfer Through Qualified Personal Residence Trust
  • Financial Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care Powers of Attorney
  • Advanced Directive
  • Family Limited Partnership
  • Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Planning
  • Planned Giving
  • Premarital Agreements
  • Post-Marital Agreements
  • Private Foundation

Family Law

When you ask what is the most important thing in a person’s life, Family usually ranks in the top 2. Consequently, Family Law is an area of great concern for Rick Ruffin. Here, it is important to keep in mind that Rick’s purpose for practicing law is to help people. So, what does that mean if you have a Family Law issue? Simply put, it means that Rick will help with Family Law issues where his services are truly helping and in the best interest of his clients.

If Rick takes your case, from that point forward you can count on his zealous representation. He is not intimidated and will be tough, if necessary, to take on complex and complicated cases. He stands ready to be your attorney.

  • Divorce
  • Separation Agreements
  • Marital Distribution Agreements
  • Child Custody
  • Spousal and Child Support Agreements
    • Post Decree Modifications and Enforcement
    • Collection of Unpaid Support
  • Guardianship
  • Adoptions
  • Premarital Agreements
  • Post-Marital Agreements


This is a very broad term that encompasses many possibilities. Rick chose to reference this area of his practice this way because most people can easily relate to someone being negligent and causing harm or injury. Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, defines “negligence” as follows:

"The omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by those ordinary considerations which ordinarily regulate human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a reasonable and prudent man would not do."

See, it is a very broad term. Consequently, if you find yourself in a situation where someone has done something that caused you harm or injury, you should contact Rick for a consultation to discuss your specific facts and circumstances.

As you have likely surmised by now, there are many possible specific events where negligence may be the cause. A few of the more common are listed here:

  • Personal Injury
    • Auto Accidents
    • Motorcycle Accidents
    • Bicycle Accidents
    • Boating Accidents
    • Maritime Accidents
    • Trucking Accidents
    • Railroad Accidents
    • Electrical Accidents
    • Amputation
  • Medical Malpractice
    • Surgical Injuries
    • Birth Injuries
    • Medication Injuries
  • Wrongful Death

Real Estate Law

Real Estate Law covers a very broad array of topics and issues. For individuals, in most families, the single largest asset ever bought or sold is their personal residence. This makes residential real estate a top priority for Rick Ruffin. How better to help a family than to make sure the purchase or sale of their single largest asset is properly handled from a legal perspective? Rick can assist with the transaction from acquisition of land on which to build, through construction contract negotiation, and all the way to closing. Considering that Rick holds a North Carolina Real Estate Broker’s license, he understands the real estate market and is in a unique position to help his law practice clients with residential real estate matters.

From a different perspective, proper navigation of commercial real estate transactions is not only important to the developers proposing the construction of properties, but also the communities and environmental interests that will or could be impacted by zoning and land use determinations allowing for such developments. Consequently, it is imperative that all affected parties understand the consequences of proposed projects and work together to find common ground that works for everyone. Rick welcomes the opportunity to assist commercial developers and communities in their efforts to find the proper planning balance.

  • Real Estate Closings
    • Residential
    • Commercial
  • Commercial Leases and Sales Agreements
    • Negotiating
    • Writing
    • Reviewing
  • Land Use
  • Zoning
  • Variances
  • Construction Contracts
  • Commercial Development
  • Like-Kind Exchanges

Tax Law

Whether federal, state or local tax issues, Rick Ruffin is prepared to help you. Taxation at many levels is a reality for virtually all personal, business and estate matters. Consequently, it is impossible to ignore taxation when practicing law in areas where Rick’s efforts are concentrated. The key to staying in compliance with tax law is effective and comprehensive tax planning.

Ruffin Law can provide individual and business tax planning to help reduce taxes and stay in compliance. Methods to accomplish this can include maximization of deductions, use of retirement plans, tax incentives and proper documentation of tax records.

In the event that you find yourself with individual or business tax problems, Ruffin Law can help you with settlement efforts. Rick can help you with tax audits, filing an offer in compromise, unpaid employer taxes, setting up installment payment plans, litigating a tax position or with filing an innocent spouse claim.

  • Tax Planning
  • Tax Audit Representation
  • Tax Appeals
  • Tax Debt Resolution
  • Tax Lien
  • Tax Levy