What Problems Can I Prevent By Proactively Hiring A Business Lawyer?
When a business owner is proactive in hiring a business lawyer, it generally means he is seeking legal advice and counsel before a specific dispute arises. By proactively hiring a business attorney, a business owner can have their business documents in order to give him the best chance of preventing a dispute from escalating to the point of litigation. For example, if a printing business has a contract with a paper supplier, and on a particular order the printer did not get all the paper it ordered, then it will be left without the necessary supplies to meet the needs of its own customers. Although an attorney cannot control the supply chain, an attorney may be able to include terms in the supply contract that would give the paper supplier additional incentives to prioritize the orders of this particular printer. An experienced business attorney could have helped the printer to negotiate terms such as discounts for late deliveries or liquidated damages for missed orders, that would put his client in a priority position in case of supply chain issues. Although this is a specific example for one industry, it simply illustrates why it is a good idea to hire an attorney before a particular dispute arises — namely, to give the business owner the best chance to avoid or minimize disruptions to his business, and to put him in a stronger position to win any legal case that might follow. Although an attorney is not necessarily going to catch everything, as long as the business owner has a meaningful conversation with their attorney about their business, how it operates, and what is important for the business, then the attorney should be able to advise them on how to proceed with customers, vendors and landlords. They can also ensure that the business owner has an awareness of key issues that will let him avoid common pitfalls.
What Assistance Does Your Firm Provide When A Dispute Arises?
When something goes wrong in a business relationship, an attorney can make sure that a business owner’s legal rights are protected and can advise her on when it makes sense to pursue a legal fight about a particular issue. If the business owner failed to fulfill a duty that was in the contract she signed, then she will need an attorney who will give her candid advice about the weakness of her legal position, even if it’s not the advice she wants to hear. An attorney who promises to fight for his or her client when there is no chance to win the fight is not doing their client any favors. Instead, an attorney should give straightforward advice about the strengths and weaknesses of a case, be willing to negotiate resolutions to disputes, and ensure that legal interests are protected. When necessary, the attorney can represent the client in a lawsuit, arbitration or mediation.
In Addition To Drafting New Agreements, Does Your Firm Also Assist Clients In Reviewing Previously Executed Agreements To Address Issues Which May Come To Light After The Fact?
Yes, my firm assists clients in reviewing previously executed agreements to address issues which may come to light after the fact, or to simply be proactive to find red flags and issues the business owner might want to pay special attention to. If a business owner has signed a contract and is worried about it for any reason, then he should consult with an attorney to answer his questions and advise him about exactly what is required of both parties. Sometimes a contract will contain a term that appears to be so one-sided that it could ruin the business if it were enforced. What the lawyer will know that his client doesn’t is that in certain instances, those terms are not enforceable. The other party may have even known that the contract term would be unenforceable, but included it anyway in the hopes that the other party would not realize that it cannot be enforced. If someone does not know the law well enough, then they will end up going along in meeting their obligations under that contract, assuming that what they are doing is required, even though these burdensome terms may not be legally enforceable. This is why receiving input from an attorney about which terms are enforceable and which are not can be very helpful.
In the course of representing businesses and business owners over the years, I have acquired the experience and developed the expertise to know the types of issues that are likely to arise. Although I could never guarantee that a particular issue will never become a problem for a particular client, I can certainly advise them on whether or not that particular issue has become a problem for other clients or whether I see something in the way a particular business document is written that makes me think it may become a problem for them. One of the best decisions the business owner can make is to form a relationship with an attorney who has the practical experience, legal knowledge and expertise to explain which terms are enforceable and which are not, and which terms are likely to cause problems and which are not. That way, the business can confidently move ahead with the contract.