January 7, 2016
Legal Risk Is Everywhere
When we observe that legal risk is everywhere, it’s not a scare tactic; that’s just the reality in living in our litigious, over-regulated society. As a businessperson, you can acknowledge the reality in which you live and adapt to it, or you can stick your head in the sand–which is pretty much the same as just holding your ankles.
Legal risk is everywhere, but legal risks don’t have to be legal problems. ExecutiveLP™ attorneys regularly use Preventive Law techniques to help our clients identify legal weaknesses, then present legal solutions to those potential problems. Timing is everything. The best time to hire a lawyer is before you have an expensive legal problem; if you wait too late, you’ll spend too much.
Managing Legal Risk Is About Preemptively Spotting and Plugging Holes
I hear it all the time: “We don’t need need a lawyer, right now; we haven’t had any lawsuits,” or, “I use a ‘contract’ … ” (often it’s nothing more than a quote a customer signed or a work order) ” … So, I’m pretty sure I’m good, unless there’s a dispute.” Often, people try to ‘DIY’ their legal work, hoping to save a buck; but they don’t know what they don’t know, and that frequently causes them to make huge legal mistakes. When the LLC they tried to form using some Internet service, or template they found and completed, is actually put to the test, people are often surprised at just how little protection, if any, they get from their ‘DIY’ legal work. When it comes to legal work, ‘DIY’ is just a really, really bad idea.
Why belabor this point about ‘DIY’? Here’s the bottom line: if you’re not trained to spot legal issues, or to appropriately deal with them once you have spotted them, you can’t adequately address your legal risks before they become legal problems, and you might even make a bad situation worse. How, then, can you get the insight and the assistance you need? You’re going to need a lawyer–a preventive lawyer. Businesses typically hire an attorney to serve as their General Counsel, who provides these services.
Three Simple Solutions for Managing Legal Risks
Did this headline catch your attention? If so, I’ll take it as evidence that Buzzfeed’s headline formula, while asinine, is effective. Thanks to sites like Buzzfeed, ViralNova, Upworthy, and Distractify (to name a few), half-baked headlines like “Three Simple Solutions for…” and “The One Surprising Trick that…” have become ubiquitous (a word that means “commonplace,” from a time long ago when people used magical things called “dictionaries” to help them expand their vocabulary). Still, you should know it caused me physical pain to type out that headline. Physical. Pain.
Nevertheless, I present for your consideration the following three simple solutions for managing legal risks.
1. TAKE AN OBJECTIVE, REALISTIC LOOK AT YOUR BUSINESS
Okay, I said these are “three simple solutions,” not three easy solutions. It can be very difficult to be objective. Pause and reflect, though, on the enormity of the government and all your competitors, and then add to that sober reflection a moment of consideration for your customers or clients. Do you think you are absolutely, 100% protected from any possible risk related to your interaction with any of these people or entities? If you’re like most people, your honest answer will have to be, “No.” You probably know of at least one or two areas where you could have some exposure to legal risk. Those are the things you want to bring to an attorney’s attention ASAP.
2. GET A PROFESSIONAL ASSESSMENT
Whether your business is a start-up or has been around for a while, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with an attorney and get a professional opinion about your legal risks. An attorney can evaluate your risks, present solutions, and let you know where you stand. Consider this a legal “check-up” for your business. It’s a good idea to do this once per year, at a minimum.
3. HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO SERVE AS GENERAL COUNSEL FOR YOUR BUSINESS
General Counsel attorneys are very versatile, and necessary to your business, even if your business is not facing any litigation. Outside General Counsel (whether an attorney or a firm, independently contracted, serving your business as General Counsel) even count as a tax-deductible expense to your business. When you can get these essential, tax-deductible legal services for a regular (quarterly or annual) subscription fee, which is what ExecutiveLP™ has done with our Signet™ General Counsel legal service plan, they become a fixed cost (rather than a variable cost) to your business, making them much easier to include in your business’s budget.
We’ve Made the Hard Part Easy
Most people avoid lawyers like the plague. We understand why that’s the case. We understand that people want accountability, affordability, and accessibility when dealing with a legal professional; and usually, they find it difficult or impossible to find an attorney who will bring all three of those things to their attorney-client relationships. ExecutiveLP™ makes signing up for and using General Counsel services a breeze, and offers flat fee assessments for start-ups and existing businesses.
You can get started by downloading our easy-to-read, full color 2016 Menu of Services. Then, all you need to do to schedule a no-obligation initial consultation is just fill out a quick contact form (we promise not to spam you). One of our friendly, helpful attorneys will reach out to you ASAP, and you’re off to the races. It’s that easy.