I have been working with companies and their owners on their legal needs for over 28 years, taking a different approach than many attorneys. My practice focuses on prudent operations and lawsuit prevention rather than resolving problems or legal disputes once they occur, although I also help clients solve problems and disputes. Most of my clients are diligent, but some can be careless or sloppy. The most careless or sloppy are either no longer in business or no longer clients, or both. Business owners are generally an optimistic group, sometimes too optimistic. I have seen time and again that bad things – unfairness, deception, strong-arming, hidden liabilities, regulatory surprises – happen in business with alarming frequency. These problems are often avoidable or containable through a commitment by the business owner to operate more carefully on a daily basis, but it is surprising how often business owners fail to do this.
When avoidable problems occur, the owner wants to hold the responsible party accountable and demands that justice prevail. Unfortunately, due to the high cost, uncertainty, and emotional toll of formal dispute resolution, justice often does not prevail. And while it’s easy to understand upside concepts – increasing volume, revenues and profits, reducing expenses, tapping new markets – my most successful clients, and especially those that have already been burned, pay close attention to their potential downside by committing the time and energy necessary to avoid big setbacks. The thoughtful prevention of business problems before they occur is difficult to quantify, but it is very real and very important.
Below are links to proactive, preventative measures for business owners to consider:
Like regularly getting a physical and going to the dentist, practicing preventative business law will help you avoid costly problems in the future. There will always be reasons to ignore this suggestion, but there is simply no substitute for it. Take the time to properly memorialize and tend to your important business relationships, and you will sleep better now and save yourself a lot of headaches later.