Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld LLP (“CBMS”) has advised all kinds of business owners and not-for-profit corporations in various matters. Nobody enters into an agreement intending to go to court due to a dispute, but sometimes issues arise when one party may not be able to honor their commitments. In those situations, retaining legal counsel can be a wise, strategic decision.
Hiring a lawyer does not mean you’re on the offensive and looking to initiate a lengthy legal battle. Oftentimes, having a lawyer on your side can actually reduce your risk of setting foot in court.
Below are some ways in which a lawyer can identify specific issues and ultimately help you avoid litigation.
- You’ll spend a little and save a lot. There are plenty of ways for you to cut corners to save your business some money, but legal advice should not be one of them. No matter the size of your operation, using templated forms for contracts, leases and operating agreements can have long-term consequences and costs. Leases in particular are often entered into without enough advance consideration. Stark differences in negotiating advantage can be mitigated by engaging counsel early on. The drafting party may have hidden advantages or limitations laced in a form’s language, which skilled lawyers can identify. The cost of not doing so far outweighs the investment. Wouldn’t you spend a few hundred or thousand dollars up front to save tens of thousands later?
Even more important is ensuring that the agreement allows you to do business as you intend, and grow as your needs change.
- You can communicate effectively. If you sense that something’s awry with another party, you should reach out to convey your concern. Your lawyer can be your communicator and help you avoid unpleasantness. For example, if you’re a landlord with a tenant that is two months late on rent payments and is unresponsive, involving a lawyer shows you’re serious while maintaining a distance that allows you to continue an amicable relationship once the issue is resolved. The opposite is also true. If you are having difficulties honoring your commitments, ignoring those realities in the hopes they go away often ends badly. Communicating with the other side and being honest instills confidence that you are trying to resolve the problem without harmful intentions.
- You’ll understand the other side’s point of view. In business, issues will undoubtedly arise. It could involve a client, customer, employee or another company. A qualified lawyer will have a range of experiences from which to draw when advising you, and can help you see things from the other side. It’s human nature to adopt your own position, but a lawyer can help you think strategically and sympathetically. This is how you can keep a dispute from snowballing into a court date.
- You gain a new trusted counsel or confidant. You can create an arrangement to retain certain legal services throughout the life of your business or operation. This way, you’ll know that a brief phone call or email exchange will help you if your company is growing, shrinking, relocating, selling or needs to renegotiate its lease agreement. It’s better to have conversations about any of these other issues with a lawyer first. He or she will help you make smart decisions and avoid potential disputes.
By hiring a lawyer, you should gain peace of mind that you will be protected from contracts or situations that put you at a disadvantage. This will keep you out of court and focusing on running your business.
CBMS has a successful track record representing clients in and out of the courtroom. To learn more about our litigation practice and our lawyers, visit here.