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Choosing A Business Attorney

Hiring a well-qualified business attorney is also important for the new business owner because unexpected issues with employees or other legal matters can quickly arise. When hiring a business attorney, potential clients need to perform their “due diligence” prior to retaining his or her services. Acquiring referrals from friends and family is always prudent, as is searching online for past client references. The professional business attorney has experience in copyright law, business disputes, leases, trademarks and licensing. In addition, business owners are sometimes faced with collection issues which can usually be resolved though the intervention of a qualified business attorney.

Each new business has its own legal needs specific to the type of existing business model. For example, the best lawyer for one particular type of business model might not be suitable for a different type of business model. Furthermore, the new business might require specific knowledge or experience that a certain business lawyer may not be specialized in. Not only does the business attorney need to have relevant experience, he and the business owner need to have compatible personalities. If they do not get along on a personal level, the quality of professional services may suffer. The two types of business attorneys include litigation and transaction lawyers. Although certain business attorneys handle both types of legal matters, most prefer concentrating on one or the other. Depending upon their specific needs, the business owner needs to determine whether a litigation lawyer or a transaction lawyer is best for his individual situation.

In addition to gathering referrals from friends and family members, business owners seeking the services of a business attorney can search online through legal directories and listings from their local branches of the bar association. After the business owner has acquired a few names of legal professionals, he should also consider visiting the attorney’s website. The website will either be based upon the lawyer’s individual services, or upon the legal firm in which he is associated with. In addition to visiting the website and gathering references, potential clients should also check if the attorney has disciplinary complaints filed against him or the law firm that he is affiliated with.

Before deciding upon which business lawyer to hire, potential clients should conduct interviews with prospective attorneys. The business owner should find out if the lawyer has experience handling matters similar to the ones likely to be posed by his business. Payment structure and billing practices should also be clarified before hiring the legal professional. Some business lawyers allow for a certain number of complimentary phone calls, while others bill for each and every interaction, no matter how limited the time. The lawyer’s accessibility should also be taken into consideration when making a hiring decision. Even though having a thriving law practice is a good sign, if the business lawyer is too busy to take calls from new clients, it may be time to look elsewhere. The experienced business lawyer should also have exceptional communication skills and have the ability to explain complicated legal concepts into easy-to-understand terms. In addition, the legal expert should never offer vague, murky answers when confronted with a legal query. Verbiage, known as “legalease” does have its place in the legal industry, but its use should be very limited when dealing with the new, inexperienced business owner. Explaining legal matters into “lay” terms places the client at ease and allows the two parties to work together towards a common goal.