Business Law Questions
Corporate counsel or general counsel is the head lawyer for any business or organization. It is someone who is familiar with not only the ins and outs of corporate and business law, but can advise on a multitude of other legal issues encountered, including regulatory laws and employment issues. Heather A. Ijames is a trusted corporate counsel and general counsel who provides high-end corporate law to all businesses, no matter their size.
If your business is anything other than a sole proprietorship, your business should have a lawyer from the onset. Your business is its own legal entity, and may not represent itself in court. Having a lawyer for your business is a necessity. Therefore, it is better to hire one before a problem arises. This way, your lawyer can become familiar with how you run your business and advise on any pitfalls that are present. Remember, much of litigation can be avoided with preventative advising.
Yes. The best way to avoid litigation is to run questions, contracts, and issues by a business attorney who not only understands the law, but also the common mistakes that businesses make.
I've been using form contracts I found online and they work great. Why do I need a lawyer to help me draft one?
They only work great because you have not had to sue or be sued on them. For the same reason you don't buy a pair of pants that are one-size-fits-most, you should not rely on a contract to be a one-agreement-fits-most. Not only do laws vary from state to state, Nevada law changes each year. You will never have the best contract you can unless you have a lawyer drafting it specifically for you, paired with the knowledge of what you and your business needs. At minimum, you need a lawyer to review what you are using to make sure it complies with Nevada law, and update it for you at least every two years thereafter.
That's the equivalent of saying you would rather not pay $500 now so you can spend $30,000 later. Similar to your physical health, preventative care for your business is the key. Even if you never get sued, most business attorney's fees that are incurred in the day-to-day operation of your business, such as getting legal advice about contracts and employees, are tax deductible as business expenses. Attorney's fees associated with litigation are typically not tax-deductible.
Absolutely. Like your family doctor looks after your health, I am a business attorney that can be the watchdog over your legal affairs, guiding you whenever possible to avoid leaving yourself unprotected.
Yes. In fact, I encourage all my clients to let me look over every major contract as I am an experienced lawyer. First, businesses continue pumping out form contracts--those one-agreement-fits-most--because they go unchallenged for the most part. But why would an individual allow a big corporation to take advantage of them like that? Most of those contracts are woefully one-sided. If a corporation has someone looking out for their interests, so should you.
That always depends on the size of your estate and what your wishes are. I conduct a thorough interview and go over options that best suit you. Estate planning is instrumental to your future and we can leave no stone unturned. At the same time, many other lawyers put clients in estate planning vehicles that are essentially overkill, which will take a big chunk out of your pocketbook and deters many families from planning this stage of their lives. This should be a thorough process, but it should not be something that financially burdens you.
But what about those online services for trusts and wills? We only have our house and a few accounts. It would be too expensive if I didn't do it myself.
This fact is true for many families. However, if you go this route, you still need to hire a lawyer to look over what you have done on your own. Even if you save money by using an online service, if it's not done right, you've still wasted your money and left your estate in jeopardy. Having a lawyer like Heather look over your final product is significantly cheaper than having a lawyer draft it outright, and it's also a necessity. Please do not skip this final step.
I understand why a business needs their own lawyer, but why does a person need a lawyer if they haven't been sued?
Leverage. Every successful business and every successful individual has a lawyer standing next to them. There's clout in knowing exactly where to turn when something comes up. It's also one less thing to worry about. You're never alone when you have a lawyer to back you up.