How to Hire the Best Attorney for Your Small Business

When starting a new business, or even in the course of running an already existing  one, there are bound to be several issues you will come across in the everyday running of the business. Issues of a legal nature are likely to be the most challenging of these issues, one in which the business owner is not likely to be able to solve without adequate and experienced legal help.

Some of these business activities can range from certain business transactions, employee contracts or disputes, tax return filings, partnership disputes, business litigation and many more. What is more, having access to a  business lawyer can very often help you in preventing or mitigating many of these issues, while at the same time keep you from running afoul of various state or federal laws that have been passed to regulate these exact business relationships or situationships.

Hiring a business attorney when you have never done so before can often be a somewhat daunting task, chiefly because of the number of things that need to be considered in order to ensure that the right or best decision is made in the interest of the business. Therefore, get this decision right, and your business will most likely be the better off for it. Get it wrong, and it can easily set you back a bit.

There are several different ways to find an attorney, but the quickest and easiest way to do so in this day and age is to do a quick search on any one of the major search engines like Google or Bing. Or alternatively via any one of the many legal directories that compile a large list of lawyers and other legal professionals according to their practice areas and/or their location.

The following discussion focuses on some of the things that you should consider in your quest to hire a business or commercial attorney for your business.

Why do you need an attorney?

The very first thing you need to be very clear on, is the reason for wanting to hire an attorney in the first place? Oftentimes there might be one specific reason, other times there might be several independent or related reasons. Whatever the case may be, you  need to be clear on what this reason or reasons are. This clarity or purpose can point you in the right direction in your search.

Once you know the specific reason why you need a lawyer, and you know where you are going to begin or conduct your search, the next thing you need to have a firm grasp on, is what questions, if any, you are going to ask the individual, and/or what criteria the candidate must have to be considered for the job, all in a bid to ensure that they are best fit for the specific situation you need them for.

To this end, and if it is relevant to your specific business situation, you should try as much as possible to gather some basic information about what the law says about your specific case. This way, if you find any inconsistencies between what your research tells you and what a lawyer that you are interviewing says, then you can put this discrepancy to him and hear what he or she says.

One idea behind this is to let the attorney know that you have done some homework on the subject matter. Such an lawyer is more likely to take you seriously because he will know you are not completely ignorant.

What to look for when hiring an attorney?

The number one thing you want to look out for when speaking to an attorney you are considering hiring, is the level of confidence they posses as it pertains to your specific case. Similarly, you need to be sure that they have the necessary experience in the specific type of business that you are running. For instance, you wouldn’t want to hire a general business attorney to handle a case involving a real estate transaction, if he or she has no experience in real estate.

Another important feature to be aware of, is the background of the law firm.  These days, it is very common to find single-person law firms who do pretty much all the work required for the firm to stay afloat. One potential disadvantage to hiring such law firm, is the possibility that at any given point in time, they might have a heavy caseload from different clients, and if they are not at the point of hiring additional staff, they might try and “wing” it and handle all the cases themselves. This can obviously lead to some cases being prioritized over others, which very possibly can lead to some cases not getting the deserved attention.

Know your budget

There is a general perception that lawyers are expensive. This may or may not be accurate. Whatever the case may be however, the fact remains that you need to be sure that you can afford to hire an attorney for whatever you need one for. Therefore, when you settle on a lawyer that you think is best fit for the situation at hand, be sure to discuss everything as it pertains to the cost, or potential cost of retaining their services. 

Most attorneys have a range of $250-$800 per hour, but this varies from firm to firm, or attorney to attorney, and the kind of work which will be expected of the attorneyFor some relatively simple cases, you will be able to know exactly what your expenses will be. Other times, especially for complex or ongoing cases, it will be almost impossible to determine exactly what your total cost will be.

Whatever the situation is, you should be sure to discuss the financial implication of retaining the services of this lawyer. The last thing you want is for you to get a bill shock at the end of your dealings with the lawyer.

Stay Informed Throughout the Process

Even after you have hired the attorney, and signed any necessary contracts or retainers, you need to stay on top of the goings on with the situation at all times. This is especially true for long drawn-out cases. This means ensuring that you are getting regular updates, asking relevant questions and seeking clarification for what you are being told and whatever else is relevant. At the same time, as previously mentioned, you should continue to educate and inform yourself on the situation from a legal perspective, so that if necessary, you can always challenge your attorney to do more, or question if he or she is doing or saying things contrary to what your findings indicate s/he should be doing.

In Conclusion

As stated at the beginning of this piece, unlike other types of issues that a business might face, such as those related to marketing, IT or sales, issues of a legal nature can often be the most difficult to handle, often because of the delicate and often ‘tricky’ nature of the law, and often because the vast majority of people know little to nothing about it. As well as the fact that the consequences of a violation of a law, can usually have much more dire consequences than those of other industries.

5 Do’s and Don’ts Before Hiring Any Business Attorney

Hiring Any Business Attorney

Starting a new business is a worrisome experience for many young entrepreneurs.  Very many problems affect small businesses. Among them are the various legal issues common in our litigious society.

Some of the legal issues that face a business are fairly straightforward and easy to solve. A small business owner can sort them with minimal assistance from small business lawyer NYC. However, some of these issues may be too complex with serious legal ramifications such that it will much better for you if you have a business attorney by your side for legal counsel. Issues such as setting up partnerships, getting trademarks, patents, pension plans, tax plans, and employee contracts can result in liability lawsuits.

To avoid litigation, having a lawyer for your business is a smart move. A relationship between you and your business lawyer should be cultivated at the beginning. You should lay the groundwork for a successful partnership right at the beginning. 

The Do’s

  1. Ask what they charge for your type of business
    When starting a business, you very likely will be very conscious of your expenditure. You need to find out upfront whether the attorney is within your price range. Good attorneys know the exact cost and time it would take them to do whatever you need them to do. They should be able to provide an accurate price range. This will save you from going through the rigorous vetting process with someone who is outside your budget.
  2. Find out about the attorneys availability
    You need to find out if they would be available for meetings at your convenience and not theirs. Find out if they would return emergency calls. Some of the legal issues affecting a business are time conscious and require prompt resolution. A good attorney should be available for your business at all times.
  3. The attorney’s specialty and experience
    You should consider choosing a lawyer who specializes in your type of business. They should have some experience handling legal issues that normally affect small businesses. Having experienced lawyers makes it easy for a business owner to trust their judgment.
  4. Good communication
    You should look for a lawyer who understands your needs and communicates to you in the easiest way possible to understand. He should explain all your available options using his experience dealing with similar problems. Lawyers who speak ‘legalese’ are not recommended.
  5. Ask for references
    Find out about what type of legal business cases they worked on before. Get contacts of previous clients or attorneys they have worked with to inquire about competence and services offered.

The Don’ts 

  1. Do not put pay a retainer without knowing all the conditions pertaining to it. You may lose your money in the event of partnership termination. Some lawyers do not refund the balance of the retainer.
  2. Do not go for lawyers who delegate their work to their staff members. As a business owner putting your business at risk, ask upfront if they would directly work the case or someone else on their firm would.
  3. Do not consider lawyers who cannot go with your case to trial. Some lawyers resist going to trial at your businesses expense. They opt to drag the case and eventually settle at all costs to avoid going to trial.
  4. Do not invite lawyers for a vetting process before you find out whether they charge for time spent. Some business owners are known to get information from attorneys free without the intention of hiring. Some lawyers charge to compensate for this time spent.
  5. Do not work with business attorneys who do not share in your vision for the future of your business. Like any other partnership, you and your lawyer’s vision for the company should be in sync to create a successful relationship between the two of you.

A Quicker Way To Settle Your Social Security Claim

It can be quite tough to understand the complexity of the procedures in filing for social security benefits, and it can be a little tough for someone who has nothing to do with the Social Security Administration. It involves time, patience and a lot of paperwork required in filing a claim which is often unavoidable, especially for those who claim for disability benefits.

social-security-claims

The problem with pursuing a benefit claim without professional help is that each time a person files a claim, they often will not know that they may be entitled to a bigger compensation than what he or she is expecting to receive. Most times the common error of the claimant is the lack of necessary documents that will support his claim, which just goes to ensure that, not just his time and effort were wasted but also any money involved in the process as well. But with the help of a proper and experienced legal representation this can be avoided.

Social security lawyers will often tactfully  inspect your personal claim. By doing this, and because of their superior knowledge of the processes and procedures, they are better able to present their clients with a better picture of what is likely to be the outcome of their claims process.

From the application stage up to the crucial part of your claim the lawyers are always there to help you.

During the application stage, a social security lawyer will secure for you the necessary documents needed for the submission of your claim. The same lawyers will also recommend what proof you need to gather in support of your application, along with any medical records and other documents that will be needed by the Social Security Administration. They can often also provide you with expert witnesses that is sometimes needed to further justify your case.

And in the event of a denial, they often are very knowledgeable in the process and procedures to appeal the decision. 

While it is easy to want to try and save money on any possible lawyer fees that you might need to pay if you opted to use the services of a lawyer, chances are that you will spend much more in the event of your application being denied, something which might need you paying another processing fee, and at which point you might then need the services of a lawyer to help you file a proper appeal, meaning you would eventually get to pay that lawyer fee you were trying to avoid, while at the same time succeeding in wasting time and paying a second processing fee.

Then of course if attorney fees really are an issue, then you should perhaps consider looking for an attorney on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you don’t have to pay attorney fee if you lose the case. But if you win, then you pay a certain 25 percent of whatever amount of money you get for their services. 

In the absence of a social security lawyer, the possibility that you might be denied of your benefits due to technicalities is quite high and is a risk you must be prepared to take.

Hire a lawyer that will represent you in your claim in order to avoid risks and save time and ultimately save you money.

Attorneys: Harnessing The Power Of The Internet For Marketing

In the legal profession, advertising or marketing online is quite a recent development. There are still a lot of law firms that are not very active with regards to advertising or marketing their services on the internet. In order to survive and more importantly thrive in today’s competitive world, it is critically important for every law firm to take note of, and constantly use the significant resource that is the internet, remembering that it is the number one tool people often turn to when they are looking for information, products and services.

These days, it is a rare thing to see a household that doesn’t own a computer or similar digital device, and when you add the power and reach of the internet, it gives them all the information they need on every imaginable topic, from the simple ‘yellow page’ listings to web pages with audio and video presentations.  Lawyers and law firms as well that choose not to pay more attention to their marketing and/or advertising online are loosing out in ways that they cannot imagine. 

There are a variety of online listing vehicles for attorneys. Websites like findlaw.com, lawyers.com, lawinfo.com, or the many ‘yellow pages’ services allow lawyers seeking to be added to a commercial listings to do so by paying to have his or her name, or the name of their law firm inserted in such a directory.

For example, there are about four national listing services specially for personal injury attorneys, and others for criminal lawyers, family lawyers and so forth. Association membership is yet another vehicle that can be used for listing in specialist directories. E.g. The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Association, the Consumer Attorneys Association, The Council of Parent Attorneys, etc.

Then there are the local service listings for states or cities that are just as effective in giving a law firm great exposure to people who might be looking for local legal advice. Listing in any of these local directories, or in fact any of the aforementioned directories can sometimes require significant investment on the part of the lawyer or law firm, however, such investments are usually worth the money as the exposure and possible clients you will get as a result will be your return on investment.

And of course one thing that is a must is for an attorney or a law firm is to have their own personalized website. A law firm that has it’s own hosted website can succeed in doing a number of things. The first and foremost is having control over what people get to know about your firm. This is because you have control over what content and information goes onto your website, and this can be a very powerful thing if used properly.

Most people who are searching for an attorney are probably often in some sort of situation that might have them somewhat frightened or worried. Also, chances are that they are not very knowledgeable in the aspect of the law for which they need help with. If your website can provide them some measure of information that answers their question without them even needing to send you an e-mail or give you a call, you would have succeeded in establishing some level of trust between yourselves, something that would not have been possible without a website.

In this day and age, it is safe to say that any law firm that does not pay adequate attention to their digital marketing or advertising is almost certainly not going to get very far.

Bankruptcy Attorneys

The one very important thing that anyone who is going through a bankruptcy process needs to do is to ma sure they seek the professional advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney, to help them through the process.

The following is a list of things to consider when the decision has been made to hire a bankruptcy lawyer:

  1. Free Consultation
    Perhaps the very first thing to note is that you must never agree to pay a consultation fee. It is a very rare thing to find an attorney these days that will still accepts a consultation fee. You can confirm this for yourself by going a Google search for any lawyer search term and visiting any lawyer websites. You will likely see the words “free consultation” on all of them.So any attorney that is asking you to pay a fee, run as fast away as you can.
  2. Experience and Reputation
    Next, you want to only work with the best. And usually, the best will often be someone who specializes in a specific field of practice, in this case, bankruptcy law. While it is often normal for attorneys or law practices to be multi-disciplinary, the key is to know specifics about how much of a specialist is the specific lawyer who will be assigned to your case?

    You want to know how long this person has been practicing in this field, their success and failure rates, and any other relevant information about them. All of this information can be gotten during that initial free consultation previously spoken about.

    A key advantage of working with a specialist bankruptcy attorney, especially a local one, is the fact the he or she is likely to know many of the local personnel of the judicial system that might be interested in the bankruptcy process, including possible knowledge of the creditors in question.

  3. Attorney-Client Interaction and RelationshipIn order to accomplish a successful bankruptcy outcome, you ought to talk with your attorney and be well understood. A potential bankruptcy attorney should be willing to answer your questions. You should definitely feel relaxed with the attorney that you choose to work with.

    A fruitful and successful outcome of a bankruptcy process is heavily dependent on the relationship you have with your bankruptcy lawyer. So a cordial and trusting relationship between the both of you is a must, if you are to get the best end-result. You should be able to trust and provide him with any and all information that he needs for the case, including information  that might be embarrassing for you to divulge.

  4. Size of Law FirmAlthough not always the case, larger law firms are often able to secure a more favorable outcome for you. Their big balance sheet and deep pockets, the clout and reputation of their lawyers, and other resources they command can often plan a positive role in securing a more favorable outcome. The downside however, is that they are likely to cost more.
  5. Credit Restoration
    The one overarching thing you should have at the back of your mind, as something you want to do immediately the process is accomplished, is to immediately begin building your credit again. So it would be great if you can find an attorney who can offer practical advice and help in this regard.

Have You Been Victim of a Personal Injury?

Accidents happen, and can happen to anyone anytime. Worse still is the fact that these incidents or accidents can result in personal or bodily injury. Oftentimes, if this accident is caused by the negligent or otherwise careless actions of another individual, or party, compensation can often be sought to compensate for any damage that might have occurred, or a loss of income as a result of the accident that the other party caused.

One of the very first things you would need to do might be to hire a personal injury attorney. It is important that you find and hire an experienced and skilled legal representative to handle your case at every point. The internet is perhaps the best starting point in your search for an attorney. Compare and examine the experiences of different attorneys and then select the right one that suits for your needs. Picking the appropriate lawyer is really is of critical importance to the outcome of any case you might have against the other party.

It is also wise to make use of all other resources at your disposal in your search for the right lawyer. There are many websites that allow you search for skilled and experienced attorneys, and oftentimes according to other criteria such as location and specialty.

You want to choose the attorney that you are sure will sympathize with you and the pain you are going through, and not  just someone who just sees you as their next pay cheque.

The field of injury law can often be quite a tricky and difficult one. One reason is that it can often be difficult to prove that an accident was as a result of someone else’s negligence, or alternatively that it was not indeed caused by the  victim’s carelessness. Which is exactly why you must ensure you have a very skilled and experienced lawyer on your side.

A personal Injury Lawyer, as opposed to one of a different specialty, is truly the right choice of legal representation for dealing your injury case in a court of law . Once you obtain the help of injury lawyer, you can then focus on taking care of your health.

Online review websites can help you to choose the right attorney as per your requirements. Such websites will often provide detailed information about their years of experience, fees, specialty, success rates and more, so you should be sure to make use of these search functions. Even

One other thing you must be sure to do is to ask for recommendations from family and friends. Besides searching for a lawyer yourself online, personal recommendations is another great way to find a great personal Injury attorney.

Free consultation and effective service

Most lawyers or law firms these days will offer you a free consultation. This is great as it allows you shop around for an attorney until you find the one that best fits your requirements, without your needing to commit any funds upfront.

These free consultations can often even take place over the phone, saving you even more resources in travel time. During that initial consultation, some of the most important questions you want to be sure to ask the individual are things such as:

  • What their attorney fees and costs are. And what their billing structure looks like?
  • How long they have been practising.
  • How long they have been practising specifically in the field of personal injury.
  • If they have ever handled a similar case to yours. And if yes, what was the outcome of those cases.