I recently gave a presentation at the Women’s Innovative Network.  It was an amazing, attentive audience of entrepreneurs.    My talk was based on 10 ideas that can help your business.  I believe my last one is probably the most important one.

Do you need a lawyer?

As a lawyer, you would assume that I would say a wholehearted, YES!   But, instead what I suggest is you collect as much information as you can before contacting an attorney.

Why?

You are the person who knows the most about your profession.  If you need more information, then I always suggest connecting to your professional association, whether that is local or national.  They will be a great source to you to help your business.

When should I contact an attorney?

If you need a contract or agreement created, then you should contact an attorney, but with the information that you are providing, then it will be a shorter phone call or meeting.  This saves you money, but you have also educated yourself about your business. 

I also suggest getting a lawyer involved if you are taking part in a negotiation.  Again, a short conversation can help you manage the situation, get a reality check and put you on winning road.

If there is a disagreement, then I always advocate mediation, but mediation with an attorney mediator can make a difference in a business conflict.

Lastly, any legal complaints or issues with governmental authorities do need legal intervention.  Many times I have seen people ignore paperwork or wait until the last minute.  If you are being sued, then you need to immediately hire an attorney.

 

Cynthia Pasciuto is an attorney, consultant, mediator and educator in Massachusetts who has taught at Bentley University, NIWH and NESA.