When people hear lawyer or attorney, they often think of people on billboards, television or clever jingles on the radio. Business attorneys are different and what we do is often not as clear cut as personal injury or family law may be.
Previously, I have written about effective ways to use a business attorney. However, before knowing how to effectively use a business attorney, it is helpful to know what one does. In my practice, for example, I am involved in every aspect of the life of a business. That can include business formation (such as creating a corporation or LLC) when a business is first started through to when the business is sold or merged.
Once a business is formed, I am regularly involved in transactions for my clients. Those transactions can include the creation of operating agreements; the negotiation and/or drafting of contracts; participating in lease agreements or purchase agreements; or other business contracts or agreements.
Once a business is more established, a business lawyer can be an effective resource in strategic planning. This can include whether you are going to grow your business; seek partnerships or joint ventures; or increase your talent pool. If a business is increasing or changing employment practices, a business attorney should be involved to assist with creation of policies and implementation of training.
When things become challenging for a business, the business may need a commercial litigator, or at a minimum a “commercial negotiator”. Within litigation, a business lawyer will represent the business in court (or an arbitration) and be involved in protecting and/or advancing the legal rights of the business. I cut my teeth as a commercial litigator and have taken cases to trial with multi-million dollar judgments; taken cases to the Nevada Supreme Court; and settled cases for my clients resulting in multi-million dollar settlements. I see my work in transactions and strategic planning extraordinarily valuable in litigation. As I have regularly seen the effects of business transactions in court, I have been able to help my clients avoid going to court or resolving such claims more quickly.
Finally, a business attorney will help your business to evolve and make transitions. These transitions can include a merger or an acquisition; the creation of a succession plan; and estate planning to ensure that a business survives even when the owner of the business dies.
The relationship you establish with your business lawyer cannot be boiled down to a jingle and certainly cannot be accurately captured with a billboard. Your business attorney should be your trusted partner in all phases in the life of your business.