Searching for Lawyers That Specialize in Contracts? 4 Pieces of Advice Small Business Owners Need to Know
Having the right contract lawyer can spell the difference between having an airtight contract that adequately protects your interests and having a contract that will get your case thrown out in court. For business owners facing disputes or litigation, the quality of their contracts will quickly become apparent during the litigation process. Working with a contract lawyer will ensure that your contracts are drafted properly. They will also ensure that all the legal protections your business needs to thrive are included. The right contract lawyer will be committed to meeting your unique legal needs, and these four tips will help you find them.
1. The Right Contract Lawyer Will Offer Your Business These Key Services
Drafting contracts and reviewing legal documents are what contract lawyers do, but your contract lawyer should offer a variety of consultation and litigation services as well. Business litigation is an umbrella term that encompasses – at minimum – breaches of contract, partnership disputes, class action lawsuits, and shareholder litigation.
Your business needs an attorney capable of handling all these aspects of business litigation. Unforeseen circumstances will arise, and the damage from situations such as fraudulent claims made against your business can be significantly mitigated by an attorney that can negotiate partnership and employment disputes, and can aggressively represent your case in court. A contract lawyer that offers services beyond basic contract review demonstrates flexibility, an understanding of the challenges of day-to-day business operations, and the capacity to follow through in their support of your business.
2. Law Firm Size Is A Determining Factor In The Type of Service You Will Receive
Working with a large law firm ensures that your attorney will have the resources they need to address your case, but small law firms are often better equipped to give more personalized, client-centered service. Because large law firms employ a greater amount of attorneys than their smaller counterparts – each with varied experience and backgrounds – you may not necessarily be assigned an attorney that meets all your expectations.
That does not mean that large firms don’t have their perks. Greater access to resources means that large firms are more equipped to address your concerns as they arise than smaller firms. The diversity of contract lawyers in large law firms also means a wider selection of lawyers for you.
The choice is not strictly between one type of firm or the other, however. So long as large firms are willing to collaborate with attorneys outside their ranks, you can choose to work with a blend of services from large and small firms as well.
3. Contract Lawyers With Experience In Your Industry Will Help Your Business Grow
Nothing will hinder the growth of your business more quickly than a failure to remain in compliance with relevant regulations. A 2010 study by the U.S. Small Business Administration showed that on average business owners paid about $160,000 in regulatory costs, and as much as almost $700,000 in the manufacturing sector. As the infographic below demonstrates, regulation heavily impacts business growth. As it is something all businesses must contend with, working with a contract lawyer already familiar with the regulatory standards and legal needs of your industry is a cost-effective way of keeping your business compliant and a safe distance from the possibility of a regulatory investigation.
Even if you operate a business without stringent regulations, contract lawyers that have experience in your industry are still a valuable asset. Their familiarity with the rigors of your industry and the typical expectations of your customer base can aid them in intuiting legal issues common to your industry, and can help you to develop contracts that anticipate and curtail those issues before they can negatively impact your business.
4. Your Contract Lawyer Must Have Expertise In Local And State Laws Affecting Your Business
Failure to stay abreast of changes in local, regional, and state laws can mean governmental investigation and costly legal expenses that could have been avoided with a knowledgeable contract lawyer at your side. An attorney that specializes in your region’s laws will have a more thorough understanding of the legal expectations you must satisfy, and can advise you on the best means of doing so.
States like California often have stricter regulations, higher employee compensation and protections, and harsher penalties on businesses than federal law. If your business is in such a state, choosing contract lawyers with expertise in that state’s law is good practice. Doing so will ensure that you are prepared to present your case in court, and may help you avoid litigation altogether.
Finding the right contract lawyer for your business does not have to be a grand ordeal. Knowing what expertise you want in a contract lawyer, how attentive you can expect them to be to your case, and whether their services will help you secure protections for your business will play decisive roles in who you choose to work with. Whoever you ultimately choose to work with, these four tips will ensure that you have the information you need to make the right choice.
Do you still have questions about how to choose a contract lawyer?
Contact Sadeghi & Associates at (949)514-8605 for more information.