What Are You Hiring An Attorney For?

GENERAL LEGAL

1 min read

There are three main reasons to hire an attorney:

1) Construct the rules for a relationship (Contract)

2) Comply with rules in place (Compliance); or

3) Right a perceived wrong/defend your actions (Lawsuit)

Contract

A contract is a legal promise to do something. There are all kinds of legal promises in the form of agreements -– a lease, sale, partnership, LLC, loan, nondisclosure, confidentiality, licensing, prenup, independent contractor, and so on.

If a contract is written clearly and each party understands what they're supposed to do and what might happen if they don't, it's less likely there will be a dispute later. An agreement makes sure everyone is clear on their responsibilities.

Compliance

Compliance means following the rules in an area where you have implicitly agreed to those rules. For example, you have a responsibility to the government to pay taxes. If you run a company, there are human resources and workplace safety rules to follow. If your company is public, there are investor rules to follow.

Not complying with these rules can result in a lawsuit. An attorney can offer assistance when compliance is complicated.

Lawsuit

Things can go wrong in a contract or with compliance. Or you might suffer a physical, mental or financial injury. If that happens, you potentially have a dispute, and you will have to take some legal steps to resolve it.

The goal of handling disputes is to maximize compensation or minimize damage for some specific situation or set of facts. Nothing good usually comes from disputes. They are stressful, they cost a lot, they go on forever, and you never really get that victory lap.

However, there's no way to completely avoid disputes. But you can reduce the risk by doing a good job with your contracts and compliance.

The Cost of Hiring an Attorney

Law itself is a business. Hiring an attorney is expensive. Hourly rates are hundreds of dollars. And nothing takes just a few hours. Make sure the outcome is worth the cost. Even when you don’t pay an attorney unless you win, your attorney collects a large share – 30-50% of what you recover in a lawsuit.

These are just some of the considerations when hiring an attorney. Many attorneys offer a free consultation to assess your situation, and you can ask questions. No harm in taking that step.