A sudden, unexpected legal crisis can afflict a business at any time. Theft by an employee, a sudden health-related event such as the world experienced this year, a discrimination or harassment claim, issues with contractors or landlords, intellectual property infringement, and other serious matters can place you in urgent need of skilled, experienced legal counsel. Unfortunately, that same urgency can also create additional complications, from additional expenses to concerns over the quality of representation. Here are some of the most worrying challenges you may encounter.
- You may pay too much. Pressing an attorney into immediate service causes problems both for you and for the attorney. Since you have no prior professional relationship, the attorney probably knows very little about your business apart from whatever is in the public record. As a result, the attorney must press you for a great deal of information, both on the specific case and on your company in general. The attorney must then charge you more for the billable time involved in sifting through all this additional data.
- You may choose the wrong attorney out of haste. A disorganized, unplanned scramble to select an attorney may easily lead you to choose the wrong attorney for your particular needs. For example, the practitioner in question may lack extensive trial experience, or hold a different legal specialization than the one your case ideally calls for. The lack of an ideal skill/experience fit could lead to strategic missteps or overlooked details that sabotage your legal position and cost you a great deal of money.
- You may not be able to get the attorney you want. Even if you already know exactly who you want to represent you, that attorney may not be available within the necessary window of time. Attorneys often have significant ongoing representation matters which must be satisfactorily addressed before one can move on to new a client’s potential legal issues. When you don’t have an established relationship with the attorney you want, that attorney may not have sufficient advance warning about your circumstances to make a place in the schedule for you.
For these and other reasons, the time to create a relationship with an attorney is before problems occur, not after. You don’t want to feel pressure to search for qualified legal help on top of the anxieties imposed on you by the case at hand. Nor do you want to add additional hours of initial introductory work to the hours of casework involved. When you and your attorney have had the time to get to know each and build a streamlined working relationship, you’ll be in much better shape to handle that legal crisis calmly and efficiently when it occurs.
Keep in mind that the long-term success of your collaboration with your business attorney hinges on the overall fit between you and this professional. You might find an attorney who does an adequate job of representing you in your current crisis, only to discover later that the relationship has run into long-term difficulties. You would then face the ordeal of extricating yourself from that relationship, finding a better fit, and then building a new relationship from the ground up. Save yourself the time, effort, and frustration by establishing the right relationship with the right attorney — right now.
© 2020 Matthew W. Harrison and Harrison Law, PLLC All Rights Reserved
This website and article have been prepared by Harrison Law, PLLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.