Spring has sprung!  Each of us has our own way of greeting the season of rebirth.  As one of the firm’s trial attorneys, I look at Spring as a way to measure my New Year’s resolutions to see if I am on track.

Even though I am a trial attorney, a part of my practice consists of counseling clients on litigation avoidance.  Although litigation is often a necessary effort when all other attempts to resolve a dispute fail, it is virtually certain that an out-of-court settlement is in a client’s best interest in the long run.  Accordingly, this month I offer the following few tips to avoid trouble:

  • If you are involved in a dispute, attempt to resolve it sooner rather than later.  Usually, disputes do not go away by avoidance; they usually grow in scope, difficulty of resolution and expense.  Whether you engage a lawyer to assist you in negotiating your way through a dispute, we suggest addressing the issue as quickly as possible.  This is especially true if the dispute arises out of a claim that you may owe someone money. I have seen in my practice that good faith and cooperative efforts to resolve such disputes go a long way in avoiding a larger problem later.
  • If you are in business, and assuming you are incorporated or operating under a limited liability company, make sure you enter into any agreement in the name of the business entity and not simply by signing your name.  For example, if you sign as “ABC Company by John Doe, its President,” then it is the entity that has entered into the agreement and not you, individually.  This is but one of the many “corporate” or “business” formality issues that must be considered in order to maintain the limited personal liability one is afforded when doing business as a corporation or limited liability company.
  • “Pay me now, or pay me later!”  Invest in having any agreement into which you intend to enter, or any business deal you are considering, reviewed by counsel at the outset.  I promise this will be time and money well spent.

Then, if you can…take an afternoon off and enjoy a Spring training ballgame, a round of golf, a walk among the wildflowers, or whatever may rejuvenate you during this season of rebirth.  Enjoy – it’s a good life!

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