Legal Life Lessons: Knowing When To Be Quiet

One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is non-attorneys giving legal advice. Culprits that do it ALL the time include business consultants and CPAs and accountants. I have NO idea why some individuals believe they have a law degree that took me three (3) years and several thousand dollars to obtain but I sincerely wish it would stop for the following reason:………You DO NOT know what you’re talking about. Period.

I recently had a conversation with a close friend that is a business consultant for a non-profit. He explained to me that he had a client that was a sole proprietor that needed to become a corporation or LLC in order to receive federal grant money. The client didn’t want to register with the state (sounds fishy but ok, let’s roll with it) and so my friend proceeds to explain to him all the legal reasons he should become registered with the state………………….half of which were WRONG or MISLEADING.

A few things to point out:

First, just because you register with the state does NOT make you wholly shielded from personal liability. There is this legal concept called “piercing of the veil” that can open business owners up to personal liability if certain things happen.

Second, a general partnership can be formed WITHOUT registering with the State. Just start doing business with someone else and the Courts will consider you in a partnership. So if this particular client does NOT want to register with the State, he can become a general partnership. He would still be open to personal liability but, unlike a sole proprietorship, that would be ONLY after the partnership assets have been drained. (My friend did NOT know this and so wasn’t able to give this INTERESTING piece of advice).

My points could go on….and on….and on. But the point is this: “If you DO NOT have a law degree, as PASSED the Bar,……STOP STOP STOP giving people legal advice.” You can call me for FREE 15 minute phone consultations and speak with an actual attorney. No excuses people. I’m done for now. Until next time.

**The “Legal Life Lessons” Series was started by Attorney Kendrick in 2012 as a way to showcase real life legal situations that either she has experienced or those within her networks have experienced. The goal is to move away from boring, white paper style discussions about the law and focus on creating comfortable conversations about real experiences in the life of Georgia business owners.**

DISCLAIMER: Kendrick Law Practice and its attorneys are ONLY authorized to practice law in Georgia and NO OTHER territory, state or country and therefore any and all legal advice is only applicable for businesses and individuals that reside and/or located in the State of Georgia. Additionally, please be advised that this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship unless there is a signed or electronically filed retainer agreement on file with the Firm.
Kendrick Law Practice, LLC – (practicing business law exclusively)

Keeping Georgia small businesses “IN business and OUT of Court”

P O Box 630, Lithonia, GA 30058 * (678) 739-8109

Mission Statement: To provide Georgia small businesses PASSION for and ACCESS to HIGHLY CUSTOMIZED and PERSONAL business advice AND legal counseling, including document drafting, document reviewing and negotiating services. View an audio presentation at or a video at to answer “Why KLP?”.

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Filed under business, legal, small business

2 responses to “Legal Life Lessons: Knowing When To Be Quiet

  1. The title of your blog is interesting in itself – learning when to keep shtum is a vital life lesson generally, law aside. Also, knowing when to not ask a question in court is also a lesson many lawyers have learned.

    • Indeed it is. These “Legal Life Lessons” series are designed to be generally applicable but still have a specific legal lesson so it has wider appeal and applicability. As a general rule, the more pithy you are in court, the better your chances. You can talk yourself right out of your own Court case. Thanks for commenting and feel free to subscribe to our blog so you receive these whenever we blog about them.

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