Introduction: What Should You Take Away?
We have all heard it before—-“Don’t wait….” to do this or that. But nothing is more urgent than when you are a business owner, conducting business, and you WAIT to let your accountant do your taxes or you WAIT to fire that employee you know isn’t doing anything or you WAIT to let your attorney know you’re in trouble. Waiting, my dear business owners, can and will cost you THOUSANDS. Just hear my true life story below.
KLP’s mission is to keep business owners “IN business and OUT of Court”. One of the reasons for this mission is because litigation is expensive and tedious and time consuming and a headache. Well….AMAZINGLY enough, I had a client whom I advised in one of my 1 hour Business Legal Consultations, to allow me to draw up a contract between him and his vendors and strategic partners and he DID NOT LISTEN. Why have a contract? It’s easier to prove in Court and lays out the expectations of parties. Why didn’t he listen? I have no idea.
Fast forward a few months and he’s in a lawsuit (over the exact contract I told him to get in writing). But it gets better….he waits until the week that his Answer is due to tell me he needs my services and wants me to represent him and his company……………………………………..you can imagine how that conversation went. Under GA law, you are given 30 days to respond to a Complaint after it has been properly served on you (45 days actually because there is a 15 day grace period). Well..there are a few lessons to be learned from this story.
A few lessons to be learned: Call to action!
1. “I told you so” doesn’t quite convey my feelings. When a professional advises you to do something, they probably have reasons for it. Had he had a contract, I would be submitting to the Court a Motion to Dismiss or Motion for Summary Judgment as opposed to just an Answer and Counterclaim. This case could be very expensive the longer it goes.
2. “It’s going to cost you” which were my exact words to this client. Waiting until the last minute to retain my services means extra work and time for me and my staff that we could have planned over a month had we known about your case. So do we charge a premium? Yes!
3. “You MUST communicate with your Dream Team”. It specifically states in my retainer agreements with my clients that they are REQUIRED to communicate with me; that’s the only way I can be the BEST attorney I can be. Silence is NOT golden in attorney-client relationships….it’s not good at all.
It’s simple. In the above case, this client could have spent maybe $1,500 on my draft of his contract and another $1,000 to file a Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment in his case for a total of $2,500. Instead, he’s going to end up paying A LOT MORE to try to get to the bottom of a case, between 2 business owners, in which there is NO CONTRACT. Some people have to learn the hard way. Don’t let this be you!
DISCUSSION QUESTION: What is causing you to WAIT to have an experienced attorney on YOUR team that can provide you the CUSTOMIZED advice you need to succeed?
**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 – www.kendricklaw.net (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 http://www.slideshare.net/kendricklaw/why-klp-kendrick-law-practice or a video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QFFIRk5ECw to answer “Why KLP?”.
Blogs at www.kendricklaw.wordpress.com
Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/kendricklaw
Skype Username: KendrickLawPractice