OUR CLIENTS challenged us to meet one of their greatest concerns: the rising cost of legal services due, in part, to the mounting number of federal and state regulations affecting their businesses and the increasing number of lawsuits and other claims they were facing in today's litigious business environment. We are proud to report that we have met the challenge, teamed up with our clients, and developed a program of Preventative Law designed to help reduce our clients' overall legal expenses.
Today, I have newfound respect for the person who made up all of those sayings that we heard growing up, but ignored. One of those sayings is, "An ounce of [legal] prevention is worth [more than] a pound of cure." The avoidance of legal problems through education, awareness, and training (an ounce of prevention) goes a long way towards reducing the amount of legal fees your company will spend in the future paying to resolve lawsuits involving claims for breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, wrongful termination, or sexual harassment (a pound of cure)-just to name a few. Preventative Law focuses on avoiding these types of legal problems rather than fixing them.
We focus our efforts up front to examine your business, review your method of operations, analyze your contracts--purchase orders, non-disclosure and non-compete agreements and other important documents--in order to identify legal matters that frequently arise in your business. After that, we educate you and others in management in advance about the proper ways to address those legal matters, so that management can make the best most informed decisions they can make, under the circumstances, or know when to seek legal advice up front before they make costly legal mistakes. Putting the right information in the hands of the right people and training them how to use it, is the key to our success.
The essence of Preventative Law is being "ready" and being "prepared"--no matter what business you are in. Benjamin Franklin said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." We agree. We think ahead, learn your business, identify common legal issues, and educate and train our clients how to solve problems, create opportunities, and use the company's strengths in a strategic way. We generate new knowledge and techniques to teach management awareness of legal issues before they arise. On the job training engages management in educational activities and training that is practical in preparation for improvement in dealing with the company's legal matters.
Preparation is designed to harness the skills, talent, knowledge, and passion of management into a system of developing steps to accomplish a good legal outcome. Preparation is used in business transactions and management all the time. It transfers naturally into Preventative Law. Many times an important part of preparation is the concept that time is of the essence especially in contract law. Preparation allows time needed to do the right steps sequentially in the correct order, instead of panicking and doing quick steps haphazardly with no thought as to what should come first, who should be consulted, and what should come next. Preparation in dealing with legal matters will result in better work, better records, better supporting evidence, and better outcomes. Preparation time and preparation increases the chances of achieving the desired results.
The people who win battles at the courthouse are generally the people who are the most prepared. The people who lose battles are the people who make few preparations beforehand. Thus, much preparation leads to victory, and little preparation leads to defeat. It is by attention to this point that one can foresee who is likely to win or lose.
Our Preventative Law Program includes the following ingredients:
- Examine the common legal issues your business faces.
- Monitor changes in the laws that affect your products and services.
- Identify legal issues likely to arise in your business.
- Educate the client regarding reoccurring legal issues.
- Train the client regarding the importance of considering the legal consequences of his/her actions.
- Review and explain pertinent legal documents, contracts, purchase agreements, policy manuals, social media and employment policies.
- Share innovative measures and alternate dispute resolution techniques-mediation, arbitration, neutral evaluations, settlement conferences.
- Protect trade secrets and confidential information.
- Safeguard intellectual property.
- Develop leadership and management skills on legal issues.
Preventative Law is an effective tool we use to practice law and service our clients. Keeping our clients out of trouble is more important than helping them control the damage after mistakes are made. Preventative Law saves time, effort, money, and resources for our clients, by preventing problems instead of solving them. It enables us to partner with our clients and focus on identifying their common legal issues and determining how to deal with or avoid them. Preventative Law also contributes to higher company morale and efficiency because the Company is focused on its business instead of being disrupted by distracting legal problems. If a problem can be detected early or avoided, a lot less time will be spent on it if it is identified and dealt with up front than if it is identified too late.
The most important part of our Preventative Law program is aimed at avoiding or minimizing your company's legal problems.