Q: I'm owed money and I need to hire a lawyer to sue the person who owes it to me. Can you help with that?
A: Possibly, but I would have several questions that we would need to discuss before determining if I can help you. There are plenty of lawyers who would be happy to initiate a case for you, without candidly discussing with you how much litigation will cost, what the likelihood is of success, and whether there are other alternatives that might result in you getting paid without the expense and hassle of going to court. I offer a complimentary 20-minute consultation to discuss these factors so we can determine whether working together will be likely to achieve your desired outcome within your budget. If you are determined to sue in court, and not open to other possibilities, we may not be a fit.
Q: I'm using a contract with my clients that I developed by copying something I found online. I don't really understand what a lot of the legalese means, but I'm pretty sure it's just standard boilerplate stuff. Is there any real advantage to using a lawyer to develop a contract? It seems so expensive and I'm not sure the cost is justified.
A: Yes, there is an advantage to using a lawyer to develop effective agreements for your business, and it may not cost as much as you think. Your contract language is basically irrelevant when everything is smooth sailing. It's only once bad stuff starts happening that it starts to matter. That legalese that you don't understand does not serve you if you can't make heads or tails of it, and a good attorney can draft understandable clauses in plain English that work better than jargon. Contract clauses that you copy from the web may not be enforceable in your jurisdiction, or there may be alternatives that would be very favorable to you if you knew what they meant or how to word them in a way that a court would enforce, if it ever came to that. The web gives us great access to information, but using it to try to act as your own lawyer is probably penny wise and pound foolish.
Q: I'm located in California/Virginia/India/East Podunk. Can you help me?
A: Maybe. It depends on whether you are seeking to hire me as your General Counsel or seeking to work with me as a neutral mediator or arbitrator. I am licensed to practice law in Colorado and New York. As a mediator or arbitrator, I have more leeway geographically than I do in my capacity as an attorney. Reach out to me for a complimentary 20-minute consultation to determine if working together makes sense, given your location and what kind of problem you are dealing with.