Early in the process, how can you have a conversation with your attorney in order to keep your future costs down? In my experience, one of the keys is setting objectives with your attorney. Get to know your attorney, and talk about what you are trying to accomplish, and why.
Next, work together, making sure that those objectives are met in a way that meets your needs. This means having an upfront conversation with your attorney. It is smart money to spend time in the beginning to lay the foundation. We talk in other contexts about making business plans and building the future. That is a common activity we work on with our clients.
Similarly, there should be a legal plan at the start of working with a client. What is to be accomplished? What is the goal, what is the outcome? An important step, often missed when clients work with law offices, is communicating in order to understand the risks and the objectives. One transaction may look similar to another but has completely different risks profiles from a legal perspective. The attorney probably is aware of this, but there needs to be communication between client and attorney regarding the risks, what work the attorney is doing, and why. What is he or she trying to accomplish? How does it benefit the client? There needs to be an alignment. Then the client can make an educated decision about whether to proceed and whether to take the risk.
Much of the job of a transactional lawyer is to manage risk. We are working to try to make things safer and better for our clients. Clients often do not understand what we are trying to do, and they are often so busy that they do not want to spend the time that is needed. There needs to be time for a conversation about what the risks are, what is being managed, and the costs.
What has been your experience working with attorneys? Has there been good communication? Have you understood each other’s objectives? What could be done better in the future?
Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. FreeImages.com/photographer Kerem Yucel.
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