Chapter 1

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Western University
Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 2275A/B
Cristin Keller

Chapter 1Managing Your Legal AffairsBecoming a Sophisticated ClientA sophisticated client understands the role of the lawyer and of the client knows when to represent themselves when to hire a lawyer how to hire a lawyer the costs associated with hiring a lawyer and what can be done if they are dissatisfied with the conduct of their lawyerGood business decisions cannot be made without consideration of the appropriate lawsEvidence can be a tangible object a piece of documentation or simply an eyewitness accountThe hearsay is secondhand evidence and it is not admissibleThe Role of the LawyerThe client should be the decision maker not the lawyer and the client must collect certain information from her experts her accountant marketing manager human resources officer and even the lawyer who provides legal ADVICE relevant to the clients situation in order to make an informed decisionThe lawyers advice to his client will not be of any value unless the client has provided ALL relevant information to the lawyerSolicitorClient Privilegerefers to the duty of the lawyer to keep the information provided by the client confidentialWhen to Hire a LawyerLawyers can provide information and advice that help business owners make decisions appropriate for achieving their objectivesLawyers can provide advice and information that will enable business owners to minimize their potential risk and liability when buying an existing businessLawyers can help ensure that when starting a business all relevant laws will be complied with municipal provincial and federal lawsMost businesses require a physical location which means that there will be a lease to be negotiated and when they read the lease and are unsure of the meanings of certain clauses they should consult a lawyer before he signs to learn the meaning of these clausesDocuments provided by the bank or other lenders have terms as well and in particular the extent of the personal liability of the owner for losses incurred by the business should always be carefully analyzed and understood by the owner before they sign the relevant documentation which may require legal advice from the owners lawyerOther contracts that may need legal advice include contracts with employees suppliers and customers to create this documents and to obtain legal advice from the owners lawyerIntellectual property issuesvary from naming of the business to the protection of the businesss intellectual property ex Patents trademarks and copyrights to ensuring that the business is not infringing on someone elses property rights and so on which means that relevant legal advice should be obtainedEven when selling a business the owner may need to seek legal advice from their lawyer ex should the sale include assets of the business or the shares of the corporation that owns the assets how about income tax implications future liabilities ensuring payment for the business and so onTime and cost incurred if a lawyer is consulted for assistance in making a particular business decisionWhen to Represent YourselfIt is not necessary or desirable for the client to seek legal advice for every decision that they must make because it would be prohibitively expensive and would also result in delays in the clients decisionmakingFor small insignificant decisions it may be appropriate to proceed without taking the time to find the relevant legal information but in most cases it would be prudent to proceed only
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