Over the course of twelve years in practice one of the greatest honors I have had is serving as in house counsel for a small business. Business that have had the vision to hire the law office of HWG LAW GROUP-A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION beginning with the partnership agreement, employee handbook organization and then having the practice stay with the business on a reasonable retainer has served as a wise and value on return on investment. The golden goose that keeps laying those golden eggs.
Not only is litigation diminished ,because of tight drafting of contracts, engaging and separation agreements, mediation and arbitration clauses as a partial list ,any potential danger or complaint is quickly neutralized in favor of the business and still remain a positive experience for the employee (by way of positive references as a matter of law in compliance with the labor code, the business code and other relevant case law and statutes on the books.
In avoiding a costly and long drawn out litigation filing , money that would have been spent in the court process in instead put back into the business as working capital. By having an on call advocate such as the HWG LAW GROUP who is always available by cell phone and e-mail, a new or growing business can continue the upward climb to adding more jobs to the local economy, With prompt and effective response that a in place retainer can
secure management and the board can feel secure that before any fires flicker out of control an air tanker of extinguishing flame retardant holding tanks can quickly disperse outward to dissolve the conflict and keep the organization moving along as its founders intended.
In the news this last week I have been following the Paula Dean fiasco. A potential threat to her business and thus her existing and expectant way of life. This employment workplace case in controversy could have easily been avoided. For example management
responsibilities should have been addressed long before it ever tricked up to her. As this was her business and she travels a great deal the hostility likely was not started with her or her brother , son or business partners directly. Somewhere along the way a break down failed to intercede at the point where her employee filing the suit began to have issues with the job. As it is always the case, an employee naturally tries to resolve the conflict internally before going into the long emotionally and costly path of formal litigation.
[Yes even if on a contingency basis the employee still has to lose over a third of any award to lawyers and the courts]
As hers is a small business exposure to a lawsuit is the quickest way to move from the black to the red column. Reputation, bad mouthing of the business and the stigma of running an enterprise clouded by a court fight is simply a quick list of negative cash flow cause and effect.
Having a organization begin with a proper and tightly sealed foundation can go a long way to avoiding the unfortunate and yes avoidable situation that in a short time has already cost her millions in public relations and street revenue often times could all have been avoidable had she had and used an in house counsel advocate from the very first day she went into any of her many business ventures.
The benefit of having an in house attorney is that the blue print of the organization acts like tiles to step on as the business begins to grow and get a solid footing in the business community and marketplace arena. Waiting to rush out and hire an attorney when trouble jumps up is foolish and can prove costly quickly. Conflicts can happen quickly and time is saved even over a few days can emit structural concerns that can become a real problem.
With the speed of the internet, twitter, blogs and e-mails turn around reaction time can pass through the hand grip very quickly. What works with careful picking your in house counsel team-a ready to react unit that can tether the conflict to a secure platform
( existing contracts , binding arbitration clauses for example) and commence with a thoughtful and purposeful strategy for dealing with the negatives.
Often times an organization needs more than one in house counsel as many areas require specialization , but there must always be at least one at the planning stages.
While I have no insider knowledge of the Paula Dean Case or have reviewed the deposition or case filing there are many timeless long standing business principles that were not followed somewhere before her employees filed suit. Discrimination in the workplace is any easy battle to avoid-follow the employment posters to the letter. period.
If you have a new business you would like to launch or consult about or even if a change of current in house counsel is needed to keep the business waters smooth and calm the HWG LAW GROUP with three convenient office locations through out the bay area to serve please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Green and get started today.
Sincerely Holden W. Green Esq.