From the Trenches (Legal lessons in business) — An introduction
I’ve realized that in many aspects as business owners we can create the hustle and the grind, but sometimes the hustle and grind creates us. That’s how I feel moving through these recent weeks. Just more time in trial paradise for me.
But these trials I have been involved in, not only recently, but over an almost 20 year career as a lawyer, have given me the outlook to help others in their business endeavors. In law you have transaction attorneys and litigators. Those who like to create business and those who like to fight over business. Rarely do you get a lawyer who does both. That’s me. I can help you put your business together, and then I can help you tear it apart. It’s a unique perspective as a lawyer. Armed with the knowledge of what people fight about in court helps me counsel business owners and entrepreneurs in how to avoid the court room. Because only one thing about litigation is certain: you never know what you’re going to get. And because of that, it’s best to avoid it.
And that’s just what didn’t happen with some cases recently. We got hit hard with some disappointing verdicts that hit an emotional core with two of my clients. In one instance a jury ignored physical evidence and took the word of an inconsistent story-telling witness. While another client had a judge rule against him/her on a business litigation case. That case had to do with business financing, and should be a lesson to everyone out there who utilizes social media and networking contacts to raise capital for a business. There is a right way, and there is a wrong way. But that lesson will be delivered another day. (I need to keep you interested and wanting to read more as our time moves on).
A third case started out stressful and chaotic for a three day trial. The case concerned a breach of contract and hinged on definitions and terminology in the contract as well as each party’s understanding of these terms; it also included issues of agency and company representatives binding the company to certain commitments without the authority of the owner of the company. Very ugly and brutal; but hey! It’s just business. The case settled three hours into the trial.
Opposing counsel on a fourth case emailed the other day that his client was dismissing a lawsuit filed against another client of mine on a trade secret and breach of contract claim. I had emailed them a letter on the heels of my previous settlement (above) telling them that I believed they had no claim and I was going to be asking the court to dismiss their action. It seems to me like they took my comments to heart. Again, more business lessons to be learned from this one and the interrelationship between employees and owners, and expectations of ownership and employment. Thankfully, a very positive outcome.
I get a two week break until the next trial starts — the first week of November. I need to spend some time ON my business rather than IN my business. I’m bringing on a new lawyer this week. I’m moving forward with my social media push and building my podcast which I would love to launch by the end of the year. Not quite sure I’m ready yet. But hustle will get me there. We’ve been recording some content. Still don’t have a name. But in brainstorming this post for all of you I had the following idea:
From the Trenches (Legal lessons in business).
Keep on hustlin!
(And as a complete disclaimer to the information you just read, every case is different and demands the specific attention of a skilled lawyer. Don’t take my victories or defeats as any indication about how successful your case is, or could be. Talk to a lawyer about the merits of your case. Thus endeth the sermon.)