Answer: Succeed: Small Business Network (LinkedIN Group)

If You Had One Hour with a Lawyer... Miriam Nicole Huffman

Answer From:

Brad Bickerton

Attorney at Hampton and Pigott, LLC

Wow. This is the first topic I've ever been interested in enough to read. I didn't know that people could get so far afield from a simple opinion question so quickly. I guess that is the nature of things. Seeing as this is a business blog I'll answer in a business sense (no need for divorce or tort discussion). 

Short answer: Review of your business documents especially operating agreements. 

Long answer: 

I am an active entrepreneur, business consultant, and attorney. My first advice to everyone, and it applies here, is to define success for YOUR one hour with an attorney. If you walked away with XYZ or knowing ABC would you think your time was well spent? 

When asking clients what they want from me I first try to determine if the issue is about their product or their process. 

If you want help with the product like understanding intellectual property, tort exposure or other things related to what you sell, then use your hour in three ways 1) Explain what you want to do or know, 2) ask for your options within the law, 3) ask for the lawyer's opinion. 

If you have a process question like LLC vs S-corp, tax liability, employment issues, capital issues like new investors or debt, and - I can't stress this enough - the OPERATING AGREEMENT, then use your hour in three ways 1) Explain what you want to do or know, 2) ask for your options within the law, 3) ask for the lawyer's opinion. 

If you have defined success as getting the most out of a single $200 ($150-$500) hr and you know what issue is the most bang for your buck pick that. 

But hey what do I know?