Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an attorney to start a business?
There are certain matters that are fairly straightforward or not unduly difficult to learn and, therefore, do not require the services of an attorney, like writing a business plan, researching and picking a name for your business (previously trademarked business names can be researched online), or reserving a domain name for your website. However, your business will benefit in the long run if you hire an attorney to help you decide what entity works best for you, to prepare and file the necessary documents with the appropriate legal bodies, to draft and review contracts and other legal documents that fit your specific needs, and to ensure compliance with regulations and laws.
Why can’t I just use a standardized form instead of hiring an attorney?
You can certainly use a standardized form; however, those forms contain boilerplate clauses that do not always comply with legal requirements or laws and even if they do comply with laws and regulations they can alter your real intent and need. One Florida Supreme Court Justice recently took the opportunity in a 2014 opinion to “highlight a cautionary tale of the potential dangers of utilizing pre-printed forms” instead of seeking legal advice from an attorney. She referred to the use of such boilerplate forms to avoid the cost of an attorney as being “penny-wise and pound-foolish”. In that case, a pre-printed form led to substantial losses as a direct result of the form used. Thus, while you may certainly decide to use a standardized form for your contract or other legal document, you may later find out that the contract or legal document is not valid or enforceable, it does not provide you the protection that you hoped it would or that it does not carry out your desire or intent. On the other hand, we will ensure that a legal document is not only compliant with all laws and regulations but also that it is tailored to your specific needs.
Can anyone file a lawsuit?
Yes, but winning the lawsuit is a completely different matter. Individuals can file or defend a lawsuit without a lawyer – corporations cannot.
Are there sanctions for filing a frivolous lawsuit or defending a lawsuit solely for purposes of delay?
Yes. If a lawsuit is filed that has unsupported claims or if a defendant raises defenses that have no merit and are made solely to delay judgment against them, the court has discretion to sanction the wrongful party.
How can I avoid being sued if a claim is made against me?
No one can stop a lawsuit from being filed. However, if there is a legitimate dispute that arises and a claim made against you, consult a lawyer. Avenues such as presuit mediation or a simple settlement conference with the parties and their attorneys can oftentimes resolve the dispute before significant time and expense are incurred.
What should I do if a claim is made against me or if I have a claim against another person or company?
Consult a lawyer immediately to fully examine the claim. Also, gather and protect all documents, things and evidence relating to the claim. Before you consult with a lawyer, organize your documents and things relating to the claim so that you can make an efficient, understandable presentation of the claim to the lawyer evaluating your claim.