Why Should You Hire a Lawyer Instead of Doing it Yourself?

In the age of the “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) mentality, entrepreneurs who are resourceful and eager to cut costs may attempt to perform legal work themselves by using the Internet as a resource for sample agreements, forms, and answers to their legal questions.  While the Internet is an amazing tool and the great equalizer, it is no substitute for advice from trained legal counsel.  Just as identifying your medical symptoms on sites like WebMD is no substitute for visiting a doctor, using the Internet alone as the source of legal advice can cause more cost and headaches in the long run.  The following examples illustrate some of the downsides to using the Internet instead of a lawyer.

1. DIY Sites Lack Customization

Many entrepreneurs believe that filling out a form on a site like LegalZoom  or Rocketlawyer is all they need to do to start a business.  However, taking this approach will deprive the entrepreneur of crucial legal advice that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars later.

For example, is the owner concerned about personal liability?  How many shareholders will there be? Will it be a closely-held family business, or will there be many investors involved?   How will the profits be distributed?  What steps need to occur before the entity can go public or be sold?  What makes the most sense: an LLC, LLP, general partnership, professional corporation, non-profit, or other entity?  A qualified attorney can help you navigate these issues, and provide you with the advice that a website can’t.

Are you an employer looking to transition your independent contractors to employees? We offer customized forms from the time of hire to termination, and Employee Handbooks that are tailored to your business.

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Must-Read for All Employers: Gov. Brown Further Expands Sexual Harassment Laws in California

Brown lawOn September 30, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed over a dozen bills into law with the intent on making the Golden State the leader in the nation on the much-analyzed and discussed topic of sexual harassment.

Governor Brown signed his last bill on Sunday night.  Over his career, he signed nearly 20,000 bills, including 1,016 this year. The new laws, on a range of issues from climate change to criminal justice to gender issues, place California on the “left coast” politically.  Brown’s ambitions can be summarized by his statement that, “We are going to be the moral compass and the policy trendsetter of the country.”

While these new laws will benefit employees and address serious and relevant issues, they will continue to place more demands on employers across California who attempt to comply with the most legislated corporate territory in the country.

A full list of Governor Browns approvals and vetoes can be found in his Legislative Update.  Of the dozens of bills signed into law on September 30, the most relevant on this topic include the following: Continue reading