The Dangers of DIY Business Law

The national trend may be towards doing everything yourself and while your efforts may not be Pinterest-worthy, most of the time, you can get the job done. There are some areas, however, where it still very important to seek professional help. Legal work is one such area which, ironically, is where the DIY bug seems to bite the hardest. There is no substitute, DIY or otherwise, for a human who has undergone the hell that is law school and has practiced in the field of law day after day, year after year in order to help people.

The internet is overpopulated with sites that will sell you templates for wills, contracts, and other legal documents which you are then expected to complete and use. As superficially attractive as these DIY sites are, do not give into their temptation. You will end up spending a great deal more money and aggravation for a lawyer to fix the mess that may come up when these “one size fits all” forms are used. Your situation is unique and needs care and attention. Need more convincing? Read on.

You won’t be saving money. Sure, the price tag for the boilerplate contract online is so cheap compared to a real attorney, it’s almost too good be true. Well, that’s because because it is too good to be true. Contracts are incredibly important—and incredibly fact-specific—documents that need to be negotiated and memorialized with great care and skill. A contract in a business relationship is literally the rules by which you and the other party will operate including when things take a turn. And, things will inevitably take a turn at some point. It’s just the nature of business. Imagine a well-drafted contract like a great umbrella. If it starts raining and you don’t have it, you get soaked and are miserable.

Also, a really skilled attorney who knows contract drafting can be affordable. How? They know exactly what needs to go into the contract, what doesn’t, and what areas need to be specifically tailored to your situation. It will take them less time to draft a comprehensive contract than it will for you to figure out how to fill in the blanks in your boilerplate one. And the results will be much better!

Fail to plan, plan to fail. Lawyers are trained to think in eventualities and to address those situations in a contract so that should they occur, the parties have already agreed in writing in the contract on how to deal with them. A good lawyer will learn about your business, your purpose in entering the contract, and your needs. They will use that information to plan out all of the possible scenarios that should be covered by the contract (i.e. needing to exit the contract early, protecting you from the other side’s propensity for high-risk behavior, etc). It is much better to plan out the responses to these situations before they happen because failure to do so is a one-way ticket to court and potentially ruinous litigation.

Speaking of litigation… The best litigation to be in is no litigation. Litigation has the potential to ruin all of the parties involved, drag their business into the public forum, and even then, not deliver an acceptable solution. Imagine trying to tackle that beast on your own. It’s not only ill-advised, it is borderline reckless. To reiterate, a really good lawyer is worth the investment because they can help keep you out of litigation in the first place. And, if you do find yourself in litigation, they can help you get out as fast as possible or fight as fervently as possible.

The Trembly Law Firm is one of the few firms fighting back on behalf of business owners. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge in contract drafting to help you achieve whatever outcome you are looking to get. Contact us today to get started.

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Written by Brett Trembly

Brett Trembly

In the South Florida legal community, Brett sits on the Board of the South Miami Kendall Bar Association, the Florida Bar 11th Circuit Grievance Committee, volunteers on the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Mentoring Program, the Dade-County Bar Associations Rainmakers Committee, and annually volunteers for Miami-Dade County’s Ethical Governance Day.