Rules of the Road on Calling your Attorney for his Opinion

You know how it is. You want to get away on your vacation. You assume the car will do just fine on the drive to the beach. So there you are v’rooming along down the highway when clunk! Clank! Surprise! Your car makes a weird noise and dies. Now, smile sweetly because you are the lead story on the national news as the car driver who shut down traffic on the interstate connecting Maine to Florida. Such a joy. This is not something you will live down soon. Expect Jay Leno or John Stewart to poke fun at you and others to blame the government for not rescuing you (and them) fast enough.

But just because you let haste and assumptions get you into this situation, don’t let haste and assumptions get you into a similar state when you are reviewing a contract for a business deal like buying/selling a business, a house, a puppy or even getting your car hauled over to the junk yard after it was hit by a semi-tractor trailer during the worlds’ biggest backup.

Here are some general rules of the road to avoid going to court over a deal gone wrong.

First rule … Think about what it is you want to do. Then write down a check list of how to do that. Not sure? Check Google. When you make your checklist, be sure to remember Reagan’s motto: “Trust but Verify.” Include on your checklist all the things that have to be done to verify your trust. Keep in mind that if it sounds good it may be really bad. This falls under the ‘no free lunch’ rule of thumb.

Second rule … Remember there is no free lunch. I am breaking this rule out so you have it right in front of you. Yes, it is that important. Do not assume. Get a professional to assist you in reviewing your legal papers.

Third rule … have your attorney’s number on your cellphone so you can reach him/her easily whenever these bumps in the road happen.

Fourth rule … ask your attorney for his opinion on what you are planning to do before you do it.

Fifth Rule: Listen to your attorney’s advice. You don’t have to take it, but listen and take it into account. Maybe you need to take extra precautions?

In other words, have fun out there but beware and have a great attorney available to help with the heavy lifting.

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