Rules of the Road or When to Call 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. Right in the middle of the Interstate highway.  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 and created an 18 hour backup.. Such a joy. This is not something you will live down soon. Or ever.  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 the evening news, don’t let haste and assumptions get you into a similar situation with the law.  Whether you are reviewing a million dollar contract, starting a business, buying a house, or purchasing a puppy, make sure you think before you sign.

To help you in that process, here are a few rules of the road avoid going to court over a deal gone wrong. .

First rule … Don’t ever assume that everything is ok when you are dealing with legal issues.

Second rule…Think about what it is you want to do and make a check list of how you want to achieve your goal.

Third rule…in case of doubt, remember “TANSTAAFL”  (“There Ain’t No Such Thing As a Free Lunch”).  Believe me, it controls all legal situations.

Fourth rule…Be sure to remember President Reagan’s motto”Trust but Verify.”  Be sure to include on your checklist all the things that have to be done to verify your trust. Where should you check?  Try Google,  Look up the person making you the offer on the internet and verify that he/she is offering a legitimate deal.  Keep in mind that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Too good to be true.  This falls under the ‘no free lunch’ rule of thumb.

Fifth rule …  Get a professional to assist you in reviewing your legal papers.

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

Seventh rule … ask your attorney for his opinion before you sign.  Signing is easy.  Getting out of a bad deal is hard.

Eight rule and most important … 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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