Good business lawyers are considered to be good for a reason. We do a lot more than just draft documents. We work to get the deal done, but still protect our clients’ interest while giving them good service, for value. Importantly, though, our job is also to help our clients see things clearly if their judgment may be clouded by excitement or anxiety.
After practicing for awhile, we lawyers begin to get a “feel” for a deal. Yes, it’s a “feeling” we get – a sense that something isn’t right, or someone isn’t being forthright, or, is just down right dishonest. If something doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t smell right, it doesn’t look right, or if the other side is not acting honorably, we don’t just sit there and say nothing. At least we at WJL don’t. We tell our clients what we think. The fact of the matter is, we see a lot of deals, good and bad. And for sure, we know that the climate of the pre-“closing” negotiations most definitely pervades the relationship after the closing (or the signing). Many business transactions require the parties to work closely together once they sign a contract. Take this to the bank: If the other side is difficult, lazy, dishonest, unethical, or just rubs you the wrong way, don’t expect that to change. This seems obvious, but it needs to be said. Too many people take on “partners” that they don’t get along with. It’s really the same as a marriage. If you are not compatible, what’s the point?
Another thought, at least for now. A good business lawyer doesn’t fight the other side for every single item or issue. Experienced, effective attorneys know when to “give”, and when to negotiate and fight for something. Our job is to protect you, but we also have to get the deal done, right? If we spent time and money arguing about something that, at the end of the day, doesn’t effect our client in any meaningful way, we have wasted time, money, and goodwill.
A good business lawyer does a lot more than paper a deal. A lot more.
Lisa R. Aljian, Esq.