Lincoln said “He who would be his own lawyer has a fool for a client.” And, forgive me if this sounds harsh, but one can really make a fool of oneself by practicing do-it-yourself law. My clients are justifiably proud of their expertise in running their businesses, but some of them make the mistake of believing that their genius in one area or field of endeavor allows them to understand what has taken me law school and decades of legal practice to learn. I can no more run my clients’ businesses than they can practice law. Every day I see matters which could have been handled as brief, inexpensive office visits before the deal, but which later are the subject of time-consuming and expensive litigation. Worse, I see lives ruined because many mistakes are so devastating the client cannot recover.
Time and money are always scarce for business owners, but that is the very reason to spend time and money on loss prevention. Having good contracts and legal organization will more than pay for itself – in fact, probably in just one sale or transaction as the benefits begin to accrue. The law is a living, breathing entity; the law which holds today may be modified by a court ruling tomorrow. And even the law does not always take into account practices in the Arizona business community which are known only to those immersed in that community, the psychology and motivations of the parties also play a part in negotiations which modify a contract, the form contract is static, and when you modify it without advising you give up what few protections it had to offer.
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