I very much enjoyed meeting many members of AIA Colorado at Keystone this past weekend. The weather was beautiful, but a number of you were kind enough to stay indoors over lunch and early in the evening to visit the exhibitors. I thank you for it.
I was the only attorney exhibitor. I may have been the only attorney in attendance at the Conference; I may never know as “attorney” and “lawyer” are too often words associated with evil.
As an exhibitor, I was amused by how many folks stopped by my booth out of curiosity and quickly scurried off muttering “I don’t need an attorney” or “I hope I never need to call you”. Because the first thing that comes to an architect’s mind when they think about legal counsel must be a lawsuit. Perhaps the boogeyman of a construction defect claim?
I wanted to present three ways an attorney may actually be pleasant – and painless.
- Business Formation
After years of study, and maybe a few practicing in a design firm, you have committed to pursuing your dream and opening your own firm. But where do you start? An attorney can point you in the right direction and make sure you have an appropriate legal structure to let you and your firm flourish!
2. Contract Drafting
Hooray! You land a big project and it is time to get the terms and details in writing. The AIA has a standard form contract – but the client wants to make some tweaks. We will not miss the anti-subrogation clause, will we? What does all that legalease mean anyway? A quick and painless phone call to a trusted an attorney can explain terms and clear up any confusion before you sign.
And what about compliance with local ordinances? Now municipalities are enacting ordinance that vary from Colorado construction defect statutes. An attorney can explain the extent local ordinances differ from state law and the impact it may have on your project.
3. Business Transition
After an amazing career, you are ready to retire – or at least retreat – from a full time practice. You want to spend more time fishing, or chasing your grandkids. How do you pass the reigns? Legal counsel can walk you through the process of transitioning ownership, setting up employee stock ownership programs, or even closing up shop.
4. Insurance Coverage
What do you do if your insurance carrier denies a claim – or worse – brings a lawsuit against you because they want a judge to confirm whether they can deny a claim? In either situation, an attorney in your corner will dramatically improve the probability of getting your claim covered.
At some point in your career, it is likely that at least one of these situations can arise and you could benefit from the insight legal counsel can provide.