Small Businessman’s Guide to Dealing with Attorneys

| Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 | 2 Comments »

Re-posted from an attorney who has published an article on how to deal with letters from attorneys.

If you get a demand letter like this for ADA compliance, please, please PLEASE follow this advice. We tell business owners to use an attorney to talk to another attorney but unfortunately only half the time do they listen.

Here’s the article.

Just before leaving the office last night I got a call from Greg, of Greg’s Quality Plumbing. Greg does seem, on the phone anyway, to be a quality plumber: a nice guy running a six employee shop for new construction and homeowners. Unfortunately one of Greg’s employees made a mistake, overtightening a compression nut on the toilet water supply line in a very expensive house insured by BigState Casualty Insurance Company. The nut eventually fractured,over Christmas vacation with the family out of town, and the water flowed for days. BigState paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to rehabilitate the waterlogged house, and wants its money back. From Greg’s Quality Plumbing.

And so Greg got my letter, and Greg picked up the phone to sort this all out, and to set me straight. As I said, I have no doubt Greg is a quality plumber but Greg is an absolute amateur when it comes to dealing with sharks in the water. He made a number of serious mistakes, feeding me information about his business, the employee who did the work, the general contractor who built the house and will be cross-claiming against Greg in the coming lawsuit, and Greg’s business assets. All while trying to set me straight.

In the end, Greg did not set me straight. What he accomplished was to give me information I will use against him at his deposition and at trial. He kneecapped the defense attorney his insurance company will retain, an attorney who won’t even hear about the dispute between BigState and Greg’s Quality Plumbing for several months. I almost feel sorry for Greg, who came into the conversation with high hopes that he would frighten me off or convince me that I have no case against him. All that he did was convince me to write this post, as friendly advice to small businessmen on what to do when they get “the letter”.

You can get the complete article at popehat. Linked from Overlawyered.

Remember, like any kind of compliance or any kind of system, before you get in the ring with an expert, get your own expert.

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2 Comments

  1. […] I would also like to add that in our experience, many small business owners think they can defend the complaint and not pay anything. Read this previous article: Small businessman’s guide to dealing with attorneys. […]

  2. […] I would also like to add that in our experience, many small business owners think they can defend the complaint and not pay anything. Read this previous article: Small businessman’s guide to dealing with attorneys. […]