Posts Tagged ‘Legal Self Help’

Business Agreement Form Pitfalls

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

When was the last time you looked at your company’s standard form documents.  Whether it is a Nondisclosure Agreement, Offer Letter, Employee Agreement, Purchase Order, Terms and Conditions, Product Agreement or any other document you regularly use with customers, suppliers, contractors or employees, today is a good time to take a look at what you are sending.

If it has been a while, you should look at the following items:

  1. Does your form agreement still match your business purpose? If your business has evolved since your form was initially drafted, chances are that your business form no longer does what your business needs.  This can place your business in a precarious position when you need to enforce the agreement — or what you thought the agreement provided!
  2. Do your form agreements contradict each other? If you are like most businesses, your form agreements have developed one at a time.  Unfortunately, this means there may be inconsistent provisions in agreements that relate to each other.  For example, the terms and conditions in your Proposal may not match the terms and conditions in your Invoice.  In this case, which provisions govern.  When a  problem arises, you can bet that will be an important question!
  3. Did you just use Google to get a form?  If so, it is VERY important to carefully review the document.  There are a lot of documents out on the Web, but that does not mean they are good or that they fit your purpose at all.  In fact, many forms on the Web are examples of what not to use!
  4. Do you not have any forms? Although this may be OK while you are a start-up, once you grow beyond a start-up, contract management becomes very important.  Effective contract management will save your business considerable time and energy.  A basic set of forms tailored to your business is a perfect way to start.

For more information on reviewing or preparing business forms, please contact attorney David Baer at david.baer@ethoslaw.com or 612.767.3311.

For more information, please contact attorney David Baer at david.baer@ethoslaw.com or 612.767.3311.

Photocopier Fallout

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Here is a follow-up report by CBS News on the hidden dangers of digital copiers.  The original report is here.  Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey called for an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission — concerned most Americans don’t know their information can be compromised.  “We have to do a lot more to insure that the public and corporations know this,” Rep. Markey said, “and that absolute security is applied to copy machines across our country.”

What do you think?

(Hat Tip: Michael Mason Norman, ED.D. — Thanks!)

Is Your Copy Machine a Risk?

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Did you know that most digital copiers have a hard drive?  Did you know that every copy on these machines is recorded and stored on that hard drive.  So, what happens when that copier (and hard drive) leaves your office?  Take a look at this CBS News report:

Bottom line:  make sure you take appropriate precautions to erase the hard drive when you get rid of your digital copier.

Annual Corporate Maintenance

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

As the end of the year fast approaches, our thoughts turn to holiday cheer and family fun!  However, it is also important to think about a few simple pieces of annual corporate maintenance to protect you and your company.  Two important and often overlooked items include filing the annual registration for your company and holding your annual meetings. (more…)

Social Media — What is it and is it Risky?

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Social media has become a fixture on communication agendas across the country, fueled by the fact that Americans’ spent 73 percent more time on such networking sites in the past year alone. But according to a new survey, social media use is also generating its share of corporate heartburn.

Recent research conducted with Russell Herder confirms that confidence exists in social networking as viable communication outreach, but so do worries about the potential liabilities involved. Concerns regarding social media use were acknowledged by some eight in 10 businesses participating in the national study, which was conducted over the month of July.  Fifty-one percent fear social media could be detrimental to employee productivity, while almost half (49%) assert that using social media could damage company reputation.

Despite these apprehensions, social networking is being viewed as a key strategy. According to survey results, eight in 10 senior management, human resource and marketing executives believe social media can enhance relationships with customers/clients and build brand reputation. Almost 70 percent feel such networking can be valuable in recruitment, as a customer service tool (64%) and used to enhance employee morale (46%). The most popular vehicles being used include:

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Is Your Attorney a Businessperson?

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published three articles side-by-side addressing a topic that I believe is very important to all businesspeople looking for attorneys (here, here and here).  That topic is the lack of business knowledge and skills taught in law school.  These articles discussed the niche of attorneys that also pursue an MBA — a niche I am a part of and believe is essential when working with business clients.

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Attorney . . . or . . . Do-It-Yourself

Monday, March 16th, 2009

LegalZoom, RocketLawyer, Nolo . . . the list goes on and on. So what do you do when you are faced with what seems like a simple legal issue. Do you pick up the phone and call an attorney, or do you grab your mouse and do it yourself? (more…)