How to Cut Your Organization’s Legal Cost Without Compromise – Legal

What is Legal retainer-ship?In today’s complex legal environment the corporate entities and professionals need to be very careful in all the commercial dealings, communications, agreements and contracts. This is because any communication can be viewed as a contract or not a binding contract by judicial forums in a later stage when litigation reaches courts. These types of communications include appointment letters, suspension letters, removal letters, email communications, statutory notices, reply to notices, warning letters, letters notifying delays, letters expressing disagreements etc., The stakes in every dealing today is also very high. Moreover certain actions have to be taken within a particular time frame otherwise negative inferences can be drawn by the courts in later stages. In such a situation, companies choose to engage a law firm with multi-discipline experience and international exposure to advise them in their day to day legal issues. Such an arrangement helps the companies to get expert advice under one roof in a pre-determined cost for the services what they are going to avail from that firm. Law-Senate law firm is serving many companies on “Annual retainer-ship basis” which helps the companies to get quality legal consultation without worrying about the bills, since the fee is fixed in advance for a year, on the basis of the budgeted work load for all non-litigation work. Later even if the work load increases the determined fee will not be changed within that one year period.How Law Firm Legal Retainer Ship will facilitate YouThere are few facts you must know about Law Senate Legal Retainer Ship, which will clear you why legal retainer ship should be availed:
Un-limited non-litigation legal Service in fixed cost:
The Firm agrees on a fixed annual fee for un-limited chamber legal work including consultation, settling of contracts, settling of legal documents, settling of legal communication, labor related documentation, employment related documentation, issuing legal notices, responding to legal notices, arbitration notices, demand notices etc., The Firm has lawyers from various branches of law in its panel and in-house to respond to the consultation requests from the clients on issues arising out of various branches of law. The Firm also allots a dedicated lawyer for ensuring customer friendly communication and effective service. The clients can use email, courier or personal consultation to get their issues resolved. For example in case of settling of legal documentation, the client can email the proposed draft of the document to the firm’s dedicated lawyer. The dedicated lawyer will get the response and comments of the relevant lawyer and inform the client within the pre-fixed time. Hence the specialty of the whole process is the customer friendly, high quality, swift and cost effective administration of the required legal services. The said fixed annual fee is excluding Litigation, arbitration, drafting of contracts and appearance before authorities and tribunals. The above said fixed fee is not uniform for all, it is finalized after estimation of work and the size of the Company.
Litigation & Representation Services in pre-determined fee schedule:
The Firm will handle almost all types of litigation, arbitration and appearance before authorities in a predetermined fee schedule on case to case basis. The lawyers of the Firm regularly appear in Supreme Court of India, High courts, Competition Commission of India, Consumer Courts, National Consumer Commission, EPF Appellate Tribunal, Company Law Board, Electricity Tribunal, Mines tribunal, Petroleum tribunal, Civil Courts, Criminal Courts, Central Excise & Tax authorities, Revenue authorities etc., The Firm charges special reduced rates for the clients who engages the firm on annual retainer-ship basis. Hence this arrangement with our firm will help the clients to cut their legal costs.
E-reporting and online storage:
It is very difficult for the Companies to get them updated about the pending cases from the old style lawyers. But Law-senate law Firm sends periodical (Weekly/ monthly) reports about the pending cases and matters to each of its client. The Firm also has the facility of e-storage of documents, even in a later stage after many years, the firm can supply copies of the documents from its e-storage points. Since law-senate is a modern law firm with all modern facilities and technology it serves its clients with Zero error quality.
Conventional Legal advice Models:
Earlier Companies used to appoint independent lawyers and pay them separately for consultations, settling legal documents, legal documentation and appearance in various Courts and tribunals. This model gives surprises and financial strain to the Companies since the expenses under legal heads are neither predetermined nor pre-budgeted. Hence the Companies in their endeavor to cut legal costs ended up in low quality and un-professional legal services which resulted in losing of cases etc.,Appointing in-house counsel or law officers:To handle above said legal matters some companies choose to appoint their own in-house counsel or law officers. The appointment of in-house counsel or law officers may improve the situation but will not lead to the full solution for the following reasons:
Appointing experienced law officers is very expensive in the current salary market. Hence small, medium companies and professionals can afford only a newly graduated or less experienced in-house counsel. Such a less experienced person may be doing only the co-ordination work between independent lawyers and the company.
Even if experienced people are appointed they will have their expertise in a few fields of law only. Hence they need to consult independent lawyers on the other issues. Independent consultation is again an expensive matter and finding the correct lawyer is a challenging job.
Appointing Independent lawyers as consultants:Law is a complex field which is growing every day. There are so-many divisions of law and hence no lawyer can claim that he/she is aware of all the divisions of law. More over independent lawyers will not be able to ensure the high quality of service due to limitations in infrastructure, facilities, staff etc.Advantages of legal retainer-ship:Even though there are many advantages for the small, medium industries, Professional organisations, hospitals, educational Institutions, NGOs, charitable Institutions etc., in following the legal retainer-ship model than the conventional legal adviser model, the following are the important ones,
Legal advice on multiple legal subjects from experts under one roof
Unlimited non-litigation services
Litigation services on a special fee schedule
Annual customized fixed fee for unlimited consultation and documentation services
Dedicated lawyer for each client
E-document facility
Periodical reporting about the pending matters
Who will be benefited from Legal retainer-ship Model?Large companies may appoint their own team of experienced in-house counsel supported by law officers and para legal staff in view of their higher volume of legal work. They also engage big size law firms and pay for each service separately because they may not bother about the legal expenditure. But the following types of Companies and Institutions will be greatly benefited by legal retainer-ship model,
Medium and small size companies
Distributing Companies & Agencies
Hospitals
Private educational institutions
Schools & Colleges
FDI partners
BPOs and Call centres
NGOs and charity organisations
Professionals & Consultants etc.,
In short legal retainer ship is helpful for those organizations who are not interested in spending money for legal departments or permanent legal counsel of every practice area of Law. If you have any query about legal retainer ship then you can ask anytime.

The Business Legal Checkup – Preventive Advice For the Legal Health of Your Business – Legal

More than 250 years ago, Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. He was advising Philadelphia homeowners to insure their homes against fire to avoid catastrophic losses. Franklin’s advice is just as applicable today to the legal issues of your business.In this article, we explain a new legal service, Canadian Business Legal Checkup, an audit of legal matters affecting your business. Business Legal Checkup is a diagnostic tool most small and medium size businesses could use to verify if legal aspects of their operation comply with the law and to minimize risk, litigation and expense. When the Business Legal Checkup is completed, the business owner receives a lawyer’s report red-flagging matters which need correction, improvement or further legal advice.A closer look at the Business Legal CheckupYour business is built on a foundation of laws and legal procedures. As a prudent business owner, you have probably considered the following legal matters:o You had to incorporate your business. The corporation has been properly set up. All shares are properly issued. Directors and officers have been appointed. The corporate minutes and register are up-to-date.
o You and other directors of the corporation know exactly what your duties and liabilities are. All directors are protected from liability by sufficient insurance coverage.
o You have a shareholders’ agreement so that all shareholders know their roles. All partners are treated fairly. There is an orderly method for valuation and termination of the corporation. You understand the minority shareholders rights requirements of the Business Corporations Act.
o You filed a business registration and have a system to renew it before expiry and you have registered any business names that you are using.
o You filed trademark, patent and copyright applications to protect the intellectual property of your business.
o Your URL (web address) is trademarked. You have audited your website to check for breaches of privacy law, defamation and technology law issues. Your online sales portal is set up to avoid legal problems with privacy law, identity theft and contract issues.
o Your licencing and registrations are up-to-date. If your salespeople have to be registered or licenced, you have a system to ensure that their registrations are up-to-date and that their regulatory requirements are being monitored.
o You have a long term lease for your plant or office. You had your lease vetted by a lawyer. You know what it says, including the extra rent the landlord can demand. You know the deadline for your right to renew.
o You use several legal standard forms and contracts in your business. These have all been vetted by a lawyer to comply with applicable laws including the PPSA, the Interest Act, the Consumer Protection Act, the Sale of Goods Act, the Mercantile Law Amendment Act and the Bills of Exchange Act and contract law.
o If you extend credit, you know that your service charges don’t exceed the “criminal rate of interest”.
o You know prohibitions against misleading advertising and unfair competition in the Competition Act.
o You understand the privacy legislation and you have a system to ensure that you comply each time you collect, use, or disclose personal information.
o Your employees have signed agreements which spell out the length of notice they are entitled to receive if you terminate their employment. You know who is entitled to how much and what to do if you decide to terminate an employee, whatever the reason. You understand your obligations under the Employment Standards Act.
o Your employees have all signed non-competition covenants and non-solicitation agreements to prevent them from taking away your best clients, business procedures, best employees and trade secrets if they leave to set up shop on their own.
o You have a procedure to prevent violation of the Human Rights Code and you know the protected grounds of discrimination. You also understand all of the elements of sexual harassment and you know how to deal with it.
o You know your company’s rights and obligations under the Workplace Safety Insurance Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
o You have liability and multi-peril insurance and you know what it covers.
o Your manufacturing and distribution processes are set up to avoid potentially devastating product liability and class action lawsuits. You have minimized risks.
o You keep up-to-date with changes in the law which affect the corporate, contractual, insurance and employment law issues in your industry.
o You have complied with the filing requirements for income taxes, sales taxes and GST. You have had your business and municipal tax assessment vetted.
o You know what precautions to take to help prevent litigation.
o If you are about to get involved in litigation, you have an action plan to maximize your chances of success and to keep the cost in check. When hiring a lawyer, you know what you need and what to expect.Stop the presses – before we continue – do we hear you saying there are many items on this list that you haven’t looked after, that you haven’t thought of or which could be updated?We’re not surprised. In our experience, small and medium-sized business owners don’t get around to dealing with many important legal issues involved in organizing their business relationships with partners, shareholders, customers, employees and government and in preventing or managing the risk of expensive litigation. Often, agreements are not fully thought through.Small business owners tend to do only what they absolutely have to do to comply with the law and are reluctant to spend money for top drawer legal services when an inexpensive shortcut appears to do the trick. Your focus is getting your business up and running, getting your product to market, making sales and keeping costs down. You could be lucky and run your business for years without anything going wrong.Fair enough, but if you disregard preventive legal measures like the ones mentioned, your business is like a driver without a seatbelt in a car that has never been serviced —in other words, a catastrophic accident waiting to happen.Here are two examples of business legal nightmares that could have been easily avoided with a program of preventive law such as the Business Legal Checkup. These are actual cases, decided in Ontario courts:o A Toronto RV dealer sold a motor home to a customer. After using it for a couple of weeks, the customer complained that the salesperson had misled him about a “rental program” and brought the motor home back and refused to make any payments. The dealer sold the motor home as a used vehicle and suffered a $25,000 loss for which it sued the customer.The Ontario Court of Appeal decided that customer was entitled to return the RV and cancel the contract because the salesman’s Motor Vehicle Dealers Act registration expired and was not renewed. This made the contract illegal. The RV dealer didn’t have a system to check if all their salespersons’ registrations were current. The dealer not only lost $25,000 but also had to pay about $30,000 to their own lawyer and almost that much in legal costs to the customer’s lawyer. A Business Legal Checkup could have saved this business most of the $100,000 and a lot of aggravation.o A southwestern Ontario company was a wholesale distributor of car alarm systems, which started as a basement operation and developed into a successful business. The owner used contract forms he found on the internet. Why pay a lawyer when forms were right there for the taking? His standard form contracts had statements that he didn’t fully understand but if they were on the internet, they must be OK. He didn’t have a lawyer check them. The standard form agreements didn’t create a problem for several years.The distributor extended credit to CAG, a company owned by a Mr. Don for more than $90,000 worth of car alarms. He wasn’t worried about payment because Mr. Don signed the standard form contract — the one he found on the internet for free — which stated that Mr. Don was personally liable for everything CAG ordered. When CAG went out of business, the distributor sued Mr. Don. The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the claim against Mr. Don because the personal liability clause in the standard form agreement was unclear and was capable of two meanings. The distributor didn’t recover his $90,000 and had to pay legal fees to his own lawyer and costs to Mr. Don’s lawyer. A Business Legal Checkup could have saved him almost $150,000 and possible financial ruin.These examples are the tip of the iceberg. As you read this article, you can probably think of other examples that affected your business. In each case, it’s more than the legal expenses that are at stake. The business owner has to devote time and sleepless nights to the legal dispute and loses time from running the business.How does a Business Legal Checkup work?o You will be asked to complete some forms to provide confidential information about your business.
o You will have a discussion with the lawyer to assess the scope of the Business Legal Checkup. For example, it doesn’t cover tax law, environmental law or succession planning unless special arrangements are made.
o A basic Business Legal Checkup will provide a diagnostic review of the legal status of the following issues in your business: (1) Set up and governance of your corporation; (2) Relationships among the owners of the business; (3) Relationships with employees; (4) the contracts and forms used in the business; (5) Competition Law and Illegal Advertising; (6) Intellectual Property, Trade Secrets, Confidentiality and Privacy; (7) Safety and risk management; (8) Risk analysis and efficient management of existing litigation; (9) Internet Issues; (10) Regulatory licencing issues.
o A Business Legal Checkup can also be customized to meet the business owner’s specific requirements. This may require consultation with outside legal experts.
o In preparation for the Business Legal Checkup, you will be asked to provide documents and information concerning each category of the analysis.
o After the documents have been reviewed by a lawyer, consultation may be required with other lawyers. Further clarifications may be required from you and other senior officers of your business.
o A report will be prepared explaining the status of each topic and red-flagging issues which require attention and indicating their level of urgency.
o When the Business Legal Checkup report is ready, the business owner may prefer to have the Business Legal Checkup lawyer or legal team present the findings orally. An oral presentation followed by a Q&A session can assist the business owner to plan the next steps efficiently.
o The Business Legal Checkup legal team will facilitate referrals to lawyers who are specialized in resolving the legal problems identified by the Business Legal Checkup.How much will a Business Legal Checkup cost?For a small startup business with less than five employees, operating out of a single location and having only one business entity, a Business Legal Checkup can usually be completed for about $5,000 to $7,500 if there are no unusual problems.Who needs a Business Legal Checkup?Every business needs to know whether its legal processes are efficiently compliant with the law. Public corporations are obliged to provide certain levels of legal compliance to government and regulatory bodies. A small private corporation does not have the same levels of mandatory compliance but failure to do so voluntarily is like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand.A Business Legal Checkup is also useful for a business owner who is considering the sale of his business or for a prospective purchaser of a business. Minority shareholders could insist on a Business Legal Checkup annually or bi-annually to ensure that management and the majority shareholders are meeting their obligations to the corporation.A Business Legal Checkup may also be a credibility tool for a business seeking financing or government contracts. Unlike a financial audit, ISO9001 and ISO 14400 compliance standards, the Business Legal Checkup is a confidential report to management only and expressly excludes reliance by outside parties. If an outside party, such as a lender or investor, will receive a copy of the report, the Business Legal Checkup legal team must be informed in advance so that concerns relevant to these outside parties can be taken into account.Where can my business get a Business Legal Checkup?So far as we know, the Business Legal Checkup, as a fixed-price legal diagnostic tool for private small and medium-sized businesses is a new legal service in Canada. Interested business owners are invited to contact us for information.Benjamin Franklin’s famous advice has evolved. A Business Legal Checkup can be much weightier than an “ounce of prevention”. It could provide “tons” of preventive advice to save your business from damaging or catastrophic expense. The Business Legal Checkup will also provide the business owner with peace of mind which, as another saying goes, is “worth its weight in gold”.October 2008. © Igor Ellyn and Orie Niedzviecki
This article is for information only and not legal advice.Igor Ellyn, QC, CS and Orie Niedzviecki, PartnersEllyn Law LLP, Business Litigation Lawyers, Toronto
http://www.ellynlaw.com

How to Solve the Most Common Problem Pre-Paid Legal Associates Face? – Legal

When I started my Pre-Paid legal business I knew absolutely nothing about building a network marketing company. This meant that I had no choice but be coachable. I did not bring any past MLM failures with me when I signed my associate agreement and paid my $49.00 fee.What attracted me to Pre-Paid Legal was the hope of making a huge income marketing a product that I felt (at the time) would be an easy sale. I started my journey in Pre-Paid Legal by attending the fast start class in my area. I remember being super excited and ready to hit the ground running in my business. One of the first things I was exposed to was the supposedly ‘easy duplicatable system’ that Pre-Paid legal teaches.I was told to make a list of all my friends, family, acquaintances, etc. and then send them a tool (CD, DVD, Magazine) and follow up with them using my sponsor. My sponsor’s job was to build rapport with them, answer a few questions and invite them out to an event (weekly briefing, super saturday, PBR, etc.)I became the master at doing this. I was the 3-way call guru. I would cold call people, prospect people at malls, small businesses, and street corners. You name it I probably did it. I would say that 99% of the prospects that I found at random were crap. By saying crap I mean I had no business prospecting them. They were not interested. They were just strangers who took my DVD, business card, etc. because they were too nice to reject me or tell me they were not interested.So the first problem I faced in my Pre-Paid Legal business was spending an enormous amount of time prospecting and only getting crappy prospects. The few prospects that eventually turned into membership sales or recruits were far and in between. I couldn’t earn enough upfront cash fast enough to pay my expenses. This led to the second problem.Pre-Paid legal is an expensive business to run if it’s done the way they coach. I had autoship expenses every month. I paid for e-service. I had weekly briefings at $5.00 a pop. I was running all over town prospecting and spending tons on gas. I paid to attend super Saturdays and national conventions. I paid hundreds of dollars on business opportunity leads. I also paid for other miscellaneous marketing tools like business cards, paperwork, tapes and cds.This totaled to be a lot of money especially when I could only bring in limited business each month. My Pre-paid legal business was going down the tubes fast because I could not bring in enough CASH to fund the growth of my business. Does any of this sound familiar to you?It wasn’t until I began networking with other empowered entrepreneurs with a wealth of experience in MLM that I learned how to solve my two most pressing problems. They taught me how to use technology to generate prospects faster, easier, and more qualified. They also taught me how to generate upfront cash to fund my business and pay the bills regardless if anyone joined my Pre-Paid legal business or bought a membership.The best way to generate upfront cash is by utilizing a funded proposal. A funded proposal is a product or service that you offer your prospects upfront before exposing them to Pre-paid legal. For me, my funded proposal was a sales and marketing system offered by my business partners.Funded proposals work because you get a customer first and build trust. I learned very early on that people don’t join Pre-paid legal by itself, they join me. People join leaders in MLM. People want money and success, but more importantly people want mentors and friends. A sales and marketing system that coaches and converts prospects into sales is a very powerful motivator for prospects to join your team.In addition to using a funded proposal in your Pre-paid legal business, you need to learn how to generate prospects online. This is not to say you abandon offline, but online allows you to target your market more effectively and saves you tons of time because you can reach more prospects.When I started learning how to market online and generate prospects my Pre-paid legal business changed. I had people calling me for a change about my business instead of me chasing people. I learned how to use video marketing, Pay per click marketing, article marketing, social networking, forum marketing and SEO marketing. I am literally generating tons of prospects every day.So in closing, Pre-paid legal associates will forever face the problems of effective lead generation and cash flow until they begin learning how to MARKET and think like ENTREPRENEURS, not distributors.

Legal Jobs: How to Become a Legal Researcher – Legal

Many people think of the law as a field for judges and lawyers only. But the legal profession is full of interesting types of jobs, many of which are challenging and interesting, and many of which pay well, too. The job of legal researcher is just such a job.A legal researcher is someone who researches past cases, legal precedents and legal statutes for a lawyer or a law firm. The information a researcher gathers will become an important part of a lawyer’s presentation to a jury, or to motions that a lawyer files. Legal researchers used to spend hours toiling away in law libraries, poring over documents and pawing through thick law books. The Internet has changed this profession, however, as it’s changed so many professions. Now, much of a legal researcher’s work is performed online. Still, the job requires careful work, patience, and persistence. You might be searching for one obscure case among thousands of cases. Sometimes, you might not even know precisely what you’re searching for, only that you’ll know it when you find it. You also have to be someone who is an independent worker, and someone who is self-motivated and able to follow instructions well, because oftentimes you will simply receive a complicated set of instructions and be left unsupervised to complete them. Legal researchers also prepare legal documents and memos in many cases.To become a legal researcher, you need to be an accredited paralegal (a paralegal is a legal assistant). That means you’ll have to have at least an associate’s degree, although more often nowadays legal assistants will need at least a bachelor’s degree in order to secure a good job. It wouldn’t hurt to have an advanced degree, either.When it comes time to find a job, you have to decide whether you want to work for government lawyers at a private law firm. Most legal researchers work in private offices-about seven in ten. This work can be more stressful and more demanding, but it also tends to pay significantly better. If you choose government employment, you can either work for the Justice Department (most public legal researchers work for the Justice Department) or work for a district attorney. You might even think about becoming a freelancer. It was once highly unusual for a legal researcher to work for himself or herself, but with the Internet it’s becoming much less rare. This kind of work would involve firms all over the country assigning you research projects and legal documents to prepare over the Internet, and you would work one project at a time. The beauty of legal freelancing is that you can set your own hours and be your own boss. The downside, of course, is that income is not steady and there might be times when you are between assignments and not receiving a paycheck. Still, if you are tenacious and self-motivated it’s likely you’ll find plenty of employment.