If you’re a general attorney that caters to a broad market, there are business procedures that you should already master. These, you will have focused on learning during your law education. Whether you like it or not, business processes will always be the subject of your legal profession. Every day, you’re going to encounter clients that need documents in that regard. Some may be as simple as deeds of sale, while others, as complicated as land disputes.
As a lawyer, knowledge of these business processes will help you be useful in your practice. When a customer walks in, you don’t turn them down simply because you don’t know how to address their needs, relating to businesses. When you make that mistake, it’s going to be imprinted in the minds of customers that you’re not well versed along that line.
To avoid the situation mentioned above, you must be able to master these five basic business processes.
The Sale process is gone through, both by private individuals and those in business. Generally, it’s one that’s done by two parties, the buyer and the seller. The seller gives out products or services to the buyer, for the consideration of a sum of money. In this process, the seller gives up ownership of their goods and services in favor of the buyer, for the consideration of money.
As a business lawyer, you need to understand the legalities of sales processes. Especially for big-ticket items such as cars and real estate, there are more necessary documents to prove the legality and existence of the sale. This document is binding when signed by a lawyer.
It’s also up to the lawyer to understand the specifics of these processes, particularly when problem areas arise. This includes, for instance, a third-party questioning the legality or even the existence of a sale. If you’re not well versed in this matter, then you’re incompetent at proving the side of your client.
Here are some aspects of the sales process that a lawyer must master:
- The interaction process. In some cases, the lawyer also has the responsibility of facilitating the interaction between the buyer and the seller.
- The intake. This refers to the process of addressing any potential legal issue. If the lawyer is the party that’s responsible for closing the deal, this is where it should be completed.
- Engagement. This refers to the process of the client, usually the buyer, seeking advice from you. Is the sale going to be a legal one? Are there possible gray areas that may hamper the legality of the object-subject of the sale? This is a crucial step, as it’s up to you to check and see that the object is, indeed, open for sale. The last thing that you’d also want as a lawyer is to have signed a deal on a thing, for instance, a car that cannot be put up for sale by the seller.
- Fulfillment. This is the step where the deed of sale, and writing an invoice is performed. The sale is finalized, and payment is made. Now, it’s also your responsibility to ensure that after the signing of the sale document, no one suddenly pops up, questioning the sale. Else, this can lead to a court case.
2. Land Disputes
Land law can be very complicated. But, it’s also the top source of problems, be it both for businesses and private individuals. Especially for those that don’t know the law, their only recourse is through the legal advice that they can gain from lawyers. You, therefore, are like their savior. So, this is also one of the essential processes that attorneys have to master.
Property and land disputes can include matters relating to the following:
- Access to land
- Right of way
- Boundary disputes
- Trespassing, or encroachment
- Ownership problems
Of these legal processes, encroachment is one of the most common. It can generally happen when another person, or a business entity, put up a structure on the land that another person is also claiming. It can also encompass a boundary dispute, whereby your neighboring person or business entity has gone beyond the legal boundaries of ownership. This becomes a business problem when the owner decides to sell their property. It can be tough to evict the neighbor that infringed upon the property, such that full ownership by the new buyer can be achieved.
Here are some tips for attorneys to follow, regarding land disputes:
- Listen and investigate on both parties to the dispute
- Try to settle the land dispute as amicably as possible, without resulting in a full-blown trial
- Consult a land surveyor
- Review the plans and layouts by the Land Registry of your locality
3. Employment Matters
In businesses, it’s almost close to impossible not to have to deal with matters relating to employment. The workplace is comprised of many people. To keep everything functioning well together, laws are in place to govern every movement and possible workplace issue. As a lawyer, this is also one significant area to master.
Companies also have to be aware of the laws that will govern employee-employer relations. Apart from this internal factor, workplace issues can also relate to those between workers, the products sold, and relationships with business partners.
Here are some other common legal issues that you have to address in the workplace as a lawyer:
- Disgruntled employees. Employees have their rights. When these rights aren’t respected, it also isn’t going to be far off or impossible that businesses are going to have employees fighting for their rights. As an attorney, it’s your responsibility whether or not, for instance, a wrongful termination happened. It’s the attorney’s job to iron out the differences between the employer and the employee, for the best settlement to be achieved.
- Defective products. What if your client, a business entity, has been sued for selling faulty products? The customer complaining may have experienced an injury, or false hope, due to a misleading advertisement, for instance. What are the remedies of this customer? What can you do, as the lawyer, to avoid further damage to your client, the corporation? These matters you should also be well versed about.
- Harassment cases. As much as peace and a harmonious relationship are always hoped for in the workplace, it’s also not impossible to have matters relating to harassment and abuse. From the start of the complaint, until a final legal settlement is achieved, this can also mean tricky legal business processes for companies. An attorney is needed to help solve this amicably.
4. Banking And Finance
State and national laws heavily regulate the banking and finance industry. Without these laws in place, this industry cannot function, as it should. As it involves money and other assets, the utmost observance of the law is necessary. The laws in place are responsible for imposing the requirements of banks, financial institutions, and other securities. So also does it affect matters relating to corporations.
Businesses resort to hiring lawyers, always with the hopes of ensuring that compliance with the legal rules is met. Other job functions required of lawyers include the following:
- Helping clients by the legal framework that govern banking and financial transactions
- Drafting and negotiating contracts
- Providing legal advice to different business organizations, or even individual clients
5. Information Technology
The information technology is not replete of legal issues, too. With the advancement of technology also came in new challenges faced both by businesses and individuals alike, concerning information technology. Once a business’ data is governed by the Internet, how do they know that their information is safe? What are the remedies of companies that face serious issues relating to cybersecurity, cyber theft, or data breach, for instance? This is where the expertise of a lawyer comes in.
Although still in its infancy, it pays for attorneys also to be updated with this field. There’s that rising compelling issue to solve ethical and moral problems circulating the information technology industry. These include matters revolving on:
- Elements of contracting payment online
- Information technology system abuse
- Different forms of digital payment systems
- Breach of privacy
- Business torts and criminal liability
Along with that list, some of the most common and pressing legal issues that attorneys should be very concerned are processes relating to:
- Privacy. People and businesses alike have their information spread out all over the Internet. For those who are a little bit laxer on what they post, this can go as worst as accidentally posting phone numbers and addresses. Many individuals also complain of unauthorized credit charges, after using their credit card through online payment portals.
- Data gathering. If your name is Marc Anico, how many other people on social media sites are pretending to be Marc Anico? Yes, some may have the same name as you. But, others commit crimes by using your name and even going as far as using your photos as well. Lawyers are needed, particularly when business processes are forged, due to fraudulent data gathering, for example.
These processes are only the basics of the business industry. But, sufficient knowledge in these areas is critical if you wish to stay competitive. Every day, there’s at least going to be one client that’s going to need your help along that line. After all, business processes shape everyday industries. These can vary from the most straightforward procedures to the most complicated ones. But when you know these five, it’s more than enough for you to become a competitive lawyer.