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Retaining a lawyer

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We have a lawyer we use for going over contracts and sending out letters, and such. He aint cheap.
I remember reading on here about how some of you have found online lawyers, where you pay them a small fee every month to retain them and they take care of simple letters and such...
Would love to hear what everyone does here...
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post #2 of 9
Do you really need a lawyer that much? In the entire two years I worked for a bakery, she never once had to deal with an attorney. Her CPA, yes, but an attorney, no. Of course setting up a corporation, and all that you might. But you also might look at Legalzoom.com. It was started by attorneys and they provide much of the paperwork you need to do it yourself. But again, do you really need an attorney that often?

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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

Do you really need a lawyer that much? In the entire two years I worked for a bakery, she never once had to deal with an attorney. Her CPA, yes, but an attorney, no. Of course setting up a corporation, and all that you might. But you also might look at Legalzoom.com. It was started by attorneys and they provide much of the paperwork you need to do it yourself. But again, do you really need an attorney that often?

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Unfortnatly, yes, we need our attorney 3-4 times a year. We can't write the letters ourselves as they require letterhead from an attorney. Also, NC is a right to work state and doesnt accept common employee agreements, they have to be written a little special. (non competes are not legal here, nor are exempt employees unless they are managers) We have had to have special agreements written for certain employees. Its crazy. And yes, we are LLC and have to file every year. But we also use them to update our contracts, and such.
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post #4 of 9
You may want to consider prepaid legal services, here is a short article with an explanation:
http://voices.yahoo.com/does-small-business-prepaid-legal-services-124696.html
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

You may want to consider prepaid legal services, here is a short article with an explanation:
http://voices.yahoo.com/does-small-business-prepaid-legal-services-124696.html



thank you! that is exactly what I was looking for!
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Now get this...these kinds of services are not legal in North Carolina. Sure, there will be some out there, but a lot of times they are not specific to our "different' Laws and you can have real problems.
Just thought I would let everyone who maybe in NC reading this know.

It really sucks, as it kind of a comfort to have someone who knows your history just in case you need a lawyer.

I would like to also add that I have learned a lot about this state in the past two years that doesn't seem to apply to other states, so always check with an attorney. Things like non competes are not legal, that you cannot pay an employee a salery and have them work 20 hours one week and 60 hours the other week. You have to pay them time and half over 40 hours. That employees do not have to give notice of leaving and you don't have to give reason for firing them. That you DO NOT have to give them any kind of break, including lunch time! (I do, but I was surprised of this law!) That there a bunch of "rules" that change once you have more than two employees, that you cannot have more than one employee if you work from your home..things like that. I bet other states are very different too. So please always check with a lawyer about the laws in your area.

Luckilly, I haven't had any issues, but I was really surprised to see the differences with different states!!
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post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

Now get this...these kinds of services are not legal in North Carolina.


Are you saying the prepaid legal services cannot operate legally in NC? That doesn't seem correct to me, who told you that?

And other than the no breaks required rule, the rest is true in CA as well (no noncompetes, overtime over 40 hrs/week for non-exempt employees, and at-will employment).
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

Things like non competes are not legal, that you cannot pay an employee a salery and have them work 20 hours one week and 60 hours the other week. You have to pay them time and half over 40 hours. That employees do not have to give notice of leaving and you don't have to give reason for firing them. That you DO NOT have to give them any kind of break, including lunch time! (I do, but I was surprised of this law!) That there a bunch of "rules" that change once you have more than two employees, that you cannot have more than one employee if you work from your home..things like that. I bet other states are very different too. So please always check with a lawyer about the laws in your area.



These things are common in many states. It's not priviledged information that requires a lawyer... you can read your state's "Employers' Rights And Responsibilities" handbook from your state's Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I guess illegal is the wrong word here. Not accepted is probably better. I asked a paralegal friend of mine and she said that her firm LOVES these people, because they make so much money fixing their mistakes. They are too general.
Around here, y ou need a lawyer for pretty much everything. They make the lawas so complicated and twisted. Especailly when buying a house, or opening a business. Sometimes I feel like I need one when I buy a car!
But these online anything goes lawyers are kind of like the real estate companies that help you sell your house, without paying huge commissions. The listing agents around here have shunned them because they take money out of thier pockets (A LOT of money!) So even though your house is listed in MLS, other agents will not show the house. So it takes a lot longer to sell your house. (Not meant to cut down any agents out there, just saying what happens around here)
I see a lot of postings on here of examples of wedding cake contracts and things like that. You really need to have a lawyer look it over, as you may SAY something in a contract that you feel will protect you, but not knowing the law, you may find a surprise down the road. I guess I have just seen too many friends get sued and business fail because of crazy employees and crazy customers. So yes, you can look at the law online and figure it out for yourself, but personally I prefer to have someone how understands all the double language do it for me.
btw, these one time fee places were not cheap. The cheapest I found for NC was 75 bucks a month.
Anyway, thanks for listening!!
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