My advice to people about legal questions is pretty consistent, there is no such thing as a legal problem you have today that didn’t start off as a legal question you could have and should have asked some time in the past. Your quick question might a simple second opinion. Maybe this question is just a little thing that has brought you to a halt and you just aren’t sure. Maybe you are thinking about a longer engagement with a lawyer but you need to resolve this one little issue first.
Please don’t let the reason you don’t ask a legal question be embarrassment about asking a question you think every other business owner but you knows. So what is a good Quick Question? Well these are some examples of what can be discussed in a quick question:
- Should I set up my business as an LLC or a Corporation or a sole proprietorship?
- What do I need to do to register an LLC or a corporation in Maryland?
- What the heck does this little bit of contract language mean anyway?
- I received a threatening letter in the mail talking about trademark (or copyright) infringement. What are my options?
- I received a letter from the Unemployment Office about an employee who resigned last month, what do I do?
- Can I hire someone as an independent contractor for my business? Or why can’t I hire a person as an independent contractor?
- I am thinking about forming a partnership with someone to start a business, what are some of the things I should be thinking about?
- I am thinking about setting up a business for a side gig? What are things to think about?
- A customer owes me less than $2,000, what can I do to get paid?
- Any other question that can reasonably fit into the criteria below.
There are certain things to look for to see if you are a good candidate for a Quick Question:
- You can explain the problem in less than a minute or two.
- It is just you that has the question.
- It is just one question, without several “what if….” scenarios, that will get you moving forward.
- You are working on a bigger project and thinking about me as your counsel, but just not sure if we are a good fit (i.e. you want a test drive).
So what would not be a good Quick Question case?
- Questions about funding your business, such as loans, venture capital, crowdfunding, convertible notes, and the like. (Those are not 15 minute questions)
- Questions about an area of the law I am unfamiliar with (I will let you know).
- Questions about criminal law, divorce, custody, DUI, or other areas of the law not related to the operation of a business.
- Questions where you need several people on the phone or in the room. More than one person almost always means more follow on questions. Please, call me for a consultation.
- You want me to write or revise a contract or draft a letter. Writing anything significant that is coherent and presentable takes more than 15 minutes. I do contract review on a per page basis and contract drafting in some cases on a flat fee basis.
- The question is about litigation, arbitration, or mediation (unless you want to hear my rant on the differences between the three, please call for a consultation).
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