Utilizing The Corporate Attorney Proactively To Avoid Problems and Save Money
Business organizations, companies and corporate attorneys can take the proactive approach that preventing legal issues is good business just like; medical doctors taking the approach that preventative medicine is good medicine
By Michael Marshall, PhD
Most business organizations and companies have a retained corporate attorney but rarely are these attorneys utilized proactively; the big ‘P’ for ‘proactive’.
Most often these corporate attorneys are only used for;
1. Defending the organization in a law suite
2. Defending the organization for federal and state laws and regulations, non compliance
3. Filing a law suite
These situations may have been preventive with a more proactive approach, saving much money and troubles.
I suggest that business organizations and companies ‘proactively’ utilize corporate attorneys in the following ways;
1. Have your corporate attorney tour your organization to learn your business and capabilities
2. Arrange for every department and function to have personal time with the attorney to briefly discuss the department, functions, and challenges.
At this time the department managers and supervisors should ask any legal questions regarding the department, function or general business.
The attorney to ask questions as well to probe for possible legal questions and issues.
Any potential issues or problems to be identified with follow-up action to resolve.
3. Each department or function area to have a training session from the attorney
on applicable laws and regulations that pertain to the departments/functions
4. All of this to be repeated annually just like an annual physical exam to keep good personal health
The above proactive approach will reduce the potential of costly legal situations and help improve the business as well.
You will be amazed how often employee and staff ignorance is creating significant legal issues.
All departments and functions need this review and training;
1. Accounting & Finance
2. Customer Service
3. Engineering, Research and Development
4. Human Resources and Recruitment
6. Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations
8. Purchasing and Material Procurement
9. Quality Control
10. Shipping and Receiving, Logistics
11. All Other Departments and Functions
Corporate attorneys are capable of teaching fundamental business law and regulations to employees and management staff; especially how it applies directly to the employees’ job, department/function and specific business organization that they work for.
This would be highly beneficial to all, especially to the business organization.
Often, business organizations and companies are Not Compliant with all laws and regulations and find out about this after they have a serious issue.
This then can cause serious problems and significant costly expenses to remedy the situations.
Most management are not as skilled, educated and knowledgeable as they could be.
This is fact.
There is also the common situation that most management recruit and hire those individuals below their own skills and knowledge level.
Of course, this is Not good for the business but this is natural occurring.
I have numerous actual stories and business incidents that I personally know and could share with you that illustrate clearly how employees, staff and management are doing things that place business organizations in serious legal issues that are quite costly.
After the legal issues have escalated where the corporate attorneys have to be involved, often one hears from the attorneys about their amazement to the massive ignorance and arrogance of staff at all levels and even well into senior management.
A more educated and trained staff can help an organization avoid costly legal issues and assure healthy business development.
You may be asking; “Since this proactive approach seems so common sense, why are so many business organizations and companies not doing this?”.
There are some possible reasons even though they are Not good ones:
1. Senior management has not thought of this
2. Senior management do not see value in this approach
3. Senior management do not want their staff and employees knowledgeable
4. Senior management do not want to spend money on this training & review
5. Senior management believing that ignorant employees are good employees
6. Senior management believing that the more ignorant employees and staff are the more control they have over them
7. Senior management knows of legal issues needing improving with the organization and wants to hide them
8. Senior management are fearful that this knowledge could uncover issues that they would need to improve on
9. Senior management fearful of uncovering legal issues that they may have to spend money on their corporate attorney to help improve and remedy
10. Corporate attorney has not thought of this
11. Corporate attorney does not want to promote this proactive approach because they would rather get the legal issues that they can bill considerable amounts for
The benefits from well-trained and knowledgeable employees out-weigh these concerns.
As stated earlier, business organizations and companies struggle to have staff with high level of competency and this proactive approach utilizing the corporate attorney can significantly help avoid costly legal matters.
If medical doctors can take the approach that preventative medicine is good medicine; business organizations, companies, and corporate attorneys can take the proactive approach that preventing legal issues is good business.
This information should be helpful for some of your organization’s needs and business development.
If you have further questions or need some help, you can give me a call or email.
Michael P. Marshall, PhD
Senior Specialist and Advisor for Business Development, Marketing and Sales
Michael has more than 30 years of business experience focusing on business development utilizing extensive skills in marketing, sales, and communications; both national and international.
This experience comes from starting at field staff level positions and then progressing up to senior level Director and Vice President positions in several industries and markets.
His expertise is also utilized in special advisory and consulting situations, as well.
As a youth, he was a Boy Scout and achieved the Eagle Scout Rank that instilled ethics and high ideals.
Prior to his extensive 30-year business career, he studied advanced engineering and then transitioned to psychology and social human behavior.
He was a mental health counselor for several years in some major medical institutions prior to a business career.
In these endeavors he learned what makes people do what they do, what influences others, how to motivate positive behavioral change; and the importance to a strong foundation and the individual components in a structure.
Among the senior level positions held during his 30-year career, Michael has held director and vice president level positions in marketing, sales and business development in several industries and markets including medical.
Michael’s education and trainings include a PhD in business concentrating in marketing and business development, an MBA, bachelor degrees in psychology and social human behavior, advanced post graduate certification in marketing from UCLA, formally trained in ‘Creativity and Out of The Box Thinking’, federally certified in international business, and being an alumnus of six universities.
He has over 35 formal trainings and certifications covering the fundamentals of business development, marketing, sales, communications, management and leading a business to significant sales and profit growth.