Great ethics prevent lawsuitsMay 29, 2014
It was fun for me to contribute to a recent article on LawCrossing.com titled, “Top Questions Clients Should Ask Attorneys But Don’t.” Several contributors focused on the questions a client should ask an attorney before committing to hire them about qualifications, experience, fees and the like. Their questions were good, as were various questions about what to do or not do when a lawsuit is pending and how a lawsuit is likely to progress. I was particularly entertained by a set of funny questions that included “where should I hide my drugs?” (Here’s a hint – not in my office.)
From my perspective, however, the thing that always surprises me is how rarely clients ask how to reduce their litigation risk up front. Lawsuits don’t appear randomly out of thin air. People and businesses get sued because someone thinks they’ve done something wrong. That’s where ethics come in. A company or professional who incorporates good ethics into daily business is much less likely to say or do something wrong, and when the risk of error is reduced, so is the risk of litigation.
There are lots of good reasons to “do the right thing” that have nothing to do with litigation risk. Clients and customers who know they can trust you to be honest and fair will do business with you again and again. Contractors who know you’ll honor your agreements will be eager to provide you with products and services. Employees who know you to be ethical will respect you and work that much more diligently. Good ethics create great relationships, and that’s wonderful for business.
People can get so focused on expanding their business and growing profits that they forget to consider their ethical obligations. But it’s a good idea to consult an attorney, myself included, on practices and policies that foster good business ethics. Yes, it’s an investment, but one that can yield great results and reduce the risk of an expensive lawsuit coming your way.
To read the LawCrossing article, click here: http://www.lawcrossing.com/article/900041434/Top-Questions-Clients-Should-Ask-Attorneys-but-Dont/#
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