The Professional Element
Attorneys require much education and most will find a specialty—one being business law. No matter how competent the attorney is and the client following he or she has, they can still offer up advice that offers a poor result—meaning you lose.
Unfortunately, because lawyers fall in the professional service class, much like doctors or accountants, and they are required to maintain malpractice insurance, the law usually is on their side when it comes to the advice they offer up.
For example, in a business buy/sell dispute case, where the seller misrepresented assets of the company and the seller went ahead and bought the company, a business lawyer may attempt to resolve the problem through mediation or arbitration—both require independent arbiters (who are also lawyers or retired lawyers) to look at the situation and determine a fair result.
The problem with this scenario is the attorney for the buyer came to the arbitration completely unprepared offering few exhibits for the arbiter. Because exhibits must be given at least one day prior to arbitration, the arbiter disallowed any statements not included in the exhibit—calling them hearsay.
Although the buyer of the business stressed the importance of exhibits to the lawyer, the attorney assured the buyer, all was well and a win was very possible. In the end, the arbiter agreed with the seller of the business.
The buyer of the business is now stuck with having overpaid for a business that doesn’t have the promised assets. So, did this lawyer offer up bad advice? Let’s take a closer look.