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Unformatted text preview: BUSINESS LAW – BUSI 2390 BUSINESS LAW – BUSI 2390 When (if ever) are you justified in breaking When (if ever) are you justified in breaking the law? Are you justified in breaking a law that you feel is wrong or immoral? CONSIDER: CONSIDER: • The environmentalist, Pro Lifers & and animal rights activists breaking the law as a “the vehicle to promote change” • Issues around Mercy Killing – Sue Rodriguez ­ suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease wants to die with dignity – Mercy Killing – the elderly, AIDS patients – Robert Latimer ­ daughter Tracey A. WHAT IS A SOPHISTICATED A. CLIENT? • Understands the role of a lawyer and of the • • • • client Knows when to represent herself and when to hire a lawyer Knows how to hire a lawyer Knows what can be done if dissatisfied with a lawyer Knows basic legal concepts and can communicate with a lawyer B. THE ROLE OF THE LAWYER B. • The lawyer is provide advice; the client makes decisions • “solicitor­client privilege” – information given to a lawyer is privileged and a lawyer is not permitted to disclose it without the consent of the client and cannot be forced to disclose it in court. C. WHEN TO HIRE A LAWYER: C. • To obtain advice as to how to organize a • • • • • • business (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation) Advice to reduce risk if purchasing a business Negotiation of a Lease Banking documents Major contracts Intellectual Property issues Sale of a business D. WHEN TO REPRESENT D. YOURSELF: • Client must weigh the time and cost of hiring a lawyer and whether the client can obtain the information on his or her own • Client may wish to learn expertise to use Small Claims Court process ($25K limit). • Best to obtain legal advice if criminal charges E. HOW TO FIND A GOOD E. LAWYER: • • • • Referrals from friends and family who you trust Law Society Lawyer Referral Service Lawyers tend to specialize in certain areas. Identify the area of your problem before you seek a referral. Initial Consultation – Are you confident with the lawyer, is your problem in his area of expertise, discuss fees F. LEGAL AID – (Legal Services F. Society) • Usually limited to criminal charges where jail is a possibility, family law problems involving custody, mental health problem, immigration problems or prison issues • Available only to those of limited income H. HOW LAWYERS BILL H. CLIENTS: • Fixed fee basis regardless of time involved • Time spent and hourly rate (may also include the right to charge a bonus if successful) • Contingency Fee arrangements – percentage of the amount a client collects • Client is responsible to pay disbursements • Retainer is a deposit I. HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT I. YOUR LAWYER: • • • Discuss problems with your lawyer Mediation if available Taxation of lawyer’s bill (court official has the right to decide whether bill is fair and reduce it accordingly. • Law Society complaint resolution process J. ETHICS OF LAWYERS: J. • Professional and ethical obligations are set out in the Rules of Professional Conduct • Common types of ethical complaints: – – – Failing to serve clients in a timely fashion Failing to respond to clients Failing to disclose to a judge that another judge had previously refused the same application J. ETHICS OF LAWYERS J. CONTINUED: – Swearing a false affidavit – Poor accounting of a trust account – Improper transfers from trust account – Misappropriation of trust funds • Penalties include fines, suspension, disbarment and order that a lawyer take further training H. ETHICS OF CLIENTS H. • • • • • • • Conflict of Interest Protection and proper use of corporate assets and opportunities Confidentiality of corporate information Fair dealing with the issuer of security holders, customers, suppliers, competitors and employees Compliance with laws, rules and regulations; and The reporting of any illegal or unethical behavior You may wish to prepare a code of conduct for your business ...
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