The thought of online legal advice might have its appeal. First of all, it is always nice to save a few dollars. Next, time is always a consideration. After all, what is the harm in filling in a few forms on your own? Retaining an attorney may sound time-consuming and expensive. Without retaining an attorney, it might also be a legal recipe for disaster.
If you decided to rely on the information you find on the internet, you have essentially chosen to represent yourself. Amongst themselves, attorneys refer to anyone who takes on their own legal case as “having a fool for a client.” Take that as you may. Using online legal advice is very similar to searching Google to research your medical condition. Frankly, you might think you found the answers. However, you do not have the skills necessary to evaluate them.
Using Online Legal Advice in Business
You have decided to create a business, and you turn to the internet for the forms. Someone mentioned to you that you should look up how to form a Sole Proprietorship. The paperwork certainly seems easy enough. You go ahead and file the documents.
One problem. Your non-attorney advisor forgot to mention something. A sole proprietor is personally liable for all debts incurred by the business. However, do you know what happens if someone files a lawsuit against a sole proprietor? The claim goes against the person who filed the registration papers in his or her name.
Could this have been avoided? Absolutely. The correct answer might be available online. However, an experienced business attorney can review your individual situation and guide you into forming the right business entity.
Besides, there are other considerations. Legal forms have their place in the law. But, they are not one size fits all. It is important to conduct a review of your particular circumstances before setting up businesses, agreements or contracts for sale.
Internet Advice in Real Estate Closings: Tripwire Waiting to Explode
Think it might be okay to forego retaining an attorney in a real estate transaction? For ninety nine percent of the time, it is a bad idea. This is even true if the real estate agent prepared your contract for sale. The purpose of securing legal counsel is to ensure your protection. You might not like the outcome of an agreement that has not been reviewed by a lawyer.
Take it down a step. Even a lease document should be subject to attorney review. Both the leaser and lessee may find that the mumbo jumbo language they found on the internet is less than helpful. An attorney who practices in Landlord/Tenant court can point out some of the downfalls.
When Online Legal Advice Goes Bad
Although there is a temptation to use online legal advice, an attorney’s experience and education have tremendous value and cannot be replaced. Familiar with Reddit? You might enjoy reading an article about a man who turned to Reddit concerning searching for a lawyer for a divorce case. Apparently, he created multiple conflicts of interests based on the advice he received online. As a result, the wife had a hard time finding an attorney. Finally, a lawyer took her case and filed a multitude of expensive protest motions. It was an inexpensive experience.
At the Law Offices of Lawrence M. Centanni, you have the opportunity to gain legal advice from an experienced attorney. Contact us to set up an appointment.