Want to know the fastest, easiest way not to get sued? Don’t do business with attorneys, especially when you’re getting started. I don’t mean don’t hire an attorney, I mean don’t work for one, and this article tell you why.

But I’m a Nice Attorney!

I know that there are probably some great attorneys out there that are thinking to themselves right now “What are you talking about? I’m a really nice guy!”

Sure, you may be, but there are sharks in those waters.

But here’s the catch, especially when you’re first getting started building a business, if you enter into a contract with an attorney, it doesn’t cost that attorney to sue you, or at least not nearly as much as anyone else. But you have to defend yourself. They still have costs, they still have time, they still have things they have to do, but it’s their job to know how to do this kind of thing. They know all the steps, they know the processes, they know all the things that go into it. This means that all other things being equal, you always enter that contract at a disadvantage because they can always threaten you, and you have to address it. When you’re first starting a business, that can be a really big problem.

Anecdotal Evidence

While I was researching for this article, I counted up all the attorneys I’ve worked for over the years, and I ended up with altogether eight attorneys. Some were a part of groups, and others were individuals.

Out of those eight, at one point or another during our working relationship, five of them threatened to sue us! None of them actually followed through, but the threat was real (or we thought it was). What’s even crazier is that we actually didn’t do anything wrong with the exception of one project where we did make a mistake (and then fixed it). For all other engagements, the story was the same; we did a project and the client wanted more work at no fee and threatened to sue us if we didn’t do what they wanted us to do. In some cases, we executed the projects very, very well, and we STILL got threatened! The other three were great people and two of which we still work with.

Maybe I’m Just a Terrible Judge of People… Or Maybe Not.

You could probably say “Jason, may you must just be a terrible judge of character or run a terrible business!” and given the evidence above it may look like you’d may be right. But I called up an old business partner, then a friend I used to work with, then an attorney, then a few more people including my own Mother. It turns out, they all had the same sentiment and had similar stories. So while it is anecdotal, it turns out that a ton of people share the same anecdotes.

The Lesson

So here’s the lesson, when you’re first getting started, especially if you don’t have experience doing business with lawyers, be very careful because you always enter at a disadvantage.