Bad People are Impossible to Contain. No Contract Will Protect You.
There is no such thing as a good contract with a bad person. No amount of care or planning can save you from a person who intends to cheat you or abuse your trust. The best contract in the world will not help you. That is because the ways to cheat you are infinite and contract terms are finite. Moreover, a liar and cheat can hide the truth from you for a long time, and can run from legal process for even longer. They can run out of money and become judgment proof. In the worst case, they can become desperate and commit acts of real violence upon you or someone you love.
Why Are We Telling You This?
So you avoid having unrealistic expectations regarding what your attorneys can accomplish with documents and contracts. Sure, we can put in all the best protections. But in the end, a determined crook can and will find a way to cheat you, despite what is or is not in your contract. We want you to be successful and frankly, we want you not to need our litigation services. We would much rather have your transactional business as you grow into a large and powerful company. There is nothing we hate more than explaining to people why they got cheated and how it may be too late or too expensive to do anything meaningful about it. So keep in mind...
Do Your Due Diligence...And Use Common Sense
Before getting into business with anybody, check them out thoroughly. Do they have judgments against them? Criminal backgrounds? Can others vouch for them? Do they have sufficient income, assets and time to handle the project you contemplate? Do they have enough assets and money to pay for their wrongdoing if they cheat you? Do they have ample experience relating to the project? Remember, these people will consume thousands of your dollars and years of your life. Do not take their word for it. Look into things thoroughly. Once you are certain they are honest, then call us to draft up careful and comprehensive contracts.
Also keep in mind that those who have little to lose make for bad business partners. This is because they cannot be held legally accountable for the harm and damage they may cause. They are what we refer to as judgment-proof. You can sue them, but they have no money to pay a judgment even if you win. Never do business with judgment-proof people.
It's a Family Affair...
Although family members are not bad people, we advise against getting into business with them, as tempting as it may be. There are three main reasons for this. First, overestimating their capabilities is easy. Remember the old adage, Loving eyes can never see. Second, they may not be family forever. Divorces are the majority rule, not the minor exception. You may be facing a hostile and abusive business co-owner after a bitter divorce, even if it does not directly involve you. Third and most importantly, family members cannot be held accountable for their laziness or mistakes. They can't be easily fired or penalized for slacking off or performing negligently. You may find that they are all talk and no walk. Family members can make good business partners under certain circumstances, but it is not good planning to count on them, and our litigation department is full of real life business disasters caused by family business arrangements.
Beware the Fast Talker.
Almost every business person gets taken at least once, usually in the early years, by a fast talker of some sort. We call them "promoters", slick people with an answer for everything, great ambitions and always in a hurry. They can appear very entrepreneurial and compelling. And some are genuinely great business people. But most are not. Never trust anyone who hurries you into making a decision or stampedes you to invest or sign up for any business project. If they refuse to let you slow them down and take a good look at things, or refuse to let you involve an attorney, run, do not walk, away from them. You will have avoided your first business bankruptcy.