Top Five Ways CEOs Can Utilize Business Lawyers

Top Five Ways CEOs Can Utilize Business Lawyers


You’ve heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  How can you apply that if you are the CEO of a company that’s not yet big enough to warrant having a full-time General Counsel in your C-suite?


You can have a business conversation with a seasoned General Counsel.  Discuss what’s happening in your business and where you want the company to go.  That conversation will give the attorney important insight into what is most important to you, including your risk tolerance.


Then, you can work with the lawyer to do one or more of the following:


  1. Write a Sales Contract that Speeds Up Getting to Yes.


Do you have a sales contract that you copied off the Internet, or a 20 page monstrosity filled with dusty old language like “Whereas,” “Hereinbefore,” and “Hereinabove?”


Odds are that you don’t understand the clauses in either form, and neither does your sales prospect.


The attorney can prepare a concise, easy-to-read contract that can shorten your sales closing cycle by as much as 80%.



  1. Prepare the Right Human Resource Guidelines.


Create clear expectations and rules for employees to follow.


Inform and train employees and supervisors about preventing and reporting discrimination, sexual harassment and other illegal acts.


Make sure all employees know they are “At-will.”



  1. Guide you Through the Worker Classification Thicket.


If you call a worker an “Independent Contractor” when s/he is actually a W-2 employee, you are exposed to big fines, back wages, and back taxes.


If you wrongly identify your employees as “Exempt” when they should be “Non-exempt,” you are exposed to big fines, back wages, and back taxes.



  1. Create Agreements and Procedures that Protect Your Intellectual Property.


Require all employees and contractors to sign NDA and invention assignment agreements.


Register all trademarks for logo and products.


Put copyright notices on all written information.


Protect your trade secrets.



  1. Talk you out of Costly Litigation.


Litigation is money pit.  Each side has multiple lawyers burning the midnight oil, at $750.00 per hour, at your expense.  “Simple” employee claims can quickly run into six figures.  Patent litigation is a seven-figure proposition.


It is also a management time sink.  What is the opportunity cost of having your entire C-suite tied up in a week-long deposition?




Do you have questions or comments?


Feel free to contact InnovaCounsel:


Stuart B. Blake

Encinitas, CA

949-842-9379 Cell


Michael S. Oswald.

Boise, ID

Mobile – 208.914.3086



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