How to Find a Commercial Law Attorney for Your Business

Good management is essential to keeping any business afloat. So is good legal advice. One person who can help you manage your company’s legal affairs is an experienced commercial law attorney. Commercial law is the term used to refer to the various statutes, regulations, and other legal requirements involved in forming, operating, and dissolving a business. Businesses are considered legal entities that must abide by various laws, including contract laws, environmental laws, employment laws, intellectual property laws, and laws governing commercial transactions, among others. Commercial law is extremely diverse and complex. To ensure that your company is complicit with the various laws affecting your business, you should consult an experienced commercial litigation attorney before start-up.

There are many lawyers to choose from, so it is best to do research to find the right person for the job. One good source of advice is other entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses. They can often refer you to commercial lawyers who helped them achieve their goals. You can also talk to other people who have experience working with lawyers. When you find a lawyer who you believe is a good fit, you should meet with him. Talk to him, ask questions. The following are important criteria to consider when choosing a lawyer for your business:

  • The lawyer you choose should have experience and expertise in commercial law. He should be able to guide you in choosing what kind of business entity to establish. He should also have experience with taxation. He should be able to create a variety of business contracts for use in all of your business dealings.
  • The lawyer should be able to defend you and the business should contract disputes arise.
  • A business lawyer should be up to date with changes to business laws and be able to give you sound advice.

A commercial law attorney can help your business in a variety of legal matters, including taxation, employment contracts, intellectual property protection and compliance with various environmental and consumer protection laws at both the state and federal level. In addition, the attorney can represent your business interests in a variety of transactions, including real estate transactions, contract disputes, product liability lawsuits, and much, much more.

To keep a business running, it takes a combination of the right people, the right ideas, and good decisions. When you choose a knowledgeable commercial attorney, you can be sure that the legal side of your business is in good hands. The Corpus Christi commercial litigation attorneys at Snapka Law Firm have the experience and resources to successfully represent your company’s interests throughout the course of your business.

Hiring A Bankruptcy Attorney To File Under Illinois Bankruptcy Laws

Filing liquidation under the Illinois bankruptcy laws is not an easy thing to do in a sense that you need to be aware of the complicated set of specific laws related to impoverishment that is applicable only in the state. This is because of the complications involved in the various bankruptcy laws in Illinois that we always suggest debtors to hire a highly qualified and experienced attorney to handle your liquidation case. When it comes to filing bankruptcy under the state laws, there are several things that you need to take into your careful consideration.

License Of The Bankruptcy Attorney

The first thing that you have to make sure is that the attorney has a valid license to handle impoverishment cases in the state. Some people have the misconception that all the bankruptcy lawyers are authorized to handle cases in all the states, which is not true. The attorney gets the license to handle such cases in a specific state only. In some places, where the boundaries of the states meet, the attorney may get the license to handle liquidation cases in more than one state. So, it is prudent to check all these things before hiring the attorney.

Attorney Fee

The bankruptcy attorney will charge you a fee, which is usually a substantial amount. Therefore, while choosing the right attorney to file insolvency on your behalf under the state laws, the first of the few things that you must ask the attorney is the amount they will charge. You must try to get into the details because sometimes, there are hidden charges that you come to know only when it is too late.

Interview The Attorney

You are planning to hire a liquidation attorney because you want someone that could defend your claim successfully in the courts. Therefore, do not hesitate in asking questions. It is important to ensure that the attorney you have chosen is the best one for your case. The attorney must be able to make things easier for you, keeping in mind that the Illinois bankruptcy laws are complicated ones and it is not possible for a common person to be aware of everything. The attorneys are the specialized persons and they know how to use the various clauses of the bankruptcy code in favor of the debtor. If you are filing bankruptcy under state liquidation laws, you will require filing out a number of free forms. You have to be very careful while filing out these forms because if the court finds some manipulation with the facts, you may end up paying out some penalties. Your attorney must help you in filing out these forms.

Five Tips for Hiring a Corporate Lawyer

It is important when hiring a corporate lawyer that you receive the right advice. You also need to make sure that you choose the right lawyer to represent your business. You need someone who you can trust, who you know will do a good job and who you feel comfortable with.

Quality

Basically when hiring a lawyer you get what you pay for. Legal advice does not come cheap, and if you want good professional advice you need to invest in a good lawyer. Do your research and contact several lawyers before you make your decision. Ask for references and do not be afraid to ask them about their background. Ask lots of questions and get them to explain the basics to you. You need to be sure that you understand procedures properly so ensure that you listen and try to learn as much as you can. Not only will you learn a lot but you will be clear on what is going on at all times.

Fees

Usually corporate lawyers charge by the hour but if you are a small business or just starting up this kind of expensive could be out of your reach. It might make more sense for you at this stage to negotiate a fixed fee. If you feel it is possible you might need advice from a corporate lawyer on a regular basis then a retainer could be something you might want to suggest. Make sure it is made clear to you what their fees include as you don’t want to get any surprises down the track.

Advice

This does seem obvious but don’t just assume the lawyer knows what it is you want. Many business owners can have a preconceived idea that corporate lawyers deal with exactly the same situations over and over. It is not often just a case of getting documents filled in. Corporate lawyers will often be involved in drafting up contracts, but they can also give you great legal and business advice in regards to negotiating positions. You will find that your lawyer will mostly give you advice, above anything.

Relationship

It is a good idea to build a long term relationship with your lawyer, this is why it is important to find that right person in the first place. For the success of your business you need someone who has been with you for a decent amount of time and understands the ins and outs of your business. A growing business will need advice often so it is worthwhile getting a long with this person.

References

It does help to ask for references. Ask around amongst your friends and family, and also contact other businesses. They might be willing to share advice on choosing a good corporate lawyer. You may find references in unlikely places, like via social networking, or do a search on the internet. Industry magazines or legal publications may be able to help you find the right corporate lawyer as well.

What Makes It So Important to Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney Rather Than Filing on Your Own?

Bankruptcy defines a legal status in which a person or a business declares himself or itself as unable to pay back all his debts. In that case the law permits that person or business to file for bankruptcy in order to restore his future financial condition while also getting protection and relief from any harassing creditors. The types of bankruptcies vary and the type of case under question determines which type of bankruptcy will apply to it. Only a well experienced bankruptcy attorney will help you figure out which type of bankruptcy applies in your case. A bankruptcy attorney will tell you whether you need to file for Chapter 7, 11, 12, or 13 after analyzing your particular case. A bankruptcy attorney will guide you through all the legalities involved in the process of filing for bankruptcy thus saving you the time and energy required in studying them all and understanding them.

Filing for bankruptcy is legally permissible by any person, which means that hiring a bankruptcy attorney for the process is not a legal requirement rather just an option or personal preference. The only reason why most people prefer hiring a bankruptcy attorney rather than doing the work themselves if because it shorts the amount of time required a lot as an experienced person can deal with the process a lot quicker than one who has not done it before. The rules and regulations involved in filing for bankruptcy are quite lengthy and complex and difficult for an ordinary person to wrap his or her head around it. A bankruptcy attorney will help you by explaining all the pertaining laws and regulations to you.

When a person is forced to file for bankruptcy he or she will naturally be going through a lot of pressure. The biggest factor leading to stress and pressure is the constant harassment from creditors. But when you hire a bankruptcy attorney that person becomes your representative. Therefore all creditors know have to call your bankruptcy attorney for any complains instead of you. This means that you can easily get away with all those phone calls and personal visits from your creditors once you hire a bankruptcy attorney to represent you. This is the biggest peace that one enjoys after hiring a bankruptcy attorney.

Another great benefit involved in hiring a lawyer is that the attorney then becomes responsible for dealing with all the paperwork involved. In the process of filing for bankruptcy there a hundreds and thousands of papers and documents involved. For an ordinary person it is very difficult to be able to fill them all out without making any errors. Since a lawyer is dealing with these documents on a daily basis he or she will know them like the back of their hand. The chances of making any errors in these papers will become close to zero when you hire a lawyer. With no errors your case will roll out very smoothly and you will be done with it before you even know it. whereas if you do not hire a lawyer you will most likely make plenty of errors at this stage that can seriously cause a lot of problems like even the loss of your personal property and valuables. So why take this huge risk when a bankruptcy attorney is readily available?

These days the fees of a bankruptcy lawyer has decreased a lot making them more affordable by the general public. Carefully analyze the different attorneys available in your area and then hire the most efficient and affordable lawyer and have your case solved in no time at all.

SEO Tips for Lawyers – Five Crucial Keys to Organic Search Engine Optimization

Business referrals also play a huge role in building a practice for attorneys, but can only go so far. What happens when you want more business or would like to expand your firm? This is when many practices turn to marketing and advertising– yellowpage ads, radio, TV commercials, lawyer directories.

These are all good ways to promote your practice, but what if I told you there is a “free” source of leads that would facilitate potential seeking you out, right at the time he/she needed your services? Well there is and it’s called the modern day search engine.

Search engines, when used to the fullest extent, can act as pre-qualifying authoritative referral sources. Just as a consumer is more likely to get product or service recommendations form a friend or family member verses take what a commercial has to say at face value, search engines can be a strong lead source in your practice’s marketing mix because of the trust they are given for finding unbiased information.

Have you ever wondered why some attorney websites have top ten rankings on search engines, while others do not? You’re about to learn some of the secrets. Do not take this information lightly. As an attorney, what you are about to read could earn you thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars in new cases and legal fees.

Below are Five Basic Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips for Lawyers that have taken me years to understand. While paid listings or “sponsored links” do have a high ROI when managed properly, this article in particular is only speaking toward the natural or unpaid listings you see on popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and MSN.

Some of these techniques may seem very easy to understand, even implement, but that is the beauty of it. With all the false information out there, it takes a long time to know what has value and what does not. As Mark Twain said, “I’m sorry this letter is so long, I didn’t have the time to write a short one.” It has taken me years to weed through the tricks, and fly by night gimmicks, and false information so enjoy and feel free to contact me with any questions. With that said, I present to you five crucial keys to organic search engine optimization.

SEO Tip One: Use Descriptive & Unique Meta Titles

Did you know one of the most important areas for your firm’s site in regard to search ranking is the “Meta Title” of your home page? This is the title that appears on the blue frame around your browser (i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox). The title also appears in search listings. You can see your website’s title in its raw coding by choosing “View” and “View source code” from your browser.

Anatomy of the Meta Information

In epistemology, the prefix meta- is used to mean about (its own category). A website’s meta information is typically made up of three distinct areas: title, description, and keywords. According to many well-known SEO gurus, the “keywords” section is completely useless, but it can harm you if you use too many keywords.

Most major search engines have now filtered out the importance of the “keywords” section because of past abuse, “keyword stuffing,” as well as placing long lists of irrelevant highly searched terms. Do not put too many keywords in the keywords section, and do not rely on this section to help with search engine optimization (SEO). Some SEO experts still use it “just in case, ” but only place 10 – 15 keywords never repeating, and using a comma after each single term.

The title however, is still a hugely important area to naturally work in highest level key phrases, along with branding the firm, or your name if acting as an independent practice. However, do not repeat keywords, and do not use more than 12 words or around 65 characters. Otherwise, the full title will not been seen in search and having an overabundance of words will dilute its power anyway. Google also has a filter or penalty block for sites that repeat one word too often in titles.

What’s in a Name?

Check your meta title right now! Choose “View” and “View source code” from your browser. Does it only have the name of your firm? That is fine if you are doing other advertising and your firm has lots of name recognition, but you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

What about those prospects you are missing out on who are typing into the search engines more generic phrases without any firms or attorney names in mind? Example, a search engine user types in “Personal Injury Attorney Dallas.” If you do not have specific words that describe your practice in your meta title, your site is less likely to appear in the top then than an attorney who does.

Be Unique

Your meta title can make or break your search engine rankings for valuable placement. Use a different title for every page of your site, making sure it describes the page’s content and/or user function (such as an “About” page, use the word “About So and So Firm.”). With deeper pages further away from the homepage use varying logical keywords that not only describe the page, but are akin to the words a user might type in seeking out that specific information.

It may seem like if you repeat the same title over and over again on other pages your site will perform better for those keywords, but it will not, you will be cannibalizing your efforts. You can use your name or the name of your firm, but place it near the end of the title. Keep the most unique part toward the beginning. Proximity and density also play a role.

This one tip could warrant a whole article on best practices on its own, but for now start with recognizing your meta title’s importance. I will be publishing a more advanced “nuts and bolts” article covering how you should plan a reverse keyword pyramid for your site titles, as well as other titling recommendations.

SEO Tip Two: Acquire Relevant Backlinks

Links to your site are seen as votes in the major search engines’ eyes. Just so we are on the same page, these are links to your website from another website, not links from your website to another. In this analogy these popularity votes are similar to how voting existing before several human rights were established. Some were considered 3/5ths a person, and some not considered at all. Their votes were counted accordingly. In other words, not all backlinks are created equal. The quality of a link toward your site can be determined on multiple criterion.

a). Relevance – Does the subject matter of the page linking out reflect the subject matter of your site or is it about something completely off topic? Example would be another attorney links to your site from his/her blog unsolicited based on your site’s relevant content and merit verses a random site that sells knockoff Viagra wanting to trade links with you.

b). Link & Text Density – This speaks to the amount of other links on the page linking to yours on the other website. If the other site has a listing of 100s of links on all different topics, including yours, the link is most likely devalued in the search engines eyes, not only because of relevance, but because of perceived importance. These are commonly known as “link farms.” The opposite situation would be your link is the only one listed. The backlink could be considered even more valuable if the other site surrounds it with relevant copy before and after (for example in a blog or article). A less effective, but not completely worthless placement would be a listing on a “Links” page from another site where only a handful of other offsite links existed.

c). Second Generation Link Popularity- Your site is deemed more important in the search engines’ eyes not only by how many other sites link to you, but how many sites link to the sites that link to you. The link popularity is passed on using a formula that one search engine originated called PageRank(TM). In essence, you could have 100s of backlinks, but if no one is linking to the other sites linking to you, many of the links may be worthless from a ranking point of view (but could be valuable in other ways to be discussed in a later article). There are tools you can use to “pull up the curtain” and see just how people are linking to your site, as well as how many are linking to their’s.

This is a simplified explanation on how acquiring backlinks can help your SEO. As with titling, the topic of backlinks could also warrant its own full fledged article, or multiple articles. The important takeaway is: backlinks matter for SEO.

SEO Tip Three: Build a Legal Knowledgebase

The Internet was built on the foundation that people want authoritative, quality information fast. Instead of trying to remember the categories of the Dewy Decimal System and searching through different books’ table of contents, the search engine user uses keywords describing what he/she are looking for in order to find that information as fast as possible.

Not all Visitors are Qualified

First, as an attorney, you have to accept this fact that not all the visitors to your website are prospects. Many may be in the research mode of their buying cycle or may be looking for information for a friend or even a school report. The reality is the more original, helpful, and consistently you can put new information on your website, the more the search engines will show you preference. By high quality content I do not mean a sales pitch. You can use that type of language on your main pages, but you will appeal to a much wider audience if you use non-commercial, unbiased information presented as knowledgebase in your deeper pages.

By building a knowledgebase specific to your areas of practice, you accomplish at least two objectives, you are viewed as an expert becoming the authoritative source for that user’s legal question and you will likely pull prospects looking for those specific services right then and there. This is an indirect, but highly effective method of acquiring prospects.

One Page per Area of Practice

Example, if you practice copyright law and the prospect types in the search engine “copyright laws” you could have a page strictly devoted to explaining the different types, penalties for breaking the laws, defenses, highly popularized landmark cases, and other important information pertaining to copyright infringement. Create a page using at least 500 – 1500 words stratifying every area of your practice in fine detail, and your website will dominate the search engines, command lots of relevant traffic and, combined with other tools, bring a steady stream of leads. I will cover this in more depth giving more information on the best practices in future articles.

SEO Tip Four: Use specific Internal & External Anchor Text

Have you ever seen a link that says “Click here?” Oh course you have. That’s actually a waste of a link as far as SEO is concerned. Ok, maybe not a complete loss, but it does not use the link’s full potential. The words used in a link to another URL are called the anchor text and it can be vitally important to SEO.

There is a huge difference in how the search engines see a link with relevant text verses a non-descriptive or irrelevantly anchored link. This is even true for your site’s internal linking structure and calls to action. For example, instead of directing your website visitors to another internal page using the words “Click Here for information on copyright infringement,” make the words copyright infringement the actual link and avoid the cliché. You may have to change your verbiage schema to something similar to: “Learn more about the laws and penalties pertaining to copyright infringement,” which is better anyway.

Anchor Your Links or Site will walk the Plank

The more internal links on your site pointing to that page with those words, and even more importantly links from offsite with those words, the more likely the search engines will see your site, or that specific page, as being relevant for that term. Check your website right now.

Do you have any pointless “Click Here” links or something else just as useless? Right now, change the anchor text to words that describe the page in which they are linking. Or ask your webmaster to do it tomorrow morning. It’s worth it.

SEO Tip Five: Localize Your Content & Meta Descriptions

Are you an attorney who only operates in one city? Or can you work remotely because most of your work is out of the court room? If you operate in one city, or regional area, you need to make the search engines aware by using the most prominent DMA in your homepage title.

When prospects are using search engines, most are sophisticated enough to know, or have learned through search engine experience, to add the city onto whatever service in which he/she is searching. Example, a user types in “Dallas Commercial Real Estate Attorney.”

You may be a real estate attorney and your practice may be in Dallas, but the search engines will give another lawyer’s site preference if you do not spell it out for them. You may have your physical location in a normal 12 point text on the contact page, but that is not enough, since titles and meta descriptions hold more weight in the hierarchy.

Home Grown Meta Description

Some SEO gurus say descriptions are as defunct as the keywords section of your meta info. I say the meta description is the NEW keywords section of web 2.0, only the keywords must be used in a logical sentence form.

Secondly, you do not want to have to specify on a page describing individual areas of your practice or your knowledgebase that you are a “Dallas insert obscure and wordy law practice attorney” in the viable copy. While not terribly lethal, it’s a little awkward and contrived to the reader. You can use the description area of the meta for this SEO tactic.

Stay tuned for more Internet marketing tips for lawyers including more on SEO, pay-per-click advertising, and social media. Thanks for your time.