Why You Should Retain An Attorney For Your Business Needs
Non-attorney representatives cannot as effectively represent their clients’ business interests as an attorney because they are not trained to provide the same level of service and are not bound by the same ethical obligations as attorneys. Therefore, if something goes wrong, businesses cannot hold a non-attorney representative to the same professional standards as a lawyer.
Non-Attorney vs. Attorney Representation
Non-attorney representative is a broad job category that refers to anyone who purports to provide legal services but is not attorneys. Many of these jobs are quasi-business/financial/service providers. For example, brokers provide attorney-like services in finance and real estate. Regarding contracts, business analysts and specialists market themselves to businesses as cheap one-off solutions to small and medium business needs.
While these non-attorney representatives do get one thing right, they are cheaper than most attorneys. However, they are not the panacea they often market themselves to be. These representatives are not bound by any ethical obligations – unlike attorneys. California lawyers must obey the Business and Professions Code and the Rules of Professional Conduct, which require attorneys to conduct themselves honestly, loyally, and competently. Attorneys are also bound by rules of confidentiality, which prevent them from disclosing any information learned about your business.
Further, failure to uphold these obligations will result in disciplinary action taken against the attorney, up to and including disbarment. Finally, attorneys are required to maintain minimum malpractice insurance, which protects the attorney and your business in the event something goes wrong. Non-attorney representatives are not required to obtain the same level of protection.
Furthermore, non-attorneys do not examine contractual language and business regulations with the same critical eye as lawyers. Attorneys interpret the law and cross-reference the rules with different codes and case law. Non-attorneys are incapable of providing the same quality of advice.
Finally, if something goes wrong, attorneys can represent their clients before any court to which they are admitted. For California attorneys, they can represent their clients before any state superior, appellate, and the state supreme court, and before every federal district court once they are admitted to practice. If litigation results and you only retained a non-attorney representative, they are forbidden from representing you in court. Moreover, litigation attorneys know what breaks down deals and can anticipate those issues. Non-attorney representatives lack the same experience or knowledgebase.