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Posts from the ‘Contracts’ Category

Five Reasons Small Business Owners Should Not Rely on Online Contract Forms

We live in a Do-It-Yourself society, especially now that the secrets of the universe can be unveiled with a simple google search. If you can learn how to build a bomb or do brain surgery on the Internet, surely you can figure out your own legal advice. So, one of the most common questions I hear is: Can’t I just download a form (or use an online service like Legal Zoom), instead of paying for a real live lawyer?

It’s a good question. And, being a life-long “Do-It-Yourself-er,” I understand the appeal. But there are lots of reasons why this is a really bad idea . . .

1) The Short Answer: Would you really attempt brain surgery based on what you read online? No of course not — at least not on someone you cared about! And while drafting legal documents is not quite the same as brain surgery (and usually won’t have a life or death impact), it is similarly difficult to do well without lots of specialized training and experience. Here’s why:

2) You Can’t Really Tell Good From Bad (And Why It Matters): When a non-lawyer downloads a legal document he has no way to determine its quality. I’ve found many “legal” documents on the web that clearly were not drafted by lawyers (this is especially true in the world of web developer and artist agreements). Even if you download from a supposedly reputable site, like or Legal Zoom, there is a wide range of quality in the documents available. Without legal training, you have no basis for determining best, worst or mediocre.

Why does it matter? Read more

Internet Law Workshop

I will be doing a presentation on Internet Law, part of a two-part workshop by SCORE Orange County called “Hot Topics in Internet Marketing,” at the Fullerton Library on March 10, 2011, at 6:00 to 9:00 pm.  The other part of the workshop, on Google Analytics, will be presented by my colleague Vazi Okhandiar.  Usually, these workshops are very lively, with lots of questions and audience participation, and we’re hoping for a good turnout for this one.  I will post the presentation slides here shortly after the workshop takes place.

Small Business Workshop

I’m doing a workshop on Legal Topics for Start-Ups, on Saturday, January 29, 2011 at National University in Costa Mesa, CA.  Among the topics covered will be:  choosing a business entity, comparing features of an S Corp vs. LLC, basic contract law, trademark and copyright issues, privacy law, and Internet marketing issues.  The workshop is part of an all-day program put on by the Orange County Chapter of SCORE, called Business Start-Up Essentials, that covers additional topics such as basic accounting, finance, sales and marketing, human resources and insurance issues for small business :

SCORE Workshop
“Business Start-up Essentials”
Where & When
Saturday January 29, 2011
8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
National University
3390 Harbor Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

$50 at the door
(cash or check only)

$40 if you pre-register online at Read more