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Giving Business Advice Versus Legal Advice - The Pitfalls

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Lawyers must become accustomed to the risk of giving advice.  A lawyer’s role and duty is to give advice—advice that might not be well received, advice that when followed might not result in the best outcome, advice that even when objectively correct ends up placing the lawyer in a defensive posture. It is simply the cost of doing business, the business of law.

In fact, the risks associated with giving advice are inherent in all businesses. Your landscaper can advise you to plant a particular tree or shrub that dies, or your plumber can advise you to fix your leaky pipe with a “permanent seal” that ends up being not so permanent. Yet, lawyers are held to a very high standard and are viewed as having all the answers. Laypersons may not expect or understand that law is not a science and that there are no perfect solutions to any one legal problem. Moreover, clients may expect an attorney to give legal advice as well as general counsel. And, we regularly provide that general counsel without giving it a second thought.  Click here to read more...

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