What you don’t know about partnerships can hurt you – Part III

Previously I covered the ease with which you can find yourself in a partnership and how partners can bind co-partners without their knowledge or approval. Today I will highlight a partner’s liability obligations which I hope will underline the importance of actively managing your partnership relationship.

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Start-Up Service Plans – taking the sting out of legal fees for new businesses

Today I’d like to highlight my firm’s Start-Up Service Plans and provide a little bit of background info on why we decided to offer these services. These plans were designed to help new businesses plan for their legal expenses when they first set up.

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How a thousand dollar contract can cost you half your company

Major developments in the Facebook lawsuit front. Zuckerberg has barely gotten over his troubles with the Winkelvoss twins, and Facebook is now faced with a claim that half of it actually belongs to Paul Ceglia. And all for the grand investment of $1000 back in the day, when Zuckerberg was still developing Facebook.

Whether or not Ceglia’s claim has merit, this is a lesson for every entrepreneur who is serious about their business and expects to make it big. It’s the foundation that you build your company on that could come back to haunt you. What seems to be a throwaway contract when you’re first setting up shop could cost you billions of dollars when you finally make it big.

I’m in a bit of a rush today, so I won’t go into what Zuckerberg should have done, and how contracts are important and why you should consult a lawyer when you first start. Instead, I’ll direct you to the TechCrunch guys who say “Never sell half your company for a thousand dollars.” Amen.

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What you don’t know about partnerships just might hurt you – Part II

Last week I wrote about how easy it was to fall into a partnership, whether or not that was your intention. While forming a partnership is almost too easy, being a partner brings with it certain obligations of which you should be aware.

In the absence of a partnership agreement, every partner has an equal right to participate in the management of the business. And as a result of this, by section 6 of the Partnership Act, every partner has the power to bind the firm and the co-partners in all decisions or acts related to the business. o-partners are bound by a partner’s decisions irrespective of whether they agreed with or whether they had any knowledge of the action.

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Are Online Legal Services right for you?

Metro – It’s buyer beware for online legal services. This was in today’s online edition of Metro. (I assume in the print edition too, but I don’t read either edition regularly, so I can’t say if it was).

The writer does have a point – as with any services you buy, whether online or offline, “caveat emptor” or “buyer beware” should be your mantra when buying legal services online. But I’d like to point out in this post that there are a number of ways you can get legal services online, and an “online lawyer” is not necessarily a bad thing.

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The Online Legal Portal – accessing your lawyer online

Yesterday I wrote about the launch of our new firm website and I promised I’d detail some of the changes we’ve made. Today I’ll talk about the Online Legal Portal and why I think this is a change that benefits our clients.

More and more of our business (and personal) activities have moved to the online space – banking, ordering supplies, research, selling, marketing – all of these now have a large, if not an exclusive, online component. Accessing your legal counsel should not be any different. Through our Online Legal Portal, you are now able to access your lawyer through the internet, so to speak. Our portal gives you the ability to communicate with our lawyers, collaborate on files, make appointments and get notifications on the current status through a secure interface – and all from the comfort of your computer.

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Sapna Law relaunches with exciting new offerings

Sapna Law Professional Corporation was officially launched in September 2010. And six months later, we’ve relaunched again! So why the change?

The way businesses are run has changed dramatically over the past few years. More and more of our processes are moving online with cloud computing and SaaS being so prevalent these days. Our law firm, like many other businesses, has embraced these new technologies and methods and is now offering our services just like so many other services are offered these days – through the internet.

Over the next few days I will highlight the changes we have made, how they fit with today’s business practices and how they enhance the services we provide you.

In the meantime, take a look around and tell us what you like or don’t like. We’re always ready to listen to suggestions and tweak our services to satisfy our clients.

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What you don’t know about partnerships just might hurt you – I

The next series of posts will concern partnerships, how they are formed, what their implications are, and how you can protect your rights in a partnership.

The first thing you need to know is that there are no formal requirements to forming a partnership. You don’t need to have a specific agreement, or register the partnership for one to exist. The Partnership Act states that a partnership exists if two or more people carry on business with a view to making a profit. Therefore all a partnership requires is to have two or more people running a business, and the goal of the business should be to make a profit (as opposed to running a non-profit, or running a business together for cultural reasons or as a hobby).

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When the Law needs to keep up with Technology – Part II

I came across this interesting post today. This is a US case where the court decided that an instant messenger (IM) exchange modified a contract, even though the contract had a clause that explicitly prohibited oral modifications. Among other reasons, the court held that the IM conversation was considered to not be oral as it was in “writing.” The contract in this particular case called for amendments that were in signed writing, but based on jurisdiction-specific laws, the court was able to circumvent the “signed” requirement and held that the IM conversation modified the contract.

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Ontario Bencher Elections 2011 – My endorsement – Monica Goyal

If you’re a lawyer in Ontario, you are well aware that the Bencher elections start in April. To put it simply, benchers are to the Law Society of Upper Canada (the regulating body of Ontario lawyers) what a board directors are to a corporation. Every lawyer has 40 votes – 20 votes for lawyers from Toronto and 20 votes for lawyers outside Toronto. Those are a lot of votes and its hard to keep track of who is running and what their platforms are. Amid all the noise surrounding the candidates, I’d like to endorse one – Monica Goyal.

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