Some businesses hire one or more in-house attorneys to manage their corporate, employment and/or other internal legal matters. Hiring an in-house general counsel or in-house attorney specializing in a particular area of law gives businesses the benefit not only of having a single point of contact for all legal and strategy matters relating to a given subject matter but also of having a readily-accessible, “go to” legal advisor to senior management on that particular subject. Perhaps most importantly, it enables companies to avoid the dreaded alternative which can lead to runaway costs and unpredictable fees: paying outside counsel to handle such matters on an hourly basis.
In-House General Counsel – Not a Practical Solution for Most Businesses
Although hiring in-house attorneys may be a practical solution for some companies, many businesses – from start-ups to large privately held companies – do not have either the need or the financial resources to hire a full-time in-house general counsel or one or more in-house attorneys specializing in particular areas of law. As a result, many companies typically retain a number of different outside attorneys to handle a wide-range of legal matters impacting their business, including business formation and organization issues, contract drafting and negotiations, employment and human resource matters, tax issues, commercial loans and leases, collections, regulatory matters, etc. Start-up and emerging businesses, in particular, often elect to forgo hiring in-house counsel, given the financial constraints they face in the early stages of growing their business.
Problems Created by The Traditional Hourly Billing Model
In the end, however, the traditional hourly billing model and runaway legal costs often becomes an impediment to businesses obtaining badly needed legal advice. As a result, in order to save costs, businesses routinely elect to forgo obtaining legal advice prior to taking certain actions or making certain decisions. It is only later when the particular action or decision is disputed or results in a lawsuit – a situation ultimately proving to be far more costly to the organization – that businesses realize they could have avoided this predicament if they had simply sought proper legal guidance before taking those actions or making those decisions.
The Solution: My Outside General Employment Law Counsel™ Program
As a practical matter, no business or organization that has employees – regardless of size – can afford to forgo a well-conceived plan to implement sound employment law compliance measures and preventive HR strategies. In fact, the need for competent employment law counsel and well drafted employment and confidentiality agreements, offer letters, employment policies and procedures, commission and/or incentive plans, etc., exists from the outset of any business to protect against the risk of future employment-related disputes.
At Miller Legal Group, P.C., we recognize that the success of a business often depends on careful planning to minimize the potential for future disputes, and on the prompt resolution of disputes when they do arise. Accordingly, we seek to enable businesses of all sizes to more effectively meet their compliance obligations, to put more effective management systems in place and to build stronger defenses that will enable them to avoid, or at least minimize, legal troubles.
To better enable organizations to achieve these objectives, Miller Legal Group, P.C. proudly offers businesses the option to participate in our unique program which we call: My Outside General Employment Law Counsel™. Under this program, eligible businesses and organizations of all sizes have the option of retaining our firm on a fixed fee basis as their outside general employment law counsel. This program is offered to eligible employers who are prepared to make a demonstrated and sustained commitment to achieving compliance and implementing preventive best practice and litigation avoidance strategies.
So whether your business is large or small, your organization can obtain quality legal services from a trusted advisor and advocate at an affordable price. Our attorneys can be retained as a primary “go to” employment law attorney for your business, effectively functioning as your organization’s in-house general counsel for employment law and human resource issues. Alternatively, one of our employment law attorneys can be integrated directly into your team of existing in-house attorneys either to take on primary role in handling your organization’s labor and employment law issues or to handle any “overflow” work on an “as needed” basis.
What Are the Benefits of My Outside General Employment Law Counsel™ Program?
As your outside general employment law counsel, Miller Legal Group, P.C. will serve as your organization’s trusted advisor, advocate, and confidant on all aspects of employment law and human resource matters, protecting your Company’s interests at every turn. We will oversee and handle both your Company’s day-to-day as well as strategic employment law matters and we will serve as a de facto member of or advisor to your senior or executive management team. Perhaps most importantly, our fixed fee approach will eliminate your organization’s natural disincentive to seek valuable legal advice relating to employment and human resource matters (i.e., concerns over mounting hourly fees). In other words, you will not have to worry about every consultation and contact with our office being billed on an hourly basis, a billing model which also can have the tendency to put the interests of attorney and client in conflict.
As a result, our outside general employment law counsel program fosters the goals of achieving employment law compliance, implementing preventive best practice strategies, and timely and effectively responding to employment-related disputes and lawsuits. As such, the program has the ability to help businesses not only minimize exposure to potential liability but also to significantly reduce their related legal expenses. Moreover, our fixed fee approach enables organizations to budget for and even-out legal expenses while ensuring coverage of their basic legal needs.
And, for larger companies, we also will oversee and manage your organization’s employment-related litigation and disputes that are being handled by outside counsel and/or, in some cases, we will handle those matters directly on your organization’s behalf (e.g., responding to administrative claims filed with government agencies as well as government agency audits, investigations and inspections).
How Does the Program Work?
For organizations interested in participating in My Outside Employment Law Counsel™ program, we will set up one or more initial assessment and planning meetings to determine the needs of your organization, identify employment law issues your organization is facing, and develop a plan of action. Based on the initial assessment and planning meetings, we will collectively determine the best way to structure the relationship as well as an appropriate fixed fee plan for your organization. The agreed upon fixed fee is paid on a quarterly or bi-annual basis (clients paying on bi-annual basis receive greater discounts).
*** The agreed upon fee will be initially reviewed after 3 months to ensure we continue to be collectively in agreement that the terms are fair and that the program is meeting your organization’s needs and expectations. The program is typically reviewed again every 3 to 6 months thereafter.
My Outside General Employment Law Counsel™ program includes all of the following:
- Initial assessment and planning meetings and attorney review of existing policies, agreements and others forms (billed at a reduced hourly rate);
- Certain number of hours (subject to an agreed upon cap) of legal advice and consultation on employment law and human resource matters – (includes document review, revision and/or preparation as well as legal research and analysis, as needed);
- Detailed listing of employer posting obligations and copy of the California Industrial Wage Order that applies to your Company;
- Discounts on a variety of management and employee training workshops, including AB 12825 mandatory sexual harassment training for supervisors; and
- Various guidelines, checklists and forms.
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Contact a Los Angeles and Orange County Labor and Employment Law Attorney
For more information about our My Outside General Employment Law Counsel™ program, our practice areas, or to schedule a Litigation Avoidance consultation with an experienced Southern California management and employment relations lawyer specializing in preventive employment and HR law matters, please contact us at our South Bay employment law firm by e-mail or by telephone at (310) 426-2650.