What Dentists and Orthodontists Should Expect from their Transactional Attorneys?
Transactional attorneys are not litigators, which means that they are unlikely to be suitable for representing or defending clients in a court trial. For nearly all other legal matters that are generally settled outside the court, you will be working with a transactional attorney. They negotiate deals, settle conflicts in employment agreements, draft contracts and draw up several different types of legal paperwork related to the client’s personal or business needs.
Since dentists are medical professionals who require legal assistance all the time for handling multiple aspects of their office work, they too must work closely with a transactional lawyer. However, dental transaction attorneys must qualify as being trustworthy, experienced and reliable, since they will have access to sensitive data related to the practice. Continue reading to know more about what dental professionals should expect from their attorneys.
Experience in Dental Transaction Laws
A dental transaction attorney must possess extensive and updated knowledge about the dental transaction laws, but that is not all. They should have a thorough understanding about the dentistry business and market as well. Specialization is key here, so only work with dedicated and experienced attorneys for dentists who have a verifiable record of doing so successfully.
Verifiable Reputation in the Field
We just mentioned the importance of verifiable reputation, so expect to find this easily on:
- Checking through online reviews
- Asking previous and/or existing clients about their experience
- Checking their BAR record to note if there is anything that might affect your own experience
Written Fee Agreement
Suing a lawyer can prove to be difficult, so it is best if the fee agreement and structure is drafted, agreed upon and signed in advance with due clarity. Generally, transactional attorneys charge by the hour, but a contractual agreement should make their services more cost-effective.
As the client, you should expect them to draw up the fee agreement. The document should have all charge details clearly listed, as and when applicable. General sections of this agreement should provide transparency on all matters related to:
- The usual service fees which you will need to pay under normal circumstances
- Special fees that you will need to pay under special circumstances (if and when applicable)
- The terms that define applicability of the special circumstance fees
- Proper reasoning behind every fee type which will be billed to the dental practice, should you agree to them
A Comprehensive List of Dental Transaction Services
As a busy dental professional, you should not have to waste time by communicating with more than one transactional attorney. To make sure that happens, go through their list of offered services to know whether they can indeed cover all your legal needs outside the court. The list can vary, but the following points cover nearly all the services which are to be expected from a comprehensive dental transaction attorney.
Registration – Handling initial business registration, which in most instances would be the dental practice’s registration as a Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC). However, deepening on the particulars, your transactional attorney may suggest assuming a different entity.
Negotiation – Facilitating and negotiating real estate deals and terms of the contract for establishment of your dental clinic.
Agreements – Drawing up all the necessary paperwork for a real estate rental/buying agreement. They will discuss everything with you first, of course.
Preparation – Preparing all legal paperwork related to business assets. In most instances, the same attorney should also be able to handle the client’s private transactional needs, although that should not be considered a mandatory requirement.
Drafting – They should be able to easily draft new employment contracts and review previous contracts for potential disputes before they happen.
Settling – Matters related to contractual conflicts with partners, employees and the government can be settled by transaction attorneys, preventing the need to go to court. However, it might not always be possible, especially when there has already been a lawsuit.
Precautions – All legal paperwork necessary to avoid investigations, inspections and citations from authorized regulatory agencies should be drawn up, organized and ready when needed.
Providing legal advice on the possible steps to take after being sued is a common expectation. However, transactional attorneys are not civil/criminal defense lawyers. They should, however, be able to guide you in finding the most ideal lawyer for the specific trial. In short, your transactional attorney is the legal advisor who will guide, help and advise you through every step of your professional growth as a law-abiding dental professional.