Tag Archives: business

Babson New York Rocket Pitch 2012 Supporter Helps First-time Entrepreneurs

No other law firm in history has voluntarily waived $500,000 in legal fees and absorbed $100,000 in expenses simply to help 500 first-time entrepreneurs incorporate; but that’s exactly how Jeff Unger, Los Angeles-based attorney and founder of eMinutes, a corporate law firm, spent most of the last 12 months. As of April 2, 2013, Mr. Unger announced he is ready to do it again, this time waiving nearly three-quarters of a million dollars – $725,000 – to help 725 first-time entrepreneurs in California, New York, Texas and the District of Columbia form their businesses for free.

“Today’s do-it-yourself-incorporation mentality and misinformation about business formation being provided by ‘experts’ who have no knowledge of the law is misleading inexperienced entrepreneurs,” said Jeff Unger, attorney and founder of eMinutes. “As a result, they end up with a business entity that may leave them exposed. At eMinutes, we are determined to provide as many first-time entrepreneurs as possible with the right counsel and guidance so their businesses have an honest opportunity to succeed.”

Jean Tsai is obsessed with food quality and she is also one of the 500 first-time entrepreneurs eMinutes helped in Phase I of the entrepreneur program. As an incorrigible lifelong snacker, she searched for a delicious and healthy snack that was made from sustainably grown real food ingredients. Never finding one, she decided to start Pop Karma after working in the corporate world and earning her Master’s Degree in Business Administration at Dartmouth College.

“The expertise eMinutes offers is superior. Like many entrepreneurs, I agonized over whether to be an S-Corp or an LLC, and even thought about incorporating by myself,” said Jean Tsai, founder of Pop Karma. “eMinutes provided exceptional guidance and asked the right questions that helped me decide what entity was right for my business. They made the entire process simple and incredibly fast – it would have taken a much greater investment of personal time on my part if I had done it on my own, and I wouldn’t been as successful.”

In Phase II of its entrepreneur program, eMinutes will waive 100% of its legal fees for eligible first-time entrepreneurs who demonstrate a sincere commitment to building their business, for example, a clearly-defined business plan or an active website. All eligible entrepreneurs must have retained the services of a CPA and agree to pay filing fees.

Christina Eisenstein, founder of Macaroon and one of eMinutes’ first 500 first-time entrepreneurs, fell in love with the French macaroon years ago, and decided to leave the advertising world for sweeter pastures. Although born in the Midwest, she comes from a long lineage of bakers in Paris and is committed to combining her French roots with the American palate. What she didn’t have was knowledge of how to form a business.

“eMinutes saved me money on legal fees that I was able put back into my business. They completed all the paperwork and submitted it quickly, with virtually no effort on my end,” said Eisenstein. “Their attorneys are professional, readily available and eager to help; they are truly champions for entrepreneurs.”

For more information on Phase II of the entrepreneur’s program and eMinutes corporate legal services, visit http://eminutes.com/entrepreneurs or call (310) 820-1000 in Los Angeles, (212) 772-7770 in New York, or (512) 942-1100 in Austin, Texas.

Via EPR Network
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Darlingtons Solicitors on the Rocketlawyer panel of law firms

As reported in today’s legal press, Rocketlawyer, an established US legal documents and services brand, will be launching later this month in the UK.

In addition to offering a range of interactive online legal documents at a very competitive price, the company will also have a small number of selected panel solicitors who will assist with content for the Rocketlawyer website and will offer additional services to Rocketlawyer customers.

The fact that law firms will be working closely with Rocketlawyer means that a customer who wants to use one of the documents on the site and has completed most of the document but still has follow up questions or unusual requirements, will have access to expert, discounted legal advice.

Darlingtons Solicitors are delighted to announce that they are 1 of the 20 initial panel member firms.

As part of the discussions and criteria for panel membership, a law firm needs to satisfy Rocketlawyer that it has the right attitude to dealing with online legal customers, who expect not only high quality legal advice but excellent service. Firms must also demonstrate that they are active online and fully embrace the importance of the internet for the future of legal services.

The discussions between Darlingtons and Rocketlawyer did not take long to result in fruition. Both parties recognised that they have much in common and a very similar outlook.

James Swede, Managing Partner of Darlingtons comments, “As soon as I saw that Rocketlawyer were entering into the UK market I was interested in talking with them. I met with Mark Edwards of Rocketlawyer just a few days later, and it only took an hour over a coffee to quickly realise that they are the type of people we like doing business with and vice versa. Our online presence is very important to us and we recognise that there is big market for using online applications to make law easier and more cost effective. Our services will compliment and enhance the interactive documents provide by Rocketlawyer and in my view, any firm which sees interactive legal documents as a threat has a mistaken and shortsighted approach. Not only that but they will be swimming against a very strong tide”

Via EPR Network
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New Contra Costa County Family Court Rules Reduce Cost of Divorce in East Bay

Continuing its progressive role in stream-lining the court system and making it more accessible, the Contra Costa County Superior Court has implemented new rules that encourage divorcing parties to avoid court, to reach their own agreements through a voluntary, out of court process, and save significantly on the attorney’s fees that are otherwise needed to appear repeatedly in court.

Local Rule 12.5 governing “Collaborative Law” cases went into effect January 1st of this year (1/1/2011), stating “The Court recognizes the unique nature of family law disputes and the fact that family law issues are best resolved by the parties reaching agreement over critical matters as child custody, support and property, without engaging in the traditional adversarial litigation process.” Unique among Bay Area family courts, this suburban county court has officially stated it “strongly supports the use of the collaborative law process” and other out of court means to resolve disputes to “meet the best interests of the entire family, particularly the children”.

Many divorcing families are now choosing this alternative divorce process calledCollaborative Divorce, which involves attorneys and other specialists to help the family understand and decide important (and often complicated) custody and financial issues, but which is almost entirely done out of court in a mediation style process. To be “collaborative”, both sides sign a contract promising to stay out of court, to freely exchange documents and information, and to work with professionals to find mutual agreement, rather than constantly threatening the other side with court.

Previously, collaborative attorneys have been in a gray area so far as what was necessary to satisfy the usual requirements and formalities imposed by every court when a divorce petition is filed. Now at least in Contra Costa County, there is some clarity, which should save money for collaborative divorce litigants.

The most tangible impact of the new Rule 12.5 is that the attorneys for both sides will not be required to file statements, and appear in court for routine Case Management Conferences, which are otherwise required of litigants and potentially involve multiple appearances to achieve nothing more than “management” of the case, and which do not typically resolve any of the substantive issues. Instead, parties are allowed at least 1 year to resolve the case out of court without needing to pay their attorneys to report to the judge on how the case is coming along. Parties are also freed from other common deadlines and “scheduling orders” that tend to drive up the cost of a divorce. Real cost savings are expected to result by freeing parties of these various burdens.

To benefit from the new rule, parties must sign a formal document binding them to the collaborative divorce process, typically by hiring an attorney specifically trained in this cutting-edge approach to divorce.

Mr. Holcomb is a trained Collaborative Divorce attorney, offering “out of court” divorce services. He has 25 years experience as a divorce and civil litigator in all the Northern California courts. He is available for mediation, litigation and pre-marital and post-marital planning.

Mr. Holcomb offers a fixed fee initial consultation at either his main South Berkeley or Walnut Creek office.

Via EPR Network
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Divorce Attorney Introduces A Novel Reduced Fee Program For His San Francisco Bay Area Clients Who Pay Their Bills Promptly

People facing a decision to end a marriage are often daunted at the prospect of paying the notoriously very high hourly fees charged by experienced Family Law attorneys. A complicated case can require hundreds of hours of attorney time, and therefore tens of thousands of dollars in expense. Even a simple case requires a significant expenditure to complete financial disclosures, negotiate a complete settlement and prepare and execute the numerous required documents.

Especially in the current economy of depressed home values and decimated investment accounts, paying even a very good professional for services at a typical rate of $350 to $450 per hour, and more, just does not make sense to most potential clients.

When asked why their rates are so high, Divorce attorneys routinely justify the high rates by pointing out that their clients often do not pay their bills in full, leaving the attorney with uncollectible accounts receivable. This low rate of collection therefore justifies charging everyone a higher rate, or so they say.

In response to the current economy, and realizing that the many honest clients who do honor their financial obligations should not be charged extra to cover the unpaid bills of complete strangers, Berkeley attorney David Holcomb has been offering clients a novel reduced hourly fee arrangement. He realized that expecting some clients to not pay, and then overcharging good clients to make up for the others, was itself the problem. So he has turned this around. Mr. Holcomb explains: “If my clients are willing to make a real commitment to paying for my services, then I commit to an hourly rate that is $50 to $150 per hour less than most other experienced attorneys are charging.”

Mr. Holcomb’s attorney/client fee agreement literally puts a line through his standard hourly rate, and instead offers a reduced rate for every minute of services he provides, so long as the client either posts advance payment for services, or pays within 10 days of invoicing. If the client falls behind, they are assessed the full rate.

This has been a true “win/win” that works for both clients and for this “Compassionate Divorce” attorney. “We start out on a foundation of mutual trust, and mutual responsibility, with mutual rewards. In the 8 months since initiating this new policy, I have never had to assert the “standard” rate, because my client’s are very appreciative of the fair value of my services, and make an extra effort to stay ahead of their bills.”

Mr. Holcomb acknowledges that a good lawyer’s service on a divorce are never cheap, but he estimates his comparatively low hourly rate saves each client $5,000 on average, or about a 20% savings.

“My clients are happy to pay less, and I am happy to get paid for my work”, he says. “Too many of my colleagues complain about clients who demand services but refuse to pay for what they have already received, much less for future work. My clients are treated fairly from the outset, and so they treat me fairly. That is our contract from the beginning. We are all much happier.”

Mr. Holcomb is a trained Collaborative Divorce professional, offering “out of court” divorce services. He has 24 years experience as a divorce and civil litigator in all the Northern California courts. He is available for mediation, litigation and pre-marital and post-marital planning.

Mr. Holcomb offers a fixed fee initial consultation at either his main South Berkeley or Walnut Creek office.

Via EPR Network
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