Business Counsel in a Pandemic


It is vital for business owners to maintain a level-headed approach to assessing risk. Regular check-ups and reporting should be part of that process. The pandemic requires vigilance in our personal lives and also in our business lives. Small business owners are constantly assessing their business risks and devising strategies to appropriately minimize or, at best, eliminate those risks. Now, more than ever, it is a necessity to review best practices in the context of new public health orders, laws, regulations, and ordinances. Different businesses are being affected in ways never imagined before March 2020. Experienced and successful owners are shuttering their businesses due to the unexpectedness and suddenness of a global pandemic that has fundamentally changed personal interactions, disrupted supply chains, and caused depression-like consequences to a variety of professions and services. There is a realization of just how inter-connected we all are and how unbelievably important it is for the Rule of Law to enforce business agreements and social norms will be as we move forward into 2021 and beyond.

Risk Assessment

In my law practice, and as a nimble and knowledgeable solo practitioner, I counsel my clients on a three-tiered approach to risk assessment. It is nearly identical to the scientific method of problem-solving that you may already utilize. My process is distinguishable from traditional problem-solving because I provide legal advice and counsel, including resource estimates, about what liability exposure truly means and whether you are sufficiently insured to withstand and survive a catastrophic business interruption.

  1. Identify the problem.
    You cannot solve a problem that you do not know exists. There is no such thing as a business that runs on remote control. A business, whether a sole-proprietor start-up or a multi-generational, closely held corporation requires active attention. The unfortunate refrain I see time and again is that warning signs were missed due to owners being caught on their back foot. Carelessness is just as actionable at law as is recklessness or intentional conduct. These terrible outcomes can be minimized or outright avoided by maintaining a connection with your business metrics.
  2. Make a Plan.
    Whether you prefer a proactive approach or a reactive one is a stylistic choice for devising strategies to address and resolve problems. There is never a “one size fits all” solution to a business issue. There are myriad issues and solutions. What sets success apart from failure is the willingness to make an attempt more than once. Planning a decision is preferable to a knee-jerk, instinctive approach. Sometimes a decision made on the fly works out but that does not necessarily mean that all decisions utilizing that approach will be workable or successful in the future.
  3. Execution.
    You must move forward and implement the plan after it is made. Doing something half-heartedly generally will result in more time and resources being expended and ultimately realizing questionable or unwanted results.

Confidentially consulting with an attorney is just one way to start neutralizing risks that threaten your bottom line. It is a safe presumption in this day and age to inform you that you do not know what you do not know. My law practice is designed with the business owner in mind because I am a small business owner. I recognize the need for reliable, resource-sensitive, goal-oriented advice to minimize liabilities because risks can sometimes be unrecognizable until the state marshal walks into your business and serves you with a lawsuit. Whether you are a general contractor, a restaurant owner, a retail establishment, or a professional services provider, if you have wondered just once whether your business needs a check-up, or it has been a while since you had a candid conversation about the progress and health of your business, then do not hesitate to contact me.

As a commercial litigator and professional mediator, I can help you identify and solve problems. I am a flexible professional. I am an earnest counselor. I have the necessary experience and grace to assist you and your company.

Be well.

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‚ÄčIf you are looking for a small firm with big firm experience, look no further than the Law Offices of Bradford J. Sullivan.