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Frequently Asked Questions

How is Dennis Wong, Esq. different from other lawyers?


Mr. Wong has an ability to see an issue or problem from a number of perspectives (e.g., legal, financial and business) and to bring his experiences in these areas to bear in resolving the problem in the best interests of his clients.

When is the best time to hire a lawyer?

The best time to hire a lawyer is as soon as you decide that you are starting a new business (formation stage), buying an existing business or property (negotiation stage), entering into a business relationship with someone (contractual stage), or raising capital (capital formation stage). We will guide you through the intricacies of each process to ensure that your interests are protected and you have limited legal exposure by addressing potential threatens before as they occur.

Why can't I just hire a lawyer when I need one?

Most people tend to hire a lawyer when they are already in legal trouble, like when they are in jail, fighting a lawsuit or defending against a government complaint. Bad idea. When you are sued, it's too late because the problems that brought about the lawsuit have already occurred and you are now just spending money fighting it out in the court system. A lawyer can help keep you out of trouble by identifying legal issues that you may have missed, making sure you are in compliance with the laws, providing the necessary language to ensure that you are getting what you bargained for, to name a few.

Why do I need a lawyer when I can do everything myself over the Internet?

Not everything your read on the Internet is true or accurate and information from the Internet should be take with a grain of salt. Understanding the law and how it applies to you requires a certain level of sophistication and expertise. Just like you should not try to self-diagnose your medical condition and heal your self through the Internet, you should not rely on the Internet to give you an expert opinion about the law and how it applies to you. How the law applies depends on what laws are applicable and the facts specific to your situation. Get an expert in the law.

When I'm just starting my business, why do I need a lawyer?

How you structure your business entity has legal and tax implications down the road. It may also impact your ability to raise capital from investors. A good business attorney will be able to assist you in every aspect of your business, from the type business structure that is best for your needs at the time to basic zoning compliance, contracts, copyrights and trademarks, potential lawsuits and liability issues.

Isn't hiring a lawyer an unnecessary expense when raising capital for my business?

No. Most successful businesses employ the services of a lawyer when they are raising capital. It is a necessary expense. Your lawyer will make sure you are in compliance with federal and state securities laws before you begin the fund-raising process. Federal and state securities laws are very explicit and strict on how and when you can accept money from investors. Letting your investors know that you are in legal compliance assures them that you know what you are doing. Violation of federal and state securities laws have dire consequences that can influence whether your business will succeed or fail.

I negotiate, review and draft contracts all the time. Why should I pay a lawyer money to do something that I can do myself?

While it's true you can enter into legally binding agreements without the services of a lawyer, it may not be in your best interest to do so. You may be too close to the situation and a fresh pair of eyes may help to identify potential problem areas. Do you know how all the terms are put together and how they work in different situations? Lawyers are specialists who have spent years and a ton of money studying the law. You are spending money and other resources on your business to make it successful. Don't you want experts to be giving you sound advice?

Don't lawyers often try throw a monkey wrench into the deal by trying to change the terms after the parties have finished negotiation just so they can get more money?

This statement is based on a misunderstanding of the lawyer's role in the negotiation process and how to use him or her most effectively. After the parties have completed their negotiations, it is very difficult to change or add terms. But what happens if there are major gaps in the agreement and many of the things that should be in the agreement have been omitted? These omissions can have serious legal and financial consequences to you and your business. What do you do then? By engaging your lawyer at the beginning of the process, s/he can advise you on things that you may have missed and/or give you the proper language to protect your interests.

How do lawyers charge for their services? Don't all lawyers charge the same for their services?

Lawyers will generally bill by the hour. The fees are based on the lawyer's areas of expertise and years of experience. For certain routine matters, lawyers may charge a flat fee. Unless specified by law, all fees are negotiated between the parties. The lawyer will often agree to discount the fee if the request is reasonable and based on establishing a long term relationship.

Why do some lawyers accept payment only when they win and others won't?

In certain cases a lawyer may accept payment only if s/he wins. These are call contingency fee cases. Contingency fee arrangements are generally available in lawsuits involving auto accidents, medical malpractice and social security claims. However in contingency cases, the plaintiff is still responsible for paying all costs and expenses associated with the lawsuit even if they lose their case. In most other types of cases, lawyers will charge an hourly or a flat fee rate.

How do I determine whether the lawyer is the right for me?

Hiring a lawyer is a personal decision. It is based on whether or not you feel comfortable working with the person and whether you feel the lawyer will represent your interests in the manner that you want. Experience counts but more importantly, look for someone with whom you feel comfortable working with.

What are some of the questions that I should ask the lawyer?

  • Do you have experience in this area of the law?
  • Do you have experts that you can go to for technical support?
  • If this area is not in line with your area of expertise, are you willing to learn? Will you be learning on your dime or mine?
  • Do you understand and identify business issues quickly?
  • Can you come up with out of the box solutions that are cost effective?
  • Are you a good teacher? Can you explain the law and how it affects you in plain English?
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