March 15, 2020

I am writing this now at the tail end of my first experience in a full-blown trial.  The date is March 2020 and I’ve been practicing law since October of 2013. That’s 6.5 years of practicing as a trial attorney before experiencing my first trial--3 years after we first filed it.  As they say, 95% or more of cases never reach a jury. Looking back, I can tell you this: A trial is a massive production, and the fact that so many cases don’t make it to trial is no surprise.

The trial process is all-consuming for an attorney.  The resources needed to put on a large-scale commercial trial are simply staggering.  For this one, I spent the better part of the month preparing for the ordeal. This requires reviewing and refining discovery responses...

August 26, 2019

We sometimes have clients who come to us for legal help with problems that could have been prevented with a little planning and legal advice. Often, the problem arises because they have contracted for a good or service without reading the contract, or they have scanned the contract and failed to realize that material terms are not consistent with the sales pitch and oral agreement, or material terms are missing. 

We all remember learning the alphabet and our ABC’s. When you are about to sign a contract for goods or services, it’s just as important to remember your BCD’s. Here’s what that means:

B.    What am I Buying? You need a precise description of the goods or services so that there is no ambiguity as to what you are purchasing with your...

April 10, 2019

If you’re getting serious about a startup business and wondering where to begin from a legal perspective, then read on.  Because based on our experience helping many new startups get up and running, consulting with an attorney very early on in the process is one of the most important things you can do.  Why is this?  Because having a solid foundation in the legal principles behind your business can avoid so many problems later on.

Put another way, consulting a lawyer before your get started will help you navigate many issues typically surrounding small businesses, including the following:   First, you should know the difference between a sole proprietorship, a corporation, and a limited liability company, and understand how limited...

April 4, 2019

Without question, contracts govern our businesses and how they interact with both customers and other businesses.  Contracts are commonly thought of as written documents, but even when your neighbor’s kid agrees on a handshake to mow your lawn for $20, you’re technically entering a contract. In fact, did you realize you enter a contract every time you purchase groceries at the store?

It’s easy to see how you don’t need to sweat over a $20 deal to mow the lawn; however, the more money that’s at stake in a given contract, the more important it becomes to have your legal rights carefully written down and well understood by everyone involved.  It may surprise you to know that we’ve had clients who entered commercial transactions (before coming t...

March 29, 2019

This piece is directed to property owners and contractors alike. The contractor’s lien is a versatile tool, or hammer, depending on your perspective. It allows a contractor to file a claim of lien within 120 days after the contractor last performed work or provided materials on the project. The lien expires unless the contractor files suit within 180 days after the last date of work.

I refer to the lien statute as a hammer because it has provisions allowing a contractor’s lien to become effective on the first date of the contractor’s work, even if the contractor has been paid for that work. Moreover, the filing of a lien, even when the quality or cost of the work has been disputed by the homeowner, can create problems and friction between th...

March 28, 2019

As small business attorneys, one of the most common questions we get is whether or not a business should pay the people it hires as either independent contractors or as employees instead.  This is a very important question, and if you run a small business and this has ever crossed your mind, then read on!

Many businesses elect to pay their hirelings as independent contractors.  The draw is quite tempting because you don’t have to pay payroll taxes, issue W-2s or, possibly, even pay for workers’ compensation.  Sounds like a good deal, right?  Not so fast.  The reality is, whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor depends entirely upon the job duties they have while working for you and how you instruct and control them....

March 22, 2019

In our modern age of information, it is all too common to be presented with a giant contract, full of fine print which, let’s face it–is a pain in the butt to read, let alone understand.  Depending who you are, you might be “signing” contracts like this every day.  For example, did you know every time you open an online user account for an internet service, by checking the box that says “I have read and agree to the terms and conditions” or anything to that effect, you are essentially signing a new contract?

Throughout the legal industry we refer to these form contracts as “boilerplate.”  “Boilerplate” is basically standardized language used in legal contracts–and while boilerplate may often seem innocuous, it is actually drafted by ext...

March 16, 2019

One of the biggest hurdles to representation in any given legal matter is the expense.  It’s no secret that lawyer fees are very expensive, and often times when we are engaged by a client who’s never hired a lawyer before, we are met with surprise and shock at just how costly our services can be.

In order to gauge whether your lawyer is too expensive, you need some way to assess whether the lawyer’s own fees are worth the potential results you are facing.  While no legal dispute has a guaranteed outcome, a good attorney will provide you with a range of likely possibilities for both your potential outcomes and potential costs.  Forecasting litigation results, however, is more art than science, as you need to factor in the prospects for a sett...

March 12, 2019

Being a lawyer requires a diverse set of skills; however, one of the most important skills for our profession by far is the ability to communicate effectively, whether arguing a case in court, questioning a deponent, or writing a brief or demand letter.   Sadly, when the State Bar has collected data on the reasons clients complain about their lawyers, the number one complaint, by far, is that lawyers aren’t communicating enough with their own clientele.

Attorneys simply must communicate with their own clients.  In fact, providing you with advice about how your case is going, your legal rights and positions, and regarding your risks, potential costs, and exposures, is arguably an attorney’s most important job.  After all, having this advice a...

March 7, 2019

We’ve all heard of references to the “bulldog” lawyer, who will bite down the opposition and never let go.  Many people, especially those with a grudge against the opposition, think that such a lawyer is just what they need.  If that’s you, then read on.

The fact is, if what you want is a “bulldog,” then what you probably need instead is a lawyer who is simultaneously aggressive, determined, and professional.  The legal profession–and this is especially true in the litigation arena–has certain inherent tensions involved.  For example, our professional duties mandate that we “zealously represent” our clients, and yet, the profession is also governed by collegiality among those who practice together.

Thus, the lawyer who is exces...

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We are North Carolina litigation and business law attorneys. We focus our litigation practice on complex legal matters with significant issues of law or damages. Whether you are a private individual negatively affected by the actions of another, an entrepreneur starting or protecting a business, or working through governmental regulations, we have the experience and skills necessary to ensure you have effective, efficient legal representation. Call Wimer & Snider at Asheville Legal for your consultation today. 828-350-9799.

The attorneys at Wimer & Snider, P.C. in Asheville have represented clients in much of the United States, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, California, Virginia, and Texas. We are licensed to practice law in North Carolina and Texas. Our offices are conveniently located in the arts district of West Asheville, NC.   Phone: 828-350-9799

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