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Episode Info: In this week’s episode of the Attorney Talk, Ken Thayer interviews Oscar Michelen. Oscar has been the senior trial specialist for the Corporation Councel’s Office for New York City, there he helped defend the city from high exposure, multi million dollar lawsuits. He is currently the managing partner of Cuomo, LLC, a Manhattan law firm. His practice represents small businesses and municipalities as well as artists, entertainers, and designers in intellectual property litigation. Main Questions Asked: What are some legal issues that small business owners could encounter? Is there a common problem most small businesses seem to run into? Why do you think people don’t want to talk to an attorney before they have a problem? What do you find to be the biggest hurdle for a lawyer trying to transition out of a big law firm? Key Lessons Learned: Small Business Clients Common reasons a small business owner may need legal help could be disputes involving the name of the business, sexual harassment cases, or hour and wage disputes. Most small businesses come to a law firm in a time of crisis. You need to manage their concerns and help them navigate the situation and avoid getting into the same issue again. Small business owners often need small services like forms and employee manuals created for them, things that are often overlooked at the creation of the business. A lack of planning at the beginning is the most common issue, many owners don’t realize what regulations they may need to work under when getting started. Ask your potential client what their business plan is, how is it structured, how many employees they’re going to have, how does their partnership work, etc. Doing a great job protecting your client’s interests can often lead to being referred and finding new clients. Lawyers and Publ
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