Tag Archives: purchase order

How to Use Atty Effectively pic

How to Use Your Attorney More Effectively

Contrary to the reputation lawyers have, we really do want to help you in a manner that is effective and efficient. Unfortunately, many people get frustrated with the time it takes to get the answer they need. What they fail to realize is that if their attorney had been informed earlier and kept in the loop as things developed, he or she could have acted much quicker. Consider the following scenario that you may be able to relate to:

As a lawyer or purchasing person, your internal customer (pick one: calls you/   drops into your office/   sends you an email) telling you he/she needs a Purchase Order or Contract issued within the next XX minutes/ hours/ days. After questioning, you find out he/ she has been talking (hopefully, negotiating) with the supplier for months. Unfortunately, this is the first you’ve ever heard about the deal. Of course, they don’t tell you any specifics….just the basics they think you need to know to issue the PO/ Contract. They tell you not to spend a lot of time on it and just do the “standard” PO/ Contract. (IMPORTANT NOTE: All names have been deleted to protect the guilty!)

Without having the specifics of the interaction between your internal customer and the supplier, it inhibits your ability to do your job effectively. If you had been involved sooner in the process, couldn’t you have issued a more meaningful purchase order or contract? This is similar to the interaction many clients have with their attorney.

What can an internal customer do to get better advice and quicker responses from your legal department? Give us the information and the time we need early on in the process. This doesn’t mean you have to have a lengthy meeting with me, but sending a quick email or making a short telephone call to give me notice of the deal being negotiated can prove to be quite helpful.

The internal customer should stay involved in the process. If the supplier is asking for changes to a clause, it is important that you understand the issues behind the requested change before sending it to your attorney. This allows you to discuss the negotiation or the rewrite of the provision with your attorney so that the issue is addressed and it avoids the unnecessary back and forth.

Lastly, you should think about whether or not your lawyer really needs to approve certain changes. If the change is a business issue that is within your domain to decide, handle it yourself. However, if your supplier wants to change the indemnity, insurance, governing law, warranty, confidentiality, non-disclosure or the intellectual property clauses, you should confer with your attorney.

To ensure that your contract provides you with the most protection from liability available, contact Leslie S. Marell to schedule an appointment. Our office is located in Torrance, California, but we proudly serve businesses of all sizes from all over the country.

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Four Agreements Your Business Should Have

Every business is unique and has its own legal needs. However, in my experience, four important contracts which are needed to safeguard an entity’s interests include:

Non-Disclosure Agreement

A non-disclosure agreement (also called a “confidentiality agreement”) is important to every company in every industry. This type of contract obligates third-parties to keep your private information confidential and limits the use of it to only permitted purposes set forth in the agreement. Without such a document, there are no restrictions on how or what the third party does with your confidential information. If the third-party breaches a non-disclosure agreement, it entitles you to recover remedies such as an injunction to stop the unlawful disclosure and/or damages. Even if the non-disclosure agreement is never used in litigation, it has a powerful effect by informing the third-party that they are privy to non-public information and there will be legal consequences if they violate the trust you are putting in them to safeguard it.

Purchase Order

When a transaction involves a buyer and a seller of goods or services, the purchase order (PO) becomes part of a contract between them. The PO should set forth the description, quantity, price, applicable discounts, payment terms, date of shipment, authorized signature, and any other important information relevant to the purchase. A buyer can implement PO tracking to manage inventory, improve clear communication, and create a sales history.

Sales Terms & Conditions

Outlining the sale terms is vital to protecting your business. It is a necessary document when you are doing business with your customers who issue you a PO. The terms and conditions of a transaction include topics such as exclusion of warranties, limiting remedies and narrow indemnification language. It is important to work with your legal counsel to identify issues that could have a detrimental impact on your business and properly address them in the sale terms of your contracts.

Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement

An Intellectual Property Assignment Agreement should be signed by all applicable independent contractors and vendors that work for your company when they are hired. Don’t make the mistake of believing that your business automatically owns the work produced by an independent contractor simply because you are paying them for it. An independent contractor is treated differently under the law than one of your full-time employees. To ensure that your entity owns the independent contractor’s contributions, you must have a written agreement that transfers the copyright to your company.

If you need assistance creating any of the above contracts or you have questions regarding your company’s contractual needs, contact Leslie S. Marell for help. We serve as general counsel to clients who do not require, or choose not to employ, a full-time lawyer in-house. Call today to schedule your initial consultation.