3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT October 26, 2009

Charles Roesch is the chair of the labor and employment department at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, is a member of the firm’s board of directors and is also on the firm’s finance committee. Roesch’s practice includes the defense of public and private employers.

Q. How can seeking and following legal advice save money for a company?

A. We can be much more effective for our clients as either an adviser or counsel than we can be helpful to them as a litigator. The cost of a lawsuit — the cost of litigation or to settle or the opportunity cost lost from people being involved — is extremely expensive to be involved with. If you call us in advance, let us help make the facts for you, rather than help manage the facts and do damage control after the facts are already done.

Q. When should a business seek counsel?

A. Make sure you call the counsel before you make a final decision on the termination of an employee or a final decision that you know is going to potentially lead to some kind of legal action. Many companies are involved in layoffs. They need to make sure they get their legal counsel involved to do a legal review. I can do much a better job as a counselor and avoiding the lawsuits than I can by having to charge them to litigate the lawsuits.

Q. How can a company find a lawyer that is the right fit for its business?

A. I’m a big fan of finding a law firm that you can develop a long-term relationship with, so you can have that law firm understand your business, know how it operates, know the terminology and know the people. It’s not just a business relationship. You want a firm that you become friends with and they care about the company. The way you can do that is to look on the Web and see what their expertise is. Ask other companies what attorneys they use and about the service they receive.