Entrepreneurs and Attorneys – An Interview With Patrick Asplin, Esq.

“My daddy is a movie actor, and sometimes he plays the good guy, and sometimes he plays the lawyer.”
–Malcolm Ford, son of Harrison Ford

In one of my roles in the Army, I had the opportunity to interact a lot with attorneys. I was responsible for the interactions between the military deployed to Bosnia and the civilian agencies and United Nations, and I worked with the attorneys to ensure that everything I proposed was legal. When we were working out in the base gym, the attorneys played Jedi mind tricks on me.

“You want to be a lawyer…” <hand wave>

“Law is fun!” <hand wave>

So, when I ended my tour of Bosnia, I submitted my paperwork to get out of the Army. I was going to be a lawyer!

Fast forward a couple of years later, and I’d just finished my summer internship after my first year of law school at the University of Virginia. I realized that the JAG guys had played Jedi mind tricks on me, and I wasn’t cut out to be a lawyer. Rather than continuing to throw good money after bad, I transferred to the business school.

Still, I had taken 1L contracts with Professor Henderson. I knew the important aspects of the law! So, when I started up my company a couple of years later with my two co-founders, I was the contracts person. In fact, I was the everything legal person.

A few years later, when we started having inquiries about selling the company, I and the corporate checkbook realized the error of my ways. Fortunately, we engaged a rock star real lawyer to get everything straightened out for us and to represent us in buyout discussions, and all ended well.

Today, I bring you an interview with that lawyer, Patrick Asplin of the Lenhart Pettit law firm in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Here are some of the highlights of our interview:

  • 1:43 – The four situations when you should use an attorney
  • 6:21 – What do I do if I didn’t set up properly in the first place?
  • 8:35 – Why I can’t just use Google to find contracts?
  • 12:25 – How can I protect the intellectual property for my great idea?
  • 25:10 – How do I pick what corporate form to use when I start up?
  • 30:23 – What do I need to watch out for if I look for crowdfunding?
  • 32:15 – What are some other mistakes that entrepreneurs make when it comes to attorneys?

Patrick also throws in a great piece of information about your privacy policy, but you’ll have to watch the entire video to get that tidbit!

Without further ado, the interview is below!


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Entrepreneurs and Attorneys: An Interview With Patrick Asplin

What did you think of the interview? Let me know in the comments below!

About Jason Hull, CFP®

Jason Hull, CFP®, is the Chief Technology officer of myFinancialAnswers, an online comprehensive financial planning service.

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