In the dynamic world of business, legal matters are a constant presence, shaping the trajectory of your company's success. However, for many businesses, the prospect of hiring a full-time, in-house legal team can be cost-prohibitive. That's where ZP Legal's Fractionalized General Counsel packages come to the rescue! Designed to provide tailored legal support without breaking the bank, our packages offer three distinct tiers – Essential Counsel, Growth Counsel, and Elite Counsel. We have tailored solutions to meet your business's unique legal needs. Let's explore how each package can elevate your business and provide the legal support you deserve.
Running a business, regardless of its size, demands a strong legal foundation. ZP Legal's Essential Counsel package is designed to provide you with fundamental legal guidance and support for a low monthly flat rate. For just $747 a month, you'll gain access to:
With this package, you can secure peace of mind knowing that your day-to-day legal matters and questions are handled efficiently and effectively, enabling you to focus on growing your business.
As your business evolves and expands, so do its legal challenges. Our Growth Counsel package (our most popular package), priced at $1,497 a month, is crafted to meet the needs of established and growing businesses. Receive an elevated level of legal support to help navigate the challenges that come with scaling.
This package empowers you with the strategic legal counsel necessary to capitalize on opportunities while mitigating risks. Provide your expanding business the legal edge it needs as you face new challenges and ventures for a flat monthly rate.
When your business operates at the highest level, your legal needs should be nothing short of exceptional. ZP Legal's Elite Counsel package, starting at $2,497 a month, offers exclusive and personalized legal support tailored to the demands of your business. Our team will work with your business to curate the right package to meet your needs at a flat monthly rate.
With benefits like:
This package is perfect for businesses that demand top-tier legal counsel, ensuring that your unique needs are met with precision and expertise. Ready to take your business to the next level with the right legal support? Contact ZP Legal today to discuss curating your unique Elite Counsel package.
Why Choose ZP Legal's Fractionalized General Counsel Packages?
Remember, in the world of business, having the right legal partner can mean the difference between success and setbacks. At ZP Legal, we understand that businesses have diverse legal needs. Our Fractionalized General Counsel packages are designed to provide cost-effective, expert legal support tailored to your specific requirements. Whatever your business goals, our packages have you covered one legally sound step at a time. Elevate your business with ZP Legal's Fractionalized General Counsel packages today!
Ready to take the next step in securing your business's legal foundation? Contact us online or call 727-440-4407 to learn more about how our Essential Counsel, Growth Counsel, or Elite Counsel package can benefit your business's success.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or creation of a client-attorney relationship. For personalized legal guidance, please consult with your attorney.
If anyone out there is asking “What is Law Day?”, I’m here to assure you that you are not alone. Law Day is held very year on May 1st and, per the American Bar Association, the purpose is “to celebrate the role of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession.” In light of that and the fact that many lawyers experience burnout in their legal careers, I thought I would focus this issue’s editor’s message on alternative careers in the law. The law degree you worked so hard for, and likely paid so much for, doesn’t mean you have to spend your career arguing in court (or, in recent time, you may spend your time arguing via Zoom) or slaving away billing by the hour at a law firm. There are many ways you can utilize your law degree to benefit yourself and society without litigating or tracking your .1s.
Here are some alternative legal careers that may not be on your radar and may appeal to you:
While a full-time position as a law professor is likely an option you’ve been aware of, there are also readily available part-time teaching positions at local colleges. Further, in the virtual world, you can likely secure a position anywhere in the state. I served as a part-time professor for St. Pete College teaching Legal Research & Writing and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was a welcome change from the stress of litigating and the class was only once a week for three hours. I truly bonded with the students who rewarded my efforts with hugs, lovely cards, and a bottle of champagne at the end of the course. I’ve never received that type of affection from an opposing attorney or judge—ha! In addition to teaching at schools, teaching practicing attorneys is another career option. Teaching CLEs and selling them can be a lucrative business. A friend of mine also made a career switch to teaching attorney-training seminars in house for a large title company. Many find teaching to be a welcome change from the adversity of lawyering.
Take your skill set and go in-house with a company that regularly needs your type of legal service. There are roles as general counsel, in-house litigation teams, and executives. My friend, who was an employment law attorney, went to work for a large health care organization. In this scenerio, you could obtain a great salary, while still reducing their legal fees from having to pay your full hourly rate for 40 hours a week. You would no longer need to track those .1s! A friend of mine, who specialized in employment law, did just this and has never looked back.
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri served as Chief Deputy and General Counsel for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office prior to being appointed Sheriff by Governor Rick Scott. Sheriff Gualtieri was then elected in 2012 and 2016 to continue serving as Sheriff.
My dear friend and stellar attorney Amanda Singleton learned as a young attorney the struggle caregivers face. After having her personal and professional life derailed by the burden of caregiving, she turned her struggles into a successful career of care and service by becoming a caregivers’ advocate. Through her law practice, she is able to serve a client base of expectant or present caregivers to address their legal needs. She also speaks and writes as a family caregiving expert for AARP and advocates for law and policy changes that affect caregivers like paid family leave. She also founded Caregivers in the Workplace, which trains employers on how to recruit and retain working caregivers and assist them in meeting their obligations at home and work.
Write a book. Host seminars. Become a coach to other lawyers. If inspiring and guiding others is your personal zone
of genius, why not focus that positive energy on helping others with their legal careers while building a legal career
for yourself? Start by mentoring, writing, and speaking, then start a career as a coach or go to work for a company that coaches attorneys or professionals. Companies like Atticus focus their business on coaching attorneys. The advisors and experts who work for Atticus teach seminars and write articles and books to guide attorneys through the highs and lows of their practice.
If you find yourself dreaming of an alternative legal career, there are many options. Google alternative legal careers and you’ll find dozens of alternatives. If the thought of a career change is as overwhelming as your billable hour requirement, start small. Teach a part time class, volunteer to help an organization you are passionate about, or volunteer to mentor to try your hand at coaching. Overall, know that your legal education is valuable to society and has many more uses than just working for a law firm.
Be proud of your profession and yourself. I’m proud to be a member of the St. Petersburg Bar Association and proud of
the amazing group of attorneys we have here in our special city.
Your friend and colleague in the honorable legal profession,
Estate planning is for everyone and should not be ignored. If you don’t have a will and estate plan in place, you should begin working on one now. Traditionally, Estate Planning has been thought of as a one-time transaction, but in a constantly evolving environment of technological and social considerations, it is prudent to update your Estate Plan frequently. Think of it as a ‘living plan’ rather than a static one.
Everyone should at least have the following: a last will and testament; a living will; a durable power of attorney; and a designation of a health care surrogate. In addition to these basic documents, there are some more ‘modern’ considerations to take into account in your Estate Plan. While they may not be as obviously important as your Grandmother’s china or your Great Uncle’s war medals, you need to consider your digital assets in your estate plan, as well as your more traditional tangible ones. More and more of our assets are now in digital form. Some of your digital assets have actual value, some are purely sentimental, and some maybe neither.
Do you have bills set to be automatically paid from your account? Do you have social media accounts with sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.? Do you own digital music through iTunes? E-books through Amazon? How would you feel about someone posting a memorial page for you on a social media account? You should keep a copy of all of your online accounts, log-in information and passwords (banks, social media, Netflix, etc.) with your estate planning documents. It is important to provide clear and specific instructions in your will as to your intentions for any digital assets you may have. Do not, however, list user names and passwords in your actual Will, as they will become public record when it is filed.
Google currently has a function available that will transfer all of your account data (including all your email and documents stored in a Google Drive) to a designated person or persons of your choice, after your account has been inactive for a particular amount of time. In the alternative, you can also direct Google to delete all of your entire account and data after a period of inactivity designated by you.
Apple’s user agreement authorizes you to back up any music purchases on up to five devices or computers. Since their agreement only provides ‘access’ or ‘use’ to digital files and not actual possession, if you want your heirs to be able to access your digital music, you must make sure those individuals have access to back-up drives or devices. Kindle also allows family members with user ID information to access any of your digital content.
When appointing a personal representative to your estate, your representative should understand the importance of your digital assets to you. It is important that you select someone who is tech-savvy, preferably familiar with your online accounts, and able to locate your digital assets. Someone who knows about Paypal accounts and shopping websites, for example, can be sure that your credit card and account numbers are deleted from those sites. After your passing, your personal representative can contact your various social networking and photo-storing type accounts, and after proving their authority, most of those sites will release the content of your account. Many will not, however, release your user information or password. Once your estate plan is properly in place, you can download assured that your digital property will be passed on to your loved ones. Further, you help your loved ones avoid the hassle of trying to turn off automatic payments. So, prepare or modify your will today. Then, get back to avoiding work by checking Facebook, Amazon, iTunes, or your favorite website or social media outlet.
As mediation has continued to be relied upon more heavily in the litigation process, the rules governing mediation practices have evolved. Mediation is required in almost all types of litigation cases before any matter can progress to the point of holding a trial. There have been some substantial changes made in the rules governing mediation over the past year that are important to familiarize yourself with. Additionally, local rules and requirements of Judges, Circuits, Divisions, and Districts can all differ widely, so it is wise to check any local rules that may apply to your mediation before you select a mediator or try to schedule it.
Changes to FRCP 1.720
Florida Rule of Civil Procedure no. 1.720 governs mediation procedures in Florida Circuit and County Cases. The rule was amended effective January 1, 2012, and the two most notable changes are: 1) the requirement of all parties to attend mediation in person; and 2) the requirement of filing a Certificate of Attendance and Authority.
Per FRCP 1.720(b), physical presence is now required at mediation by the following parties, unless a court order or stipulation by all parties in writing is entered otherwise:
1.The party or representative having full authority to settle without consulting with anyone else;
2.The party’s counsel of record, if any; and
3.A representative of the insurance carrier for any insured party who is not such carrier’s outside counsel, and who has full authority to settle in an amount up to the amount of the Plaintiff’s last demand or policy limits, whichever is less, without further consultation
The change in the 2011 amendment was the addition of the word “and” after items 1 and 2, making it possible that three people could be required to attend on behalf of one party at mediation. Prior to this change in the rule, it was common for parties to attend mediation telephonically, or for corporate representatives to attend, who may or may not have been familiar with the case. The rule has been made more specific to ensure the representative attending has actual authority to settle the matter, without the necessity of involving a party not present.
In addition to the change in subdivision (b) to Rule 1.720, a new subdivision (e) was added, requiring a Certificate of Attendance and Authority to be filed in advance of the mediation conference, identifying all individuals who will be attending the mediation, and confirming they have the authority to settle the case. The new subdivision reads:
(e) Certification of Authority. Unless otherwise stipulated by the parties, each party, 10 days prior to appearing at a mediation conference, shall file with the court and serve all parties a written notice identifying the person or persons who will be attending the mediation conference as a party representative or as an insurance carrier representative, and confirming that those persons have the authority required by subdivision (b).
Following the local rules
In addition to being familiar with the most recent changes to the rules in mediation procedures, it is important to consult any and all local rules or specific Judge’s practice requirements to hold a mediation conference. Some common issues that may arise are:
1.Is the mediation court-ordered? Often, there are different rules that apply to the mediation conference, depending on whether the mediation has been ordered by the court yet or not. If the mediation has been court-ordered, review the order carefully for any requirements.
2.If the parties have agreed to allow a party to attend telephonically, do the local rules require a court order, or is a stipulation of the parties sufficient? While the Rules of Civil Procedure state that parties can stipulate OR it can be court ordered, some Judges may require a Motion and Order to allow a party to attend by phone, even if all parties are in agreement.
3.Can you continue the mediation without court approval? If so, for how long? Certain sections and/or Judges allow for a continuance, but only for a certain length of time, others require a Motion and Order to continue a mediation conference.
When you are planning a mediation conference, as with any aspect of your practice, making sure you are aware of any recent changes to procedural rules, and familiarizing yourself with the local rules governing practice requirements is paramount to a successful mediation conference.
The importance of thorough estate planning cannot be underemphasized. There are basic estate planning documents that everyone should have prepared, including:
• Last Will and Testament: this is the main document that directs what your specific wishes are as to the disposition of your real and personal property after your death
• Living Will: this document states when you do and do not wish to receive medical care artificially prolonging your life
• Durable Power of Attorney: this gives a person (or persons) that you appoint power to act and make decisions on your behalf in areas that you specify, such as access to your bank accounts, the ability buy and/or sell real or personal property, open safety deposit boxes, etc.
• Designation of Health Care Surrogate: this appoints a person (or persons) to make health care-related decisions on your behalf, should you become incapacitated
Association members also have other specific issues to be taken into consideration when estate planning. Are you a member on a board of directors? What are your assessments, where are the payments sent, and how often are they due? Do you have a management company or contact person that your heirs can speak with? What do your association’s governing documents say about beneficiaries? Do your beneficiaries have copies or access to the governing documents of your association? A copy of your governing documents should also be kept with your estate planning file, and will help direct heirs as to rules for the sale of a property, payment of assessments, and other procedural information they may not be familiar with.
If you or a client have ever visited Orlando, Daytona, Cancun, Cozumel, or many other popular tourist destinations, you may have been offered free tickets, meals, cruises, or even cash in exchange for taking a tour or listening to a timeshare presentation. The person soliciting you likely didn’t mention “timeshare,” but instead tried to lure you in with a free ATV tour or other hook. Even locally, in St. Pete, timeshare companies have booths at craft fairs, the grilled cheese festival, and other events trying to reach every potential buyer possible. While some people will sit through the presentation, collect their freebie, and proceed with their day, others will end up purchasing a timeshare. For those who purchase, they may ultimately suffer buyer’s remorse. A timeshare is a lifelong commitment and many owners find themselves, for one reason or another, wanting to be free of the commitment. Unlike a car, home or other large purchase, your ability to sell your timeshare is greatly limited due to the lack of a decent resale market for timeshares. Timeshares are frequently sold on eBay for as little as $1.00. Considering the average price of a timeshare is $20,000, selling it for $1.00 is not much of a return on the often promised “investment.”
Many timeshare purchasers feel that they were misled in some way during the course of their timeshare purchase. If that is the case with your client, there are Florida Statutes that protect timeshare owners. Florida Statutes Chapter 721, “The Timeshare Act,” is covers all aspect of timeshare sales, purchases, ownership, and operation. Section 721.11 offers protection to owners by prohibiting timeshare sales representatives from:
•Misrepresenting a fact or creating a false or misleading impression regarding the timeshare plan or promotion thereof;
• Making a prediction of specific or immediate increases in the price or value of a timeshare;
• Representing that the purchase of a timeshare is a good investment;
• Representing that a timeshare will increase in value like other forms of real estate;
• Allowing the presentation to go significantly longer than scheduled;
• Representing that there is a deal that was only available that day and time, when in fact it was not;
• Failing to provide cancellation rights or disclosures;
• Implying that a facility is available for the exclusive use of the purchasers when it will actually be shared by others or the general public;
• Misrepresenting the availability of a resale or rental program or resale or rental opportunity;
• Misrepresenting the nature or extent of any incidental benefit; and
• Misrepresenting the size, nature, qualities or characteristics of the offered accommodations or facilities.
There has been an increasing amount of litigation in Florida regarding timeshare transactions. Some of the claims that owners have made against timeshare developers include:
• Violations of the Timeshare Act;
• Fraud in the inducement of a contract;
• Negligent Misrepresentations;
• Negligent Supervision;
• Breach of Fiduciary Duty; and
• Debt collection issues relating to the ownership of the timeshare;
As attorneys, you may encounter clients with timeshares who are looking to unload in the context of a divorce or probate. It seems that no one is fighting to keep the timeshare in a divorce. If you, or a client, are looking to divest yourself of a timeshare, there are options available to you:
Rescission- If your client is within the rescission period, they have an automatic right to rescind. However, it is not often that an owner decides to rescind the transaction in this short amount of time, especially given that they are typically on vacation when they make their purchase.
Violation of the Timeshare Act- If your client believes the resort violated a provision in Florida Statute 721, the resort may be willing to work with you on a release from the ownership.
Litigation- Litigation is always an option if you or your client has a cause of action and the matter cannot be resolved prior to filing a lawsuit.
Resale- As I mentioned, the resale market is not promising, but your client may be able to sell their timeshare, especially if they simply want to be rid of it and are not concerned with what purchase price can be obtained.
Cease payments- If a client simply stops paying for a timeshare, most resorts will ultimately foreclose on their interest, which can be damaging to their credit. However, it is still an option if a client simply wants to be done with the timeshare and is not concerned with their credit.
Assistance- There are lawyers and other companies, some reputable and trustworthy and some not, that can help timeshare owners who want to divest themselves of ownership. In some instances, timeshare owners’ associations or developers are willing to accept the timeshare property at no charge or for a nominal fee. You should proceed cautiously in this regard because there are many unscrupulous companies out there who will take thousands of dollars and ultimately offer no assistance in transferring the timeshare interest back to the resort.
The best bet is to fully research your options before purchasing any timeshare, vacation club membership, or any similar vacation related product.