HOW IS YOUR PRACTICE'S LEGAL HEALTH?
One of the first questions I always get asked about our Veterinary Retainer Plans is why do I need an attorney? Besides attorneys are an expensive, unnecessary cost that I have not needed in the past so why would I need one now, right? It is no secret that veterinarians obtain "legal advice" from VIN, AAHA, AVMA, and the various publications for veterinarians. This is what I refer to as the insulated veterinary community. Practice owners rarely look to outside sources for advice, including legal advice, instead everything comes from the big three sounding boards (AVMA, AAHA, or VIN). The "one size fits all" advice you are getting from these publications is the equivalent of me treating my pet with advice from PetMD. Generic legal advice is harmful and a lawyer's equivalent to poor medicine. Let us put it to you this way:
A good business attorney will want a relationship with his or her clients to take proactive measures to ensure the legal health of the business. Preventive care is the goal of both veterinarians and VeterinaryLawyer.com.
The Veterinary Legal Environment
For the most part veterinarians and veterinary hospitals will share in the same risks associated with most small businesses. Approximately 57% of all small business lawsuits are against companies with annual revenues less than $1 million. The median cost for a business lawsuit starts at $54,000 for a liability suit and around $91,000 for the median contract dispute (not including soft costs to the company lost profits). Lastly, workplace and employment lawsuits in general have increased 25% since 2006. On top of these general business concerns veterinarians are faced with more and more courts treating pets as more than just property (a legal fallacy that has protected veterinarians from malpractice suits because there was no real money available for lawyers). Furthermore, states are expanding the definitions of who is a pet "owner" often including harborers and bailees. Other government regulations are looking at veterinarians such as OSHA and the DEA for regulatory compliance. Lastly, heavy reliance on the insulated veterinary community provides a false sense of preparation to deal with increasing legal issues.
The Basics of our Representation
As veterinary practice owners ourselves we understand how to find balance between patient care, profitability, and legal health. As we look at an established veterinary practice we we strive to reduce legal risks, ensure legal compliance, and utilize the law to protect legal health. Most of our established veterinary practices either subscribe to our membership area or retain us on a monthly retainer plan. See how we can add value to your practice.