Should I go to the expense of having an Attorney review my agreement before I sign?
Yes. See below.
What if it’s with a family member? Friend?
Even more reason to review. The old adage: “If friend/family can’t … who can.”
Yet again another potential client comes to see me about suing a business partner.
Once again, there are problems.
1) Don’t wait until years pass since you were last paid or invested money. You make your case harder and impossible due to statutes of limitations that will bar you from recovering in a court of law. I had one person that had invested a substantial sum in a business with a (family member). The investment was over 3 years ago and they had received nothing but communications that put them off and delayed them. This is the ‘run around’. When you run into road blocks, recognize the run around, then go consult with an attorney to either a) straighten out the situation or b) when step a) fails, litigate the matter on your behalf.
2) But almost egregious was the agreement drafted BY the parties. No attorney was used. It had all sorts of horrible language that made me cringe. I looked at the potential client, who told me to tell them straight, and said that language sinks your case.
“Who drafted this?” I asked.
If you’re going to invest $10,000, $20,000, or more, don’t you want to make sure you have a good chance of receiving your investment returns or at least getting your money back? Then go see an attorney. Sometimes a consult will help you decide if you even need to be getting into the deal at all.
The choice is up to you.