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Preventive Law

Clients must specifically discuss whether they want the attorney to review their general legal situation. This process, called a preventive law audit, is meant to assess the client's legal condition in the same way that a history and physical examination is meant to assess a patient's medical condition. The client may make an informed choice and decide not to remedy all of the legal problems that are detected, just as a patient may make an informed choice to forgo treatment for conditions detected in a general history and physical. A preventive law audit will cost more than symptomatic treatment, but it is cost-effective in the long run, just as treating the underlying pathology is more cost-effective than treating the symptoms of a disease.

A preventive law audit has three goals: identifying mature, previously undetected legal problems; identifying legally risky situations; and identifying potential legal risks. The audit is usually performed by an attorney, and it requires the client's cooperation and participation. The client will have to provide partnership agreements, insurance policies, leases, and all other legal agreements, answer questions, and fill out legal audit forms. The result is the legal equivalent of a complete history and physical examination.



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