When to Call a Lawyer

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By Bill Kennedy - It's the monthly church roast beef dinner fundraiser, only this time a health inspector has come and is asking probing questions. What do you do?

The insurance on your building is about to renew and the valuation is out of date. Why not save a few bucks on the premium?

The annual government Charity Information Return got sent to the old Treasurer's address and was never filed. What are the consequences?

When do you call in a lawyer? Last week, I went to the annual Church and Charity Law Seminar held by Terry Carter of the law firm Carters Professional Corporation. It answered these questions and more in a rapid fire format with a series of half hour presentations by a dozen lawyers in their area of specialty. Terry knows that the subjects are dry and technical, so he packs the seminar material with facts (and the occasional lawyer joke). The idea is that you can take your Carter's material back to the office with you. You don't have to remember the details. You just have to recognize when a situation might have legal implications. Then you can go to the notes and look up the issue. This was not a sales pitch. It was 100% practical.

This seminar is very popular. There were over 600 people there this year, the most they've ever had in the 14 years they've been running it. Of course, this is part of Carters marketing, but it works for everyone. Charities get excellent general legal tips for a very reasonable price and Carters keeps its name fresh in the minds of the clients it serves. Terry is clearly committed to helping charities and is willing to give up a day's billings from his professional team, not a small amount!

So if you're a charity and can make it to Toronto for a day, come to next year's seminar. Otherwise, subscribe to the Carters newsletter. If you're not a charity, think about this as an example of how to reach out to your clients or customers.

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