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|Articles - October 2013|
|Monday, September 30, 2013|
Page 2 of 3
OB: What type of businesses do you represent?
SCOTT HOWARD: We represent a wide variety of businesses and industries, including wood products, manufacturing, high-tech and other closely held businesses. Their biggest legal challenges, and what we spend most of our time on, are government regulations, human resources and tax planning.
OB: How is the legal profession different here than the other states you practice in?
SH: There is still a collegiality in the practice of law in Oregon, which you don’t see as much of in Washington and California. If you go up to Seattle and you litigate, or you litigate in San Francisco or Los Angeles, it’s just nasty for the most part: endless, mindless litigation. The professionalism level here has traditionally been significant.
OB: Does that collegiality transfer from your clients in the business community?
SH: The clients we represent are business clients that make business decisions. [There are] clients that want to use the court system to gain an advantage – I think it’s a fool’s errand – but they don’t fit well with this firm. When we have to litigate, we litigate, but it’s not the way to solve problems anymore.
OB: What can the clients you represent do to avoid litigation?
SH: If you’re going to sell a business, sell it for cash. Don’t sell it and take paper back. If you’re going to sell a house, sell it for cash. I’m not trying to be facetious, but you avoid litigation if somebody paid cash; you don’t have to sue them for it.
OB: Don’t written contracts or agreements prevent litigation?
SH: No, an agreement is an attempted way of misunderstanding at the time the agreement is drawn. You can take a five-page agreement or a 70-page agreement – if you don’t want to perform it, you can find a problem with it.
OB: How are small- and midsize firms such as yours doing?
SH: The advantage of a firm like ours is that we can shift directions. We’re not controlled by others. The challenge of a firm our size is being able to tap the resources necessary to service our clients. Stoel Rives has a wonderful franchise attorney. A firm our size doesn’t have a franchise attorney. The way you structure a firm like ours is that we handle the bell curve of clients’ issues. We handle between 70% and 80% of our clients’ issues. If it’s outside our area of expertise, we get somebody [outside the firm] with particular expertise.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Oregon Business magazine's "Green Your Workplace" seminar featured a panel of sustainability experts from small, medium and large organizations. The seminar drew 70 people and took place in the Nines Hotel this morning.
Monday, July 14, 2014
BY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE
I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.
Friday, May 30, 2014
BY DEBRA RINGOLD | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Since 1970 the performance of our public education system has steadily deteriorated.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JON BELL
A new generation of outdoor apparel companies targets the young and the urban.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
Brad Baker, CEO and co-founder of Works Electric, is a good husband. His wife, an OHSU employee, sought a more efficient way to commute up Marquam “Pill” Hill, so she asked Baker to build a transportation solution.
Monday, July 14, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Remember the naysayers? Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle? Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?
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