State Rep. Danny Burgess is a familiar face around Pasco County.
He is widely known in East Pasco as the former mayor of Zephyrhills and for his work on the Zephyrhills City Council.
He’s also known about other parts of the county for his work as a representative in the Florida Legislature.
But in addition to that work, Burgess is also a lawyer with the Law Offices of Lucas Magazine, which is based in New Port Richey and has a satellite office in Wesley Chapel.
Burgess appeared recently at the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce luncheon meeting in Lutz, to offer some practical legal pointers to the club’s members.
Here are a few of the tips that Burgess doled out:
- No. 1: Document everything. Keep a paper trail. He prefers using emails to keep a record. You want to have a written record.
- Read everything. If you’re signing a contract, be sure to read it. It’s important to read every line, to know everything you’re signing.
- In your contracts, have a venue clause — something that says where the lawsuit can be filed, if you’re in in a disagreement and you’re going to go to court. That aims to prevent a lawsuit from being filed in a location that’s out-of-state.
- Be sure that a contract includes an attorney’s fees clause. That ensures that the prevailing party receives attorneys’ fees, in the event of a legal dispute.
- Think about the long-term aspects of a legal dispute. If a customer or client wrongs you and fail to pay, is it likely they will pay if you prevail in the lawsuit? You may be throwing good money after bad.
Burgess also noted that some issues can be resolved through a demand letter, which he said is sometimes affectionately referred to as a ‘nasty-gram’ in the legal community.
The letter sets out what must be done to address the issue, in order to avoid a more serious legal action.
Often, that gets the job done, Burgess said.
Published September 21, 2016