Partner Patricia Lane was quoted in a Sun Prairie Star article, “Attorneys to start offering free advice for small businesses February 5,” about a project she organized on behalf of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Business Law Section to help small businesses with legal issues they face due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a tough economy.
The Small Business Assistance project, implemented in collaboration with the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinics program, pairs volunteer attorneys and law students with pre-screened small-business owners who have legal questions related to their business.
Lane, a section board member and organizer of the project, said small businesses account for 99.4 percent of all businesses in Wisconsin and employ nearly half of the state’s workforce. She recognized the need for the project after hearing that business lawyers were receiving many questions from small-business owners on issues ranging from compliance with COVID-19 governmental orders to whether force majeure clauses in contracts could be invoked to excuse performance.
“Other owners needed assistance with business-interruption insurance claims and labor matters,” she said.
While the project currently offers an hour-long consultation for three businesses per week, additional consultations may be added in the future, Lane said. “We will calibrate our future level of service to meet demand,” she said.
The State Bar of Wisconsin’s biweekly newsletter Inside Track also has an article about the project.