Why Choose Gust Law Firm?
The Gust Law Firm provides a wide range of services to businesses and business people. Bob Gust has represented companies from the time they started until the time they were acquired. Those services include the preparation of organizational documents, the review or preparation of asset purchase agreements and franchise agreements, advice regarding employment issues, the drafting or review of contracts, and assistance with whatever other legal issues arise.
In the event of problems, Bob has broad dispute resolution experience, having litigated issues involving breach of contract, trademark infringement, noncompetes, franchise relations, closely held businesses, mergers and acquisitions, securities fraud, insurance, employee benefits, and virtually every other business issue. He has litigated in many forums, including the state and federal courts in Minnesota, The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Courts in Wisconsin, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Indiana, as well as the Supreme Court of Nebraska and the Iranian Claims Tribunal at The Hague.
Lawyers are hired for two primary reasons – to prevent problems and to solve problems. Many businesses consult with an attorney before entering into material contracts or relationships. The lawyer’s role is to help identify the risks and the things that may lead to litigation. No lawyer can assure that there will never be disputes or litigation, but an experienced lawyer can help you understand the risks and pitfalls. The expression: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is most apt. The money spent on a lawyer before entering into a transaction is generally small compared to the money that will be spent if the transaction goes bad.
Despite the best planning, businesses may find themselves in litigation. In many cases, the business is the plaintiff seeking to enforce its rights against others. Winning in Court is a solution. Generally, however, there are many other possible solutions that might be preferable to the time and expense of litigating to the end. The point is that lawyers should be prepared to litigate, but not overlook the fact that other resolutions are frequently better.
Value does not mean cheap. It means getting something that is well worth the cost. The Gust Law Firm strives to deliver value by providing the highest quality services at a reasonable price. In that regard, it has a fixed fee schedule for a variety of corporate transactions and for acting as a mediator. It also handles some litigation matters on a contingent or modified contingent fee basis.
Fear of high legal fees can result in people not contacting lawyers when they should. Furthermore, it can lead to transactions or litigation in which the only winners are the attorneys. The Gust Law Firm wants its clients to succeed and, in turn, recommend it to others. Our fees are not insignificant, but are well below what many lawyers charge. Furthermore, we do not overstaff files in order to increase the billings. We like doing legal work and want to maximize our opportunities to do it.
Bob is a business lawyer. Over the course of a thirty-plus year career, he has represented clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, handling corporate transactions and complex litigation. His goal is to provide value, solutions, and peace of mind.
He began his career litigating corporate transactions or relationships that went bad. The typical claims were for accounting malpractice, securities fraud, RICO, and a variety of other business torts. Having seen the types of things that resulted in litigation, he began representing clients in corporate transactions. He now does both, and believes that it gives him a much better perspective.
Bob graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School, where he served on the law review. His undergraduate years were spent at the University of Colorado, where he graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Finance. He has also taught in the MBA program at St. Mary’s University and in the undergraduate program at St. Thomas University.
In 2005, he published Liars Dice, a legal thriller based loosely on a case I handled. The book was a finalist in the Independent Publishers Awards and received great reviews in a variety of publications. In 2010, he published The Card Sharp, which is also a legal thriller, but not based on actual events.
He is a member of the Minnesota and Hennepin County Bar Associations, has participated in a variety of philanthropic organizations including Rotary and Junior Achievement, and is a kidney donor.
CALVIN BRANTON (Retired)
Business people want to focus on business. There are, however, a lot of legal details that need to be addressed. Many clients contact attorneys after they have already tried and failed to incorporate, register a trademark, or something else.
The term “due diligence” has a legal meaning that refers to the level of care officers and directors are required to undertake before entering into certain corporate transactions. It has a broader meaning, however, and refers to the investigation done by anyone prior to making a decision.
Many companies never sue or get sued. Others may only be involved in litigation once, but it is frequently a “you bet the company” type of situation. Others are involved in litigation so regularly that they have their own in-house legal team.
Mediation is frequently ordered by courts in an attempt to encourage settlement. The process is often misunderstood, as it is really just a structured negotiation through an intermediary. Clients always ask if it is “binding,” but mediators do not make any decisions. Instead, the result is only binding if the parties reach an agreement and execute the appropriate paperwork.