Partnering with Other Experts.


“I don’t know.”


How often do you hear an attorney utter those words? When you see attorneys on TV and in movies, you rarely hear it. Yet, the reality is, knowing what we know, and knowing what we don’t know, is one of the most important parts of advising our client. Without knowing what we don’t know, an attorney will walk their client into disaster.


Over my career, I’ve encountered many times when I don’t know something. Sometimes, I need to do some research or ask for specific documents to enlighten me. Other times, I need to bring in outside help, to paint the more complex picture for my client. I’ve had to explore usury under New York law for a matter occurring in Ohio. I’ve had to work with creditor laws in South Carolina while defending a federal court case in Ohio. I’ve had to explore how property works in Virginia to probate an estate in Ohio. I’ve had to navigate the best way forward for a complex series of business transactions to determine the ultimate accounting approach to minimize taxes and maximize profits. I’ve had to work with attorneys who specialize in fields I barely knew existed.


In these areas, I am not the expert, I merely am the expert on one part of the larger picture.


The reality of our complex world is that your attorney will not know everything. Maybe it’s a conflict of laws issue or a complex accounting equation. Maybe it’s a very nuanced, highly specialized field of law, or a question involving experts in entirely other fields like doctors, financial planners, or computer programmers. No matter is identical to any other matter, and each requires a deep exploration to determine what answer will yield the best result for you, my client.


In 2022, I presented at the Licking County Thrive Event, a small business cultivator that was hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. My panel was a collection of experts – a financial planner, a banker, and myself. Our goal wasn’t to convince any attendee of why we, as individual professionals, should be hired. Rather, our goal was to show that, when growing your business, establishing a trust that will protect generations of your loved ones, or trying to divide a complex financial picture during a divorce, you don’t need just one professional, you need all of us.


Working as a team, a collective body of experts will navigate your problem and find the correct solution, using all their expertise together to solve the legal, financial, medical, and other concerns in concert. While your attorney can simply argue for a 50/50 split of the equity in a divorce, if you hire an accountant, we can trace your separate property completely, and end up with a higher number going to you. Likewise, by bringing in other experts, we can find a solution that is more creative, and with better results, matching the exact needs and desires you have.


When it comes to finding an attorney for your small business, divorce, life planning, or any other need, find an attorney who trusts you enough to say “I don’t know…. But I know who does”. That attorney will work with other experts and will be the one who provides you with not just legal advice, but a comprehensive picture to empower you to make the right decision for your specific wants. An attorney who only works by themselves can build you what you want today, but an attorney who works with a team can build you what you dream for the future.


Robert Barga

Attorney at Law

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