Fellow Europeans: If you choose to live and do business in the US, I would advise you take all the time necessary to preempt legal representation.
This is part of the deal when you have passed the hurdles of immigration (which must have given you a taste of the system).
Especially if you appear to have money or are successful in any way, you will be sued or forced to sue someone. This is even considered as a normal cost of doing business, and provisioned in business plans about 5 to 10 times higher than in EU.
This is how the US society has chosen (not always knowingly as you’ll see below) to maintain cohesion. It is not actually effective as crime rate is the highest in any Western country, by far - but they are dealing with a society of 315 million people who have a high sense of individualism, and of 50 states who believe in some kind of independence.
As a result, 1.42 million (yes, million) registered lawyers fight in this country.
Legal is a true industry representing the GDP of a small country with a total of 4.5 million employees in legal firms- Not just the fave topic of many movies or TV series.
By comparison, France has 52.000 lawyers (from 25,000 in 1995, this being interpreted as a huge surge in corporate lawyers with the internationalization of the country).
So while it is being argued that “there are now way too many lawyers in France”, there are still 6.5 times fewer lawyers there per inhabitant.
Practically anything is seen with a legal angle, and repression at a local, state or federal level is extremely thorough, harsh and efficient. I have seen police cars hidden near crosswalks to try and catch a jaywalker, even in the middle of the night (NYC being the only exception ;). If you drive, you simply cannot even think of tasting a sip of wine, as the odds of being arrested and charged with DWI are high (which is a very good thing on paper, but doesn’t seem to prevent people from drinking and driving)
Just like the ban on alcohol before 21 yields very high rates of alcoholism, this climate sadly teaches individuals to try and benefit from it.
In any case having a good vs a bad lawyer makes absolutely all the difference (which is not fair obviously), and you want to be prepared because even if you are more abiding to the laws you are aware of, than the most disciplined German or Swiss ;)
you cannot predict, be it a person or another company, who will sue you and when. You just know that it will happen, because a lot of people do not seek amicable resolution as in all other countries, as they want to have the “first suer advantage”, meaning being the plaintiff and not the defendant… and you want to be prepared.
Before debating further on “crime and punishment” theories, here is an extract of an illustrated book written by one of the smartest lawyers I’ve encountered-
CONTINUED IN PART 16 B, which goes over the history of how we got here, and maybe even offers some solutions.