Building personal relationships is the cornerstone of my practice.
No shock-billing here! You will know what to expect.
Consult me in advance to avoid legal spend.
Too many Wisconsin small businesses are left guessing on crucial legal issues because they lack a business lawyer they can trust and afford. Large law firms often price themselves out of the market for small businesses with excessive overhead and marketing that raises costs, not quality.
My mission is to change this. I designed my lean, client-centered practice so I could faithfully serve small businesses in litigation, general counsel, and dispute resolution. I love helping small business owners thrive.
Every small business owner has their WHY. Tell me about your WHY. Partner with me to protect and defend it.
BUSINESS LITIGANTS WITH FEWER THAN 50 EMPLOYEES
SMALL BUSINESSES THAT MAINTAIN AN ONGOING RELATIONSHIP WITH AN ATTORNEY
SMALL BUSINESSES THAT ARE THE PLAINTIFF WHEN IN LITIGATION
Personal service on a customized budget
Formation and Incorporation
Navigating the early stages of your business, including corporate formation, operating agreements, and business consulting.
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I help start-ups set their business up for success. For example, there are several different corporate forms with unique advantages. Multi-member LLCs need to have a written operating agreement, executed by all members, clearly delineating ownership interest, management responsibilities, and how a member can dissociate.
Read more on this topic in this post, “LLC Operating Agreement: Every LLC Needs One”.
Contract Design and Strategy
Securing and negotiating the key contracts that form the legal foundations of your business.
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It is vital to strategically design the legal relationships between the business and its most valuable employees, co-owners, independent contractors, suppliers, and clients. Contracts should be in writing. Although handshake agreements can be quick and efficient, the business may be disadvantaged when a dispute arises.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Preserving and defending your business through litigation and dispute resolution.
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I assist businesses by litigating and resolving a wide variety of issues, including LLC member disputes, breach of contract, B2B torts, consumer protection, and any other claims that may arise. I am equally involved in representing plaintiffs and defendants, and have extensive experience in all stages of litigation.
Read more on this topic in this post, “Demystifying Small Business Litigation“.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Growing, acquiring, or selling your business through small business M&A.
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You can become a business owner or grow your existing business by acquiring another business. You also have the option of cashing out and selling your business. A merger or acquisition (“M&A”) includes a purchase of assets or of stock of another company. You may initially think of M&A as something only the largest companies do, but often great value can be purchased by merger or acquisition of a small company.
Outsourced General Counsel
Part-time general counsel and risk management on a personalized budget for your business.
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I am here to simplify potentially complex legal issues and help you focus on your core competencies. I deliver value in management and retention of employees, insurance coverages and risk management, employment agreements and handbooks, ongoing contract management, accounts receivables, and leases.
Read more on this topic in this post, “Small Business General Counsel“.
Virtual Law Practice
Reducing costs, not quality.
I have practiced remotely and virtually since the inception of Michael Johnson Legal. My goal has been to aggressively reduce overhead and marketing costs to ensure you are paying for my legal expertise instead of a view from an expensive office. I have offices in Milwaukee and New Orleans, but 99% of my client communications are completed virtually.
What People Say
"He will be my first call."
“I received a demand letter from a former business partner with what I believed to be a fraudulent lawsuit. When faced with a long and potentially costly trial I reached out to Michel to help resolve this matter. I must say his professionalism as well as his communication skills and availability were a huge comfort in a very stressful time. As a result of working with Michael I was able to reach a settlement that worked for both me and my former business partner. I would highly suggest working with Michael, and if I’m ever faced with a similar situation, he will be my first call.”
T.B. – Small Business Owner, Medical Distribution
"...he always had my business interests at the forefront."
“During the initial months of COVID-19 shutdowns, my commercial tenant stopped paying. Michael’s legal and business expertise helped guide me through a challenging and shifting legal landscape. I felt he always had my business interests at the forefront. He helped me through demand letters and strategic communications to renegotiate the commercial lease and avoid costly default and eviction proceedings.”
M.T. – Commercial Landlord
"All physicians should consult Michael before they sign any employment contract."
“Michael evaluated and negotiated my moonlighting contracts through residency and my first attending contract. Physicians are often shy about pushing for what they deserve. Michael can help you push for more. Michael is great at simplifying the intentionally-frustrating legalese in employment contracts and helping advocate for what is important to you. He understands how physician employment contracts have a huge impact on your life and your family because we have gone through this process as a family. All physicians should consult Michael before they sign any employment contract.”
ALLYSON DARGA M.D. – MICHAEL’S WIFE, PSYCHIATRIST, POTENTIALLY BIASED REVIEWER!
When defending your limited liability, an arrow in your quiver can be your single-member LLC Operating Agreement (“OA”). Downloading nonsense from some free template website and signing it will not help you.
Simply put, business divorce is when one or more business owners no longer want to continue with...
Some small businesses consider bringing on a silent partner that primarily contributes capital and...
Schedule an Appointment
I WILL GET BACK TO YOU BY THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY
Unless I am in trial, I will promptly return your message before the end of the next business day. Almost all of my prospective client appointments are virtual. Please indicate whether you would like to meet by phone call, FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype. Please also note that nothing you put in the message box shall create an attorney-client relationship and shall not be held confidential. If you know who the adverse party will be on your issue, please include that party in your message so that I may check for potential conflicts.