Sometimes, the best time to get an attorney is before you really need one.
Attorney Kevin Martin of Martin APC can certainly resolve legal issues, but he enjoys helping businesses get their legal affairs in order to promote company growth.
"I can help you prepare yourself for business so that it's a lot smoother going in those early months and years, which are vitally important to getting off to a good start," Martin said. "If they're going to develop intellectual property projects, I can help them avoid issues. If they're picking a name for a product or protecting an idea through a patent application, I can help with that."
Martin, a graduate of Loyola Marymount University's law school, has two decades of experience in business law in the Bay Area. He worked with a handful of high-powered legal firms before branching out on his own nearly two years ago.
"Part of it was an opportunity to be able to take on more clients that I'm interested in," he said of his decision to launch his own firm. "One of the restrictions in a firm environment is they tend to be a little more risk adverse. They're not willing to take on contingency cases, for example."
Being his own boss also allows Martin to craft a more accommodating career schedule.
"It gives you a lot more flexibility with clients, as well as with my own time," he explained. "I have three kids, so I'm interested in spending more time with them. Being on my own has afforded me that flexibility."
Martin opened his Hacienda office in January 2013. An office in Oakland, where Martin lives, followed just a couple of months later.
"In some ways, Oakland and Pleasanton are not too dissimilar in that they're both places where the tech community has branched out," he noted. "There's a lot of innovation and people willing to take chances. It's ripe for someone of my caliber to be there as a resource and help these businesses get on their way."
While Martin is the principal and owner of Martin APC (a professional corporation), David Austin is an attorney of counsel with the firm that specializes in business law and intellectual property matters.
"I've always liked the business side of the law," Martin said. "That's the nice thing about trademark and copyright on the prosecution side. It's very forward looking and optimistic. That tends to be counter to some (cases) on the litigation side, which tends to be looking backward to figure out what everybody did wrong."
The firm can help businesses of any size, but "my core group of clients is probably a small to medium-sized business owner who has issues with intellectual property, including trademark, copyright and patents. Or perhaps it's an entrepreneur starting up a business. Those folks a lot of times are filing for a trademark to protect themselves before they get into the marketplace, or they're negotiating a lease agreement. They might believe someone is infringing on their intellectual property, and they need some representation."
Martin's strong suit is thinking creatively to resolve issues.
"What I like to say is that I'm very practical," he said. "I like to give people the smartest advice. It doesn't always mean going with a lawyer. There are times I tell people, 'You don't need me. You need to do something else.' "
"I think outside the box," he continued. "I don't follow the traditional formula with litigation. I'm trying to find innovative ways to resolve problems. Being on my own, I can offer those alternatives. I take pride in feeling like a partner with a business person, not necessarily just their lawyer."
Learn more about Martin APC at martinlawcorporation.com .
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