The last number I could find (2018) noted there were 1,338,678 licensed practicing lawyers in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and five U.S. territories.
This number has been somewhat flat over the past 5 years, but up over 15% in the past decade. https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2018/05/new_aba_data_reveals/.
We think there are maybe 50,000 auctioneers in the United States including Washington D.C. and the five U.S. territories. Thus, it appears we have about 27 lawyers for every auctioneer.
I have said for as long as I can remember — find an attorney you can trust to secure specific legal advice concerning your business, terms and conditions, contracts, and related policies and procedures.
Additionally, your attorney can help you with setting up the correct business structure, address tax and liability issues, and even help with business transition and estate planning.
Of course, not all attorneys can help with such issues. Attorneys tend (but don’t always) specialize. Endeavor to find an attorney who has experience in these aforementioned matters. The cost can be an issue, but really good legal advice is worth every penny.
I’ve had the privilege to work with some highly skilled attorneys all around the United States. I’ve watched them prepare, negotiate, plead their cases in court, interact with clients, other attorneys, and staff and it’s been a wonderful and enlightening experience.
Additionally, in civil litigation, I see how those attorneys vigorously advocate for their clients. Thus, typically one attorney is saying the “sky is clearly blue” and the other is noting “it’s anything but blue.”
Where do I come in? I give the attorneys and their clients my thoughts on their case — commenting on the strengths and weaknesses of their position and how we can have the most success, including sometimes minimizing losses.
Every auctioneer needs an attorney he or she can call when needed, and even better to help with not only setting up your auction business, but assisting you as your business expands.
You can do your own legal work and represent yourself, but we don’t recommend it, especially when the magnitude of your case or value of your company reaches a meaningful amount.
Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.