It was a little over two years ago that I began writing this column, after my friend and colleague Mary Luros passed me the baton.
Today’s column will be my final business law column for the Napa Valley Register, as I am hanging up my newspaper hat for a while to make more time for the other important things in my life – especially the baby boy my wife and I welcomed into the world on March 21 of this year.
Thank you for your indulgence over the past two years.
The feedback I have received from the community in response to this column has been wonderful, thoughtful and incredibly positive.
Writing a bi-weekly newspaper column about what is objectively pretty dry subject matter has been as fun as it has been challenging, but it has also spurred me to refresh my knowledge base on many issues fundamental to my profession that I am glad to have had occasion to review.
This has been a surprisingly tricky column to write.
The first challenge with every column I wrote was finding appropriate subject matter. It had to be a topic related to business law, but it could not require too much legal background to be approachable because most readers do not have a legal education.
Most of the subjects, therefore, were not of my own creation. The subject matter almost always came from readers and local residents, by adapting the real-life legal questions people brought to our law firm.
I did edit the questions for clarity and to preserve confidentiality, but they were all issues that my office was asked to advise upon at some time or another – even the column I wrote about haunted houses (“’Haunted’ House for Sale,” May 12, 2015).
After identifying a suitable topic, the bigger challenge was in writing the column itself – or, more accurately, in exercising the restraint to keep the column within my word-length allocation.
Virtually every legal issue addressed in this column has been the subject of volume upon volume of legal analysis and case law, but I was trying to distill the analysis of these issues to 450 words while preserving a meaningful level of analysis.
Meanwhile, it was always very important to me to write a column that any reader could find interesting and approachable, but to incorporate enough sophistication and depth to appeal that the column would also appeal to my colleagues in the legal community.
This was a tricky balance, and there were concessions made with every column. I hope that these ambitions came through in the content of my writing.
While someone else will surely be taking up where I am leaving off, please continue to consider me a resource and feel free to call or email me with your questions.