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MYTH: There is only one answer to legal questions

Often the most exasperating answer to clients’ legal questions is “it depends”. This is the answer to almost every question we analyze in law school and it takes a while even for to get used to this. Legal questions are answered based on the present state of the law governing the situation at hand. But most of the time, written laws, whether a statute or a case decision, do not apply exactly to the facts of a particular set of circumstances and some analysis is required. For instance: should a particular worker be characterized as an employee or an independent contractor? Well, at least three government agencies weigh in on this and each has its own set of rules by which the question is analyzed. It essentially boils down to what we refer to as the “control test” which includes a set of 13 questions we ask to make a determination in each unique situation. As you can imagine, all 13 answers may not lean toward one side or the other but we must weigh them and make an argument for the desired conclusion. The final determination in this example can have far reaching effects on business costs and operations.

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