I’ve been busy working drafting some documents for myself, hence I haven’t been writing very much here. One item I’ve been working on is drafting an operating agreement, so that I can get the business account in order. The Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct mention in Rule 1.15 that I must establish “a business account into which all earned trust funds for professional services shall be deposited”, and such account “shall be prominently labeled “business account,” “office account,” or appropriate business-type account.”

Well, this makes sense. Unfortunately, as much as I tried to establish such a business account at the same time I set up the IOLTA account, the bank wouldn’t do so without more business documentation that hadn’t arrived yet from DCCA and other items. In other words, there’s been a holdup in terms of the business documents, and getting that in order has been somewhat of a mess. I hope to remedy that by tomorrow, although it’s been interesting drafting a business operating agreement with… me, myself, and I. So as much as I tried to get things in order, there’s always these odd unexpected holdups.

It seems to me that the kind of person that goes out on their own to create their own business faces a lot of paperwork and hurdles. You ought to get malpractice insurance, you have to register with the local tax authorities and get a general excise tax number, bank accounts, and somehow, navigate through this maze competently without making a mistake, and without very helpful source materials.

There are some materials in Hawaii to help out the solo practitioner, but they’re somewhat outdated. Hawaii State Bar Association publishes a book entitled “What You Need to Know if you Decide to go Out on your Own”, but the latest edition was from 1993. Some Hawaii-specific items the book mentions was the need to get the GET registration, although I knew that from talking to another attorney before reading this book. It’s missing information about registering as a LLLC entity, as oppose to a professional corporation, sole proprietor, or partnership. And Chapter 6 on information technology is clearly out of date. Come on, Tape Backups? During the professional responsibility course several weeks ago, we already discussed how the internet has made items such as off-site backups via the internet and encryption an increasing baseline for doing computerized backups, and we’re stuck with a discussion of on-site tape backups?

Such a book should also talk about the basic stuff they don’t talk about in law school. Like where are the courts located, where can I find these random forms, and things like the existence of the Hawaii Family Court Rules. The only reason I ended up discovering these things was because someone mentioned they were looking into doing an adoption, and I thought to myself “Hmm, isn’t it interesting that I took Family Law and yet I have no clue how to go about the adoption process?”

Well, guess what? There are also plenty of information on adoption in Hawaii, but the basic compiled material is dated, and one has to update themselves on changes. In this case, changes since 1984 from the “Hawaii Adoption Manual”. How enthralling it is to read computer printouts that reminds me of the 286 era. Some of the Hawaii Revised Statutes have also been modified since this manual was printed, although it at least mentioned the 70’s US Supreme Court case involving fathers.