Steve Weigler has had a varied career. From landing a job at the US Congress in Washington DC straight out of undergrad, to being senior counsel for one of the biggest companies in the US, then setting up a successful business, there isn’t much he hasn’t seen during the past 30 years.
It is this varied experience that he now uses to full effect for the clients of his own legal practice, EmergeCounsel, helping them to protect their intellectual property and business assets and thus maximise the potential of their business. Steve believes that above everything else, running his own business gives him insight and empathy – he understands business issues having been through at least most of the trials and tribulations of business himself. He is a truly been there and done that intellectual property and business counsel.
Steve built tenacity
Steve started his legal career as an Assistant State Attorney Miami, Florida, prosecuting crimes of violence. “I started my career in the trenches,” he smiles as he relects. As a prosecutor I learned how to deal with some bad people in bad situations. It was tough and I certainly toughened up. I certainly could not have handled that job as a wallflower. So I don’t know if I was known to be tenacious before the experience, but I sure have been since it.”
Vast brand protection experience
After meeting his wife in a courtroom (she was a defense attorney) they decided on move to Colorado where Steve went to undergraduate school. In Denver, Steve began working for a Fortune 500 company protecting their brand and technology infrastructure. “At AT&T Corp., I learned a lot about technology law, how large corporations work and the importance of a brand. I also learned how to angle in entrepreneurism. Large corporations generally get the job done but many times they are not efficient. Entrepreneurs are efficient but don’t always have the resources. So I began to build the belief that any entrepreneurial legal plan should cover the bases more efficiently than we would necessarily be able to achieve at AT&T Corp.
Running his own business
As part of an exit package that Steve received upon merger, Steve was funded to start his own technology business which he focused on predictive analytics for school districts: “It was a double bottom line business. Through technology we licensed through a university, we focused on figuring out root data and assessing whether kids in high school were going to drop out or make it. We had our own proprietary trade secret and copyright strategy to protect the data. We built our own software. We had sophisticated clients. Unfortunately, we needed to raise a lot of money to keep that all running as the cash flow in business to government is brutal. So while I came really close to achieving a sizable exit, the cash flow issue ultimately destroyed my positioning in the company. It was an excellent learning experience but something I would not want to do again.”
EmergeCounsel Began in 2015 With the Mission to Protect Business and IP Assets
The motivation and angling of EmergeCounsel is fairly simple– unless the client is a lifestyle business, at every stage of company growth: “it needs to be legally groomed to succeed in an ultimate transaction. Of course, the strategies are different if it’s a startup, early stage or a later stage company but Steve’s premise is that ultimately something’s going to happen and the
client needs to be in the best legal position when it happens. “I have a special affinity for brand protection/trademark. Brand is generally the largest growing asset that a business has. So we place a large emphasis on all the way from the source to the manufacturing and all the way to the marketplace. So I took best in class technology and our firms passion on the subject to build TOTALTM, our process for trademark guidance, search, appeals of office actions and denials. I think it is as process driven and thorough as any large law firm would do for a legacy brand, but at a fraction of the price. Our clients and partners see the value and love our assiduousness.”
Technology and eCommerce
A growing majority of EmergeCounsel’s clients are in the technology and eCommerce space. Clients are a mix of US businesses and overseas companies hoping to do business in the US.
It is this international aspect where membership of IR Global is invaluable: “Through our relationship with IR Global we’re able to find counsel all over the world and have built up those relationships to make sure the client experience is as good as possible. I also love building interpersonal relationships with similarly situated professionals around the globe.”
Why IR Global?
Steve emphasises that to make membership of IR Global effective, it requires putting time in: “If you join a golf club it doesn’t mean you’re a good golfer – you have to practice. I think it’s the same with IR Global. Just joining probably didn’t do much for me, but when I started actively participating, it’s really helped build my relationships around the world. I have a lot of trust through the relationships I have built through IR Global. “Another way IR Global helps me is that I can find counsel on subject matter areas that are not my specialty. For example, international tax is not one of my specialties, but I can find those through IR Global and get my clients both they and I need.”
Spreading the word
When he’s not working – or on the ski slopes in Colorado – Steve runs a legal blog, which has built up a large and loyal following: “It’s not just law for law’s sake, I’ve had a lot of experiences and I write about the various issues that come up with entrepreneurs. I give empathetic advice and put my emotional side in about how I feel about my clients and my cases – and explain the niche and the role of the attorney. “You don’t need counsel in every meeting unless you’re a really big company, or in-house consulting. But you do need a lawyer on your team whatever the size of the business to handle the plethora of business and legal issues that are consistently present at any stage of growth. I think of myself as the attorney I would want to have. ”Steve’s energy – be it for blogging, his work or fitness – generally means he is always pushing boundaries and his intention is to keep on providing the best service – and achieving results – for his clients.