I see my old friend Rob Petershack has started a blog at:
Rob is a healthcare IT attorney that I have always enjoyed working with.
In general I don’t use outside legal assistance when I am negotiating a contract. But I do think it makes sense when you are negotiating a large deal. Using an attorney with healthcare IT experience is great.
The trickiest part of negotiations is taking a mutually agreeable concept, like system availability, and developing mutually agreeable language. A really good attorney will bring a bag of scrubbed clauses that really help you get from idea to written agreement.
Rob has always done a good job of organizing the discussion and proposing workable language. He also used to be internal counsel for one of the larger HIS vendors, which can only help. Rob is at Axley Brynelson now (based in Madison). You can track him down at www.axley.com.
There are a lot of parallels between the IT and Legal departments. In both cases business leaders are often willing, even expecting, IT to take make business decisions on their behalf to finalize a broad concept. We both struggle with keeping our customers engaged once the initial glamour of the new effort is gone.