Fareed Kaisani joined the show and discussed a wide array of topics related to business legal challenges, the overall DFW environment, and other things such as bankruptcies. We discussed the impact COVID has had on the local and national markets, and the challenges business leaders currently face. Ultimately, it was a discussion on understanding business legal challenges and disruption.


Aaron Spatz  00:05

You’re listening to America’s entrepreneur, the podcast designed to educate, entertain, and inspire you in your personal professional journey. I’m your host, Aaron Spatz. And on the podcast, I interview entrepreneurs, industry experts, and other high achievers that detail their personal and professional journeys in business. My goal is to glean their experiences into actionable insights that you can apply to your own journey. If you’re new to the show, we’ve spoken with successful entrepreneurs, Grammy Award winning artists, best selling authors, chief executives, and other fascinating minds with unique experiences. We’ve covered topics such as how to achieve breakthrough and business, growing startups, effective leadership techniques, and much more. If you strive for continual self improvement, and enjoy fascinating and insightful conversation, if the subscribe button, you’ll love it here at America’s entrepreneur. Today, we’re gonna get we’re gonna get this week started off, right? We’ve got Fareed Cassani, for read comes to us from, from a career in law, he’s still he’s still trucking along, but really excited to talk with him in terms of business law, bankruptcies, corporate transactions, and just a whole bunch of other things related to business law. So we’re really excited to have him on the show today. So first, I just wanna I just want to welcome you, thank you so much for being a part of the show. Aaron, glad to be here. Thanks

Fareed Kaisani  01:26

so much for having me.

Aaron Spatz  01:27

Absolutely. So they take us a little bit through your your, your professional journey, my firt the first question I love to always ask folks is, you know, are you DFW native? If not, where the heck are you from man?

Fareed Kaisani  01:38

Yeah, I can’t say I’m a native, although I do love it here originally from it was born in Chicago, I lived there for 1211 still love the city. But then I moved to Atlanta, I was there for a long time, probably, I think 2021 years. So that, you know, that’s kind of home. And then I moved here almost exactly four years ago. And, you know, my parents had moved out here. You know, prior to that, and then I met my wife, and then she, you know, she kind of dragged me over here. But you know, I guess, you know, I came with a stampede of, you know, people in the past few years, you know, looking after the lower taxes and sunny weather and the exponential growth. So I’m happy to be here. It’s a great place.

Aaron Spatz  02:17

Awesome. Yeah. To be honest, I mean, that that is really That’s most people’s story is it’s not, a lot of folks are not original from here. Like I’m another example that like I’m not originally from DFW, but we just all kind of happen to congregate and find this place over time. And so it’s a is a lively place. And it’s growing. And it’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

Fareed Kaisani  02:42

Yeah, I mean, I think I think we’ve got Dallas Fort Worth over here. Closer relative I think the Plano Frisco it’s becoming a city of its own. And I mean, it might need its own public transportation, and it’s just absolutely blowing up up here. Yeah. Which is great to see. It’s awesome. More restaurants, more things to do. I love it. For sure.

Aaron Spatz  03:00

You know, and I’ve talked to people in the real estate side of things. I mean, it’s, it’s only a matter of time before literally, I mean, this is just gonna be an entire DFW is gonna be a DFW blob that goes north all the way to the Oklahoma border. I mean, it’s just, it’s it’s just it’s heading that way. So it’ll be it’ll, it’ll be interesting to see you 20 years from now, where it all ends up. Yeah, but uh, but yeah, so take us a little bit through your career. So it’s not it’s not every day I get someone from the legal profession who, who’s willing to get on the microphone and talk a little bit about your experiences. And there’s, I mean, there. There’s a lot you’ve, you’ve done quite a bit of different things. And so the very first thing that I saw on on your profile here that really stood out to me was you know, your you clerked at US bankruptcy court. So, what, what was that experience? Like?

Fareed Kaisani  03:47

Yeah, that was a very excellent and unique experience. You know, I think clerking is something that a lot of people seek to do right after law school, and I was very honored to get a position with the federal bankruptcy judge, Chief Judge Hagen out in Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta. And yeah, and so as a judicial clerk, you kind of get to work behind the scenes, helping the judges evaluate, you know, the different they’re different their caseload and essentially, you’re a lawyer to the judge, you know, you’re it’s, you know, if the judge is the legal department making the decisions, you know, you’re kind of the judges counseled. And so yeah, you’re you’re doing the research, you’re helping drafting the opinions, and you’re kind of all around helping out with the process, taking it helping the judge take notes and make decisions. So really cool to kind of see that insight, you know, prior to practicing law, you know, whether it’s in bankruptcy or, you know, other types of litigation. And so, yeah, I was really lucky to get that position. And then it led to, you know, I guess there’s a track of, you know, being a bankruptcy and restructuring professional and so that’s, you know, primarily what I’ve done, although, I’ve also, do I do a fair amount of corporate transactions and That’s a lot of what I’m doing right now is, is working on m&a capital raising entity formation and structuring. And, you know, just general outside counsel to companies on, you know, various legal issues, you know, looking at their contracts, and you know, helping them negotiate those. Wow. No, but I think yeah, all that kind of ties into the, you know, the general concept of working with businesses and helping them with their needs, whether it’s on their growth, growth issues, or, you know, dealing with distressed companies, or sometimes if they’re distressed themselves, you know, that a lot of these, a lot of these areas are overlaid with each other.

Aaron Spatz  05:33

So I mean, like, what’s, what’s the way in terms of legally, you know, that you’re able to help people find any type of relief to that stress? And like I mentioned, there’s a number a number of different ways, whether it’s you’re going to sell, sell a company off to somebody or whether it’s, if it’s distressed, given your bankruptcy experience? Like, is that an option? Like, what what are what are some of the different options available to people when they’re when they’re really like when they really need this help?

Fareed Kaisani  06:01

Yeah, it’s a great question. And I think the answer on what to do in each situation really depends on what the facts are whether, you know, we would look at the, you know, the, the cash flow situation, to the extent there is one, we have to look at, you know, what, maybe operational issues, maybe, you know, certain legal troubles, if there’s, you know, just some one off litigation that resulted in a large judgment, you know, what’s what’s causing the pressure points? And from there, you know, it’s, yeah, it’s that, you know, that kind of guides decision on what to do. But sure, there’s a bunch of different ways as far as restructuring a business, you know, there’s a, there’s a traditional liquidation where, hey, this is just not feasible, this thing is not going to survive. And, you know, you could put a business into a chapter seven, where you know, the assets of the company, including, you know, different causes of action, that the company has legal claims, they’re kind of put into a pool, that a bankruptcy trustee will then administer, and then use that whatever money is recovered to pay off creditor claims, and sometimes they’ll pursue lawsuits or litigation against different parties to recover assets. And so I’ve seen a bit around that, that that’s actually a lot of fun. I actually like working on that, you know, what, when I get those opportunities, although I don’t do it much now, but you know, just kind of like evaluating fraudulent transfers. There’s another area of law, what specific to bankruptcy called preferential transfers, okay. You know, those, those transactions have clawed back. So that’s let’s not go into too much detail. But that’s generally a chapter seven. And then there’s chapter elevens, which you sometimes they also involve liquidations, but more often you see those where you have a reorganization, a restructuring of the debts where, you know, the the debtor, the company, proposes some type of plan to pay off their debts, and creditors have an opportunity to to vote on the plan. And there’s a lot of negotiation back and forth on you know, what the amount of claims can be, and you know, how those claims will get treated and paid out. And there’s also lots of settlements when there’s no cross claims between the parties. So it’s a really fun process. That, you know, I’ve had a chance to work on some of those. But yeah, those are kind of the different options. And within those, again, there’s like you kind of mentioned that, you know, there’s a true reorganization of like how we’re going to pay the debts, but sometimes it’s, you know, we’re going to spin off a certain asset, we’re going to bring in cash, and that’s going to help you fund it, or we’re going to bring it outside funding. And that again, it all just depends on what the situation is what the company is willing to do what its creditors and lenders are willing to do. So yeah, there’s definitely a plenty of ways to going about that relief. And you know, you see, you hear a lot of success stories do it’s not it’s not all gloom and doom you. And I think we’ve seen that in the news lately, with so many restructurings with, you know, JC Penney belt belt came out in 24 hours. Oh, no, it’s it’s pretty impressive stuff.

Aaron Spatz  09:01

Yeah. No, there’s I mean, and that’s a that that’s a great segue into some other things, too, because there’s been a ton a ton of companies that have filed bankruptcy and I think it’s important, again, correct me if I’m wrong here, but like the big the big difference, just for very high level for those that are not as familiar with with bankruptcy flavors, as I like to say, but you know, Chapter Chapter Seven being it’s, I mean, it’s going it’s fully is going fully down, like it’s shutting down completely, it’s been liquidated 100%. Where’s the chapter 11? You’re reorganizing the company in some way. Right? That’s is that from a high level overview? Is

Fareed Kaisani  09:37

that basically it? Yeah, that’s generally it. That’s generally you’re gonna you’re gonna basically if there’s a chapter seven, we know this entity is going to stop operating, basically has sometimes they’ve already stopped and then they just file the seven to, you know, basically administer creditor claims and not have to deal with you know, any more ongoing litigation or You know, any, any asset management that the bankruptcy trustee comes in and takes takes over that? Yeah. But you know, there’s, you know, the, the owners of a business, you know, there’s risk in that because, you know, if they, you know, maybe taking some distributions they shouldn’t have then, you know, the trustee might see to call those back. Whereas there’s more in a Chapter 11 reorg, there’s more control over the process, because the debtor remains in possession of both its assets. And its litigation claims you can try to work through and settle those through that chapter. 11 plan process? Yes.

Aaron Spatz  10:31

Well, right. So so exactly to your point. So you just use mentioned Belk. Right? So we’ll just pick a number just quick second. So looks like it was about a month ago, they filed for Chapter 11. So it doesn’t doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re shutting it. They’re all our doors. In fact, I’m pretty dang sure I drove by one just yesterday. Yeah. And it was still operating, I think I actually think I ran inside really quick with with one of my kids. And so like, I just I just pulled up right here. So a lender supported reorganization plan to eliminate $450 million in debt and keep 291 store footprint intact. So like, that’s a great, that’s a great example. So when you hear when you hear a company, you know, file bankruptcy on the news, the very first thing you think is, you got employees marching out the front door, the banker boxes going out to their cars, and they’re like, you know, stripping everything down inside the store, and you know, having a having, I mean, like, literal dumpster fire, basically. And, but that’s, that’s not always the case, I think it’s, I think it’s great for, for people to remember that or realize that there, there are differences, there are differences between being shut down completely versus reorg. reorganized, so

Fareed Kaisani  11:38

I’ve seen my dumpster fires too. Sure. And that happens. It’s unfortunately, in some of these, I’ll say smaller businesses, not in but not in AWS necessarily could be the big investment, stupid, sometimes, you know, they’re a little bit late and seeking counsel to kind of walk them through the process. And this is, you know, your larger businesses, you know, ones that a board, maybe they’ll have in house counsel, or they’ll have, you know, a law firm that they work with on all their different issues, you know, they’re, they’re typically better upfront at seeing these things, and, you know, kind of planning ahead, and so you don’t have a dumpster fire, and you can have, you know, a belt type situation where you can kind of infrastructure, and sometimes that means, you know, it’s not even a bankruptcy process, you know, that’s, that’s usually the ideal is, you know, if it’s just a one bad asset, or one, you know, creditor claim or litigation, if we can resolve that. And then, you know, kind of kind of sometimes threaten them with bankruptcy, you know, that’s a strategy that’s been used a lot, is it like, look, you can keep fighting with us, you’re gonna burn legal fees, and then ultimately, if we follow, you’re gonna get nothing, or, you know, very few pennies on the dollar will give you a few more pennies if you if you work with us. And so that that, you know, is often a strategy.

Aaron Spatz  12:49

It’s about working those deals, man, it’s all about Yeah, about negotiations. Right. And so yeah, and,

Fareed Kaisani  12:54

and on the flip side, and what I do more, so now is on the creditor side, okay, you’re working on the creditor with creditors, and it’s not typically banks, but But you know, we do have some bank clients I work with, but it’s more so, you know, evaluating like, Okay, well, here’s, you know, our claim, or what’s the process of how we’re going to maximize it, whether it’s through, you know, if it’s just, you know, filing a proof of claim, you know, after getting those are sometimes receiving additional litigation, you know, in evaluating the chapter 11 plan, seeing, like, you know, how can we potentially extract more, what are they leaving off the table that we should be going after? I gotcha. And I do more of that now. But I’ve got a pretty well rounded experience working with trustees working with, you know, debtors, and then also with creditors.

Aaron Spatz  13:38

Okay, so let’s, so let’s go to because I don’t think I’ve spoken with anybody who on the, I’m sure I have spoken people on the creditor side, but we have never talked about this before. So so you’re there to represent people to get their money back. Right. So whether it’s your private equity firms, or investors, or whatever the case may be, right, you’re, you’re trying to help them get as much back out of business as possible, before it all just burn burns to the ground, and everybody else lays claim.

Fareed Kaisani  14:04

Yeah, I mean, you know, you’ll say, your, you know, your your business that, you know, you’re working with the company, you know, they fallen behind, you know, then paid invoices in, you know, 90 100 days, you know, helps you, you know, I can help evaluate, you know, getting that claim filed. And then also, you know, evaluate your potential cause of action, like I said, the company might have against you, you know, if you had, let’s say, potentially a preferential transfer, or potentially a fraudulent transfer against you. And so that’s a lot more what I what I’ve been focusing on gotcha.

Aaron Spatz  14:36

Gotcha. Yeah. So, so walk us a little bit more through through journey. So we, I mean, we’d started talking about the US bankruptcy courts, I know, they’ve got a ton different experiences. So like, I’ll kind of leave it to you to kind of like pluck some of the highlights out in terms of like, what you’re, what you’re most comfortable talking, talking about in terms of major, like some of the biggest challenges that you’ve had to overcome or some of the largest victories that you’ve that you believe to be a part of like what What? What would be an example of either one of those? I guess?

Fareed Kaisani  15:05

Um, one of the largest challenges, I think is not a good question. I think it just it just it just managing it all, because, you know, at certain times, it can be the caseload with, you know, having just multiple different files, and, you know, in different types of issues, some are big, some are small, but obviously, everyone’s important costs, you know, as attorneys, our duty is to represent all of our clients, whether they’re paying, you know, in the hundreds of 1000s a month, or whether they’re, you know, it’s a small one off deal. You know, and so I think, you know, that that’s definitely been a challenge. But I think the one way that I’ve really tried to work on that for myself is, you know, trying to become a better manager, you know, I did my MBA as well, when I did my law degree. And I think, now, a few years after being an associate, now I’m becoming more of a manager, and, you know, managing people in teams. And so I think, you know, using the resources properly, is really, you know, the technique I’m learning to improve on to manage all these different things that we have going on, you know, and it’s, which includes, you know, all the cases, but also, you know, being the face of the client sometimes, you know, easing communications, you know, and so we have teams, and we’ve got great people at my firm, that, you know, I’ve been learning to use to help me out the process. That’s cool.

Aaron Spatz  16:27

Yeah, it’s been, I’ve been able to use other people and build a growth team is so, so huge. And I think I’d say, I think that’s a great, that’s a great combination to take, taking a tick, taking both sets of that education, whether it’s, you know, the MBA and in law and the kind of blending the two together. And then as you’ve kind of been progressing to your career, obviously, you’re still practicing law, but then you’re having to do more of the managerial type duties. And so there’s one, there’s one thing that you said a few minutes ago that I actually think I’d like to go back to and talk about, because there’s, there was a, there’s an important statement that you made in terms of people reaching out to you for help, or to any like, to any law firm when it comes to like, if they’re needing help, but then realizing, oh, man, it was like, it’s too late. Like, they’re, they’re kind of reaching out. And it’s, it’s like, it’s almost it’s like, there’s, there’s a time when like, Hey, we’ve got a small fire in this one room, and we need, we’re gonna call a fire department. But then there’s some cases where you’re, I’m sure you’re seeing it, and like, the entire house is engulfed. And it’s like, you should have called the fire department like, a long time ago. So what, what should businesses be doing in terms of I mean, helping prevent themselves from being in a situation where it’s like, they’re calling when it’s just, it is way too late? Like, how can they best handle that?

Fareed Kaisani  17:48

Well, I think it’s firmly I believe, it’s better late than never always, you want to start talking to your professionals, your your accountants, your lawyers, any other financial advisors on, on addressing these different situations, right, because, you know, you can continue to go down the path you’ve been on, but you know, if you’re just if you’re just topping bad decision on bad decision on bad decision, that’s going to lead to dumpster fire bankruptcy cases, you know, that’s just, that’s what’s gonna happen. And that’s, you know, again, what we’re always trying to avoid. But, you know, it’s getting in even if it’s too late, don’t be embarrassed, you know, you I’ve seen very sophisticated businesses with huge, huge revenues, make poor decisions, and it happens, you know, we’re all humans, you know, we make mistakes and, but, you know, I think the key is, okay, well, let’s see, you know, we’ve got the situation, you know, that’s really what we do is, you know, as attorneys are problem solvers. Some situations are easy, like, Hey, we’re just simply going to do this. And others, it’s like, hey, so this is, this is gonna be a complicated undertaking, but it’s good that you stop the bleeding now. And, you know, let’s try to you know, figure out what, what’s the best outcome here? Yeah. So yeah, I mean, I think, you know, I think thing is don’t have an ego about it. I’ve seen that people have an ego, they’ll continue to, to make poor decisions and kind of even knowing that they’re bad kind of still, you know, funding a bad decision, because, you know, and then it just throwing good money after bad and, you know, we see that unfortunately, yeah,

Aaron Spatz  19:10

man. Yeah, that’s tough. That that’s tough, for sure. So, you know, kind of kind of like bringing this into present day, right. So there’s been a lot there’s been a lot where our country’s been through a lot just in the last year or so. I mean, we were I was joking with my family recently because you know, our kid our kids were in school last year and I joke it was a spring break that never ended because they they went to spring break and they never went back I mean, literally and and so we got through this spring break this time they actually went and then they actually went back to school but man think about how much has changed in that in that year and so not not just nationwide. There’s there’s a lot of change here in in DFW and so one a kind of a kind of a multi part question here and I’ll just kind of kind of serve this to you one bit at a time, but I was just curious. Wanja How did how did COVID affect you personally with your business, but then to how did you see COVID impact your clients? Or or, or just the amount and type of work that you’ve been doing lately? Yeah,

Fareed Kaisani  20:14

you know, let me tell you some coding COVID has been a mixed bag because right basically, when it started, my daughter was born and, you know, basically, you know, through the shutdown as when she was born, and I was kind of focused on on us spending as much time with her as possible, which was, it’s been it’s been a it’s been an awful year in many ways, but it’s also been an incredible year, because of my daughter. But yeah, it’s certainly Uh, but yeah, obviously, you can’t ignore the stress that, you know, you see many clients and, you know, friends and family face to you know, it’s it, you know, the situation is very real with, you know, what business is shutting down and layoffs. And obviously, people getting very sick, I’ve had relatives get sick, I’m sure, you know, people that have gotten sick. So. So the it’s been a very difficult year. You know, it’s surprising that as far as on the restructuring side, things have not picked up. I think an ocular, there’s been some very, like large, you know, well known bankruptcy cases, in restructurings. But, but and that’s kind of focused on the top, you know, I think the middle market in the lower middle market has not been hit quite yet. I’m not sure it might not even because we’ve had so much stimulus. And, you know, there’s so much funding to kind of keep us through it. And now things are kind of starting to pick back up. And so we might be able to kind of, you know, dodged a bullet on a lot of these lower middle market and middle market companies, you know, what, we’ll kind of see how that shakes out, I certainly think that there’s going to be certain industries that have been hit really bad, and they’ll continue to get hit. But you know, we’ll see how that goes. Certainly with the restaurants with, you know, tourism related businesses, you know, ones that are, you know, not just, you know, the cruise lines in the hotels, were the ones that kind of, you know, our work with them, you know, the laundromat that serves the hotel and whatnot, things like that. They may not be able to survive, you know, but we’ll see how that shakes out.

Aaron Spatz  22:12

Well, I mean, yeah, cuz there’s, the first thing that came to mind for me was, you know, retail obviously getting hit, because you drive you drive through a shopping center, like, man, everything is shut down. Unless, unless it was like a food joint, right? They were in there were Russian food out to the car. I mean, I remember I remember seeing this all unfold as it was like brand new. And they were I mean, businesses that had not yet embraced technology, and you know, curbside or delivery or whatever, you know, whatever happened to be I mean, they were now having to figure that out really, really quick. But it’s been it’s been interesting to see not just retail, but then hospitality. I know. And then and then. And then air travel. Right. So I bet if anyone’s traveled anywhere, I’m sure there’s I’m sure some folks out there. I’ve gotten some absolutely killer deals on airfare for I mean, shoot, if you’re flying back up to Chicago or up to or to Atlanta, those are two really big hubs coming from DFW, could you probably get dirt cheap airfare from, you know, from here to there, but I think I think that time is coming to an end? No, because it’s, you know, our travels, gonna pick back up.

Fareed Kaisani  23:20

Yeah, and of course, it’s just simple supply and demand. And I think now, the airlines are gonna start, you know, increasing the number of flights that they have up in the air. But yeah, I know, there were some killer deals, but of course, I just didn’t feel safe timing when we were in the absolute thick of things. It just didn’t make sense, you know, especially with a newborn to be to go out and find and, you know, go in different places. So I think another issue related to this is, you know, I think the pandemic is going to cause some long term winners and losers, I think kind of like what you said, I think the those that have adapt adopted, the ones that have the resource to adopt, you know, to the technological changes that are that are here and those that are coming, I think those will be the winners. And unfortunately, the ones that can’t, for one reason or another, I think those will will continue to struggle and maybe ultimately fail. And so I think it’s kind of up to businesses to kind of like wake up and kind of see what’s going around because the disruption innovation I think we’ve seen and that’s coming down the pipe. It’s everywhere. Yeah, I What’s what’s great, though, I think is how DFW is turned into, I think such a great hub for innovation. That’s been, that’s been really awesome to see. I know, we’ve got some, some great accelerators here. We’ve got, you know, different technology focused groups. And so, you know, I’m an advisor to a startup growth company. And, you know, that’s something I’m also very passionate about. And so and there’s so many great ones out here. And so I think that I think that’s going to kind of be the next wave. I think it’s just a matter of people that are having to transition from old are gonna have to, you know, transition to new and I think that there’s definitely endless opportunities out there so I think she’s mad Are people you know, taking up those opportunities?

Aaron Spatz  25:02

How, how have you advise startups in this last year? And in this last year in terms of how they, I mean, has there been a lot of these startups that have decided either a to, to move forward and like, hey, let’s let’s go, this is a great time be actually the probably the best time to do this. And there’s other folks are like, No, we need to wait, like, let’s just wait it out, see what happens like, well, what’s, what’s been your perspective on that?

Fareed Kaisani  25:24

I mean, for oyster Technology Group, we were, you know, a company that basically is tied to ride share, you know, and we launch, we know, we raised our capital back in the spring, but then we launched an operational in June or July, and that basically the heart of it, and that was dependent on rideshare. And surprisingly, we were even pleasantly surprised. Yeah, it was a little bit tough, and, you know, trying to get you new clients, new customers, but, you know, we think through through trying different opportunities, giving out, you know, kind of free trials and things like that we were able to catch on. And, you know, we see that people see the value and even in the tough video. So I think the thing is, if you have a good product, you’ll you’ll find a way to get it to your market. Yeah.

Aaron Spatz  26:15

Yeah, I mean that, and that’ll always win. Right? So I mean, if it’s a good product that adds value, and people understand that, it’s man, yeah, there’s no reason, no reason for it to not not thrive. But you mentioned, you’d mentioned, you know, some long term, different industries that you think are going to be winners and losers. And it’s incredibly plainly, but you know, where do you see that impact hitting the most big? Well, like, because there’s one thing that you said about adapting to change or adopting to change? And so have you noticed, are there any specific industries that you feel like are more resistant to change? And so therefore, you think, as a whole, certain industries are, are maybe lagging behind where they should be? versus maybe there’s other industries that have, man, like, you know, you just mentioned something new, and they’re all over it, like to just try it out? And go, like, go for it? Like, so? Like, what? What’s been your, what’s been your angle on that?

Fareed Kaisani  27:16

I mean, I think, I think what we’ve learned the past year, 10 years or so, is that every company, every industry is subject to disruption, you know, some things like we never would have seen like, like hospitality, like, where did Airbnb come from, you know, and just like, holy cow, Macau, they’re a behemoth right now. And I think, you know, they’ll continue to grow. And I think I’ve got some different ideas I’m not gonna share, but I think they’re, I think they’re gonna really be a force to reckon with. And they’re, they’re gonna put a lot of stress on hotels. But I think hotels will adapt to, you know, I, the smart owners will adapt, and I think there’ll be just fine. I think it’s ultimately just kind of, you know, assessing, you know, and maybe that’s, you know, internally or using outside advisors on, you know, kind of assessing the situation, seeing where things are going and seeing how, you know, you can play a role in that in that process, or I think I started to lose track of what your question on

Aaron Spatz  28:11

certain industries, though, you’re good. Yeah, no, I just, I just curious if you had if you had, if you had an opinion, on, right, so like, granted, every individual company is gonna operate differently, there’s gonna, there’s gonna be, there’s gonna be the leaders, and there’s gonna be the laggards in every single category. I totally get that. But is there? Have you noticed any industry wide trends within certain sectors of the market that are like, hey, this industry, like, I’ll just, I’m just, I’m just pulling something out of the air, like, you know, construction versus retail versus engineering versus aviation? Like, are there any specific industries that you’re seeing as being like the slowest to adapt to change, and therefore, you think that there may be some vulnerability there versus other other sectors that have been really, really quick to adapt? So I, like I’m thinking like restaurants, as a really dumb layup, have an example of generally been, at least the ones that are still in business right now have generally been like, very quick to adapt to, like, Hey, we’ve got to have digital menus. We’ve got to have our electronic ordering systems got to be on point it’s got to work well got a mobile first experience. Like, that’s, I guess that’s what I’m trying to ask is like, have you seen any trends on the macro of industries that have been slower to adapt versus others have been faster to adapt?

Fareed Kaisani  29:33

I, you know, I’m not sure if I, if I have Yeah, I mean, I maybe because that’s just what I’m looking at, I guess I’m looking at the innovation and I see the disrupting every everything, you know, you just you you read, you know, the Dallas Innovates article, or if you read you know, some of the national ones you kind of see that, you know, there’s there’s either startup companies or larger companies that are focusing on innovation and they’re going they’re going after everything in every everyone You know, trying to capture all the markets they can. And I think we’ll kind of see, you know, we will ultimately see some losers, but I don’t really know which one that’s going to what industry is going to be hit the hardest yet. And I, we kind of talked about hospitality and tourism. And I think, you know, they’re they’re certainly going to hurt, you know, from the pandemic, but you know, also just what the disruption, but I think, ultimately, they’ll, they’ll that industry will catch on? Yeah, sure. And we just find,

Aaron Spatz  30:26

yeah, well, because I mean, again, it’ll be curious, I’m really curious to see like, I’m actually really fascinated to see how much business travel picks back up, cuz I know, there’s a lot of companies, I’m an HR, I totally turned off Business Route when they were forced to, and there’s some companies out there that rely 100% on business travel. And there’s an entire industry that supports that kind of like, to your point earlier about, you know, like, I mean, all the way down to even like the laundromats and the flower shops, and like a whole bunch of other things that, that rely on, on this whole other economy inside inside of the economy. And so it’ll be, it’ll be really interesting to see kind of where, where that goes, I’m just I’m just generally curious. I was gonna, I was gonna kind of change topics on you in terms of, you know, one, we’ve already kind of discussed, where, where things are heading and and kind of like your opinion of those. But, you know, what do you see, I think you mentioned, like the Airbnb example, we can we can move from that. But, you know, what can companies do now in terms of, like, how can they better position themselves? So like, in terms of, you know, they may, they may have some, like, legal vulnerabilities given like, given this pandemic and the exam? This is a question I was trying to ask earlier, or that I thought about. So, have you seen a lot in terms and I don’t know how much how much you deal with, like commercial real estate pieces, right. So like, you’ve got a company that’s, that’s leasing out a floor, or two or five, in a high rise building somewhere or in a small office complex? Have you seen? Have you seen much on that side of things? Because I’m curious, because for folks that don’t know a lot about commercial leases, those are, they’re not like a residential lease. It’s not like a man sign on the dotted line for a year. And that’s, it’s, we’re talking multi multi year leases, and that could absolutely crush a company. That’s having a hard time. So like, have you seen much traction there? Like what, what’s what’s been your sense? There?

Fareed Kaisani  32:27

Yeah, you know, I, I haven’t been around the the commercial lease negotiation process. Especially lately, although I was talking to someone. And I think landlords are keenly aware of what’s going on. And I think, you know, they’re, they’re using their senses on things like location, to kind of drive their decision making. And so like, I know, in Dallas and Houston, they’ve got some of the highest rates of office space vacancies in, in the country, I think. But, you know, I was talking to someone the other day, I mentioned that and she’s up here in the Plano, Frisco come area, and she’s got, you know, her own small shop, a CPA shop, and, you know, they’re trying to renegotiate their lease. And they, the landlord is basically saying, No, absolutely not. I see how hot Plano Frisco is. And you know, I think that’s very much a matter of the, you know, the supply and demand. Well, find I sure if that’s how, yeah, answer your

Aaron Spatz  33:23

100%. Yeah. So no, so let’s, so let’s shift back to what you’re doing now. Right. So you’re See, we talked briefly about oyster technology group. So your advisory board member there, would love to talk more about that in terms of the things that you’re seeing there. But then also, you’ve seen your counsel at the firm that you’re a part of currently. So, you know, walk walk me through, obviously, to the extent that you’re you’re able to, but like, walk me through some of the things that you’re that you’re seeing right now, in terms of, I mean, I’m sure it’s a sure it’s a wide array of business problems. So long as we have problems, or so long as we have people will have problems. Sometimes we have problems, I think you’ll you’ll you’ll have a place to work for sure. So but what what’s been some of the things? Has there been? Has there been anything unique that you’ve seen? Is there any lessons that you’d like to share with with business leaders related to business law, things that they may need to consider or things that? Okay, you may not know about this, but you need to pay attention to this?

Fareed Kaisani  34:19

Yeah. Well, I think we’re all subject to disruption. Law. Absolutely. I think what I’ve noticed is, you know, coming from larger law firms, coming to PCR, which is, you know, we’re definitely much smaller in headcount in some of the prior firms I’ve been to, but what I’ve noticed is that we’ve got all the resources, we’ve got all the technology, that to do the same types of work, do the same types of communication with our clients, kind of get it all done, and it’s just a matter of, you know, we’re all former Big, big law firm attorney, so we’ve got that experience in mindset. But we know we can compete at a different level because we’re a fraction of the cost. And so I think, you know, that’s, I think we’re gonna see more of that. I think there’s, you know, we’re gonna see a lot of competition in law to help drive down some rates. And I think that’ll be a good thing ultimately for, for the businesses. But yeah, and I think, kind of go back to the point we’re all subject to, to innovation, I think it’s a matter of, you know, looking at your target, your, your market, walking through the sales cycle for them really thinking about, you know, where, where, you know, where things get caught up, we know where, and sometimes it’s simpler if you if you’re selling a product, but you know, if it’s a service, you know, I think it’s like looking at the whole lifecycle of the sale, walking through and kind of seeing, you know, how can we we make, make sure we’re capturing the value and, you know, not not losing to someone else, basically, in that process? Yeah. Or the CEO losing the customer if they just decided to back away from the sale. And so I think that’s a that’s something that’s very important for definitely in the b2b space.

Aaron Spatz  35:56

Yeah, I mean, you’ve mentioned that you mentioned disruption a number of times, and it’s, it really is going to be interesting to see the the companies are being that are innovating right now. There’s a ton of them, that are going to be coming to market in the next year, the next six to 18 months, I’m sure. And there’s a bunch of orders that have already shown up in terms of, of how things I mean, I mean, like, we can go back to like, at the time is absolutely groundbreaking, like telemedicine, right? It’s like that. I mean, what a what a concept that was years ago, that was like mind blowing. And now that’s like, that’s becoming much more than norm, right. I mean, you’re right, you’re, you’re you’re probably meeting with your clients, virtually right now, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of people that are doing everything, virtually, like I’m consulting with clients across the country, like I’m working with a company California, I’m not flying to California, all right, I’m doing it, I’m doing it here. And so there’s, there’s there’s been a lot that’s force companies have changed, I think it’s helping them what it’s helping them keep their costs down. Because they’ve had, they’ve been forced to adapt. But it’s gonna be interesting, though, to your point, the companies that are, they’re innovating new solutions to things that we are maybe we’re not even aware of that are that are going to have massive impact the way that we do business, or that we live our everyday lives, it’d be it’d be really, it’d be really neat to see what all that, like, what all happens there. And so I guess that’s a perfect leading because I actually would love to learn more about oyster technology group. So like, what, what, what are you doing there? Like, as an advisor? Like, what’s, what’s the, what’s the core focus of that group?

Fareed Kaisani  37:33

Sure, well, let me tell you about the company a little more first, waster is a way for local businesses to to market or advertise their products, using oysters platform, in rideshare vehicles. So essentially, if there’s a local business, a hotel or restaurant, some other type of, you know, activity center, they can use our platform, and target audiences that are in rideshares. Through basically screens that are inserted in, you know, your ride chairs, your vehicles, and using geo fencing, you know, the advertisements basically come on, in the areas, you know, where were the passengers riding for the businesses that are nearby, and they are also time dependent, you know, if it’s a, if it’s a breakfast place, you know, they might want to do more advertising in the morning, but, you know, if it’s more of a nightclub, obviously, they’re focusing on getting those riders around, you know, at nighttime. And so, that’s a, it’s awesome, it’s awesome, what they, you know, the support they give the oyster gives to smaller businesses, you know, it launched last year, it’s had some success, you know, and so now, the continued the company’s continued to grow, seeking, you know, a larger investment to kind of grow, you know, outside of Texas. And so, that’s been a lot of fun. And my role as an advisor has been to kind of walk them through, you know, different legal and business issues, um, you know, not necessarily acting as the as the lawyer, but you know, kind of directing them on like, hey, we need to be thinking about this, we need to think about that. And, you know, when the time comes, you know, this is how we need to go about, you know, going for a certain, you know, transaction Sure. And so, yeah, you know, and so in their processing, they’ve got they’ve got you know, several different contracts they work with with their vendor vendors or customers. They’ve got you know, capital raising formation issues and so I’ve kind of been you know, behind the scenes working with them internally, you know, kind of like a CEO whisper to the company. Nice.

Aaron Spatz  39:39

That’s a great phrase, by the way. Yeah, the the C suite whisper sweet whisper that solid. Well, that that’s awesome in your, in your, your speaking things that I get really, really amped up about because I mean, you’re marketing a business is incredibly vital. I mean, you can have the most groundbreaking product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, it, you’re gonna have zero impact or minimal impact. And so helping companies leverage other platforms in terms of how they can, like, you know, micro, like micro level type marketing. So, like having having a technology platform that, hey, you’re, you’re driving from point A to point B, and you’re gonna pass through, you know, through various different zones, where you have partners in that area that are that are pulling out adspace for that for that specific time. And so, there’s a, you know, maybe whether it’s a, whether it’s just a, a static image, or it’s a dynamic little short video, you know, add insert, yeah,

Fareed Kaisani  40:39

yeah, they’re dynamic videos, you should definitely go check it out. And I think, you know, for the listeners to your podcast, they should definitely go check out the website, kind of see the types of ways that you guys can communicate with your customers, some some very cool dynamic videos using local videographers to help with the production process. So yeah, it’s really awesome.

Aaron Spatz  40:59

Super cool. Super cool. Yeah. So then, so then, as we’re as we’re kind of wrapping things up here, but like, talk, talk me through again. So you’re It looks like he joined this this current firm, at the start at the start of the year. So like, what’s the what’s the journey? What’s the journey been for you in the legal profession? I guess. So I’m actually going to totally change directions as what I was just about to say, but for somebody, for somebody who’s wanting to pursue a legal career, because I think I think it’s a great opportunity to kind of speak, to speak to those that are curious about entering the legal profession, like what what advice would you have for a, I think, I think it’s more obvious for folks that are younger, that are that are getting ready to go to school? That’s a lot more of a straight line. But what about those that have been in corporate America for five to 10 years, like, you know, what? I really, really want to go into law like, what what what advice do you have for those people?

Fareed Kaisani  41:55

I mean, I think it’s so simple, but I’m glad I did it. It’s just, it’s just talking to some different lawyers, you know, and I think talk different ones at different in different phases of their career, talk to someone that’s only been doing for a few years, talk to someone that’s been doing it for 20 years, is there the perspective is going to be different, you know, some people only practice for a few years and kind of, you know, they, they realize it’s not for them, and so they leave, but then obviously, the person that’s been doing for 2030 years, they’ve kind of been through, you know, all the ups and downs, and they’re still going. So I think, you know, having those multiple perspectives, I think what’s tough is that there’s, there’s so many different types of law out there. And I think, you know, finding the right fit, that can certainly be a challenge, and it’s, I don’t really know, if there’s a good way of going about it, other than just trying to do the research, and kind of like, you know, trying to evaluate, okay, what are all the different types, maybe pick a handful, and then from there, no, maybe try to find some people in those areas. And I think just starting with one lawyer, like, hey, I’m interested in these few years, can you recommend me, someone in these areas, you know, can if they don’t practice themselves, they can probably connect you to someone they can through a law school buddy, or whatnot, for sure.

Aaron Spatz  42:59

For sure, I found I found that the whole like, informational interview format to be incredibly effective for for people that are wanting to explore other opportunities, whether it’s a, whether it’s a career change, a job change within a certain industry, whatever that may be, because I’m telling you, you get you get such valuable insight from those that are living it, they’re doing it, they can, they can give you some pointers of like, hey, here are some common pitfalls, things that you need to avoid. And you may have been get ready to make one of those mistakes, and they can kind of help guide you on that or like, Hey, here’s something you have, maybe you’ve never considered this before. Think about this, and you’re like, Okay, I’m so glad I called because now I’ve got so much more, so much more perspective than I did previously. So I think, I think I think it’s solid, I think it’s solid freedom. Appreciate,

Fareed Kaisani  43:45

I definitely attribute a lot of, you know, my success. And the reason I’m still going is, you know, because I reached out to different attorneys and had, you know, coffees and lunches, you know, before law school, during law school, and even after law school, just to kind of, you know, kind of brainstorm and pick stuff and, you know, some some attorneys don’t respond, and that’s okay. I mean, they’re, they’re busy, she managed to carve out a bad time. But I think more often than not, you’ll find a lot of great people out there that are willing to help and share their insight and so you just gotta be willing to take advantage that even if you know you’re making the cold emails, but you know, you got to it’s your you got to invest that time and not have that ego,

Aaron Spatz  44:21

for sure. Yeah, I mean, that that was that was a great point that you made earlier related relate to ego and a lot of people will, can let that get in the way of making really important business decisions or really big personal professional decisions. So I think I think that’s solid, solid advice. And so yeah, as we’re wrapping up here, like what’s the what’s the best way for people to get in touch with you? How can how can people learn more about you? What what’s what’s the best way for people reach out?

Fareed Kaisani  44:48

You know, I think you know, absolutely, if you think that you know, I could provide some insight to you please reach out to me, you know, connect with me on LinkedIn. But also you can, you know, find find my my contact info on our website it’s PCR firm calm. And you know that that’s that’s got all my contact info including my email and phone number so but yeah connect me on LinkedIn and and I’d be happy to you know start the conversation from there

Aaron Spatz  45:14

see our firm calm so throw that out here. Yep. Okay, awesome well that’s okay good. Yeah. So for it has been this has been a it’s been a blast again, I just want to thank you for spending some time with me this morning. Thanks. Thanks for Thanks for going any number of different ways that we did. It’s been it’s been fun exploring all you know all different aspects of your journey, and just some different things for people to consider as they’re going through there. So I really do appreciate your time this morning. Thank you.

Fareed Kaisani  45:43

Yeah, let me say one more thing. I love talking to small business owners a lot. You know whether they’re existing or they’re emerging companies. So yeah, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to have a dialogue and see if there’s a way I can fix your problems or if I can connect you to someone else that will. I’d love to do it either way.

Aaron Spatz  46:00

Solid review solid, solid, solid, free. Thank you. Thanks. Thanks again.

Fareed Kaisani  46:05

Thank you guys. Thanks so much.

Aaron Spatz  46:10

Thanks for listening to America’s entrepreneur. If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review or comment on your preferred social media platform. share it out with friends, family, coworkers, others in your network. And of course, you can write me directly at Erin at Bold media.us That’s a Ron at Bold media.us Till next time

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