It is not strange or uncommon to see a dental practice established as a partnership. The reason most practices are partnerships is to leverage the abilities of the partners. While this arrangement can be beneficial, it isn’t without its challenges, especially when there are disputes between partners.

There are different types of dental partnership disputes, and some of them can be handled between the partners without the need for external interference.

On the other hand, some of these disputes require that the parties involved hire a dental practice lawyer to protect their interests and find a favorable outcome. Our focus in this article is to reveal the types of dental partnership duties that require the expertise of a lawyer. 

Partnership Agreement Breach

Every partnership arrangement has a partnership agreement document that details the expectations, rights, and responsibilities of each partner. A breach of this agreement occurs when a partner doesn’t follow the terms of the agreement. Examples of partnership agreement breaches include failure to meet financial responsibilities, making unsanctioned business decisions, and violating clauses in the agreement. The lawyer can accurately interpret the partnership agreement, discuss resolutions, and, if necessary, represent the hurt partner in court.

Financial Disputes

This is one of the major causes of disputes in any partnership arrangement. The issue might arise as a result of expense allocation disagreements, financial management practices conflicts, or profit and loss distribution disputes. A lawyer can bring a professional auditor to audit the business finances to determine if there are discrepancies and, if any, who is responsible for them. The lawyer can also mediate the dispute and ensure that the financial arrangements align with the necessary laws and partnership arrangements. 

Control and Ownership Issues

Control and ownership issues arise due to ownership changes, the exit of old partners and the entry of new partners, or decision-making control disagreements. While control and ownership disputes might not be as common as financial disputes, they are the fiercest type of partnership disputes.

It can be especially serious if practice valuation or buyout terms are involved. Therefore, in such a case, it is wise to call in the expertise of a lawyer. Depending on the issue at hand, the lawyer can draft precise buyout agreements, facilitate negotiations, and ensure that the process is fair for all partners.

Professional Standards and Conduct

Dentists are required to maintain certain professional standards and conduct. However, if a partner or more are accused of ethical breaches, misconduct, or malpractice, any of these can put a strain on the partnership and lead to disputes. This is not surprising considering the unprofessionalism of one partner affects the entire practice and the business and livelihood of everyone working at the dental clinic.

Furthermore, not only can the reputation of the dental practice be questioned, but the allegations might have legal consequences. Therefore, hiring a lawyer can help the dental practice investigate the claims, represent the practice, and ensure that the rest of the partners and staff are complying with professional regulations and standards.

A labor employment lawyer can also be involved to help resolve employment issues, such as discrimination or harassment claims. If you're looking for an expert labor employment lawyer in brentwood, for example, conducting a simple online search like "brentwood labor employment lawyer" can provide you with a list of potential lawyers to consider. Partnerships are complex arrangements, and disputes between partners can have serious consequences for the dental practice.

Partnership Dissolution

As much as many do not like to hear it, good things come to an end, and this is true of dental partnerships. However, the fact that the partnership is ending doesn’t mean the dissolution process has to be messy.

Sadly, this is often the case, as issues such as patient records, liabilities, and asset division might lead to disputes between partners. With the assistance of a lawyer, a dissolution agreement can be drafted that will detail each partner’s responsibilities and rights. If the partners follow the agreement terms, the transition should be smooth, and there would be very few conflicts.