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Writer's Room => Research => Topic started by: curlyjo on June 08, 2021, 05:02 PM

Title: Legal counsel for contracts
Post by: curlyjo on June 08, 2021, 05:02 PM
Does anyone have info or experience finding/using a lawyer for agent/publishing contracts? I’ve researched “Literary Lawyers”, “Publishing Lawyers”, “Intellectual Property Attorneys” and have only become MORE confused. I spoke with the Bar Association in my county and they advised me to look for a “Civil Attorney”. Thanks for any information you can share!
Title: Re: Legal counsel for contracts
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on June 08, 2021, 07:05 PM
Because laws vary by area, the Bar association was a great idea. You'll want to find someone with experience in children's publishing. (Adult publishing is different.) The Author's Guild in your state may have a listing of lawyers. It might be worth joining for that reason. Reach out first. Your SCBWI chapter RA may know someone too or be able to reach out to members on your behalf.
Title: Re: Legal counsel for contracts
Post by: Vijaya on June 08, 2021, 08:46 PM
Yes, the Author's Guild could be a good first step. You can also educate yourself with a couple of books on the topic so that you know what to look for. My favorite is Mark Levine's Negotiating a Book Contract. I've also read  Curtis' How to be Your Own Literary Agent--it's very thorough.
Title: Re: Legal counsel for contracts
Post by: curlyjo on June 09, 2021, 06:25 AM
Thank you, Debbie and Vijaya for your prompt reply, advice and xtra resource material. I’ll contact my Chapter RA and go from there!
Title: Re: Legal counsel for contracts
Post by: ButterflyGirl on June 09, 2021, 10:40 AM
The Authors Guild was great in providing a comprehensive review of my most recent contract. I also worked with publishing attorney Mary Flower. She is highly experienced, with reasonable fees and smart, helpful suggestions that for the most part the publisher was willing to accept.
Title: Re: Legal counsel for contracts
Post by: RebeccaL-G on June 09, 2021, 03:40 PM
One more vote for The Author's Guild.
Title: Re: Legal counsel for contracts
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on June 09, 2021, 05:59 PM
The Authors Guild was great in providing a comprehensive review of my most recent contract. I also worked with publishing attorney Mary Flower. She is highly experienced, with reasonable fees and smart, helpful suggestions that for the most part the publisher was willing to accept.

A friend of mine uses her, but I always thought she was in NY. I guess the contracts are usually subject to NY law because this is where the companies are.
Title: Re: Legal counsel for contracts
Post by: curlyjo on June 10, 2021, 01:07 PM
The  Author's Guild it is! I've located the Phoenix Chapter of the Guild and will be contacting them shortly, along with my SCBWI Chapter RA. Thanks for your suggestions.