Q:Hi Gabe, Thank you so much for your contributions here and your video, they've helped me immensely. I'm curious to know if you have any business or contract lawyer connections in Chicago that you would recommend. I'm rather new to the city and still working to build a network of creatives who could make referrals like this. Thanks again! Be well.
My pleasure! I don’t know anyone personally in Chicago. I’d recommend asking around your community of colleagues and friends in the area to see if anyone has a referral. Lawyers tend to have networks too; so, even if someone knows a lawyer who might not be a good fit, he/she may know another lawyer who is. Good luck!
Q:So, I'm a game developer based in Spain. I want to form a company to do game development. We will need a lawyer in order to hire people, protect our games, get general legal advise, etc. - is any lawyer good, or do I need to look for something specific in a lawyer?
I’d recommend trying to find someone in Spain who’s got some experience in representing developers. Good luck!
Q:Gabe, what are your thoughts on Contract Killer 3? I'm fairly new to the contract game and thought it was a bit... short and informal? What would you recommend adding to it?
If it works for you in terms of the process/details laid out, it’s extremely favorable to the designer. That said, I believe it lacks an attorney’s fees provision, which can be critical if you ever get into a position where your client owes you money and is refusing to pay.
Q:Hi Gabe, first just wanted to thank you for the great advice you give out on here & the blog. I have a question about getting the proposal & ToS signed, I want to start having a proposal for each client which includes the various stages of the project, deliverables, timeline, costs etc & I want to have a ToS agreement for them to sign which will reference the proposal, how is the best way to get this done? Should they be attached? Should both be signed, if so how do you get a proposal signed?
It depends on the particular client and project, but generally speaking, I prefer having a Proposal + Terms & Conditions all-in-one document, so that you don’t have to get multiple signatures.
Q:I want to work for a local start-up and they want me to sign a non-compete. Some quick research online reveals that this could potentially limit my career growth and potentially become a pain in the ass to deal with. Should I sign a non-compete? In addition, how can I convince my employer that it is not required / a good idea?
This is a complex issue and question, Mr. Leeio.
Post-employment noncompetes are unenforceable in some states and enforceable to some extent in others. If you’re facing an enforceable post-employment noncompete, that’s a scary prospect, because it will certainly limit your reemployment options after this job.
I’d recommend you consult with a local employment lawyer.
Q:I have contracts and I use them for the most part; however, on occasion a client will call and need something within a few days. We hate faxing and they seem to get annoyed when we ask them to scan and email a signed contact. So, is a digitally/electronically signed contract legally binding? Is it worth paying a monthly fee for this type of service?
Q:Hi first I love the video F*ck You, Pay Me. Now I want to re-do our web development contracts are you taking new clients ? or can I pick whoever is in the Super Lawyers from my area? what practice area should my lawyer have to be qualify to help me? Thanks!
Thanks very much for the kind words.
I am taking on new clients in limited circumstances. Drop me a line at email@example.com, and we’ll see if it’s a good fit.
Generally speaking, I think the best way to find a lawyer is to get referrals from your friends, colleagues or family. (I use that method for most all service providers, personally.)
Q:Hello Gabe! A few of my fellows designer and myself are looking to start a non-profit here in the Bay. Having not started a non-profit before I was wondering if you could give some advice on obtaining non-profit status or pointing me to someone who can help?
While I don’t have experience with non-profit entities, I’m sure there a number of good lawyers in the Bay Area that do. I don’t know any personally; so, am hesitant to recommend any. This may be a decent place for you to start: http://bit.ly/1f9E9iX
Q:Hi Gabe, Can i get sample contract template? Harish
I think the AIGA contract is a decent place to start.
Q:Hi Gabe:I was listening to your recent podcast on legal issues regarding showing work in your portfolio. As a self-employed designer / animator this is something that is constantly on my mind. So my question is this. If a design studio typically assigns the copyright of work to clients on full payment, how can they dictate that their employees / freelancers not post it in their own portfolios? As I said on twitter, I'm looking at it from an artist's POV not an employer. Thanks!
This is really a tough one. If you have no written contract with the company, it’s possible you may have some “moral rights” to promote your work, but those aren’t really established in the US. Moreover, all of your work for the employer that is copyrightable is a “work made for hire” under the Copyright Act. So, you don’t have the right to use that material, irrespective of who owns it. So, whether it’s the company or their client trying to prevent you from using it, you could be at risk by doing so.
Ultimately, the best advice I think I can give in this situation is to try to work with your former employer to get some limited promotional rights to particular work.
Good luck. I know this is a frustrating one.