Finding A Lawyer
Question submitted by Anonymous (22 July 1999)

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  My situation is that I run various game related projects with people that I generally trust, but I'm currently looking to obtain some new members to work with and also see about the future of my projects. I'm concerned about various legal issues, for example if one of my team members decides to quit and claims that he owns parts of the project or things like that, but instead of asking you how I should handle agreements and hypothetical situations, I'm interested in finding a lawyer. My question then for you is how do I find a lawyer who knows what I'm talking about when it comes to games? Its easy for people to say "find a lawyer", but how do I do that? I'd greatly prefer a lawyer who has dealt with game related projects, but does it really matter what "kind" of lawyer? Any idea how much they charge? I'm new to this sort of stuff, so thanks for any help.  

  First, before you call a lawyer about something like this, be willing and able to pay them for their time, as they dont work for free.

That said, they will normally give you some advice about their services when you first talk to them, going over how they could be useful to you, and normally how they wont as well.

Prices will almost always be over $100 an hour, but you can keep their charges down by doing a lot of the footwork yourself, and they will normally suggest this from what Ive seen, so that you maximize their time where they are most useful.

Ive only spoke with one lawyer who specifically worked in the games indusrty at any length, and I can say that I personally recommend him as being a trustworthy and straightforward individual, which is Michael Hawash. He works both as a lawyer and sometimes as an agent, but I'd like to stress again not to contact someone in this position unless you are actually capable of doing business with them.

Response provided by Geoff Howland

This article was originally an entry in flipCode's Fountain of Knowledge, an open Question and Answer column that no longer exists.


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