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Old January 19th, 2008, 06:08 PM   #16
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Two things here.

First... This so-called client seems very willing to take advantage of others. To answer your question, I'd say no, don't sign. In fact, I'd also tell this client to stick his contract on the end of a red hot skewer and see how far up his rear he can stick it.


Second...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Tauger View Post
I wish I could give legal advice here, but I can't. But I will say this: please, please, please take this "contract" to a lawyer (or show it to a lawyer friend, or something). There are things about it that you really should know.
Paul, with all due respect to you, I notice you begin nearly every post with your legal advice disclaimer. I don't get it. I watch local news where they have these "ask the expert" segments. They have attorneys 1 day a week. People call in with their legal questions. The attorneys do their best to give them some guidance and although they don't necessarily tell them what to do, they give them some background law or legal avenues the callers can pursue based solely on the information the caller provides.

There's a weekly radio show I sometimes listen to:

http://wjr.com/goout.asp?u=http://www.thelawshow.com/

They don't seem to have a problem helping people with general information. I think it would be pretty lame if everytime someone called in, the lawyer stated, "I really wish I could give you some legal advice, but I'm a lawyer so I can't do that. I strongly suggest you contact a lawyer and explain your situation to him."

Sorry for the rant. I'm sure you're a fine attorney but I just don't get your position. And because words on the internet can sometimes be misunderstood, I am not trying to pick on you or intentionally offend you. Couldn't you just as easliy dodge all responsibility by saying, "I can't speak for you, but here's what I would do if I were in that situation."

I don't think anyone here is going to take your opinion as anything more than that. An opinion.

I get all my legal advice here.
http://www.freeadvice.com/

It's worth just about what I pay for it.

Jeff
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Old January 19th, 2008, 09:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Emery View Post
Paul, with all due respect to you, I notice you begin nearly every post with your legal advice disclaimer. I don't get it. I watch local news where they have these "ask the expert" segments. They have attorneys 1 day a week. People call in with their legal questions. The attorneys do their best to give them some guidance and although they don't necessarily tell them what to do, they give them some background law or legal avenues the callers can pursue based solely on the information the caller provides.
When I provide legal advice to anyone, by law, an attorney/client relationship is formed. That means that (1) I'm liable for malpractice to whomever I give advice, and (2) I may be legally and/or ethically required to continue the representation (and the "ethical" requirement can be significant, i.e. I could lose my license for violating ethical canons).

I work for a large law firm. My firm carries extensive malpractice insurance, but it kicks in only if we've conducted a conflicts check before beginning an engagement. This is of particular concern, because it is a very serious matter if I take on a representation that is adverse to my existing clients (and the number of clients of my firm number in the tens of thousands). Accordingly, I am contractually forbidden by my firm to represent anyone outside of the firm's practice.

Finally, it is very, very rare for someone posting to this or any other internet forum to provide anywhere near enough information to provide a competent opinion.

So, in summary:

1. I don't want to incur malpractice liability.
2. I don't want to risk entering an open-ended, no-fee client relationship.
3. I haven't conducted a conflicts check and have no idea whether accepting the representation of anyone here would result in a representation adverse to my firm's existing clients.
4. Usually, I couldn't offer competent specific advise even if I were inclined to ignore 1 through 3, because I don't have enough information from the poster.

Quote:
There's a weekly radio show I sometimes listen to:

http://wjr.com/goout.asp?u=http://www.thelawshow.com/

They don't seem to have a problem helping people with general information. I think it would be pretty lame if everytime someone called in, the lawyer stated, "I really wish I could give you some legal advice, but I'm a lawyer so I can't do that. I strongly suggest you contact a lawyer and explain your situation to him."

Sorry for the rant. I'm sure you're a fine attorney but I just don't get your position. And because words on the internet can sometimes be misunderstood, I am not trying to pick on you or intentionally offend you. Couldn't you just as easliy dodge all responsibility by saying, "I can't speak for you, but here's what I would do if I were in that situation."
As a matter of law, that wouldn't mitigate liability. Tell you what: if you all want to chip in and buy a separate malpractice policy for me, I'll ask my firm for permission to give specific advice. I'll still need to run a conflicts check, however. :)


Quote:
I don't think anyone here is going to take your opinion as anything more than that. An opinion.

I get all my legal advice here.
http://www.freeadvice.com/

It's worth just about what I pay for it.

Jeff
I took a quick look at the site. It provides general information about law, just as I do here.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 09:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Tauger View Post
Tell you what: if you all want to chip in and buy a separate malpractice policy for me, I'll ask my firm for permission to give specific advice.
No problem here. How much do you figure it'll run?

Is malpratice insurance a requirement for lawyers, like automobile insurance is for cars in most states? Or is malpractice insurance more like life insurance, not required but for "just in case"?

Just out of curiousity. Do you have a bluetooth headset?

Jeff
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Old January 19th, 2008, 10:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Emery View Post
No problem here. How much do you figure it'll run?
I have no idea what an individual policy would run. I know they're not cheap. One of the nice things about practicing for a large firm is that I don't have to worry about things like that.

Quote:
Is malpratice insurance a requirement for lawyers, like automobile insurance is for cars in most states? Or is malpractice insurance more like life insurance, not required but for "just in case"?
Here in California, it is not a requirement, though it must be disclosed to clients if a lawyer doesn't have it.

Quote:
Just out of curiousity. Do you have a bluetooth headset?
Umm . . yes, I do. It's a silver Aliph Jawbone.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #20
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Hmmm.

Kinda figured.

http://www.jeffemery.com/ttpmo_3.html

Jeff
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Old January 19th, 2008, 10:18 PM   #21
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I'd feel better about your post if you had included a smiley.

At any rate, nicely produced video, good lighting. And to answer the questions you raise in it, I use a BlueTooth headset because it leaves my hands free when I talk, which matters when I'm running through an airport trying to catch a plane. The one that I use, the Jawbone, is also noise canceling, so callers can hear me and I can hear them. And, coincidentally, it looks an awful lot like the one Spock wore in the picture in your video.

Live long and prosper.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 10:34 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Tauger View Post
Live long and prosper.
Dude. If I could afford you and your firm, which I doubt I could given what you've said in this thread, I would hire you in a heartbeat just based off of that comment. Most lawyers I've had could give a s**t whether I live long and prosper or not. ;)
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Old January 20th, 2008, 07:40 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Emery View Post
Hmmm.

Kinda figured.

http://www.jeffemery.com/ttpmo_3.html

Jeff
ha ha ha

Now that was the kind of sarcasm I needed to jumpstart my day! Sort of a contemorary Andy Rooney piece. LOVED IT ...and honestly couldn't find one point to disagree with.

Thanks for posting that!
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 02:26 PM   #24
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While I did find myself laughing at some points of Jeff's video, I don't think it will endear him to many users of such devices. ;)

Edit: For the record, I don't even have a cell phone, let alone a Bluetooth headset.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 11:07 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Bowers View Post
Just to fill in, I will be shooting on a bus and in bars threwout the night. Isn't it a given that its my responability to maintain the safety of my equipment at all times? I modified the contract in a few places. They are the following:

It is further agreed that all rights to said images and footage shall become and remain the sole property of Client. Top Notch Video Productions will make copies of ALL footage and may use said footage for demo/promotional use only.

In the event Contractor can not fulfill his obligation, is late or does not show up for this obligation at all; he will be required to notify the client by phone, and agrees to pay the client 20% of the total price agreed upon. Contractor is responsible for the safety and security of his own equipment. Client accepts and assumes no responsibility for equipment or contractors "person" in general.
Hi Travis,

Sorry I've arrived late on the scene here - the thread seems to be drifting off. Anyway, I agree with those who have concerns about signing the contract as-is. And IMHO, I have doubts whether most general lawyers would be knowledgeable in our trade to add in the appropriate Terms and Conditions to offer you adequate protection for your specialized event video.

Sure, they'll take care of mainstream issues you've missed like liability and indemnification, contract enforcement, boiler plate terms like Force Majure, Entire Agreement, Enforceability, Late Payment Fees, arbitration clauses and jurisdiction, client and client agent negligence (drunk bus driver, etc), and the like.

But they'll probably goof-up booking fees as so-called non-refundable deposits (versus the proper booking fee terminology), contractor copyright release (since client might mistakenly use copyrighted works), lighting disclaimer (degraded night video without adequate lighting), media formats and fitness for use (longevity), description of services (as in-camera editing), emergeny release clause (should something happen to you, describing your backup plan), etc, etc.

Bottom line, it's up to us to learn contracts inside and out and ensure we (and our subs) not only fulfill the T&Cs and spirit of the contract, but also cover our proverbial fannies when something either goes astray on the behalf of either party. And perhaps of most importance, conduct ourselves not only professionally but also proactively ensure we're extra diligent to prevent exposure to liability issues (tripping over cables, equipment falling, fires, choking hazards for small children, non-grounded equipment shock and faulty wiring, lighting burns, etc.)

Warm Regards, Michael

P.S. - and coming from Minnesota as a boy, I'm sure I've forgotten to discuss gear such as snow shovels, don't ya' know? Oofta!
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Old January 25th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #26
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Just a bit currious...

What reaction did you get... when you didn't sign it?
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