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Legal: I Need A Lawyer When...


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#1 afliii   Members   -  Reputation: 464

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:13 PM

I currently own and operate Broken Limits Media LLC (BLM), a so far profitless company. Once finished with our current, ftp project/game we have a nice shot at making a game for an actual client, with actual money.

I've been meeting with the partners of another comany, we'll call them AB, for some time now, and I've had them sign some roughly written collaboration/confidentiality agreements. I'm 100% interested in doing things correctly, so I'm asking for advice on legal maters like this. I'll probably post some more seperate topics, as I believe I have a number of valid questions when it comes to Game Development and Business.

I know how to write a basic contract with a short paragraph and all, since I've been writing them for about 5 years now for home improvement agreements (I also currently own an asphalt company called Xsealer Asphalt Maintenance), but I'm pretty sure one simple paragraph will not suffice. I've written three page agreements for these BLM clients, and I got them to sign one to lock them in. However, I'm still not completely confident that my extensive, detailed wording is top-quality contract material. Should I get a lawyer to do these things for me? Won't that cost my company a lot of money, money that we may not entirely have right now??

What are the pros and cons of getting a lawyer involved, how do I find a lawyer with experience in game dev law, and is it worth looking into at all?

I'm willing to relinquish more information if necessary. I'm asking on behalf of my team and everyone else who has these same serious questions.

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8671

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:21 PM

1. Should I get a lawyer to do these things for me?
2. Won't that cost my company a lot of money
3. What are the pros and cons of getting a lawyer involved,
4. how do I find a lawyer with experience in game dev law,
5. and is it worth looking into at all?


1. Yes.
2. It will cost you A LOT MORE money later if you don't spend the money on a lawyer now.
3.a. Pros - A lawyer can help you make sure you cover your butt.
3.b. Cons - It'll cost a little money now.
4. Here:
http://www.obscure.co.uk/directory/directory-legal/
http://charnelaw.com/
http://www.gameattorney.com/
5. Here:
http://sloperama.com/advice/route66.htm
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17251

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:50 PM

Good rule of thumb: If you're worried about whether or not you might be at the point of needing a lawyer then you should probably at least speak to a lawyer about the specifics of your situation.


Other than adding that I mostly just agree with Tom -- yes, a lawyer will cost you a little extra money now, but not using one could potentially cost you everything in the long run. Also, consider that the longer you put off involving a lawyer and continue writing up your own contracts, the more it might cost to involve a lawyer, as they will now have to carefully examine (and possibly re-write) all of your existing paperwork on top of the normal task of examining your situation, giving their advice and writing up any documents you might need.

#4 afliii   Members   -  Reputation: 464

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 05:39 AM

Ok.. Thanks.

One more question. Will it be an issue having a lawyer out of state? I think I would prefer to see my lawyer in person, but if I cannot is it just as good to communicate via email and phone?

#5 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8671

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 07:13 AM

Ok.. Thanks.

One more question. Will it be an issue having a lawyer out of state? I think I would prefer to see my lawyer in person, but if I cannot is it just as good to communicate via email and phone?


Ask the lawyers you talk to in the course of picking a lawyer.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.




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