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buxfan
04-18-2011, 06:28 PM
Does anyone know of a directory of literary lawyers? I am in the process of producing a graphic novel and was offered a contract for representation from a literary agent. I would like a lawyer with experience with these sort of contracts to look it over before I sign.

I apologize if this would be better posted somewhere else.

Medievalist
04-18-2011, 08:19 PM
There are arcane regulations from bar associations about what attorneys can list as specialties, and how and where they can "advertise."

I would suggest you look at the sample contracts on SFWA's site--they're not for graphic novels, but there won't be that much difference.

Ask the agent for current artists/writer clients who will serve as references. Agents in general are more than willing to point to current happy clients. Also ask for current sales; again, agents tend to wax enthusiastic about their sales.

buxfan
04-18-2011, 09:00 PM
If there are no "directories" available identifying such attorneys, can any authors recommend some that they have worked with for the same purpose?

I consider myself a smart guy and I am not reading anything in the contract that is throwing up red flags, but I would really prefer that someone experienced with such matters look it over just to verify that there is nothing I am missing.

victoriastrauss
04-18-2011, 09:07 PM
The contracts at the SFWA website are extremely dated. I wouldn't rely on them.

I can't recommend any lawyers' names, but I've included a variety of helpful online resources dealing with author-agent agreements (http://www.sfwa.org/for-authors/writer-beware/agents/#Links) in the Links section of the Literary Agents page of Writer Beware (just scroll down to "Author-Agent Agreements").

- Victoria

scope
04-18-2011, 09:13 PM
I believe The Authors Guild Legal department can help you. They have been of assistance to me in the past. However, they (Author's Guild) may only deal with published authors (which you may be). In any event, it's just a phone call.

buxfan
04-18-2011, 09:17 PM
I believe The Authors Guild Legal department can help you. They have been of assistance to me in the past. However, they (Author's Guild)may only deal with published authors (which you may be). In any event, it's just aphone call.
I actually ran across this in my search. However, haven't not been a published author, I am not eligible for membership. Seems like a great service though, and one I would take full advantage of if I could.

foliogal
04-18-2011, 09:31 PM
You might try your state's Commission on the Arts. I know in Connecticut they use to have a list of lawyers who provide legal council for artists at reduced cost or for free. A photographer friend of mine took advantage of this with great success. There is also this link which might help--Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. http://www.starvingartistslaw.com/help/volunteer%20lawyers.htm
However, I have no personal experience with them. Good luck.

Old Hack
04-18-2011, 10:17 PM
Buxfan, have you looked your potential new agent up in the Bewares section of AW? You might find it useful. If they're rated well, then that's a good indication that their contract is probably good; if there are real doubts about them then it doesn't matter what the contract is like because you won't sign with them anyway.

buxfan
04-18-2011, 10:29 PM
Buxfan, have you looked your potential new agent up in the Bewares section of AW? You might find it useful. If they're rated well, then that's a good indication that their contract is probably good; if there are real doubts about them then it doesn't matter what the contract is like because you won't sign with them anyway.
Yes, I did look them up here (and everywhere else, where possible). All great reviews. I don't have any doubts this agents. I am certain that they are not looking to scam me in any way. But my family and I would like the peace-of-mind that would come with having an experienced attorney look over the contract. I see nothing wrong with doing that whenever major legal contracts are involved.

Medievalist
04-18-2011, 10:37 PM
Yes, I did look them up here (and everywhere else, where possible). All great reviews. I don't have any doubts this agents. I am certain that they are not looking to scam me in any way. But my family and I would like the peace-of-mind that would come with having an experienced attorney look over the contract. I see nothing wrong with doing that whenever major legal contracts are involved.

It's a bit hard to find an attorney with expertise in literary licensing etc. -- and you do want a specialist.

Nonetheless, I'd still suggest you follow Victoria's advice; she's a super source.