View Full Version : Paying Lawyers with Jewelry

Taylor Harbin
06-21-2014, 06:57 AM
I've heard stories about people using unconventional means to pay a lawyer. In this case, jewelry. I tried searching Google for information, anecdotes, etc, but found nothing. My father bought an engagement ring for my mother from such a person. He was an estate lawyer who accepted valuables in place of dollars.

I want to know how a client would go about negotiating a deal, and how the lawyer would make sure he was receiving legal income for his services. The short story I'm planning is about two men talking about their dead father, including some reminiscences about his career.

I don't know anything about estate law or unconventional payment, so I'd appreciate any information.

06-21-2014, 07:34 AM
Hiya Taylor,

I've successfully bartered with many businesses in the past, including jewelry designers and lawyers (though never jewelry for legal services).

A lawyer, any lawyer, will understand the value of a legal bartering contract. I always made one, and had both parties sign it and keep a copy. The important bits in a bartering contract... actually, here, I'll paste it. The formatting will be wacky, I'm sure, but you'll get the idea. See notes after.

Name of Offeror (Entity Initiating Barter Offer):
Contact Name:
Phone: E-Mail:

What do you (Offeror) Offer for Barter?
Describe product(s) and/or service(s):

If offering service(s), is this a flat rate or an hourly rate? ___________________________
If hourly rate, how many hours are your offering? _________________________________
How much is the monetary value of your bid to Offeree for barter? _______ ___________

What do you (Offeror) request of Offerree (Entity Accepting Barter Offer)?
What product(s) and/or service(s) do you wish to obtain from your bartering partner?

• Any and all services offered by [Offerree] at fair market value.
• [Offerer] may assign their credit with [Offerree] to another party at will.
• Both parties will keep accurate records detailing services performed and provide invoices and receipts as per normal client relations.

This agreement is between [Offerer] and [Offerree], who jointly agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions when bartering products and/or services as outlined above.

1. It is understood by both parties that completion and submission of this form by "Offeree" to "Offeror" represents the intent of "Offeree" to enter into a legally binding contract. Upon acceptance of the product(s) and/or service(s) within the bid amount of "Offeror", "Offeree" agrees to submit payment for product(s) and/or services via barter and other means (check, money order or credit card), as arranged. Each party agrees to inform the other of all anticipated fees before commencement of any exchange of product(s) and/or services.
2. Offeree agrees that Offeror may increase Offeree’s credit balance with Offeror by the purchase of additional product(s) and/or services from Offeree and that either party may retain a credit balance with the other while this bartering agreement is in effect.
3. Both parties attest that they are freely/legally entering into this agreement and will abide by its directives and requirements.
4. Both parties will adhere to the price set by each as final. Both parties attest that the pricing for product(s) and/or service(s) represents fair market value, to the best of their knowledge, within that industry.
5. Both parties represent and warrant that the product(s) and/or service(s) offered for barter can legally be sold by them and their assigned agents or dealers and have full power to make this agreement. They also represent and warrant that the product(s) and/or service(s) do not infringe upon any statutory copyright or upon any common law rights, proprietary rights or any other rights whatsoever.
6. Each party shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless the other, its officers, trustees, agents assigns, and employees, from and against any and all claims, demands, suits, losses, liabilities and costs, including attorneys' fees, arising out of any alleged breach of the foregoing warranties or any alleged violation of copyright or other property rights.
7. Both parties agree to adhere to the delivery schedule as set by the parties. They further agree to deliver product(s) and/or service(s) in good condition.
8. Both parties attest that all information included on this contract is true, to the best of their knowledge.
9. If a party opts to terminate the barter arrangement, both parties agree that the party with a credit balance will compensate the other party fairly for any product(s) and/or service(s) provided to date of termination notice.

___________________________ ________________________________________

___________________________ ________________________________________


So you see, both parties specify what they're trading. If you don't do this, don't have a contract, all kinds of wackiness can happen. A lawyer should know better - so in your story, reference said contracts. So when I trade with jewelry, the artist shares the retail value of the piece I'm willing to trade for, and that becomes what they offer me, and I quote my normal cash/check/not barter service rate for whatever I am offering in exchange. It's important to treat each other like any other client, and provide all appropriate documentation and tracking and receipts that they otherwise would.

It's also entirely legal. And taxable.

I'm happy to help further. Feel free to ask more questions, or to PM me. I'll also happily review your final draft to make sure it makes sense in the context of bartering.

And, sidenote.. by all means, ask people in real life if they'll barter. I've saved thousands of dollars of cash by trading services with folks; and gained many new clients by offering part barter, part cash transactions. As long as everyone is happy in the end, you've got a good arrangement. Bartering should never be about taking advantage, but rather, about reaching an agreement that leaves both parties satisfied and feeling they came away on the good end of a deal. :)

Taylor Harbin
06-21-2014, 06:44 PM
Thanks, dark! This is just the kind of realism I was looking for. I'll be sure to contact you when the draft is done.