Legal professionals can focus their practice on various areas and can help you avoid a wide range of legal hassles that may arise within the context of the entertainment industry. When seeking a lawyer, it is important to be sure that the attorney by your side has significant experience and a strong reputation in the entertainment world.
But for creative professionals who may need the services of an entertainment lawyer but are worried about the expense, there is good news, as many lawyers are open to various fee arrangements that can fit into your budget. You should talk to a lawyer, discuss your concerns, and understand the legal issues that you potentially can face before you make a final decision.
Some of the things your lawyer can do on your behalf include negotiating contracts and protecting intellectual property. It is important to understand that this type of work is complex. For example, a great deal of intellectual property goes into creating a movie, and there are so many collaborators who make it happen, including writers, directors, producers, makeup artists, camera technicians, set construction crews, film processing professionals, and others.
Remuneration: When you consider hiring a specific attorney, they may provide a free consultation. While this meeting may not provide concrete guidance to solve your matter, it can give you a better perspective on whether this attorney performs their job well and is a good fit for your needs. You can hire an attorney on a contractual basis, on a retainer fee, for a percentage, or on a fixed-fee basis.
An attorney hired on a contractual basis will work for only a period, and the amount for the contract will be determined at the time of hire. Lawyers who work on retainers take their hourly wages from the sum that the client pays upfront. The retainer fee could be renewed if the client wants the attorney to continue doing work on their behalf. A percentage of the client’s earnings may also be part of the lawyer’s payment structure.
Retainer payments: Under a retainer agreement, the lawyer and the client decide on the retainer fee amount wherein the attorney is obligated to work a set number of hours on behalf of the client. The amount gets paid in a lump sum, and the attorney takes their fixed hourly rate from that amount.
The retainer fee amount is nonrefundable to the client once paid, even they do not end up using the attorney for the full number hours covered by the initial retainer. Once the retainer fee is exhausted and if the client wants to continue the attorney’s services, the client may refill the retainer and renegotiate for the attorney to work for them.
Percentage fee- The percentage fee arrangement will only work in certain circumstances and requires the potential for the client to get money, whether through a transaction, a settlement, or litigation. For example, criminal cases would never come under a percentage fee, or contingency, contract. Creative professionals who do not have the funds to pay a lawyer’s hourly rate often opt for such fee arrangements, enabling them to pay them only when they succeed.
Not many lawyers favor this kind of system, because lawyer payment is not guaranteed.
An Entertainment Lawyer Can Even Work as Production Counsel
A funded film may appoint an attorney to look into the legal requirements of the project in the capacity of production counsel. Some of the tasks will involve looking into various aspects of preproduction, post-production, and distribution of the film. The attorney usually will get paid a flat fee on which the parties decide before the attorney is brought on board.
Production counsel is so important because films are produced on a budget, and the lawyer can draft the necessary contracts required for the film to take off. The lawyer looks into various agreements and negotiates contracts that deal with the film’s production. The attorney may also take on the role of a general adviser with regard to legal and business issues that arise in the course of film production.
There are several reasons why you would want to hire a legal professional within the entertainment industry. When you negotiate the terms of a contract, an attorney will be the best person to handle the situation. In the event that the other party breaches the contract, the other party’s misdeeds could hamper your career or the viability of your deal. Your attorney will then be able to get justice for you.
In the entertainment world intellectual property theft is a rampant issue, for which your lawyer can help you sue the person or entity responsible for violating your rights. The attorney can also help you properly protect your creative works to safeguard your intellectual property from future infringement.
Entertainment lawyers also can help clients understand their rights and obligations. As attorneys, they are well-versed in providing counsel to content creators and professionals across all forms of media. They can help in strategizing, structuring, and negotiating complex deals and agreements.
A Philadelphia entertainment lawyer can even help with documentation of financial statements, fundraising, boosting buyer confidence, and meeting investor expectations. Regardless of their client’s unique needs, an experienced attorney will be sure to keep their client’s best interest at top of mind.