Artists may view themselves as free spirits who exist beyond the crude demands of business life, but they need protection from fraud, theft, and bad business practices too. No matter what kind of artist you are, you must protect what you make from unethical people who may exploit you or steal your work outright. Also, if you sell your works, you need to understand accounting, contracts, billing, taxes, and copyrights.
If you are an artist, you should consult with a San Ramon artist attorney to ensure your work is protected, help you copyright or trademark your creations, develop contracts for your work; and address the tax consequences of being an independent contractor.
Specialized legal help is available for most legal issues. Each case is unique; seeking legal help is a smart first step toward understanding your legal situation and seeking the best path toward resolution for your case. An experienced lawyer understands the local laws surrounding your case and what your best legal options might be. More importantly, there are certain situations and circumstances - such as being charged with a crime - where you should always seek experienced legal help.
Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.
Experience. Regardless of the type of legal matter you need help with, an experienced attorney will usually be able to get you better results.
Competence. Determine an attorney's expertise by asking about their track record for the issue you need help with resolving.
Fit. There are plenty of good attorneys out there; make sure you find one you are comfortable working with.
Pro se - This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.
Statute - Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.
Subject matter jurisdiction - Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.
Lead Counsel's objective process independently verifies attorney records, conferring with state bars across the country and conducting annual reviews to confirm that the attorney practices in the legal categories as indicated, possesses a valid bar license, and is eligible to practice in the specific jurisdiction.