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 an Abilene 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.
No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.
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.
A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:
Depending on your specific legal situation, it's possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.
Plaintiff - a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.
Judgment - A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.
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.