As with many lawyer interactions I've had, I was prepared for an intimidating phone call filled with legal jargon I didn’t understand. But I was instantly relieved when I spoke to Chuck. He was kind, patient, understanding, and spoke to me in terms that I could fully comprehend. His approach was graceful, down-to-earth and collaborative — I truly felt like I had a partner to help me through the situation. It was a massive relief. He helped me figure out my goals and focus on them, helping me create a strategy for every possible angle, and approach the situation with a calmness and confidence. He helped me successfully negotiate, with a better outcome than I could have expected. Honestly, I’m not sure what I would have done without him. Out of a bad situation, came something really positive and good. I can’t thank Chuck enough.
For artist-entrepreneurs, copyright comes up in so many different ways. I can advise you if you think someone's infringed your copyright, whether that's sending a cease and desist letter and dealing with their lawyer, issuing a statutory take down notice, or just sending a polite, lawyerly request for that person to honor your hard work by stopping what they're doing. And of course if someone accuses you of infringement, I can work that side of the equation too.
I can assess your publishing agreement in which you license the copyright in your work for book purposes. And I can help you license the copyright in your work for commercial products in general.
I can help you register copyright in your artworks, including coming up with a plan to do it more cost effectively. And if the Copyright Office turns down your registration request, I can prepare and file an appeal on your behalf.
A trademark is an identifier for goods or services in the marketplace—a way for consumers to reliably verify the source of those goods and services. If you're operating an art business, you've got a trademark already. There's a good chance it's your name. You may have a slogan too, or a new product with a novel name you've coined, and you want to stake your claim to some or all of them by filing an application to register with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Can you? Does it make financial sense to register? What does a registration certificate get you? I can answer these questions and, if you decide to move forward with an application, make a strong application that is more likely to get approved.
You may also find yourself on the receiving end of a cease and desist letter from someone or (more likely) some corporation that thinks your trademark is too close to theirs. As a litigator prepared to go to court for you if need be, I can help you negotiate that situation too.
Are you operating as a sole proprietor and thinking of forming an LLC or corporation through which you'll run your business? What are the pros and cons of operating as a business entity, rather than an individual? How do you form an LLC? What about a corporation? Wondering if you need an operating agreement for your one-person LLC? How about your one-person corporation, do you still need to have bylaws, a board of directors, officers, stock? I can answer all these questions and help you with applicable federal, state and local filings.
Are you thinking about hiring a contractor to help you with a project? Do you want to be sure they don't become a joint author of the artwork you're creating?
Perhaps you’re thinking about renting space for a shop and need to understand the lease.
These are just a few of the issues that can come up for an artist-entrepreneur in operating their business and I’m here to help.
Chuck is amazing! I can honestly say that choosing to work with him is one of the best decisions that I've made. When I've described him to friends I've said that I feel a bit like I've hired a trusted family member to advise me. He is an incredible advocate who truly loves what he does, and it shows. Having him in my corner makes me feel strong, empowered, and like I'm making the best choices for my business and self by not wandering into agreements that I don't understand or am not comfortable with. The level of wisdom and calm he has brought to some rather stress-inducing moments has been worth every penny. My only regret is that I didn't start working with him sooner!
Like most lawyers, my fees are based on an hourly rate. Mine is $250 per hour. I provide a free 20 minute consultation in which I can get a better sense of your legal situation and can give you a general sense for what my fees would be to handle the matter for you. If you decide to move forward, before I do any work we'll agree in writing on the scope of the work to be done and related pricing so there are no surprises.