How To Save Thousands Of Dollars In Legal Expenses

At one time or another, every organization will need to seek legal advice and create legally binding contracts. But unless your company or nonprofit has money to burn, there’s no need to start the process with only a checkbook in hand on a vague journey of exploration in an attorney’s office.

Odds are that you have already identified the situations in your business that you need to protect with legal paperwork. These usually have to do with the promises you are making about the goods you will deliver or services you will perform in exchange for payment from a customer. So those are the basics of any contract – identifying the parties and the agreement and spelling out the obligations each party owes the other.

Of course, depending on the type of business you’re in, there are all sorts of factors to consider. If you do short, simple jobs, such as cleaning carpets or repairing household plumbing, you can probably get by with just a work order agreement that describes the work you’ll do and the payment your customer agrees to give you for that work.

More complex business arrangements naturally require more complex agreements. For example, if you’re running a business that creates or uses software applications and/or media (such as a website design company, a software development company, or even a freelance photography business), your legal agreement must specify who owns all the software and media you will assemble or create, as well as describing the usage rights for each piece and the legal obligations to the owner.

If your project is complex (such as constructing a building or creating a computer network), you may need multiple agreements that describe each portion of the project and specify periodic payments and approvals when certain mileposts have been reached. And of course, in every agreement, all rights and responsibilities must be spelled out in that special legal language understood by attorneys and courts.

All this legal paperwork can seem intimidating to non-lawyers. But if you could see through the closed doors of legal firms and watch what contract attorneys do on their computers, you would see that they usually start off with basic forms that pertain to the general situation, and then they adapt it to the specific agreement and participating parties. In fact, attorneys often have lower paid paralegals adapt the basic contracts and then charge you for that time at the attorney’s billing rate.

So here’s the secret to saving tons of money in legal fees: you can start off with those basic forms (the same forms that many law firms purchase themselves to save costs and writing time), too. Where? You can probably locate a few forms on various internet sites and sometimes in business supply stores, but if you need a variety of forms and contracts, you should check out a pre-designed contract pack of templates. Contract packs contain a wide variety of legal agreements for all sorts of businesses and situations. In fact, many law firms have been using pre-written contract packs for decades.

The contract templates in a contract pack contain the accepted standard legal language and formatting for many situations. They are basic word-processing files, so you can easily edit them on any computer to meet your particular needs. You can use the same template again and again, changing it only slightly for each client. Getting started with a contract pack can save your organization big bucks in the long haul.

Why pay top dollar for a legal contract to be written for you when your lawyer may be using the same kinds of templates you have access to already? Why not do the initial work yourself and then hand your lawyer a draft contract for final review and edits?

In addition to having a pre-written agreement to start with you will help educate yourself on potential legal issues you may have to deal with in your business better preparing you for a more efficient consultation with your lawyer.

It’s usually not wise to entirely avoid the use of legal advice. Pre-written forms cannot completely replace the need for an attorney. Local laws and regulations vary, and every business situation is different. So you’re always advised to start off with the legal template that best suits your situation, edit it as needed to explain the particular project you’re working on and describe the rights and responsibilities of all the parties involved, and then take your customized version to an attorney for any final finessing the agreement may need. That way, you’ll pay for minutes or hours instead of hours or days of an attorney’s time.

That’s how you’ll save thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Some Information Adaptation Tips For Info Marketers

Borrow, rework. Borrow, rework. Borrow, rework.

This methodology of a creative-based work life is familiar to so many people that it’s astonishing. Rock and roll guitar players adapting old blues songs for their repertoire; writers examining the paragraphs of everything from pulp fiction to Greek tragedy; the painter who stays in the gallery ’til close with a magnifying glass…

The list goes on and on.

As an info marketer, you are part of this. You are taking information from other sources, absorbing it like a sponge, and putting it back into the public forum with your own personal brand.

A lot of people have asked about this particular step — where you take a source and adapt it as your own. They have the content creation and writing skills down pat, but they are unsure about how to get over that hump of adapting other sources as your own.

I had the benefit — or misfortune, depending on who you ask — of being a university student. You had to hand in a well- researched essay about every two weeks, and adapting other reference sources became almost second nature. Now this might not be the case for you, but don’t worry. The tricks to adapting outside sources for your information marketing business are easy. You just have to do some work and be wary of certain laws in the process.

Whether you’re adapting digital files, books, or any outside source for your information marketing business, be sure to do the following:

— Just use what you need: Remember that you are providing information. “Just the facts and only the facts…” or whatever expression the police use. When you are doing your research, omit the sections that are irrelevant to the content you are creating. That’s it. Don’t include extra information that isn’t relevant to the information itself. This will save time and effort.

— Never Plagiarize: I once did an article on plagiarism — stealing content that isn’t yours and claiming it as your own. Not only is this not well regarded by any of your info peers, but you can also get sued. Even in university, we risked complete expulsion if we got caught plagiarizing and one of my fellow students actually had to defend a thesis once over some content that was alleged not to be his own. In the end, it’s always the same: you cannot claim an idea to be yours even if you paraphrase. Never fall off this path no matter what temptations exist. Believe me, if you don’t, the problems that arise will not have been worth it.

— Citations and References: You might be taking info from a close colleague or business associate. Or you are an info marketer who exchanges content with another marketer; e.g. you use his stuff on your web site and he does the same with you, and both of you have links to one another’s site. Or you are adapting content from another foreign source. Either way, don’t forget to include citations. In high school essays, we used endnotes or footnotes listing the reference source. Remember, you are taking someone else’s work and using it as your own. For legal reasons, you need to show the source. As a bit of advice, I would suggest contacting the source. You might work out a content-exchange deal or partnership with little to no cost involved.

— Be mindful of trademarks: Think you can just copy and paste stuff off a blog onto your own web site? Well, probably not. That stuff has probably been trademarked by its creator. If it has their name on it or a reference to their info marketing business or even if it hasn’t, it’s best to back off. That said, once you are done all of your content create, trademark your stuff as well. You’ve been good enough not to steal others’ work, so don’t let someone else do the same to you.

Adapting, researching, and utilizing pre-existing knowledge is a tough job. But, in info marketing, it’s almost a necessity. As long as you play things straight and professionally, you can use content and knowledge that is already out there as the templates to help you see your info marketing business take off!

Legal Thriller Books By John Grisham

“Objection, Your Honor!” has become a resounding cry from televisions and movies around the world. Interestingly, these three words were only heard exclusively inside a courtroom during trials…that is, until a new genre of fiction was born and a new breed of writers emerged to establish one of the most popular types of fiction in books, movies, and television.

Legal Thriller and Courtroom Drama
One of the most recent additions to the genre of mystery novels is the legal thriller. By its name, a legal thriller occurs within the context of the legal system, wherein a lawyer is, most of the time, a protagonist who seeks justice and claims it from the hands of an enemy which may or may not be legal authorities or people who try to exert influence over the law. It is a thriller in the sense that dangers lurk around every page and the protagonists face threats to their profession and, at times, their lives.

The legal thriller formula of literature has been adapted by television. This gave birth to courtroom drama, a more specific form of legal thriller wherein the suspense and the battle between right and wrong occurs within the courtroom; the endless interrogation and confrontation of the two opposing camps of the defendant and the plaintiff is the central action of the stories.

Legal thrillers have grown in popularity in the past few decades, thanks to writers who tirelessly share their expertise in law and skills in writing to produce some of the best heart-stopping novels in modern literature. One of these writers is John Grisham.

Writer in focus: John Grisham
With 27 books (and counting) to his name, author John Grisham earns the distinction of being one of the most prominent legal thriller writers in the US and the world. John Grishams’s books never fail to make it to lists of top legal thrillers. He also features into most, if not all, lists of top writers in the said genre.

Of his books, 9 were adapted into movies and 3 into television series, where high-profile Hollywood actors like Denzel Washington, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, Sandra Bullock and others played the various, complex roles that populate his fast-paced stories. Readers all over have commented that his books were better than their movie adaptations. If you’re not yet acquainted with John Grisham books works, now is the best time to check out his books, especially the ones with adaptations, before you even attempt to watch the films themselves. This will allow you to appreciate the power of the narrative that the writer wrote and wove.|

John Grisham Books
Most of Grisham’s books enter the bestseller lists both locally and internationally. If you have never read his works, now would be the best time to consider looking for John Grisham books. The give you a taste of this author’s writing skills, here’s a synopsis of his 2010 book, The Confession:

The Confession (2010) is about Travis Boyette, a man who committed a horrible crime and watched quietly as an innocent man was convicted in his place. Now, almost a decade after, Travis was confronted by the past; he believes that a confession can set things right, but time is already running out for him and the innocent man wrongfully sentenced for a murder not of his doing.

If you wish to learn more about the genre of legal thrillers, we recommend you read John Grisham books to appreciate his gripping page-turners.