STORY BROADS: Do I really need an entertainment attorney and what else can they do for me?
I often get calls from clients wondering if they can ask a few questions – but just a few, because they don’t really need a lawyer. After all, they’re working with friends and everything is going well; they just need to be able to get a better idea of what to expect going forward because now they’re getting interest (fantastic!), and they’re sure it will all work out. Or perhaps they’re in discussions with a producer, but it isn’t final yet so they don’t want to hire an attorney until it’s absolutely necessary.
As an attorney who also has a background in producing, I understand this perspective. Attorneys can be expensive, and nobody wants to spend money on legal advice until it’s really necessary. And so people will often do as much as they can on their own before engaging a lawyer.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that people often don’t realize the many other ways an attorney can assist a client. For example, if you find yourself with a manager, but not an agent, you might be surprised to learn that the attorney can be extremely helpful to you at that point. We’ll look at that below…