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Hiring Someone for Cheaper Contract Related Help

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by datahead8888, Jun 6, 2021.

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  1. datahead8888

    datahead8888 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    A while back I hired an intellectual property lawyer to do a couple independent contractor related agreement documents for me, which I use to hire people to do work related to my computer game and my book. He charged about $750 for both combined, which is a good deal considering his normal hourly rate, but it is still a lot of money for someone like me who does not yet have any revenue from this.

    Thus when I worked with an artist and he requested minor contract edits, I didn't go back to that lawyer for every minor edit, as I would likely end up having to pay him a lot of money again. I instead asked a friend with some business experience if he could offer a third set of eyes. Likewise, it'd cost a lot of money to have the lawyer oversee the actual signing of every contract in Docusign.

    Might it be feasible to hire a para legal to help me with these minor things, or is there any other reasonable low-priced alternative? I tend to check contracts a bit excessively, which ends up being time consuming, so I'm very interested in finding a way to hire help.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Your friend with the third set of eyes would be engaging in the unlicensed practice of law. Any paralegal you talked to would likely refuse because paralegals know what the consequences are of the unlicensed practice of law.

    Your choices:

    Have your lawyer review the changes.
    Insist that your hired help accept the contract as is.
    Take your chances making the edits without legal assistance.
     
    justblue likes this.
  3. datahead8888

    datahead8888 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    "Insist that your hired help accept the contract as is."
    --From what I've seen, people frequently ask for changes to contracts when signing. The last person I worked with asked for changes for the original contract and now doesn't want to sign again without additional changes. One contract usually will not fit all.

    "Your friend with the third set of eyes would be engaging in the unlicensed practice of law."
    --My lawyer was aware that I had a friend checking the original contracts over and offering his thoughts, and he never raised any concerns.

    Online I see a number of references to paralegals being able to work as legal document preparers, as well as doing estate planning, probate filings, powers of attorney, bankruptcy petitions, and straightforward uncontested divorce forms.

    Are you sure that simply looking for errors in minor contract edits that I made (or double checking a contract signing) would constitute legal advice and that a paralegal could not do it?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
  4. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    The paralegal could not legally do that unless supervised by a lawyer. A paralegal, or anyone else who is not lawyer, providing you advice on what specific things to put in your contracts (or not put in them) is engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. That includes the friend you had look at the contracts if any advice he provided you was legal advice. You certainly can have someone review changes you want to make for grammar and spelling, though.

    When you are in business, hiring the right professionals for the work you need done is a smart thing to do and is a cost of business that smart business people are willing to pay. You don't want to be pennywise and dollar foolish with this stuff. If you want it done right, have a lawyer assist you for any significant changes you want made.
     
  5. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    If it involves legal advice in some way then a paralegal cannot do it unless he/she is supervised by a lawyer. If the review is not related to legal advice but rather something else like grammar and spelling, etc, that's not a problem.
     
  6. datahead8888

    datahead8888 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    "A paralegal, or anyone else who is not lawyer, providing you advice on what specific things to put in your contracts (or not put in them) is engaged in the unauthorized practice of law."

    I would have thought there is a way to do it with the qualification that a person's feedback is not considered official legal advice, much as people offer opinions on legal matters on forums like this -- forums like this always qualify themselves as "not offering legal advice".

    Assuming, however, it not possible to hire a para legal for this, is a site like contractscounsel.com a good way to find a lower price for a lawyer to look at edits to an existing contract or to oversee contract signings? It sounds like finding a lawyer who is not part of a firm cuts the cost down.
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Oh my bejeezus...why not simply go back to the original attorney?
     
  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    This:

     
  9. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    It's a way. Whether it's a good way or a bad way depends on your results. You can search the internet for reviews by customers of that site and then make your decision.
     
  10. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    The OP has no idea what the original attorney would charge. The OP already got a "good deal" the first time around. Minor edits might even be a better deal if he goes back to the attorney who drafted the original document.
     
    adjusterjack likes this.

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