Originally posted by email@example.com:
Being a very poor musician, I have a question about attorney fees. I have a pending deal, and I need an attorney to deal with that, and then if that were to fall through, to help shop for a new one, and also take care of whatever else may come up. If an attorney charges by the hour, does that include when they talk to you on the phone, or call an A&R guy on your behalf, or have lunch with someone in regard to you, or is it just when they are actually negotiating a deal or working on the contact? I've talked to a few attorneys, and they charge between $300 to $500 an hour, but they don't really clarify when the meter would actually be running!! I told them I can't afford to pay until the music starts paying, but they sort of ignored that. If I agree to hire them, am I going to get a huge bill. What happens if I just can't pay?
The clock is always running. A phone call to you is working on your behalf, as is a call to an A&R guy. Lunch is a business lunch. If you don't pay their bill, they'll sue you and attach any money you do have. I know it may be expensive, but if you don't hire a lawyer, you'll probably have to pay at least 10 times as much to untangle you from whatever mess you end up in. This is one corner, as a professional, that you don't want to cut. And as much as we'd all like it to be art only, it is a business. The reality is, that business is run by contracts, etc. and contracts require lawyers to get them to be correct legally.