Based on the large response I received from you on my last blog about the value of entertainment attorneys, I thought I’d follow it up with this checklist on how to go about choosing the best attorney:
1. If you can, get a personal referral. If you cannot, contact the local bar association in your area and get a list of qualified entertaInment attorneys. (The Representation Directory printed by The Hollywood Creative Directory has a fairly complete list of Entertainment Law Firms. Their guidebook is also available online at hcdonline.com, and it’s updated daily. A real bargain, too!)
2. Decide whether you need a transactional attorney (writing and/or reading contracts, as well as negotiating on your behalf) or a litigator (someone who will go to trial on your behalf) or both.
3. Have an introductory meeting (which most attorneys will give you without charge). You will note whether it’s a large law firm, a medium-sized firm, or a boutique firm. You might even go with a sole practitioner, IF he/she has sufficient experience and “clout” to get the job done.
4. Decide whether the attorney’s particular communication style is suitable to you.
5. Tell the attorney what services you are looking for.
6. Learn the attorney’s rate (hourly) and what size of retainer they’ll require (most require at least 5-10 hours).
7. Learn how they bill you once the retainer is used