Welcome to Internet Law Radio, my name is Enrico Schaefer, and today, we’re going to be trying to understand what a client should do in order to research their attorney if they have an internet law issue. Obviously, most people have an attorney that they rely on for general matters. If you have a problem that arises online, a problem that arises on the internet, you need an attorney who specializes in internet law. You need an internet law attorney. And here’s the reason why. A lot of the different causes of action that arise on the internet, anything from trademark infringement, copyright infringement, internet defamation and a variety of other issues involve not only the general legal issues, but also the technical issues.
So, there are not only the legal issues involved, but there are the technical issues involved. And not only are the technical issues something that might become the most important factor in accomplishing your client goals, but there are specialized laws out there that deal with internet law and that are specialized to internet law. There are lines of cases which discuss how traditional legal principles may apply in the internet space. So, these are the things that you need. So, how do you hire an internet lawyer? How do you determine who the best internet lawyer is for your job? Here are some tips:
Number one, the most obvious, is to do a Google search. The reality is that if you got a specialized problem, you can do a Google search and figure out (and add the word lawyer or attorney) what have these lawyers said or written about your specific legal issue. If you find an attorney who’s already written an article or done a blog post that specifically addresses your internet law issue, well, that’s a great starting point to not only educate yourself, but identify prospective attorneys who might be able to help you with your legal problem.
The second tip is contact the internet law attorneys that you have identified and interview them. See if they have handled the specific internet law issue that you’re dealing with. Do they hold themselves out as an internet lawyer? And most importantly, what is the personality match between you and the internet law attorney you’ve contacted? Personality match is huge. It is like getting married for the duration of the project, and if you’re having a hard time with the attorney on the phone, chances are you’re going to have a hard time with that lawyer once the project starts. So, find a good personality match.
The last tip, and perhaps the most important tip, find out how that particular law firm, how that particular lawyer handles billing. What fee options do they have available, and there are numerous. Most law firms work on a retainer/hourly billing model. That means that they are going to simply request money from you, they will bill hours, you will receive a bill at the end of the two week period or month wherein you pay whatever it is the time they had into it. There is no cap, there is no guarantee as to what the cost is. Typically, people are looking for something more secure, something more defined. There are law firms, such as our own, that offer a fixed fee defined deliverable option. That means that we will tell you on your internet law project what the lawyer is going to do, exactly what the eight or ten deliverables are going to be and exactly what the fee is going to be on that project, on those deliverables. That allows you cost certainty. Attorney’s fees can be cost prohibitive, and you want to make sure you’re going to get a return on investment.
So, those are my best tips for finding the best internet lawyer for the job when you encounter a problem on the World Wide Web that involves trademarks, copyrights, defamations, hacking, theft, spam, whatever it happens to be. If you follow the guidelines, if you educate yourself, if you do a Google search, if you interview the attorneys involved, you’re going to make a much smarter decision as a consumer of legal services.
That’s all for today, we’ll see you next time on Internet Law Radio.