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Re: Help…I think I will need a Lawyer….any Lawyers sensitive to Adult ADHD

Re: Help…I think I will need a Lawyer….any Lawyers sensitive to Adult ADHD2010-04-09T16:04:14+00:00

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Patte Rosebank
Post count: 1517

Any entertainment lawyer has probably encountered many clients with ADHD. You may not necessarily need an entertainment lawyer. A regular contract lawyer may be sufficient. Or a paralegal.

Since you’re in Ontario, Canada, you can get free legal help from Artists’ Legal Advice Services. The service is free to those in all fields of the arts in Ontario, but they encourage you to make a small donation for each 1/2-hour legal appointment. Sort of a Pay-What-You-Can arrangement. Their phone number is 416-367-2527. Leave a message, and they’ll call you back to set an appointment. Their website is http://www.alasontario.com .

The first question you need to answer is, “Did you have a contract with this person? Was anything in writing?” Many problems can be avoided if things are in writing. As the judge on “People’s Court” says, whenever she has to sort out a case of things going sour because nothing was in writing, “Even if you have to use a crayon on a piece of toilet paper, get everything in writing.” I’ve just started a new freelance project, and the contract the client gave me to sign is beautiful: everything is properly itemized, with completion dates, payments, penalties, the all-important phrase “time is of the essence” (which means that the project can’t be dragged out interminably), what happens if either party decides to challenge anything in court, etc. A contract like this may look scary, but it greatly reduces the possibility of later problems, for both parties.

What you must do now is face the kryptonite. By that, I mean, the paperwork. Do it in small bits if you have to. Write out every detail of what’s happened, and what needs to be done to complete the project, or wrap it up to the point where it can be successfully transitioned to someone else to complete. Make it an itemized list. That way, you’ll be able to break the problem up into smaller chunks. And smaller chunks are much easier to handle than a huge mass of things. You may even find that the problem isn’t as overwhelming as it first appeared.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to sit down with the producer and go through the list. If it takes some concessions for you to be able to fulfill your obligations, then this is where you’ll negotiate them. It will be helpful for you to have a non-ADHD person (even if they’re not a lawyer or paralegal) come with you to help you organize and present this.

By approaching the matter this way, you may be able to avoid a lawsuit altogether, because you’re displaying a willingness to complete your obligations, and you’re offering a timeline in which to do it. If the producer accepts this, then it should be drawn up as a contract (or addendum to the original contract if you had one). And you should stick to the timeline, as you fulfill the obligations of that contract.

Bona fortuna!