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Lawyer web site design start-up

Rockville Centre, NY |

I am considering a new internet business. Here is the business model. I have relationships with freelance web and graphic designers. As well as content writers. I have them create different web sites that have a lawyer theme to them. I also would have them create facebook and twitter pages that the law firm could use. I would charge a low monthly fee like $40 a month for a turnkey program that would include the web design, logo design, facebook and twitter account designs for the law firm. Are there any legal issues with this?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

So long as you don't engage in the unauthorized practice of law, no.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

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Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

Huh? Lots of legal issues. Potential copyright infringement (see his other comments - he intends to copy existing websites), trademark infringement (ditto and copying existing sites opens up "trade dress" issues), and patent infringement (some websites likely have patented methods employed on their website). There are domain name legal issues. I think unauthorized practice is one of the minor worries, as presumably the law firms will have lawyers who are authorized.

Posted

Lots of companies offer these services for lawyers. The company that designed and hosts my web site deals exclusivley with lawyers (I think).

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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Asker

Posted

Here is my concern. What happens if the graphic designer copies part of a logo or web design from another site? Then I sell this package to the orthodontist for their website? Is there anything to avoid this? Or minimize legal liability?

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

To avoid it, don't do it, it's that simple. If you steal copyrighted material, you face serious penalties.

Posted

Its dont by countless of others. Just like any other business, you just need good business and legal advice to get you going, and have professionals around you to help when needed. Since you will be doing this for lawyers, presumably you knows some already ? I'd find a busines lawyer and start talking about the logistics.

Our replies to Avvo questions should not be considered specific legal advice to any individual, and no attorney-client relationship is formed with you. Our aim is to provide general principles that may be useful to the Avvo community as a whole. You should seek individual legal advice pertaining to your specific factual situation, and the laws applicable to your jurisdiction. Moore & Moore Attorneys at Law -- thelaw@mytrustedlawyer.com

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Asker

Posted

Here is my concern. What happens if the graphic designer copies part of a logo or web design from another site? Then I sell this package to the orthodontist for their website? Is there anything to avoid this? Or minimize legal liability?

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

Copying from another web design? Bad business model, but one in frequent use. Better is to "borrow" from one of the thousands of free templates available.

Posted

Lots of legal issues. Potential copyright infringement (see his other comments - he intends to copy existing websites), trademark infringement (ditto and copying existing sites opens up "trade dress" issues), and patent infringement (some websites likely have patented methods employed on their website). There are domain name legal issues. I think unauthorized practice is one of the minor worries, as presumably the law firms will have lawyers who are authorized.

Also business issues. There are at least a thousand vendors doing the same thing, and at around your price. But, if you are good there are law firms that will barter legal work for website work.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

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Asker

Posted

How about I just create a facebook, twitter or yotube channel for them instead? Are there less issues or ways to minimize the legal issues?

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