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Reviewing terms of use and disclaimer

Los Angeles, CA |

I am a new internet start up that operates a blog. The site has a new terms of use and disclaimer which is about 1.5 pages in length. I am looking for a lawyer that would be willing to review them for $100 or less as capital is limited.

Attorney Answers 6

  1. This is not really a question so don't have an answer. I will say that your only hope to pay $100 is to find an attorney who will give you a "fixed fee" (sometimes called a "flat fee") which is a one time fee where the amount is specified before the legal work is done. Ask an attorney up front and immediately if they are willing to do a fixed fee for $100.

  2. Best of luck to you. Most reputable attorneys who practice Internet law would need to review and understand your website, how you collect and use information from users, the nature of the content appearing on your site, among other concerns, all before your terms are reviewed. If you find an attorney that is willing to simply review your TOU for $100, it is highly unlikely you'll be getting anything very meaningful.

  3. It costs a lot just to keep a law office open, and fees are set accordingly, with market forces in mind. It would take a while to do this review, and $100 is not that much. Maybe a new graduate who needs money and experience. Getting paid is better than not getting paid, and learning something new is worth the occasional discount.

    We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.

  4. You may contact me.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" 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 terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

  5. No problem. I have been reviewing and creating website TOS since literally the first commercial websites came online.

    Personally, I wouldn't pay for some lawyer's overhead because they have high "office expenses."

    Or fall for the claim a "reputable" lawyer will charge you a few grand. Expense has nothing to do with competence. You wouldn't believe the rates some large law firms will bill green attorneys fresh out of law school.

    The fact is, if someone is competent on terms of service issues and has reviewed hundreds of websites, they will see issues at a glance and already have a stock of legal terms ready to use and quickly modify for many situations.

    Let me offer you a deal:

    Sign up at, use code WSOFTC (all CAPS) and that will get you in for less than $100. AND I will review your legal terms. Just contact me through the site.

    If it turns out I "lose money" because there are issues requiring more time to analyze, that is on me. Hopefully your startup will grow, be successful, and you will consider my office for future needs.

    This is not legal advice but only general information. No attorney-client relationship is created without a written and signed retainer. I do not know all the facts of your specific situation, which will affect this general post. You can get more information at my websites:

  6. I agree with Daniel. It is virtually impossible to simply review a website agreement such as a TOS or privacy policy. The key is to analyze your business model to make sure that your website agreements have all the necessary items as dictated by such issues as: whether you accept user generated content; whether you collect e-mail addresses or other personal information from users; whether or not you need a Digital millennium copyright takedown policy; whether or not you accept credit card information; identifying the inherent risks in your particular business model; understanding who your users are and where they come from; and a variety of other issues. I would recommend that you save your $100 and earmark approximately $1000 for a comprehensive review as soon as funds allow. Keep in mind that website agreements need to be continually updated as your business model evolves and as you deal with specific issues on a day-to-day basis. I am providing a link below to some general information concerning website agreements which might help get you going in the right direction while you get your legal budget together. Best of luck.

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