My lawyer doesent know anything...

32 replies
Hi, I just went to a laywer in Spain, (i'm from spain) and I told him that I was going
to start an online business and that also i was going to sell an ebook about weight
loss...

I made him some questions...and basically his answers were that no precaution was
needed...For example only when I asked him if I needed a disclaimer...then he said yes I could write my own disclaimer...w

After researching a bit I think that is much better if the disclaimer is written by a
lawyer...Now I am realizing that running an online bussines and selling ebooks is
more risky than I thought....and that I can really can lose lots of money If I do something wrong...

He also didnt mention that I should be careful about US laws...now I understand that even
if Im not from United States I have to know about their laws and about FTC guidelines
because I might deal with customers from every part of the world....

So I'm guessing that not all lawyers really know what they are talking about...what would happen to me if I get in trouble even if I follow the tips of my lawyer..and what would happen to
my lawyer....
#doesent #lawyer
  • If you going to market to US customers, you probably should contact US lawyer. Although, I don't think the Internet Marketing field is heavily legalized here. At least that is the impression that I get, that most of the current lawyers or legislature have no idea what it is, and what to do about it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2646946].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mcmahanusa
    You've reached the right conclusion - not all lawyers know everything. Indeed, so many lawyers are incompetent at so many levels. But if you search, you can find a good lawyer with knowledge that applies to your area. Above all, find a lawyer who will help you to CYA.

    My most satisfactory legal experience was when I acted as my own attorney. Of course, I did an phenomenal amount of research, and I have since become a certified paralegal. Not as a profession, but for my own knowledge and protection.
    Signature

    Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become - Jim Rohn

    Visit our beautiful gardens

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2646950].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    What happens is lawyers have specialties. Even an general practice lawyer will have areas of law in which he/she has more knowledge than other areas.

    My wife is a lawyer, her specialty is commercial real estate and title law. If you went to her and asked about internet marketing, she would send to to another department where the lawyers specialize in advertising, marketing, and media law.

    It sounds like you found an attorney who has no experience with Internet Marketing, so it's time to look for another lawyer.

    :-Don
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2646969].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author secrets2010
      Originally Posted by Don Schenk View Post

      What happens is lawyers have specialties. Even an general practice lawyer will have areas of law in which he/she has more knowledge than other areas.

      My wife is a lawyer, her specialty is commercial real estate and title law. If you went to her and asked about internet marketing, she would send to to another department where the lawyers specialize in advertisaing, marketing, and media law.

      It sounds like you found an attorney who has no experience with Internet Marketing, so it's time to look for another lawyer.

      :-Don
      The problem is that this attorney didnt send me to another department...he just said that selling ebooks is a grey area...and that shouldnt be any problem...so if I follow his advice and I write my own disclaimer I think I might get into trouble...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2646976].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
    What did the lawyer represent that he specialized in?

    You have to keep in mind that law is very specialized. No one can competently provide advice in all areas of law. Law is complicated, and unless a lawyer spends a high percentage of his or her time in a given area, they really shouldn't practice in that area. If I wanted a Trust done, I wouldn't go to a lawyer that did DUIs.

    Also, you're expecting a Spain lawyer to be fluent in US law? Not likely, and if you do find one, expect to pay $$ for it. If you want someone to give you advice about US law, you need to hire a US lawyer who specializes in the area you want advice in...not a Spanish lawyer.

    I think part of the problem is that people have unrealistic expectations of the scope of lawyers expertise. Perhaps I should go to a Japanese general practice lawyer for advice on a speeding ticket in California:confused:

    Tom

    Originally Posted by secrets2010 View Post

    Hi, I just went to a laywer in Spain, (i'm from spain) and I told him that I was going
    to start an online business and that also i was going to sell an ebook about weight
    loss...

    I made him some questions...and basically his answers were that no precaution was
    needed...For example only when I asked him if I needed a disclaimer...then he said yes I could write my own disclaimer...w

    After researching a bit I think that is much better if the disclaimer is written by a
    lawyer...Now I am realizing that running an online bussines and selling ebooks is
    more risky than I thought....and that I can really can lose lots of money If I do something wrong...

    He also didnt mention that I should be careful about US laws...now I understand that even
    if Im not from United States I have to know about their laws and about FTC guidelines
    because I might deal with customers from every part of the world....

    So I'm guessing that not all lawyers really know what they are talking about...what would happen to me if I get in trouble even if I follow the tips of my lawyer..and what would happen to
    my lawyer....
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2646972].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author secrets2010
      Originally Posted by Tom Goodwin View Post

      Also, you're expecting a Spain lawyer to be fluent in US law? Not likely, and if you do find one, expect to pay $$ for it. If you want someone to give you advice about US law, you need to hire a US lawyer who specializes in the area you want advice in...not a Spanish lawyer.


      Tom
      Actually, I was going go sell my ebook to the spanish market...but even if I promote to the spanish market I migh get customers from USA, UK...so it seems i have to find lawyers fluent in US law, Uk law and so on...
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2646997].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author TristanPerry
        Originally Posted by secrets2010 View Post

        Actually, I was going go sell my ebook to the spanish market...but even if I promote to the spanish market I migh get customers from USA, UK...so it seems i have to find lawyers fluent in US law, Uk law and so on...
        I don't think it works like that. If your business is based in Spain, you're promoting to the Spanish market and (presumably) hosting in Spain (or a EU country), you don't need to pander to the FTC and USA law.

        It's different if you're hosting in the USA and targetting mainly USA citizens.

        But yeah, I wouldn't worry in this regard.

        You'll be running a Spanish-based business aimed at Spanish consumers. So don't worry about non-Spanish laws.

        Certainly don't worry about the FTC since they govern American citizens and businesses. They don't govern Spanish businesses or citizens.

        Edit: Obligatory disclaimer. I'm not a lawyer. This isn't legal advice. Blah blah blah. It is - AFAIK - all true though. The FTC govern American jurisdiction. Their jurisdiction doesn't reach outside of that; it especially doesn't reach to non-USA businesses selling non-USA products to mainly non-USA citizens.
        Signature
        Plagiarism Guard - Protect Against Content Theft
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2647008].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author secrets2010
          Originally Posted by TristanPerry View Post

          I don't think it works like that. If your business is based in Spain, you're promoting to the Spanish market and (presumably) hosting in Spain (or a EU country), you don't need to pander to the FTC and USA law.

          It's different if you're hosting in the USA and targetting mainly USA citizens (but even then I wouldn't worry).

          But yeah, I wouldn't worry in this regard.

          You'll be running a Spanish-based business aimed at Spanish consumers. So don't worry about non-Spanish laws.

          Certainly don't worry about the FTC since they govern American citizens and businesses. They don't govern Spanish businesses or citizens.

          Edit: Obligatory disclaimer. I'm not a lawyer. This isn't legal advice. Blah blah blah. It is - AFAIK - all true though. The FTC govern American jurisdiction. Their jurisdiction doesn't reach outside of that; it especially doesn't each to non-USA businesses selling non-USA products to mainly non-USA citizens.
          I think I don't agree with you...

          If I have American customers I have to worry about FTC....I think there have been cases that marketers had to travel to USA because they were sued....

          I'm not a lawyer...is just my opinion...and what I've read somewhere...
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2647034].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
            Banned
            Originally Posted by secrets2010 View Post

            I think I don't agree with you...

            If I have American customers I have to worry about FTC....I think there have been cases that marketers had to travel to USA because they were sued....

            I'm not a lawyer...is just my opinion...and what I've read somewhere...
            Dude, do you know what the likelihood is that someone from the states is going to sue you over a $20-$40-$100 ebook to the point that you will be forced to go to the U.S.?
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2647458].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author TristanPerry
            Originally Posted by secrets2010 View Post

            I think I don't agree with you...

            If I have American customers I have to worry about FTC....I think there have been cases that marketers had to travel to USA because they were sued....

            I'm not a lawyer...is just my opinion...and what I've read somewhere...
            So in essence what you're saying is that if anyone in the World sells something (online or offline I guess), they have to keep a log of who purchases from them and instantly contact a specialist lawyer in that person's country to ensure no consumer laws were broken?

            If you could link to the case of some marketer being sued by the FTC, I'd love to see it (Assuming they didn't host their sites in the USA)

            It's different if they hosted their website in America (then it *is* under American jurisdiction), but if not - and if they aren't clearly targetting Americans - I don't think the FTC have any jurisdiction at all in such a case.
            Signature
            Plagiarism Guard - Protect Against Content Theft
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2648177].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author THK
            Originally Posted by secrets2010 View Post

            I think I don't agree with you...

            If I have American customers I have to worry about FTC....I think there have been cases that marketers had to travel to USA because they were sued....

            I'm not a lawyer...is just my opinion...and what I've read somewhere...
            So, by that logic if your ebook gets decent exposure and you have customers from 30 different countries, you should have 30 lawyers or spend 300 hours to study their laws. And all these just for selling some ebook!

            If that is really true, I would say it is really not worth the hassle unless you have a really big idea.

            I am not a lawyer either, just giving my opinion.

            Tanvir
            Signature

            This is my signature!

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2648203].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author THK
    Just to add that I think you should find a lawyer competent in this area (marketing etc.) in your country or where ever the business is registered and see what he/she have to say. They can tell you if you really need legal help from different countries.

    Tanvir
    Signature

    This is my signature!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2648214].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Here's another layperson's opinion, which may be worth what it costs...

    If you are promoting a weight loss ebook, let's say, there are two things you can do to avoid the lion's share of any potential problems.

    1. In your sales letter, don't make wild claims or promise benefits you can't prove. If you want some good examples of what NOT to do, Google '**** berry' and start reading the sales letters. And don't claim credentials you don't have.

    2. Hire a good lawyer who specializes in advertising law to write you a good disclaimer you can use on both your website and in your product. If you're selling online, make accepting that disclaimer part of your checkout process by click-wrapping it into the process. Many software products do this with the EULAs - you can't install the software until you actively accept the license. Whether you've actually read it or not is another matter. By clicking 'I Accept', you are agreeing to the terms of the license.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2648608].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author tecHead
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      Here's another layperson's opinion, which may be worth what it costs...
      ...

      2. Hire a good lawyer who specializes in advertising law to write you a good disclaimer you can use on both your website and in your product. If you're selling online, make accepting that disclaimer part of your checkout process by click-wrapping it into the process. Many software products do this with the EULAs - you can't install the software until you actively accept the license. Whether you've actually read it or not is another matter. By clicking 'I Accept', you are agreeing to the terms of the license.
      I'm not a lawyer, either (but I have a family full of them)... and John is absolutely correct, (IMHO and his), and what I've been told by lawyers.

      Terms and Conditions of Use are usually the binding agreements between Consumer and Vendor and entered into by each party prior to money exchanging hands; as long as both parties agree to those Terms and Conditions.

      If you can't afford an adept enough lawyer who can write you a pretty solid TOS/TOU, then there is software available that will allow you to at least have something in place. Just be sure to read it before you post it on your site.

      Then, as John said.. incorporate it into your checkout process whereas the Consumer has to accept the terms of the purchase agreement before you accept their money.

      That way, if anything legal wise ever comes up... you can point to your TOS/TOU and show that they agreed to it. As long as you uphold your end of the deal, you're not in breach of said contract.

      It can get a lot more sticky than that, but I doubt it will for you IF you're ethically selling information that does not have the intention of misleading and/or hurting people. Unless your information winds up killing somebody and their family can link you directly, you shouldn't have much to worry about.

      At least, this is what I've been told.

      Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this information is for educational purposes only; which might not even be educational. Always seek the advice of a legal professional before making any business decisions.

      HTH
      PLP,
      tecHead
      Signature
      Learn Everything You Need to Know About CryptoCurrencies
      Automation is the primary conduit to successful relaxation
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2648674].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author QueensMaryMac
    a suggestion - you may want to google Shawn Casey. He is a lawyer turned IMer. I believe he put out a legal info product some time ago. It wasn't very expensive but I made note of his name. Mr Casey is successful himself so I felt sure he follows his own advice. I did not buy the product because I had no need of it at the time. I make no money telling you about him. I hope this helps in some way.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2649147].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
    Originally Posted by Terry Gorry View Post

    You can sue him!(professional negligence)

    Terry
    I'm sure he's got better things to do then spend the next 10-20 years trying to sue a Spanish lawyer!!

    Rich
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2649169].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author attorneydavid
      Law is a business. Suing someone in Spain would be a pita. Service costs alone would be around 500. Disclaimers are frequently not worth the paper they are printed on though. Alot of lawyers write them to make them sound tough and make their clients feel secure. Some things aren't waivable. Also, alot of people have no money. (1st thing a competent lawyer will do before suing someone over anything likely to be contested is ascertain if they got cash.)
      Also it's really hard to prove negligent publication.

      Getting sued is a business risk but for most info products a very small one, especially if you are an individual with little assets.
      Signature

      I've lost 90 pounds(160+ overall) fasting since January 2016 after failing for years on diets that just made me sick and miserable. Check out Prudently.com where I'm writing about fasting and weight loss. Get a Brandable Domain Name at Name Perfection.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2651682].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
        I would venture to suggest that you don't necessarily need a Spanish lawyer.

        A specialist internet lawyer from any EU country would be fine, particularly now that EU law takes precedence over national law. If you are EU compliant then I would think you would be fine.

        Descargo de responsabilidad: Yo no soy abogado


        Martin


        P.S. Puxa Asturias!!
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2651748].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by Martin Luxton View Post

          I would venture to suggest that you don't necessarily need a Spanish lawyer.

          A specialist internet lawyer from any EU country would be fine, particularly now that EU law takes precedence over national law. If you are EU compliant then I would think you would be fine.

          Descargo de responsabilidad: Yo no soy abogado


          Martin


          P.S. Puxa Asturias!!
          ACTUALLY, I think EU law works in the REASONABLE way, and like US federal law! It merely dictates the MINIMUM rights and responsibilities a person or country has. SO, if the EU has NO laws saying you CAN'T do something, but germany DOES, than germany's rule STANDS if you are dealing with germany! If the EU says that a certain food can't be shipped, it can't be shipped, even if it is significant to the culture of a member country. DENMARK had to APPEAL the EU ruling against red dye #2! It is that way in the US. ANY state law not specifically prohibited or in conflict with US federal law STANDS!

          Some things that are LEGAL in one state in the US can get you thrown in jail in another.

          Steve
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2652813].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by attorneydavid View Post

        Law is a business. Suing someone in Spain would be a pita. Service costs alone would be around 500. Disclaimers are frequently not worth the paper they are printed on though. Alot of lawyers write them to make them sound tough and make their clients feel secure. Some things aren't waivable. Also, alot of people have no money. (1st thing a competent lawyer will do before suing someone over anything likely to be contested is ascertain if they got cash.)
        Also it's really hard to prove negligent publication.

        Getting sued is a business risk but for most info products a very small one, especially if you are an individual with little assets.
        Excellent points...

        My theory in using a good disclaimer is more psychological than legal. With a 'tough-sounding' disclaimer, I'm betting that even people inclined to sue might think twice. And if they do sue, having that disclaimer in place might make it even tougher to prove negligent publication.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2652252].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
    You know.. This is something that is constantly "worrying" to me.. Since you hear about some guy being sued every day... In fact, I don't know how many times someone from another country, told me they were going to sue me...

    I've never been sued... And I don't want to be.. As other warriors said, you need a lawyer who specializes. For example, the lawyer that my parents use for me, is a lawyer who specializes in Business, and handles disputes from what I've heard. He would know more about a Business dispute then a real estate lawyer, etc...

    You need to find someone who specializes... Again, don't be afraid of law suits or the FTC, if you don't run out of America, or use American servers, you really have nothing to worry about...

    I don't worry about the FTC, but then again.. I never make big claims ...

    Caleb

    Note: I am clearly not a lawyer. The post below is by an american attorney. Please read that post, to clarify some of the statements I made.
    Signature

    Caleb Spilchen

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2652511].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by Caleb Spilchen View Post

      don't be afraid of law suits or the FTC, if you don't run out of America, or use American servers, you really have nothing to worry about...
      This wishful thinking is not accurate.

      The FTC regularly sues non-US companies, in the US, even if their only connection to the US is sales to US customers. Including Canadians.

      .
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2652579].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
        kindsvater,

        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        This wishful thinking is not accurate.

        The FTC regularly sues non-US companies, in the US, even if their only connection to the US is sales to US customers. Including Canadians.

        .
        Well, I had heard about a case where two businesses were outside of the states, and both got sued... But, I don't really understand how an American government agency can sue you...? When you're not a resident of there country.

        Can you explain what laws I should abide by then, to prevent an FTC law suit.

        Caleb
        Signature

        Caleb Spilchen

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2652588].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
          Caleb,

          You can be sued in the US if you sell products to US residents.

          For example, if you sell a product that falsely claims to cure cancer, and you take money from US residents, you could be sued by the FTC.

          To avoid that, you either need to comply with US laws, or not sell to US residents.

          .
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2652744].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
            Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

            Caleb,

            You can be sued in the US if you sell products to US residents.

            For example, if you sell a product that falsely claims to cure cancer, and you take money from US residents, you could be sued by the FTC.

            To avoid that, you either need to comply with US laws, or not sell to US residents.

            .
            Kindsvater,

            Where exactly are the "FTC Regulations", that you need to follow to sell to US Consumers? Also, do you know if there are any regulations under Canadian law.

            Caleb
            Signature

            Caleb Spilchen

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2652751].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
              Originally Posted by Caleb Spilchen View Post

              Where exactly are the "FTC Regulations", that you need to follow to sell to US Consumers? Also, do you know if there are any regulations under Canadian law.
              FTC Regs: Federal Trade Commission

              Interesting case where FTC sues Canadian company, in the US: CSCT, Inc. - there are other more recent examples I have previously posted about in the forum. But this is typical of the FTC working with Canadian officials to file a US lawsuit.

              In Canada you may want look at the Competition Bureau's website: Competition Bureau - Home as it appears to cover some of the issues the FTC also looks at.

              .
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2652897].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
                Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

                FTC Regs: Federal Trade Commission

                Interesting case where FTC sues Canadian company, in the US: CSCT, Inc. - there are other more recent examples I have previously posted about in the forum. But this is typical of the FTC working with Canadian officials to file a US lawsuit.

                In Canada you may want look at the Competition Bureau's website: Competition Bureau - Home as it appears to cover some of the issues the FTC also looks at.

                .
                Thank you for the links dude

                Caleb
                Signature

                Caleb Spilchen

                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2652917].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author secrets2010
            Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

            Caleb,

            You can be sued in the US if you sell products to US residents.

            For example, if you sell a product that falsely claims to cure cancer, and you take money from US residents, you could be sued by the FTC.

            To avoid that, you either need to comply with US laws, or not sell to US residents.

            .
            Thanks Brian...

            Ok...for example I wanted to create and sell my own ebooks about weight loss...I hope that with my information and tips I can help people lose weight...

            I also wanted to sell a money online niche ebook to help people to make more money online....(I know I should not make income claims I cannot verify, I know I shouldnt use fake testimonials, I shouldnt review products just to make a commission...) should I take something else into account?

            Better first ask and prevent than regret..
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2652864].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
              Originally Posted by secrets2010 View Post

              Thanks Brian...

              Ok...for example I wanted to create and sell my own ebooks about weight loss...I hope that with my information and tips I can help people lose weight...

              I also wanted to sell a money online niche ebook to help people to make more money online....(I know I should not make income claims I cannot verify, I know I shouldnt use fake testimonials, I shouldnt review products just to make a commission...) should I take something else into account?

              Better first ask and prevent than regret..
              There's plenty to look at in the IMLC - and I know you're a member

              I can't give legal advice on the forum, and something like "make money" is much too broad to know what the book is about or if there are other issues to be concerned with.


              But here is a rule of thumb:

              Assume you were on a witness stand. Judge looking down on you. Attorney asking you questions. Your family in the audience.

              Can you support, preferably with written documentation, the claims you make in your ebooks?

              .
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2652920].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author poker princess
    First of all, any local country lawyer is always not preferable for selling online products in the US. If you are serious about your business, then you will have to find a lawyer who is from US and who is specialized in Online Sales. Be very careful and have a proper Quality Control department as well as a testing certificate from a local laboratory if you are selling anything related to health.

    This is how you can take precautions and have a some kind of proof that your product is genuine and 100% true to what you have advertised. Right now, you dont have to sue the lawyer you dealt with as they was no harm done, however just let him know that he is not supposed to convey any false message to anyone else as he himself might also come in big trouble.
    Signature
    Poker Software
    Poker Blog
    Life is GOOD! :)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2652781].message }}

Trending Topics