The purpose of this article is to help you identify the right type of Internet lawyer to represent your online business needs.
Why am I giving you this information?
For two reasons…
1. If you’re not a good fit for legal representation by our Internet business law firm, I want you to quickly find another attorney who can help you.
2. If you decide to become a client, I want you to know what you’re getting. No surprises.
Let’s get started. Be sure to take notes so you can quickly identify what’s right for you.
1. Your Internet Lawyer’s Location
Unfortunately, there aren’t enough attorneys practicing Internet business law on a full-time basis for most people to find one in their home town. Unless you live or work in a large city, you’re probably going to have to look elsewhere to find an attorney who really understands e-commerce law. The average business attorney does not understand e-commerce law…but will overbill you in the process of learning it while trying to keep you as a client.
U.S. Website with U.S. Customers
In the United States, many online legal matters are governed by federal law instead of state or local law.
This means you can hire someone who doesn’t live near you to represent you in many Internet legal matters. In fact, there’s a good chance you may never even meet your Internet lawyer face-to-face.
If there’s a state or local legal issue that comes up (e.g. online sales taxes), your Internet lawyer can help you get the right legal counsel to handle that particular issue on an as-needed basis.
Foreign Website with U.S. Customers
If your business is located outside of the United States but you have U.S. customers, you’re going to want to retain a U.S.-based Internet lawyer to make sure you’re not violating U.S. laws when doing business with those customers.
U.S. Website with Foreign Customers
What if you’re in the United States and have foreign customers too?
You’ll want to have a U.S.-based Internet lawyer protect you here and have that lawyer work with foreign legal counsel to protect you as-needed in other countries where you do business. Fortunately, most other countries are not as litigious as the U.S. so you may rarely need the help of foreign legal counsel.
When it comes to Internet-related lawsuits, you have a variety of issues to consider when searching for the right legal help.
For example, if you’re suing someone in another location (another state or country), your Internet lawyer can help you determine if you need to hire another attorney (and where) to represent your interests in the lawsuit. If you have been sued, your Internet lawyer can help you identify an attorney to represent in the court where you’ve been sued…