With the debut of her new film, Ling Lee had made the move from aspiring to bona-fide screenwriter. She had written, produced, and starred in her movie, a real labor of love that was part comedy, part drama, and full-time obsession for nearly five years. It had taken all her savings and calling in more than a few favors, plus gifts from family and friends, to finance the project–and when at last it was released, she was determined to get her film seen by as many people in the business as possible who could help get it distributed. She had worked her magic on the slimmest shoestring budget imaginable, and to save costs, allowed Jeff, an attorney friend who had also served as a bit player in the film, to look over the contracts she signed with a distributor who showed interest in the movie. Jeff was in for a wild ride with what would ensue but all would be well, thanks to the attorneys professional liability insurance coverage he had purchased.
A nasty plot twist
Unfortunately, it turned out that the distributor Ling had struck a deal with was less than scrupulous. She would later learn that he had a reputation for approaching new, inexperienced filmmakers and inking contracts–then exploiting clever loopholes that would enable the distributor to control release of the film and take an unfair share of any profits the movie would make for years to come. The young moviemaker was devastated at the developments, and incensed that her passion project was no longer entirely her own to call the shots on. Despite her friendship with Jeff, Ling felt that she had no choice but to sue Jeff for negligence in the counsel he had provided to her in brokering the distribution deal.
The moral of the story
One could say don’t mix business with friendship. Others might say don’t offer advice outside of the area of expertise. However, most everyone would agree that the most important thing is to purchase attorneys professional liability insurance from an experienced professional insurance agent. The coverage pays for lawsuits alleging errors and omissions or negligence in the course of rendering professional services, paying for court fees, defense costs, and any resulting damages or settlements up to the selected coverage limits you select. In Jeff’s case, this amounted to nearly $20,000, an amount that would have been catastrophic had he had to pay it out of pocket. Contact an agent today to learn more.