NJVLA provides three core services to artists and arts organizations: Legal Lines, Legal Fax, and Full Service Representation. Legal Lines and Legal Fax are free and available to any New Jersey artist or arts or cultural organization, regardless of income or annual budget. Full service representation is also free, but is subject to income guidelines for both individuals and organizations.
A Legal Line is a one-time telephone consultation with an attorney to discuss a particular arts related legal issue. The attorney will only speak with the client once, typically for 30-60 minutes, and will only answer questions. If the client requires further assistance, he/she should contact NJVLA and begin the process again. Legal Line consultations are free and available to any artist or arts or cultural organization, regardless of income or annual budget.
“I want to register my copyrights in all my photographs. Do I have to register each one individually, or can I group them together?”
“I receive songwriter royalties from ASCAP. Is that taxable income?”
“The Post Office lost a painting I sent to a buyer, insured for half its value. What can I recover?”
A Law Fax is essentially a Legal Line for a document. Although faxes are fast becoming a thing of our collective past, many of our volunteers can still receive them, though attachments to e-mail are preferred. Attorneys review short (no more than 5 or 6 pages) legal documents, and discuss the contents with the client in one-time telephone calls. This service is for reviewing language, suggesting potential changes, and explaining terms and rights and responsibilities. An attorney will not rewrite a document in a Law Fax referral. Law Faxes are free and available to any artist or arts or cultural organization, regardless of income or annual budget.
“I’ve been offered a recording contract. I don’t understand all the terms. For example, what does ‘work made for hire’ mean?”
“I signed a consignment agreement with a gallery for three of my paintings. They sold two of them and damaged the other, but they won’t pay me for all three. What are my rights?”
Full Service Representation
Full Service representations are for matters that cannot be resolved with a single telephone call. The attorney’s time is provided on a pro bono (free) basis, but the client is responsible for any out-of-pocket costs such as court fees. Full Service representation is available to non-profit organizations with an annual budget of $750,000 or less or to individual artists who, if single, have an annual gross income of $30,000 or less or, if married or cohabiting, have a combined annual gross income of $50,000 or less (with a $2,000 credit per dependent). There are similar limits on liquid assets.
“A photographer is selling photographs of a mural I painted without my permission. He has refused to give me credit or pay me. Please write a letter and, if that doesn’t work, help me sue him.”
I am starting a record company and need help drafting agreements with my performers that will protect me and be fair to them.
“I work with an artists’ cooperative. We want to buy an old warehouse and convert it to studio space for artists. We need help with the real estate transaction.”
To use our referral services, get started now with our online intake form.