Wednesday, February 4, 2009
So my find of the day yesterday was Matt Homann (who I'm also following on Twitter now), who is currently attending the Legal Tech conference in NYC. Incidentally, one of our own attorneys, Mr. Steven Shapiro, is also attending the conference and tweeting his way through it. You can follow him @sShap, and the conference #LTNY, on Twitter.
Much to my chagrin, Mr. Shapiro will also be attending NY's ComicCon on Friday and has promised me an autograph from Mike & Jerry, creators of the wonderful Gabe & Tycho on www.penny-arcade.com. If I don't come back with a signed wrapping paper roll, heads will roll (kidding...maybe).
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
It's not simply about the billable hour, but about entrepreneurs and innovation across the industry. Sounds like we're in the same club!
Monday, February 2, 2009
To gain perspective on our rationale and why we are moving forward to enforce our rights, we would like to cite to some a sample of specific false and/or defamatory statements made by Mr. Doug Millison, the individual referenced in our earlier blog, and how they are harmful to our business. This combination of tweets (a small sample of over 150 made within approximately 72 hours) and statements made to us via email clearly demonstrate Mr. Millison’s state of mind, his falsehoods, his overzealous determination to continuing defaming Exemplar, and his misunderstanding of the facts.
(via Email): “I suggest that in future, you instruct and train your employees to let people know, up front, that you are soliciting new clients for your fee-based services. You know as well as I do that legitimate agents do not charge a fee to authors when they are trying to help them put together a deal like this.”
As referenced here, a (book) “deal” was never discussed, nor was an agency relationship discussed because Mr. Millison knew Mr. Shapiro was an attorney, not an agent. Unlike an agent, Mr. Shapiro had no financial stake in Mr. Millison’s work. Exemplar did not offer to “represent” him, nor have we ever represented any artists as agents, nor do we ever promise “deals.” Mr. Millison is not telling the truth about such offerings and is encouraging others to do the same.
(via Email): “Exemplar Law did not disclose to me before our conversations and before soliciting a proposal from me, that they would need $1,000/month in order to answer a questions about the proposal.”
This is simply not true. Mr Millison was informed of our services and pricing structure during his first phone call with our attorneys.
Finally, Mr. Millison has made several statements which demonstrate that he will continue to spread his statements, regardless of their falsity:
“I will continue to tell and disseminate my story…you cannot stop that and you will only destroying your company's brand image.”
By responding to the above statements, among others, Exemplar is merely enforcing its rights. This can hardly be considered “bullying.” To those that “retweeted” Mr. Millison’s statements, we understand you did so to protect a fellow professional. However, as demonstrated above, Mr. Millison’s statements were false, and his state of mind is such that he will not stop. We hope you can understand why we must now protect ourselves. At this point, damage has clearly already been done and will not be remedied without action.
Dear Exemplar Customers and Friends,
As you have come to us with your paradigm-shifting business ideas, we have worked passionately to represent you and to empower you to achieve your goals. We have created great successes together through mutual trust, teamwork, and strategy. We hope that we have earned your trust by turning your ideas into thriving businesses and by doing so with the upmost integrity. At Exemplar, we have the highest respect for all of our customers and because of this we want to create a conversation about this posting with the people who know best about Exemplar – Our Customers!
We have heard first hand from many of you, through emails, phone calls and thank you cards that you have appreciated our services and the value we have provided for your businesses. We know many of you have valued the customized plans created for your business, and for the time attention devoted by our attorneys via phone calls, emails and personal meetings. Since we do not bill by the hour, we hope this approach has shown many of you that we genuinely care about the success of your businesses.
We invite you now to share your stories and the relationship you have with our firm by posting a testimonial below. You may also email any of our attorneys directly, and we will be happy to share your story, if you would like. An ongoing dialogue can be followed through #exemplar on Twitter.
For those that are unfamiliar with our firm, and its unique approach to legal practice, please visit our website: www.exemplarlaw.com and http://www.exemplarlaw.com/why_us/. We pride ourselves in creating custom services for each customer, but for an overview of our services, especially in the entertainment industry, please see: http://www.exemplarlaw.com/content/entertainment-group
Thanks to all of you for your continued support!
It has recently come to our attention that a misunderstanding has occurred with respect to a situation involving our firm and a Mr. Doug Millison, a writer who approached an attorney at our firm, Mr. Steven Shapiro, via Twitter. We would like the address the situation below in the hopes such misunderstanding may be cleared up among the individuals that have heard only one side of the situation:
- Last week, Mr. Millison (@dougmillison), approached Mr. Shapiro through Twitter. Doug was a writer who, like many, was hoping to get his current project published.
- A dialogue began and Mr. Shapiro, as a courtesy, offered to informally make mutual connections between Mr. Millison and industry professionals at this week's New York ComicCon.
- Mr. Shapiro asked for a "One Sheet" of the project, a customary request for anyone looking to find out more about an entertainment project.
- Mr. Millison was fully aware that Mr. Shapiro was indeed an attorney working in the publishing and entertainment industries, and was made aware of Exemplar's services and pricing structures during a phone call last week.
- The promise of a "book deal" was never discussed, and Mr. Shapiro never offered to actively solicit the project or to place it with specific individuals or publishing companies.
- The "One Sheet" sent to Mr. Shapiro was seven pages, an inappropriate length for a potential contact to easily and quickly digest (which is the purpose of a "One Sheet"). In Mr. Shapiro's professional opinion, the project needed substantial revision before he could present it to any potential contacts in the industry he might come across at ComicCon.
- Unlike agents, attorneys often help writers and other entrepreneurs to substantially refine their business presentations through redrafting and strategic planning. Thinking that Mr. Millison may be interested in receiving such assistance, Mr. Shapiro offered to provide it through our Portal™ retainer.
- Mr. Millison became upset about the offer, and proceeded to post, via Twitter and on other social networks, false statements, among which stated that Exemplar was a "scam."
- At this point, it became clear that Mr. Millison misunderstood the role of an agent, who actively promotes specific projects in exchange for a percentage of the any future proceeds. This was never offered to him nor contemplated, as Exemplar never operates as an agency.
- Mr. Shapiro offered to merely mention the project to some folks at ComicCon that may be interested in it. As an attorney, he felt it would be irresponsible to do so without assisting Mr. Millison in refining a substantial portion of the project's presentation. Such services are outside the scope of agency and are traditional services for which attorneys charge.
While it is unfortunate that Mr. Millison misunderstood this, it is certainly no reason to skew the situation into something it never was, and to lie about what Exemplar does. We hope this will help clarify what transpired, and we will be keeping our Twitter friends, customers and others up-to-date on this situation through this blog and through #exemplar. Please view Exemplar's site for information on what Exemplar does do, and for testimonials from our customers. We also invite you to view our posting above, which will explain some of the remedies we are seeking to right these wrongs and why. Thank you!