Once a contract is presented to an agent for my signature (which in my case will be an extremely large contract), what's the 'rule of thumb' re: hiring a lawyer to look over the contract?
I understand 'it couldn't hurt'. I'm just curious how much of the fine print an agent is expected to be familiar with, in a (relatively) precise, legal way.
I'm familiar with the email and phone number of my contracts review specialist and I send all my contracts to her.
NOTHING is more stupid in a contract negotiation than involving a lawyer who doesn't specialize in publishing law. I run into this when my soon-to-be clients have "a lawyer" look at the offer for representation. It's always expensive; it's alway brutal; I never change a thing.
If my authors want a lawyer to look at a deal, its fine with me. I always tell them if they fuck it up by going to a real estate lawyer or a criminal lawyer or their son who's a lawyer, there will be a visit from the Lawyer of Unintended Consequences.
I always give my contract review specialist's notes to my clients if they ask. They don't have to sign anything they don't agree to. What they can't do is roar in when all is said and done and ask for changes that aren't going to happen cause they don't know what they are doing.