Keep it Legal!

Being legally secured and insured is a must for running any business either small, big, private, public, etc. no matter in what type of industry. Nowadays, company owners have to be extra careful with their contracts and insurance. Having the access and knowledge to a vast amount of legal information, people are doing anything and everything to keep themselves out of any legal situation. The event planning industry is no exception; numerous lawsuits and legal situations occur everyday in this area of the entertainment world.

Having the vision to create a corporate specialized event planning company in Puerto Rico, entails a lot of paperwork and most importantly, making sure my insurance is up-to-date and that I am covered from any possible liability. Nevertheless, nothing is certain and things happen.

For example, in 2010 an adult entertainment convention company sued Secaucus’s former mayor, Dennis Elwell and the Meadowlands Expo Center, over being forced to move a 2008 tradeshow from the town to Edison just days before the event. The company sued to regain its $32,500 deposit and an unstipulated amount for their losses for moving the 3-day show to another location. The situation began when Secaucus filed a lawsuit to ban the trade show from the town, citing violations of municipal and state ordinances on alcohol and proximity to a day-care center. The event company representatives say in the lawsuit that everything about the event was approved, and claim that the convention center officials later denied knowing details of the trade show. Situations like these can be avoided with more detailed and more specific contracts.

Other examples include a case where an event planner in Atlanta settled an out-of-court agreement with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over the use of a gold statue, which according to the academy infringed on the copyrighted “Oscar” statuettes. Another example is a lawsuit by MGM’s Grand Hotel in Vegas filed against a New York based event planning company for not paying what they owe for a charity event hosted at the hotel in 2007. Both situations can be avoided taking the necessary legal measures and precautions.

Legal situations can be avoided in most cases. Attorneys recommend party planners to always have a lawyer, “especially one that practices intellectual property law” and when in doubt make sure you discuss and clarify any legal matter with them. So, party planners take notes and make sure you protect yourself and your business. Legal information is accessible, so there are no excuses. Good luck and keep it legal.