By: Scott A. Krystiniak

Are you planning a 5k?  Craft beer festival?  How about the neighborhood holiday party?  Or maybe you’ve just set out on your career as an event planner?

You are not alone.  Businesses, charities, and even individuals often plan events both big and small.  And, as you already know, many things require careful consideration in planning a successful event, including but not limited to: location, budget, marketing, contractors & vendors, etc.  This can be overwhelming.  And whether you are in the early planning stages, running around on the day of the event, or dealing with things that come up after the fact, these aspects almost always intertwine with the law in some form or another.  That’s why a lawyer can help.  Here are a few instances when anyone planning an event can benefit from the valuable services of a lawyer:

When an idea becomes reality.

The early stages of event planning tend to be when most of the “juggling” occurs.  A lawyer can assist you with many of the preliminary aspects of planning your event and can sometimes even accomplish some of the tasks on your behalf.  The assistance of a lawyer may even be vital, as event planners can potentially face personal liability if something were to happen at the event.  To avoid this, it may be advisable to seek the guidance of a lawyer before you do anything else and they can assist you in attaining some level of corporate protection, if necessary. 

Of course, many of the planning aspects may be intuitive or you can do on your own.  But a lawyer can also help you spot other issues that perhaps went unnoticed.  For example, if your event requires proper permitting, a lawyer can identify what permits are necessary and assist you in getting them from the proper authorities.  A good illustration of this is if you expect a large crowd, which may require not only proper permitting, but also the provisioning of security, fire protection, or food handling.  In addition to assisting with the mandatory hurdles, a lawyer can also provide pertinent suggestions to limit the legal risks associated with your specific event.

When it takes a village.

Are you hiring a caterer?  How about entertainers of some sort, such as a DJ or a band?  Successful event planning often requires the assistance and participation of others.  However, whenever other individuals or entities are involved, contracts become the main vehicle for ensuring that everyone fulfills their roles and obligations for the event.  But understanding the complex legal jargon of contracts can be arduous.  Here, a lawyer can help ensure your goals are met by drafting your contracts for you or advising you on the terms and conditions of contracts that have been provided to you.  If necessary, a lawyer can even negotiate the terms and conditions of these contracts on your behalf.

When disaster strikes.

What if someone gets hurt or sick at your event?  What if your photographer never shows up?    Tragedies or conflicts related to your event could not only ruin the success of the event but could also impact you professionally and personally.  Lawyers can represent you if you are sued or facing prospective litigation in the wake of such difficult issues.  They can also sue others on your behalf.  Lawyers can also be invaluable in arbitrations, mediations, or settlement negotiations.  When disaster strikes, the assistance of an experienced lawyer becomes crucial.

As a final note, contracts for goods and services aren’t the only contracts that might be applicable to your event.  It is almost always advisable—indeed it is often a requirement—to carry appropriate liability insurance.  This is true even for established organizations since many general liability insurance policies may not cover your event.  A lawyer can help you understand what coverage is best and what that insurance contract means for your event.  And when disaster strikes, a lawyer can assist you in mitigating the negative consequences by assessing your coverage, assisting with the claims process, or, if necessary, representing you if coverage is wrongfully denied.

When it matters most. 

The lawyers at Wolcott Rivers Gates provide exceptional legal services in a timely, efficient, and cost-effective manner and are there for clients when it matters most.  Contact the lawyers at Wolcott Rivers Gates to assist you with all of your event planning legal needs.