ACFW Conference Preview: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Law (But Couldn’t Afford to Ask)

Ever wonder what all that legalese in a book contract means? Or when it’s okay to quote from someone else’s work—and when it’s not? Or how to research and write legal scenes like a professional? Or what to do if you find one of your books on a pirate website?

Cara Putman and I will be answering those questions and more at the 2010 ACFW Conference ( We’ll be teaching two law-related workshops on Sunday, September 19: “Author Law 101” and “Legal Scenes Tricks & Traps.”

In Author Law 101, we’ll summarize what you need to know about the law as an author. First, we’ll give you a guided tour of a typical book contract and explain what the key terms mean and why they’re there. We’ll also outline the basic principles of copyright and libel law and give some practical tips on protecting yourself and staying out of dangerous areas. And if there’s extra time, we’ll tell some of our favorite lawyer jokes (e.g., What do you call it when a man-eating shark saves a drowning lawyer and carries him to shore? Professional courtesy).

Legal Scene Tricks & Traps will give you the tools to get your legal scenes right and illustrate some ways in which they often go wrong. We’ll open with a quick overview of how the legal world works: what the differences are between a civil and a criminal case, why some cases go to federal court and others to state court, and so on. Then we’ll go over some common examples of what I call Stupid Lawyer Tricks: things that lawyers often do in poorly researched movies or books, but that no competent lawyer would ever try in real life. We’ll also hand you a treasure trove of research tips and resources to bookmark for the next time you write a legal scene.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!


  1. I found your article and started reading. You must be truly dedicated to your writing to be able to keep this topic interesting. I agree with much of the content you have written. Well done.

  2. I could go on and on about how great your article is, but I’d rather tell you I appreciate your dedication to writing quality content. It’s seldom I see writers care this much. Thank you.

  3. I am intrigued with your views in this article. Your main points are mentioned intelligence and great writing skills. I share many of your views.

  4. Your content is full of respectable information that is usable for today’s readers. I am impressed with your different points and how you present them so clearly. You’re very talented.

  5. I agree with a lot of the points you bring up in this article. Your passion for this subject and the way you describe it is very interesting. Great job.

  6. I enjoyed the information in your article. I like how you laid it all out so clearly. There’s no way to mistake what you’re thinking. I like this topic and I hope to read more.

  7. Your article is real quality informational writing. I share in your logical and uniquely stated views. Thank you for sharing your expertise in this area.

  8. Thanks a lot! I really enjoyed reading this. It makes me want to create my own blog.

  9. Phenomenal is the best way to describe this article. It’s been months since I’ve found such magnificent content. I couldn’t agree more on this topic.

  10. Phenomenal is the best way to describe this article. It’s been months since I’ve found such magnificent content. I couldn’t agree more on this topic.

  11. Good writing skills take more than just education. It’s passion that sets the good and great writers apart. I see you have passion and skills.

  12. Hi awsome blog you made some awsome points with it i will add you to my favorites.

  13. This material makes for great reading. It’s full of useful information that’s interesting,well-presented and easy to understand. I like articles that are well done.

  14. I can tell you have put much effort into researching this subject matter. You have also made many good points for consideration. I thank you.

  15. Thinking people, like myself enjoy this kind of article content. This is because while it’s informative it’s also thought-provoking and interesting. You have done well.

  16. It’s clear that you really know this subject matter well. After reading other articles of this type, I was discouraged. I will walk away from your article with more knowledge.

  17. My opinion about information is that without it I would never learn anything. Your article teaches the reader to think about the content. Thank you.

  18. I’m amazed at how interesting this article is, especially on this subject. You have hit the ball out of the ballpark with this. Thank you for making this content so easy to read and understand.

  19. This article is full of marvelous information. The more I read the more I wanted to read. As an informational writer myself, I know you made a great effort to research and write this article.

  20. Your article has inspired me. It’s interesting, thoughtful, compelling and well-written. You are a very talented writer with great skills and original thoughts. Your viewpoints match mine in many ways.

  21. I just have to tell you that you have really outdone yourself with this quality article presentation. I am very fascinated with the points you make here and I am in complete agreement with you.

  22. I’ve read quite a bit of information on this topic and felt confused. You’re the only writer that has helped make it sensible. Thank you.

  23. Thank you very much for writing such an interesting article on this topic. This has really made me think and I hope to read more.

  24. Your insight on this topic is unique. I concur with many of the points you make in this article. Thank you for spreading your knowledge of this subject matter around.

  25. It’s amazing to me how you have written so much information on this topic. You are knowledgeable in this area and are obviously an accomplished writer. I agree with your views and respect your talent.

  26. This is for MMD trying to rank on the first page kind of like a pet project.

  27. A great article is as much about writing flair as it is about technicalities, but you have it all. It takes a great writer to have flair and and skill.

  28. You have some really good information in this article. I have really enjoyed your views on this subject. You are a gifted writer. Thank you.

  29. Good to be visiting your websiteblog again, it has been weeks for me. Well this is the article that i’ve been waiting for so long. I can use this article to end my assignment in the college, and it has same topic like your post. Regards, excellent share.

  30. I’m impressed by the way you’ve voiced your opinions and formatted your content. It takes a great writer to put this kind of informational article into clear terms. Thank you.

  31. You are an impressive writer. I am impressed with how well you expressed your views in this article. This is very intelligent and thought-provoking content.

  32. This article makes sense and makes for very interesting reading. This is unique and enlightening content. Thank you for sharing your expertise and views in this area. I truly enjoyed taking in all this information.

  33. Thanks for this insightful post. The info I have gained from your blog is truly inspiring

  34. This is the most unique article I have read in quite some time. Thank you for presenting your points and providing this information. I have learned something about this topic.

  35. This layout is so stellar.

  36. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  37. I’m glad I came across your article today. Your information is thought-provoking, insightful and very interesting. It genuinely gave me a lot to think about on this subject. Thank you.

  38. You’ve made some persuasive points in your article that are very thought-provoking. Your material is so persuasive that you have changed my mind on many points in your article. That’s how you know it’s good.

  39. While this subject can be very touchy for most people, my opinion is that there has to be a middle or common ground that we all can find.

  40. I did just like the expertise about certain issues using this internet site.

  41. I truly appreciate this post. I¡¦ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again


  1. los angeles roofing - Great site... Hi, Great blog you got here,Check this site out as well, this site contains a lot of information…
  2. patio covers austin - Shoot me an email... [...]... Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and…
  3. Online Dating Sites - Hi,... Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thank you However I'm experiencing problem with ur rss . Don’t know…
  4. Location Vacances Ile Maurice - Read was interesting, stay in touch…... [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks…
  5. Coloring Time - Useful link... Good day everybody. I Just Came through this informative site i would like to share it with you…
  6. Back To School Sales - Nighttime post... Read before bed!...
  7. Buy Spanx - Happy Sautrday... Check out this posting from our good friends...
  8. Dog Bite Lawsuit - Check this great posting out..... ...Really good read!...