I need a Lawyer, please help - Posted by Paul Freeman

Posted by Sean Cowdrey (CA) on February 09, 2000 at 21:07:53:

Congratulations for seeking a personal referral rather than looking in the Yellow Pages. Call your local county bar association for a referral, ask friends for their recommendations. You can review attorneys’ credentials at www.lawyers.com. If attorneys are listted as being members of ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates), it means they have had a significant number of trials under their belts. Sorry, but I don’t personally know of anyone in your state.

I need a Lawyer, please help - Posted by Paul Freeman

Posted by Paul Freeman on February 09, 2000 at 19:41:46:

This has nothing to do with real estate investing but I was wondering if someone would consider representing me in the following matter.

I entered into a contract with kerr McGee Corporation (a Global Oil Company, based in OKC) in October 1999, to convert their Dun & Bradstreet Millennium, financial, application data into ASCI formatted data that could then be loaded into their new server based environment.

Here is the problem.

Kerr McGee hired another contractor to participate in the conversion of their data. It came to my attention today, that the company has given this contractor access to all of the software I have developed. This contractor is now making minor modifications to the software I developed in order to convert data of other applications that are outside the scope of the contract I entered into with the company.

I would certainly be willing to pay a finder?s fee to anyone who knows a lawyer in Oklahoma City who would take this case.

I believe that my software has been pirated, because Kerr McGee has not yet signed off on this software or accepted it as accurate and complete, although they invited me to turn it over to them today, after I confronted them with my findings. I declined their invitation.

Paul Freeman

Thank you all for the responses and email and… - Posted by Paul Freeman

Posted by Paul Freeman on February 10, 2000 at 05:02:48:

I realize that this is not a Real Estate related issue and I sincerely hope that I have not offended anyone, especially the Vaughan?s, by posting this plea for help. Quite frankly, I did not know where to turn. I do know that there is more knowledge at this site than at any other source of information I am aware of.

Again, I sincerely thank those of you who took the time to respond to this post.

Paul Freeman

Re: I need a Lawyer, please help - Posted by Ben

Posted by Ben on February 09, 2000 at 22:39:30:

I am a practicing attorney but not in this area.The following is not to be considered as legal advice but is for discussion purposes. However, I studied copyright in law school and came across similar cases. The test that will be applied is whether you are an independent contractor or an employee. Similar disputes have arisen in regard to art work which is commissioned by a company. The courts have held that an independent contractor retains the rights to the work but the employee does not. What was your relationship with the company? You definitely need a copyright attorney, why are you here?

Re: I need a Lawyer, please help - Posted by Sally

Posted by Sally on February 09, 2000 at 22:26:21:


I am not a practicing attorney, but I have a law degree and work in the software industry. I will give you a few questions that an attorney will likely ask, so you can be ready…

Your question boils down to what type of contract you have with Kerr McGee. Did the contract specify that you as the contractor would retain the ownership of the converted data you produced? Did the contract specify that you would own the code that you wrote? Where I work, ownership of the resulting code and/or data is always specified in the contract. Did you have contractual milestones that you needed to meet in order to be paid? Did you meet those milestones? Was what you delivered to them final product and if so, did they accept the product as completion of your part of the contract? Have they met the financial obligations of the contract? If not, you could argue breach of contract. Or are you primarily concerned about the ownership of the code? I have include a link for OK branch of the ABA, it gives some general info on finding a lawyer “http://www.okbar.org/publicinfo/lawref.htm”. You should look for someone who specializes in Intellectual Property and Contract law.