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Robert McEwen, Esq.
Robert McEwen, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I am writing a novel about my former job I worked for 16 years.

Resolved Question:

I am writing a novel about my former job I worked for 16 years. All the character names are XXXXX XXXXX name of the business I changed, and most of the events are fictional although some are true. Is there anything else I need to protect myself legally.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Robert McEwen, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

You've actually done most of what I would suggest. The one thing that I would suggest is that if there is any character that does something really shady, inappropriate, etc... you should make certain that this is not in any way tied to a character in real life, or that the individual has any distinguishing features of the real individual (such that even co-workers would not recognize that person).

RobertMcEwenEsq :

This is really out of an abundance of caution...

RobertMcEwenEsq :

And o at the beginning, be sure to give the standard "this is a work of fiction, any resemblance to any individual, living or dead, is entirely coincidental..." Even though part of it happened in real life, that will be a good disclaimer that no specific piece is claimed to be a work of fact.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

Many of my characters have done many shady & inappropriate things. When people at my former job read the book they might know who is being discussed. I will put the standard disclaimer about it being an entirely fictional work. But I want to completely protect myself legally. So could I be sued?

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Yes, you could be sued, but anyone can sue anyone for anything. The main thing that you would want to worry about is libel (written defamation) which requires a written statement of material fact... the key is to make this disclaimer that this is fiction, not fact, and even if it is true, by clearly indicating that it's not meant to be an assertion of fact would negate that requirement of a "statement of fact".

RobertMcEwenEsq :

So it's unlikely that anyone would be able to sue you successfully.

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

RobertMcEwenEsq :

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

RobertMcEwenEsq :

My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Robert McEwen, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 12230
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Robert McEwen, Esq.
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