Intellectual Property Law
Ask an Intellectual Property Lawyer. Get an Answer ASAP.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.
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).
This is really out of an abundance of caution...
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.
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!
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?
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".
So it's unlikely that anyone would be able to sue you successfully.
Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?
Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?
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!
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).