I had the privilege of presenting at the Embedded GR group meeting at The Geek Group Lab on January 25. The meeting topic was "Contracting, Consulting, Moonlighting, and Independent R&D," and I spoke about legal and business "red flags" in contractor agreements. Around 30 engineers were in the audience, along with two motley dogs, plenty of geek food (pizza and pop), and a fellow Grand Rapids IT attorney and Hope College grad, Elliott J.R.Church.
I learned a lot at the meeting and had a grand time. These IT engineers and software developers are a very entrepreneurial bunch and were receptive to me expounding on what contractors should worry about when asked to sign a client-drafted consulting contractor agreement. Here's the link to my PowerPoint deck, if you're interested.
The camaraderie among this group reminded me of my late father's associates - wildcatters -in the "oil business" in Michigan in the 1940s and 50s. These guys had their own lingo in discussing where to drill for oil in Michigan and how to raise funds to finance their activity. I was only a kid at the time, but I sensed that they enjoyed each other's company and usually drilled - and discovered - oil without friction between them. (For a rare Michigan Supreme Court case among wildcatters that involved my dad, see Rex Oil & Gas Company v Busk.)
So the IT business in West Michigan is booming, and I hope to learn how I can meet their legal needs given my expertise in that area.
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