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Digging Up the Dirt

By scouring the public record, deal-makers can play detective, too.

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This story appears in the September 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Recently, one of my clients was asked to sign the kind of contract that gives Hollywood movie producers a bad name. It was ludicrously over-reaching and filled with a genre of legalese that was more likely to create a nuisance lawsuit than a motion picture.

Out of curiosity, I typed the producer's name into an Internet search engine. Before you could say "I'll see you in court," I learned the producer had sued at least one celebrity in exactly the same kind of deal! Obviously, I had one word of advice for my client: "Run."

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