Ask The Lawyer!

Southeastern NY Library Resources Council has acquired the services of an attorney to offer members timely input on intellectual property, digital rights management, vendor contracts, and other legal issues that can impact library operations. Questions sent to Ask the Lawyer will be reviewed by Southeastern staff, and sent to counsel for responses. This project is being offered in collaboration with the Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC).

Southeastern members are eligible to participate as are member library systems and their member libraries. To submit an inquiry to the Southeastern’s Ask the Lawyer service, use the form below. Prior to completing the form, please check the Recently Asked Questions (RAQ) on the WNYLRC website. Another library may have already asked the same question.

The form will be reviewed by a Southeastern staff member and the lawyer.  Responses and answers may be provided in several formats:
•    a memo shared with all members if the issue is pertinent to more than one member library,
•    a training session if the issue is pertinent to a group of member libraries or library type,
•    an addition to the "Recently Asked Questions (RAQ) " on the WNYLRC web site, or
•    a memo shared only with the member library requesting the information and the Southeastern staff person who manages the service.

Please keep in mind that the Ask the Lawyer service is not legal advice to your organization. Always alert officers at your institution if a lawsuit is threatened, or if a matter is so specific or critical that your own institution’s attorney should be involved. Provide as much information as possible when completing the form. If you have documentation that would assist the attorney in answering your inquiry, you may upload files at the bottom of the form. Note that the form cannot be saved and must be completed in one sitting.

About the Lawyer
The attorney for this service is Stephanie ("Cole") Adams, who first developed a deep connection to libraries working as a page, then clerk, at her hometown library in New Hartford, NY. Ms. Adams went on to work at the libraries of her Alma Maters, Hampshire College, and SUNY Buffalo School of Law. She served for over 10 years as the in-house counsel at Niagara University, in Niagara Falls, NY. An attorney admitted to practice in both the state and federal courts of New York, Ms. Adams has extensive experience with the issues confronting information professionals. Ms. Adams works closely with WNYLRC and other library councils to craft useful replies to member library questions.

Ask the Lawyer is a service to the Western New York Library Resources Council.  It is not legal advice to any organization other than the WNYLRC and Southeastern, who utilize the service to provide general guidance, updates, forms, and training events in aid of their members.

Ask the Lawyer Request Form