Any lawyers about?

This isn't about technology but it is a request for help.

I am crafting an online business but it has some tricky legal components to it (related to gambling) and I need some legal counsel.

All of the Chicago lawyers I've talked to are unreasonably expensive for this initial phase and I can't afford them.

Are there any esquire goodjers who would be willing to offer legal advice at a more small business friendly rate? At this stage I am just looking for an overview of the laws by state and how this business would be categorized. If it still seems feasible then there will be more work later in the form of terms, disclaimers, etc. that you can take on, or not.

Fingers crossed.

I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night!

My advice is do your gambling from the Caymen Islands.

You might want to wait until the UIGEA debacle gets settled. It's been postponed for another six months but the jury's still out whether it will actually come into effect since enforcing it will be practically impossible as it stands. Barney Frank's been working to pass a bill in the house that will regulate online gambling but with all eyes on the health care debate right now it's probably stagnating.

Double post

What kind of question are you trying to get answered? If the question is something like, "Does X activity violate any state gambling laws," it's very time consuming process because the lawyer has to go out and research 50 different jurisdictions and whichever federal statutes might apply in territories and D.C. Good lawyers are typically hesitant to give any kind of definitive answer unless they've got the research to back it up.

Probably not the answer you're looking for, but gambling is a criminal activity under state law subject to some exceptions. There's a lot of caselaw on people trying to get around gambling restrictions, and it's tough to give an easy answer on what triggers those statutes and what doesn't.

All lawyers are typically hesitant to give any kind of definitive answer unless they've been paid to back it up.

Made a slight modification there.

My advice is that if you are preparing to enter into a legally risky venture and you can't afford the best possible counsel, throw your business plan away and start over.