March 26, 2019, 02:49:10 PM

Author Topic: Help required from y'all experienced adults on in-book legal set-up  (Read 1359 times)

Offline Nora

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Okay, so I don't know what to call the system behind the "All Seeing Eyes" I mention in the story I'm still–belatedly–working on, the prequel to Blink, the corpse short story.

I don't know if it should be a Fund, a Society, a Trust, a ... ?

Background worldbuilding data, for those who didn't read the short story and aren't on my writing group :

I write about a similar world to ours, where somewhat magical eyes are the only fantastic element. They have more or less useful powers, and however Over Powered they might seem, they all have strong limits.
My MC has the "Death Eyes" and can see from the pov of corpses in a certain radius around her.
If she is killed, somewhere, anywhere in the world, a teenager inherits the Death Eyes in turn.

Here's the idea behind the fund/society/trust/thing : some dude in the 19th century got some great Eyes, like the Spying Eyes or whatever, and did a load of money off of them, not always legally. He saw how hard people tried to exploit him, met with other Eyes bearers and saw how hard some of them had it, and decided to fund a sort of the associative enterprise to help them all.
He invested his money, got all the Eyes bearers he could find to "join", and trusted their growing money source to a third party (so that no one Eyes could come and go to town with all the money).
The goal of the thing, is to spot new bearers asap (before the KGB or the CIA or MI6, if you catch the idea), and put them in apprenticeships right away with older Eyes, teaching them how to master their new gift/curse, and granting them access to all the notes and studies done by the previous owners of the eyes, so that they can learn all the tricks the others found out, instead of being left to their own devices.
People like my MC, with the Death Eyes, are protected de facto by how powerful this thing got, how much money and assets and power they yield. If you kidnap one of their members, you'll have the "All Seeing Eyes" dropping their work around the world to get on your butt.
Governments and associations or individuals can apply through the thing to ask to hire one of the Eyes, and if the Eyes accept, they don't get paid in person, the money goes to the thing, and the thing makes sure the Eyes are never lacking in anything.

My MC's weird death related powers would mean she'd be asked very often to help during catastrophes and rescues, but also more and more as a tactical member in army squads.
There would be some background stories (that are irrelevant for the written story) such as if you get the eyes and you're russian or Chinese, you're pretty much guaranteed to disappear before the thing can get to you, and you'd end up working for your government, etc.


SO. What do you call the thing?! What legal set-up is closest to it? Keeping in mind that the beneficiaries from this system are few, but well paid, and can't be in charge of the money management, at least not alone.

Any ideas?
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My suggestion: Consortium

Some observations that would impact the name and nature of such an organization:
- It would be something that is overtly what it appears to be, something that appears to be something else (or really is something else) in addition to its "Eyes Bearer" operations, or clandestine/altogether secret.

- If overt, its name might reference or be impacted by the existence of agreements.

Names tend to hint at their status and the relationship of their components, which fall within several kinds of groups: corporate, private, governmental, charity/non-profit, religious, scientific/scholarly and "combined."
Skipping religious, corporate, and government.

Societies, Communities, Associations, etc., are private, comprised of members of a group (Medal of Honor Recipients, or Pulitzer Prize Awardees, or people with Alzheimer's).

In addition to the terms you listed (trust, etc.), there are Foundations, Institutes, and Institutions tend to be scholarly and are usually non-profit - but not always.

"Combined" organizations: alliance, coalition, confederation, federation, entente, etc.
Consortiums are literally hybrids of any of these groups.

Sometimes, organizations are literally named for an agreement between parties, like "convention", of which the Geneva Convention is one example.

Hope this is helpful.
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Offline Henry Dale

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Not claiming to be an expert but, depending on the goal and assets in stock I'd go for a non-profit society or a financial  trust.

The thing with funds are exactly that, they're used to fund things, usually with an eye on financial returns to its investors whereas your description spoke of more intangible benefits.

A trust however, can entail three parties, namely the trustor, trustee and the beneficiary. Here you could say the trustors (the eyes with lots of money) give money to the trustee (the financial trust) in benefit of the beneficiary (the eyes who fall on hard times).

Non-profit societies or organizations are the most versatile here. They're simply a group of people that pursue a common goal which may be social of nature. In fact if you pursue this sort of organization, I might suggest a co-op.
If you don't want it to be non-profit, you may always opt for a regular enterprise.


Hope I somehow made sense? Legalese ^^'

Offline CameronJohnston

I'd suggest looking at Victorian clubs and organisations for names as it shouldn't sound modern, or perhaps a play on eye. The Member's Club, The Oculus Association, Orbus, or even something in French?

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Offline Nora

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I'd suggest looking at Victorian clubs and organisations for names as it shouldn't sound modern, or perhaps a play on eye. The Member's Club, The Oculus Association, Orbus, or even something in French?

I was hoping for something that would be self descriptive enough that the reader would understand straight away what that must entail, so I really want to have a name associated with the Club/Association/Trust/whatever, so that it entails some sort of business and associative ideas. I'm not fussed about the name part of that, more concerned about the legal bit.
I want people to say lines like "when I applied to the Trust, I didn't expect blah blah blah". It's a very back-drop element, so I want people to grasp the concept almost as soon as they hear about it.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline JMack

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Guild is a little out-of-date relative to 18th or 19th century beginnings. It covers apprentice, master relationships and monetary structures.
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The Oculus - an indirect, architectural reference to "eye"
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Offline Henry Dale

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Comparing your requirements further I vote for coops since they're something international. Trusts don't exist in parts of Europe. The Rochdale Principles of coops seem to overlap largely with your desires.

Further reading on co-ops:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochdale_Principles

Possible names:
Co-operative Society for unusual professions (idk I suck at this but you get the gist)

Offline Nora

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Guild is a little out-of-date relative to 18th or 19th century beginnings. It covers apprentice, master relationships and monetary structures.

No guilds can be joined and imply learning a craft, while I'm talking about something more like an ultra private club that doesn't have more than 5 or 6 members at best if all Eyes are under its protection. Only Eyes can "join", but often some Eyes will be fall down to someone away from civilisation who think it's a gifts of god(s), or someone in a country where the government will immediately use their abilities and prevent them from joining the thing.

So at the time of the story, it'd b like 4 people in it.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Lanko

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I think a coalition or an institute?

A coalition means "alliance" and seems to have more political connotation without looking a little out of place, like federation, league, union or consortium.
Since they have so much power, it seems the money could also be used to buy favors and organize lobbies in a lot of places which helps them in dealing with governments and finding other people with the powers.

An institute would be like the X-Men's school (Xavier's School for Gifted Students) which has pretty much the same purpose as your organization. As an institute I think he got away with money and donations (probably manipulated by him and mutants with power or influence) pretty easily while on the outside it looked like a school for "special" people and nobody ever bothered them, because who would suspect such a school or institute of anything?
Obviously the government (or at least top military and politicians) knows what they're about and often call them for help.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 10:59:02 PM by Lanko »
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Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Help required from y'all experienced adults on in-book legal set-up
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2017, 12:08:31 AM »
A Xxxxxxxx Trust  or Xxxxxxxx Foundation would be appropriate. You will know what you want to call the main body like Opus Dei ( heaven forbid ::) The Trust or Foundation is a separate part of the actual Xxxxxxxx They manage the money or applications to join, all paperwork etc through set rules agreed by the original people, who still have power to change rules, but actual Trust members are salaried not direct beneficiaries of money. They need to be very trustworthy but guess the Eyes could ensure that.
 
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Offline Nora

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Re: Help required from y'all experienced adults on in-book legal set-up
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2017, 01:02:25 AM »
What about societies? Aren't the Kingsmen a hidden "society"? Secret societies, etc.

Quote
an organization or club formed for a particular purpose or activity.
"the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds"

Damn vague, but I guess it's an easy "fourre tout" word.
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Re: Help required from y'all experienced adults on in-book legal set-up
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2017, 01:21:54 AM »
I don't recall whether their powers were known to the wider world from your story, but if they are, this is unnecessary, but I think the "XYZ Institute of Psychology" or something like would provide a suitable reason to be testing/treating people. I would think they'd need to be able to sort out the "gifted" from the merely mentally ill. Beyond that, from what I recall of the "talent" in your short story, people with the curse/gift would in many cases probably need access to professional grade counseling, psychiatric care and medication, and a safe environment to rest in the clinical sense sometimes/in some cases, where they can't hurt themselves or others.

The risk of insanity seems plausible. It's a disturbing and impactful "gift" to have, especially if one had no idea of what was going on. Sort of Sixth Sense-ish, and that kid was portrayed as troubled, to say the least.
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Offline Nora

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Re: Help required from y'all experienced adults on in-book legal set-up
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2017, 01:49:54 AM »
No no, sorry I wasn't clear enough : there are only 5 or 6 people in the world having the eyes, at any given time. No one else gets them. They are known, though often by pseudonym, and operate as first grade spies, rescuers, scientists, etc. Or they just live out their life trying to cope with the gift, but it's literally only 4 people in this thing. If one of them dies, the eyes go to someone else in the world, who needs to be found.
They still have great amounts of money backing them so they'd have all the desired access to help/care, that's not an issue.
The life within the organization is not even in need to be defined. All I want is the legal name of it, and then I'll let reader's imagination run lose.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline LightRunner

Re: Help required from y'all experienced adults on in-book legal set-up
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2017, 03:23:40 AM »
At least in terms of the financial structure (which I could argue is different from the hiring/training structure), it makes me think of a consultant group or a lawyer firm. You go to the firm to hire a consultant. If the firm accepts the job, then a consultant is assigned to it and does the work, but the payments go to the firm. You have a couple of overhead employees that manage the projects, but the consultants do most of the work. If they're good, fees are high, so that is a reasonable explanation for the amount of money the group has.

In the real world these people are hired like any other people; your group just has a different hiring process.