A lot of people talk about dodging bullets when it doesn’t work out with a bad client. This is the first time I dodged a missile.
I’m a ghostwriter. A client approached me to write a story he’d envisioned. He had characters, a universe, and a storyline he wanted me to actually write. I did some work for him, but had to drop the client when some familial issues came up.
Months later, I decided to check up on him and searched for him and his book. I found out that a) he found someone else to ghost write the novel for him and had actually published it and b) he was being sued for copyright infringment. Turns out all his “ideas” were stolen from an existing property that I wasn’t familiar with. Turns out, everything I wrote for him was fanfiction.
And that’s why you do research on your client’s ideas.