Communications & Media Civil Procedure Personal Injury

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Two Rights of Publicity Decisions Explore the Boundaries of Commercial Speech in Commemorating Public Figures

Two recent rights of publicity cases illustrated the parameters of using a public figure’s name, likeness, identity or image for commercial purposes, without consent for commemorative purposes. But when does commemoration...more

Trademark Review | March 2015

Registration Cancelled Where Services Related to Mark Not Provided - Playdom, Inc. filed a petition to cancel Couture’s mark, arguing that the registration was void because Couture did not use the mark in commerce as of...more

Michael Jordan Denied Summary Judgment on His Right of Publicity Claim against Illinois Grocer

In 2009, Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. To commemorate Jordan’s career, Time Inc. published a special Sports Illustrated Presents issue that included congratulatory “advertisements” from several...more

Texas Supreme Court weekly orders (3/15)

The three cases involve (1) whether a liability insurer must pay the plaintiffs who received an assignment from the insured after the insurer failed to defend, (2) whether the former owner of a chemical plant is liable for...more

Privacy Settings Won’t Keep Social Media Posts Out Of Court

On Jan. 7, 2015, in Nucci v. Target Corp., et al, the District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, Fourth District, upheld a lower court’s order compelling plaintiff Maria Nucci to produce photographs originally posted...more

Business Law Newsletter - March 2015

In This Issue: - Small Businesses: Responding to and Resolving Scathing (or False) Online Reviews - DWI in Your Driveway - Excerpt from DWI in Your Driveway: Drivers in the Commonwealth be...more

Warning to NY litigators - What privilege attaches to pre-litigation attorney statements? NY appeals court answers: qualified

New York law has long recognized that attorneys who make defamatory statements in connection with an existing litigation enjoy an absolute privilege against claims for libel and slander. Whether such a privilege extends to...more

The Federal Wiretap Act and the Law of Unintended Consequences

The law of unintended consequences – a distant cousin of Murphy’s Law – states that the actions of human beings will always have effects that are unanticipated and unintended. The law could prove a perfect fit for recent...more

Appellate Court Notes

- SC18927 - State v. Gonzalez - AC35406 - Rodriguez v. State - AC35570 - Tremper v. State - AC35972 - Bouchard v. Deep River [Dumpster diving can be hazardous to your health. As a devotee of the...more

"Courts Parse First Amendment Protections for Anonymous Critics Online"

The Supreme Court has long recognized that the freedom of speech enshrined in the First Amendment extends to anonymous speech, noting that “persecuted groups and sects … throughout history have been able to criticize...more

Court Rules Reporting on Teen's Felony Cyberbullying Case Privileged

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Jeter v. McKeithen et al., dismissed defamation and defamation by implication claims brought by a teenager against Florida television station WJHG challenging...more

UK: Passing Off – How Rihanna “found love” in the Court of Appeal

On 22 January 2014 the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court decision in a claim for passing off brought by global superstar Rihanna against Topshop. The dispute centered on a t-shirt which was sold by Topshop in its...more

Photographs Posted on Facebook are Discoverable

The Fourth District in Nucci v. Target Corp., --- So. 3d ----, 2015 WL 71726, 40 Fla. Law Weekly D166 (Fla. 4th DCA Jan. 7, 2015), recently held that photographs posted on a plaintiff’s social media sites are discoverable if...more

Davis: Electronic Arts Gets a New Set of Downs and Still Can’t Score

Just over a month ago I wrote about the Davis v. Electronic Arts matter that was pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.  Specifically, I opined that the matter was ripe for Supreme Court review in light of the...more

If You Post It, Your Opponent Can Probably Discover It

In March we ran a post on how important videos, photographs, and statements on social media sites can be when investigating a property loss. A picture is literally worth a thousand words. Earlier this month, a Florida court...more

When Can A Slanderous Facebook Posting Support Personal Jurisdiction?

Douglas Burdick v. The Superior Court of Orange County - Court Of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (January 14, 2015) - This case helps clarify when an Internet posting may be sufficient to support personal...more

Free Speech: Paris Mayor Off-Message by Threatening Fox News Suit

The scene of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris ten days later. I returned from Paris on Tuesday after a short vacation.  As a bit of a news junky, it was admittedly an exciting time to be there.  When I arrived on Friday, we...more

Alleged Defamatory Facebook Post by Illinois Resident Insufficient to Create Specific Personal Jurisdiction in California

In Burdick v. Superior Court (Sanderson) (No. G049107, filed 1/14/2015), the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, held an Illinois resident was not subject to specific personal jurisdiction in California...more

CA Supreme Court: New Duties for Businesses Regarding Having Defibrillators on-site; and Whether Anti-Discrimination Statutes Also...

California Rule of Court 8.548 permits the Ninth Circuit to certify questions of California state law to the California Supreme Court. On average, this happens a handful of times per year. Over the past five years, the...more

Website Names the Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2014

December saw two posts about the depressing demise of TRIA, so we thought we’d end the year on a considerably lighter note. FacesOfLawsuitAbuse.org is a U.S. Chamber of Commerce project that addresses this country’s...more

Temperatures Rise in Mann Libel Suit

It has been a few months since I wrote about Michael Mann’s libel suit against National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and two contributors. During that time, the parties have been very busy in both the...more

Court Rejects Glenn Beck’s “Limited Purpose” and “Involuntary” Public Figure Theories in Marathon Bombing Defamation Case

This week, Judge Patti B. Saris of the District of Massachusetts denied a motion to dismiss a defamation action that had been brought by Abdulrahman Alharbi against radio and television personality Glenn Beck. In denying the...more

Hurdles to Bringing a Defamation Suit for an Online Review

Courts and the legislature alike have made it difficult for doctors and business owners of all kinds to succeed on a defamation claim for an online review, often treating these lawsuits as attempts to silence freedom of...more

California Supreme Court Denies Review of Ruling Allowing Restaurant Owner’s False Advertising Claims to Proceed Against Yelp

On November 12, 2014, the California Supreme Court denied review of the California Court of Appeals decision in Demetriades v. Yelp, Inc., 2014 WL 3661491 (Cal. App. July 24, 2014), which allowed a restaurant owner to proceed...more

Negative Online Reviews- What Amounts to Defamation?

Online review can impact a medical practice more than ever in today’s digital world and no one is policing what patients post online or how truthful it is. All it takes is a cell phone and in a few minutes a review can be...more

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