Communications & Media Personal Injury

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So You Think You Have a Contract? Website Terms and Unconscionability

We have written previously regarding the pitfalls of online contract formation, including where website operators fail to implement website terms in a manner that requires users to expressly accept such terms. A recent...more

Advertising Law - December 2014

SPECIAL FOCUS: Adding You to My Professional Network Emails May End Up Being Costly for LinkedIn as Publicity Rights Suit Moves Forward: A putative class action alleging that LinkedIn Corp. violated their right of...more

QVC Sues Shopping App for Web Scraping That Allegedly Triggered Site Outage

Operators of public-facing websites are typically concerned about the unauthorized, technology-based extraction of large volumes of information from their sites, often by competitors or others in related businesses. 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

Status Updates - December 2014

Between a lock and a hard place. Should search engines be responsible for verifying the legitimacy of the companies they include in their search results? A locksmith in Lorton, Virginia, is claiming that they should. Mark...more

Forced to Cyber-Spy: Court Rules Parents Can Be Held Negligent for Child’s Facebook Activity

Are parents now liable for what their kids post to Facebook? According to a recent decision in the Georgia Court of Appeals, they are. The Georgia Court of Appeals held that the parents of a seventh-grade student...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

Appellate Court Affirms Anti-SLAPP Dismissal of Defamation Lawsuit by Political Candidate

On October 30, in Goral v. Kulys, the Illinois First District Appellate Court affirmed dismissal of a defamation suit pursuant to the Illinois Citizen Participation Act, 735 ILCS 110/1 et seq. (the “Act”). The Goral decision...more

The State and Local GMO Regulatory Landscape – Post-Election Edition

The November election changed the regulatory landscape for genetically modified organisms (“GMO”). Though none of the proposed GMO labeling laws on state ballots succeeded, two counties were successful in passing either a ban...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

The Texas Anti-Slapp Law: Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ch. 27 (Updated October 2014)

In this Publication: - I. Introduction - II. The Texas Citizens Participation Act: What Is It? - III. Application Of The TCPA - IV. Unintended Consequences - V. The TCPA - Conclusions...more

An Update On The Legal Implications Of User-Generated Content: Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, And Instagram

Traditionally, media companies (as well as non-media companies) almost exclusively utilized their own content. However, because of the exponential growth in the public’s desire and ability to interconnect through social media...more

Status Updates - November 2014 #5

..Tale of the tape. Remember the 1980s? Back then, watching a movie on demand meant visiting your local video store and renting the video tape version of the film that you wanted to watch (assuming it was available). During...more

Texas Supreme Court to Weigh In on Shell Defamation Suit

The Texas Supreme Court recently agreed to hear Shell Oil Co.’s pending defamation case. Robert Writt, a former Shell employee, sued the company for defamation after Shell submitted a report to the Department of Justice about...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Recognizes Right of Publicity While Protecting Free Speech in Precedent Setting Case

For the first time ever, an Arizona state court has recognized that individuals enjoy a right of publicity that protects them from the unauthorized use of their name or likeness for commercial or trade purposes. In its April...more

This Week at the Texas Supreme Court

Wednesday, November 5: No. 12-0946, In re Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC - Relator Bridgestone seeks a writ of mandamus compelling dismissal of the underlying case for forum non conveniens. The case involves...more

Two Privacy Class Actions: Facebook and Apple

Two privacy class actions earlier this year have pitted technology giants Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. against Canadian consumers who allege privacy violations. The two cases resulted in very different outcomes. First,...more

Ninth Circuit Knocks Down Unfair Competition Case against Yelp!

For those few of you who don’t know already, Yelp! (“Yelp”) is a wildly popular website where people can share their reviews, opinions, experiences, and ratings of businesses across the country. This service is invaluable...more

Ghomeshi Claim Faces Significant Challenges

The controversial firing of former CBC radio host and personality Jian Ghomeshi has captured the public’s attention in recent days for many reasons, most of which have nothing to do with the law. In terms of the legal issues...more

On the Road With Autonomous Vehicles and the Insurance Industry, Issue No. 3

Autonomous Vehicles and Liability - Autonomous vehicles (AVs) promise to deliver greater safety by significantly reducing accidents caused by driver error. However, AVs will not eliminate accidents, and associated...more

Defamation From Beyond the Grave: Using Your Last Will To Get In The Last Word

Halloween is a good time to think about how you want to die. Do you want to leave the world peacefully? Or do you want to go down trash talking, making sure that your enemies know exactly what you think about them, and that...more

Status Updates - October 2014 #9

Court spanks parents. In a landmark decision, the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled in Boston v. Athearn that parents can be held responsible for the social media activities of their kids. The case involved a seventh-grade boy...more

Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group DC Circuit Panel

The DC Circuit has announced that the Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group appeal will be heard on October 20, 2014 before Circuit Judges Kavanaugh, Srinivasan, and Senior Circuit Judge Edwards. I thought I would take a quick look...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Unravel Procedural Tangle in Internet Posting Case

Our previews of the newest additions to the Illinois Supreme Court’s civil docket continue with Hadley v. Subscriber Doe. Hadley is a defamation case arising from an anonymous internet posting, but that issue comes wrapped in...more

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