Award in Jessica Simpson Video Case Shows Need for Attorney’s Fee Language

Its a contract clause that can be a double-edged sword: “In any claim, arbitration or litigation brought under the terms of this agreement, the prevailing party shall be entitled to receive full reimbursement from the non-prevailing party for the prevailing party’s reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees and costs.” On the one hand, if you live […]

Copyright Law Intellectual Property Litigation Trademark Law

Getty Images Pays $100K to Settle Car-Freshener Suit

Last month, stock photo giant Getty Images paid $100,000 to Car-Freshener Corp., makers of those ubiquitous tree-shaped air fresheners. Getty Images had several stock photos for license and sale in their catalog that included the famous trademarked fresheners. The federal lawsuit was filed in November 2009 and was reported on in this blog in October […]

Criminal Law Litigation

Federal Court Rules Poker is Not “Gambling” Under Federal Law

One of my favorite quotes to use in the lawschool class I teach on Legal Writing comes not from a great judge or a famous legal case. It is from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland describing an exchange between Alice and Humpty Dumpty after Alice becomes frustrated that Humpty is misusing common English words: When […]

Copyright Law Entertainment Law Intellectual Property Litigation Trademark Law

NY Federal Appeals Court Supports “Theft of Idea” Claim

In big news for the TV and film industry in particular, the Second Circuit (the Federal Appeals Court that covers, among other states, New York) ruled that a claim could be brought for “theft of an idea” when a TV network takes an idea that was protected by a contract between the parties. In Forest […]

General Intellectual Property Litigation

Judge Fines Plaintiff and Lawyer in Quirky Lawsuit Against Facebook

I have been following and blogging about the strange case filed in Federal District Court in Buffalo New York by Paul Ceglia and his lawyer Dean Boland. Ceglia claims he has a written agreement between him and Mark Zuckerberg where Zuckerberg agrees to give him 50% of Facebook in exchange for a small investment and […]

Constitutional Law Criminal Law Intellectual Property Litigation

If You’re A Criminal Be Careful Who Your Friends Are (Or Don’t Be An Idiot and Post About Your Crimes on FB!)

Social media’s insertion into the courtroom continues as a NY Federal Judge ruled that a criminal defendant’s Facebook posts about his criminal activity could form the bass for a search warrant into his home. Federal prosecutors got a look at Melvin Colon’s Facebook profile through the account of one of Colon’s friends, who was a […]


NY Court Rules: Short People Got No Reason to Sue!

Randy Newman can add the title of this blog post as a new line to Short People, his often misunderstood, misinterpreted hit song from 1977, as a NY court ruled that “shortness” is not a physical disability protected by the NY State Human Rights Law. NY State’s Human Rights Law can be found in the […]

Fair Labor/Wage and Hour Litigation Restaurant and Hospitality Law

Defending Wage Claims Gets More Complicated With NY Ruling

Federal courts are seeing a wave of Wage Claim Litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as lawyers for workers get more aggressive in light of stronger Federal and State wage and hour rules. Car washes, restaurants and supermarkets are particularly facing a barrage of challenges brought by their workers revolving around tip claims, […]

General Intellectual Property Trademark Law

So You Think You Can Trademark?

Because most folks are unclear about what a trademark actually is or how it can help protect your business and because not a week goes by that someone doesn’t call me with a great idea they want to “trademark” I thought I would draft a quick basic guide to trademark that should address the most […]