Categories
Copyright Law

It’s All About the Mouse: Protecting Disney Has Thwarted Public Works

When I first started practicing law in 1986, copyright in a piece was easy to determine. It lasted 28 years from date of publication and then could be renewed for another 28 years. That gave the author a good 56 years of exclusive ownership to profit from: then the work became the world’s – public […]

Categories
Employment Law

NY Employers Face New Strict Harassment Laws

On April 12, 2018, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York State budget, which includes several significant measures directed at both private and government employers regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. The signing of the budget bills triggers the countdown to the effective dates of the various provisions, as follows, with […]

Categories
General

Can’t You Just Write a Letter for Me?

At least once a month, I get a new inquiry from a prospective client; a current or former client; or, most commonly, from a family member or friend asking for legal help about a small dispute. The underlying damages are usually worth under $5,000 in total and often involve matters of $1,000 or less. When […]

Categories
Litigation

For Want of a Comma $5 Million Was Lost

English majors and writers all over the world know the value of and cherish the Oxford comma. But I doubt anyone knows its true worth more than a Maine dairy company that had to fork over $5 Million to its truck drivers because an overtime law failed to include an Oxford comma in its lists […]

Categories
Employment Law Fair Labor/Wage and Hour Restaurant and Hospitality Law

Do New Labor Dept Rules Signal the Return of the Unpaid Internship?

The U.S. Dept. of Labor has announced it will use a new seven-factor test for deciding whether an internship position qualifies for an unpaid status under the minimum wage provision in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The guidelines shift the focus from whether the intern is the primary beneficiary of the relationship to whether […]

Categories
Constitutional Law Restaurant and Hospitality Law

Fed Ct Says State Can’t Keep “Wandering Dago” Truck Away From Racetrack

An Upstate NY food truck that serves fusion barbecue fare under the name “Wandering Dago” scored a significant victory at the end of a legal battle with the State, which had banned Wandering Dago from serving its offerings at the Saratoga Race Track. and as part of the NY State Lunch Program on the Empire […]

Categories
Constitutional Law Litigation Restaurant and Hospitality Law

Can the Visually Impaired “See” Your Website? If Not – You May be Sued!

It seems odd that a company or business could be sued over its website not being able to be read by the visually-impaired, but more and more companies are facing lawsuits brought by the visually-impaired (and their lawyers of course)over such claims. Claims have also been brought by the hearing-impaired against companies with websites that […]

Categories
Employment Law Litigation

NY Appeals Court: No, You Can’t Fire Someone Because They’re “Too Cute”

Dilek Edwards worked as a massage therapist for Manhattan chiropractor Charles Nicolai, who is married to former Playboy centerfold Stephanie Adams. Adams is also a co-owner of the chiropractic practice. About a year into her employment Edwards began giving yoga lessons to Nicolai. Nicolai one day informed Edwards that his wife is likely to become […]

Categories
Intellectual Property Litigation

Pro Se Plaintiff Beats Back Trump Org in Trademark Battle Over iTrump Music App

After a contentious six-year legal battle, the Trump Organization and its phalanx of high-priced lawyers have been beaten down by 40-year-old San Francisco music teacher, Tom Scharfeld. Scharfeld developed a few apps to allow iPhone users to replicate playing musical instruments on their devices. He developed iBones to simulate trombone playing and iTrump to simulate […]