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Copyright Law Intellectual Property Litigation

Court Dismisses Lawsuit Over Taylor Swift Song Because Lyrics are Too Banal

U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald of the Central District Court of California has dismissed a lawsuit against Taylor Swift, in which songwriters Nathan Butler and Sean Hall alleged that her hit song “Shake It Off” ripped off the lyrics to 3LW’s “Playas Gon’ Play,” which the pair wrote for the ’90s girl group. Butler and […]

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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 […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law

Speaking to the Feds is Always Dangerous and to Be Avoided if Possible

Rumors are swirling that President Trump’s personal lawyers are suggesting to him that he not voluntarily meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller to answer questions in Mueller’s Russia probe. Of course they are and they well should tell him to not go gently into that good night. As any good criminal defense lawyer who has […]

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Constitutional Law

Nunes Memo Makes Some Folks Finally Aware of Fourth Amendment

There’s an old saying – “A liberal is a conservative who’s been arrested.” The truth of that saying was made evident with all the hoopla surrounding the release of Devin Nunes’ memo on how the FBI purportedly is Anti-Trump. So first, some background and an outline of how we got here is in order: What […]

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 […]

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Constitutional Law Litigation

Colorado Gay Wedding Cake Case: Is Selling A Cake “Speech”?

On Tuesday The Supreme Court will hear oral argument on one of the most anticipated cases on the docket for this term: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Back in 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins were set to celebrate their wedding in Denver, after having been married in Massachusetts. Jack Phillips, a well […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

Categories
Constitutional Law

Fed Ct. Rules First Amendment Stops Public Official From Blocking Social Media Followers

A Virginia Federal Court has ruled that a public official’s blocking of a Twitter follower of the public official’s Facebook was a violation of the follower’s First Amendment rights. The caseDavidson v. Loudon County Board of Supervisors, involved the chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, Phyllis J. Randall. In her capacity as a […]