Virtual Worlds, Real Litigation

Roger Parloff June 1, 2007 - Though the U.S. Supreme Court cut back this week on Americans’ rights to sue for equal pay in the real-world workplace, our rights to sue for wrongs visited upon our imaginary selves in imaginary game worlds made some modestly countervailing gains. “This has been one of the most important weeks in US virtual-world law in memory, perhaps ever,” says S. Gregory Boyd, an intellectual property attorney and games law expert at Kenyon & Kenyon. … [Read more...]

CalChamber Pres. on State Supreme Court Ruling Permitting Private Contracting for Public Projects

SACRAMENTO - California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg released the following statement on today's California Supreme Court ruling permitting private contracting for public works projects:“This ruling is great news for California commuters and taxpayers. The California Supreme Court has upheld the will of the people, who passed Proposition 35 in 2000 to promote the efficient delivery of public works projects and approved infrastructure bonds in 2006 to increase and … [Read more...]

High Court Says Concealment of Assets Can Take Away Important Right in Bankruptcy

Pete Yost The Associated Press February 22, 2007 - The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a financially troubled small-business man gave up an important right under the federal bankruptcy code because he failed to disclose all of his assets as the law requires. In a 5-4 decision, the Court said Robert Marrama of Gloucester, Mass., could not convert his bankruptcy case from one chapter of the code to another, as the law ordinarily allows. The reason, the Court said, stemmed from his failure … [Read more...]

Thoughts on Music: DRM, iTunes and the iPod

by Steve Jobs February 6, 2007: With the stunning global success of Apple’s iPod music player and iTunes online music store, some have called for Apple to “open” the digital rights management (DRM) system that Apple uses to protect its music against theft, so that music purchased from iTunes can be played on digital devices purchased from other companies, and protected music purchased from other online music stores can play on iPods. Let’s examine the current situation and how we … [Read more...]

US Senate Introduces Strong Privacy Bill

by Vidura Panditaratne Press Esc February 7, 2007: US Senators yesterday introduced a bill that better protects the privacy of citizens’ personal information in the face of data security breaches across the country. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) co-sponsored the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, which was first introduced in 2005 with co-sponsorship from Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) following serious data breaches at ChoicePoint and LexisNexis. Senator Specter, … [Read more...]

The Power of Apology

by Michael T. Hertz Lang, Richert & Patch A few months back, Playboy magazine ran a cover, showing Jessica Alba. Alba, miffed at the unauthorized use of her photo, threatened to sue. In response, Hugh Hefner, Playboy’s founder, wrote a personal letter of apology, and the magazine made donations to two charities which Alba supports. Result? Alba decided to drop her claims against the magazine. What a wonderful result for everyone. Ms. Alba got her grievance recognized, some deserving … [Read more...]

Unsecured Creditors – Challenges after Bankruptcy Reform

Bankruptcy reform is sure to have an impact on the debt purchasing industry for years to come. But what are the key points that debt buyers need to look at? by Alane Becket With the passage of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), fundamental changes in how distribution of a debtor's income will be made during a bankruptcy case went into effect. Unfortunately, touted as a "creditor's bill," an analysis of BAPCPA has uncovered several examples of the … [Read more...]

Health Care vs. High-Tech in War over Obvious Patents?

by John Timmer Ars Technica It's not often that Science contains an analysis penned by a lawyer. But the lawyer in question, Michael R. Samardzija of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's Intellectual Property office, suggests that the US Supreme Court is weighing an issue that may pit parts of Science's readership against each other. At issue are cases where a patent covers a development that is obvious, and the analysis suggests that while the health care industry (including biotech) likes the … [Read more...]

Mandating Consensus Through No-Contest Clauses

By R. Thomas Dunn A “no contest clause” in a testamentary trust does not violate California public policy even if one beneficiary’s contest voids other non-contesting beneficiaries’ bequests. (Tunstall v. Wells (2nd Dist., Div. 1, 10/30/2006) B188711.) In Tunstall v. Wells, supra, a trustor formed a testamentary trust providing bequests to his five children. The father left $50,000 to three of his children with the remainder distributed to the other two. The trust contained the following no … [Read more...]

FRCP Amendments: Discovery of Electronically Stored Information

By Christy M. Thornton Lang, Richert and Patch Introduction Effective December 1, 2006, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure place new obligations on attorneys using electronically stored information (“ESI”) in federal courts. The amendments force parties to address, early in the case, issues of how to best preserve, collect, and produce ESI. The amendments were created in response to recognition that ESI raises different issues from conventional paper discovery. Characterized … [Read more...]