Citizen Media Law Project: “In September 2009, conservative talk show host and self-described ‘rodeo clown’ Glenn Beck filed an administrative complaint with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) against the privacy service for glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com. (The UDRP is a policy that website operators automatically agree to when they register a domain name; the policy enables trademark owners to initiate an administrative proceeding challenging the registration of a domain name in ‘bad faith.’)”
See KEYTLaw articles and information on “Domain Name Law & Domain Name Disputes” for more information about cybersquatting.
Recordnet.com: “An emergency room doctor could lose his license and spend time in state prison if prosecutors prove he stole a man’s beloved Rolex watch off his wrist after a fatal heart attack.”
San Francisco Chronicle: “A Stanford professor who battled James Joyce’s estate for the right to quote family documents in research on one of the author’s most celebrated works will get $240,000 from the estate for her legal fees, the university said Monday. Carol Shloss’ settlement with Joyce’s heirs ends a court case in which the estate, fiercely protective of its rights to his works, refused to let Shloss use excerpts from his papers or his daughter’s medical records in her 2003 book, ‘Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake.’”
Arizona Republic: “Six years ago, two University of Phoenix enrollment counselors filed a lawsuit accusing the for-profit school of illegally rewarding them with fat raises and prizes based on the number of students they enrolled. The whistle-blowers are long gone. The corporate executives in charge at the time are now at different schools. But the case continues to dog the nation’s largest private university.”
The Heritage Foundation: “So-called ‘sin taxes‘ are fashionable in Congress because they fall on unpopular behaviors and activities. This makes them easier to increase than other taxes and a politically convenient funding mechanism for expansion of government programs. Sin taxes are an effort by Congress to curb behaviors that it does not favor. They also lead to higher deficits. Instead of raising taxes on unpopular behaviors and activities to fund its largesse, Congress should restrain spending to live within its means.”
Taxes currently being considered by Congress or recently enacted by Congress:
- Soda tax
- Alcohol tax
- Cigarette tax – In early 2009, Congress passed a law increasing the federal tax on cigarettes from $0.39 to $1.00
- Vehicle miles tax or an increase in the gas tax
- Stock transaction tax
National Journal Magazine: “Our medical-malpractice lawsuit system is too capricious and too clogged with costs and delays to do justice for malpractice victims or for wrongly sued doctors. It also does little to deter malpractice. Worse, unless fundamentally reformed, malpractice law could greatly weaken efforts to control health care costs. The main reason, in the view of many experts, is that doctors’ fear of unwarranted malpractice liability helps spur many billions of dollars in unnecessary “defensive medicine” costs.”
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . .” Notwithstanding the First Amendment, Congress passed a law that establishes religions of native American Indians.
In 2002, Samuel Wilgus, a non-Indian, was prosecuted for illegal possession of eagle feathers under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Eagle Act. Wilgus received training in the Native American Church and was given the feathers as a gift. Eagle feathers are an important part of many native religions, but currently, only American Indians have the right to use and posses eagle feathers. This poses a problem for non-native followers of Indian religions. Should someone like Wilgus have the same right to posses eagle parts as Indian practitioners?
Wall St. Journal: “What to make of this David Letterman situation? On the sheer spectacle of the thing, we could go on and on — the weirdness of the alleged extortion plot, matched pound-for-pound by the weirdness of his on-air ‘confession,’ etc. But because we’re in the biz of all-law-all-the-time (except when we’re not, at which times you let us hear about it), we’re going to stick to the story’s legal intricacies.”
Law.com: “Pennsylvania law enforcement authorities have jurisdiction to prosecute domestic violence charges for comments posted on a defendant’s MySpace page from a computer in another state, a Lawrence County common pleas judge has ruled. Judge J. Craig Cox drew upon a Connecticut appellate court’s decision to determine that because defendant John C. Bragdon included specific references to Lawrence County and the city of New Castle, Pa., in MySpace posts that threatened his estranged wife, the posts could be distinguished from general Internet postings ‘because they are decipherable only to Pennsylvania residents.’”
Good advice for all employers. When an employer has a problem with an employee that might lead to discipline or termination, the employer should document all employment-related problems in case the employee files a lawsuit or takes other action against the employer. Here is a summary of some of the important topics discussed in this article:
- Document daily
- Don’t just document the bad performers
- Just the facts, ma’am
- Provide periodic feedback
- Avoid ‘Lake Wobegone’ evaluations
- Not everyone can “exceed expectations”
- Act promptly
On September 17, 2008, Phoenix police responded to a home invasion and shot the homeowner six times. They did not know that the phone was off the hook and 911 recorded the officers talking about their “boo boo.” The shooter’s partner said, “That’s all right. Don’t worry about it. I got your back. … We clear?”
Anthony and Lesley Arambula sued the City of Phoenix, the Phoenix Police Department and the police officers for damages arising from the shooting. An armed intruder entered their home, but Anthony Arambula grabbed his gun and was holding the intruder hostage when the police shot him in the back while he was on the phone with 911. The Arambula’s complaint says the officer who shot the homeowner “opened fire because he heard loud noises and saw someone who looked like he might be the ‘Hispanic’ male they were pursuing” before he arrived at the Arambulas’ home.
See also “The Look from the Rear.”
Attorneys for North Face, the clothing line, sent a letter to an 18 year old who started a clothing line called “South Butt.” The demand letter said
Your use of the South Butt & design mark and the Never Stop Relaxing tagline is not defensible as a parody. It is our client’s hope that this matter can be amicably resolved and that you will voluntarily abandon your pending trademark application and immediately discontinue your use of the South Butt and Design Mark and the Never Stop Exploring tagline.
The young designer’s lawyer responded, “There appears to be little recognition, if any, that the savvy of consumers precludes anyone from confusing a face with a butt.” I agree.
Phoenix Business Journal: “Bankruptcy Court Judge Redfield T. Baum nixed Balsillie’s $243 million bid to buy the team, which is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.”
See also “Coyotes decision hinged on NHL ownership rules, country club case.”
Arizona Republic: “University of Phoenix parent Apollo Group Inc. is in settlement talks to resolve a 6-year-old federal whistle-blower lawsuit over its recruiting tactics. The Phoenix-based company, two former San Jose enrollment counselors who brought the charges and the U.S. Department of Justice recently met with a mediator and reached a preliminary agreement, according to filings Wednesday with securities regulators and the court.”
Arizona Republic: “A Maricopa County Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday against new abortion restrictions passed by the Legislature, preventing two laws from going into effect today as planned. Judge Donald Daughton ruled that plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood established “a strong likelihood of prevailing on the merits” of the case should it go to trial, and women faced “the possibility of irreparable injury” should he not issue the injunction.”
Law.com: “After 18 years of decidedly un-cuddly court battles, Walt Disney Co. and the estate of Winnie the Pooh licensee Stephen Slesinger are right back where they started. On Friday, Los Angeles federal district court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper granted Disney’s motion to dismiss all of Stephen Slesinger Inc.’s remaining infringement claims, committing the parties to continue a business relationship that began in 1961 when Slesinger’s widow transferred the Pooh rights to Disney in exchange for royalties.”
Law.com: “Oklahoma-based natural gas distributor Oneok filed a lawsuit in Tulsa federal court against Twitter alleging trademark infringement. The company claimed that Twitter wrongly allowed an anonymous user to post the company’s logo on a profile that was named ‘Oneok_i.’ The user also posted some information about the company, Oneok officials said.”
TribStar.com: See the previous post called “You Commit Three Felonies a Day“ about a new book that says the are so many laws now that all of us are constantly violating the law without knowing it. That’s what happened to a woman who bought sudafed for her family.
When Sally Harpold bought cold medicine for her family back in March, she never dreamed that four months later she would end up in handcuffs. Now, Harpold is trying to clear her name of criminal charges, and she is speaking out in hopes that a law will change so others won’t endure the same embarrassment she still is facing. “This is a very traumatic experience,” Harpold said.
Harpold is a grandmother of triplets who bought one box of Zyrtec-D cold medicine for her husband at a Rockville pharmacy. Less than seven days later, she bought a box of Mucinex-D cold medicine for her adult daughter at a Clinton pharmacy, thereby purchasing 3.6 grams total of pseudoephedrine in a week’s time. Those two purchases put her in violation of Indiana law 35-48-4-14.7, which restricts the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, or PSE, products to no more than 3.0 grams within any seven-day period.
Wall St. Journal: “Boston civil-liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate calls his new book “Three Felonies a Day,” referring to the number of crimes he estimates the average American now unwittingly commits because of vague laws. New technology adds its own complexity, making innocent activity potentially criminal.”
Wall St. Journal: “Chairman Max Baucus’s bill includes the so-called individual mandate, along with what he calls a $1,900 ‘excise tax’ if you don’t buy health insurance. (It had been as much as $3,800 but Democrats reduced the amount last week to minimize the political sticker shock.) And, lo, it turns out that if you don’t pay that tax, the IRS could punish you with a $25,000 fine or up to a year in jail, or both.”
Tom Barthold, the chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, confirmed the fine and possible jail time despite President Obama’s statement to ABC interviewer George Stephanopoulos two weeks ago that his health care plan does not contain any tax increases. After Stephanopoulos read the definition of “tax” from the dictionary, Obama said, “You can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase.”
WZZM13.com: The Michigan Department of Human Services threatened a Michigan woman with fines and jail time for babysitting her neighbors’ children. The woman lives near the bus stop and watches three of her friends’ children for 15-40 minutes in the morning until the bus comes. State Representative Brian Calley said:
“We have babysitting police running around this state violating people, threatening to put them in jail or fine them $1,000 for helping their neighbor (that) is truly outrageous”
Arizona Republic: “Federal regulators have been reviewing the practices of charities tied to a Phoenix televangelism ministry that solicit millions of dollars in donations from government employees, according to government e-mails. At the same time, records show that at least 20 charities with links to the Don Stewart Association are soliciting donations from federal employees through the government’s annual workplace charity drive, the largest of its kind in the world. The 2009 Combined Federal Campaign began this month and runs through Dec. 15.”
On September 30, 2009, 191 bills passed by the Arizona Legislature become law. See a summary of the new Arizona statutes.
Reuters: ” Dalton Chiscolm is unhappy about Bank of America’s customer service — really, really unhappy. Chiscolm in August sued the largest U.S. bank and its board, demanding that “1,784 billion, trillion dollars” be deposited into his account the next day. He also demanded an additional $200,164,000, court papers show.”
A nonprofit organization that is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) must follow IRS rules or the IRS can revoke its tax exempt status. If you are involved with operating or managing a nonprofit corporation, you should read ” Nonprofits: Are You at Risk of Losing Your Tax-Exempt Status?”
In 2004, the IRS studied 110 § 501(c)(3) organizations and found that seventy-five percent of them had violated federal tax law by engaging in political-campaign activities during the 2004 campaign period. The IRS learned that many of these organizations did not understand the broad scope of the political-campaign prohibition and that organizations’ leaders mistakenly spoke on behalf of their organizations rather than in their personal capacities separate from their organizations. Following the study, the IRS stated that any § 501(c)(3) organization that did not comply with federal tax law’s statutory requirements and restrictions risked losing its tax-exempt status.
As the 2008 campaign was in full swing, the IRS promised to step up its enforcement of § 501(c)(3) requirements. As a result, courts likely will face increased litigation related to § 501(c)(3) organization violations. This Note reviews the requirements and restrictions that are placed on § 501(c)(3) organizations, including the political-campaign prohibition. In addition, this Note proposes a test to assist courts, § 501(c)(3) organizations, and leaders of § 501(c)(3) organizations in determining when organizations’ leaders are acting or speaking on behalf of their organizations and when they are speaking in their personal capacities, exercising their First Amendment free-speech rights.
Scrappleface: “Following President Obama’s visionary speech to the United Nations Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council today passed a resolution altering human nature to comport with ‘Obama’s hope-saturated view of our global future.’ The measure comes a day after the council adopted a resolution aimed at ‘ridding the world of nuclear armaments, and replacing such weapons of mass destruction with fuzzy bunnies, warm chocolate and purple petunias.’”
Expresso Pundit: The Desert Divas was a prostitution ring busted by the Phoenix Police Department last year. The Phoenix PD released a list of 3,469 people who allegedly used the service. The list includes addresses, girls’ names and fees paid for services.
Washington Post: “There is a battle for America’s behinds. It is a fight over toilet paper: the kind that is blanket-fluffy and getting fluffier so fast that manufacturers are running out of synonyms for “soft” (Quilted Northern Ultra Plush is the first big brand to go three-ply and three-adjective). It’s a menace, environmental groups say — and a dark-comedy example of American excess.”