1. Subsidized Free Speech

    A group of California grape growers/shippers brought an action in the County of Fresno against the California Table Grape Commission, contending that the Commission’s collection of assessments under the Ketchum Act (Food & Agr. Code § 65500 et seq.) to subsidize promotional speech on behalf of all California table grapes violates the growers’ right to free speech. The plaintiffs contend t…Read More

  2. From the streets to the courts : H&M Vs. REVOK

    In the era of fast communication and social media, Brands have to be extremely vigilant about the message they convey. The fashion industry as the ultimate Industry of appearances is specifically targeted in this regard. Every moves is publicly analyzed, criticized, and H&M is the last “victim” of that public eye watch. In a campaign for its New Routine sportswear, the brand featured image…Read More

  3. What is the ‘Right of Publicity”?

    Most people have heard of well-known categories of intellectual property law such as trademark or copyright, but there is another type that you might not know, and all of us own one – the right of publicity. Don’t be misled by the word “publicity”; this right does not require you to be a celebrity pursued by paparazzi. Rather, it is the right to control the use of your own name or likeness…Read More

  4. Homemade Inventions Deserve Patents, Too

    In my many encounters with inventors around the country, I find that many believe that patents may only be issued for completely new inventions. However, U.S. patent law does not require that a new product or process to resemble something from a science fiction movie; a useful modification or improvement of an existing device or process may also be worthy of patent protection. A patentable device …Read More

  5. Not Your Grandparents’ Stock Market

    Earlier in 2018, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a controversial move to rescind the Obama-era “Cole Memo” which created a safe haven for those state-based marijuana-related operations who were operating in compliance with the regulations of their respective states. As surprising as this move may have been at first glance, the reality is that marijuana is still illegal in the US at the …Read More

  6. Using Patents to Establish Brand

    Small businesses and especially startups are often well aware of what a patent can accomplish for their businesses; provide a legal monopoly for their inventions for a period of time.  And yet, the effects of a patent can go beyond protection of an invention and can include helping establish a strong brand for the business, which can further enhance the value of the business.  How can patents ac…Read More

  7. Update on Who Gets the Dog in the Divorce

    Last year, I wrote about who gets the family pet in divorces in California.  Apparently, the topic was also important to lawmakers in Illinois.  They passed a bill that would allow the courts in Illinois to make determinations of who gets the family pet based on the well-being of the animal.  Below is the language from the two laws that took effect January 1, 2018 in Illinois. Public Act 100-42…Read More

  8. Can My Child Decide Who He/She Wants to Live With?

    Child Custody is one of the most important issues to be decide in a martial dissolution matters.  Indeed, parents going through divorce may end up spending tens of thousands of dollars and countless sleepless nights fighting over child custody and visitation.  The issue of child custody has two components: (1) legal custody; and (2) physical custody.  Legal custody is normally joint, because le…Read More

  9. Court of Appeal Affirms LA Superior Court’s Decision Not to Allow Husband to Modify Support Obligation Based on a Transfer of His Business to Current Wife and Claimed Retirement

    The Second District Court of Appeal affirmed Judge Larua L. Siegle’s denial of a request for modification of support in the case of In re Marriage of Kevin J. and Cathy Berman (http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B272324.PDF), wherein the husband who owned a private investigation firm, had remarried and when he turned 65 years old, he handed the business to his current wife, for no consi…Read More

  10. Priority of Mechanic’s Liens

    One of the most important aspects of the power of mechanic’s lien is its priority over other liens or deeds of trust.  Generally, liens on property follow the rule of “first in time, first in line” meaning that the priority of liens are determined based on the timing of the recording of the lien.  To the untrained contractor or lawyer, this would mean that a contractor’s mechanic’s lie…Read More