BLT: July 2014

Dealing with Unauthorized Online Dealers: Sales of “Genuine” Products

Feature Articles

Dealing with Unauthorized Online Dealers: Sales of “Genuine” Products

The sale by unauthorized dealers of “genuine” goods poses a greater legal challenge to makers of well-known brands than counterfeit goods. In addition to self-help measures such as instituting an effective warranty policy, such sales can constitute trademark or copyright infringement if material differences exist in the product, or trigger business tort issues.

The Supreme Court’s June 23, 2014, decision in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., involved a request that the Court overrule a landmark precedent from 25 years ago that enabled federal securities claims to be pursued as a class actions, and launched the multi-billion dollar securities class action industry.

In September 2013, in EEOC v. Boh Bros. Construction Co., the en banc Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that same-sex sexual harassment in the workplace that is based on gender stereotyping is barred by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. By virtue of this ruling by this conservative court, this is now the law in virtually every circuit.

The Delaware Supreme Court recently ruled that even though a corporate benefit is created, no attorneys’ fees can be awarded on that basis despite a successful result after a trial, when the stockholder’s interest in the company is sold before the suit becomes final, thereby preventing an appealable judgment.

Most business lawyers are familiar with the ground rules for managing legal crises in a court of law, but the stakes can be just as high when dealing with a crisis in the court of public opinion. This article explores the importance of a well-conceived crisis plan, the range of non-legal issues that must be navigated by the legal team when dealing with a high-profile crisis, and the central role of the general counsel in managing the competing agenda of various stakeholders in order to build a team that effectively addresses the various aspects of a crisis.

This month’s hypothetical focuses attention on a set of issues that arise from a troublesome lack of clarity in New York Rules of Professional Conduct 1.10(a) and 8.5(b). Despite a thoughtful and well-reasoned proposal to amend these rules made by the Committee on Professional Responsibility of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York in 2010, the Rules haven’t been amended, but should be.

Professor Geoffrey Hazard is a primary figure in legal ethics and civil procedure. His treatise, Civil Procedure, is a mainstay of American legal education. He has taught law school since 1958, beginning at Boalt Hall, then the University of Chicago, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, and Hastings College of the Law.

At the Spring Meeting of the Business Law Section in Los Angeles, California, the Section kicked off a pilot program to video and audio record select Committee events. This is the first time that substantive non-CLE presentations have been captured. To listen to the audio recordings below, please log in with your e-mail address.



Nominations Sought for Section Leadership Positions

Do you know anyone who has what it takes to be a good Section leader? The Nominating Committee of the Section needs your recommendations for leadership positions for the 2017-2018 association year. Nominees will be selected for: Chair-elect (who automatically assumes the position of chair the following year); Secretary (who automatically assumes the position of vice chair the following year); Content Officer; two Section Delegates to the ABA House of Delegates; and five additional Council members for a four-year term expiring in 2021. The Nominating Committee will take into account the following principles in making its selections. It will: select nominees who have been substantial and active contributors to the Section; seek geographic diversity in the leadership of the Section; strive for representation from a broad cross-section of the areas of law represented in the Section; and seek to draw leaders from a broad cross-section of the various sectors of practice, including corporate law departments, government, academia and private law firms; and actively recruit nominees that reflect the diversity of the Section. Please send your nominations by email to susan.tobias@americanbar.org no later than November 18.

Question: Between November 2, 2015 and November 4, 2015, Harris Poll conducted an online survey of 2,017 adults ages 18 and older on behalf of NerdWallet, Inc. to understand U.S. consumers’ credit card payment habits and feelings around different types of debt. The results of this study were published in the 2015 American Household Credit Card Debt Study. According to the 2015 American Household Credit Card Debt Study, what percentage of U.S. adults would be more embarrassed to tell others about credit card debt than any other type of debt?
A. 10%
B. 35%
C. 55%
D. 90%

Question: From the late 1600s to the early 1800s, “debtors’ prisons” were commonplace with many cities and states operating brick-and-mortar detention facilities that were designed for incarcerating individuals who were unable or unwilling to pay their debts. Imprisonment for indebtedness was so commonplace that two signatories of the Declaration of Independence were jailed for failure to pay their debts. Can you name those two signatories?

The November issue of Business Law Today will focus on Nonprofits. Articles will range from the “Delaware Advantage” to nonprofit organizations needing nonprofit lawyers. In addition, other features include keeping pace with disruptive technological change, insurance bad faith recoveries, and constitutional issues in granting Americans a “Right to Dispute.”

Do you have a great idea for a BLT article? Would you like to see more of a featured column? Let us know how we can make Business Law Today the best resource for you and your clients. We welcome any suggestions. Please send us your feedback here.

Business Law Section Fall Meeting
November 18-19, 2016
Washington, DC

Business Law Section Spring Meeting
April 6-8, 2017
New Orleans, LA

Miscellaneous IT Related Legal News (MIRLN) 25 September - 15 October 2016 (v19.14)

BLT is a web-based publication drawing upon the best of the Section's resources, including featured articles and other information from around the Section. Stay informed on the latest business law practice news and information that will benefit you and your clients.