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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.

This month’s Inside Business Law highlights several recent Committee meetings and programs, and includes hyperlinks to the written and audio program materials. We also cover highlights from a number of recent BLS Committee newsletters and several upcoming events, including the BLS Fall Meeting and the latest In the Know webinar. Hyperlinks for all these features are provided.

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