Increased Rights for Whistleblowers in the Private Sector

A recent court decision in Kings County called Della Pietra v. Poly Prep Country Day School has expanded who can bring a cause of action under whistleblower provisions of the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. While the case is significant, and potentially persuasive, it is not a binding precedent. The facts of the case are […] Read More

Trump’s Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Agreement Is Not Terrific. Believe Me.

Recently Buzzfeed News published a reprint of part of a non-disclosure/non-disparagement agreement between Donald Trump’s campaign and anyone who works or volunteers for it — and it made me wonder just how enforceable it is. Under New York law, it’s pretty difficult to avoid a prohibition against sharing confidential information. The courts generally support the notion […] Read More

Are You a Nigerian Prince, or Do You Just Want My Money?

Attorneys beware: The equivalent of the so-called “Nigerian prince who has been trying to contact you” has found out where you work! Recently I received a referral for a potential client from another attorney. The first email from this potential client, whom I will call Mr. Jones, explained that he had matters pending in three […] Read More

Characters and IP Law: The Personalities of Stephen Colbert

When he was on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert committed to a character that has the same name as his. The character is a greenback conservative who keeps an American shield under his desk—a character who popularized the word “truthiness” (yes, it’s a real word). When Colbert took over […] Read More

Atlantic v. Reddit: A Principled Stance or a Fool’s Errand?

Atlantic Recording Corp. has filed a petition in the New York State Supreme Court seeking to compel the internet message board Reddit to reveal who posted a link that directed the user to a pirated version of a song that hadn’t been released yet. The recording is named “Heathens,” performed by a hip-hop duo named […] Read More

How (Not) to Handle a Disgruntled Customer

Let’s say I have a client who does landscaping. Their customer paid for part of the job by credit card and part of it in cash and was told to wait several weeks to see how things grow. A few days later, the customer emailed the landscaper: This is a terrible job. I’m disputing the […] Read More

Don’t Forget the Poundage

In a recent appeal, the issue of poundage came up. The appeal involved our client, who was the plaintiff in trial court, and an appellant, who had been the defendant — and whose sizeable bank account was frozen by a City Marshal after the court imposed a judgment favorable to our client.

“Close the Door, Please.” Preventing Accidental Waiver of the Attorney-Client Privilege

To best protect clients, we need to be sure the attorney-client relationship is clear, to avoid any potential problems that could arise during litigation. In most cases, where a client comes to you for advice about a specific matter and then retains you for a particular case, the rules governing attorney-client privilege can be quite […] Read More

No Deal Breaker

Recently, a client using a form agreement we had drafted told me that a Big, Important Customer had wanted to make changes to the agreement. It was “just boilerplate” – not financial – so the client made the changes without conferring with counsel. The Customer’s legal department said that they wanted the client, an entertainment […] Read More

Piercing the Corporate Veil

Corporations are designed to protect the individuals who work there from personal liability. Naturally, it’s difficult to hold an individual owner of a corporation liable for the corporation’s acts. Even in cases where plaintiffs are able to obtain a judgment against a corporation, they’re often discouraged from trying to enforce it against the individuals who […] Read More