I live in the US and have followed the RIAA/MPAA suits closely. Over the years I have heard British news agencies report such-and-such as being charged with illegal downloading and wondered if that were even possible. [more inside]
The management software my company uses recently added the ability to send messages via SMS to our clientele. We've signed up and it's tested well, but we're not clear on the legality of sending business correspondence messages (no marketing, simply "Your rent is due, please call # or pay online @ oursite.com/pay") without the client expressly opting in for SMS messaging. Do we need to have everyone opt-in or are non-marketing messages for the purpose of communicating legitimate business notices exempt? [more inside]
I'm a reference for a friend who is applying for a license to practice law. The reference form asks me whether my friend has ever "been arrested, or engaged in unlawful conduct". My friend has not, to my knowledge, ever been arrested (or had any other trouble with the law), but like most people consumed alcohol before the age of 21, jaywalks, downloaded music as a teen, etc. Nothing serious at all. What should I say? [more inside]
I currently attend a top 2 law school in the UK (no prize for guessing which), and am interested in working in the US after I graduate. While I am aware that I will be eligible to take the bar exam in NY and California with a degree from a common law jurisdiction, would my prospects of landing a law firm gig be appreciably augmented if I go for an LLM (or perhaps even a JD) at a US law school? [more inside]
What kind of skill sets does one need to be of best help to addressing climate change? It would seem like the most obvious choice is to major in environmental science. Otherwise, maybe political science to deal with legislators and capital hill? Or "who cares what you study undergrad" and go to law school?
(YNML) We're purchasing a leasehold property in the UK. The lease for this property says "The Demise hereinbefore contained includes the following rights:- ... and the exclusive use of the parking space numbered 1 shown hatched red on the plan ...". Our solicitor has been saying that 'as the right is exclusive this does not form a legal right under common law and as such may be denied by subsequent Landlords.' I don't understand why this is an issue, and as it's held up our move, I would like to understand. Although I've asked my solicitor, I suspect Mefites can give me a clearer answer! More details inside... [more inside]
My grandfather was born in Pennsylvania to Italian parents during the 1920s in Lackawanna County / Scranton. I was able to obtain a new birth certificate from the PA Dept of Vital Records, but the last name was misspelled. When I called about this, they could only tell me that the mis-spelling "was what it said on the birth certificate". How do I go about seeing the original to get the mistake corrected? [more inside]
At the age of 46 I had to get my younger brother, who also lives in the U.S. but for a much longer time, to cosign my lease because my wife and I have only a year of American credit history being recent immigrants. Now I know it is illegal to deny housing based on someone being an immigrant but that it is legal to deny housing based on a credit check. Is it foul play that they refuse to check our foreign credit history? [more inside]
Father left his stuff to me in a trust. Not sure what that means, and need an answer to the most basic of questions. [more inside]
I've been given lots of conflicting advice about how one should approach the study of law. While I know the hoary old advice that one should do whatever works best for oneself holds true, I hope that the collective wisdom of former law students has more insight to offer than that! [more inside]
I'm 46. I've been a stay at home mom for most of the last 11 years. I have an undergrad in Religious Studies (Ethics focus) and a Masters in Library Sciences as well as a MS in Education, Counseling. I want to get involved in some type of higher-level policy work. I'm interested in both education and women's issues, specifically pro-choice abortion issues. I've done volunteering in both areas (PTA, and Planned Parenthood, for example). While it's valuable, I don't want to be a room parent or walk people into a clinic. I want to be involved in fighting for rights and supporting laws in a more meaningful way. How does one do this? Does it take more schooling? A political career (not interested in running for any local positions)? A law degree? I know I need to choose an area to focus on, but I'm gathering information right now. Any ideas are welcome!
Everyone always tells you that going to law school and being a lawyer will open up all types of job possibilities. I tried being a big firm lawyer and am don't want to continue doing it. I'm looking to figure out life after biglaw and what that actually means. Looking for advice on how to figure out what's next, where to look for jobs that might play to a legal skill set, and how and what to highlight about biglaw experience when looking for the next job. [more inside]
My lease, like most, says that subleasing is not allowed without manager's consent. I came in on a sublease and later let the manager know I was planning on subleasing. She just declared she will not accept any subleasing any more. Does anyone know if this is legal for her to do this? It's breaking faith, but not breaking the literal contract. FYI, I live in Missouri.
Hi MeFi, This past Friday I was pulled over by Brookline PD for speeding (doing 42 at 35) -- they told me my license was suspended and immediately put the cuffs on me and took me in. I told them this has to be a mistake, but they didn't want to listen. My license was briefly suspended in November when I was laid off from my job and was unable to pay for one of my tickets. I rectified this once I got my first unemployment check and have proof of payments via my bank statement. When I went to the RMV to get my license reinstated, they charged me $140 and told me I was all set. This very same day I bought my auto insurance via Progressive and we all know you cant buy insurance unless your license is valid. The cops at Brookline PD are saying my RMV record shows nothing about my license being reinstated and they believe that someone at the RMV made a clerical error and did not do their job properly. My questions are as follows; - Can I sue this RMV branch for negligence? - How can I get this stupid shit off my record? They took my photo and all. I don't want this lingering on my record! I've never been arrested before. [more inside]
Short version: my siding has a 3/4" hole thanks to a bobcat's spinning tire shooting a piece of gravel into it. I know this is the cause, but do no have a video to prove it. The bobcat operator's boss and his boss have "determined" (magically) that the bobcat did not cause the hole. Pursue, or eat it? [more inside]
I'm thinking about titles for a new project and was wondering about the word "Hobbit." I'm not familiar with copyright law here but isn't it that after a certain amount of years the work - and everything in it - goes to the public domain? Are the works of JRR Tolkien there yet?
I am employed in Sacramento, California. I would like to speak to an attorney with experience in employment law, as related to overtime-exempt status. [more inside]
From memory the gist of the law is that a certain portion or percentage of stories in a given time period must promote specified ideas. Those ideas are specified by a European body. The official line is that the law helps to spread important information, by requiring that it is published and broadcast often. [more inside]
So I've been selected to participate in a major moot court at my law school (to be judged by a member of the Court of Appeal), but I'm totally clueless about oral arguments (I was selected on the basis of my written brief). Does anyone have any practical tips to share with a first-time mooter? I've been told to speak slowly and answer all questions directly, but are there any non-obvious things that I should be doing/aware of as well? What would be the best way to pivot questions back to the main theme of my case? Any help/advice welcome!
I went to get my 16GB iPhone 5 repaired or replaced under the iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program today, and after some testing and such I was issued a loaner phone (also a 16GB iPhone 5) and told that mine will be repaired in about 6-8 days. I think I'd like to just keep the loaner, and it seems like that may not be encouraged but may be possible... [more inside]
Who are the most well known academics in the field of intellectual property, and especially copyright law? Especially academics active in the last 5-10 years? The more radical, the better. [more inside]
A friend of mine, a NYC resident with no firearm permit from the NYPD, recently purchased a rifle at a gun show in PA (apparently the dealer didn't recognize his address as being within NYC and didn't ask him for a permit, as NY state residents can purchase rifles without one). He says he does plan on applying for the necessary permit, but in the meantime is storing the rifle in his home. How likely is he to get into any trouble? [more inside]
So I did a potentially bad thing: i released an album through CD Baby, and the title of the album is a Trademark for an entity that might be none pleased. [more inside]
Not being a lawyer -- but being deeply interested in capture and corruption of government officials -- I'm very curious about possible knock-on effects of the recent ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC. In particular, the majority opinion states, a few times, that Congress can only target quid pro quo corruption. My question is, essentially, how broadly applicable is the ruling going to be? Is the context limited to campaign finance, or was Roberts really saying that there's no pressing government interest in going after non-quid-pro-quo corruption in any form or any context? [more inside]
I am arguing with the city of Oakland about a parking ticket. The city thinks where I was parked constitutes a crosswalk. After going to an in-person hearing, it is clear that they are buffoons. The hearing officer had a complete misunderstanding of the law. So now I have to take them to small claims court. [more inside]
A variety of computer and software manufacturers offer "educational discounts" to students and staff. Which is clearly price discrimination based on the status of the purchaser. I just have two questions related to the practice of providing educational discounts. a) How is it legal for a retailer to use price discrimination (as a long-term marketing tactic) to sell to people based on educational role, when say price discrimination based on say sexual preferences would not be legal. b) Is a customer legally required to represent themselves honestly to a retailer? [more inside]
My girlfriend received a lawyergram stating that a former employer overpaid her nearly five years ago, and is just now asking for the money back. She believes she was never paid for that period, and obviously doesn't want to give them money to which they are not entitled. Details below. [more inside]
We heard about Chef Keith earlier this year. Now the folks at Found Footage Fest wrote: "For the first time in FFF history, we've received a "cease and desist." Apparently a news station didn't think Chef Keith was funny. We think it's a clear case of fair use". What is the correct answer? Is it fair use?
Because of the way nonprofits work, it seems most legal aid organizations receive their grant funding only for successfully defended cases - which means that some of them seem to cherrypick which cases they accept, sorting for the most winnable rather than those in the most need. Are there any that don't do this? How do I find places for people with bad or unwinnable cases, but who still need legal help? [more inside]
BDSM filter: A friend in Northern England wants to use a private home full of kinky equipment to do stuff like rope workshops, hire for small private parties, a venue for munches, and couples hire. What's the most that is possible within the law, without requiring a license? I'm aware of groups such as bdsm and the law on fetlife but am having trouble sifting signal from noise. [more inside]
I have been told that publicly funded Universities in the UK are bound by certain requirements when they want to hire for a position: for instance, that the job be advertised for a certain amount of time, and the competition be open and on the merits of the candidates. What *exactly* are these requirements, and where can I read about them? I'm thinking specifically of Lecturer-type posts, if that makes any difference.
Is there an up-to-date podcast (rss) of Supreme Court Oral Arguments? This podcast stopped in 2010. Is there one that's still going? If not, can web services like Yahoo Pipes help me make one? I want to listen with the Downcast app on iOS and OSX. [more inside]
You have a contract with Company A, which goes bankrupt. Company B buys the assets and continues operating under the original contract with you. Assuming that Company B did not simply acquire the contract in the bankruptcy, what is the term for what happened? Did Company B adopt the contract? Assume it? Ratify it? Thanks!
5 years ago, I married Mr. Librarypt. Then we moved. For our anniversary we want to go to the courthouse and get married in the state we're currently living in, Maryland. Is this legal in Maryland? I don't want to get fined or go to jail for trying to do a romantic thing. The google isn't helping me. Thanks!
How does Arizona's SB 1062 work to protect those seeking to discriminate against others based on religious grounds? [more inside]
My state job is pretty blatantly ignoring the state laws regarding rest periods. I have low blood sugar and am finding the conditions difficult to manage. [more inside]
I'm wondering how people get into the field of ethics? Are they lawyers? Are they chosen (in much the same way that judges are) for their moral standards and good reputations? [more inside]
Does publicly available software exist that lets me overlay two documents and see how they differ from each other?
Can you recommend a family law attorney with CPS experience in or around Austin, Texas? [more inside]
So in many data sets, the leading digit has a 30.1% chance of being 1, and decreasing on down the line. Fine. But what about NON-leading digits? Are those also irregularly distributed in naturally-occurring data sets, or are they just 11.11% chance, as a layman would expect?
I have come into possession of a very rare item. How can I make a whole lot of money on it? [more inside]
Please help me decide between business and law school! Difficulty level: I need to decide by Monday and also I'm getting married this weekend and my brain is all over the place OH GOSH SO MANY WORDS INSIDE. [more inside]
Peaking probably 2 or 3 years ago, tales of employment doom for lawyers were everywhere across the internet, with various stories of newly-minted graduates who were $150-200k in debt and either jobless, or working at 40-60k/year jobs where they could never pay back their debt. I remember reading predictions that this wasn't merely a usual and temporary fluctuation, but was a sign of a permanent contraction in the legal job market. I was speaking with an acquaintance who recently graduated from Harvard Law School, who told me that in her opinion, the negativity was overblown, and everyone that she knew in her graduating class had either a job or a fellowship without too much difficulty. This got me wondering whether the situation now is still as bleak as it was a couple of years ago - for lawyers generally, but especially for lawyers from top schools. Are lawyers generally still in such difficult straits in terms of finding a job? [more inside]
Looking for slums that are similar to the former Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong -- areas where the population have created their own sorts of internal ecosystems for one reason or another, living together in some kind of (likely rather tense) harmony. Ideally, these would be places where people have trotted out storefronts/small businesses, and have somehow either leeched off the public infrastructure or created their own. Bonus points if the residents are essentially unauthorized to live there. Nowhere in the US, please (though I'd still be interested in knowing). I already know about Dharavi, Kibera, and the Tower of David in Caracas.
I'm looking to hire an attorney familiar with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, litecoin, etc. Any recommendations or pointers? [more inside]
How do CenturyLink Field and the Seattle Seahawks NFL team not get crushed by a workplace safety lawsuit? [more inside]
Here is the "Question" This is a two part legal/renters rights & money question. Part 1: My roommates are late on January's rent. We have just been served a Notice of Default. Caveat: the information listed on the notice is inaccurate. Part 2:How do we come up with a solid sum of money in short time? [more inside]
We think our lawyer, who has been working our case for over two years, may be incompetent, but we find it hard to determine for sure. He seems very compliant in regard to the other side, while being subject to brush-offs and delaying tactics from the other side. Even if he is incompetent, we're not sure what's involved in changing lawyers. Perhaps you can shed some light on this. [more inside]
I want to create a legal document declaring in robust legalese that all of my intellectual property (except works specifically noted) shall enter the public domain upon my death and a website to host (or link to p2p copies of) archives of those works. I want the legal documents to make it easy for other people to use or adapt for themselves and ideally for the site to act as a host or tracker for them to post to. I'm seeking legal and technical advice as well as general input in order to make this happen. [more inside]
So my sister in law missed a court date after moving out of Wisconsin. She failed to keep her address current with her child custody court and missed the notification of a court date. She now has found out she has a bench warrant out for her arrest. So what is next for her and can anyone recommend a good lawyer in the area?