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A recent ransomware cyberattack has hit at least 150 countries and infected 200,000 machines. Though the IT community has this attack mostly contained, it represents a very real threat for many people and is likely to mark the inception of a round of similar attacks. The New Jersey State Bar Association has a few tips to help you protect your business, personal and client information. What is a ransomware attack? Ransomware, like the recent WannaCry and WannaCrypt attacks, stops you from using your computer by holding your PC or files for "ransom." Typically there is a request for money or other action, before you can use your computer again. However, there ...
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// Today the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 477 - Securing Communication of Protected Client Information (May 11, 2017), which revisits ABA Formal Opinion 99-413 in which the Committee addressed a lawyer’s confidentiality obligations for e-mail communications with clients.  The Committee deemed it appropriate to update the 1999 Opinion, given that while the basic obligations of confidentiality remain applicable today, the role and risks of technology have substantially evolved. The Formal Opinion synopsis ...
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At this point, I’m sure you’ve all heard of the debacle that was supposed to be the Fyre Festival. This is the story of how two inexperienced promoters convinced themselves and many attendees that they could build a festival from the ground up on an undeveloped island that would deliver a high-end experience featuring VIP packages. The festival was promoted by social media influencers and supermodels, and promised attendees three days on a private island in the Bahamas with luxury accommodations, gourmet food, access to private beaches, luxury yachts and Fyre’s artist compound. However, it was plagued by almost every issue imaginable: no stage setup, no food ...
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The EASL Section is pleased to announce the following upcoming CLE programs: My Kid's Not Playing Football: Legal Issues Surrounding Concussions in Sports : MAY 17, 2017 - The EASL Section is excited to be hosting this program with the Diversity Committee at the Annual Convention.  In this program, legal and medical experts will explore the liability issues of youth and professional sports including a discussion of the diagnosis and treatment of concussions. The second half of the program will be a discussion with counsel representing plaintiffs in the NFL concussion injury litigation suit by former NFL players against the league. Kenneth E. Sharperson, ...
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One of the unique aspects about contracting within the entertainment industry is the presence of various guilds, such as SAG-AFTRA, Directors Guild of America (DGA), and Writers Guild of America (WGA).  Unlike a generic commercial agreement, an attorney practicing within this space needs to consider guild rules, as they may affect the terms of a deal.       Recently, in an effort to avoid a strike, the WGA and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) “reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year film and TV contract”.  Among its changes are a “15% increase in Pay TV residuals, roughly $15 million in increases in High-Budget SVOD residuals, ...
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My Kid's Not Playing Football: Legal Issues Surrounding Concussions in Sports : MAY 17, 2017 - The EASL Section is excited to be hosting this program with the Diversity Committee at the Annual Convention.  In this program, legal and medical experts will explore the liability issues of youth and professional sports including a discussion of the diagnosis and treatment of concussions. The second half of the program will be a discussion with counsel representing plaintiffs in the NFL concussion injury litigation suit by former NFL players against the league. Kenneth E. Sharperson, Esq., Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee, will serve as the moderator of this ...
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Chief Wahoo may be on his way out   Back on Monday, October 17, 2016, a judge in Ontario, Canada denied an injunction to have the Cleveland Indians barred from using their name and logo in Toronto.  Of course this legal battle was started by a Toronto Blue Jays fan hours prior to the Cleveland Indians taking on the Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series.  The application argued the Indians’ name and mascot – Chief Wahoo, a cartoon drawing of a man with red skin and a feather tucked in his headband – are offensive and discriminatory. The legal challenge was filed by Douglas Cardinal, a prominent architect and indigenous activist based ...
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My Kid's Not Playing Football: Legal Issues Surrounding Concussions in Sports : MAY 17, 2017 - The EASL Section is excited to be hosting this program with the Diversity Committee at the Annual Convention.  In this program, legal and medical experts will explore the liability issues of youth and professional sports including a discussion of the diagnosis and treatment of concussions. The second half of the program will be a discussion with counsel representing plaintiffs in the NFL concussion injury litigation suit by former NFL players against the league. Kenneth E. Sharperson, Esq., Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee, will serve as the moderator of this ...
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I attended the Solo & Small Firm Conference again this year, as I have for the past 5 years now. I was asking a few attorneys about seeking out solo or small firm attorneys who are interested in working together and joining forces to create a synergy together. I realize there are many conversations, steps and relationships that have to be identified and developed, but the first step is to identify those attorneys who might be interested in the opportunity and have a vision of growing into a larger, more powerful firm that can provide more services to our client bases. I am a solo attorney, with my main area of practice being real estate. I do a little matrimonial ...
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CLE Reminders

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The EASL Section is pleased to announce the following upcoming CLE programs: Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in Indie Filmmaking . This program will take place April 1, 2017 from 2:30-4:30pm during the Garden State Film Festival at the Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, NJ.Speakers include Steven Schecter, Imraan Farukhi, and Past Chair Gary Laurie. Registration and other information about the program is available on the NJSBA website. Intellectual Property Protection & Enforcement . This program will take place during the NJSBA Annual Convention (Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 1pm) at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. Speakers include Ronald Bienstock, ...
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I regularly get calls from clients both inside and outside the entertainment industry telling me about a bad review they received online somewhere and that they want to sue the speaker for defamation. Hopefully, you all just groaned much like I do when I get these calls because we know that it is an uphill battle at best. However, we did receive some guidance in the recent New Jersey decision Gillon v. Bernstein . The decision outlined the differences between related causes of action: defamation, commercial disparagement and false light invasion of privacy. In the decision, Judge Martini also discusses the fine line between non-actionable disparagement ...
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The EASL Section is pleased to announce the following upcoming CLE programs: Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in Indie Filmmaking . This program will take place April 1, 2017 from 2:30-4:30pm during the Garden State Film Festival at the Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, NJ.Speakers include Steven Schecter, Imraan Farukhi, and Past Chair Gary Laurie. Registration and other information about the program is available on the NJSBA website. Intellectual Property Protection & Enforcement . This program will take place during the NJSBA Annual Convention (Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 1pm) at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. Speakers include Ronald Bienstock, ...
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Differences in the law create potentially large and inherent complications in international transactions. In the context of the entertainment industry, this can occur regarding moral rights. A moral right is the right of an author or artist, based on natural-law principles, to guarantee the integrity of a creation despite any copyright or property-law right of its owner ( Blacks Law Dictionary , 10 th ed. 2014). Variations of this concept exist in countries such as Egypt. Also, the US has a very limited application of the same principle under federal law. Recently, moral rights were one of the legal issues embodied in a Ninth Circuit case involving ...
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The Imposter John Gorman: Giants PSL Scam The name John Gorman now holds extra significance to the New York Giants. John Gorman is the New York Giants team director of ticketing, and as of February 22, 2017, a different John Gorman was sentenced to five years in prison for scamming 16 people out of $116,550 for Giants season tickets seat licenses. Gorman was convicted for making people believe that they were putting money down for personal seat licenses (PSLs) for New York Giants home games. A seat license is a one-time fee that provides a license to individuals that enables them to make subsequent purchases of season tickets. Instead, the ...
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Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in Indie Filmmaking . This program will take place April 1, 2017 from 2:30-4:30pm during the Garden State Film Festival at the Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, NJ.Speakers include Steven Schecter, Imraan Farukhi, and Past Chair Gary Laurie. Registration and other information about the program will soon be available on the NJSBA website. Intellectual Property Protection & Enforcement . This program will take place during the NJSBA Annual Convention (May 17-19, 2017) at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. Speakers include Ronald Bienstock, current Vice-Chair David Gold as well as Past Chairs Gary Laurie and Laura Magedoff. ...
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Following his termination earlier this month, former second-string New York Times theatre critic Charles Isherwood appears to be gearing up for a fight. Reports have surfaced that he will be exercising his right as a member of the News Guild to force the paper into arbitration on the grounds that his firing was not, in fact, for just cause. The question is whether Isherwood was fired because he criticized colleagues and management in his emails, or whether his communications with theatre producers violated Times ethics rules. Many of his emails with Scott Rudin, for example, appear to be complaints about lead critic Ben Brantley ...
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One last reminder regarding our upcoming program which will take place from 6:00-8:10pm on February 9, 2017 at the offices of Scarinci Hollenbeck in Lyndhurst NJ and will focus on the day-to-day activities of in-house counsel, outside counsel and marketing departments who counsel organizations regarding their media content across various entertainment industries. Speakers include Kathleen Conkey (Law Office of Kathleen Conkey), Lance McPherson (Viacom/MTV), George Dassinger (Dassinger Creative Services) and Ronald Bienstock (Scarinci Hollenbeck). Registration and other information about the program can be found at the NJSBA websit
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The EASL Section is pleased to announce the following upcoming CLE programs: Media Content Counselors Roundtable focusing on the day-to-day activities of in-house counsel, outside counsel and marketing departments who counsel organizations regarding their media content across various entertainment industries. The program will take place from 6:00-8:10pm on February 9, 2017 at the offices of Scarinci Hollenbeck in Lyndhurst NJ. Speakers include Kathleen Conkey (Law Office of Kathleen Conkey), Lance McPherson (Viacom/MTV), George Dassinger (Dassinger Creative Services) and Ronald Bienstock (Scarinci Hollenbeck). Registration and other information about ...
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Employment mediators may be asked to resolve conflicts between current co-workers, or between an employee and a supervisor each of whom will continue to work together. Often the real issue is a lack of mutual respect. This said, describing respectful, future behavior in a settlement agreement can be a puzzle. An approach that I sometimes use is to suggest discussing whether a generalized commitment to demonstrate respect could be supplemented by including promises governing: 1. Acting with civility, and courtesy; 2. Greeting each other at the beginning of the workday, and saying goodbye on leaving the job; 3. Acknowledging promptly and courteously ...
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The EASL Section is pleased to announce the following upcoming CLE programs: Media Content Counselors Roundtable focusing on the day-to-day activities of in-house counsel, outside counsel and marketing departments who counsel organizations regarding their media content across various entertainment industries. The program will take place from 6:00-8:10pm on February 9, 2017 at the offices of Scarinci Hollenbeck in Lyndhurst NJ. Speakers include Kathleen Conkey (Law Office of Kathleen Conkey), Lance McPherson (Viacom/MTV), George Dassinger (Dassinger Creative Services) and Ronald Bienstock (Scarinci Hollenbeck). Registration and other information about ...
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