How to Remain Human in High Stakes Business Negotiations

I’m sharing 30 years of trial lawyer negotiation approaches and techniques on Monday’s live video #H2HChat interview with Bryan Kramer and Courtney Smith Kramer of Purematter.

The “insider secrets” I’m going to share have helped me close numerous multi-million dollar cases for my clients. Regardless whether your next deal is small or large, I believe these negotiation methods will work for you too.

It’ll be great to see everyone this upcoming Monday at 3 pm ET on #H2Hchat (also make sure to follow the hashtag on Twitter during the show). The show is FREE and you can get the live video viewing link by clicking here!

Have negotiation questions. Please share them with me here and I’ll try to answer them during the live show.

Facebook Live Audio Copyright Issues: Things You Need to Know!

The rollout of Facebook Live Audio is awesome. It offers a new way to communicate, in real time, with our clients, customers, and audiences, using our mobile devices. Click here or on the image above to listen to my first Facebook Live Audio.

Intellectual Property Rights

While Facebook Live Audio provides all of us with a new free audio based broadcasting tool, it also exposes uninformed users of Facebook Live Audio to place themselves in legal jeopardy for violations of Intellectual Property (IP) and specifically, copyright right laws. In this post, I share some of the issues I’m already watching and listening to and, others I anticipate in the future on the Facebook Live Audio platform.

For example, if you read or play original content created by someone else, for any reason and for any length of time, you may be in violation of the creators IP rights. This includes reading a book, blog post, or playing music in the background. The easy solution is as follows: If you didn’t create the content, don’t use it without the written permission of the owner or person with legal use rights.

Yes, there is the Fair Use Doctrine that permits the use of someone else’s copyrighted material, but the exceptions are narrow and the law is gray. Don’t count too much on this exception protecting you unless (1) your lawyer is better than the other side’s lawyer and (2) you have more money than the other side to win your case in court (sarcasm).

Terms of Service (TOS) Agreements

Facebook has a Terms of Service (TOS) Agreement that applies to Facebook Live Audio. It prohibits users from violating the copyright of others. It’s part of the DMCA Safe Harbor provisions that protect Facebook and not you.

If you go live and share copyrighted material, you may be liable to the creator of the content and, you may also be in violation of the TOS Agreement. Facebook can suspend your account or shut you down for a violation of its TOS Agreement.

If you repurpose your Facebook Live Audio broadcast on other platforms like Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Snapchat, their TOS Agreements allow for the same action. Depending on how and why you use your social media platforms, this could be devastating to your reputation, success, or business.


If you play music during your Facebook Live Audio and didn’t get permission from the creator of the music (writer, band, license holder, management company), you will in all likelihood be in violation of a copyright. This includes background music or using Facebook Live Audio to share an evening of live karaoke which I see all the time with livestreaming video. Keep in mind that just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it right or legal.

Similar to the TOS Agreement mentioned above, if you go live from a concert or stadium and share protected music with your audience, you’ll probably be in violation of one or more intellectual property rights. While the venue may have secured a public-performance license through ASCAP or BMI (songwriters’ associations), and may have the legal right to record and play the music, you don’t.

In addition to copyright issues, there’s also a valuable “right of publicity” that an artist may be able to protect. Under this theory, Katy Perry may argue her voice or music played in the background during your Facebook Live Audio is part of her image or brand, and only she has the right to benefit from that image or brand. This is a relatively new and untested area of law. It appears to me that artists such as Katy Perry would be on strong legal grounds should they decide to hold offending Facebook Live Audio users liable.

Other legal arguments musicians and bands may assert for the unauthorized use of their music during a Facebook Live Audio include violations of the “Lanham Act” (confusion or dilution of a trademark through unauthorized use) and “False Endorsement” (implies that the artist supports a product or your broadcast).

Pro Tip: Create Your Own Brand Sound and Music

If you’re looking to compliment your Facebook Live Audio or business branding with music or sound, avoid all of the above hassles and create your own!

I recommend you take a close look at Signature Tones. It’s a sonic branding studio that works with organizations to create and use music and sound to establish a unique and memorable identity. Created by friend, marketing strategist, international sales and marketing speaker, and bestselling author David Meerman Scott and recording artist, live music performer, and music creative director Juanito Pascual, Signature Tones is your one stop solution to creating an audio brand you own and that your audience will never forget.


We tell our clients not to use any audio, including music, during their Facebook Live Audios that they did not create or, obtain permission from the creator or owner to use. When they claim that the Fair Use Doctrine will protect them, we remind them of the limited scope and protection this doctrine provides.

Best practices are to (1) get permission before using someone else’s audio content or (2) use licensed or royalty free audio (for example, services like Shutterstock).

Facebook Live Audio is a fantastic tool. Enjoy it and use it often. But when you do, respect the IP rights of all sounds, music or other material that you directly or indirectly share over the platform.


What Rights Do Musicians Have When Politicians Use Their Music Without Permission? (my weekly live video show). Last week’s topic: “How to Use Facebook Live Audio” with Jennifer Quinn and Rachel Moore

Don’t Look The Other Way On Social Media

“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” -Oprah Winfrey

When you see something bad happen to someone else on social media, do you look the other way or do you do the right thing and help?

Most people pretend not to notice when others behave badly. They ignore the problem. They look the other way.

I see this a lot on social media.

When the digital fox is allowed inside the social media hen house, people get hurt. Wrongdoers are not held accountable. Ignoring the problem makes it worse for everyone.

Protecting each other is not always easy, but it is always necessary.

Have integrity, promote high standards, and act ethically in your online community. Stand tall and do the right thing.

Doing so will help make our online communities, and the world, safer and better places.


Related: “Do The Right Thing In Your Social Media Community”

Social Media Day San Diego- June 30th!

Join us June 30th for “Social Media Day San Diego” at the beautiful Bahia Resort Hotel on Mission Bay!

In addition to #SMDaySD taking place at one of the most stunning venues in Southern California, Tyler Anderson and his amazing team at Casual Fridays, have put together an outstanding lineup of social media experts who will be sharing the latest tools, tips and approaches.

As for me, I’ll be sharing 30 years of legal tips to show you exactly how to to use social media, livestreaming and the other digital platforms in a way that will help you, and your company, avoid unnecessary legal hassles.

Want more info? Ready to get your tickets? Visit today!

So You Want To Start a Business?


“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”

-Henry David Thoreau

I started my first business at the age of seven. For fifty cents, my “Cowboy Shoeshine Service” provided a much-needed spit, polish, and shine to dirty and dusty boots owned by the guests staying at my parent’s Guest Ranch in Tucson, Arizona.

In high school, I used my dad’s tractor and charged $25 to remove horse manure from neighbor’s corrals. At the University of Arizona, my two sideline businesses were giving hang gliding and windsurfing lessons on the weekends. If I was going to keep my clients high and dry and build my part-time businesses, I had to make sure I did things the right way.

I didn’t have a single client when I passed the bar and started my law practice in 1986. There was no Internet and to be perfectly honest; law school didn’t teach me much about running or marketing a business.

Over the years, I paid attention to what worked, what didn’t and learned as much as I could. I read business development and marketing books, attended conferences, and watched how successful professionals built their practices and companies. I took what I learned shining cowboy boots and teaching windsurfing and applied these early life lessons to business and law.

Today, my partner, Lisa Wilson, and I have been able to build a business and global brand that has allowed us to help thousands of people around the world. It’s been a journey of success, failure, and daily excitement.

What I share in this post are my thoughts derived from the legal and business lessons I’ve learned helping hundreds of businesses with their startup, litigation and trial needs. I’ve tried to write this post in a way that allows you to understand my recommendation and then take action quickly. Based upon my life experiences I know for a fact that it’s failing to take action that prevents people from ever starting their business in the first place.

Products, Services, and Proper Mindset

If you want to start and build a successful business, you must have two things. First, you need a product or service that helps others and adds value to their lives. Second, you need to have a proper mindset. Without these two things, you’re wasting your time.

I’m going to assume you already have the right product and service and that you’re reading this post because you now what to start your business. If not, then my suggestion is to pick a product that you’re passionate about. A product or service that gets you excited.

For me, it’s the law. I love helping fix people’s problems. I enjoy taking on the bullies in the world and holding them accountable for their wrongful conduct. I like what I’m doing, and while I work very hard at my craft, it just doesn’t feel like work to me. I’m passionate about the “why” behind the service I provide to my clients. You need to feel the same way.

While passion alone isn’t going to make you successful, it will give you the incentive to get out of bed each morning and do what needs to be done to achieve success. This is especially true when the going gets tough, and it will get tough every now and then.

Continue reading “So You Want To Start a Business?”

Newsjacking for Lawyers: How to Build Your Brand and Grow Your Practice

I’m excited to see this article that David Meerman Scott and I wrote about #Newsjacking in the PILMMA “Insiders’ Journal” magazine (April 2017). Click to learn more about and PILMMA

Related Posts and Video:

California trial lawyer comments on legal aspects of news to grow influence

Newsjacking with Ken Hardison of PILMMA

Social Media on Steroids: How One Lawyer is Live Casting and Newsjacking

And on Facebook Live via the 2017 Tony Robbins Business Mastery Event in Florida