2017 ABA Top 25 Legal Twitter Accounts!

Honored to me included as one of the top 25 legal Twitter accounts to follow in 2017!

Take a look at the American Bar Association’s 2017 ABA Journal 100 Web Best Law 25 Twitter List, blogs and more.

If you’re interested in law, business, social media, livestreaming, community service, technology, life skills, politics and sports, then connect with Mitch on Twitter @mitchjackson

23+ Legal and Business Livestreaming Tips To Keep You Safe on Social Media!

Earlier today I joined Jennifer Quinn, author of “Leverage Livestreaming To Build Your Brand,” and we engaged in a rapid-fire back and forth covering 23+ legal tips to help livestreamers safely do business on the social media platforms.

Click here or on the image below to watch the video. Enjoy and reach out with any questions!


Get Jennifer’s new book. Click here!

How To Legally Use Other People’s Copyrighted Material

Despite the title, it’s essential for me to start off this post with the same advice I give my clients. It’s as follows:

If you didn’t create the content you want to use, don’t use it without the express written permission of the creator or legal rights holder.

Also let me say, right off the bat, that while I am a California lawyer, I’m not your lawyer. No legal advice is given in this post. What I am doing in this post is sharing a legal concept that you might find useful. Please do us both a favor and use these steps to find and contact a lawyer in your state with any questions.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, there are times when you may be able to legally use someone else’s copyrighted material (pictures, videos, parts of blog posts) without their permission. This happens when your use falls under what is called the Fair Use Doctrine.

Fair Use Doctrine

The Fair Use Doctrine (FUD) is a United States law that allows for the limited use of copyrighted material. Under the FUD, you do not first need to get the permission of the copyright holder before using the content.

The FUD exists to try and balance the interests of the public use of creative works with the legal rights of creators and copyright holders. Several examples of content that falls under the FUD includes (1) news reporting, (2) commentary, (3) teaching, (4) criticism, (5) parody, (6) research, (7) scholarship and (8) search engines.

There is a four-factor test that is used to determine what falls under the FUD. This includes the purpose and character of the use mentioned above. The test also involves whether (1) the use is for commercial purposes or nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The courts also take several other facts into consideration when deciding if the FUD applies to certain content, such as acknowledging the creator’s name in the content use. While the FUD allows you to use copyrighted protected content, this can be a complicated area to navigate. My recommendation is to always check with a lawyer in your state in you are relying on the FUD when sharing someone else’s content. He or she can review your specific intended use and provide you with appropriate legal advice.

I’m sharing the recommendation to consult with a lawyer because, if a claim is brought against you for copyright infringement, it is your burden to prove that your use of the content falls under the FUD. Because claims can take years to litigate, the time and expense to you can be overwhelming, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. This is why you need to be aware of all the above and conduct yourself accordingly.

Conclusion

If you feel the need to use someone else’s copyrighted content, always try to do so only after getting permission from the owner of the content. Although the FUD is here to protect you, what I’ve noticed over the years is that the FUD is a grey area of law that should be avoided when at all possible.

Before dipping your toe into the FUD water, make sure your lawyer has reviewed what you want to use and has told you it’s safe to jump in headfirst.

There’s Nothing I’d Rather be Than a Trial Lawyer– and I just may owe you an apology

I’m sorry if I’ve ever come across as being rude, impatient or more interested in going for the win than giving you my shoulder to rest upon.

Trial lawyers have to wear many different hats and sometimes I forget which one I’m wearing.

Why Confidential Sexual Harassment Settlements Are Bad For Women and Society

Confidential Settlements

Bill O’Reilly pays $32M to settle a sexual harassment case and is now claiming to be the victim. Here’s a news flash, nobody pays you tens of millions of dollars because they kissed you on the cheek or gave you an inappropriate hug.

Furthermore, this isn’t O’Reilly’s first rodeo. He’s paid millions of dollars to settle other claims. And those are only the cases we know about. Because of the confidentiality clauses he’s forced his victims to sign, he knows you and I will never know all the underlying circumstances which I’m guessing, would make most of us sick to our stomaches.

Suffice it to say that I’m not a fan of O’Reilly. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with my daughter working in the same company that he’s employed in.

But O’Reilly is only the tip of the iceberg. As many of you already know, other wealthy and high-profile men like Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump have also reportedly used these “pay for silence” confidential settlement agreements, also known as non-disclosure agreements (NDA), to avoid having their dirty laundry made public. You may not know that these men entered into NDAs but think about it for a minute, that’s the whole idea behind NDAs, to keep things quiet.

From my perspective as a trial lawyer, let me tell you exactly why I believe people and companies use NDAs. The reason isn’t premised upon innocence, spin or politics. It’s simple.

The primary reason most people and companies use NDAs is that they don’t want you to know what they did. They use NDA’s to cover up embarrassing, wrongful, and sometimes criminal acts. Generally speaking, the higher the amount of money paid, the worse the conduct.

Continue reading “Why Confidential Sexual Harassment Settlements Are Bad For Women and Society”

Safety Tips From a Trial Lawyer: How to protect your daughter from the Harvey Weinsteins of the world!

 

Today’s New Yorker magazine story alleges that Hollywood film executive, Harvey Weinstein, used his position of power to sexually harass and rape multiple women. Famous actors like Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Ashley Judd, all share a common story that goes something like this.

According to published facts, Weinstein would create an environment where he would end up alone with a young female. It’s reported that he would then make sexual advances, ask for a massage, or masturbate in front of the victim. Another common theme seemed to be that Weinstein would dangle, like a carrot, promises of movies and fame in exchange for sexual favors.

Unfortunately, the Weinstein story mirrors decades-old allegations of wrongful sexual conduct. From Bill Cosby to Donald Trump, the same questions come up over and over. Why don’t survivors come forward sooner? How can victims protect themselves from sexual harassment in the workplace?

As a trial lawyer and father of two young adults getting ready to enter the workforce, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you, four ways you can protect yourself from sexual harassment (unwanted sexual advances, inappropriate touching by co-workers, sexually hostile work environments) in the workplace.

Continue reading “Safety Tips From a Trial Lawyer: How to protect your daughter from the Harvey Weinsteins of the world!”