A DIY Network celebrity accused Klein & Wilson's client of violating Civil Code section 3344 by using his image without authorization to sell products. The celebrity's expert opined that the celebrity's damages were not less than $16 million, representing all the sales Klein & Wilson's client made during the period at issue. Klein & Wilson filed a motion (which the court heard right before picking a jury) asking the court to exclude the expert because his testimony was based on inaccurate assumptions instead of reliable data. The court granted the motion, gutting plaintiff's case. Recognizing an adverse jury verdict was inevitable, plaintiff dismissed the case just as the court was calling prospective jurors to the courtroom.
The stock market took a beating last week. It appears that fears of a burgeoning economy may lead to interest rate hikes. This effectively led to the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing a considerable amount of points this week. This week’s losses mark a third consecutive week where value has been lost. It appears that the gains realized from the beginning of the year have been wiped out.
People are in business to make money; that much is easy enough to understand. However, the road to success in business is not always paved in gold. In fact, it can be fraught with more cracks, potholes and backed up with more traffic than I-10 on a Tuesday afternoon. Indeed, being in business can be fulfilling and profitable, but knowing what can get you into trouble and when you can seek remedies is just as important.
For businesses, being in a lawsuit brings the potential to realize damages that extend far beyond the courtroom. Legal battles (and scandals) could put a company’s market share in jeopardy since public trust is also a valuable commodity. Sometimes scourge of a public scandal is unavoidable. We’ve seen it with Uber (troubling sex discrimination claims), United Airlines (images of a mistreated passenger going viral) and Volkswagen (a decade of cheating on emissions tests).
The fallout from the Volkswagen fraud case is apparently turning into further business opportunities for the State of California and vulnerable communities. As part of the multibillion dollar settlement between state and federal regulators and the German automaker over the decade long hoax over its diesel engine efficiencies, Volkswagen will be tasked with expanding a clean vehicle infrastructure across the state.
While the market has not shown much of the volatility that investors came to expect over the past few years, abrupt changes to the market can threaten investors’ confidence and lead to further financial turmoil. Because of this, prudent businesspeople plan for market tremors. In the same vein, small business owners can safeguard their company’s holdings when the market goes awry. This post will highlight a few options.
In Veera v. Banana Republic, LLC, a California Court of Appeal recently reversed a judgment in favor of Banana Republic in a false advertising class action based on in-store ads promoting a 40% off sale. The plaintiffs alleged they were lured into Banana Republic stores after seeing ads in store windows stating "40% off." Plaintiffs learned at the cash register that the discount did not apply to the items they wanted to purchase. Out of frustration and embarrassment, plaintiffs claim they bought some but not all of the items they selected at full price. They later sued for violations of California's Unfair Competition Law ("UCL") at Business and Professions Code sections 17200 and 17500, claiming the "40% Off" signs were misleading because they did not disclose that the discount only applied to certain items.
Imagine that you are a small business and you are trying to grow into a successful company. In order to do this, there are a lot of factors that need to fall into place just so. You need a great product or service; you need to implement that product or service efficiently; and you need to have a great reputation as a company with good customer service and dependable products. It is very difficult to achieve all of these factors.
So much can be at stake in competition between businesses. Thus, it is of little surprise that such competition can get rather heated. In the midst of such heated competition, there are many different tactics a business may turn to try to get a leg up on their competitors.