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Supreme Court Ruling Is All Bite, No Bark for Prospective Infringers

In a highly publicized case, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of Jack Daniels and against a company that marketed and sold a spoof dog chew toy.  The toy was shaped like a Jack Daniels’ whiskey bottle.  It used similar coloring and stylized labeling as the Jack Daniels’ bottle.  Finally, it contained other similarities to...

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Employers: Where’s Your Email Monitoring Policy?!?

A recent California appellate court case reinforces the need for employers to have a clear and enforceable policy regarding the ability to review employees’ work emails.  In Militello v. VFARM 1509 [1], the plaintiff, Shauneen Militello, sued several fellow co-owners of a cannabis manufacturing and distribution company.  One of the defendants, Ann...

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Commercial Lease Force Majeure Decisions Continue to Disappoint Tenants

Force majeure provisions in commercial leases generally allow one or both parties to the lease to delay or wholly excuse their performance of certain lease obligations in the event of unforeseen circumstances (often defined to include “acts of God,” fires, natural disasters, war, and governmental action, among other things).  Prior to March...

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Good Faith Defense for Wage Claims

As many employers are aware, California has some of the most employee-friendly laws in the country. Two such employee-friendly laws are Labor Code sections 203 and 226. Section 203 imposes a waiting time penalty on an employer who willfully fails to pay wages owed to a terminated employee on the date of termination. The penalty for violating Section 203 is...

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Generative AI: Employer Considerations for Permitting Employees to Use ChatGPT

Unless you have been living under a rock, you and your employees have used or at least heard of ChatGPT. ChatGPT is an AI-based language model developed by OpenAI. GPT stands for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer,” which refers to the model’s architecture and how it was trained. ChatGPT is designed to generate human-like responses to...

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