The High-touch Legal Services® Blog…for Startups!

© 2009-2016 Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law

Yes, a Stranger Can Cancel Your LLC!

Logo for Quora, where Dana Shultz answered a question about how a stranger can cancel your LLC or corporationThis post discusses how (amazingly!) an unauthorized stranger can cancel your LLC (limited liability company) or corporation. It is based on a Quora question that I answered. See What prevents someone from filing a restated certificate of incorporation for a Delaware corporation in which they are not authorized to do so?

Unfortunately, the ease with which entity-formation documents can be filed in the U.S. – while facilitating business startups – does allow unauthorized filing of such documents. This means that, whether accidentally or intentionally, a stranger can cancel your LLC (or corporation). (more…)

What is a DMCA Counter Notification?

Screen shot from YouTube tutorial re filing a DMCA counter notification

Screen shot from YouTube counter notification tutorial

In Terms of Use and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), I discussed DMCA provisions pertaining to takedown notices. This post discusses how an online service provider should respond to a takedown notice and the role of the counter notification.

17 U.S.C. Section 512(c)(1)(C) states that for a provider to be protected by the DMCA, it must respond to a valid takedown notice by “respond[ing] expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing….” (more…)

Limited Liability – a Definition

Logo for Quora, where Dana Shultz answered a question about the meaning of limited liabilityThis post on the meaning of the term limited liability is based on a Quora answer that I provided.

Please see What does limited liability and unlimited liability mean in case of companies? (more…)

Attorney-Client Confidentiality vs. Attorney-Client Privilege

Graphic with reference to California Business and Professions Code, the source of attorney-client confidentiality obligationsAttorney-client confidentiality” and “attorney-client privilege” are terms that non-lawyers frequently mistake for one another or misuse. This post explains the difference between those terms.

While this post cites California law, similar considerations are likely to apply in other states.

Attorney-Client Confidentiality

An attorney’s obligation to maintain client information in confidence is set forth in Business and Professions Code Section 6068(e) . (more…)

Hyperlink in Email Can Create Binding Terms

Stained-glass seal of U.S Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which decided hyperlink caseIn Online Terms can be Binding, even if You don’t have to Click!, I discussed enforceability of a website’s “browsewrap” terms of service. This post discusses how an email hyperlink can create binding contractual terms.

Lawsuit Brought in New York

Elizabeth Starkey filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against travel company G Adventures, Inc. The suit alleged that a G Adventures employee sexually assaulted Starkey during a vacation trip. (more…)

What Does an Incorporator Do?

Logo for Quora, where Dana Shultz answered a question about the role of an incorporator in corporate formationThis post discusses the role of the incorporator when a corporation is formed and is based on a Quora answer that I provided. Please see When a third party files Articles of Incorporation as the incorporator for a company, what are the necessary steps to ensure that the company is legally released to the directors?

When I form a corporation for a client, most of the time the client is the incorporator (i.e., signs the Articles / Certificate of Incorporation).
(more…)

Corporate Personhood May Be More than a Legal Concept

Logo for WSJ.com, which published an article about corporate personhoodCorporate personhood – the idea that business entities may have some of the same legal rights and responsibilities as human beings – is a contentious legal concept. However, in his recent Mind and Matter column in the Wall Street Journal (Our Brains Say Corporations Are People, Too), neuroendocrinologist Robert Sapolsky cited studies showing that as far as the human brain is concerned, corporate personhood is not merely a legal concept.

Quoting a portion of that column (emphasis added): (more…)

FTC Says Gag Clauses Violate Federal Law

Seal of the Federal Trade Commission, which filed a Complaint about gag clausesLast year, I wrote about a California law that prohibits non-disparagement clauses in consumer contracts. (See Consumer Non-disparagement Clauses Nixed in California.) Recently, the Federal Trade Commission took the position that such “gag clauses violate federal law, as well.

Roca Labs’ Obesity Treatment

Roca Labs claims that it has an alternative to bariatric surgery as a treatment for obesity. Roca says that its “proprietary regimen decreases hunger motivation, decreases urge to eat, and reduces gastric capacity by 45% to 65%.” (more…)

Consider Fair Use Before Sending DMCA Takedown Notice

Logo for YouTube, which was involved in a case illustrating why one must consider fair use before sending a DMCA takedown noticeThis post is based on a recent federal appellate case, Lenz v. Universal Music. That case held that one must consider fair use as a possible defense for an online service provider before sending a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

DMCA Background

I provided an overview of the DMCA in Terms of Use and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Quoting a portion of that post: (more…)

Google Scholar Offers Case Research for the Masses

Logo for Quora, where Dana Shultz answered a question about Google ScholarThis post about Google Scholar is a bit off-topic, discussing free online legal research, which is not necessarily a startup issue. However, this information is based on my answer to a Quora question that I am pleased to share here. See Where does Google Scholar get its case law (full-text court opinions) from?

I was intrigued by this question, having wondered, myself, how Google Scholar obtained full-text case law (court opinions). (more…)