Topic: Litigation

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Facebook’s California Choice-of-Law Provision Rules the Day

On January 9, 2017, the Northern District of California granted Facebook’s motion to dismiss for claims brought under New Jersey’s Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty, and Notice Act (“the TCCWNA”). In Palomino v. Facebook, Inc., a putative class of New Jersey residents challenged Facebook’s Terms of Service, which, among other provisions, require users to waive potential claims … Continue reading

Risks of unlawful social media content: changes in UK defamation landscape and what you need to know

A carefully curated social media presence is a critical business requirement, but there are risks. One of these risks is unlawful content – be that unlawful content posted to your businesses’ own social media account (exposing the company to potential liability) or harmful content about your business (or its C-Suite or key personnel) posted on … Continue reading

Serving up lawsuits via Facebook: social media provides creative solution under Federal Rules

Service of process on a foreign defendant can be a major headache for U.S. plaintiffs, but social media is proving to be a creative solution when traditional methods have been demonstrated to fail. We previously covered a New York federal court’s ruling that permitted the Federal Trade Commission to serve the Indian defendants, operating under … Continue reading

Did Twitter violate Anti-Terrorism Act by providing ISIS accounts?

On August 10, 2016, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, in Fields v. Twitter, Inc., dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint against Twitter with leave to amend. The plaintiffs’ complaint arose out of the deaths of Lloyd Fields, Jr. and James Damon Creach, two United States government contractors who were working at … Continue reading

What’s In Your Terms of Service?

Social media platforms often require users to agree to Terms of Service or Terms of Use (“TOS”) to use the platform. These contracts can be lengthy and many social media users may not read them in their entirety before agreeing and proceeding to use the platform. This can raise particular issues in contract law, especially … Continue reading

Discovery Challenges of Social Media

Social media has created several complications with regard to the U.S. discovery process in litigation. Among these complications are issues relating to (i) seeking out and turning over vast amounts of social media information, and (ii) preserving inherently fleeting social media information.… Continue reading

Social Media and Potential Jurors

Social media profiles and postings by potential jurors can provide litigation counsel with substantial information about these individuals, including their likes, dislikes, and views on various issues and potential biases. A March 25, 2016 federal trial court ruling, however, led both parties to agree to forego these searches.… Continue reading

Hacked private messages used in court

A South African high court recently ruled that a civil litigant’s private Facebook messages, which were unlawfully obtained by the hacking of his personal account, were nevertheless admissible as evidence against him. In Harvey v Niland, the litigants were members of the same corporation.  Niland was also an employee of the corporation.  After leaving his … Continue reading

Proving the authenticity of a digital account at trial: a lesson from the second circuit

While certain state legislatures may be getting closer to understanding digital assets and digital accounts in trusts and estates, using digital assets and digital accounts as evidence in the federal court system remains a murkier proposition. In United States vs. Vayner, 2014 WL 4942227 (Oct. 3, 2014 2d Cir. ), a jury had convicted the … Continue reading

Pre-suit discovery on social media

A Kings County, New York court has held that a plaintiff may obtain social media information (such as another’s user information and evidence posted through social media) as part of pre-suit discovery under New York law. This decision could have ramifications in a number of jurisdictions that permit pre-suit discovery to preserve evidence and/or obtain … Continue reading

Don’t tell bloggers about NAD wins

If a company sues a competitor about an advertisement that the company believes is false or misleading about the company’s product, a court victory is frequently cause for a press release, as well as announcements on social media and to bloggers.  When the complaint is made to the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council … Continue reading

Agence France Presse v. Morel – THIRD UPDATE

We have posted previously on Agence France Presse v. Morel, the initial opinion of which was issued January 2013, as well as several updates in the case since then. The case so far Briefly summarizing the case so far, photographer Daniel Morel posted some photographs on Twitter.  Agence France Presse (“AFP”) copied eight of those … Continue reading

No Secret in Brazil

The popular social networking app “Secret” has reportedly been temporarily enjoined in Brazil. A civil court in Brazil ordered both Google and Apple to remove Secret from their respective app stores, and to pull the apps from the phones of their users. In its opinion, the Brazilian court raised concerns that Secret’s anonymity feature can … Continue reading

Social media ads and physical injury

Can social media ads lead a court to hold a business responsible for a physical assault that occurred after the customer left the business’ premises?  On July 9, 2014, a federal trial court in Pennsylvania ruled in Paynton v Spuds that the restaurant’s marketing and ads on Facebook were a “significant” factor in denying the … Continue reading

Google – Hanginout in court

In November 2013, Hanginout, Inc. (“Hanginout”) filed a lawsuit against Google Inc. (“Google”) alleging, among other things, that Google had infringed on Hanginout’s HANGINOUT mark. Hanginout, a Virginia based social media company, uses its HANGINOUT mark for its interactive video response platform, which enables its users to create, promote, and sell their own brands by … Continue reading

Beware of the threatening tweet

Early April saw the arrest of a 14-year-old girl who sent a threatening tweet aimed at American Airlines.  Tweeting under her own account, this girl, identified only as Sarah, posted “hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m gonna do something really big bye.”  American … Continue reading

Jurors and social media

A recent article published in the Duke Law and Technology Review sheds new light on the jury’s use (or more precisely, lack of use) of social media when given proper instructions from the Court. (See Amy J. St. Eve, et al., More from the #Jury Box: The Latest on Juries and Social Media, 12 Duke … Continue reading

Online v. Offline Agreements: Braverman v. Yelp

A New York state trial court recently ruled in a long-running dispute between a cosmetic dentist and Yelp, the online consumer review site. Braverman v. Yelp, Inc., No. 158299-2013 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Feb. 24, 2014). The dentist originally complained that Yelp had defamed him by permitting negative reviews about him to appear on Yelp’s site.  That claim … Continue reading

Settlement forfeited over Facebook post

Civil lawsuits are most frequently resolved by an out of court settlement. Employment discrimination and retaliation lawsuits are no exception. When a company makes the business decision to settle a civil lawsuit, the company generally requires the plaintiff(s) to agree to  terms of confidentiality and requires that confidentiality provision be included in the settlement agreement. A confidentiality provision … Continue reading

Minors’ credit card purchases

If your social media page permits a user to purchase goods or services from you, a December 20, 2013 ruling from the Northern District of California may be of interest. The case involves minors using their parents’ credit cards without authorization (in 2011) in order to purchase several hundred dollars’ worth of Facebook Credits.I.B. v. … Continue reading

LinkedIn office locations not enough for personal jurisdiction

Since 1961, plaintiff MetroMedia Company has used the Metromedia name in connection with a number of ventures, and owns several valid federal trademark registrations incorporating the name and mark METROMEDIA. In 1992, defendant Ronald Cowan formed a company with Susan Conway, which was later converted to Metromedia, Inc. in 2010 and to a partnership named … Continue reading
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