April 2011

The U.S. Supreme court issued its opinion in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion yesterday. The Court held that California’s Discover Bank rule is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act. The Discover Bank rule states that a class action waiver in an arbitration agreement is unconscionable and should not be enforced

  • when it is found in a consumer contract of adhesion
  • in a setting in which disputes between the contracting parties predictably involve small amounts of damages, [click to continue…]
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Let’s face it, no one reads online terms and conditions. Admit it, you don’t read them either. I know you don’t, because I don’t. And I read user’s manuals (and file them). I never quit a book until I’m finished, no matter how bad the book is. I read the dust jacket, copyright page, table of contents, preface, introduction, footnotes and endnotes, bibliography, and often well into the index. And God help me if the first volume of a trilogy is a dud.

But I’m not likely to spend half an hour slogging through terms and conditions when I’m downloading software, paying my credit card bill, buying something on Amazon, or signing up for a social media service. But maybe I should…. [click to continue…]

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What do the AP Stylebook, Chicago Manual of Style, and MLA Style Manual have in common? They all recommend using a single space after a period. I’m with them, although I wouldn’t get worked up about it.

Farhad Manjoo’s with them too, but he does get worked up about it. He doesn’t mince words in this Slate article in which he writes, “Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.” He’s clearly not a fan of the “two spacers.” [click to continue…]

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Be careful about informal communications with counterparties to your contracts. That’s the key lesson from a case decided by a federal court in Florida last month. In CX Digital Media, Inc. v. Smoking Everywhere, Inc., the court held that a short, informal instant message exchange between two parties to a contract modified the contract—to the tune of about $1.5 million. And the contract contained a provision that required changes to be made in writing.

The Written Contract

Smoking Solutions and CX Digital had entered into a written contract. [click to continue…]

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To compare Koncision’s launch of its first product to humanity’s first steps on the moon would be a bit of hyperbole to be sure, but Koncision does represent a major step toward rationalizing the provision of legal services.

What Is Koncision?

Koncision is a web-based application that combines the power of document assembly with high-quality contract templates. [click to continue…]

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To be afforded protection as a trade secret, confidential information must satisfy three criteria:

  1. The information has limited availability;
  2. It derives economic value by having limited availability; and
  3. Its owner takes “reasonable precautions” to keep it secret.

Don’t be tripped up by the last item by neglecting to use reasonable precautions to protect your valuable information.

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