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Complying With the Employer Notice Requirement of The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) expanded trade secret protections, but also created new requirements for employers to take advantage of those protections, including providing notice of the new whistleblower immunity "in any contract or agreement with an employee that governs the use of a trade secret or other confidential information" for contracts "entered into or updated after the date of enactment of the statute." Employers need to be aware of the breadth of scope of these notice requirements to ensure they receive the full benefit of the protections.

Bad Day for a Billionaire: Sculptor Prevails in Copyright Case

Gene Brockland recently won a significant victory for his client, sculptor Don Wakefield, in a major copyright infringement case. Billionaire Igor Olenicoff and his Olen Properties Corporation were originally hit with a $450,000 verdict. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has now upheld the damage award, and has ordered that the infringing copies be destroyed. 

Whether There's A Will Or No Will...There's Still A Way!

If an individual dies owning assets in her individual name without a joint owner or a designated beneficiary, probate court is generally the answer to transfer those assets to the correct beneficiaries. In Missouri, there are several types of probate proceedings available depending on the size of the deceased individual's estate (i.e. probate assets less liabilities).

Oh-Queso Who's Liable? Eastern District: Mexican Restaurant Employee Can State Claim for Workplace Negligence against Co-Employee

Written by Christian J. Bowling and Brian M. Wacker

Despite recent rulings by the Missouri Supreme Court, the issue of whether an employee may be liable in negligence to a co-employee remains hotly contested in Missouri. Plaintiffs continue to test the limits on what can substantiate such a claim. Recently, the Missouri Eastern District Court of Appeals weighed in on the issue, reversing a lower court ruling dismissing a co-employee's suit for failure to state a claim.  


How Is Copyright Protection Obtained?

The creator of an original work that is entitled to copyright protection owns the copyright as soon as the work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. In other words, once the original work is created the copyright exists. For example, an artist has a copyright in his or her work as soon as their painting, drawing or sculpture has been created. At that point, with nothing more being done, it is not legal for anyone to copy that original work.

Unemployment Benefit Protests: Isolated Acts of Negligence Are Not "Misconduct" to Support Denial of Unemployment Benefits

Missouri employers know that the decision whether to protest an ex-employee's application for unemployment benefits can be a dicey proposition. The costs, risks and benefits of filing a protest should be weighed carefully.

Forecasting the future of asbestos claims

Asbestos-related litigation blossomed in the 1980s and has grown and evolved over the last four decades. Nearly 100 companies have filed for bankruptcy as a result of asbestos litigation, causing plaintiffs' attorneys to focus on solvent, yet peripheral new defendants.iIn the last four decades, over 10,000 different companies have been named in asbestos lawsuits.ii The average number of companies named on a single asbestos complaint in 2015 was 69.iii Although the expiration of asbestos litigation has been predicted many times since it began nearly 40 years ago, there does not appear to be a clear end in sight. Recent filing trends, new plaintiff accessibility, and medical advances (among other factors) seem to indicate that asbestos-related litigation will continue well into the next decade and beyond.

What does copyright law protect?

The federal Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. §101 et seq.) applies to a wide range of creative, intellectual and artistic forms, commonly referred to as "works." It protects written works such as books, articles, poems, plays and theses. It protects fine arts such as paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs. It protects motion pictures, choreography, musical compositions and sound recordings. It also protects industrial designs such as architectural drawings and engineering plans. In the digital age, it has come to protect computer software code.

My small business has been sued for asbestos, now what??

You have worked hard your entire life to build your family business from a small, two man crew to a successful and profitable operation with several dozen employees. You have always treated your employees fairly and have prided yourself in consistently making the most ethical of business decisions. Despite all of this, you now find yourself with an unforeseen and terrifying problem: you have been sued in an asbestos lawsuit. The lawsuit has been filed in Madison County, Illinois, a place you have never heard of. It lists your small, family business alongside the names of 100 other companies, including huge, well-known corporations like Pfizer, Ford Motor Company, and General Electric. It claims that your small business exposed a man to asbestos and caused his death. You are distraught. What do you do now? Will this be the end of your business? What will happen to your family? To your employees?

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