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St. Louis Judge Declines to Limit Corporate Representative Deposition to Personal Jurisdiction Issues

Recent rulings by the Missouri Supreme Court and United States Supreme Court have brought personal jurisdiction issues to the forefront in many St. Louis City cases.  In the asbestos case of Rex Terrell v. 4520 Corp., et al. (1422-CC09988), Judge Dierker heard Plaintiff's motion to compel the deposition of Goodyear's corporate representative. Decedent worked over 35 years at a Goodyear facility in Texas, and did not testify to asbestos exposure from any Goodyear products. Plaintiff's counsel argued that a complete corporate representative deposition should be allowed in order to determine what products, if any, Goodyear shipped from Missouri to the Goodyear facility in Texas. Goodyear's defense counsel argued this deposition was unnecessary as Plaintiff lacks personal jurisdiction over Goodyear, and if the deposition is allowed it should only proceed on personal jurisdiction issues.

What is required to prove copyright infringement?

To prove infringement, a copyright owner must prove that he or she is the owner of a valid copyright and that someone copied original elements from the copyrighted work. When the work has been registered, a valid copyright is assumed. To prove that someone copied original elements of the work, the copyright owner needs to establish that the copier had access to his work and that there is a substantial similarity between the copy and original elements of the work.

What are the benefits of registering with the copyright office?

While an original work is protected even without registration, there are additional benefits to registering with the Copyright Office. As a general rule, registration is required before one can file suit to enforce the rights granted by the Copyright Act. So while a copyright holder who becomes aware of infringement could send the infringer a cease and desist letter, they could not follow that threat with a lawsuit. Thus, registration provides the copyright holder with the additional protection of the ability to file suit.

We All Must Rethink Personal Jurisdiction in Products Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court in Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746, 754 (2014), (PDF) has forced all of us to reconsider everything we thought we knew about personal jurisdiction. Daimler has had a major impact in products liability and toxic tort cases.

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.

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