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San Francisco Civil Litigation Blog

Outside representation may help fulfill your fiduciary duty

As an attorney, you fill a very important and specific role in the lives of your clients. They depend on you to have experience and knowledge in handling cases like the one they have brought to you. Attorneys can build their careers around a tiny niche area of the law, making them able to advocate better for their clients.

When it comes to civil litigation, many attorneys choose to have a broad practice that allows them to work with clients for a number of different kinds of legal concerns. You might rely on your negotiating skills or other assets as an attorney to outweigh your lack of specific experience in a particular area of law.

Strategies for jury selection

The best civil litigators engage in a hands-on approach and familiarize themselves with every aspect of the case. They develop strategies for every aspect of the litigation, even those that happen before the trial formally begins. For example, they develop a strategy for the evidence-gathering process known as discovery, where they question witnesses and subpoena relevant documents.

Another area where the lawyer must be prepared is in jury selection. Civil trials are not always decided by a jury. If there is going to be a jury, the lawyer uses the jury selection process to weed out potential jurors who may be biased against the client.

Basketball star, Kawhi Leonard, files copyright suit against Nike

While Kawhi Leonard is fighting against the Golden State Warriors for the NBA title, the NBA superstar has also entered a legal battle with a juggernaut from the business world.

Recently, reports came out that the Toronto Raptor filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Nike. The dispute involves a logo that Kawhi Leonard drew in college.

Band Iron Maiden alleges trademark infringement

Entertainment law, including copyright and trademark law, can be extremely complex. While infringement on one's intellectual property rights can easily be seen in some cases, in other instances the actions in question seem to skirt around the blurry edges of what is deemed legal. In both scenarios, all parties involved need competent legal representation to make sure they are protecting themselves as fully as possible. After all, there can be extensive financial resources, credit, and reputation on the line.

These issues may be front and center in a recently filed trademark infringement lawsuit right here in California. The complaint, filed by famed rock bank Iron Maiden, claims that videogame maker 3D Realms infringed its creative and source-identifying work when it made a game titled "Ion Maiden." In the lawsuit, the band claims that the video game's title will likely confuse consumers as to Iron Maiden's affiliation and contributions to the game.

How to prepare for an upcoming trial

If your court case in San Francisco is heading to trial, it's natural to be nervous. You're worried about saying and doing the right thing. You have concerns about your strategy. You don't want to come across as someone the jury won't like.

While there is sure to be a lot on your mind, with the guidance of an experienced legal team, your stress level can go down several notches. Your attorney will make sure you're ready for anything and everything that comes your way during your trial.

Kim Kardashian West involved in licensing dispute

Individuals can utilize their own names, likenesses and reputations to make money. This often occurs through licensing and endorsement deals, which can garner huge contracts. Yet, in order to ensure one gets a fair shake in these agreements, they need to understand exactly what their endorsement is worth. This can be a challenging task, but it can be a much higher figure than many imagine.

To see an example, one need only look at a case involving reality superstar Kim Kardashian West. Kardashian West, who owns a corporation named Kimsaprincess Inc., is in the middle of a dispute against fashion company Missguided. According to the legal claim, Missguided misappropriated Kardashian West's likeness and image to sell its own goods. Apparently, Missguided sells outfits that are similar to those worn by Kardashian West, and it posted pictures of her on its social media pages without her consent.

Court rules in favor of Disney in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ suit

A U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled on May 13th that Walt Disney Co.’s screenplays for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies were not similar enough to a previously rejected screenplay. Two writers and a producer filed a complaint in 2017 accusing Disney of lifting elements from their screenplay, which they submitted to Disney in 2000. Disney subsequently rejected the screenplay.

The suit alleged that after the rejection of their work, Disney went on to produce five films of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise that lifted similar elements from their screenplay. However, Bloomberg reports that the court found fundamental differences between the screenplays and that the similarities that did exist were either too common or those of other generic pirate stories.

Trade secret claim filed over electric vehicle batteries

While businesses want to give as much publicity as possible to their products, they often want to keep how those products are created a secret. There's good reason for this, too. When the process by which a popular secret becomes known to others, similar products can be made, perhaps for cheaper, thereby leading to significant market competition. Therefore, businesses oftentimes put a lot of effort into protecting their trade secrets, which sometimes leads to trade secret litigation.

One case may be heading that direction. Recently, LG Chem, a maker of batteries for electric vehicles, filed a legal claim with the U.S. International Trade Commission against South Korean competitor SK Innovation.

The psychology of jury persuasion

Everyone processes information through the lens of their own worldview. This is not necessarily a bad thing; it makes for differences in opinions and interesting debates. But when people are placed on a jury and are expected to make rational conclusions from huge amounts of information, issues can arise.

Before making any type of appearance in court in front of a jury, it is important to understand some of the fundamental psychological insights behind jury behavior. While it is not possible to speak for individual jurors, studies have shown trends relating to the reactions that members of the jury have to certain tactics. The following are some key concepts that relate to the way that jurors react to information.

Conan O'Brien going to court for alleged joke theft

Famed comedian Conan O'Brien is being forced to defend his use of allegedly stolen material from another's social media feed.

The trial, which is ongoing, alleges that O'Brien lifted several jokes from the social media feed of the plaintiff. The result could show what happens when comedians get serious about their jokes.

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