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L. Maxwell Taylor

L. Maxwell Taylor’s Answers

6,127 total


  • Can store mgr ask me about my personal texts and conversations?

    I work for a corporate drug store in VT. Store mgr called me to the office to ask me with whom I text, topic of our texts and conversations, if our discussions ever are about work/people at work, etc. This questioning lasted half an hour w/o my ...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    Your question is, can your employer ASK you about your conversations outside of work? Sure. There is no law that prohibits employer from ASKING you about your conversations outside of work.

    The more interesting question is what action, if any, may legally be taken against an at-will employee of a private employer for lawful activity (texting, discussing people or work) outside of the work environment. Some states, such as California, have statutes (such as California Labor Code § 98.6) that prohibit employer from discharging or otherwise discriminating against an employee for lawful conduct occurring during working hours outside of employer's premises.

    But Vermont has no statute like that. The general rule is that an employer may discipline or discharge its at-will employee for any reason or no reason at all, unlawful discrimination or retaliation excepted. Nor does Vermont have a law protecting employees from garden-variety bullying by management or co-workers.

    Of course, if the subject of the off-premises conversations pertained to organizing for better working conditions, etc., and then discipline or discharge follows employer's inquiries, such actions may violate federal labor law. But you do not report any such facts; you merely ask whether employer may ASK. And the answer to that question is YES.

    Not legal advice, just general information. Consult Vermont counsel in person if you need legal advice.

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  • Was fired from my job of almost 8 years for falsifying a document which was my paycheck stub and I didn't know it was a policy,

    when I contacted the person who made the decision to fire me he was very rude to me and left me feeling like I didn't even matter to the company I worked hard for the past 8 years. I was awarded unemployment because I didn't know I broke a policy,...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    You tell us a story, but you haven't asked a question. Generally speaking, where private employment is held at will, meaning there's no contract and no employee handbook that everyone treats as a contract committing employer to a course of progressive discipline, employers may fire employees for any legal reason or no reason at all. Most reasons for terminating an at-will employee are legal, including terminating an employee for violating a policy that the employee didn't even know about. Not fair, but not illegal. So nothing in your post makes me suspect employer fired you for an illegal reason, like unlawful discrimination or unlawful retaliation.

    Consult Florida counsel to get a more nuanced analysis. This isn't legal advice, it's just my two cents. I don't practice law in Florida or hold Florida licensure. I practice in Vermont ONLY.

    Good luck with your job search.

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  • If I remake a song, using the same melody as the original, but completely changing the words, can I sell it legally?

    I am doing a remake of "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. The name is being changed and most of the lyrics are different. The only thing I'm copying is the chord structure and the melody. Do I need to get a mechanical license to distribu...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    It's a derivative work, which means a plain old mechanical license won't do. You need permission from the copyright owner to publish and distribute the derivative work.

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  • Is it my right to file a lawsuit or not!?

    Yesterday , June 8th, the tow company employed by my apartment complex claimed they put a sticker on my car to get it removed for "no tag". 1st of all my car was sold to my older brother and have insurance on the car, but still waiting on the clea...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    If you sold the car to your brother, it's his car, right? And if they towed his car, not yours, I don't see how you would have standing to sue anyone, because even if someone's rights were violated, they were his rights, insofar as it was his car. No?

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  • I would like to file a Grievance against an attorney to the State Bar. Are my concerns strong enough for me to pursue this?

    The complaint would be against the opposing attorney. For starters, the attorney violated Rule 1.7 Conflict of Interest. She represented my former friends and she herself is someone I knew, have been to her home for dinner, etc... and then she t...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    The only part of this I am going to address is the general concept of conflict of interest. Lawyers, as a general principle, have a duty of undivided loyalty to their client. But merely knowing, or even having a friendly relationship with the opponent in a dispute, is generally not enough to constitute a conflict of interest. Generally speaking the lawyer must have advised or represented the opponent in the same or a substantially related dispute. One part of the idea is, you can't turn around and use information obtained from your former client to the disadvantage of the former client. Another part of the idea is, you can't represent both sides in the same or substantially related disputes. What you wrote above doesn't suggest that the lawyer with whom you have a beef ever represented you, so my question to you would be, if the lawyer never represented you, where's the conflict?

    Other lawyers may want to address other parts of your question; I just wanted to address the conflict-of-interest issue. Not legal advice as I don't practice law in North Carolina. It's just my two cents in light of general principles of law. Consult North Carolina counsel to obtain legal advice. I practice in Vermont ONLY.

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  • Seeking a Family lawyer to help with a on going DCF case details I feel like I'm being targeted..due to my past....

    3 out of 4 kids are in DCF custody and the 4th child is the one I'm fighting for...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    Call the Lawyer Referral Service of the Vermont Bar Association, 1-800-639-7036. They can refer you to counsel who practices in the area of the law in which you need help, and who practices in your county. The deal with Lawyer Referral is that the first half hour of the consultation is to cost no more than $25.

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  • I just found a long blonde hair in my meat I purchased from walmart. what can I do?

    I just found a long blonde or gray hair in a pack of thin sliced chicken breast meat that I purchased from walmart. I am disgusted and literally threw up. Should I contact the company, do I have a lawsuit? What can I do about this. I am so upset, ...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    Do nothing. Go on and live your life and do not think about this again. You found a hair in your food. It happens. Could have been a bug. That happens too.

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  • Are Appellate Judges employees of the State?

    Does any one of these apply to Civil Appeal Judges? If so, which one? Officer or employee of the state or of any agency or other entity of the state or any political subdivision of the state.

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    Yes, judges are state employees, and are employed by the judicial branch of government. But if you were thinking about bringing suit against a judge you should know that in almost all cases judges will be found to have "absolute judicial immunity" for their judicial acts, where those acts occurred in the performance of their judicial roles.

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  • I need a federal lawyer to help me bring a lawsuit against the Oregon Army National Guard.

    I believe this is going to take more than 800 characters to explain. In short, I sustained a deblitataing injury in training that is going to result in my being put in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. My objective is just to cause a change in...

    L. Maxwell’s Answer

    You have to ask individual lawyers privately. They cannot initiate contact with you because professional ethics rules on solicitation prohibit them from doing so.

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