Skip to main content
Thomas Arnon Allen

Thomas Allen’s Answers

4 total

  • I would like to sell an item with the last name - and possible the jersey name - of players from specific NFL teams.

    The team name and logo would not be used. Team color would be used for the background. The font would not be specific to the team.

    Thomas’s Answer

    I agree. The short answer is that there would likely be both trademark infringement as well as a violation of those players' right to publicity and privacy.

    See question 
  • Im trying to get my depost back for an apt. there has not been anything signed. he is refusing is this possible?

    I was worried cuz its all cash. My 8year old daughter and I dont feel comfortable moving to this place. I asked for the cash back today and he is refuseing. I have not signed a lease and he says he has to use my deposit for the oct. rent now. he a...

    Thomas’s Answer

    I am assuming that your deposit is an earnest money deposit for a place that you have not moved into yet rather than a security deposit under an existing lease.

    The fact that you were not informed of the terms regarding your pet may be significant enough so that the landlord must return your earnest money deposit. It's also possible that the landlord failed to follow Wisconsin law regarding rental practices. If so, you should be entitled to the return of your earnest money. Further, you may have claims against the landlord, if the landlord failed to follow the law (for example, the landlord should have given you a copy of the lease before taking your earnest money).

    If the landlord followed the rules, then it will depend on whether your application was approved in a timely manner (within 3 business days) and, if the application was properly accepted, whether you backed out of the prospective lease prior to the landlord's acceptance of your application. Even if the landlord can legally withhold your deposit, the landlord may not be allowed to withhold the full amount.

    Under Wisconsin law, a landlord who receives an earnest money deposit from a rental applicant must return the earnest money if: (a) The landlord rejects the rental application or refuses to enter into a rental agreement with the applicant; or (b) the applicant withdraws the rental application before the landlord accepts that application, or (c) the landlord fails to approve the rental application by the end of the third business day after the landlord accepts the applicant’s
    earnest money deposit, or by a later date to which the tenant agrees in writing (but not more than 21 days).

    A landlord may withhold from a properly accepted earnest money deposit if the prospective tenant fails to enter into a rental agreement after being approved for tenancy, unless the landlord has significantly altered the rental terms previously disclosed to the tenant (such as changing the terms with regard to pets).

    The landlord may only withhold an amount sufficient to compensate the landlord for actual costs and damages incurred because of the prospective tenant’s failure to enter into a rental agreement.

    The landlord may not withhold for lost rents unless the landlord has made a reasonable effort to mitigate those losses (for example, trying to re-rent the property).

    In Milwaukee, you may be able to obtain assistance from the tenant resource center at 230 W. Wells Street: http://legalhelpmilwaukee.org/tenant-resource-center-hours

    Or the University Legal Clinic at 2200 East Kenwood Boulevard: http://www4.uwm.edu/studentorg/ulc//

    See question 
  • If I am managing a live performance at a school and the copyright is not available, can it be considered infringement?

    I work at an acting conservatory and we would like to do a production that currently does not have the rights available. If the show is free and for educational purposes, but still open to the public, would that be considered infringement?

    Thomas’s Answer

    I will assume that the particular work is still subject to copyright. It is important to note that the very best way to be certain that the use is permissible is to obtain the permission from the copyright owner.

    However, the show may go on if it is considered "fair use" under copyright law. Unfortunately, determining "fair use" is not an exact science. There are four factors that are considered in determining whether the use/production would be "fair use." These factors are only guidelines and courts apply the factors on a case‑by‑case basis, so the outcome in any given case can be hard to determine in advance. The four factors are: (1) the purpose and character of the use (news, parody, educational); (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the work used/copied; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market (commercial impacts, lost profits/royalties, etc.).

    Educational settings are a bit unique and the copyright office has published a circular to address many of the questions that arise: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ21.pdf The circular may not adequately address your situation, but it is helpful.

    Section 110 of the copyright act will also provide guidance: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#110

    It is important, I think, to look at the nature of the performance. Although you believe that it is for "educational purposes," the fact that it is open to the public could change the character of the of the performance toward "entertainment" versus an "educational" performance strictly in a classroom. This would, of course, make the performance tend toward infringement, especially where the work is performed in its entirety and the work's educational value is not apparent.

    In the end, it will be important to discuss the specific facts (and there may be many different facts needed for analysis) with a qualified attorney who is familiar with copyright.

    See question 
  • If a company change its name does that relieve them of their liability in the former LLC..

    Work was done by American General Contracting LLC. in 2008 Although they were paid for work that needed to be finish in warmer weather they never returned.. I have contacted them about this many times. They changed their name to Decorative Surf...

    Thomas’s Answer

    If there is no new entity, but the former entity merely is using another name, the entity cannot escape liability merely because of the name change. But, as you point out, there may no longer be a former entity where that entity has been dissolved.

    It appears from the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions database that American General Contracting, LLC, was indeed administratively dissolved. The records do not show any Wisconsin entities with the name Decorative Surfacing, LLC, although there is a Decorative Concrete Surfacing, LLC. Whether there would be successor liability will depend on a myriad of factors, including, among other things, where there is an agreement between the new and former entities, where there is "mere continuation" of the former business, or in the case of fraud when the transaction is entered into fraudulently to escape liability for the obligations of the former entity.

    Depending on the dollar amount of the dispute, you may find it useful to consult with an attorney directly to evaluate various options for recovering your pre-payment amount.

    See question