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Charles Lee Mudd Jr.

Charles Mudd’s Answers

86 total

  • In what capacity can I respond to false and predatory online reviews of my dental practice without violating HIPPA rules?

    I am a local dentist and a small number of bad reviews have been posted online about my practice. I wish to reply to these reviews and defend my practice against false allegations. To what extent can I replay to these reviews on these websites wit...

    Charles’s Answer

    We represent many individuals in your circumstance. The first question should be whether the statements happen to be true or false or a patient's opinion. If true and/or their opinion, there really does not exist much you can do legally. If false, you may have claims for defamation, false light, and other related claims.

    Even if you do have claims, you need to proceed carefully. While HIPAA does not include a private right of action, you do not want to violate the law and add fuel to an already bad situation. And, though you could file litigation against them, you need to be careful in identifying them by name in the lawsuit - particularly if they posted anonymously online.

    I recommend finding an attorney who has practiced in this area and has knowledge about all of the nuances. For example, our firm has represented individuals in your situation as well as the patients or others who post statements online. We also have represented the third parties hosting sites on which statements happen to have been posted.

    I usually caution against engaging the speakers online. There exists an art to doing so. You should not do so without specific advice including a review of the response before being posted. But again, I typically caution against this approach.

    Apart from the foregoing, there exists additional strategies that can be implemented in addressing these reviews.

    Should you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

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  • Video Game Engine Rights

    There is a game engine title Ren'Py and I am curious if I create a game will I be capable to sell it due to its license at the moment or will I be unable to due to its software license.

    Charles’s Answer

    This requires a thorough review of the licenses at issue. You should obtain an attorney to review the specific licenses and advise you accordingly.

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  • Avvo and business development ?

    Is avvo suggestions / advise are posted for generating business or these are valid suggestions ? Some of the answer's suggested that attorney's are trying to generate business and offering suggestions accordingly, please share what do you think ?

    Charles’s Answer

    I can only speak for myself. When I do respond, I try to take the time to actually answer questions and provide helpful input. I do not expect to hear from anyone who posted a question to which I post a response. However, I do indicate that I would be pleased to answer additional questions in some circumstances. Sometimes, a substantive response can only be provided with additional information. Consequently, I may indicate the questions that need to be answered before I can provide further information. In so doing, I am being straightforward and not necessarily seeking a direct contact, though Avvo provides a means to contact me directly.

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  • Is it illegal to record a private conversation between two minors at a private school in VA

    There is a kid who is constantly bullying me and I wanted to know if I could record our conversation to show I'm not lying about this. Thank you.

    Charles’s Answer

    In Virginia, you may record a conversation in which you happen to be a participant. Virginia requires the consent of only one party. Though certainly mired in legalese, I have provided the link to the statute. The important language is:

    2. It shall not be a criminal offense under this chapter for a person to intercept a wire, electronic or oral communication, where such person is a party to the communication or one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception.

    Be careful about recording an individual in this situation. Here is another resource:

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  • Is it illegal to take unauthorized nude photos of spouse?

    My spouse took some nude photos of me while I was asleep. I found them on their computer a few months after it happened. I want to know the legalities of this and how it might affect our divorce. As far as I know the photos weren't transmitted ...

    Charles’s Answer

    Your questions raises some very good issues, as my colleague has discussed. To begin with, each state likely varies (and some times even courts within the states) on what is considered private between spouses. Moreover, the privacy tort at issue (intrusion upon seclusion) might vary depending on whether you happen to be asleep in your bedroom or in the backyard by a pool. The former would have more of an expectation of privacy than the latter.

    However, I would tend to believe that a court should determine that taking nude photographs of you asleep (assuming it to be a bedroom) would constitute an invasion of privacy, particularly an intrusion upon your seclusion.

    There may also even be a criminal statute on point.

    I also agree with my colleague about choice of law issues given the conduct occurred overseas.

    Should the photos have been transmitted to someone or posted online, this conduct could violate criminal statutes should Tennessee enact the revenge porn law currently in its legislature. There also certainly could be other torts at issue (public disclosure of private facts).

    But, one of the issues will be how long ago you discovered them. If you discovered them years ago, the statute of limitations is likely expired on all of the claims discussed above in relation to taking the photos. As to posting them online, the question would be when it occurred, whether the "discovery rule" applies, and when you discovered them online (given you have no knowledge of this occurring at the moment).

    As to how it would affect your divorce, I would discuss that with your divorce attorney. It may be more an item to address in terms of ensuring he possesses no copies and no other photographs/videos exist.

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  • What to do if you think someone had recorded you having sex with them without your knowledge

    i had sex with someone and in the middle of it they said, "I hope that no one is recording this with a video recorder" I thought that was strange, but it didn't really register until after. Now I am underaged and this person is not. I don't know i...

    Charles’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Having represented many individuals who have been recorded without knowledge of the recording, I think your questions is quite legitimate. Moreover, I know it took courage to come online and ask this question. Consequently, I believe you deserve a response that respects you and your concerns.

    (To be clear, I do not condone underage sexual relations. In this situation, the "adult" has arguably engaged in criminal conduct. That being said, I am not naive. And, I am much more of the mind to provide helpful comments and supportive information. Moreover, your question could just have easily been written by someone not underage. For, I certainly see adults in your situation. So, let's see if I can provide some helpful information.)

    It sounds like you know who this happens to be. Why would you send them an anonymous letter? Why would you not simply ask them about it? If they did record you and only you, they would know you wrote them. If they recorded others, you would want them to know which recording it happened to be. If you mean by anonymous and pretending to be someone other than you, I do not think this works. I do not think the anonymous approach to be the best approach.

    Your response really depends on the nuances of the situation, unfortunately. If you are both in high school, this would be different that if he happened to be in college and you met him at a party. If this individual is older still, a number of other issues and serious concerns can arise - for him more than you.

    Now, you may not like the next question, but I have to ask it. Do you have a good relationship with your parents? Or another older family member? I know this may not want you want to hear, but these people may very well be your best source of guidance. I have represented young individuals in your situation. And, while they did not want to speak to their parents, most parents want to protect their children. And, while the parents will not condone (nor do I) underage sexual relations, the parents want to be supportive and do the best for their children. So, seriously consider this option. You and your parent(s) can then speak to an attorney together. I know I would want my children to come to me.

    Do you confront this individual? This also depends on who he happens to be and what type of person he happens to be. Do you simply ask? If you do, will he tell the truth? I really think it needs to be someone other than you to lend weight to the query and frighten this individual into being truthful and/or destroying what he possesses if he does. But, it depends on the circumstances.

    If you do learn a video or image has been taken, you should know that support and help exists. If you can talk to your parent or one of them, do so. If not, find an attorney who will speak to you. Remedies do exist. Do not feel alone.

    Now, the comments do sound suspicious, if you want my honest opinion. If this individual is between 18 and 22, I am even more suspicious. I do think you need to address this issue now. You do not want to learn of the existence by finding it on the Internet. And, I think the quicker he is approached on this, the better. But, do you contact him yourself or have someone else do it for you? This depends again on the circumstances.

    I really recommend that you speak with a trusted family member (ideally a parent). But, if you fear this could cause you more trouble that you currently face, I recommend that you contact an attorney.

    Finally, though it does not sound to be "rape" per se, you may also consider contacting one or more anonymous rape hotlines. This is not to report the incident, but obtain anonymous advice from someone who can hear your details. You can ask whether it is anonymous. You can also feel the person out before revealing too many details to ensure you trust the individual.

    Above all, know that help exists. And, again, I commend you for asking the question.

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  • I have a friend who is married and her husband is deployed. He hacked her email account without permission

    He also took screenshots of the email account as well as logged into her facebook account and changed her passwords.

    Charles’s Answer

    I agree there could be violations of federal criminal statutes such as the Electronics Communication Privacy Act (Federal Wiretap Act), Stored Communications Act, and possibly the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for unauthorized access to certain computers and accounts (there exist a number of elements that have to be met under these statutes). These federal statutes do not make an exception for marital situations. Although criminal statutes, they do provide for civil remedies. That being said, there are specific elements and types of damages required.

    Depending on how the information obtain is being used, other claims may also arise under common law torts of invasion of privacy. As to state common law, some states do actually hold that a spouse may obtain access to another spouse's email accounts - or that there is no violation of state law for doing so. This varies based on jurisdiction and circumstance. But, it would apply only to state statutes and common law.

    Additionally, some states and jurisdictions may differ on how "unauthorized" is determined. For example, there could be a difference between a spouse looking at an email account already open on a computer for anyone to see and one actually obtaining unauthorized access to an account by guessing or hacking a password.

    Your friend really needs to speak to an attorney such that more information can be provided and she can obtain specific advice. Even should there be violations, a discussion should be had on the effects of pursuing any such claims. So, much more information will be needed before your friend can obtain specific direction. Anything obtained here should be treated only as general comments to limited question. The responses should not be treated as specific legal advice.

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  • What legal actions are there against someone who is harassing you (defamation) on social media - Email & Twitter specifically?

    A disgruntled ex-employee of my husband's has taken to Twitter and is accusing him of sleeping with a female co-worker. Both the co-worker and my husband deny the allegations. The ex co-worker is constantly tweeting obscene things about him, her a...

    Charles’s Answer

    You and your husband may have a number of remedies. You really need to speak to an attorney with experience and wisdom in this area.

    While there may indeed be criminal violations (stalking, harassment, cyberstalking, some states have criminal libel, for example), you may not obtain much response from law enforcement or prosecutors. Or, even if you did, it may not be timely enough to benefit you in the immediate. Also, in some circumstances, this may not necessarily effectuate the best response.

    The foregoing being said, if you feel for your safety, you should seriously consider filing a police report. In most jurisdictions, you may be able to file a report without pressing charges. But, again, you should discuss this with attorney who can advise on the best strategy.

    Now, let us turn to my more familiar territory in the civil context.

    Some jurisdictions will allow for orders of protection against stalking. Some jurisdictions do not provide this remedy for platonic situations, others do. This remedy can be limiting. It may not remove any content, it may put a stop to only certain forms of the content, and does not bring with it immediate damages. But, it happens to be a possible option.

    Beyond the foregoing, there exist a number of possible civil claims. Defamation is one of them. In some states, there still exist the distinction between libel (written defamation) and slander (verbal defamation). Anything on the Internet (apart from perhaps audio recordings in certain contexts) will be typically libel defamation. You may also have a claim for false light. False light is not a claim within defamation. Rather, false light is a privacy tort (other privacy torts include intrusion upon seclusion, public disclosure of private facts, and misappropriation). While defamation and false light can go hand in hand in certain circumstances (particularly the Internet), they are separate claims and separate categories of claims.

    You may also have remedies for stalking, harassment, and related torts. There may also be claims of tortious interference, depending on the effect of the statements. Should he be impersonating you or others, his conduct could give rise to claims under certain federal statutes.

    When we represent our clients in similar situations (professional context being one of them), a demand letter can go a long way to obtaining the attention of the individuals. However, you need to discuss with your attorney what would most likely get his attention the quickest. This may involve deciding to simply file suit against the individual.

    I would definitely preserve all of the information you can. Be sure to have the URL and the date on the PDFs you create in obtaining preservation.

    But, contact an attorney right away - someone you determine to have the experience and the knowledge to guide you in the right direction. Then, the attorney can help alleviate some of the stress you feel from simply not knowing what to do.

    If you want any further questions answered, do not hesitate to contact me.

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  • Is it possible to get my money back from an online game company that suddenly changed their game without notice?

    So I started playing an online game about the popular anime Naruto in january this year. I soon began to like it a lot and started donating money to make my character stronger since I really liked to game's concept and always loved the anime Narut...

    Charles’s Answer

    Your questions requires answers to a few questions of my own. Did the website or does the website have a Terms of Service? If they have a TOU or TOS, it may provide them leave to modify the game experience without notice. The terms could be controlling.

    How much funds are we discussing? My colleague who wrote accurately stated that the amount at issue will likely not be worth doing anything about. Moreover, even complaining aggressively in forums may do more harm to you than good.

    Did you donate them for a specific purpose confirmed with the site? In any case, typically in these situations, your donations would be more directed to what you already experienced rather than what you expect in the future. For example, if a site charged $30 a month to use it, the $30 a month would be for the use and not future use. So, in this example, the best remedy for a negative change in the site that makes it unenjoyable would be simply to stop using it and paying the money.

    You may be correct in that the site may have run into some copyright issues if they did not properly have licenses.

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