Your band apparently has an oral band partnership deal, and this is why it's always better to put things in writing, which I hope you do now with your current bandmates.
Does you bandmate co-own the "master" sound recordings on your 1st album, and is the sound recording registered for copyright in the band's name? If so, then you owe this leaving member his agreed on share of the proceeds.
Did your bandmate co-write the songs on that album and are the songs registered for copyright in...
Really, "we've all had bad lawyers"? I get that people resent people who are smarter then them, but I don't get lawyer bashing while asking for favors from all us horrible lawyers.
Malrpactice doesn't mean "horrible," whatever you mean by that, or "lazy" (if you had any understanding about how rigorous law school is, and how stressful the practice of law can be, I don't think you'd say that). "Thieves" and "crooks" who actually steal money should be reported to the police or the State Bar....
See an employment litigator for help. Disney isn't known for settling with claimants, they're known for fighting everything. You definitely can't do this yourself, and as I've previously responded, the EEOC isn't likely to be able to force Disney to do much either.
I'm not even sure this is an employment case, because you mention surveillance and you categorized this under "personal injury," so you might not have even done your EEOC complaint properly.
Generally, bumper-sticker length short phrases aren't copyrightable, but some lines from songs and movies are so memorable and essential to the song or movie as a whole that they're copyrightable.
Also, some words are trademarks for products, and those trademarks could include toys such as dolls.
So there's no one-size-fits-all answer to a question like this. It depends on which words you're referring to, each of which should be checked out before you use it by your own IP counsel.
It's not ok to "unfairly compete" with a character rightsholder or trademark rightsholder if your use would confuse consumers into thinking that your products were from the actual rightsholder of the character or the trademark. Is just Mario's top enough to evoke that character? Then it's a violation of someone else's rights. If it's not enough, then no one will want to buy your clothing based on similarity to Mario.
"Others are doing it" has never been a valid excuse for doing something...
Most businesses that treat their customers to music get what's called a "blanket license" from ASCAP or BMI or SESAC, that allows them to play (perform) that performing rights organization's entire catalog of songs for a modest fee.
And as my colleague notes, small (in size) businesses are exempt, and if the business isn't exempt, the PRO will send their lawyer to enforce their rights.
But here, this use may qualify for what the Copyright Act, section 110(5) provides as an exemption,...
"Valid" isn't the right question, the right question, is does the plaintiff's compaint state a cause of action? The judge doesn't know you do business as an LLC, all they know are the facts alleged in the complaint, and all a demurrer does is eductae the plaintoff about what they've done wrong so they can fix it.
Generally, you won't escape this lawsuit because plaintiff got your form of business wrong. INstead of demurrer, just answer the complaint on behalf of "ABC LLC, wrongly sued as...
What a mess. Personal debts don't get "transferred" to the company, so this never should have happened -what if anything did the company get in exchange for taking on this debt, an IOU? Why would you buy into a company that took on someone else's debt? This premise defies logic and no company would ever do this, since it's a breach of fiduciary duty to the LLC and to you as owner of the LLC.
You need a lawyer ASAP to address this inequity.
If the other cross-defendants have already answered, then you need permission from the court to file an amended pleading. A stipulation filed with this motion from the other parties agreeing to this will help ensure that the court will grant that motion.
Hire a new lawyer if you can. Maybe there was a reason the lawyer didn't add this partner.
Unless your reading and learning includes law school and many years practicing law and even judging cases, you're not going to be able to make any determination about anything like this. Patents for business methods are a hot issue now due to the Supreme Court's opinion 2 years ago in In re Bilski ruling, and that decision hasn't been in place long enough for there to be a clear guideline on how patentees and their lawyers should proceed. Please see the link below on the Bilski line of cases...