Skip to main content
David Blake Newdorf

David Newdorf’s Answers

5 total

  • What is the difference between "Pro per" and "Pro se"?

    I might be representing myself in a lawsuit and am in the process of responding to the Petition. I've heard that I should list myself as "Pro se," but I've also heard "Pro per." What is the difference, and what should I do? Also, in a sample Re...

    David’s Answer

    "Pro per" and "pro se" are both shortened Latin phrases meaning an individual acting as his or her own attorney in a lawsuit. Whatever the difference may have been to Ovid -- I never studied Latin -- there's no difference in court. It is simply a stylistic preference of the judge or lawyer or individual.

    The "Does" represent persons as yet unknown by plaintiff who may be responsible for the wrongdoing alleged in the complaint. If you've been sued, you just answer or respond on behalf of yourself -- not the Does. Plaintiff may amend the complaint later to specify who the Does are.

    See question 
  • Is a non-disclosure agreement binding if one one side has signed and the business relationship is never entered into?

    I recently signed and faxed a non-disclosure agreement in order to become an independent sales rep for a company. Before a Sales Rep agreement was signed, they decided we were not a good match at the last moment. I have yet to receive back the N...

    David’s Answer

    In many circumstances -- and this may be one of them -- a contract that you signed can be enforced against you -- even if you don't have a signature from the other side. The bargain in a non-disclosure agreement is: I will provide you information if you agree not to disclose it. It sounds like the Company relied on the NDA that you signed in sending you information, some of which the Company may deem proprietary. You did not describe the information in detail, but if the the "marketing material" included a sales rep manual, the Company probably considers that proprietary.

    But so long as you don't use or disclose the information, the NDA should not be a burden to you. You haven't identified your specific concern with being bound by the Agreement. But you'd be well-advised to consult a business attorney before affiliating with a competing outfit. I'd recommend an attorney with experience litigating trade secret, unfair competition and business tort matters.

    See question 
  • Business Lawsuit

    Hello Deb, I have a wholesale business of key chain fobs that have different characters on them. There is another company (my competitor) who is selling Disney key chain fobs. They would not sell it to me because I am their comparator. They ar...

    David’s Answer

    Any threats by the manufacturer would be as credible as a Disney fairy tale. Under the "first sale doctrine," a legitimate purchaser can resell an item without liability for trademark infringement or unfair competition. But that is not the only issue. If you resell these items on a website, you must be careful that you don't infringe Disney's copyright and trademark rights. Depending on how one uses protected material, one could be liable for infringement for using the characters' names and images in a website name or on a web page.

    As for the potential threats, unless they actually interferred with your business or contracts with others, the threats alone could not be the basis for suing anyone. But if they sued you without a basis, once you beat that lawsuit, you could sue for malicious prosecution.

    See question 
  • Can I pursue this claim without any statue of limitation?

    I was a partner of another company headquartered at the time in Pasadena, CA. I was terminated by the partners in 2005. At the time of my termination, I was considering on filing a wrongful termination suit, but decided not to because it would tak...

    David’s Answer

    There may still be time, but you'd better hurry. Your lawsuit for breach of a written partnership agreement and/or for an accounting must be filed within four years of the breach or dispute. Get to a business litigator pronto!

    See question 
  • Statute of Limitations to Bring Lawsuit Against Municipality (City) for Breach of Contract

    Can an individual bring a lawsuit against a City after 24 months in California for a breach of contract if the formal claim was filed with the City Council after the one-year requirement? A formal demand letter was submitted within 6 months, bu...

    David’s Answer

    Most likely the suit would be barred. In California, one year is the maximum time after breach for filing a Government Claim under the Government Code. If the lawsuit seeks something besides a monetary recovery (such as return of property or specific performance), then no claim is required. And if there were some more recent breaches that occurred within 12 months before the Government Claim was filed, you still may be able to pursue those breaches, even though the earlier breaches would be barred. You would still have to comply with the additional requirement of filing a lawsuit within six months of a written rejection of the claim or, if the claim was not rejected in writing, then within two years of the date of the breach.

    Because there are several exceptions that could apply to these general rules, you should consult a lawyer with experience in municipal litigation.

    See question