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Gary K. Marshall
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Gary Marshall’s Answers

104 total


  • Can I be sued for placing a negative review based on my negative experience with an attorney in this website or anywhere else?

    My husband and I recently had a very bad experience consulting with a bankruptcy attorney. He was so rude during our consultation that I felt compelled to share my experience with others and wrote a review in a couple of websites. I was not disres...

    Gary’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Your question raises several issues. Can you be sued? Yes, of course he can sue you for defamation and related legal issues. Will he win? Maybe, but probably not. Truth is a complete defense to a defamation lawsuit. But you must still convince a judge that your version of the truth is in fact true. And you must defend yourself in a lawsuit, which can be costly.

    If he does come after you, you may have a defense based on Anti-Slapp law (in Washington see RCW 4.24.525). The law allows you to file a special motion to strike any claim against you that is based on your public statements about an issue of public concern. If a court rules in your favor, it will dismiss the plaintiff's case early in the litigation and award you attorneys' fees, litigation costs, and ten thousand dollars in damages. You could mention this to him or ask your own attorney about this defense.

    You might try to mediate your dispute with him. Offer to explain to him why you felt so strongly and offer to help him improve his office demeanor. You can offer to post a more friendly review if he seems receptive to your concerns.

    This website, AVVO offers an excellent free one hour web based seminar for attorneys on how to react to negative reviews. Threatening to sue the client is not recommend. He should take that seminar.

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  • I was selling an item on eBay and my listing was taken down. Now I have received an offer to settle. Should I ignore.

    I was selling an item on eBay that I had purchased in bulk form China. I had my listing removed for a copyright violation and now I received a certified letter from Arctic Brand Assurance who represents the company asking for $2000, the rest of m...

    Gary’s Answer

    I agree with the previous answer that this is a complicated area of law. this is a serious matter, they are threatening you with a lawsuit. You really should consult an attorney.

    I am adding this answer to point out that there was a major change in the law recently, see Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., ___ U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 1351, 1358, 185 L.Ed.2d 392 (2013)., which ruled that some grey market goods do not infringe on the owner's copyrights. So you may not be liable at all.

    But there is no substitute for talking to an experienced attorney in this area, such as myself.

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  • What lawyer could revise my contract for me in my location?

    I am currently waiting for a video game design independent company to get back to me about the contract they have put up. They are currently going through a Lawyer to set up the contract so that no one will get ripped off. I want a lawyer to loo...

    Gary’s Answer

    You are wise to have the contract reviewed by an attorney. There are plenty of attorneys in the Seattle area, including myself, who could help you. I have worked with several teenagers who are still living with their parents. If you are eighteen or older, it does not matter at all from a legal standpoint who you live with. If you are suggesting that you are short on funds, then yes lawyers cost money. How much is your artwork worth to you? It should be worth spending a little money on an attorney. There are plenty of older artists out there who probably wish they had spoken to an attorney before signing a contract. Congratulations on having someone interested in your art work and good luck with your project.

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  • Can I use a city name to represent a sports team (e.g. Liverpool for Liverpool FC) without infringing on any trademarks?

    It is for a poster that will show the city names of where teams play/are located and it is to be sold for a commercial profit in the UK. Would it also be possible to have the name of the city in the same colour that the team plays in (e....

    Gary’s Answer

    Probably not. But you need to ask a UK attorney, not a U.S. attorney.

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  • My art piece was published in a book without my permission and my name is not even credited for it. What are my rights?

    I created an art piece and was asked to send it as they were creating a book and would possible include my piece. I sent it and then it came back with no note or anything so I figured it was not going to be used. That was 2007. In 2011 Gourd and F...

    Gary’s Answer

    If you are the author (creator) of the work, then you own the copyright. You have total control over who distributes it and who makes copies. The publisher needs your permission to put a picture of your work in the book.

    There is a question of fact as to whether you gave permission with your original submission. You will need to talk to an attorney about this.

    Did you register your work with the Copyright Office before the book was published? If you did then if you did not give permission you could sue for statutory damages up to $150,000 per infringement (and possibly every copy of the book would be considered a separate infringement). You can also obtain attorneys fees. You would probably not want to sue and you would probably not have to. You would have considerable bargaining power to work out a deal with the publishers.

    If you did not register your work with the Copyright Office before the book was published, you can only sue for your actual damages. Again this is a fact question, but I doubt the damages would be more than a few hundred dollars. You would be in a very weak position with the publisher. You might be able to get them to at least give you credit if they reprint the book.

    You can see why it is important to register the copyright in your works with the U.S. Copyright office.

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  • What are my rights concerning verbal and emotional abuse... what is considered slander...

    i have dealt with someone for 2 weeks now who is continually saying things to me to try to make me angry. i honestly dont know how to handle this. i dont know what the law is. i dont want to call the cops. She will not follow thru with anything sh...

    Gary’s Answer

    A defamation lawsuit is probably not the way to go. Most personal problems are not going to be solved by lawsuits. You can sue someone for defamation. Any lawsuit is expensive to pursue. And proving the elements of defamation can be difficult.

    Defamation is a false statement, maliciously or knowingly made to injure someone, usually through ridicule and damage to that person's reputation. Libel is written defamation. Slander is oral defamation.

    Defamation requires:

    1) a false statement concerning another person.

    2) an unprivileged communication to a third party

    3) fault amounting to
    for public officials and figures - actual malice (actual knowledge that the statement is false or reckless disregard for the truth or falseness of the statement)
    for private figures - negligence (what a reasonably prudent person would do, acting under the same or similar circumstances)

    4) damages

    In many cases damages is the hardest part to prove. Have you actually been damaged enough to justify suing this person? Probably not. Can you prove your damages? Again, probably not.

    If the person only made the statements to you, then there is no public statement and therefore no defamation. There also can be no damage to your reputation if no one else knows about the statements.

    If this person was a friend, you may want to deal with this as a personal problem. You could try talking to them, or having a mutual friend intervene on your behalf. Why did this friend say these things? Is there a way to repair the relationship or at least get this person to understand your point of view? If this person is not a friend, you may want to stop talking with them.

    If this is a small matter and you just want to get them to stop, you could consider suing this person yourself in small claims court. You would have to sue them where they live. If you win, and they keep making these statements you can sue them again. They will eventually get the message. A letter from an attorney will get them to stop some of the time, but in your case it is hard to imagine that it would be worth the expense of paying an attorney to write a letter.

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  • If someone sent me nude pictures of themselves and I posted it on social media then deleted it can I get in trouble?

    He sent the picture then I found out he is cheating on his spouse so I posted the picture of him (no face in picture) on social media then deleted it short after. He had evidence that I posted it though even after delete if it short after. Can any...

    Gary’s Answer

    You said that you deleted it quickly, so I think you already know the answer. Yes of course you could get in trouble with the police and with him. A lot of the law is common sense. You should have thought before you acted. If you deleted the posts very quickly then it is possible you will not get in trouble. But you have just confessed to the actions on a public forum, which was also not a good idea, so it would be easy to prove what you did.

    I wrote several posts on my blog about websites like yougotposted that publish nude pictures of people without their permission. I give a detailed review of the laws involved. If you want more information, please see my blog at http://marshall2law.com/.

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  • Is it illegal to record a so-called "private" conversation? Like with an audio or video recorder.

    On another question, a lawyer mentioned in passing about how, quote, "Recording a private conversation is a gross misdemeanor in Washington State. See RCW § 9.73.030." This is important for me to know. On occasion I have considered gettin...

    Gary’s Answer

    In Washington it is illegal to audio record a private conversation without the permission of everyone being recorded (RCW 9.73 Privacy, Violating Right of, you can easily Google it). Generally you can not use such a recording in court and you can be charged with a crime for making the recording. But there must be some expectation of privacy. Oddly, it is generally not illegal to record video only. There are some exceptions, such as when the person being recorded has some expectation of privacy.

    And there can be restrictions on how the recording is used. Defamation, invasion of privacy, false light, copyright and many other areas of law may come in to play.

    You should consult an attorney who is familiar with this area of law, such as myself, and go over the specific facts of your case with that person if you want a more definitive answer.

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  • I want to buy MYEXAMPLE.com for my business. Will owners of MYEXAMPLE.org have legal claim over the name?

    I am making a significant website and mobile app for which I have the opportunity to buy EXAMPLE.com (where example is just a fill-in here). For our purposes of discussion, lets say that this website is a place to list cars for sale. The issue is ...

    Gary’s Answer

    The answer is maybe. Trademark law is rather complex, and as with most legal questions, the answer is very fact specific. Whether there are similar federally registered marks is only one of many factors that can be relevant. There is no substitute for sitting down with an attorney and discussing your situation. That would be a wise move before investing in establishing a domain name and a brand name.

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  • Need a clear guideline on using photos of children

    I am a manger of a big scale education project. As a part of a project, we create a lot of educational videos and they are to be released to public with open license. These videos are mainly PowerPoint slides with voice over. Each slide contains ...

    Gary’s Answer

    unique facts. This is especially true when dealing with children. There are so many different legal aspects to deal with, as there should be. I disagree with the other commentator who says that there are no special rules when dealing with children. There are many.

    Still it should be possible to come up with some general guidelines that will help reduce risk. Certainly getting written permission from the parents is always a good idea. Because every situation is unique, there is no substitute for you sitting down with an attorney familiar with this area of law, going over the specific facts of your case, and then obtaining legal advice that is customized to your situation.

    I find that common sense goes a long way in the law. Would a typical parent, whether the parent of the child in the photograph or not, be likely to be offended by the use of the child’s likeness in the photograph? If the answer is yes or maybe, then you probably have a problem.

    There is risk to anything you do. You will have to assess whether the risk of using photographs of children outweighs the benefits or not for your project.

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