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Gary K. Marshall
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Gary Marshall’s Answers

103 total


  • How do I go about getting a license to sell metal designs we have created with a nfl logo?

    We have a small home metal design business. We would love to sell some designs at craft fairs, but want to get permission first rather than a cease and desist letter! Where do I start?

    Gary’s Answer

    Basically you don’t. The NFL is very aggressive at policing the use of their marks. So I would not recommend you use them without permission. Getting permission will be impossible.

    The NFL has a merchandise licensing application on line. Feel free to check it out. I have not read it in a while, but it says something like you have to have had at least a million dollars in licensing sales in the last year, or they will not talk to you. And that makes sense. They are a multi-billion dollar industry. Their trademarks are very valuable to them. It would take them many hours to evaluate who you are, what the deal might be, and whether your use is safe in that their trademarks are protected. That all costs them a lot of money. There is a risk to them whenever they deal with a new company. They would not possible make a profit on a small deal such as the one you are talking about. Sorry. Perhaps you could start with a smaller business.

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  • I have naked pictures of me from when I was 17 on my public blog. Someone sent a link to them to my parents. Is this legal?

    I took the photos myself and uploaded them online but still I was underage in the photos. Isn't that publishing/ distributing child pornography? Do I have grounds to sue?

    Gary’s Answer

    You raise several issues.

    Most important is the issue of child pornography. Many people think that any nude picture of a minor is child pornography. That is not true. The picture has to be intended to have some sexual component. Amazon openly sells many books that contain nude but not sexual pictures of minors.

    In Washington the term that is used is to define child pornography is “depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct” (RCW 9.68A.). The federal definition is similar (18 USCA 2256). There may be other broader definitions out there. So whether your pictures are child pornography depends on what is in the pictures themselves and how they are perceived.

    However that is very fine point. As I said, many people, including many prosecutors, will be offended by any nude pictures of a minor. You risk being charged with a crime simply for posting a nude picture, even of yourself. A judge or jury may also be offended and find you guilty. You also risk being turned down for jobs, now or at any point in the future. I strongly advise you to take down those photographs.

    Normally, sending a link to a blog to a third party is fine. If the link is to child pornography, then yes this might be seen as distributing or promoting child pornography. But sending a link to your parents is likely to be interpreted as being harmless.

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  • I was looking a porn and it's claiming I was watching child porn. It saya I need a PayPal card to pay $250. It won't go awaway.

    It won't let me access the Internet and won't go away. Whathe do I do?

    Gary’s Answer

    This is a pretty serious scam. If often sounds like a real government agency is after you. Sometimes they have your picture which they probably got off of your webcam. Do try to remove it yourself, but my experience with clients has been that you have to pay someone to remove it. There are many computer repair companies who offer virus removal services. They see it all the time. I don't know anyone who has paid the scammer, but in online discussions it appears that if you pay them, nothing happens. They do not remove the virus.

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  • What kind of lawyer do I need? Read details below. Bottom line is I don't want to be sued. Who should I talk too?

    I am writing a "fiction" novel. For 6 years I worked in a very hostile work environment - a tribal owned casino. In the novel I want to use my work experiences, naming names of people who harassed me without end which lead to wrongful terminatio...

    Gary’s Answer

    You should not rely on your publisher. You need to talk to a literary attorney such as myself now while you are writing the book. There is no way you can eliminate the risk of being sued. You can reduce the risk if you want to, but you might ruin the impact of the book if you are too cautious.

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  • Are there any attorneys or paralegals willing to assist in preparing documents or at least a conversation for civil small claims

    Trying to take a business to small claims and have no idea what I am doing and would like some help but don't know where to look. I can definitely pay for the time. Anybody know where I can look?

    Gary’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    There are some good resources available online.

    1. Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court, Includes tips by former judges!, by Ralph Warner, Attorney, March 2012, 14th, Edition,
    http://www.nolo.com/products/everybodys-guide-to-small-claims-court-NSCC.html

    2. An Introduction to Small Claims Court, by the Washington Courts,
    http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/resources/?altmenu=smal&fa=newsinfo_jury.scc

    3. Small Claims Court in Washington State, August 2011, by Northwest Justice Project
    http://www.lawhelp.org/documents/1650919940EN.pdf?stateabbrev=/WA/

    4. King County Small Claims Court website
    http://www.kingcounty.gov/courts/DistrictCourt/SmallClaims.aspx

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  • My question is regards to spam email.

    I am a principal at an Internet company in WA state. My question is in regards to WA state law regarding spam as compared to the federal CAN SPAM act. Which law would take precedence? The SPAM condition is very bad and it is costing a great de...

    Gary’s Answer

    The question of whether the state CAN-SPAM act is pre-empted by federal law is a complicated legal issue. There is no clear answer yet. Three federal courts have held that pre-emption applies, at least in part. The federal ninth circuit has ruled that one provision of the Washington law is pre-empted by federal law. See Gordon v. Virtumundo, 575 F.3d 1040 (9th Cir. 2009). Whether other provisions are pre-empted is not clear. The court in Gordon invited the state of Washington to amend its statute to conform to federal law which suggests that there is no blanket pre-emption.

    I have defended a CAN-SPAM case. They are hard to win. The plaintiff settled with a few defendants, but was eventually forced to dismiss its claims. If you do decide to sue, be prepared for an expensive fight.

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  • Is remotely accessing someone's computer without consent legal in Washington State?

    After I left my ex, he installed remote access programs to monitor my online activities. I know this for a fact, because he then went on to publish his findings of my online activities in a relationship related forum... and openly admitted to doi...

    Gary’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Yes his actions violate several federal and state laws. You can file a police report. But most of the time police will not pursue this type of crime. At best they might go and talk with him.

    These types of cases are surprisingly hard to prove. He may claim that that was not him, it was someone posing as him. Or that he did post it, but someone sent him the information anonymously.

    If you can show you were harmed, you may also have a civil case against him. Again though it would be difficult to prove, and likely not worth the money to pursue it.

    You refer to him as your ex. If you were recently divorced, your most practical solution may be to talk to your divorce attorney. If you did not use one, now might be a good time to find one. A family law judge has broad discretion in taking action and might find his behavior very offensive.

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  • Is there any WA state law that prohibits me from having a residential surveillance camera mounted outside my home?

    There is NO audio, it is only a motion-activated camera and it is clearly visible from the street. It points only to the front steps and porch. It was installed because there was a rash of mail theft on our street. Do I need to post any sign or ...

    Gary’s Answer

    No.

    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). But there must be some expectation of privacy. Unless you have an unusual physical setup, there is no expectation of privacy on your open front steps and porch.

    Unlike audio taping, there is not a lot of law on video taping. I would expect courts would probably apply a similar standard to video as is applied to audio. Since the front steps and porch belong to you and are open, there is no expectation of privacy. So there should not be a problem with video taping.

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  • Lease break Agreement

    Couple A co-signs a lease for Married Couple B Couple B refuses to pay rent, so Couple A pays most of rent for 5 months Finally Apt complex suggests a break lease agreement and is signed by both parties of couple A and one party of married...

    Gary’s Answer

    May I introduce a little common sense, even if you don’t want to hear it. If you have a potential liability of $13,000, you really should spend the money to hire an attorney. And if you had spent the money to hire an attorney in the first place, you probably would not be in this mess now.

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  • 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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