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Lawrence G. Walters

Lawrence Walters’s Answers

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  • What can I do? A restaurant owner posted my name in their restaurant and online as a Covid snitch

    Lawrence’s Answer

    If the list is a public record in your state, it is not illegal to publish the record. Most governmental filings are public records unless the state passes a specific law prohibiting their release. This issue of 'doxing' is an example of the law not having caught up with the technology which can put people at risk of harm if their address or other contact information is posted online. Consider the implications before submitting any future governmental filings.

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  • How easy would it be to get the IP address for something that was posted online?

    Lawrence’s Answer

    Online platforms like Craigslist typically will not disclose user information, such as IP addresses, without a subpoena or court order. Therefore, if you serious about pursuing this, you would need to file a lawsuit (if you have a legal basis) against the anonymous poster, naming him as a "John Doe" defendant, then serve a subpoena on Craigslist asking for any data relating to the deleted post. Depending on the company's data retention policy, you may get the IP address associated with the post. Note, IP addresses do not always identify a specific individual, particularly if they are shared or if the user was using a virtual private network to post the ad.

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  • Can I sue of the game company closes down after I invested 2 grand?

    Lawrence’s Answer

    It is possible to sue anyone for anything by filing the proper paperwork with the clerk of the court and paying a filing fee. The question is whether you will win. That will be governed by the terms of service to which you agreed when you registered on the site. Those terms may include limitations on liability or arbitration provisions. You might be required to litigate in a foreign jurisdiction. User terms typically allow the site to discontinue services at any time. So this may be an uphill battle. Emotional damages are generally not available in a breach of contract action. Given the cost of litigation, it may not be worthwhile to pursue a claim for $2000.

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  • Mistakenly started a website with adult content without being in compliance

    Lawrence’s Answer

    The adult entertainment field is highly regulated. It is difficult to know if you broke any laws without evaluating your previous business model. Online platforms are exempt from some legal obligations so that may be beneficial if you were only running a platform. Before relaunching the site, you should consult with an attorney to ensure that all of your legal terms and policies are up to date and all your operating procedures are in compliance with applicable law.

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  • I went to Oklahoma and I won$1,800 and I can't get my money because I don't have any id?

    Lawrence’s Answer

    The casino sets its own policies for collection of winnings. They can and often do require identification for payment of prizes over a certain amount. You might see if they will allow someone to present a signed power of attorney to authorize another person with an ID to collect the winnings on your behalf.

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  • When advertising for adult webcam performers to perform with me on cam, do I risk charges of solicitation?

    Lawrence’s Answer

    Ads for adult models must be carefully crafted to avoid these issues. You will also need to compile Section 2257 age verification documents for any models that perform on cam with you, and have them sign a model release. Avoid any pressure, coercion, or broken promises to reduce the risks of potential sex trafficking claims. Consult with an experienced adult entertainment attorney for advice before placing ads or creating content with others.

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  • Can I sue someone who is saying derogatory remarks about myself and profession on websites?

    Lawrence’s Answer

    If the person has published a false statement of fact about your business, which has caused you damages, you may be able to sue for defamation. Not all derogatory statements are defamatory. Opinions are protected by the First Amendment even if they are vile and offensive. Unfortunately, taking legal action in response to a defamatory comment can result in the "Streisand Effect." That means, many more people will learn about the derogatory information after a public lawsuit is filed, which can cause more damage than if you took no action at all. Consult with an attorney to evaluate your legal options. Be prepared to pay hourly rates for a case like this.

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  • If a woman has nude pics on her Instagram and she is following a minor has she committed a crime?

    Lawrence’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Not likely. Your questions states the images are "semi-nude". Such images are not illegal assuming the model is an adult. Even nude and sexually-explicit images are protected by the First Amendment unless they are obscene or depict a child. Nudity, itself, is rarely prosecuted as obscene, and obscenity prosecutions are very rare in these times. Congress has attempted to impose user age verification requirements on publishers of adult content on several occasions, but those laws were declared unconstitutional. Same result with efforts by individual states. The fact that she "follows" a minor on Instagram does not change the analysis. That merely indicates she is viewing the minor's posts. The minor's parents should ensure that the minor is not viewing inappropriate content.

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  • How can I sue someone I know nothing about, I dont even know there name?

    Lawrence’s Answer

    If they are in another country, chances are that a lawsuit or a criminal complaint won't go very far. But you have the right to pursue either. If you are serious about a lawsuit, you would name the defendant as a "John Doe" and then subpoena the hangout service provider for information identifying the user. If the user is foreign, you would need to evaluate whether the US courts have personal jurisdiction over this individual. That requires a complex analysis of the individual's "minimum contacts" with the United States, or your individual state, in accordance with Due Process principles. Before filing a criminal complaint, consult with a lawyer as recommended by my colleague.

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  • Can a small business in New York hold a raffle for a product?

    Lawrence’s Answer

    Raffles are typically restricted to charitable, civic, and/or non-profit entities. Otherwise the activity is considered an illegal lottery. The laws relating to raffles vary from state to state.

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