Bethesda Business & Commercial Law Blog

Real life infringement into a virtual world

Released in 2003, Second Life allows users to reside in an online virtual world. The escapism allows them to interact with their fellow avatars as they explore many locations and gather countless objects. Whether they socialize or trade virtual property with each other, Linden Labs insists that their creation is not a game.

There is no objective. More importantly, there is no conflict.

A prominent bank returning to the well of controversy

Wells Fargo has been in a continuing state of damage control since unethical account opening practices garnered attention in 2013. The Los Angeles Times uncovered an aggressive sales culture that undermined employee morale and resulted in unethical tactics, customer complaints and labor lawsuits.

The fallout over the allegations saw high-level leadership leave the company under clouds of scandal. The most recent removals occurred in February with four executives losing their jobs.

Thinking of starting a business? Call a lawyer

Starting a business is not as easy as putting up an "Open" sign in the door. It takes specific legal filings, state and federal registration, the creation of a partner or shareholder agreement, and possibly submitting an application for licenses and permits. Due to the complexities involved, it is important to seek legal advice before starting the process.

An attorney in the Bethesda area can help you decide what type of business entity you should choose. For example, should the company be a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a corporation. Since the laws that surround each of these entities are different, legal advice can help you determine which option is best for you. Read further for reasons why you should consult with an attorney before starting a new business.

A man dragged down an aisle. An image dragged through the mud.

Overbooking is a common trend for businesses in the travel industry. In the pursuit of maximizing capacities, hotels and airlines anticipate “no-shows,” and use complex algorithms to account for any shortfalls.

United Airlines is not immune to the commonly used practice. However, when faced with resistance, the famed airline launched a different type of “trend.”

Maryland’s budding new business industry

A new industry is months away from its introduction in Maryland. While state residents wait for its introduction, logistical and legal issues involved in selling products are being sorted out.

Medicinal marijuana is on the verge of becoming a “budding” business.

McMahon’s hand raised in victory

Businesses in Maryland and throughout the country have a new champion. And she does not need an ornate title belt to prove it.

Perhaps Valentine’s Day softened the ever-deepening rift between Republicans and Democrats. Love in the form of bipartisanship was clearly, if not temporarily in the air on February 14. The U.S. Senate confirmed former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) chief executive officer Linda McMahon to head the Small Business Administration.

First Lady settles lawsuit with Maryland blogger

Maryland has made national news for a serious business lawsuit. Melania Trump, the current First Lady of the United States of America, has just settled a defamation lawsuit against a Maryland-based blogger. The defendant of the pending lawsuit settled shortly after a judge refused to throw out the lawsuit and the details are still undisclosed about the financial penalties. The blogger in this case, Webster Tarpley, chose to settle the lawsuit out of court for what lawyers are calling a "substantial sum" instead of taking the case through the courts. He likely did so on the advice of his attorney.

In this case, statements by the judge made it clear that he did not view the information published by the defendant as protected speech related to the campaign. That opinion would affect the likelihood of successfully defending against a defamation lawsuit. Settling eliminated the risk of a court order to pay even more by the courts. Business attorneys can provide advice and guidance about whether settling is your best option during a defamation or similar lawsuit.

Give me an "L"... for lawsuit

Football has many traditions, its most high profile being the Super Bowl. Fans fill the stadium and people around the world gather around their televisions to watch the annual NFC vs. AFC clash. For the diehard football fan, it will be their last chance for the season to cheer on their team.

Two teams that did make it to the annual championship game have little reason to celebrate. Their seasons ended sooner than they wanted. Any opportunity to cheer up at the start of their winter break ended with the service of legal papers.

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Daniel S. Willard, P.C.
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Bethesda, MD 20814

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