Monthly Archives: September 2011

When Does Being Portrayed in a False Light Invade One’s Privacy?

The legal concept of invasion of privacy by false light could end up leaving the music network MTV in the dark.

In Savely v. MTV Music Television, the Federal District Court for the District of New Jersey denied MTV’s motion to dismiss a suit filed by a street musician. The musician asserted that he did not consent to having footage of his performance included in a documentary the network aired. Savely v. MTV Music Television, 2011 WL 2923691 (D.N.J.).  

Michael Savely, a drummer who performs daily as “Mike Alaska” on New York subway platforms, claimed that he was approached by MTV representatives during one of his routines last November. The representatives asked whether they could film his performance for use in an upcoming documentary. Savely reviewed a contract with which the representatives presented him. He then returned the contract; declined their offer to use footage of him; and told them he did not consent to being filmed. In spite of his refusal, a four-second clip of Savely’s performance was included in a program about the life and career of rap artist Nicki Minaj that debuted on November 28, 2010.

Savely filed suit against MTV asserting three claims of invasion of privacy. The Court granted MTV’s motion to dismiss two of Savely’s claims: (a) invasion by appropriation of name, likeness or identity and (b) invasion by publication of private facts. (A motion to dismiss generally allows a court to throw out prior to trial claims that are without legal merit).

However, the Court denied MTV’s motion to dismiss Savely’s other claims that the network invaded his privacy by false light. According to Savely, the inclusion of the footage of him in the documentary associated him with Minaj, an artist that he said – through her profane lyrics and provocative attire – glorified a lifestyle that was contrary to the image that he chose for himself as a performer and music teacher (drum lessons).

Under New Jersey law, the invasion of privacy can occur under a number of different circumstances. One of them is when “[o]ne who gives publicity to a matter concerning another…places the other before the public in a false light. This breaks down into two elements:

  1. the false light in which the other was placed would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and
  2. the actor had knowledge of or acted in reckless disregard as to the falsity of the publicized matter and the false light in which the other would be placed.”

See Cibenko v. Worth Publishers, Inc., 510 F.Supp. 761, 766 (D.N.J. 1981).

Savely asserted that the unprofessional quality and sounds of the footage included in the documentary reflected poorly on him. He also asserted that as a performer, the implied association between Minaj and him portrayed him in a false, unfavorable and disparaging light. In support of this assertion, Savely cited the facts that  the use of the footage caused (a) his fans to criticize him; (b) the parents of his students to terminate his teaching services;  and (c) sales of t-shirts with his image to decline. He said that part of his reason for declining MTV’s offer to be included in the documentary was his fear that association with the “wrong” artist would cost him significant business.

MTV argued, in part, that the footage of Savely was not distorted in any way and that images of him were not distinctly linked to Minaj or any substantive themes of the documentary. However, the Court noted that a claim of invasion of privacy by placing the other before the public in a false light would not require that MTV’s action defamed Savely, but instead merely that the network’s action was “something that would be objectionable to the ordinary reasonable man.” Canessa v. J.I. Kislak, Inc., 97 N.J.Super. 327, 334 (Law Div.1967).

The Court’s decision to deny MTV’s motion to dismiss does not mean the network is guilty for invading Savely’s right to privacy. Instead, it allows Savely’s claim that he was publicized in a false light to continue because the facts he alleged, if proven to be true, could support his claim. Additionally, the Court noted, the question of whether the documentary is capable of bearing a particular meaning that is highly offensive to a reasonable person is one for the Court to decide.

The Court’s decision not to deny MTV’s motion to dismiss is significant for entertainment companies and individuals that record the image and likeness of people for use during those individuals’ projects. Savely’s suit demonstrates the significance of receiving consent from those who are included during a television broadcast, movie or similar medium and the consequences of including those who refuse consent.

Comments/Questions: gdn@gdnlaw.com

© 2011 Nissenbaum Law Group, LLC

How Does the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act Impact Internet Sales Practices?

Entrepreneurs and small business owners beware.

In December 2010, President Obama signed into law the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (“ROSCA” or the “Act”), Pub. L. No. 111-345, 124 Stat. 3618 (2010).  In effect, the new law tries to live up to its name by banning certain Internet sale practices so consumers can feel confident in online shopping.

ROSCA sets forth its purposes as follows:

“[c]onsumer confidence is essential to the growth of online commerce. To continue its development as a marketplace, the Internet must provide customers with clear, accurate information and give sellers an opportunity to fairly compete with one another for consumers’ business.”

Id. at Section 2.

Two specific practices that the new law targets are “cross-sales” and “negative option features.” Cross-sale marketing refers to a sales practice where a consumer is offered additional goods or services that are both unrelated to the original purchase and provided by a third party seller. An example of this would be an offer for a magazine membership through a third party website. The concern with this practice is that customers are misled to believe that they are still conducting business with the initial merchant. Also, the consumer’s payment information may be passed to an unauthorized vendor or payment processor without that consumer’s knowledge or consent.

To regulate this practice, ROSCA makes it illegal for post-transaction third party sellers to charge or attempt to charge consumers for any online sale unless they:

(a)    disclose all material terms (including description and price of the good or service being offered) to the consumer before obtaining the consumer’s billing information; and 

(b)   obtain the purchaser’s informed consent to billing (i.e. checking an unchecked box affirming the transaction).

Id. at Sec. 3.

ROSCA also places limits on the negative option features. These concern offers to consumers that are binding unless the consumer opts out of the sale by, for example, deselecting a pre-checked box. ROSCA makes it illegal for a person or company to charge any consumer for any goods or services sold in a transaction through a negative option feature, unless the person:

(a) “provides text that clearly and conspicuously discloses all material terms of the transaction before obtaining the consumer’s billing information; 

(b) obtains a consumer’s express informed consent before charging the consumer’s credit card, debit card, bank account, or other financial account for products or services through such transaction; and 

(c) provides simple mechanisms for a consumer to stop recurring charges from being placed on the consumer’s credit card, debit card, bank account, or other financial account.”

Id. at Sec. 4.

Under the new law, the Federal Trade Commission is able to take action against online businesses that use cross-sale or negative option feature marketing but do not comply with the law’s requirements. Additionally, state Attorneys General are also empowered to prosecute against those found to be in violation of ROSCA. Therefore, it is crucial that any business engaging in such practices adjust their methods in order to be compliance with the new law.

Comments/Questions: gdn@gdnlaw.com

© 2011 Nissenbaum Law Group, LLC

When Is Substantial Truth an Adequate Defense to Defamation?

In a 1964 decision, the Supreme Court established that truth is an absolute defense against defamation. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964). However, for parties involved in defamation suits, it is similarly important to know about the affirmative defense of substantial truth.

In a recent case, a Texas Court of Appeals found in favor of defendants who had posted a critical review of the plaintiff’s product online. David Rafes, Inc. v. Huml, 2009 Tex. App. (1st Dist. Oct. 29, 2009). In the suit, David Rafes alleged that Michael Huml and Slowboy Racing, Inc. published defamatory statements about Rafes’ business, Turbochargers.com. The allegedly defamatory statements included Huml claiming that Rafe’s turbocharger was a “poorly manufactured turbo from China” that would “inevitably fail in a short amount of time” and that it was a “Chinese version us[ing] an inferior stainless in its composition.” Id. at 2. Among several defenses asserted by the defendants was that their statements were substantially true.

In order to bring a cause of action for defamation, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant:

  1. published a statement about the plaintiff
  2. that was defamatory
  3. while acting with either actual intent or reckless disregard, i.e. malice (if the plaintiff was a public  official or public figure) or negligence (if the plaintiff was a private individual) regarding the truth of the statement

Id. at 13.

Generally, a defendant can defeat a libel claim by establishing that the published statement on which the action for libel is based is a true statement. Additionally, a defendant can defeat a libel claim by establishing that the statement at issue is substantially true. The Court explained that in order “[t]o determine if a publication is substantially true, we consider

  1. whether the alleged defamatory statement was more damaging to plaintiff’s reputation, in the mind of the average person,
  2. than a truthful statement would have been, and
  3. [w]e look at the ‘gist’ of the publication to determine whether it is substantially true.”

Id. at 14.

The substantial truth standard has also been referred to as the “gist” test because, under this approach, only the “gist” of the statement in question must be true in order for the statement to be protected. As the Court explained, “[t]he defense of truth does not require proof that the alleged defamatory statement is literally true in every detail; substantial truth is sufficient.” Id. This doctrine protects certain false statements so long as any inaccuracies do not materially alter the dissemination of otherwise truthful speech.

The Huml Court decided in favor of the defendants, finding that the trial court had heard sufficient evidence to conclude that the plaintiff’s turbocharger was, as it concluded, a “bad product” and that the evidence “substantiat[ed] the ‘gist’ of the statements contained in the internet article regarding the production and manufacturing of the turbocharger.” Id.

The substantial truth defense is significant in that it provides defendants with a less stringent – and potentially less expensive – way to combat a libel suit. If a defendant can show that the statement at issue is substantially true, it will hopefully be possible under the right circumstances for the defendant to have a motion for summary judgment granted (which will allow the case to be disposed of without going to trial). The doctrine is also important for libel plaintiffs because it notifies them that statements that criticize them need not be entirely true in order to be protected.

Comments/Questions: gdn@gdnlaw.com

© 2011 Nissenbaum Law Group, LLC

Where Can a Website be Sued?

Facebook might be able to “friend” anyone it wants in California, but when it comes to suing people, it will have to be a bit more selective. 

In a recent suit, Facebook filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Teachbook.com, LLC (“Teachbook”). Facebook, Inc. v. Teachbook.com, LLC, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48590 (N.D. Cal. May 2, 2011). Facebook demanded that Teachbook, an Illinois-based website that provides a social and professional networking community for teachers, remove the “-book” suffix from its name. Facebook took this action on the basis that it was a trademark violation.  Teachbook moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing, in part, that the Northern District of California did not have personal jurisdiction over it.

Personal jurisdiction refers to the power of a court to rule on the personal legal rights of parties properly brought before it in a forum state. One way for a person or company to open themselves to personal jurisdiction is by establishing “minimum contacts” in the forum state, which generally requires a party taking some purposely direct action toward that state. Facebook argued that Teachbook established sufficient “minimum contacts” in California through its adoption and use of the “Teachbook” mark and the subsequent effects the use would have on Facebook within California.

In order to determine whether Teachbook’s conduct was “purposely directed” at California, the Court applied a three-part “effects” test. The “effects” test requires that the defendant allegedly have:

1) committed an intentional act 

2) expressly aimed at the forum state 

3) causing harm that the defendant knows is likely to be suffered in the forum state.

Id. at 5, 6.

Facebook argued that Teachbook’s actions met the three requirements of the “effects” test by claiming Teachbook intentionally used a confusingly similar trademark; that it intended to compete with Facebook; and that it knew its use of the “Teachbook” mark would injure Facebook in its home state of California.

However, the Court disagreed with Facebook’s argument because it found that Facebook failed to show Teachbook’s conduct was “expressly aimed” at California. Id. at 6. “None of Teachbook’s acts were purposely directed at California; to the contrary, Teachbook took purposeful steps to avoid the California market,” the Court stated. Id. at 10. The Court placed particular significance on the fact that Teachbook did not register users in California. Therefore, even if it did intend to compete with a California company such as Facebook, it intended to compete for users who were not in California. Id. at 7. Additionally, the Court noted that a mere foreseeable effect is not sufficient for establishing personal jurisdiction as “[t]he fact that an essentially passive Internet advertisement may be accessible in the plaintiff’s home state without ‘something’ more is not enough to support personal jurisdiction in a trademark infringement suit.” Id.

The Court’s dismissal does not preclude Facebook from filing the claim in another venue. However, the decision is significant in that it sheds some light on when a website’s actions are sufficient to develop “minimum contacts” in a forum state and, consequently, when such a court could exercise personal jurisdiction over such a company.

Comments/Questions: gdn@gdnlaw.com

© 2011 Nissenbaum Law Group, LLC

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User acknowledges and agrees that the representations and obligations of the User hereunder shall survive and continue in perpetuity.

Release.

BY UTILIZING THE BLOG, USER HEREBY RELEASES, REMISES AND FOREVER DISCHARGES AND GIVES UP ANY AND ALL CLAIMS AND RIGHTS WHICH IT MAY HAVE AGAINST THE COMPANY AND ITS AFFILLIATES, PARTNERS, SERVICE PROVIDERS, VENDORS AND CONTRACTORS AND EACH OF THEIR RESPECTIVE AGENTS, ATTORNEYS, DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND ALL OTHER RELATED PERSONS OR ENTITIES BASED ON ANY ACT, EVENT OR OMISSION, AND FROM ANY AND ALL MANNER OF RIGHTS, CLAIMS, COMPLAINTS, DEMANDS, CAUSES OF ACTION, PROCEEDINGS, LIABLITIES, OBLIGATIONS, LEGAL FEES, COSTS AND DISBURSEMENTS OF ANY NATURE WHATSOEVER, WHETHER KNOWN OR UNKNOWN, WHICH NOW OR HEREAFTER ARISE FROM, RELATE TO OR ARE CONNECTED WITH THE USE OF THE BLOG AND SERVICES RELATED THERETO. USER FURTHER WAIVES, RELEASES AND GIVES UP ANY AND ALL CLAIMS AND DEFENSES ARISING FROM OR RELATING TO ANY ACT, EVENT OR OMISSION. THIS INCLUDES, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY CLAIM WHICH COULD BE ASSERTED NOW OR IN THE FUTURE UNDER (I) THE COMMON LAW; (II) ANY OF THE PARTIES POLICIES, PRACTICES OR PROCEDURES; AND/OR (III) ANY FEDERAL AND/OR STATE STATUTES OR REGULATIONS.

Successors and Assigns.

Whenever the term “the Company” is used in connection with these Terms and Conditions, and in accordance with the other modes and methods set forth in the other webpages of the Blog regarding its use in regard to a right, protection or benefit, it shall be construed to encompass the Company, its related entities, successors, assigns, directors, officers, employees and agents. Further, the term “User” used in connection with these Terms and Conditions shall include his/her/its heirs, related entities, successors, assigns, directors, officers, employees and agents.

Authorized Permission for Use.

The User shall be considered an entity if the individual accessing the Blog is doing so on behalf of an entity or is utilizing that entity’s computer system in connection with a task (either paid or unpaid) for that entity. If the User is an entity, the person using the Blog on its behalf hereby makes the material representation upon which he wishes the Company to rely that he is authorized to bind that entity to the Terms and Conditions set forth above, as well as any other obligations imposed or undertaken through Use of the Blog. The Company reserves the right to terminate the User’s access to, and use of, whether as an individual or entity, the Blog and any of its contents, including, without limitation, the Materials, or use of any of the Company’s services at its sole discretion and without any advance notice to the User.

Dispute Resolution.

A party to these Terms and Conditions may not institute a suit at law or equity regarding any dispute, whether directly or indirectly related or collateral to these Terms and Conditions. All such claims or disputes, whether between or among the parties, shall be submitted to arbitration administered by a mutually acceptable arbitrator affiliated with the American Arbitration Association and its rules and guidelines shall apply, or its International Centre for Dispute Resolution, if applicable. Without limitation, any dispute over the arbitrability of a matter shall be specifically reserved for the arbitrator to exclusively hear, and shall not be submitted to the court. Should the parties be unable to agree upon an arbitrator, the arbitrator shall be chosen by a determination of a court of competent jurisdiction. The arbitration proceedings shall be in English. The arbitrator shall have the authority to award any remedy or relief that a court of the State of New Jersey could order or grant. Each party will perform all acts, including the execution and delivery of further documents, as the arbitrator deems necessary or desirable to confirm and carry out the terms of the award rendered. Judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having competent jurisdiction thereof. The award rendered by the arbitrator in any arbitration is final and binding on the parties. The arbitration award may be appealed to a court of competent jurisdiction solely on the basis that the award was arbitrary or capricious.

However, notwithstanding the foregoing, either prior to, during or after the arbitration process, any Party to these Terms and Conditions may institute a suit in equity for a temporary injunction (a) to preserve the status quo; (b) to enjoin a breach or threatened breach of this Release; (c) to obtain specific performance; (d) to compel the arbitration or further its purposes and/or to enforce a settlement or award of such arbitration; and/or (e) for any other equitable relief.

Jurisdiction.

The User utilizing the Blog agrees that the laws of the State of New Jersey shall govern these terms and conditions and any dispute, controversy or claim directly or indirectly related to such Use. Further, the User consents to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey or, if federal jurisdiction exists, at the option of either party, to the jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Newark Vicinage, to seek injunctive relief, compel an arbitration and/or enforce an arbitrator’s award. Any arbitration shall be conducted in Union County, New Jersey. Service of the written notice to initiate the aforementioned arbitration shall be deemed complete when sent either as required by Court procedure or by (i) electronic mail to any of the User’s current or future electronic mail addresses; (ii) ordinary mail or ordinary or two-day mail by a commercial carrier, in the event a regular mailing address has been provided by the party upon which service is being effected or is otherwise determined by the serving party; or (iii) otherwise in accordance with the laws and procedures of the State of New Jersey. The User agrees that regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action by User arising out of or related to use of the Blog or services related thereto must be filed within one (1) year after such claim or cause of action arose or be forever barred and therefore the statute of limitations is limited to one (1) year.

Further Assurances.

The User covenants and agrees to perform further all acts and execute all supplementary instruments or documents which may be requested by the Company to carry out the provisions and effectuate the intent of these Terms and Conditions.

Assignment.

Company may freely assign its rights and obligations in and to these Terms and Conditions. The User acknowledges that it may not assign, transfer or sell its rights under these Terms and Conditions without Company’s express written consent, which may be unreasonably withheld. Any purported assignment without Company’s consent shall be deemed null and void.

Severability.

If any portion of these Terms and Conditions is ruled invalid or otherwise unenforceable, it shall be deemed amended in order to achieve as closely as possible the same effect as originally drafted. Any invalid or unenforceable portion shall be construed as narrowly as possible in order to give effect to as much of the Terms and Conditions as possible.

Links to Other Sites.

The User acknowledges and agrees that the Company has no responsibility for the accuracy or availability of information provided by websites to which a User may link from the Blog (“Linked Sites”). Links to Linked Sites are provided as a convenience to the User, and do not constitute an endorsement by or association with the Company of such sites or the content, products, advertising or other materials presented on such sites. The Company does not author, edit or monitor these Linked Sites. User acknowledges and agrees that the Company is not responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any such content, goods or services available on such Linked Sites. If User accesses a Linked Site, he does so at his own risk.

No Third Party Beneficiaries.

These Terms and Conditions are not intended to be for the benefit of, and shall not be enforceable by any unaffiliated third party, except as may be specifically provided herein. Nothing herein, express or implied, is intended to or shall confer on any third party any rights (including third-party beneficiary rights), remedies, obligations or liabilities under or by reason of these Terms and Conditions or otherwise set forth in the Blog, except as may be specifically provided herein. These Terms and Conditions shall not provide third parties with any remedy, claim, liability, reimbursement, cause of action or other right in excess of those existing without reference to the terms herein. No third party shall have any right, independent of any right that exists irrespective of these Terms and Conditions, to bring any suit at law or equity for any matter governed by or subject to the provisions herein.

Prohibited by Law.

In the event that any aspect of the Blog or these Terms and Conditions is prohibited by law in User’s jurisdiction, User agrees not to Use the Blog. It is solely User’s responsibility to determine whether it is allowed by law to participate in the Blog. Without limitation, the User releases Company from all liability that could arise from User’s prohibited participation in the Blog or acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. Moreover, and without limiting the indemnification otherwise provided herein, User shall indemnify, defend and hold Company and all Company Parties harmless for any and all damages relating to a violation of this paragraph.

International Use.

In light of the international scope of the Internet, User agrees to comply with all local laws, rules and regulations, including but not limited to those applicable to online conduct and acceptable Internet content. Without limitation, User acknowledges and agrees that it shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding the transmission of technical data from the United States or the country in which the User may reside.

Miscellaneous.

The Company’s failure to enforce any term, provision or condition of these Terms and Conditions, including the breach or default thereof, by conduct, course of dealing or otherwise, in one or more instances shall not be deemed a waiver. To the extent that a provision of these Terms and Conditions is deemed unenforceable, the balance of it shall remain in full force and effect. The Parties may not change, modify nor amend this Agreement unless such change, modification or amendment is made in writing and signed by both Parties. The User acknowledges that he has not accepted these Terms and Conditions on reliance of any representations or other promises of the Company, which is not specifically included herein. The User specifically stipulates that these Terms and Conditions do not constitute a contract of adhesion. The gender terms in these Terms and Conditions shall apply equally to either gender. The headings in these Terms and Conditions shall have no force and effect. User acknowledges and agrees that these Terms and Conditions and the privacy policy on the Blog constitute the entire agreement of the Parties hereto relating to the subject matter hereof, and any prior agreements, understandings, representatives and commitments concerning such subject matter, whether oral or written, are hereby superseded and terminated in their entirety and are of no further force or effect. User acknowledges and agrees that it has not agreed to these Terms and Conditions in reliance upon any representation or promise other than those specified herein.

By his Use of the Blog, the User represents that he has had the opportunity to review these Terms and Conditions with counsel of the User’s choosing, if the User wished to do so. The User further acknowledges that he has thoroughly read these Terms and Conditions; understands that he is giving up certain legal rights that may otherwise exist; has asked any questions he desires to clarify its meaning; and believes it is in his interest to nevertheless proceed with to utilize the Blog.

Legal Disclaimer

Please read the following disclaimer which applies to all of the material found on this website:

Nothing contained on this Blog should be construed to create a duty of care, nor to constitute legal advice nor be construed as a representation to be reasonably relied upon. No representations or warranties are made with regard to the accuracy or content of any information contained on any website to which this one may be linked or otherwise refers. Further, none of the material contained herein should be interpreted to state or imply a comparison with the capabilities of any other lawyer or law firm. We take no responsibility for the information contained on any website to which this one may be linked, if any, as the same is completely independent of our own. Neither Nissenbaum Law Group, L.L.C., nor its attorney(s), should be deemed to be retained as counsel unless and until a formal retainer agreement is signed or a retainer letter is received by the prospective client.

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Copyright © 2008 by NISSENBAUM LAW GROUP, LLC. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include this copyright statement.

Privacy Policy

Effective Date: July 2, 2008

Last Updated: July 2, 2008

Nissenbaum Law Group, LLC (the “Company”), is committed to protecting the privacy of its Users (as defined below). This document (“Privacy Policy”) outlines what information the Company collects from its Users through www.internetdefamationlawblog.com (the “Blog”) and how that information is used. The Company will only keep Users’ information which they submit through the Blog for internal use.

Revisions to this Policy

The Company reserves the right to revise, change, amend, alter or modify (“Update”) this Privacy Policy and its other policies and agreements at any time and in any manner. The User, as defined below, is responsible for periodically checking for any Updates of this Privacy Policy by re-visiting the Blog and using the “refresh” button on the User’s browser. Any Updates supersede any prior versions immediately upon posting on the Blog. If the User does not agree with the terms of this Privacy Policy, or any updated terms hereto, his sole remedy is to not use the Blog.

Information Collected

The information which the Company collects through the Blog may include personally identifiable information (“Personal Information”) which refers to information that helps it identify users or viewers of the Blog (collectively, “Users” and each a “User”). The Personal Information includes data such as a User’s name, street address, phone number, facsimile number, email address, username and password. The Blog allows Users to submit Personal Information in order to contact or communicate with the Company. If User contacts the Company through this Blog, please note that Personal Information may be maintained by the Blog. Users are responsible for keeping all Personal Information current and may change any previously entered information through the Blog in the manner set forth below.

The Blog may also collect data that cannot be traced back to a specific individual (“Anonymous Information”). For example, the Company may be able to keep count of how many Users have viewed the Blog and specific content therein, or key words utilized to find the Blog, but this information does not necessarily include information regarding Users’ names, street addresses, phone numbers or email addresses. Users who view the Blog but do not enter their Personal Information are generally anonymous Users. Only Anonymous Information and no Personal Information will be intentionally collected by the Company from anonymous Users. The Blog may use browser cookies to collect Anonymous Information. The Blog may also incorporate web beacons or similar tracking technologies to allow the Company to track how the Blog is used. Such technologies are used to collect Anonymous Information, e.g. the name of the User’s internet service provider, the IP address of the User’s computer, User’s browser software and operating system, the identity of any linked-form or linked-to website and other similar information. The Company may combine a User’s Anonymous Information with similar information collected from other Users to help improve the Blog and services.

The Blog is hosted by TypePad.com. Ple/ase contact Typepad.com for information about their policy regarding the collection and retention of User information. Company does not know TypePad’s policies in this regard and makes no representations or warranties regarding TypePad’s use or collection of information about Users. Submitting information via the Internet may not be secure and/or confidential. Users should refrain from sending attorney-client privileged information through the Blog without prior approval from the Company to do so and should thereafter take into account that the Company cannot guarantee that such information will be secure, due to its means of transmission.

Third Party Advertisers and Links to Third Party Websites.

The Blog may include advertisements from third-party companies which may include links to third party websites. The advertisements placed by these companies are not affiliated, owned, maintained or updated by the Company. If User visits the website of these third-party advertisers, they may use cookies and/or request and collect User’s personal information. The Company does not know of the policies of these independent third-party advertisers and is not responsible for the information collected or how the information is used by any third-party advertisers. The Company also cannot confirm or in any way guarantee the accuracy of the information provided by those third party advertisers on their websites. The Company strongly recommends that User reads and reviews the privacy policies of any other third-party websites that it may view.

Information Sharing

Except as otherwise provided in this Privacy Policy, the Company will not intentionally distribute, rent or sell a User’s personal information to third parties without the User’s permission. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Company will share Users’ information, including without limitation Personal Information amongst its parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates and other related entities and related websites. The Company may be required by law enforcement or judicial authorities to provide Users’ Personal Information to the appropriate governmental authorities. If the Company receives a request from law enforcement or judicial authorities, then it reserves the right to provide the requested information.

Security Procedures

The Company undertakes reasonable efforts to operate secure data networks which are protected by industry standard firewall and password protection systems. The Company undertakes reasonable efforts to review its security and privacy policies on a periodic basis and it may adjust and change the systems as necessary. Notwithstanding the above, and although the Company is ever diligent in its security pursuits, it cannot guarantee the success of its efforts.

Special Cases

It is the Company’s policy to not use or share the Personal Information about the Users of the Blog in ways which have not been outlined or described herein without first allowing its Users a chance to opt out or otherwise disallow such unrelated uses. However, the Company may disclose Personal Information about its Users or information relating to their Use of the Blog for any reason if, in its sole discretion, it determines that it is reasonable to do so, including:

A. To comply with laws, such as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, regulations or governmental or legal requests for such information;

B. To reveal information that is needed to identify, contact or bring legal action against any User who may be violating the terms and conditions of the Blog;

C. To operate the Blog properly;

D. To protect the Blog and its Users; and/or

E. To fully cooperate with law enforcement authorities, private-party litigants and others seeking information about its Users to the extent required by applicable law.

Managing and Deleting Users’ Personal Information

If a User would like to modify or delete any personal information previously entered on the Blog, he can update his information by sending an email with his current and updated information to gdn@gdnlaw.com.

Protection of Children

The Company does not knowingly collect or use any personal information from children (minors younger than 13) through the Blog. If the User is a parent and believes the Company may have inadvertently collected such information from User’s child, please notify the Company immediately by sending an email to gdn@gdnlaw.com.

Additional Information

If Users have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please feel free to contact the Company by phone at 908-686-8000.

Terms and Conditions The Terms and Conditions set forth on the Blog shall govern any claim relating to this Privacy Policy and will otherwise be deemed applicable to it.

Corporate Transfers of Information

Information about the Users of the Blog, which include the Users’ Personal Information, may be disclosed in association with certain business dealings such as any debt financing, acquisition or merger, sale of assets and in the event of a bankruptcy, assignment for benefit of creditors or receivership in which particular information could be sold or transferred to other parties as an asset. By using the Blog and/or entering his Personal Information, each User consent to the Blog’s use of his information as outlined in this Privacy Policy.