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Author Archives: Thomas Bonte

How Much for an Attorney-to-Be?

Lawyers love Latin — it makes the sordid sound sophisticated. After reading the below, ask yourself cui bono? Who benefits? Judge William Pauley recently knocked down an attorneys’ fee request: “”Astonishingly, Kramer Levin attorneys, paralegals, and staff amassed 5536.4 billable hours on this matter, employing four partners, three special counsel, ten associates, eight paralegals and a […]

Sad Trolls, Happy Humanity

The copyright trolls had a bad day at the beginning of September, as Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the Northern District of California found that wireless router owners do not have a duty to secure Internet connections from outsiders. The issue in AF Holdings v. Doe (Hatfield), US Dist Court, ND Cal. C12-2049 (PJH)  is negligence. […]

Time to Get Commission Agreements in Writing

We’ve said it before, about the need to get things in writing, but now getting commission schedules in writing will be the law here in California starting next year: “By January 1, 2013, whenever an employer enters into a contract of employment with an employee for services to be rendered within this state and the contemplated […]

Return of the Scammers

A few years ago, we warned about scammers who were sending official-looking notices from the “Business Filings Division,” asking for $239 for statement of information filings. It was all a scam — but I remember spending fifteen minutes looking at one, trying to verify that it wasn’t official. It seems that these scammers are back, only […]

Resist the Torrent

If you had any doubts, the New Scientist has published a report that says that most torrent downloaders have their internet protocol (“IP”) addresses logged within three hours of the download. The article wonders whether the information will be reliable enough to be admitted in a court of law, but another legitimate question is whether there are […]

Unemployment Benefits: The Greased Pig

Sometimes being an employer is like being in a greased pig contest: you just can’t get your arms around it. An employee does something that amply justifies firing him. He admits what he did, but seeks and (eventually) is awarded unemployment, thereby costing the employer’s account. What gives? A recent court decision, Robles v. EDD  […]

Business Owners: Keep Your Networks Secure

Just in case the business owner didn’t have anything to worry about, here is a new headache to avoid. EPN Inc., also known as Checknet, Inc. is a collection agency that also provides electronic payment and e-commerce services. Unfortunately, Checknet has recently settled charges  brought by the Federal Trade Commission that Checknet failed to maintain […]

Who Is Using Your Trademark? (Google II)

New Legal Developments in Keyword Advertising Go ahead: after you google yourself, google your company name. We’ll wait. Hold on – did you see that? Above your company name is an ad from someone pretending to be a reseller of your product – but you’ve never heard of them. Can they do that? Can companies […]

Tips for Employers About Tips in California

California has a long tradition of being employee-friendly: covenants not to compete by employees are unenforceable, and the minimum wage is usually higher in California than that nationally. The same is true for professions with tips, which may be the next “hot” area of labor law in California. Employers whose employees earn tips had best get […]

Viva La Small Biz!

As the son of a stockbroker, I grew up listening to talk about large, well-established businesses. IBM. Gerber. Proctor & Gamble. All successful companies, in industries that will last a long time. But all, in their way, static. IBM’s headcount of American employees has been falling for years. Most Fortune 500 companies in America that […]


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