How to Feed a Lawyer (and Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground)

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I'm sorry to hear about how this event aggravated you, but I wouldn't lose a moment's more of sleep over it. The common law of no US state I'm aware of fails to support any "right of publicity" or invasion of privacy claim this man would purport to have, or any general intellectual property right. Defamation is out of the question. Any claim he may have under German law would have a very strong defense under US law through the 1st Amendment.

Of course, you wouldn't want to incur the expense and aggravation of having to defend such a lawsuit to begin with, even if you prevail in the end. But this claim is so meritless that this individual will have a difficult time convincing a plaintiff's lawyer to take on his case.

And finally, don't forget that you may be covered by insurance for any lawsuit against you, through your homeowners' policy and possibly your malpractice policy. Such coverage may entitle you to defense counsel at the expense of your insurer.


"The common law of no US state I'm aware of fails to support any 'right of publicity'..."

The atrocious grammar (if you can call it that) of that sentence makes me cringe.


Chuck: Thanks for the advice. Should Ted Frank decline my invitation to serve on the defense team, I'd like you to take his place. It might not be long before I'm saying to you, "Welcome aboard!"


Evan: I'd be glad to help, though I'm not in your state and in the highly unlikely event you were sued, you'd be best served by counsel in the state in which Mr. Germany brings suit.


Chuck: Drat. The only lawyer in my state that immediately comes to mind is Johnnie Cochran. Well, he's not really in my state, at least not as far as I can tell, but he has taken out a number of gigantic Yellow Pages ads in the small town where I work. Do you think it might have anything to do with the fact that my small town is in Madison County, Illinois? Probably not best to question his motives. And actually, I'd quite like to have Johnnie on the team. (Since he's the new legal competition in town, it'll be one way for me to keep my eye on him).


That's pretty clever, actually! You could have Johnnie represent you, and every case he tried in the future in which you were counsel, he'd have to withdraw because of a conflict of interest. (Of course, so would you).

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