Notre Dame Class Discussion Focuses on Libel Law in the Trump Era

(February 14, 2018) Richard C. Balough discussed libel and privacy law in the Trump era as part of a journalism class at the University of Notre Dame.

Mr. Balough explored President Trump’s statement that “our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values or American fairness” in light of the history of the development of libel laws in the United States.

Concerning privacy, Mr. Balough noted that today’s instant messaging, tweeting, and the pervasive ...

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Comma Case Settles. Period. Scratch Comma; Law Now Uses Semicolons

(February 11, 2018) The lack of a serial comma in a statute has cost a Maine dairy $5 million in a settlement with truck drivers who originally were denied overtime pay.

The case gained the attention of English majors because the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit devoted 17 pages of its 29-page opinion to discussing the proper use of a serial comma in the Maine overtime law. The requirement for overtime pay does not apply if the ...

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Court Finds Grubhub Driver Was Independent Contractor

(February 9, 2018) A Grubhub driver was an independent contractor and not an employee of the online food ordering and delivery service because the company lacks control over the driver’s work.

The California district court noted it is an “all-or-nothing proposition” whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor. “With the advent of the gig economy, and the creation of  a low wage workforce performing low skill but highly flexible episodic jobs, the legislature may want to address this ...

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Tinder’s Dating App’s Age-Based Pricing Structure Discriminatory

(February 4, 2018) A claim that the dating site Tinder engages in age discrimination by charging premium subscribers over 30 up to twice as much as those under 30 has been reinstated by a California appellate court.

Tinder, Inc. owns and operates a smartphone-based dating application. The basic level of the app is free, but it also offers “Tinder Plus,” which gives subscribers access to additional features. The fee for users over 30 is $19.95 per month. For those under 30, ...

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AriseBank Crypto-Coin Offering a Fraud, SEC Claims

(February 1, 2018) A “bank” that claims it raised $600 million in an initial coin offering for its own cryptocurrency has been shut down by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a receiver appointed.

In a complaint unsealed on January 29, the SEC alleges that AriseBank, based in Dallas, Texas, and its co-founders were engaged in a “fraudulent and unregistered offering of securities” to investors “who are actively being defrauded.” Such actions violate the Securities Act. As a result of ...

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Cheryl Dancey Balough Selected as Rising Star by Super Lawyers

Cheryl Dancey Balough has been selected by a second attorney review group for her legal skills by being named as a “Rising Star” for 2018 in the field of business and corporate law by Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

In addition to being selected as a Rising Star ...

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Update on Sign Permits in Chicago

Effective January 1st, Chicago businesses are no longer required to obtain a permit for simple window signs covering less than 25% of the window. This update is good news for small business owners.

In general, permits are required for all on-premises signs, but the following exceptions now apply:

  • A temporary on-premise sign constructed wholly from paper, fabric, vinyl, or similar materials and attached to a window for no more than 60 days, provided that the total area of all signage in a single window ...
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Auto Downloading OK if Other Methods Allowed by Website Terms

(January 9, 2018) Using automated tools to download data from a website contrary to the site’s terms of use does not violate state computer abuse laws if the downloading of the data is otherwise permitted, the Ninth Circuit found.

The appellate court reversed a jury’s finding that Oracle USA, Inc. was entitled to $14.4 million in damages from Rimini Street, Inc. for violating California’s and Nevada’s computer abuse laws that prohibit the unauthorized access to a computer. Oracle’s website terms ...

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FTC Hits Hotel Room Reseller for Deceptive Practices

(December 26, 2017) A hotel reseller booking site has agreed to stop practices that led customers to believe they were booking rooms on the actual hotel site when in fact the customers were not. When booking with the reseller, customers had their credit cards charged in advance, could not avail themselves of the hotel’s cancellation policies, did not earn loyalty rewards, and were not necessarily seeing all of the available rooms and prices.

Reservation Center, LLC, Partner Fusion, Inc. and TravelPASS ...

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Cheryl Dancey Balough Selected As Leading Lawyer

Cheryl Dancey Balough has been selected as a Leading Lawyer in Chicago in the field of closely

and privately held business law for 2018. The designation was made by Leading Lawyers, a division of Law Bulletin Media, which publishes the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Leading Lawyers is used by lawyers and potential clients to locate reputable, experienced lawyers. Leading Lawyers surveys lawyers, asking them which of ...

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