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How to Reduce the Risk and Mitigate the Harm of Identity Theft

Identity TheftAccording to the Department of Justice (the “DOJ”), an estimated 17.6 million Americans aged 16 or older were victims of at least one attempt or incident of identity theft in 2014. Identity theft takes many forms - from stealing someone’s identity to obtain government benefits to creating new financial accounts in another person’s name. The most frequent type of identity theft - 80 percent of all cases according to the DOJ - involves someone trying to take over an existing bank or credit card account. Tax-related fraud is also on the rise.

We are all at risk of identity theft. It seems like a week never goes by without a news report about a data breach at a major retailer or bank. Unfortunately, most people who are victims of identity theft - or suspect they might be - are not aware of the steps they should take to mitigate the harm from the theft.

This article identifies the steps that a person whose social security number is compromised should immediately take upon learning of a problem, as well as actions to take to protect against the risk of identity theft in the future. Read More ›

Categories: News, Privacy, Tax

Update: Lansing Cyberattack Underscores Need for Cyber Insurance Coverage

We recently wrote about how a Cyberattack on Lansing, Michigan's Board of Water and Light ("BWL") resulted in costs nearing $2 million for technical support and equipment upgrades. In fact, BWL's total costs have now stretched to $2.4 million, including a $25,000 ransom paid to the attackers. These facts underscore that the costs of such attacks can be enormous, especially when ransomware is involved. Read More ›

Categories: News

Lawsuits Encouraged by Sixth Circuit Decision Where Customer and Employee Sensitive Data Breached

Cyber SecurityA recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (the “Sixth Circuit”) may make it easier for plaintiffs to bring costly lawsuits against companies that allow sensitive data to fall into the wrong hands. Most troubling from a company's perspective, the Sixth Circuit used language that some states legally require in data breach notification letters to justify allowing the case to move forward. Read more about this case here.

Categories: Employment, News, Technology

Cyberattack Highlights the Costs of Breach Response and the Need for Preparation

Cyber SecurityIt sounds like something out of a Hollywood screenplay: foreign hackers, possibly from Russia, induce an unsuspecting employee of a major utility company to click on an email attachment that is infected with malware, enabling the hackers to cripple the utility’s computer systems unless a ransom is paid. Unfortunately, this story is fact, not fiction. Read More ›

Categories: News

Private Companies are Watching Your Every Move Online

PrivacyThanks to the new Oliver Stone movie now in theaters, Edward Snowden has been back in the news lately. Disillusioned and alarmed by the virtual mountain of data that was being assembled by the federal government to track all forms of digital communication, Snowden became a hero to some, and traitor to others, after he leaked information about the government’s secret tracking systems to the press. Read More ›

Categories: Privacy

I Have a Script and I Want to Make a Movie

Do you have a script for the next great movie? If you are unsure of the next steps to take, attorney John Mashni can help get you on the right track. Read More ›

Categories: Venture Capital/Funding

Lights, Camera, Action: Legal Considerations for the Entertainment Industry

filmingOrganizations within the entertainment industry have a unique set of legal considerations. To better understand these considerations, Attorney John Mashni is presenting an introductory and advanced level course on the "Legal Aspects of a Feature Film," and a course on "The Law of Music" to the NALA Paralegal Association at their annual conference and expo. The NALA annual conference is taking place in Las Vegas July 13 through July 15. Read More ›

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property

Employers Should Audit and Update Employment-Related Policies and Agreements in Light of New “Defend Trade Secrets Act”

Trade SecretPresident Obama recently signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (the “Act”) into law. The Act creates a new cause of action - which became effective immediately - for trade secret misappropriation.

Prior to the Act, civil claims for trade secret misappropriation were primarily governed by state law. The Act creates federal jurisdiction for claims brought under the Act, which provides plaintiffs with the option to sue in federal court. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, Intellectual Property, Trade Secrets

No Need to Drone On: A Quick Overview of the New FAA Rules

DroneOn June 21, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) released its much-awaited operational rules for drones. We have been tracking these rules for the last year. The biggest change from the proposed rules to final rules is that the final rules eliminate the need for commercial drone operators to obtain a manned aircraft pilot's license. Instead, drone operators will have to pass a knowledge test for unmanned aircraft. The test will be administered at FAA approved testing centers nationwide.  Read More ›

Categories: News

Copyright Basics: 3 Tips for Small Businesses Regarding Copyright

When it comes to copyrights, there are several common mistakes small businesses can make. If you are putting together marketing materials or a website and you download a photo online, often times that photo is protected by a copyright and is owned by someone else. This could lead to copyright infringement. Learn about a few other common copyright mistakes in the video below.

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property