The New ABCs of Employer Liability: Recent Changes to Employee-Independent Contractor Tests May Leave Some Businesses More Open to Liability

Image of two green signs on a pole. One sign points to the right and says "independent contractor," and the other sign points to the left and says "employee"

Photo Credit: https://cdn.cpapracticeadvisor.com/files/base/CSN/image/2016/04/16×9/640×360/Independent_contractors_1_.570f062a5d352.jpg.

By: Brettlyn Miller
Junior Associate Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

The line between the classification of an employee and an independent contractor can be thin but important, especially in terms of vicarious liability for an employer.  While there exists a gray area between the two, one state recently tightened its differentiation.  California’s Assembly Bill 5 (“AB 5”) passed legislation late last year and became effective on January 1, 2020, as amendments to California Labor Code and Unemployment Insurance Code.[1] Continue reading “The New ABCs of Employer Liability: Recent Changes to Employee-Independent Contractor Tests May Leave Some Businesses More Open to Liability”

She Stole My Look — How Archaic Copyright Laws Hinder Litigation to Protect the Original Work of Fashion Designers

Left: image of a Gucci bomber jacket; Right: image of a Forever 21 model wearing a similarily-styled bomber jacket

Photo Credit: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4779144/Gucci-sues-Forever-21-ripping-trademark-stripes.html.

By: Caroline Smith
Junior Associate Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

In a world of Instagram influencers and fashion bloggers, knock-off designer looks seem inevitable.  However, with retailer giants such as H&M, Zara, and FashionNova producing new collections seemingly overnight, how many of these designs are actually “original?” Continue reading “She Stole My Look — How Archaic Copyright Laws Hinder Litigation to Protect the Original Work of Fashion Designers”

An Update on Data Breach Litigation: Trends in Multidistrict Litigation

illustration of a "data pirate" reaching for binary code with a foggy blue-green background that fades to black

Photo Credit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveandriole/2019/07/30/the-capital-one-data-breach-is-no-exception-why-we-can-expect-many-many-more/#ab9831bfc48b

By: Nick Jackson
Managing Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

Data breaches are becoming the “new normal” in American society.  In what used to be “headline” news, major data breaches are no longer the rarity that they once were.  Today, data breaches occur on a small scale nearly every day across the United States.  In fact since 2005, more than 4,500 data breaches have been made public.[1] Continue reading “An Update on Data Breach Litigation: Trends in Multidistrict Litigation”

Stop Giving Away Your Identity – It Could Cost You Your Freedom

color photo of a 3D rendering of someone's face next to a phone app that was used to create the 3D rendering based on facial-scan technology

Photo Credit: https://phandroid.com/2016/06/03/snapchat-acquires-seene-3d-imaging-vr/

By: Dylan Scilabro
Articles Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

            There is no denying the age of technology.  It is here and in full force.  People worldwide are adopting and using various forms of social media platforms for commerce, entertainment, and communication.   Continue reading “Stop Giving Away Your Identity – It Could Cost You Your Freedom”

Screening or Censorship: The Collection of Visa Applicants’ Social Media Information

two photos: left side: part of an immigration visa; right side: photo of an iPhone screen with social media apps on the screen

Photo Credit: https://www.gadgetguy.com.au/the-us-visa-application-needs-to-know-your-social-media-presence/

By: Elizabeth Hosmer
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

In March of 2018, the United States Department of State proposed a new requirement for United States visa applicants to disclose their previous addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, international travel and deportation statuses, and social media usernames.[1] Continue reading “Screening or Censorship: The Collection of Visa Applicants’ Social Media Information”

Alabama’s Amended Hospital Lien Laws

Image of the text of Ala. Code §§ 35-11-371, 35-11-372 fading into an image of hundred dollar bills with a red transparent banner that reads "Hospital Liens" in white lettering

Photo Credit: Texas Senator Submits Bill to Allows Hospitals to Continue Scamming Patients, Moore L. Firm, https://moore-firm.com/texas-senator-submits-bill-to-allow-hospitals-to-continue-scamming-patients/ (last visited Dec. 4, 2019).

By: Lauren Wiggins
Research and Writing Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

Medical bills are a primary source of damages that personal injury suits seek to recover.  Those bills can be astronomical when such an injury requires treatment at a hospital whether through a few hours in the emergency department or an extended period of hospital admission.

Continue reading “Alabama’s Amended Hospital Lien Laws”

Sandy Hook Relatives Seek to Hold Gun Manufacturer Accountable

color photo of the United States Supreme Court, looking up at the Court

Photo Credit:https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-will-rule-on-expedited-removal-of-those-denied-asylum-requests/2019/10/18/916a4716-f1dd-11e9-89eb-ec56cd414732_story.html.

By: Jean Talbott
Senior Associate Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

A recent Supreme Court decision has given families of Sandy Hook victims hope in their battle against gun manufacturers.[1]   Continue reading “Sandy Hook Relatives Seek to Hold Gun Manufacturer Accountable”

When Giving a Hug is Neither Legal Nor Ethical: Did a Judge’s Decision to Give a Defendant a Hug and Bible Cross the Line?

Illustration of a person scratching their head with question marks above their head. To the left of the person is a sign pointing left that says "Ethical," and to the right of the person is a sign pointing right that says "Legal"

Photo Credit: Why ethics and law are not the same thing, In The Black, https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2015/04/01/why-ethics-and-law-are-not-the-same-thing.

By: Lindsey Phillips
Research and Writing Editor, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

On October 1, 2019, ex-Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was convicted of murder for shooting and killing Botham Jean after she claimed she thought he was an intruder when she mistook his apartment for her own.[1] Continue reading “When Giving a Hug is Neither Legal Nor Ethical: Did a Judge’s Decision to Give a Defendant a Hug and Bible Cross the Line?”

International Service of Process – A Peek Behind the Curtain

Image of a keyboard with an orb made up of various countries' flags sitting on the "return" key of the keyboard

Photo Credit: https://calspro.org/category/process-service/page/2/

By: Will Johnson
Member, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

           For most attorneys, international litigation is a rare occurrence.  As the world and its people grow increasingly connected, however, the opportunities for global disputes only increase. Continue reading “International Service of Process – A Peek Behind the Curtain”

Where’s My Money?: The Impact of New Overtime Rules

Illustration of two hands, one coming from the left holding a gold coin with a dollar sign on it; the other hand coming from the right holding a clock. The hands are dark blue and the background is light blue. The coin is gold, the clock is black and white.

Photo Credit: https://www.insperity.com/blog/comp-time-overtime/

By: Alex Townsley
Editor in Chief, American Journal of Trial Advocacy

           Overtime is an idea that factors crucially into some American workers’ budgets while being completely ignored by almost all workers who do not qualify for it.  But, what is overtime, and, more importantly, who qualifies for it?  The answer to the second question will change again in 2020 when the new Department of Labor rules go into effect.[1]   

Continue reading “Where’s My Money?: The Impact of New Overtime Rules”