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You Gotta Fight for Your Right to IP

One year ago, a federal court jury in New York awarded popular rap group, the Beastie Boys, $1.7 million resulting from the unauthorized use of several of its songs by marketers of Monster brand energy drink. Recently, the judge in the same case ordered Monster to pay an additional $668,000 toward the group’s legal fees.…

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Law Lends Finality to Planning With Revocable Trusts

A law emerging from this year’s session of the Maryland legislature now extends certain probate estate protections to revocable trusts, enhancing their utility as an estate planning tool. A flaw in the sometimes commercially touted strategy of beating estate probate with a revocable trust has been that creditor claims against the creator of the trust…

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The Bankruptcy Trustee Took My Tuition Payment

The steep and steady rise of tuition for their children may drive some parents to bankruptcy and put the completed payment itself in jeopardy. Tuition payments made by parents to their child’s private school, college or university may be subject to claw-back when the parents later file for bankruptcy. Those sizable tuition payments are becoming…

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Remedies Vary for Wrongful Termination of a Construction Contract

Sufficient justification of the termination of a construction contract must exist or the terminating party may be liable for damages arising out of the wrongful termination. The results of any such termination typically are governed by termination clauses, or in their absence, Maryland statute. On occasion, owners or general contractors will terminate a construction contract,…

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Critical Construction Clauses: Termination for Cause

As a follow-up to the previous article Critical Construction Clauses: Termination for Convenience, this focuses on the effects of another means of contract termination, termination for cause by the owner in a construction project in Maryland. A right of termination for cause is standard in public and private construction projects, permitting a party to terminate…

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Out of State Employers May Be Liable Under Maryland Payment and Collection Law

A recent decision of Maryland’s high court may result in more lawsuits here against out-of-state employers as their local employees choose to stake their wage claims on Maryland’s more favorable statute. Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law enables employees to sue for unpaid compensation, such as salary, commissions, bonuses, and vacation pay. The statute applies…

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New Challenges to Criminal Background Checks by Employers

“Ban the Box” laws already prevent employers in many Maryland local jurisdictions from checking an applicant’s criminal background in the early stages of the hiring process. A bill now pending in the Maryland legislature would take such protections much further – to prohibit any inquiry at all into a specified range of crimes. Current Ban…

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Pet Trusts: Not Just for Leona

The real estate magnate Leona Helmsley was famously maligned when word got out after her death in 2007 that she had named her Maltese dog Trouble as the beneficiary of a $12 million trust fund. After a court battle, Trouble was forced to scrape by on trust principal reduced to $2 million. It seemed silly…

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Start Over: New Foreclosure Requires a New Notice

Homeowners who have fought off foreclosure before deserve a new notice from the lender if foreclosure looms again, as Maryland’s highest court interprets the state’s foreclosure provisions strictly to require notice each time the process is started or re-started. The Maryland Court of Appeals, Maryland’s highest court, recently held that lenders must give residential borrowers…

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