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Company can’t require workers to purchase its merchandise

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The Abercrombie & Fitch clothing chain cannot require its salespeople to buy and wear Abercrombie & Fitch clothes in order to work there, says a federal court in California. The court okayed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 62,000 Abercrombie employees in the state, based on the claim that the company’s “look policy” required them […]

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Federal lawsuits might become less burdensome

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“Discovery” is the phase of a lawsuit before trial in which the two sides have a right to demand relevant information from each other. Sometimes, big companies suing little companies try to “bury” the little company with endless requests for information, hoping to find some stray helpful tidbit or simply pressure the little company to […]

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Here’s a problem with employee arbitration clauses

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A software company called TIBCO tried to protect itself by including a non-compete clause in its employment agreements. It also required that any disputes over the employment relationship go to arbitration rather than being tried in court. When an employee left to work for a competitor, TIBCO filed a lawsuit and asked for an emergency […]

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When is a competitor’s name too similar to yours?

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Competitors can’t legally use the same name as your company – at least if you’ve properly protected it. But what if they use a similar name, or the same name for a different product? This can be a tricky question, because it often turns on whether the public is likely to actually be confused. In […]

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Business gets salary back from ‘disloyal’ employee

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Did you know that executives and other employees may have a legal obligation to be “loyal” to their companies? This means that they have to act in the company’s interest, and not deliberately harm the company or take advantage of it for their own interest. This came up in a recent New Jersey case where […]

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Clicking or e-mailing can create a binding contract

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A New York company ran a loan-application website. As part of the application process, users had to click a box to get from one screen to the next. Above the box it said, “Clicking the box below constitutes your acceptance of … the borrower registration agreement.” The borrower registration agreement wasn’t on the page, but […]

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What can you do if a competitor lies in its ads?

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Your competitor’s advertising makes false claims about how great its products are – or worse yet, disparages your own products. What are your options? You have a range of alternatives, from complaining to a private or government agency to filing a lawsuit. Here’s a look at some of the choices. If your competitor is saying […]

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Estate Planning for People Who Don’t Have Families

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A growing number of older people don’t have a spouse, children, or other close relatives. One of the biggest concerns in such a situation is how to prepare in case the person eventually becomes disabled or incapacitated. Such a person could, of course, give a power of attorney to a friend, and assume the friend […]

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Supreme Court Alters Estate Planning for Gay Couples

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The Supreme Court’s recent ruling extending same-sex marriage throughout the U.S. has changed the estate planning landscape for gay couples. The biggest change, of course, will be for couples living in states that didn’t recognize same-sex marriage before the decision. But the ruling is also important for couples in states that previously permitted same-sex marriage, […]

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Some Bequests That ‘Look’ Equal Really Aren’t

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When you’re deciding how to divide your assets among multiple heirs, it’s very important to consider who will pay your estate’s debts out of their share. Two bequests that look equal in theory might be very different in practice once debts are taken into account. Generally, when a person dies, his or her outstanding debts […]

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