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Tom Grant
Atlanta, GA
Lawyer, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
Recent Activity
On December 11, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a decision that will have a far-reaching impact on employers’ ability to control their employees’ use of company email systems. Specifically, the NLRB held that “employee use of email for statutorily protected communications on nonworking time must presumptively be... Continue reading
As noted in a prior post, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) new rule for compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) went into effect on July 1, 2013. If you operate a website or online service directed at, or known to be viewed by, children under 13, then... Continue reading
On June 24, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) sent an open letter (linked here) to search engine companies to emphasize that they must clearly disclose search results whose ranking or placement depends upon advertising or sponsorship, as opposed to “natural search results . . . ranked based on relevance... Continue reading
I was aware that you could buy bogus Twitter followers through sites which operate through bots (i.e., www.wedofollowers.net, which sounds more like a tawdry movie than a site for enlarging your Twitter presence), but I just discovered a new case involving a business that allows one to buy batches of... Continue reading
A May 31, 2013 decision by a federal district court in Utah serves as a helpful CAN-SPAM primer, using a $1.6 million damage award to teach the following lessons: Emailers can't use remotely stored images to provide required CAN-SPAM disclosures; instead, disclosures must be part of the body of an... Continue reading
Lookout for the law of unintended consequences. An otherwise effective digital marketing campaign targeted at customers in a distant region might create more than just sales and awareness; it might also subject your client to lawsuits by creating jurisdiction there. As explained in more detail below, and as evidenced by... Continue reading
You’ve got to love this one: A dentist who went way too far in trying to prevent negative online reviews has caused a lawsuit that has only reinforced a patient’s right to negatively comment on his practice and has shown even more light on the negative review. Patients, look closely... Continue reading
A recent case out of Illinois suggests an interesting argument that may expand the scope of the Stored Communications Act ("SCA") by applying it to files stored on a server or network. (See IBEW, Local 134 v. Cunningham, No. 12 C 7487, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61083 (N.D. Ill. Apr.... Continue reading
Businesses are understandably worried about their online reputations, especially in the current era of consumer gripe sites such as Ripoff Reports. Business clients are often frustrated because these sites typically contain rants that are opinions rather than factual allegations. This presents a problem for the criticized business because opinions (while... Continue reading
The Arizona State Bar recently joined other state bar associations by finding that Groupon and other social media coupon programs should not be used to market legal services because of inherent eithical problems. As noted in Arizona Eithics Opinion 13-1, these problems include the ability to screen clients for conflicts... Continue reading
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is taking a serious look at privacy practices for apps based on concerns about whether the app community has adequate privacy policies in place to control the collection and use of personal information (especially for children), and whether it is properly disclosing those policies to... Continue reading
The NAI is a well-known online advertising organization that describes itself as “the leading self-regulatory body governing ‘third parties’ in the online advertising ecosystem.” Yesterday, it released its final, revised “2013 NAI Code of Conduct” (Download the 2013 Code). Although the new Code only governs NAI members, online advertisers who... Continue reading
Arnold & Porter’s Consumer Advertising Blog has an interesting post (link here) describing a mistake by online retailer Razer when it accidentally released a coupon code offering 90% off of many products. As so often the case, the best way to handle such an unfortunate situation is to get ahead... Continue reading
Several months ago (see post here), I discussed two cases involving disputes between employers and employees over ownership of social media accounts—a Twitter case and a LinkedIn case. The moral of both stories appeared to be that employers and employees both benefit from having a strong social media policy that... Continue reading
In a prior post from some time ago, I noted how courts were catching up with the digital age and allowing service of process by electronic means, rather than requiring the traditional hand-delivery of lawsuit papers to the person being sued. I see from a recent post in Evan Brown's... Continue reading
The “inevitable disclosure” doctrine allows a trade secret owner to protect its trade secrets when a former employee has confidential knowledge in her head that she will inevitably disclose if she goes to work for a competitor. Employers typically resort to “inevitable disclosure” arguments when they cannot prove that a... Continue reading
Businesses that communicate with consumers by telephone—whether calling or sending SMS (text) or MMS (multimedia) messages—must worry about litigious consumers (and their attorneys) who are on the lookout for possibly technical violations of the law that can be used to extort settlements from businesses. Even a weak case that likely... Continue reading
They say that “a good lawyer knows the law and a great lawyer knows the judge.” While there is some truth to that adage, a recent Florida case suggests that it should now say that “a great lawyer knows the judge, but doesn’t ‘friend’ him”–at least not in Florida. Why... Continue reading
Recently, I’ve received numerous questions and seen online discussions about an apparently increasing practice where employers are demanding social media login and password information from applicants and employees. Although I’m not aware of any legislation in Georgia that concerns this employment practice, it's becoming popular enough to warrant the attention... Continue reading
“Likejacking” occurs on Facebook when a marketer or advertiser attempts to trick a Facebook user into “liking” another Facebook page. The CAN-SPAM Act, prohibits sending commercial mail messages that attempt to deceive recipients with misleading subject or header information which is unrelated to the content of the message. Although initially... Continue reading
As businesses have come to recognize the power of social media, they’re rushing to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms to connect and do business. The effectiveness of these efforts has prompted businesses to invest more time and money to develop sophisticated social media presences. Recent surveys suggest... Continue reading
This post summarizes a recent ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that allowed an employer to state a valid claim for damages to its computer system caused by a labor union’s organized phone and email attack. Specifically, the Sixth Circuit held that the impairment... Continue reading
If your company buys a license to use software, then your company should be able to use the software for its own benefit, whether that use is by your employees or by an “outside,” third-party working on behalf of your company, right? Not necessarily. While that’s a reasonable assumption, court... Continue reading
Soon, you will be able to register websites that end in ".xxx" as opposed to ".com" or ".org". As eMedia lawyer Travis Crabtree explains in his recent blog post (here's the link), if you have a website, you should consider taking some simple steps now to prevent others from trying... Continue reading
Older readers will recall the old TV commercial where wise “Mr. Owl” determines that it takes three licks to reach the center of a tootsie pop. In a recent Washington federal district court case, a judge has determined how many clicks it takes for an internet merchant to engage in... Continue reading