Michael I. Santucci appeared this week on the nationally syndicated Brian & The Judge Show on Fox News Radio to discuss the BP oil spill.
Archive for May, 2010
Generally, if you believe it can be demonstrated that the BP oil spill has caused you to lose business or income, or you have real estate or personal property damaged by oil from the spill, you may have a claim.
The first step is determining whether you have a claim for damages in one of the two general categories of claims:
Real or Personal Property Damage: damage or economic loss related to destruction or harm of real or personal property. For example, if you own a boat or property that is oiled, the owner or lessee may submit a claim to have the boat or property cleaned.
Loss of Profits and Earning Capacity: damages for loss of profits or impairment of earning capacity due to the injury, destruction, or loss of real property, personal property, or natural resources. For example, shrimpers who cannot operate due to closed Gulf waters will suffer lost profits. Others who could apply for damages may potentially include businesses dependent on the fishing industry, such as seafood processors, packers and distributors, or tourism concerns like hotels, restaurants, fishing guides and charter operators. Any business that can document loss may file a claim.
In the immediate aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon leak, BP has focused great effort on giving short-term financial assistance to shrimpers, crabbers, fishermen, and certified boat operators unable to work. If you fit within this category, you may be eligible for a quite rapid (within 48 hours) claim payment of up to $5,000 for a 30-day period to assist with your damages. After 30 days you would be able to reapply for another short-term payment. Any short-term payments will be subtracted from any long-term damage claims that you may settle with BP.
The Supreme Court recently reversed a lower court’s holding that previously threw out a suit against the NFL for antitrust violations. The Supreme Court, going against the NFL, held that the NFL is not entitled to broad antitrust protection as one company, and instead will be considered as 32 separate teams when selling branding items, such as apparel and memorabilia.
The case, American Needle v. NFL, 08-661, began when American Needle, a company that made NFL headgear, lost business when the NFL awarded an exclusive contract to Reebok. Justice Stevens, writing for a unanimous Court, is quoted as stating: “Although NFL teams have common interests such as promoting the NFL brand, they are still separate, profit-maximizing entities, and their interests in licensing team trademarks are not necessarily aligned.”
Major League Baseball (MLB) is currently the only professional sports league with broad antitrust protection.
Lenders will file a tidal wave of lawsuits against homeowners in the next few years as a way to recoup losses when home sales or foreclosure auctions don’t result in enough money to pay the mortgages in full, real estate and legal analysts say.
Under Florida law, banks have five years from the date of the sale to file for so-called deficiency judgments and up to 20 years to collect. Lenders can garnish wages or make claims on borrowers’ assets. Before the housing meltdown, few lenders filed these lawsuits. Foreclosures and short sales were relatively rare at the time, and many of the homeowners didn’t have sufficient assets to make it worth the banks’ time and expense. But following the heady days of the housing boom that spawned millionaire investors seemingly overnight, it’s not uncommon for borrowers to default on mortgages while still holding lucrative investments.
As the next wave of the housing crisis plays out, those most in danger of getting slapped with lawsuits include angry homeowners who ransack properties they’re losing in foreclosure and borrowers who walk away from “underwater” mortgages. In both cases, analysts say, banks will want to discourage other people from such behavior.
We’ve all seen the commercials featuring Subway’s catchy tune “$5 Footlong.” Subway is taking the fame they received from this new marketing scheme, however, and attempting to turn it into a trademark monopoly. It has been reported recently that Subway is taking action by sending cease & desist letters to various food establishments, demanding them to stop using “footlong” in reference to sandwiches.
The nature of Subway’s trademark seems to be merely “descriptive,” and may be prohibited. The Patent and Trademark Office is now considering the trademark. See a copy of the cease and desist letter here.
Former Harvard Law Dean and current Solicitor General Elena Kagan was nominated by President Obama today as the next Justice to replace the retiring John Paul Stevens. If approved by the Senate, Elena will be the youngest justice (at 50), and the fourth ever female justice. Kagan, a democrat, served in the Clinton White House. Kagan would also give the Supreme Court three female members for the first time in history.
One of the most controversial and highly-discussed topics around the globe, especially in light of the tragic oil spill in the Gulf, is oil. Drilling, importing, exporting, you name it, it has been debated. The story surrounding the birth of oil extraction, however, holds a vital legal lesson.
One of the most important lessons in patent protection comes from the story of Edwin Drake and his financial backer James Townsend of Seneca Oil. After succeeding in their endeavor to extract oil, both men failed to patent the method and oil pump, leaving every other oil entrepreneur to use their method of extracting oil to make it rich. Never heard of Edwin Drake? How about those entrepreneurs: Exxon, BP, and Chevron?