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How To Clear a Music Sample And More Free Legal Advice – Free Joe 6/22/12

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On Tuesdays and Fridays, attorney Joe Escalante answers legal questions for free on the LegalZoom Facebook Page. Did you miss the last Free Joe? Don’t worry. We’ve got it all right here.

John: how do i go about clearing a sample? who best to contact to get it done and how?

Joe Escalante: You need clearance from two sources: #1. The Publisher or Songwriter.
#2. The owner of the master. If it’s a Warner Bros. release, you talk to a division called “Warner Special Products.” All major labels have some kind of department like that. If it’s a small label, you just ask the guy that answers the phone. He’s an idiot, so be patient.
On the publishing side it takes some research to figure out who the publisher is. Call my show tomorrow if you want some detailed help. 877-520-1150, KTLK AM 1150 in L.A. 5 to 7 PM. This is what the whole show is about. Good luck.
If you were talking about stool samples, or something like that, and not recording samples, please disregard the above.

Pablo: I’ve written a film script with a writing partner (which has not been sold or optioned) and an existing company with a name similar to our title has sent us a letter saying we have to change the name. We’re fine with that, but their lawyer sent us a letter saying that this is fine but that he’s going to send another letter outlining how this is only PART of their demands. What other demands could they have for an unsold script?

Joe Escalante: There are only a few circumstances where this company could, with a straight face, demand you change the title of your script. In most cases it would be an absurd demand. I would need to know more to advise you whether or not to take them seriously. Don’t agree to anything until you have this checked out by an intellectual property attorney.
Call my show tomorrow night on KTLK and we can discuss it further or go to and post more details in the “contact” section and I’ll get back to you. Thanks.

Tammy: Attorney Joe Escalante a friend of mine injured himself at work approximately 13 yrs ago. There was a little legal issue because the City and another employer were escaping liability regarding his workmans compensation. The judge decided that they both were liable and that was that. To make a long story short, he had surgery and returned to work after months of rehab, etc. Years later this injury is reoccuring and he is unable to work and possibly may require surgery again. Is there any legal recourse?

Joe Escalante: You need to tell this story to a workman’s comp attorney. It will depend on the ability to establish the connection and the terms of any settlement or judgment.

Jesse: What is the best benefit for a Kayak Rental on the waterfront and why? An LLc, Sole DBA, S-corp?

Joe Escalante: Legally, your personal assets will get more protection from a corp or LLC. However, a sole proprietorship with adequate insurance may be just as good in many cases. The other differences are all tax questions, the answers to which depend on your individual situation so talk it over with your tax lady.

Ricardo: Morning J.E.;
looking into a realtor to purchase a 4 bedroom home and making a residential business of a recovery house. I have no issues in zoning codes, but do we need to be license to operate as a recovery house? we are getting a 501c3 in a few days as well. DBA is coming next week. I don’t know what type of insurance is needed for this type of group recovery home?

Joe Escalante: You will probably need a city or county business license in addition to a state license to operate a rehab facility. Why would you ask me about what kind of insurance you need? You are blowing a perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation with an insurance salesman.

Helen: Are do-it-yourself wills valid and legal if signed, witnessed, and notarized?

Joe Escalante: Yes, even if they are not notarized. In my state, you just have to get too disinterested saps to sign and witness. Legalzoom is so cheap, and offer so many extra benefits, it’s the best option. Click below and just get it done.

LegalZoom: Here you go, Helen!

Carlitos: Hey Joe,
The idea of being a one member LLC and running a couple of different DBA business sites online, would you advice against being my own RA?

Also if I was to share on my site or blog, an article or information I may have found somewhere else online would I still have to contact the original author even though I may have provided full contact info, link, and giving the original author full credit?

Also any good small business lawyer you recommend in the Atlanta area?

Joe Escalante: I don’t have any problems with people being their own R.A. if you don’t mind that info being public and getting a bunch of junk mail. Regarding your blog concerns, check out this nightmare.

Megan: What is your suggestion as the best entity to form with 3 people starting a business? Thank you!

Joe Escalante: That’s a loaded question Megan. I would have to know more. Two things to keep in mind are personal liability. People like to minimize this risk so they do this by forming LLCs or Corporations. You can also do this to some extent by forming a general partnership and getting adequate insurance.
The other thing is tax stuff. For that, you consult your tax lady and get her on board early.

Jacob: When writing a will, is it OK to simply state your bequests as a percentage of your estate as opposed to specific dollar amounts?

Joe Escalante: Percentages work.

Angelita: I’m going through a divorce and it won’t be finalized till July 23rd. I’m getting offered employment in another state. I want to be able to leave with my daughter who I have physical custody of but with joint custody rights to her father. Will I be able to leave the state I reside in or will I have to go through the courts again to seek permission to leave to another state?

Ashley: You can request the court to move out of state. Do it before everything is finalized!

Joe Escalante: It depends on what the terms of the custody arrangement are. If it’s prohibited, you’re going to violate it and that may put you in contempt of court. But I think Ashley has good advice.

Tom: I live in California, my wife is primary on my mortgage (I am secondary) and she passed away in Jan 2010. I filed a quit claim to have her name removed from the deed and that was done but the bank says they can not remove her name from the mortgage and rename me as primary. What does that mean and does mater and what if I were to die then what?

Joe Escalante: If you die, all the legal interest you have in the property will pass to whoever is your legal heir. Probate will take care of the deed and the mortgage in that case. It’s an ugly process, but it will all get done.
Banks are just lame. They make up their own rules. They’re full of people that don’t know what they’re talking about, and they change their rules each month according to how paranoid they are about intrusive government regulations. So I can’t help much there.

Dennis: I need to change my 11 year olds last name she is my biological daughter. Do I need the mothers permission to do this and How do I do it. I have joint custody

Joe Escalante: Yes. You need both parents in on this. And, it gets publicized in a manner so anyone can object, not just he mom. I might object if I read it and don’t like it.
You do it through the courts. It’s kind of a pain so you might want to use Legalzoom’s services to save you a ton of time. Click below.

LegalZoom: Here’s the link, Dennis:

Kim: Sorry! Good Morning! My real, legal name is Kim, but I want to use Kimberly….I am just wondering, do I need to change that legally! I am thinking yes, but thought I would ask! Have a wonderful weekend, and Thank you!

Joe Escalante: You can just start using it. It probably wont cause too many problems but when you do things like buy a house, use Kim. And use Kim on your passport. To officially change it so you don’t ever have to use Kim again click below.

LegalZoom: Here’s the link, Kim :)

Angelita: I want to get a charge off my record but it happened overseas. How do I go about getting a domestic violence charge off my record? I never went to a court to be charged with this, the military issued me a letter stating that I was charged but I thought I had to go to court to have that be deemed appropriate.

I was married to a Soldier and was living overseas with him at the time. How can the military charge me with this if I didn’t have a court hearing?

Joe Escalante: If they sent you a notice of a hearing, and you didn’t show up, you probably waived some serious rights. If you were never notified, you can file a motion to have the judgment set aside and a new hearing ordered. This aint gonna be cheap.

True: I bought a car a little over a year ago now… Since then we have had to replace all tires and rims (within a month of purchase) replace the battery and alternater, the fuel line, now the entire headlight… We have spent more in repairs then we paid. Is there anything I can do about this? (We are in CA and bought the car with 30000 miles)

Joe Escalante: Most used car sales in California are “as is.” You have no recourse unless you can prove fraud. A consumer rights attorney is what you would need to help you establish this. It would be easy to spend $5,000 on this and still not resolve it. Take the guy to small claims court if you think you were cheated. That is not perfect justice, but it’s quick justice.

Dusty: Can a hospital seize the funds in a life insurance policy to collect on a medical bill or before the burial cost are paid if at all? Thank you for your time

Joe Escalante: It would depend on the written terms of the services provided. If that’s in the agreement, they will do it. If it is not, they cannot.

Dusty: Would the wording have to be obviously understood and or written in the financial responsebility paperwork we sign at a hospital?

Joe Escalante: It just has to be legally valid and meet industry standards.

Lynn: If my husband and I live apart for over 3 years and we live in different states, is it easy to get a divorce without leaving my current state? I mean do we have to meet face to face to do it?

Joe Escalante: No. You don’t have to meet face to face, unless it’s contested. Then it’s on! Click below:

LegalZoom: Here’s the link, Lynn:

Alice: How bout here? Still have old will from when children were small. Have since remarried and have just Advance Healthcare with new hubby. Want to avoid Probate. Please and thank you.

Joe Escalante: Placing property in a trust will avoid probate. If you make a trust with Legalzoom, I think it includes a new pour over will that will update and replace your existing will, now that your kids are big.
Chick below:

LegalZoom: Here’s some living trust info :)

Lynne: Hi Joe, thanks for doing this. I am raising an 11-year-old girl whose birth mother died when she was 2 years old. I have co-legal custody with the child’s grandfather. She receives a death benefit from SSA each month. Would that cease if we were to adopt her? Thanks so much!

Joe Escalante: According to the SSA itself, no, the benefits will not cease. Congratulations.

Folami: Hi. If I have a company registered as an LLC with the state (through Legal Zoom), but its registration has lapsed, what are the steps I need to take to regain a positive status, and is there a limitation on how long I have to do so?

Joe Escalante: Call customer service and they will walk you through it. 888-381-8758

Jana: Joe,
I am on the board of a HOA (for houses, not condos), and we live in rural upstate NY. On the lower beach area, there are 3 season cabins really close to the water’s edge. Last year, Lake Champlain had severe flooding and it washed away the blue stone rd we had put down for the members on the beach. The DEC ordered us to move the rd back for enviornmental safety precautions and to avoid future errosion.(Lake Champlain has protected species, etc). This rd is now running on lot 15 property. FOr some reason, the sponsor who created the associon, never established a legal easement from lot 15 to lot 19. Lot 16-19 have the easement, but not lot 15. It is impossible to access lot 16-19 unless you cross lot 15 due to the cabins deadending at the end of the beach/land. Lot 15 would like to sell his cabin and is demanding the Association remove the rd. We have a CPS7 legal document stating if, for environmental reasons, we need to use private property, the Assoc. can do so. However, in the deed there is no legal easement! If we pay to move the gravel rd, who’s responsbility is it to put a new rd, if the DEC allows this, and who hires the lawyer to put in a legal easement for future home owners? The HO is saying move the rd, the DEC told us to move it there, and the other members would have no access if we elminiated the rd. Please help! Thank you – Jana.

Joe Escalante: This is like the hardest bar exam question I had to answer 20 years ago. My riparian rights chops aren’t what they used to be. The HOA needs to hire a property rights attorney because this is quite serious.

Brandy: Can a biological mother change a child’s last name without biological fathers signature or permission. My hubby’s ex said she is changing the kids last name to her new husbands and she said she doesn’t need my hubby’s signature!

Joe Escalante: This cannot be done without both parents on board. In fact, they have to publish the hearing in the newspaper and even I could object if I wanted to.

LegalZoom: That’s a wrap for Free Joe! Joe is here twice a week with free legal advice, so come join us next week. Have a great weekend!

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June 26th, 2012 at 5:41 am