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Marketing Claims or Libel? And More Free Legal Advice – Free Joe 11/8/11

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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.

Jeffrey: Joe; If I post that DAMPS Technology Smart Boots make all other boots obsolete for shock mitigation and can prove it, is this just accurate marketing or a set up for a libel claim.

Joe Escalante: This is called “puffing” and is non actionable. It’s like a strip club saying “we have the hottest chicks in town on our poles, all the others are skanks.” It’s normal commercial puffery. Puff away my friend.

Jeanet: Helo Joe im a 24 year old male i have a child of 3 years old. The morther took him away from me and i hadnt had any luck seeing him she is pregnant agin but doesnt have a hushband or lover in her life what i want to know is if i stand a change of getting my son back? im engaged and have a home and car will they give him to me?

Joe Escalante: You have to go one step at a time. Go to the family court where the child lives and file papers to demand custody of your child. The mother can object to this, but it all must be done in court. The best way to do this is with a family law attorney. At least meet with one in the area where the child lives.
It can be done without an attorney, but it’s tough. You are doing the right thing by building a case that it is in the best interest of the child to live with you. You have a stable environment. You have a home and a car, good; unless they are the same thing. ooooops. good luck.

Ann: My mother is 86 and has no will. She lives with us and owns no home or auto. I am a co-signer on her checking account. Is it really necessary for her to have a will? We ARE in the process of getting a power of attorney and living will done with legal software that just came in the mail (from Costco).

Joe Escalante: A will is about as easy as all the stuff you are doing, so why not do it. I would do it with Legalzoom. Their pizza isn’t as good as Costco’s but parking is easier. One thing to consider is getting all bank accounts changed to “Payable on death to_____.” That will avoid probate for that stuff.

LegalZoom: Here’s a link to learn more about wills, Ann: http://www.legalzoom.com/legal-wills/wills-overview.html

Shavonda: Can an apartment complex charge you for unclean carpet after 3 years of occupancy? Isn’t that considered “normal wear and tear”?

Joe Escalante: That would be “normal wear and tear” in my book. Now if they use Luminol on the place and there’s blood everywhere, that’s a different story. That story is called “Blood Everywhere.”

Scotty: Can an attorney drop you during the middle of a criminal case for non payment???

Joe Escalante: no. a criminal lawyer has to stay until the end in a normal circumstance. A civil lawyer can quit by notifying all parties but the lawyer of record on a criminal case is usually on the hook until the end. Pay the man.

Linda: about a year ago the city where we live talked to my daughter about cleaning up my yard. she did not get my approval for this to be done. the city man told her that she could make arrangments to pay a little at a time so she did not tell me. she thought she could make arrangments to pay a little each month. they told her she had 30 days after she got the bill to come in and sign that. she never got a bill. they put it($3800 total) on my tax bill. taking my monthly payment from $250.00 a month to $750.00 a month. i am 76 years old and am about to lose my house over this. did they have a legal right to do this without my permission.

Joe Escalante: If you are the only name on the property’s title, and someone has put a lien on the title based on a transaction of which you were not a part, it sounds illegal.
They would have had to get a judgment in a court to get a lien on your property. You need to get that judgment vacated. But let’s tidy up the yard first.

Dar: Hey Joe, Q: Post divorce, is the income from capital gains subject to any claim from an ex-spouse for future alimony or other claim of any kind? (California)

Joe Escalante: If the capital gains are from community property, then there will be a claim on it by the ex spouse. However, since any gains would be speculative, you could negotiate to have them excluded as part of the support order. It’s all a negotiation. You give her something, she gives you something. It’s deal making. You can make any deal the parties agree to as long as the court doesn’t think it’s patently unfair.

Laurie: how do i file papers to let my fiance adopt my child and take the rights away from her bio daughter without having to pay a lawyer

Joe Escalante: I’m assuming you mean bio-father. You go to the family court in the area where the child lives, and you file papers for a court order terminating the parental rights of the bio-father. He will be noticed by you of the action, and he will have an opportunity to object. He could even try to get your parental rights terminated if he wants. Good luck.

Daniel: Hi I have a registered trademark … How much of a change or adjustment can I make without having to reregister. the logo has four islands .. what if I move one of the islands a short distance?

Joe Escalante: This is what I wrote last time you asked this, and I stand by my answer: If it doesn’t materially alter the mark, it may be quite simple to amend the registration. check out this link: http://teasroa.uspto.gov/ppa/

LegalZoom: Thanks for joining us for Free Joe Tuesday, folks! More free legal advice from Barely Legal Radio w/ Joe Escalante on Friday. Come on back then and bring your legal questions! http://zoo.mn/FreeJoe

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November 10th, 2011 at 5:43 am