LegalZoom Blog

Legal news and small business tips.

Someone Started a Blog with the Same Name as Mine. What Can I Do? And More Free Legal Advice – Free Joe 7/10/12

no comments yet

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.

Mychal: I have a blog and own the domain name for it. Recently someone started blogging under the exact same name on Is there anyway I can get blogger to take down her blog because I am already (and have been for 3 years) using it? I’m worried that the readers I have worked to build up will be confused seeing another blog with the exact same name.

Joe Escalante: If you wanted to register your blog’s name as a trademark, and could satisfy the registration requirements, you could use this to scare them into changing the name of the other one. Trademark rights are determined by usage, and whether they create confusion in the market place.

It’s hard to prove confusion so registration and a letter from an attorney would hopefully scare them into changing their name. They might argue that it is not confusing to the public and fight you on it. It’s hard to say who would eventually win that battle.

Debbie: Ok i have a friend that is trouble they told her that she sold lort to a under cope this is her first time doing this what all she will get out of this need help she goes back to court next month

Joe Escalante: When did selling lort become a crime? Holy cow.

If she qualifies for a public defender, she should take their advice and everything else will depend on her prior record. Good luck. Say no to lort!

Jennifer: Hello Joe
To Revoke a P O A from A sibling – Do you Revoke or ( File Petition ) in the State it was Taken or the State of Residency Now They are Different P O A Not Registered – ( Mother ) Thank You Sir

Joe Escalante: I would challenge it in the county where it was issued by filing a petition there.

Marcela: Is branding the same as a Trademark

Joe Escalante: No. Branding is a marketing term and Trademark is a legal term. They are similar. I know why you are confused:

Leanne: For an individual coerced into a bad plea agreement, who no longer has rights to reconsiderations or appeals…what other recourse is there if the atty, DA, and Judge violated the law to get a conviction? DOJ, Atty General, Bar Association? Who can this be reported to for some action or investigation into pattern and practice or ethics violations?

Joe Escalante: You need to get a consultation with a civil rights attorney experienced in wrongful convictions.

Brenda: I was in an automobile accident on the 26th of June and I fractured my back should I sue my mother’s insurance cause I lost my job?

Joe Escalante: You need to consult with a personal injury attorney in your area. That will be free.

Jennifer: Good Morning, Attorney Escalante: Through the services of, I applied for a trademark of my website I recently received notification from USPTO that Monster Energy Company has filed “a notice of opposition to the registration sought by the above-identified application.” Do I even have a chance? My blog has nothing to do with energy drinks. Thank you kindly for your time.

Joe Escalante: To me, that phrase has been used too much before the dumb drink used it to allow them to protect it from all uses. It was the name of my 7th favorite Saxon LP as a matter of fact.
Monster could protect it in the beverage area, but what they’re doing to you, with your innocent blog is nothing, more than trademark bullying. I recommend posting this question on and we’ll make a stink about it on my radio show and shame them a bit. They may back off then. If not, you should fight them. But there will be costs. Maybe Saxon will play a benefit for your legal fees.
In the mean time, I will have my producer contact Monster and see if they want to come on the show to defend their petty legal B.S.

Jennifer: Wow, thank you very much. That’s exactly what I told a friend … they are acting like corporate bullies. I will post on the link you gave. Your support means a lot. — JL

Dennis: I have been diagnosed with acute fibromyalgia. I work in a long term care center as an LPN. I am having problems with memory and lack of concentration. I am afraid to go back to work and causing patient harm. What should I do? I have not been there long enough for FMLA>

Joe Escalante: You need the opinion of an attorney that specializes in disability cases. Click the link below to see if you can find one in your area. Try for a free consultation, in in the alternative, it’s worth an hour of paid legal time.

LegalZoom: Here’s the link, Dennis:

Michele: How can you (what forms are needed to) change ownership of a sole member LLC?

Joe Escalante: There’s no magic to it. You just create a bill of sale with the price and everyone involved signs it. Then you notify the Secretary of State. Articles of Amendment should also be drafted by the buyer and filed with the Sec. of State. You can find Bills of Sale samples on the internet pretty easy.

Billy: Can legal terms be added to your LLC to enable the corporation to pay for health insurance or company vehicles?

Joe Escalante: Yes, according to my tax lady in my state. I’m either going to jail, or I have a terrific tax lady. Check with yours.

Donna: I created a Will through LegalZoom in 2007. Many things have now changed – therefore – I need to change my Will. Please advise me on how we can do this. Thank youy!

Joe Escalante: It depends on what package you got. Customer Service will contact you.

LegalZoom: Hi Donna, we just called you and left you a voicemail. Please contact us at 800-773-0888 x 5210 for assistance. :)

Damon: Hey Joe! I have a quick question. I am on l and I right now due to a hold up robbery by gunpoint (ptsd) and have been out for about a year. I was interviewed by someone and it was determined that there was no physical problems and want me to return light duty. I am currently on anti depressants and seeing a therapist. This is been a huge burden on my life, as fears, nightmares, and insecurities hold me back from going on with normal every day activities. Is there a way to get legal help for this? I spoke to a lawyer who told me a customer was shot during a robbery at another fast food restaurant and there was a law protecting businesses from such a thing. My thing is, with several company policies to protect against such thing and it happened right when we got there in the am before the store was open, he was already inside.(keys werent collected from fired manager). any thoughts?

Joe Escalante: I need a specific question, sorry. I’ve read this and I don’t know exactly what you are asking. Please refine it a bit.

Damon: if the company hasnt taken measures to protect their employees whis is due to malfunctioning security equipment,missing required hold up buttons, and a procedure for which to handle a robbery isnt followed. I almost lost my life for less than 3k, the manager was working refused to give money to robber, and i had to talk them both thru it. my question is, if they didnt protect the employee and something like this were to happen, does it hold water as far as there is 2 sides to this coin when flipped, either dead or alive either way why should the event even be able to take place if all procedures/policies were followed.

Joe Escalante: You’re on the right track. All these things would be used to establish liability for the employer if procedures weren’t followed and harm was the result.

Anita: What do I have to patent/trademark an idea I have for a sports t-shirt? How much does this service cost?

Joe Escalante: You can copyright the design. If someone uses the design, they have violated the copyright you own. You could trademark a logo distinguishing your “T-shirt Company” from other t shirt companies, but that’s more expensive (like $400 + legal fees) and may not be necessary. Start with the copyright registration. It’s like $30.00

Anita: Thanks! Where are yall located?

LegalZoom: We have offices in Los Angeles, Austin, and San Francisco. :) But you can take care of everything online:

Daniel: I’m a band leader. Is it better to co-op or LLc for insurance, payroll, etc?

Joe Escalante: That is a question for you tax lady, but legally, you can protect yourself with this simple Band Partnership Agreement that I drafted for Legalzoom, and some liability insurance. Check out the link below:

LegalZoom: Here’s a link to the Band Partnership Agreement: And one to Joe’s full checklist for bands:

Steve: Got married last year, 1st kid in September – any advice on how to set up a simple will or trust? We have pretty simple set-up of needs

Joe Escalante: Set up a will now with legazoom. That’s my opinion. Don’t create a trust until you have some real property to put in it. Talk to your tax pro immediately. They have all the good info on when you need a trust.

LegalZoom: You can get started on a will here, Steve: Or you can download a free guide on our Education tab:

Mary: How long does a person have to file a “wrongful termination or defamation claim against a former employer?

Joe Escalante: Many states have a one year Statute Of Limitations on wrongful termination suits so you better get busy.

Marc: Beta games that charge money but change the product later, is this legal? For example, a certain game on Facebook had a logo on top of the game that said Beta, does this mean they can change stuff you purchased without any refund or compensation? Even after the beta logo was removed, can they still change anything they want?

Joe Escalante: You strike me as an excellent candidate to read the Terms and Conditions section of these games that everyone else just clicks “I Agree” on and starts playing. It’s all in there. Beta is not really a legal term.

Jake: will filing an llc to purchase stocks give those assets any protection?

Joe Escalante: The kind of protection LLCs offer is for your personal assets, to encourage you to invest in new companies that create jobs, etc. It’s a hedge so you can take some risks. It benefits society. If your LLC owes me $. I will sue the LLC and get the money. I wont get your house maybe, I will get the stocks.

Jake: right i understand that, i was more meaning for example if i get sued personally, and my stocks are under an llc will they be protected?

Joe Escalante: If you get a judgement, the court will go after your assets. If your asset is an LLC, the court may go after it. If it’s a single owner LLC, there is less reason not to go after it. If it’s multiple owners involved in a legitimate business, it would make more sense to go after the income the LLC creates for you, or placing an lien your ability to sell your shares. Basically, a lot of things can happen. It’s not automatic protection like it is for personal assets in most cases.

Tan: I have worked in security field for a couple of less reputable companies over the years. One in particular still owes me money and everytime I had attempted to contact the owner his cell phone is disconnected and his office number goes to voicemail. This occurred last December. Do I have a case? Also, does it do any good to report to the BBB? Thanks.

Joe Escalante: You go straight to the State Labor Commission and file a complaint against this scoundrel.

Stephanie: what is the most important thing that I should include in a daycare contract regarding toddler aged children?

Joe Escalante: It depends on how much you like the kid. Everyone’s different. Everyone has different concerns. Most important? Couldn’t say.

Richard: I took out some student loans to pay for a Computer Networking course. I received a diploma. However, I received very little assistamce from career services at my school in finding a job in my new field. What job interviews that I went on were looking for people with experience. As a result, I was stuck in the same field (Retail) that I had been doing for nearly 30 years. I did not benefit from training that I received. I am now disabled and cannot work. My disability benefit is barely enough to make ends meet. Can I file for bankruptcy from my student loans?

Joe Escalante: Student loans cannot, in almost all cases, be disposed of in bankruptcy court.

Cartrina: If you feel that the lawyer is not representing you well in court and want to get a new lawyer how long can attorney hold your file ?

Joe Escalante: They cannot hold it for one minute if it will prejudice your case, even if you owe them money. Notify the State Bar if you are having problems with this.

Cynthia: If you have a child age 29 and he is drinking wine beer like water staying drunk on drugs has mental illness has been homeless for about 6 yrs won’t hold a job he use to get a ssi check when he was young and living with me he left home and he says he don’t get his check anymore he needs his check so he can have DSS pay for him to have a place to live how can i find out if his father and step mother are still getting his check. They use too. Thanks i just want my son to have his own place to live.

Joe Escalante: He will have to contact the issuing agency. They wont talk to you.

Shaina: what type of business license, entity, etc. is necessary for a blogger (who accepts advertising, sponsorships, etc.)

Joe Escalante: It depends on your state and county. Maybe none, maybe all kinds of stuff. Start with the city. My guess is they wont know what a blogger is.

Dawn: My daughter has charges of accessory after the fact to a felony and receiving stolen goods and has never been in trouble before—but her public defender is saying she can get 15 years! Is this true and how would we go about getting her probabtion instead?

Joe Escalante: Only your public defender, or a private criminal defense attorney in your area could answer this. Some defense attorneys scare you at first to make you appreciate them when the sentence is lighter. I have no way of knowing if that’s what’s going on here, but it happens.

Angie: I wanted to file BANKRUPTCY .. (chaoter 13? )How much it’s going to cost me? How long is the process?

Joe Escalante: I’m told 3 or 4 months.

Corey: How easy is it to copyright a Mailer I use to invite customers to my dealership to purchase a car?? Can somebody else copyright my letter and stop me from using it??

Joe Escalante: You’re worried about someone copyrighting your letter, then coming back to you and saying “ahah! You can’t send out your letter anymore. I own the language?”

People rob banks too. It’s not legal to copyright other people’s creative work.

John: When someone keeps their will and life insurance in a safe deposit box. How can the family get access when they have the only key?

Joe Escalante: Pry the key out of their cold and dead fingers. If not, the bank is not going to sit on that box for all of eternity. They have a process to allow access to legal heirs.

Bruce: Can I sue for overtime from a job I worked from 1997 to 2000? I worked 80 hours a week as a manager.

Joe Escalante: In my state, you are about 7 years too late to make this claim. Check with your State Labor Commsiioner, but I say it’s over Bruce. If people were allowed to sit on their rights for this long, and then pounce on people, we couldn’t get anyone to open up a business.

Angel: The i need a llc in C.T. to tree removal ??

Joe Escalante: That is a good question. I don’t know the answer because things like this vary from city to city across the nation, but it’s a good question. Check with your city first. Then the county clerk. Keep asking around.

LegalZoom: Attorney Joe Escalante will be back on Friday with more free legal advice. Come join us then to get answers to your legal questions!

If you’ve already posted your question for Joe, hang tight–he’ll get to them in the order they were posted. If you haven’t posted yet, we’ll see you Friday!


ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Sign up for the LegalZoom newsletter!

Written by

July 12th, 2012 at 5:32 am