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Georgia Legal Issues Blog

5 things you should know about post-divorce relocation

Before you got married, you moved around as you pleased. After your marriage, you lost that freedom. You settled down, had two kids and bought a house. It all happened over years, so you did not really think about it, but it still happened.

Now you've gotten divorced and you share custody of your children with your ex. Since you are single again, does that freedom of movement come back? Can you just pack up and head off in search of the next adventure?

Business litigation alleges fantasy football contract breach

Businesses in Georgia and nationwide are involved increasingly in litigation concerning online marketing and promotional activities. Many business litigation conflicts are over the rights to intellectual property such as copyrights, trade names and other proprietary assets. A recent example of such litigation involves a complaint filed recently in federal court by Fulltime Fantasy Sports, LLC against CBS Interactive, Inc.

The lawsuit alleges that the parties entered into a contract in 2017 that gave CBS Interactive a license to use the Fulltime Fantasy name, the "Scout Fantasy" trademark, along with the company's logo, sports content, service and intellectual property in its online business.  In return, it is alleged that CBS Interactive agreed to pay certain revenues and subscription royalties to Fulltime. The complaint alleges that CBS failed to pay the amounts due and merged Fulltime's web page into its own without permission, thus separating Fulltime from its 60,000 Facebook followers.

Business litigation can test the validity of competitor's claims

In Georgia and throughout the country a business may challenge the advertising of its competitors through the court system and before administrative agencies. In addition to filing business litigation, this may also be done more informally through the National Advertising Division of the Council for Better Business Bureaus. For example, one maker of probiotic supplements sued another maker of those products for making unsupported claims about its products.

Recently, the NAD decided in favor of the complainant, Proctor & Gamble Co., and against i-Health, maker of the Culturelle brand's LGG probiotic. P&G is the manufacturer and seller of probiotic brands such as Align probiotic supplements. The giant consumer goods company complained to the NAD that i-Health was falsely representing its product as being "the #1 Proven Effective Probiotic." It also used terms like "most clinically proven effective" and similar phrases.

Georgia car accidents often caused by distracted drivers

Not every driver exemplifies caution and alertness behind the wheel. In fact, some leave others wondering how they ever obtained valid drivers' licenses, for they seem to unaware of even the most basic traffic regulations, such as coming to a halt at stop signs or using signals to turn. Distracted driving car accidents costs thousands of lives every year in Georgia and throughout the nation. 

The most common types of distraction include use of electronic devices, such as iPods, cell phones or global positioning devices. However, not all driving distractions are immediately apparent. In fact, analysis from past car accidents suggests daydreaming or generally being lost in thought behind the wheel is also responsible for many serious collisions.  

Business litigation over data breach claims reinstated by Court

Georgia is home to its share of litigation over data breaches against big retailers and respected organizations. When criminal hackers penetrate the security protections of a company's data banks, class action lawsuits and some individual business litigation actions usually follow. The plaintiffs are customers whose private information has been taken and who are facing potentially dire consequences.

When one's Social Security number and credit card information is stolen by hackers, there is a good likelihood that the information will be used for criminal purposes. One case that was recently reviewed by a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The class action filed on behalf of optometrists against the National Board of Examiners in Optometry Inc. alleged that the class had suffered injuries as a result of the breach.

Yes, you can still end up in jail for marijuana in Georgia

Easing cultural attitudes about marijuana is evident in our society. In state after state, voters keep passing laws intended to end the prohibition of marijuana and create regulated markets. Support for marijuana legalization is high and continuing to increase. However, Georgia is well behind much of the rest of the country when it comes to marijuana.

While you may not think that marijuana offenses really matter any more, they still do. Neither the police nor the courts will brush off a marijuana offense just because people are more accepting of it now than they were a few years ago. There are actually very serious potential penalties for marijuana possession in Georgia.

Financial survival after divorce takes careful planning

Georgia residents who are contemplating a divorce may want to think about planning early with respect to future retirement funding. Divorce can place an inordinate strain on a person's regular income, which will not be bolstered by combining with the former spouse's income after the divorce. This is often a strain for those who were on a relatively tight budget in the first place.

These concerns were verified as real by research recently published by a retirement research center associated with a major college. The study says that people must stop looking at retirement in terms of simply building up a savings account. The study suggests that everyone, and especially those in divorce or recently divorced, must think about generating retirement income. Because everyone's situation and finances are different, however, the  conclusions may not apply across the board.

Court decides issue of policy beneficiary choice after divorce

The U.S. Supreme Court on June 11 issued a decision involving the question of who inherits the proceeds of an insurance policy when the owner of the policy apparently forgot to remove his former wife as beneficiary after they divorced. The problem that is illustrated is instructive to all couples who are in divorce or planning to file for divorce in the future. The lesson that the case teaches is that such matters should be resolved and taken care of during the divorce and immediately thereafter, both in Georgia and all other states.

In a vote of 8 to 1, the Court decided in favor of the decedent's children over his second wife, who had been married to him for 10 years and who was still listed as the beneficiary on his life insurance policy at the time of his death despite their divorce four years earlier. The Court had to decide whether a state law passed in 2002 was constitutional. The statute provided that when a person's spouse is listed as the beneficiary on a life insurance policy, that designation is automatically void if there is a divorce.  

Rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents with pedestrians increasing

This week, the Georgia Department of Transportation released preliminary findings of their report on traffic safety. The statistics related to motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians are tragic and disappointing. The authors of the study hope to use the data to identify and address the causes of pedestrian accidents, perhaps through new legislation.

New laws related to distracted driving have caused those accidents and fatalities to drop. However, the number of pedestrians killed and injured in motor vehicle accidents continues to climb, with the totals so far this year anticipating a record number of pedestrian deaths. Recently, two pedestrians died on the same night in different counties while trying to cross streets with heavy traffic. This brings the total for 2018 to 111 pedestrian deaths, 16 percent higher than June of last year.

Serious car accidents are often caused by a failure to yield

Failing to yield the right of way is a cause of many serious accidents in Georgia. That type of negligent error is similar in many instances to making an improper left turn. Both violations involve causing car accidents by intruding into another vehicle's proper path of travel. A fatal accident that recently occurred in Burke County on Georgia Highway 25 involves that kind of driving infraction.

A vehicle driven by a 20-year-old male was traveling west on a local when it attempted to cross Highway 25. It traveled directly into the path of a pickup truck driven by a 64-year-old male that was heading south on Highway 25, according to the authorities. A 25-year-old man who was a passenger in the younger man's car was killed in the tragic collision.

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