uber class action lawsuit

California Gets Classy: Judge Certifies Uber Class Action Lawsuit by Drivers

A California lawsuit against Uber just got a whole lot busier. On September 1st, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen granted class-action status to a suit brought by three Uber drivers, who are alleging the ride-share company misclassified them as independent contractors instead of full-fledged employees.  Read more

First Employee

Hiring Your First Employee? Ten Questions You Need to Answer

Congratulations! Your business is growing, and you’re ready to hire your first employee. You’ve moved beyond the legal netherworld of independent contracting, and it’s time to establish a formal employee relationship. This article will help you answer some common questions that tend to percolate around hiring your first employee. Read more

ftc v wyndham

FTC v. Wyndham: The FTC Has Authority to Regulate Cybersecurity Breaches

In an historic decision with wide-reaching ramifications for data privacy and security, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to regulate cyberspace under the “unfair and deceptive acts” provision in § 5 of the FTC Act (FTC v. Wyndham).  Read more

hipaa compliant apps

HIPAA Compliant App (Part 3)

The healthcare industry is primed to benefit mightily from the ever-expanding influx of medical apps, transforming areas such as personal fitness, information storage, and even complex medical procedures. However, many app developers fail to realize the the role of the Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the full extent of HIPAA’s applicability to their activities. This article aims to provide app developers with information on how to develop a HIPAA compliant app and related products.  Read more

HIPAA Requirements

HIPAA Requirements (Part 2)

This is the second in a series of three posts that cover the background of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), HIPAA requirements, and HIPAA compliance strategies for startups and small businesses. The aim of this series is to make the privacy provisions of HIPAA accessible and understandable to startups and small businesses. In our previous post, we provided an overview of HIPAA and the type of entities and information covered by its rules. Please read that post to become familiar with the general concepts and terminology used here. In this second post, we discuss HIPAA requirements that startups and small businesses must know.  Read more

hipaa background

HIPAA Basics (Part I)

Whether dealing with simple applications or constructing complex medical treatment tools, businesses looking to enter the burgeoning market of health care services will need to become familiar with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The law has wrought transformative change in the U.S. healthcare market, but its labyrinthine strictures can prove difficult to navigate. This is the first in a series of 3 posts that cover HIPAA’s background, its requirements, and HIPAA compliance strategies for startups and small businesses. The aim of this series is to make the privacy provisions of HIPAA accessible and understandable to startups and small businesses.  Read more

alternative dispute resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution for Startups: Mediation and Arbitration

Litigation has long been the de facto solution for companies that find themselves mired in legal conflict. However, court-sanctioned squabbling comes with spiraling costs, tremendous time investments, and a healthy dose of acrimony that can destroy business and personal relationships. For new and emerging businesses with little funds to spend on the legal battlefield, alternative dispute resolution can play an important role. Alternative dispute resolution can offer cheaper, faster, and healthier alternatives to traditional litigation. This article provides a brief overview of popular alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, and explains how to select a course of action that’s right for you and your new venture.  Read more

trademark search process

Our Trademark Search Process

Many of our clients reach out to us to assist them with trademark protection. They want to know about the process for registering their name, logo, or slogan with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This article provides an overview of how we advise our clients on clearing a mark for trademark protection prior to the application, and how we approach the trademark application with the USPTO.  Read more

federal trade commission data privacy

Demystifying Privacy Law: FTC Data Privacy Enforcement

Unlike many countries in the world, the United States does not have one regulatory agency with authority to monitor and enforce data privacy violations. The U.S. uses a sectoral model of data privacy protection, using a variety of enforcement mechanisms. One of those enforcement mechanisms–and perhaps the predominant one–is the Federal Trade Commission, or the FTC, which acts as a watchdog to protect against data privacy violations. It can bring lawsuits for “unfair practices” or “deceptive practices” for many violations, including breaches of a data controller’s privacy policy. What is the source of FTC data privacy enforcement, and how does it go about enforcing data privacy? This article provides an overview of FTC’s power, contemporary issues of FTC enforcement, and potential hotspots for data privacy-related government litigation.  Read more

uber employee independent contractor

Uber’s Independent Contractor Problem

The California Labor Commission ruled on June 3, 2015 that drivers for the ubiquitous ride-sharing company Uber are employees, not independent contractors. If certified on appeal, the surprise ruling could impact Uber’s business model and the sharing economy more generally.  Read more