#LMAMKT

Business Social Media Accounts Can Be Part of Bankruptcy Estate

A Southern District of Texas bankruptcy court ruled that business social media accounts are property that has value and belongs to the subject business. Therefore, the accounts are part of the businesses’ bankruptcy estate and must be surrendered by the businesses’ former owner. The case is In re: CTLI LLC, No. 14-33564 (Bankr. S.D. Tx. Apr. 3, 2015).

Here is a more extensive article about the case but it is behind the Law360 paywall: Social Media Can Be Part Of Ch. 11 Estate, Judge Rules – Law360.

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New York Court Permits Service of Divorce Papers via Facebook

Social Media SwirlJustice Matthew Cooper, of the Manhatten Supreme Court, made a landmark ruling that permits a woman to serve divorce papers on her estranged husband via Facebook messenger. In this case, it only makes sense to permit this:

  • The husband has deserted the wife
  • The husband has no fixed address or place employment
  • The husband’s only contact with the wife has been via telephone and Facebook
  • The wife has been diligent in trying to serve the husband but he has refused to make arrangements to accept service

Read more: EXCLUSIVE: Judge says Brooklyn woman can use Facebook to serve divorce papers

This is an interesting development in the law. Just a couple of years ago, a Federal judge in New York refused to allow service via Facebook — and I blogged about that case as well as the then-ongoing debate in Texas about a legislative proposal to allow service of legal documents via social media. I am sure we will see more of it as this is the natural trend for the law to take.

-Shawn

cyber law = business law

Cyber Law is (the new) Practical Business Law

Image courtesy of 89studio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of 89studio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have had a thing for simplicity lately. A couple of months ago I was on stage speaking and something really hit me. I was watching the audience and the looks on their faces made me realize that, while what I was saying was technically accurate, to most of the people in the crowd, it sounded like gibberish — like when my mathematics-obsessed son tries to talk to me about Calculus. Or is it Trigonometry?

Who knows? And, I’ll bet that’s exactly what that audience walked out of there thinking. I vowed to do things differently. To simplify. More.

Cyber is the new reality. The business world is now fully immersed in the cyber world. Indeed, every business now has cyber issues unless it operates without a computer, data, or connection to the Internet. Can you think of any? Me either.

CircuitsSince cyber is now a real-world issue that affects everyone, not just the uber-sophisticated techno-types, but real world people too, cyber law has likewise made its way into the mainstream.

The cyber world poses incalculable cyber risks for businesses and that means that cyber law is now practical business law.

That is the point of my recent article Practical Cyber Law: Yes, Even Your Clients May Face Cyber Risk Issues that was published in Volume 3: Winter 2015 Edition of Circuits, a publication of the Computer & Technology Section of the State Bar of Texas (full issue). Please give it a read and let me know your thoughts.

Shawn Tuma (@shawnetuma) is a cybersecurity lawyer business leaders trust to help solve problems with cutting-edge issues involving cyber risk and compliance, computer fraud, data breach and privacy, and intellectual property law. He is a partner at Scheef & Stone, LLP, a full-service commercial law firm in Texas that represents businesses of all sizes across the United States and, through theMackrell International Law Network, around the world.

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Private Investigators, You Are Not Immune From the Computer Hacking Laws

I have seen far too many cases where private investigators do things like install keyloggers on estranged-spouses computers, install sniffer programs to find their login credentials, and do other nefarious activities to hack their way into computers. Why should it come as a surprise to anyone that a PI has now been busted for hiring a professional hacker to break into the email accounts of individuals he was investigating?

Good! It is about time this starts getting some attention. Maybe one day they’ll realize that all of these computer hacking laws that we’re always talking about actually apply to them too.

Here is a nice write-up of a recent case if you’d like to read more: Private Investigator Pleads Guilty to Hacking Email Accounts

#LMAMKT

Post Webinar Thoughts: Simple Ways to Effectively Use Social Media to Help Build Your Law Practice

Here is a great post by Cordell on a few takeaways from our webinar on social media marketing for lawyers. Check it out and let us know what you think: Simple Ways to Effectively Use Social Media to Help Build Your Law Practice | Cordell Parvin Blog.

Texas Business Guide for Identifying and Protecting Trade Secrets - Cover

Get Your Free Texas Business Guide: Identifying and Protecting Trade Secrets Under the (New) Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Trade secrets are the lifeblood of a company but it can be a difficult issue to understand.

Here is a free guide to help you identify and protect your company’s trade secrets.

DOWNLOAD: Texas Business Guide for Identifying and Protecting Trade Secrets

Yes, Your Business Has Trade Secrets

Texas Business Guide for Identifying and Protecting Trade Secrets - CoverWhether they realize it or not, virtually every business has trade secrets which can be as simple as something unique or remarkable about the way it makes a product or provides a service that sets it apart from the competition. This is something that gives the business a competitive advantage and is usually something it has spent significant time and resources to develop.

Unfortunately, in today’s business environment, honor and integrity are not always the rule and many businesses find their trade secrets are being taken and used to compete against them. This can come from as close as disloyal employees or local competitors to around the world from foreign state‐sponsored organizations engaging in industrial espionage.

Preparation is the Key to Successfully Protecting Your Businesses’ Trade Secrets

The first-time many businesses ever gives serious thought to their trade secrets is when they find that they have been taken. It is then that the business begins scrambling to identify its trade secrets and, assuming it can put together a comprehensive list, hopes and prays that it has satisfied the requirements for keeping that information protected under the law of trade secrets so that it can use the legal process to keep it from being used by the businesses’ competitors. To make matters worse, when the disclosure of trade secrets is being threatened and an injunction from a court is all that will stop it, Time is precious and every minutes can make the difference between winning or losing.

Here Is The Guide

Shawn Tuma has prepared a comprehensive Guide to help you understand how to identify and protect your businesses’ trade secrets. The Guide provides a step-by-step explanation of everything from what trade secrets are in general, to how to identify your own businesses’ trade secrets, to the most common threats against trade secrets, and how to protect against those threats.

You can download a free .pdf copy of the Guide by clicking on this link: Texas Business Guide for Identifying and Protecting Trade Secrets 

Once you have downloaded the Guide, you can be proactive in protecting your businesses’ trade secrets by using it to prepare for the problem before it ever arises and, in doing so, help reduce the chances that the problem will ever arise by:

  1. carefully evaluating what information it has that qualifies as trade secret information;
  2. implementing security measures, policies, and procedures to prevent the disclosure of that information and protect its trade secret status; and,
  3. in the event its trade secrets are ever compromised, be much better prepared to quickly and efficiently make its case in a court of law and successfully prevent others from using its trade secrets.
About the author

Shawn Tuma is a lawyer who is experienced in advising clients on complex intellectual property issues such as trade secrets litigation and misappropriation of trade secrets (under common law and the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act), unfair competition, and cyber crimes such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. He is a partner at Scheef & Stone, L.L.P., a business law firm with offices in Dallas and Frisco, Texas which is located minutes from the District Courts of Collin County, Texas and the Plano Court of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas. He represents clients in lawsuits across the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex including state and federal courts in Collin County, Denton County, Dallas County, and Tarrant County, which are all courts in which he regularly handles cases (as well as across the nation pro hac vice ). Tuma regularly serves as a consultant to other lawyers on issues within his area of expertise and also serves as local counsel for attorneys with cases in the District Courts of Collin County, Texas, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, and the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas.

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Executives & Board: The conversation security leaders need to have about Amy Pascal’s departure

This is an excellent article that covers a very important topic you need to consider. You — as in Executives and Board Members of Companies all around the world.

Stop, close your eyes, and ask yourself these three questions that are in this article:

  1. “What did you think of the announcement?” (i.e., put yourself in her position and envision that day)
  2. “Is there anything in your emails and files that, if exposed, would get you fired?” (this is self explanatory, but see this related post for advice on this issue: #SonyHack: Will Executives’ Embarrassing Emails Better Motivate Cybersecurity Change?)
  3. “In the event we experience a breach, what are our priorities?” (again, self explanatory, but see this related post for advice on planning: Breach Response Planning)

Now check out the full article: The conversation security leaders need to have about Amy Pascal’s departure | CSO Online.