District Courts Within the Sixth Circuit Weigh in on Discoverability of Social Media Information, Apply Traditional Discovery Rules to Emerging Forms of Technology.

The way people communicate with one another, share their documents, and store their personal information is changing rapidly.  Letters, filing cabinets, and personal diaries have given way to laptops, tablets, and social media websites.  Facebook alone has 1.15 billion users, who every single day, upload approximately 350 million pictures.  Almost inevitably, a portion of the massive amount of electronically stored information on social media websites has become relevant to state and federal lawsuits, forcing judges to apply traditional rules of discovery to new and emerging forms of technology.

District courts within the Sixth Circuit have recently issued several opinions regarding the discoverability of social media information stored on websites, such as Facebook.  Two cases in particular, Tompkins v. Detroit Metro. Airport and Howell v. Buckeye Ranch, Inc., highlight the district courts’ application of traditional rules to disputes involving evidence stored in a social media account.

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Posted by Jeff DeBeer
Advertising and Media
January 14, 2014

Government Agencies to Make Motor Vehicle Advertising Laws a Priority: Is Your Dealership in Compliance?

The Ohio Attorney General (“OAG”) expressed recently that it would make the enforcement of motor vehicle advertising laws a priority.  For many Ohio dealerships, this means increased pressure to comply with a variety of consumer protection statutes, while still controlling advertising spending in a large, competitive market.  What steps, then, should Ohio dealerships take to follow Ohio laws while still maintaining a competitive advantage?

Dealerships should first review their own advertising for compliance.  Dealers should start by avoiding advertising “red flags” indicating unfair or deceptive practices that violate Ohio law.  For example, “mouse print” in a disclaimer or disclosure constitutes a red flag, and dealers should instead use a font that is clear and noticeable.  In written advertising, a 10-point font is presumed to be lawful, unless of course the font’s color or style renders it otherwise unnoticeable (e.g., a disclaimer in white print against a white background).  As far as the substance of disclaimers, they should not confuse, contradict, materially modify, or unreasonably limit a principal message of an advertisement; disclaimers and footnotes should explain an advertising statement, not contradict it.

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Posted by Jeff DeBeer
Advertising and Media
December 18, 2013

Scot Ganow has Endorsed your Skill! Yeah, so? Big Whoop. Companies Deal with the Added Dimension of the LinkedIn Endorsement.

Lately, I have been considering how lucky I am to have great colleagues and friends who (unsolicited) choose to endorse me on my LinkedIn profile.  Or maybe people just feel sorry for me because I have so fewer endorsements than others.  If you are on LinkedIn, or even Facebook, you know of which I speak.  Someone likes you, what you do or what you have said and chooses to tell the social media community all about it by providing you an endorsement, or a “like” for your work.  This all seems great, right?  A real love fest right here on my professional social media profile.  How can that be bad?  Who knows?  Maybe it will drive more business my way too? What could be wrong with that?

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Posted by Scot Ganow
Advertising and Media
December 5, 2013

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