(916) 569-8100

Small Business

Right of Publicity, Not Just for Celebrities

Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning recording artist Ariana Grande recently filed a lawsuit against the popular fashion retailer Forever 21 alleging its unauthorized use of her likeness, trademarks, and copyright material to create a false perception that Ms. Grande had endorsed Forever 21’s brand and merchandise. Ms. Grande’s complaint seeks $10 million for violating her right to publicity, among other causes of action, in response to Forever 21’s social media campaign which suggests Ms. Grande’s endorsement through a “strikingly similar” model. More on Ariana Grande’s lawsuit here.

It may come naturally to assume that the claims made by Ms. Grande are unique or limited to celebrities. But, whether or not you have networked any A-list celebrities to advertise or endorse your business or products, these issues are worth considering if you do any kind of advertisement for your business. All individuals have the right to control the commercial use of their name, likeness, voice, signature or other personal identifying traits. Any time you would like to use someone’s name or photograph in a commercial setting (advertising, social media posts, or other promotional activities or published content) it is important to consider any necessary steps to prevent inadvertent unauthorized use of that person’s name, picture, likeness, voice, etc. These efforts may include obtaining the person’s consent, a form of endorsement agreement, or disclosures in the advertisement or promotional material, depending on the scenario.

If you currently use social media platforms as a primary means of advertisement, publish advertisements online or in any print media, or are considering any form of promotion of your business and would like to discuss these issues or other concerns please contact SMP and one of our knowledgeable attorneys can assist you.

 

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, advertisement, or solicitation of any kind. Please contact an SMP attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.

  Smith, McDowell + Powell   Sep 19, 2019   Blog, Business and Corporate, Entertainment, In the News, Small Business   Comments Off on Right of Publicity, Not Just for Celebrities   Read More

Jason Smith, Brad McDowell & Jaclyn Powell Named Top Lawyers in Super Lawyers Magazine

Smith, McDowell & Powell is proud to announce that Jason Smith, Brad McDowell and Jaclyn Powell have been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as top attorneys in Northern California!  Jason and Jaclyn have now earned the “Rising Star” distinction for their fifth and fourth consecutive years respectively. Likewise, Brad McDowell has been honored as a “Super Lawyer” for his second year in a row, having previously been recognized as a “Rising Star” in 2013 and 2014.

 

The annual Super Lawyers list is compiled via a patented multi-phase selection process which includes conducting statewide surveys, analyzing peer reviews and performing independent research.  This results in less than 5 percent of lawyers in California being named “Super Lawyers” and less than 2.5 percent as “Rising Stars” (i.e., attorneys who are 40 years-old or younger or have been practicing law for ten years or less).  To learn more about the selection process, check out SuperLawyers.com, and be sure to check out the August 2017 issue of Northern California Super Lawyers Magazine to see the full list.  Congratulations to all of those, past and present, that have been recognized as top lawyers in their field.

  Smith, McDowell & Powell   Jul 14, 2017   Accomplishments, Blog, Business and Corporate, Civil Litigation, Employment, Real Estate, Small Business, Trust and Estates   Comments Off on Jason Smith, Brad McDowell & Jaclyn Powell Named Top Lawyers in Super Lawyers Magazine   Read More

SMP Congratulates Newest Associate, Kimberly Van Spronsen

SMP Congratulates Newest Associate, Kimberly Van Spronsen

Smith, McDowell & Powell is proud to announce that former Senior Law Clerk, Kimberly Van Spronsen recently passed the California State BAR exam and has joined our growing list of associate attorneys.  Kimberly first arrived at SMP in the spring of 2015 as a law clerk while attending McGeorge School of Law where she graduated with great distinction and was admitted to the Roger J. Traynor Honor Society for academic excellence.  Since joining SMP, she has assisted in numerous legal matters including business transactions, corporate formations, estate planning, real estate transactions and more.  Having grown up on a family-owned almond ranch, Kimberly has a deep appreciation for the efforts of small business owners and hopes to carry on the tradition of hard work and excellence throughout her legal career. The entire team at Smith, McDowell & Powell are excited to see Kimberly’s professional future unfold and have every confidence that she will continue to achieve great things. To read more about Kimberly, check out our website and this week’s Sacramento Business Journal as a person “on the move.”

  Smith, McDowell & Powell   Dec 14, 2016   Blog, Business and Corporate, Civil Litigation, Employment, In the News, Real Estate, Small Business   Comments Off on SMP Congratulates Newest Associate, Kimberly Van Spronsen   Read More

Smith, McDowell & Powell Make Top Lists in Superlawyers Magazine

Smith, McDowell & Powell Make Top Lists in Superlawyers Magazine

            In the August issue of Super Lawyers Magazine, three familiar names will be appearing on the annual top lists for 2016.  Jason Smith, Brad McDowell and Jaclyn Powell were all recognized as outstanding attorneys in their fields of practice, with Jason and Jaclyn earning the “Rising Stars” distinction for the fourth and third consecutive years respectively, and Brad McDowell making the “Super Lawyer” list, having previously been named a “Rising Star” in 2013 and 2014.

            These lists are compiled through a patented process which includes conducting statewide surveys, analyzing peer reviews and performing independent research.  This results in no more than five percent of attorneys in each state making the Super Lawyers list, and 2.5 percent of attorneys who are 40 years-old or younger or who have been practicing law for less than ten years or less as being eligible for the Rising Star status.  All three partners wish to thank all of their peers who nominated them for this recognition and would like to congratulate all of their fellow selectees.  To learn more about Super Lawyers and to see which other Northern California attorneys made the list, click here.

 

Jason Smith: smp, attorney, law, lawyer, lawyers, legal services, defense, sacramento attorney, construction, business, corporate, civil litigation, employment, entertainment, insurance, intellectual property, real estate, trusts, estatesBrad McDowell, smp, attorney, law, lawyer, lawyers, legal services, defense, sacramento attorney, construction, business, corporate, civil litigation, employment, entertainment, insurance, intellectual property, real estate, trusts, estatesJacyln Powell, smp, attorney, law, lawyer, lawyers, legal services, defense, sacramento attorney, construction, business, corporate, civil litigation, employment, entertainment, insurance, intellectual property, real estate, trusts, estates

  Smith, McDowell & Powell   Jul 15, 2016   Blog, Business and Corporate, Civil Litigation, Employment, Real Estate, Small Business, Trust and Estates   Comments Off on Smith, McDowell & Powell Make Top Lists in Superlawyers Magazine   Read More

SMP Supports Small Businesses Dreaming Big!

Small Businesses, Big Dreams

When small businesses succeed, entire communities benefit.  From the small locally-owned coffee shop on the corner, to the growing marketing agency down the street, every successful business brings employment opportunities, revenue and the community-minded spirit Sacramento is known for.  This is why Smith, McDowell & Powell is proud to sponsor the Downtown Sacramento Foundation’s Calling All Dreamers Competition for the second year in a row.  This competition opens doors for local businesses that are eager to succeed by offering the grand-prize winner a start-up package worth approximately $100,000.00.  Entries are being accepted until March 29th, to learn more about the contest and previous year’s semi-finalists and winners, click here.  As always, the attorneys at SMP are available to answer any questions regarding establishing your small business and helping you realize your own dreams, however big they may be!

 

  Smith, McDowell & Powell   Mar 23, 2016   Blog, Small Business   Comments Off on SMP Supports Small Businesses Dreaming Big!   Read More
Call SMP
Directions