ny continuing legal educationFollowing on from last week’s Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code vs. Baigent and Leigh and Holy Blood, Holy Grail, here’s the next installment in our top IP disputes featuring a serious alpha female face-off:

Most of you reading this will likely be familiar with the blonde bombshell Barbara Millicent Roberts, maybe not by her full title, but surely with her world renowned moniker, Barbie. The Barbie doll was a product created by Mattel Inc., a company for which designer Carter Bryant once worked while he was also engaging in consultancy work for MGA Entertainment Inc.

The result of Bryant’s work for MGA was the now highly popular Bratz doll. A few years after MGA began selling Bratz dolls, Mattel sued both designer Bryant and MGA claiming Bryant’s work with MGA while still an employee at Mattel was an instance of copyright infringement.

Not surprisingly, since Bryant was an employee of Mattel, and listed on their payroll at the time of consulting with MGA and designing the Bratz doll, the courts sided with Mattel, justifying the claim that the Bratz name and design were Mattel trade secrets. MGA was ordered to pay $100 million in damages.

Learn more about these kinds of cases by enrolling in one of our New York CLE courses dedicated specifically to the intricacies of intellectual property, and designed to easily allow you to accrue New York continuing legal education credits.

NY continuing legal educationAs many of you will know, intellectual property law is one of the hottest territories in the legal profession right now. In today’s blog post, we’re highlighting the first in our series of the most noteworthy IP disputes in recent years, from the world of fiction to fashionable dolls.

The Da Vinci Code Case

Authors of the non-fiction book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh claimed author of best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown, infringed on the copyright of their publication. Interestingly, the case was based on “non-literal” copying, since Brown didn’t directly copy text from Baigent and Leigh’s book. Rather the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail alleged it was the “manner” in which Brown told his story which was plagiarized.

Ultimately, the claimants’ case was dismissed in 2006, when it was ruled that there was neither textual, nor non-textual copying.

Interested in keeping up with the latest developments in IP law? Sign up for one of our IP-focused New York CLE courses, or learn more via online CLE. Check back next week for the next installment in the most famous IP disputes.

new york cleUnpaid internships have been a hot topic of discussion over the past few years. Often seen as a good way to gain experience with large and well-established companies, organizations and firms, unpaid internships have become a debated topic. While unpaid internships do provide possibilities of attaining future employment or college credit, the unpaid or unrewarded internship model is not always seen as fair or legal.

In the legal world, law students have taken unpaid internships to work on pro bono cases. This provides a larger labor pool for firms and organizations that work with pro bono cases and offers students a chance to work with these types of cases in a real-life setting.

According to this article, the American Bar Association President Laurel Bellows recently urged the US Department of Labor to clear up uncertainties around unpaid internships and pro bono case work under the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Like NY continuing legal education courses and online CLE, these internships provide valuable learning experiences that could help develop law students and lawyers. At the same time, these internship opportunities may not be allowed under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

new york cleWhen it comes to grades, especially those earned in law school, your opinion of yourself, your work ethic, and your mental performance can be greatly influenced by whether you receive an A, a B, or a C.

Indeed, one law school professor believes a student’s receiving a C could lead to a student being injured psychologically since many students perceive C’s as signs of outright failure. Professor Joshua Silverstein of the University of Arkansas argues that not only are C’s potentially harmful, C’s are also awarded inconsistently from institution to institution.

This particular opinion piece from Above the Law claims such an argument is simply dignifying complaints from students that legal education institutions are grading harshly or somehow unfairly, where there is, supposedly, little backbone to such claims.

What’s your opinion on this topic? Does handing out C’s put students at a risk of suffering from low self-esteem or negative self-criticism? Or, on the other hand, should law schools continue to grade students’ papers, using C’s where appropriate, in order to teach students a lesson or two about the many harsh realities of the highly competitive world of legal professionals?

If you can’t make up your mind maybe some refresher NY continuing legal education courses, or even online CLE courses, could help in sharpening your judgment skills!


New York CLEAs lawyers, we represent one of the integral pillars of society. Playing such an important role in the upholding of our social fabric means always appearing and being professional. Here are some best practice tips for lawyers intent on being the best that they can be:

Set your cell phone to vibrate: If you have a cell phone on you during client meetings, then always remember to set it to vibrate so that your ringtone doesn’t blare throughout the room, interrupting the discussion, and having you appear rude to your clients or co-workers. Apologize profusely if this does happen.

Always cover lunch or coffee: If you invite a current or prospective client out for lunch or coffee, you should never fail to pick up the tab. If your guest insists they pay their share, then graciously let them do so.

Carry business cards: While it may seem old-fashioned in this day and age, business cards still rule when marketing your services in person. Keep these in a business card holder, and distribute them only to those who request them.

Hone your conversation skills: Be mindful of what you say in public; stick to neutral topics of conversation, and always have a couple of current conversation topics to bring up if the conversation lulls.

Fulfill your CLE requirements: Whether you do it through online CLE or weekend-long lecture courses, ensure you satisfy your NY continuing legal education requirements.

online CLEIf you’ve just bought online CLE courses via our website, here’s a brief, informative guide intended to aid you in navigating through the A to Z of CLE online:

Go to our homepage, available at marinolegalcle.com, and click ‘Login’ at the top of the homepage. Your “Username” is your e-mail address that you used during registration and your “Password” is the one that you created during registration.

Once successfully logged in, scroll to the ‘View My Courses’ link in your user account and click the ‘Purchased Online’ link. Clicking this link will take you to a page which lists all of your courses purchased online.

In order to take a course, click the ‘View Video’ button or ‘Listen to Audio’ button depending on how you’d like to experience the course. TOP TIP: Keep note of the codes read aloud during the lecture in order to retrieve your certificate of completion when finished the course.

As soon as you have completed a course (and made a note of all the relevant codes), click the ‘Get Certificate’ button. Clicking this button will result in your being prompted to enter the codes, as well as complete a course evaluation. From there, you will be redirected to a page where you can print your certificate.

Find more details about all of our online CLE courses and ‘bridge the gap’ weekends at MarinoLegalCLE.com.

On Law Day

May 1st, 2013 | Posted by cilliano in Law | Lawyer | Marino Legal - (0 Comments)

new york cleWhile to some of you today is simply the first day of May, others are celebrating Law Day, an observance which encourages the people of the U.S. to reflect on the role of the law in the initial formation of the country, as well as its continued importance as a cohesive agent in society.

Sounds great, right? Well, this is actually more of a contentious issue than it may first seem. While most will agree law is an essential element in upholding the structure of a functional society, Law Day is considered by many to be a cloaked attack on leftist beliefs and values.

Law Day was initially introduced by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958, in an attempt to dissuade citizens from celebrating May Day, a day of remembrance to commemorate workers the world over who were killed or oppressed in their struggle for better wages or working conditions.

With that said, Law Day is often celebrated nowadays less in terms of what it opposes, as what it supports – that is, the crucial significance of the law in protecting human rights and ensuring justice is delivered.

Why not celebrate Law Day by signing up for the most convenient way of satisfying your CLE requirements? We offer a wide range of ‘bridge the gap‘ courses as well as online CLE courses.

online cleWhile New York continuing legal education requires the expense of a certain amount of time and money, both the hours and dollars invested are certainly not going to go to waste. Here are the six top reasons for fulfilling your New York CLE requirements:

  • A person with a higher education and career level has a higher earning capacity
  • A person with a higher education and advanced certification will be selected for employment over those who do not have these qualifications
  • Those who continually learn new things in their chosen practice are much more valuable employees, and are therefore more likely to enjoy job security at their workplace
  • Those who continually learn tend to have a higher level of responsibility and greater degree of job satisfaction
  • An employee who does not consistently learn will in time lose their skills, find that their knowledge is outdated, and will eventually fall back in their career
  • A person who actively makes the commitment to continually learn remains competitive in a tough job market; this is especially important in today’s economic climate

If you were in any doubt before, these reasons should make the importance of CLE plain to see. Professionals who do not actively engage in consistent learning, will eventually lose out to those who do. Don’t get left behind, find more info on a variety of CLE courses and packages, including ‘bridge the gap‘ weekends, at MarinoLegalCLE.com.

online cleContinuing on from last week’s compilation of top job-hunting tips for newly admitted attorneys, we thought it might be useful to take a broader look at the link between education and employment. This week, we bring you the top law schools to attend when it comes to landing a job.

During the past couple of years, the American Bar Association (ABA) has dramatically increased its efforts to glean information from law schools on the topic of job placement. The ABA’s findings break down the types of jobs graduates have secured, and whether they are full-time, long-term or short-term positions.

Here are the top 5 law schools when it comes to graduates securing full-time, long-term employment:

  • The University of Chicago Law School saw 94.9% of its 215 2012 graduates in bar passage jobs
  • Following close behind was the University of Virginia Law School; of its 364 graduates, 344 secured bar passage jobs
  • The University of Pennsylvania Law School nigh on tied with Virginia, with 94.4% of its 270 2012 graduates achieving full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage
  • Rounding out the top 5 and following very close behind were Columbia Law School (at no. 4) with 93.4% of its graduates securing full-time, long-term jobs and Stanford Law School at no. 5 with a rate of 91.2%

If you’ve managed to secure a full-time, long-term position – congratulations! Ensure you keep up to date with NY continuing legal education by either gaining credits through online CLE or partaking in a convenient ‘bridge the gap‘ CLE weekend.

Source: Law.com

online cleThough the economic recession began its downward spiral in 2008, we are still feeling its far-reaching effects here in NYC, and further afield. If you chose law school as a ‘safe bet’ i.e. a means of gaining an education in a profession conventionally considered much more employable than, say, liberal arts, you may now be sorely disappointed as a newly admitted attorney with depressingly few prospects.

With that said, there are still plenty of opportunities for newly qualified legal professionals eager to get their foot in the door; you simply need to know where to look:

  • Certain areas of law are currently flourishing due to the aftermath of the economic crisis; bankruptcy litigation,  civil litigation and employment litigation are all hot topics.
  • Legal roles pertaining to the areas of science and technology are growing in number with the demand for lawyers specializing in intellectual property law increasing exponentially
  • It’s also essential to fulfill all NY continuing legal education requirements so as to ensure your status as a legal professional is valid. This is easily done with one of our ‘bridge the gap’ courses, which offers a convenient way in which to gain New York CLE credits
  • Pro bono work is also another way in which to gain valuable experience as a lawyer, while also making a positive contribution to society