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A BUSKLAW Newsletter Aside: Is Your Website Compliant with the European Union's GDPR?

Effective 25 May 2018, the EU's General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect. The GDPR is a big deal and quite complicated. There are 99 articles and 173 recitals defining the privacy rights of individuals and data controllers’ and data processors’ obligations. 

Are you a U.S.-baseddata controller or data processor subject to the GDPR? You are a “data controller” if you, alone or jointly with others, determine the purpose and means of “processing” personal data of EU individual customers or businesses. The threshold is that you offer goods or services to customers or businesses in the EU (including the UK, despite Brexit) and collect their personal data. But even if you don’t sell goods or services to EU customers but engage in marketing or monitoring activities involving EU individuals’ personal data, you are covered by the GDPR.

You are a data processorif you “process” personal data on behalf of a “data controller,” i.e., a data controller contracts with you to process pers…
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The BUSKLAW May Newsletter: Void for Duress? The Case of the Picasso Sold for Peanuts Under Nazi Oppression

Picasso's famous (and now priceless) 1905 painting, "The Actor," hangs in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art but not without some controversy. The estate of the painting's original owners, Paul and Alice Leffmann, sued the Museum in N.Y. Federal Court to get it back, along with $100 million in damages. The basis for the suit: the Leffmanns were German Jews, living under Nazi oppression, who were desperate to obtain the funds to flee to Switzerland (and later to Brazil). So in 1938, they were "forced" to sell the painting for a fraction of its value. The Museum defended the suit by arguing that there was no duress under either New York or Italian law. Judge Loretta Preska weighed the facts, sorted out all of the arguments, and issued her decision on 7 February 2018

There is no dispute that the Leffmanns, living in Italy at the time, were under imminent threat of deportation and death at the hands of German Nazis, who were becoming cozy with Mussolini…

The BUSKLAW April Newsletter: Uncommon (Contract) Clauses and Where to Find Them (first post in a sometimes series)

(With a wizardly hat tip to J.K. Rowling's Fantastic BeastsSo you're the guy with the case library full of monsters uncommon contract clauses, huh?)
In the realm of reading and writing contracts, it's best not to ignore the "fine print." This is especially true when it comes to online terms and conditions that can be found at just about every commercial website. You visit the website and agree to its terms and conditions (usually by clicking on an "I agree" button). But only the courageous will marshal their mental prowess and confront the dense legal jargon and other blatant drafting errors that are rife in this internet stuff. 
The price of ignoring online terms and conditions can be high. The defense that you didn't actually read the terms and conditions is weak. You can be bound to a waiver of a jury trial, agree to arbitrate any dispute in a far away jurisdiction, or consent to an unrealistic damages limitation. 
Or you can agree to sell your s…

A BUSKLAW Newsletter Aside: Menu of Legal Services

Time to post my 
Menu of Legal Services (Enjoy - and don't worry about an uncorking fee.)

The BUSKLAW March Newsletter: You Just Purchased a Haunted House! Can You Sue and Get Some Relief?

This is the Los Angeles mansion used in the first season of the television series American Horror Story. The new owners are not amused.
(CREDIT: ALISSA WALKER/CREATIVE COMMONS)

Are you troubled by strange noises in the middle of the night?
Do you experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic? Have you or a member of your family ever seen a  spook, specter, or ghost?  ----Ghostbusters. Dir. Ivan Reitman. Perf. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver. Columbia Pictures, 1984. Film.
The new owners of the Rosenheim Mansion in Los Angeles, CA, are suing the sellers and their real estate agent for $3 million for failure to disclose several problems with the house, including the fact that it's haunted by two ghosts. In addition, the house was the focus of American Horror Story - Murder House, a Fox television series of the horror genre (its quality varies), and fans of the show stop by for photos and have allegedly tried to break-in (undoubtedly looking for the ghosts)…