US Legal, Inc. Newsletter – March 2009

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Welcome to USLegal’s March Newsletter. As always, we’re busy updating forms to bring you the most accurate products available. And we’re still trumpeting two special feathers already in our cap for 2009 – our new partnership with ForSaleByOwner.com, and our introduction of Group Discounts for your association, corporation or other group

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At USLegal, customer satisfaction is our greatest asset and goal. If we’ve made your legal life easier, please tell your friends and family about us. If you have a routine legal need, make us your first stop. And now, the news:

Always Updating: Our Key Commitment

At U.S. Legal Forms, we’re proud to be The Forms Professionals Trust®. As the months roll by, laws and procedures are revised and updated in every state. Without constant review, on line forms quickly lapse into inaccuracy. We’re committed to providing our customers the most current, state-specific forms available – a key distinction between U.S. Legal Forms and many other on line forms providers. Our proprietary sources and methods, developed and refined for over a decade, enable us to review and update a vast amount of material in a manageable amount of time. Quality, updated, lawyer-reviewed forms complying with your state’s unique laws: our formula for success.

ForSaleByOwner.com Now Offering USLegal Real Estate Forms

We are very pleased to announce our new partnership with real estate mega-site ForSaleByOwn er.com, one of the top-five most visited real estate web sites in the world with nearly two million visitors per month. With USLegal’s state-specific Home Sale Packages and other real estate forms available on ForSaleByOwner, both companies further the shared goal of providing low-cost solutions for home sale transactions.

Group Discounts Debuted at USLegalForms.com

Group Discounts have arrived at USLegalForms. An association, company, government agency, church group, or other organization can sign up for a group discount for all group members. Would your group benefit from access to our low cost, high quality, state-specific legal forms? For additional information, or to apply for your organization or company, contact us toll-free at 1-877-389-0141 ext 107 and ask for discount services.

Featured Product of the Month

Bill of Sale

Right now, we’re offering our bills of sale for the special price of $7.50. Whether you’re selling a boat or a button, a bill of sale makes the transaction official. U.S. Legal Forms offers a bill of sale for any situation. Sell an auto, trailer, horse, firearm, watercraft, animal or any other item of personal property using our inexpensive forms. Don’t trust a free substitute template, ensure your transfer is legal.

Click here to order a specific type of bill of sale for your state.

Legal News In Brief

We track breaking legal news at the USLegal Reporter. Check in regularly to stay updated on top national legal stories. These are some of the items of interest we’ve spotted in the last month:

Ban on Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research Lifted

President Obama signed an executive order reversing the Bush administration’s ban on funding of human embryonic stem cell research. President Bush had signed an executive order in 2001 restricting funding of such research to several dozen pre-existing cell lines. In 2006, Bush vetoed an bill which was passed by Congress to remove restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, saying he opposed federal funding for stem cell research because some consider the destruction of embryos to be murder. (The embryos would eventually be destroyed regardless, opponents of Bush had argued.)

Embryonic stem cells have the ability to transform into any type of tissue or cell in the body. They are also more abundant than adult stem cells, which come from several different parts of the body. Research with embryonic cells has been claimed to provide potential therapies for blindness, spinal cord injuries, heart attacks and diabetes.

Supreme Court Rejects Limits on Litigation Against Drug Companies

The US Supreme Court rejected limits on litigation against drug companies on Wednesday in Wyeth v. Levine, when it held that drug companies must comply with state product liability laws, not just labeling approval requirements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The court upheld a $6.7 million verdict awarded to Diane Levine in a negligence and failure to warn product liability suit. Levine ultimately lost her arm after an intravenous injection of the migraine and anti-nausea drug, Phenergan, caused gangrene.

Wyeth contended any additional warnings based on state recommendations would have violated the FDA’s requirements as the FDA alone can approve drug safety and it had already done so based on the drug’s label, which did not include such warnings. Justice Stevens noted that Wyeth had become aware of at least 20 previous cases of a Phenergan injection resulting in gangrene and amputation.

Supreme Court Denies Agent Orange Claims

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned down claims brought by American and Vietnamese plaintiffs against the manufacturers of Agent Orange. Without comment, the Court refused to hear appeals in three separate cases against Dow Chemical, Monsanto, and other manufacturers of Agent Orange and other herbicides used by the military in the Vietnam War. Agent Orange has been linked to cancer, diabetes and birth defects among Vietnamese soldiers and civilians and American veterans.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York had dismissed the cases brought by Vietnamese plaintiffs, finding that Agent Orange was used to protect U.S. troops against ambush and not as a weapon of war against human populations. The other two suits were filed by U.S. veterans who got sick too late to take part in the $180 million settlement with makers of the chemical in 1984.

Extension of Freeze on Stanford Accounts

US District Judge David C. Godbey today extended until March 12, 2009 a temporary restraining order put in place during the federal investigation of Stanford Group Co. that froze investor accounts. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed suit against Stanford’s chairman, two associates and three of his companies on February 17 alleging an $8 billion investment fraud that involved the sale of fraudulent certificates of deposit through its Antigua based bank. As a result, all personal and corporate assets were frozen and Stanford Group, Stanford International Bank and Stanford Capital Management LLC were put into receivership.

Check out controversial legal issues of all stripes with us at the USLegal Blog. A comments section is in the works.

Have a Legal Question? Ask a Lawyer

If you want to find out more information about a certain area of law, consider USLegal’s Ask a Lawyer service. The service enables you to submit your question to a lawyer who will provide you with legal information.

The charge for this service is $15.95 per question.

Legal advice is not provided. If your question cannot be answered without providing legal advice, you will not be charged. In the event you desire to retain an attorney, you will be provided with sources for choosing an attorney for you to consider.

Law and Legal Definitions

Trade Names

Trade names are names associated with a business and its reputation. Business names are not by themselves a trademark. The name that a business uses to identify itself is called a “trade name.” This is the name used on its stock certificates, bank accounts, invoices and letterhead. The business name may be given some protection under state and local corporate/LLC or fictitious business name registration laws (or protected under federal and state unfair competition laws against a confusing use by a competing business), but it is not considered a trademark or entitled to protection under trademark laws unless it is affixed to a product or service. However, if a business uses its name to identify a product or service produced by the business, the name will then be considered a trademark or service mark and be entitled to protection if it is distinctive enough. For instance, Apple Computer Corporation uses the trade name Apple as a trademark on its line of computer products.

A second-comer needs to take care to distinguish their product if they are using a name similar to a predecessor, especially in a competing product or service. Also, a generic term may acquire a preferential right to the use of such a name or word under the doctrine of secondary meaning. In such a case, a duty may be imposed upon a subsequent user to take such precautions as may be necessary to distinguish or identify his goods or business and thus avoid confusion on the part of customers or patrons.

Read our full entry on Trade Names.

For more legal definitions, please visit USLegal’s free online legal dictionary.

Customer Feedback

USLegal.com would like to hear from you. If you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions about our products or topics you’d like for us to feature in upcoming newsletters, please email them to Bryan Lieb, U.S. Legal Staff Attorney, at bryan.lieb@uslegal.com.