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Tesla Sues Employee for Data Theft, Media Statements

Tesla employee Martin Tripp was not happy about his job reassignment.

So he retaliated by badmouthing the company and stealing confidential information, according to a new lawsuit. Tesla alleges Tripp took "gigabytes of Tesla data" and dozens of photographs and video of proprietary manufacturing systems.

In the meantime, CEO Elon Musk was dealing with reports about delayed production of its Model 3. He said it had been sabotaged, but now there's no telling what really happened.

Despite the controversy over "fat-guy" comedy, the comedy of Chris Farley is remembered fondly by his fans, friends, and family. But the star's publicity rights may be protected by California law, at least according to the company Farley's family set up to manage his post-mortem licensing and publicity rights.

Unfortunately for in-house lawyers and celebrity legal spectators, whether the late actor's publicity rights are properly protected may never be known as the bicycle maker Trek agreed to settled the lawsuit filed against it by Farley's family stemming from the naming of the Trek "fat-tire" bicycles, Farley fat bikes. Presumably the confidential settlement agreement involves some form of licensing deal to permit the use of Farley's name, as the bike makers plans to continue producing the fat tire bikes under the same name.

According to a recently filed lawsuit, the Washington state attorney general alleges that Google and Facebook both failed to comply with the state's campaign advertising disclosure laws.

Primarily, the complaint alleges that the companies did not maintain and disclose records for who paid for campaign related advertisements. These are serious charges in today's tense political climate where espionage is actually prime time news (depending on where you get your news). In response to the lawsuit, the companies have both issued statements about striving for full transparency and cooperating with the AG's office.

Right on the heels of last week's deadline for companies to come into compliance with the GDPR, lawsuits were filed against Google, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, alleging violations of the new law. And unfortunately for Facebook, the company owns both Instagram and WhatsApp.

An Austrian privacy activist filed each of the cases alleging that the "take it or leave it" privacy policies offered by these major tech companies violate the GDPR. Each lawsuit seeks to fine Facebook and Google over $4 million each. The law can impose fines on organizations that violate it of over $20 million or 4 percent of an organization's annual revenue.

In what some might call a turning of the table, billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has filed a lawsuit to stop the Karfunkel family, which has a controlling interest in AmTrust, from taking the insurer private.

Icahn's lawsuit alleges that the Karfunkel family is seeking to transfer "huge amounts of value" through a share purchase at a time when the insurer is poised to recover from its recent setbacks. On Icahn's own website, he explains that the deal price the Karfunkel family proposed is less than half of what the share price was about a year ago. The way Icahn sees it, particularly with him owning nearly 10 percent, this just isn't fair (to him and other "minority" shareholders).

Lessons for Corporate Counsel From TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade won a case claiming it broke securities laws, but it was one of those victories a company doesn't usually advertise.

That's because the federal appeals court dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds. The factual allegations -- that the company got kickbacks to the detriment of customers -- are part of the permanent record.

Maybe court files and the internet aren't forever, but it sure feels like it when your business reputation or value goes down. Here are some lessons corporate counsel can learn from Zola v. TD Ameritrade.

DISH Network may soon be paying out a rather large judgment, again, stemming from unwanted robocalls placed nearly a decade ago. Once one consumer filed a lawsuit in 2014 after receiving the robocalls despite being on the Do Not Call Registry, the matter quickly took off as a consumer class action.

Now after several years of litigation and a jury trial, a final judgment has been issued to the tune of $61 million. Individual class members may qualify for significant cash payments, as damages can be assessed at $1,200 per call. However, as expected, DISH Network has filed an appeal, which will delay, or possible upend, satisfaction of the judgment. Notably though, potential class members need to file a claim by next month. Fortunately, there is a website that allows individuals to enter their phone number(s) to see if they qualify.

When a C-Suite Sues, What's a GC to Do?

It was the worst of times. Period.

That's because it's hard to talk about the best of times when your executive officer has a legal issue with the company. It's really a problem when the C-Suite complains to the company attorney.

And if they sue, it only gets worse. That's when general counsel has to put down the easy reading and look at the hard rules.

Jay Z's Company Hit With Lawsuit Over Tidal Purchase

With the NBA playoffs underway, basketball fans often see Jay Z and wife Beyonce sitting courtside these days.

The billion dollar couple have the resources to fly on their $40 million jet from New York to California, with a stop-off on the way for Beyonce to slay Coachella. Of course, with great power comes great responsibility.

This week Jay Z has another lawsuit to look at: a Scandinavian law firm and a financial institution want almost $600,000 from a music deal. They say their fees were a done deal, too.

Recent news of two men arrested at a Starbucks made national headlines due to the racial implications of the incident.

The men were waiting for another person whom they were supposed to meet there, when the Starbucks manager told them to buy something or leave. When the men didn't leave, police were called, and the men were arrested for trespassing. Video of that arrest went viral.

In an interesting turn of events, the two men have settled their lawsuit against the city and coffee giant for a mere $1 each from the city. However, the city also agreed to fund a $200,000 program for public school kids to promote entrepreneurship. Curiously though, the financial details of the men's settlement with Starbucks are confidential.