Category Archives: Internet Laws

Are Email Signature Disclaimers Necessary?

I found this article on one of our facebook friend’s page.  Do you agree?

We’ve all gotten emails with disclaimer signatures, like “This email was intended for the recipients only” or “Our company accepts no liability for this email’s content”. It turns out they’re not just annoying—they probably hold no legal weight, either.

The Economist explains the truth about these long, annoying, but very prevalent email signatures:

[Email disclaimers] are assumed to be a wise precaution. But they are mostly, legally speaking, pointless. Lawyers and experts on internet policy say no court case has ever turned on the presence or absence of such an automatic e-mail footer in America, the most litigious of rich countries.

Many disclaimers are, in effect, seeking to impose a contractual obligation unilaterally, and thus are probably unenforceable. This is clear in Europe, where a directive from the European Commission tells the courts to strike out any unreasonable contractual obligation on a consumer if he has not freely negotiated it. And a footer stating that nothing in the e-mail should be used to break the law would be of no protection to a lawyer or financial adviser sending a message that did suggest something illegal.

They go on to explain that these disclaimers are probably so prevalent because companies see other companies using them, and then decide they should too. If you’re using these in your business emails, you can probably get rid of them—you’ll make all your contacts a whole lot happier, without making yourself any less protected by the law.

Article Link:!5790930/disclaimers-in-email-signatures-are-not-just-annoying-but-legally-meaningless



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Filed under Holly Valente, Internet Laws, Privacy Laws

Michigan Man Charged With Polygamy After Posting Picture of New Wife on Facebook

A Grand Rapids man, excited about his new marriage decided to post some pictures of his new wife on his facebook page.

Not excited about his new marriage was his first wife – who he was still legally married to. Yikes. She turned him in and he was arrested a short time later.

The two-timing husband now faces up to four years in jail

Read the full story here

This is another example why it’s important to be mindful of what information you’re posting on your social media pages, especially facebook.

Want more reasons? Check out our previous blog posts:

How Facebook Might Hurt Your Family Law Case

Warren Juror Gets Fine and Homework For Her Facebook Post

Facebook Friend? Or F.B.I Foe?

If you have a family law question contact Ambrose Law Group at 248-624-5500 or visit our website at


Filed under Divorce, Family Law, Holly Valente, Internet Laws

Mom Uses Facebook To Raise Money For Non-Existent Baby

This is another one of the crazy stories where someone used facebook to swindle the community.  Social Networking sites can be used for so many amazing ways, its a shame when someone does something like this.

DETROIT (WXYZ) – Facebook is a great way to connect with your friends online. But one local woman is accused of using the website to promote a fundraiser for her sick baby – a baby many now believe never existed.

Her name is Monique Bartlett. But on Facebook she went by “Proudtobeamom.” Friends say when they learned about Bartlett’s sick baby, they were eager to help.

She claimed the infant had severe lung problems, needing surgeries and around-the-clock care. But her friends say when they realized none of them had ever seen the child – and so many of her claims didn’t add up – they questioned Bartlett. That’s when they say she lashed out at them – and used a lot of public resources trying to cover her tracks.

Action News Investigator Heather Catallo tracked down Bartlett and uncovered a history of bizarre behavior. The deeper Catallo dug, the stranger Bartlett’s story became.

Tuesday night on Action News at 11, Catallo will tell you what Bartlett said when confronted about the mysterious baby and how the cops and courts got entangled in this strange tale.

Read the full story here


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Filed under Holly Valente, Internet Laws, Social Media And The Law

How Facebook Might Hurt Your Family Law Case

Social media outlets can give Family Law attorneys and their clients the ammo they need to fight their opposition.  Anywhere from pictures to status messages, this evidence can be used against you in court.

If you are in a child custody dispute and use social media websites like Facebook or Myspace, make sure that you are careful when you post pictures and comments.  Do not post anything you would not want a judge to see.  Use privacy settings to minimize who has access to your profile and your information.

If you are a blogger, be careful what you blog about.  Your words may come back to haunt you.  Avoid even the implication that you are attacking the other parent’s character or parenting style.

There are cases all over the country where social media evidence was introduced to the Judge and the Judge heavly weighed that evidence against the parent.  Be careful what you post!

If you have questions about your family law case please contact David Lutz at 248-624-5500

or visit our website


Filed under David Lutz, Family Law, Internet Laws, Uncategorized

Our Voice: Still Texting While Driving?

On July 1, 2010, Michigan’s law banning texting while driving went into effect.  And I sincerely believe that all distractions on the road can lead to catastrophic events for the driver in question, as well as anything or anyone that is in the zone of danger.  However, I do find this particular law to be quite curious.  Did they enact it because the legislature finds texting or emailing to be the most perilous task one can risk while driving?  Was it just to raise awareness of just how unsafe texting and/or emailing can be?  Or was it to jump on the bandwagon of the numerous other states that have passed similar laws? I pose these questions for several reasons.

The most obvious dilemma, and the most commonly discussed, is the concept of how the state plans to school police officers on discerning the difference between texting and dialing – because as we all know, talking on the phone, with or without an earpiece, is still legal in Michigan.  Personally, I can’t imagine how anyone without superhero laser-vision would ever be able to truly distinguish between the two. Technically, the law affords police officers the right to detain a driver for texting – even when there has been no other moving violation.  But what are they going to do?  Pull over anyone who is looking down and appears to be moving their arms?  I would imagine anyone who knows it is illegal would choose to keep the phone in their lap in the event they send a text.  And let’s say an officer did pull someone over for exactly that – looking down and moving arms.  They would first have to ask to see the cell phone.  Now, I personally, would not give my cell phone to an officer as the information on it is none of their business.  At that point, they could potentially obtain a search warrant.  If any officer went through all that trouble without the presence of another moving violation or personal vendetta, I would be shocked.  And either way, it takes about 2 seconds to erase a text for good – much longer than the time it would take to get that warrant.  After that, the only other way to obtain proof of a violation would be getting a warrant for the phone bill and subsequently searching it for a sent text at the exact moment the car was pulled over. And now the process has become plain ridiculous – especially without a violation of any other kind.

Another major issue is that aside from dialing and talking, there are countless other activities you can still do while driving – to the point that texting seems quite minor.  For instance, you can still eat a sandwich, drink a soda, spill a soda and clean it up, apply a full face of make-up, check your Facebook page, play video games, type addresses into your navigation system, polish your nails, read and jot down information from a billboard, and listen to your iPod with or without headphones.  With this in mind, a ban on texting alone sounds nonsensical. Perhaps tighter rules on careless driving in general would have been more practical.  A sounder solution may have been following in the footsteps of the city of Troy where the “no distractions law” within its city limits makes all of the aforementioned activities illegal.

Personally, I agree with Troy.  Although we all do it, none of us should consciously partake in any activity while driving unless there is a life-threatening emergency.  The possibility of harming or killing yourself or others is hardly worth any of it.  But most people aren’t thinking about these risks in the heat of the moment.  We all think driving is mindless, so why not eat a quick burger while racing to an appointment? If Michigan truly wants to diminish the amount of accidents caused by careless driving, it will need to re-evaluate all of the root causes as opposed to solely focusing on the near impossible task of fining a texting driver.  Hopefully, this will happen sooner rather than later.

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Filed under Internet Laws, Our Voice - Op/Ed, Traffic Citations/Laws