Probate abuse clips from (11/1/15)

Kentfield Woman’s Heirs Battle Over $8M Inheritance (CA)

CBS/SF Bay Area

October 26, 2015

KENTFIELD (KPIX 5) — A Kentfield woman’s heirs are battling over the woman’s $8 million estate after one of her daughters says a gardener conned the woman into leaving him $3 million when she died.

Attorney David Baer is representing Connie Doolittle’s daughter Susan.


Lawyer for ex-MP Blair Wilson tells court dispute over will turned into ‘vendetta’ (UK)

The Province

October 28, 2015

A dispute over a will turned into a “vendetta” and a campaign of “character assassination” that destroyed the reputation of Blair Wilson, a lawyer for the former West Vancouver MP said in court Wednesday.

The comments by lawyer Jay Straith were made at the opening of Wilson’s defamation trial against The Province newspaper and several other defendants, including Wilson’s father-in-law, William Lougheed.


Orwell estate again rattling copyright saber over 1984 novel

Ars Technica

October 28, 2015

If he were alive today, Eric Arthur Blair (better known by his pen name of George Orwell) might add another theme to the three defining political ideologies of 1984‘s Ingsoc. The themes in the dystopian novel were “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery,” and “Ignorance is Strength.”

Perhaps the new theme would read something like: “This is dumb.” That’s because the Orwell estate is again flexing its intellectual property muscle, this time going after an Internet radio host who dared to sell T-shirts emblazoned with the number 1984. Cafe Press, where Josh Hadley was hawking the shirts, informed him Friday of an “Alleged IP Violation.” The online marketplace said it had received notice from the Orwell Estate of a copyright violation for using “George Orwell Quotes.” CafePress disabled the T-shirts from being displayed in Hadley’s CafePress shop.


Warner Bros. Can Sue Tolkien Estate For Breaching ‘Hobbit’ Contract

The Hollywood Reporter

October 28, 2015

A big-ticket legal fight between Warner Bros. and the J.R.R. Tolkien estate over the scope of rights governing The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings has been in a holding pattern for a couple of years. But the dispute figures to speed up significantly after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that Warner Bros. can assert counterclaims alleging that Tolkien’s heirs have breached a contract.

All the way back in 2012, the Tolkien estate and its book publisher HarperCollins filed a lawsuit claiming that a decades-old rights agreement entitled the studio to create only “tangible” merchandise based on the books, not make digital exploitations including games and online slot machines. That triggered a reaction from Warner Bros. alleging that the Tolkien estate’s repudiation cost it to miss out on millions of dollars of licensing opportunities.