Ep 58: The Redskins Lose Again

June 23, 2014

Nasir and Matt kick things off by discussing the U.S.Patent and Trademark Office canceling the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration. They then answer the following for a dentist from Napa, California, “We have a handfull of clients who owe us money. Some are a couple days late and some are months outstanding. At what point should we sue, or at least threaten suit?”

Full Podcast Transcript

NASIR: Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business!
This is Nasir Pasha.

MATT: And this is Matt Staub.

NASIR: And welcome to our podcast where we cover business news and put in our legal twist and also answer some of your business legal questions that you, the listener, can send to ask@legallysoundsmartbusiness.com. No other comment.

MATT: It sounds like you recorded this at a different time and we just throw this in every time because it always sounds the same. I need some variation for future episodes.

NASIR: Yeah, I know. I like to comment on the intro as well but I was trying not to this time but you brought it up.

MATT: Fair enough. We’re going to get into a topic that I know you love and that’s sports. I guess it deals with sports. So, this will be coming out on Monday. I’m sure people have heard this story by now. It’s not like it’s a new story because it’s been going on for years and years. but the Washington Redskins – professional football team, for your purposes, just to let you know – obviously, it’s the Redskins and that’s a term that a lot of people find offensive, especially nowadays, maybe not back in the 1930’s when they started, but they’ve taken a lot of heat over the last couple of decades and, you know, as of this past week, the US Patent Office cancelled all the Redskins trademark registrations saying the name is disparaging. Basically, what this means is anyone’s free to use “Redskins” in terms of memorabilia, what-have-you. But I think there’s greater ramifications than just that.

NASIR: Yeah, and this doesn’t apply to the logo itself – just the name. So, you could name your football team Redskins now. But they may appeal it, too. So, we’ll see.
What’s interesting about this, and this is more on the legal side of things to make it fun for us lawyers to look at, this was challenged back in 1999 or 1992 or something like that, and that was appealed. So, the USPTO, they rejected the trademark but it was appealed by the Redskins. The reason the Redskins won at that time was there was this legal theory called latches which basically just means you delayed your appeal. They’ve been using this for years. Therefore, you can no longer try to move to reject this trademark because it’s disparaging. But then, what happened is the latest iteration of this legal action involves an 18-year-old petitioner who wasn’t of age at the time so could not have brought an action in the first place. So, this whole latches theory no longer stands. It’s a very clever legal trick to get this going but, obviously, it worked so far.
Even though the title of all these news agencies say the USPTO cancelled Redskins’ trademark, that’s true, but it was not on their own accord. It was something that was moved by a third party.

MATT: Yeah. So, pretty crazy loophole. It’s kind of surprising nothing too series has happened between now and then. If you pay attention to sports at all, you should have seen, this has been going on for years. They just take heat constantly from people, especially the Native American community, that are just criticizing the use of Redskins because they find it offensive and there’s been other sports teams – maybe more collegiate and NCAA teams – that have ended up changing their names because it was offensive to certain people.

NASIR: I think people might be surprised to know that basically any trademark can be challenged because it’s disparaging. That definition of disparaging obviously can change over time as it has now – maybe, as you mentioned, before it may not have been an issue but, obviously, now, it is and the same standard of disparagement hasn’t really changed. It’s just the society and the cultural sensitivity to that has changed.

MATT: Yeah, and I think too, an important point that we made towards the beginning was, you know, this doesn’t mean that they have to change their name.

NASIR: Yeah, that’s true.

MATT: Cancellation of the trademark registration doesn’t mean the NFL is going to force them to change their name. I mean, they might want to for other reasons but this doesn’t affect that at all.

NASIR: Yeah, all the trademark does is it gives them exclusive right to use that name in the context of their sector of business which is, I guess, professional sports – or professional football if you want to narrow it down.
And so, if someone else uses the name and there’s some kind of confusion in the marketplace as to who’s who, then the Washington Redskins has a right to proceed with action against that other person or company. Trademark 101.

MATT: I guess we’ll see. I know they have a very long history and they’ve been around for a long time but I think we’ll see a name change or some sort of alteration in the next however many years.

MATT: We’re going to move on to the question of the day.
“We have a handful of clients who owe us money – some are a couple of days late, some are months outstanding. At what point should we sue or at least threaten suit?” This comes from a dentist in Napa, California.

NASIR: I have a specific opinion about this. I think it really depends upon your industry. Here, you’re a dentist, right? You’re going to have a lot of patients. If you have too much AR or past two AR, I think that’s a very bad sign that there’s something fundamentally wrong with your collections process and it may even seem like you may not even have a collections process. The collections process to me involves everything from the initial bill to how you encourage payment upfront or before they leave the office and then how often you send invoices, how clearly stated those invoices are, and whether you have a process on when you send those invoices automatically after X number of days that they may be late. Like, as soon as they’re late, maybe send another invoice and then another one at 20 days’ invoice. And then, also, if you want to include late fees in there as well.
I think, at the least, start with that perspective.

MATT: So, this isn’t the first time that someone’s written us a question and instead of answer, you just bashed their operations – their operational structure.

NASIR: Well, it’s true because you have to get back to the fundamental problem. You know, we do this all the time, Matt. We gave clients that have a problem and, yeah, as attorneys, we’ll deal with that problem but, especially when we work, we work more on a general counsel perspective looking on the long-term side of things for our clients. We’re not going to just solve this but we’re going to look at, okay, do we want to get in the business of filing lawsuits to collect from our clients? That’s not what you’re going to business in so there has to be ways to prevent this from escalating and I think that’s where it starts.

MATT: Yeah, I’m just giving you a hard time.

NASIR: This dentist is probably the worst business person I’ve ever met.

MATT: You’re an anti-dentite.

NASIR: Nice Seinfeld reference.

MATT: Yeah. Well, I guess the one thing I would say from a legal perspective too is depending on how big the varying bills are and how late they are, I mean, you can go to small claims court. I would assume that this dentist is not a sole proprietor in their corporation.

NASIR: Let’s get to the limits of a small claims action, particularly in California. It’s kind of interesting. All states have limits on their small claims action of how much you can sure for. In California, they make a differentiation as to whether or not you are an individual or a corporation, LLC, or partnership. If you’re an individual, you can sue for $10,000 limit. If it’s a corporation, LLC, other general partnership, $5,000 is the limit. There’s something unique in California, too. If you’re going to sue multiple claims in one year, only two of those claims can be for more than $2,500 which means basically, if you have a lot of people that owe you money, putting that all in one year is maybe difficult to actually do if there are more than $2,500 so you may have to spread them out and it’s obviously very limiting. Frankly, one of the reasons is because the small claims court just gets inundated and, if you have a lot of those cases, at least that’s one of the reasons it’s for a judicial economy.

MATT: Obviously, you can still go to normal civil court. You can do that as many times as you want.

NASIR: Yeah, these limits actually may sound low but the individual $10,000 was actually increased from $7,500 in early 2012 and that was a more recent change and it used to be so that corporations could only sue twice in one year and that’s it. At least, in this case, it’s a little bit more flexible. They still could only file lawsuits twice a year for more than $2,500 but basically unlimited for less than that so that gives a little leeway.

MATT: I guess they want to encourage businesses to not go to small claims court. I don’t really know the reasoning behind that.

NASIR: I haven’t looked into that but I would suspect it’s because they don’t want businesses to because it’s very easy in small claims court to just be brought it. It’s very low threshold so, if you have a business like this dentist just keeps bringing in all their patients to collect money, it may be construed as taking advantage of them because there’s so little risk in bringing them to court.

MATT: All right. Well, I think we ended up actually answering that question despite you criticizing them completely.

NASIR: I actually didn’t.

MATT: No, we did.

NASIR: At what point should we sue though? I would say this, what I didn’t add is that I think, after the point where the invoice is late, you still have to maybe put forth a demand letter and so forth, especially like Matt said, if you’re a corporation, you only have a certain number of shots per year to do this so you want to make sure that the times you go to court is worth the while and that you don’t end up shooting yourself in the foot because you want to sue in a year.

MATT: And obviously not the ones that are a couple of days late. You don’t wait for them to become one-day delinquent and then file a small claims action the next day.

NASIR: Actually, these small claims forms are literally just forms that you download and fill in. I would just have those forms printed out and have the patience to fill them in with their address as they’re walking out just to really run it home that, if they don’t pay, then that’s the next step. That’s what I would do.

MATT: Yeah, there we go. There’s your advice to walk away with.

NASIR: All right, well… I was going to say welcome to the podcast. Thank you for listening to us.

MATT: Ah, keep it sound and keep it smart.

Protecting Brand Law Page


The Podcast Where Nasir Pasha and Matt Staub cover business in the news with their legal twist and answer business legal questions that you the listener can send it to info@legallysoundsmartbusiness.com.

Get Business Legal Updates

Please provide your full name.
Please provide a valid email address.
We respect your privacy, and we will never share your information. Unsubscribe at any time.
Legally Sound Smart Business cover art

Legally Sound Smart Business

A business podcast with a legal twist

Legally Sound Smart Business is a podcast by Pasha Law PC covering different topics in business advice and news with a legal twist with attorneys Nasir Pasha and Matt Staub.
Apple Podcast badge
Google Podcast badge
Spotify Podcast badge

Latest Episodes

November 21, 2023

In this episode, Nasir Pasha and Matt Staub explore the legal implications of Artificial Intelligence in the business world. They delve into the most talked-about issue of 2023: AI and its impact on the legal landscape. Although AI isn’t necessarily a new topic, it has many unanswered questions in the legal world. Nasir and Matt…

July 12, 2023

In this episode, Attorney Nasir Pasha and Attorney Matt Staub delve deep into the complexities of mass layoffs and offer valuable insights, real-life examples, and practical advice to employers grappling with the aftermath of such challenging situations. Nasir and Matt emphasize the critical importance of effective communication when executing mass layoffs. They stress the need…

January 9, 2023

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, businesses scrambled to adapt to the new reality it presented. In this blog post, we dive into the case of Goldman Sachs, a financial services giant, to examine their response to the crisis and the lessons other businesses can learn from their return-to-office strategy. From prioritizing employee…

October 28, 2022

Full Podcast Transcript NASIR: Finally, my two favorite worlds have collided – both the law and the chess – right here at Memorial Park in Houston, Texas. Windy day. We have some background noise – ambient noise. What are the two worlds that collided? Well, Hans Neimann has sued Magnus Carlsen for defamation in one…

September 26, 2022

Through a five-round championship bout, Matt travels to Texas from California to determine which state is better for business. Will it be a knockout with a clear winner or will it go to the scorecards?

July 7, 2022

Whether you are buying or selling a business, the transaction goes through the same steps. However, they are viewed from different perspectives. Sellers may not want to fully disclose all the blind spots while Buyers will want otherwise. Nasir and Matt battle it out in this Buyer vs. Seller to determine who has the advantage!…

May 12, 2022

When it comes to Restrictive Covenants, employers are fighting to keep their company safe while employees may use them to their advantage. Keep listening to find out if the Employer or the Employee wins this battle. Round 1: Trade Secrets A company’s trade secrets encompass a whole range of information and are one of the…

February 14, 2022

The Supreme Court rejected the nation’s vaccine mandate. Businesses with 100 or more employees are NOT required to have their employees vaccinated or go through weekly testings. However, this policy remains in effect for health care facilities. In this episode of Legally Sound | Smart Business, the team sat down to discuss their thoughts on this ruling.

December 1, 2021

In this episode of Legally Sound | Smart Business by Pasha Law PC, Nasir and Matt cover the Business of Healthcare. There is more to the healthcare industry than just doctors and nurses. Many Americans have health insurance to cover their yearly needs, but most Americans are not aware of what really goes on behind…

October 12, 2021

In our latest episode, Nasir and Matt are covering the legal issues on Social Media. The average person spends most of their day on social media, whether they are scrolling for hours or publishing their own content. However, just because you publish your own content on Instagram does not equate to you owning that image….

September 28, 2021

What is a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and when do I need one? In this episode, Nasir and Matt shares why you need to use Non-Disclosure Agreements, basic facts about NDA’s, and discuss about the infamous Jenner-Woods story. Having the right Non-Disclosure Agreement in place not only protects you and your business, but it also makes the…

June 16, 2021

Covered in this episode of Legally Sound Smart Business are some typical business mistakes blunders small businesses often make and how to avoid them. Blunder #1: Copying and pasting agreements It may sound like a good idea at the time, but this blunder comes with hidden pitfalls. Having an attorney draft terms that are specific…

February 4, 2021

How you terminate an employee can make the difference between a graceful transition to avoidable negative outcomes like a dramatic exit or even a lawsuit. We gathered a panel of experts and asked them – is there a “right way” to fire an employee? We would like to thank our guests for this episode: Amr…

December 2, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned nearly every aspect of life on its head, and that certainly holds true for the business world. In this episode, Matt and Nasir explain how the early days of the pandemic felt like the Wild West and how the shifting legal playing field left a lot open to interpretation and…

November 16, 2020

After plenty of ups and downs, our buyer has finally closed on the purchase of their business. While we’re marking this down in the ‘wins’ column, it never hurts to review the game tape. In this final episode, our hosts, Matt Staub and Nasir Pasha, return to the deal almost a year later to reflect…

September 15, 2020

The ink is drying on the signature line and things are looking great for our buyer. After so much hard work, the finish line is in sight and the cheering within ear shot.   Though the landlord is still serving friction, things seem safe to move forward and for now, our buyer will be keeping…

July 31, 2020

Though things are coming along well, the journey would not be interesting if it was purely smooth sailing. After our buyer opens escrow, they are forced to push the closing date back when suddenly a letter from an attorney was received claiming the business, we are buying has a trade mark on the name!  Now…

June 12, 2020

With frustration at an all-time high and professionalism at an all-time low, our friend the Buyer has “had it” with the Seller and quite frankly their lack of knowledge. At present our Buyer is rightfully concerned that the latest misstep from our loose-lipped Seller will threaten not only the entire operation of the businesses but…

May 11, 2020

As we go deeper into the buying process, we start to uncover more challenges from our seller and encounter some of the wrenches they are tossing our way. When we last left off in episode three our team was knee deep in due diligence for our buyer, had already penned and signed the Letter of…

April 4, 2020

One word–interloper! When a new mysterious broker enters the transaction and starts to kick up dust, Nasir and Matt take the reins. The seller signed off on the letter of intent (see episode 2), yet this “business broker” serves only friction and challenges by refusing to send financials, whilst demanding more of a firm commitment…

April 4, 2020

Just as most stories and deals start out, everyone is optimistic, idealistic and full of hope for clear skies. It’s a perfect outlook with a perfect setup for the ups and downs yet to come. Peek further behind the curtain and into the first steps of buying a business: the letter of intent. After the…

April 4, 2020

When a savvy buyer hears opportunity knocking to purchase a prime positioned business, she decides not to go it alone and taps in the professionals to help navigate what could potentially be a fruitful acquisition. “Behind the Buy” is a truly rare and exclusive peak into the actual process, dangers, pitfalls and achievements, that can…

August 7, 2019

GrubHub is subject to two “matters of controversy” that have likely become common knowledge to business owners: “fake” orders and unfriendly microsites.

May 28, 2019

In this podcast episode, Matt and Nasir breakdown the legal issues of the subscription industry’s business on the internet. Resources A good 50-state survey for data breach notifications as of July 2018. California Auto-Renewal Law (July 2018) Privacy Policies Law by State Why Users of Ashley Madison May Not Sue for Data Breach [e210] Ultimate…

March 12, 2019

In recording this episode’s topic on the business buying process, Matt’s metaphor, in comparing the process to getting married probably went too far, but they do resemble one another. Listen to the episode for legal advice on buying a business.

December 3, 2018

Nasir and Matt return to discuss the different options available to companies looking to raise funds through general solicitation and crowdfunding. They discuss the rules associated with the various offerings under SEC regulations and state laws, as well as more informal arrangements. The two also discuss the intriguing story about a couple who raised over…

July 24, 2018

Flight Sim Labs, a software add-on creator for flight simulators, stepped into a PR disaster and possibly some substantial legal issues when it allegedly included a Trojan horse of sorts as malware to combat pirating of its $100 Airbus A320 software. The hidden test.exe file triggered anti-virus software for good reason as it was actually…

April 17, 2018

Attorneys Matt Staub and Nasir Pasha examine Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional hearings about the state of Facebook. The two also discuss Cambridge Analytica and the series of events that led to the congressional hearings, the former and current versions of Facebook’s Terms of Service, and how businesses should be handling data privacy. Full Podcast Transcript NASIR:…

March 10, 2018

The Trump presidency has led to a major increase in ICE immigration enforcement. It’s critical for business owners to both comply with and know their rights when it comes to an ICE audit or raid. Nasir, Matt, and Pasha Law attorney Karen McConville discuss how businesses can prepare for potential ICE action and how to…

February 5, 2018

New years always bring new laws. Effective January 1, 2018, California has made general contractors jointly liable for the unpaid wages, fringe benefits, and other benefit payments of a subcontractor. Nasir and Matt discuss who the new law applies to and how this affects all tiers in the general contractor-subcontractor relationship. Click here to learn…

January 2, 2018

With a seemingly endless amount of new mattress options becoming available, it is unsurprising that the market has become increasingly aggressive. As companies invest in more innovative solutions to get in front of customers, review sites, blogs and YouTube videos have moved to the forefront of how customers are deciding on their mattresses and how…

December 7, 2017

In recent months explosive amounts of high profile allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and varying acts of inappropriate behavior have transcended every sector of our professional world. With a deluge from Hollywood and politics, and the private workforce, accusations have inundated our feeds and mass media. This harassment watershed has not only been felt within…

November 16, 2017

If you are not familiar with the EB-5 program started in 1990 to give green cards to certain qualified investors in the United States, then you may not have been alone a few years ago. Currently, the EB-5 program has since exploded since its inception and now hits its quotas consistently each year. The program…

October 10, 2017

Government requests come in multiple forms. They can come in as requests for client information or even in the form of investigating your company or your employees. Requests for Client Information General Rule to Follow Without understanding the nuances of criminal and constitutional law and having to cite Supreme Court cases, any government requests for…

August 24, 2017

Nasir and Matt suit up to talk about everything pertaining to employee dress codes. They discuss the Federal laws that govern many rules for employers, as well as state specific nuances in California and other states. The two also emphasize the difficulty in identifyingreligious expression in dress and appearance, how gender-related dress codes have evolved…

June 28, 2017

Nasir and Matt discuss the life cycle of a negative online review. They talk about how businesses should properly respond, how to determine if the review is defamatory, the options available to seek removal of the review, how to identify anonymous reviewers, whether businesses can require clients to agree not to write negative reviews, and…

June 7, 2017

On this episode of the Ultimate Legal Breakdown, Nasir and Mattbreak down social media marketing withguests Tyler Sickmeyer and Kyle Weberof Fidelitas Development. They first discuss contests and promotionsand talk about where social media promotions can go wrong,when businesses are actually running an illegal lottery, and the importance of a soundterms and conditions. Next, they…

April 3, 2017

On this episode of the Ultimate Legal Breakdown, Nasir and Matt go in depth with the subscription box business. They discuss where subscription box companies have gone wrong(4:30), the importance of a specifically tailored terms and conditions(6:30), how to structure return policies (11:45), product liability concerns (14:45),the offensive and defensive side of intellectual property (19:00),…

February 1, 2017

Nasir and Matt discuss the suit against Apple that resultedfrom a car crashed caused by the use of FaceTime while driving. They also discuss howforeseeable use of apps can increase liability for companies. Full Podcast Transcript NASIR: Hi and welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business! I’m Nasir Pasha. MATT: And I’m Matt Staub. Two attorneys…

January 5, 2017

The guys kick in the new year by first discussing Cinnabon’s portrayal of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia soon after her death, as well as other gaffes involving Prince and David Bowie. They alsotalk about right of publicity claims companies could be held liable for based on using someone’s name or likeness for commercial gain.

December 22, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the recent incidentat a Victoria’s Secret store where the store manager kicked out all black women after one black woman was caught shoplifting. They then each present dueling steps businesses should take when employees are accused of harassment.

December 8, 2016

Nasir and Matt return to talk about the different types of clients that may have outstanding invoices and how businesses can convert unpaid bills to getting paid.

November 10, 2016

After a long break, Nasir and Matt are back to discuss a Milwaukee frozen custard stand that is now revising it’s English only policy for employees. The guys also discuss how similar policies could be grounds for discrimination and what employers can do to revise their policies.

October 6, 2016

The guys discuss the new California law that allows actors to request the removal of their date of birth and birthdays on their IMDB page and why they think the law won’t last. They also discuss how age discrimination claims arise for business owner.

September 29, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the racial discrimination claims surroundingAirbnb and how it’s handled the situation. They also discuss some practical tips for businesses experiencing similar issues.

September 8, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss whyAmazon seller accounts are getting suspended and banned without notice and how business owners can rectify this situation through a Corrective Action Plan.

August 25, 2016

Nasir and Matt talk about the accusations surroundingfashion giant Zararipping off the designs of independent artists like Tuesday Bassen and howsmaller companies can battle the industry giants.

August 18, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss Brave Software’s ad replacing technology that has caught the eye of almost every national newspaper and has a potential copyright infringement claim looming. They also welcome digital marketing expert Matt Michaelree to speak on the specifics of what Brave is attempting to do and whether it has the answers moving forward.

July 28, 2016

Nasir and Matt discuss the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Gretchen Carlson against Fox CEO Roger Ailes. They also talk aboutthe importance of sexual harassment training and properly handling such allegations in the office.

July 15, 2016

Nasir and Matt talk about the changes at Starbucks that have led to many disgruntled employees and customers.

We represent businesses.
That’s all we do.

Oh, and we love it.

We love our work. We love reviewing that lease for your new location. We thrive on closing that acquisition that nearly fell through. We’re fulfilled when we structure a business to grow, raise capital, and be legally protected.

We focus on developing close relationships with our clients by being like business partners. A partner who provides essential, personalized, proactive legal support.

We do all of this without utilizing the traditional billable hour model. You pay for the value we bring, not the time spent on calls, emails, and meetings.

Our team is made up of attorneys and staff that share these values and we are retained by clients who want the same.

Pasha Law PC operates in the states of California, Illinois, New York, and Texas.

Meet Our Team

Fractional General Counsel Services

Pasha Law Select offers the expertise of a high-end general counsel legal team for every aspect of your business at a fixed monthly rate. Pasha Law Select is deliberately designed to allow our legal team to be proactive, to anticipate, and to be comprehensive in serving our clients. To be great lawyers, we need to know our clients. We can’t know our clients unless we represent a select number of clients in the long-term. This is Pasha Law Select.

Learn More