All posts by mcplegal

Disinheriting a Spouse in Virginia

Can a decedent disinherit a surviving spouse in Virginia? The issue can arise where one spouse drafts an estate plan, using a will and/or trust, to leave all of their assets to a child or extended family member; thus, disinheriting their spouse in Virginia. This leads to whether or not an individual can legally disinherit […]

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Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

What is the reason for an Estate Plan and why do McClanahan Powers Attorneys take this endeavor so seriously? A common expression among estate planning attorneys is failing to plan is planning to fail.  An Estate Plan helps ensure that every single thing that you have ever earned or collected in your entire life is […]

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Can You Enforce A Contract With Errors?

Can you enforce a contract with errors? Clients routinely ask our attorneys if a poorly crafted document is enforceable, whether because of mistakes, errors, typos, or language that does not make any sense. The most straightforward answer here is, “maybe.” However, “maybe” is not much assistance to anyone in this type of situation. Whether or […]

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Copyright and Trademark Differences in the United States

Too often, a journalist for a well-known publication will publish an article that confuses copyright protection with trademark protection or copyright infringement with trademark infringement. Unfortunately, this misnomer and incorrect application of law frequently confuses the general public and inaccurately communicates an otherwise newsworthy story. Copyright laws generally protect the work of an author in […]

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The Importance of an Adequate Copyright Notice to Defeat Them

In a previous blog entry, we discussed the importance for photographers (and other artists) to digitally watermark their photographs. By digitally watermarking their work, photographers could seek additional damages in some situations in a copyright infringement lawsuit for the removal or alteration of such watermark under section 1203 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). However, this […]

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Virginia Contract Interpretation: Contract Defined Terms

Whether lengthy and extremely sophisticated or short and straightforward, contracts are simply the expression of two or more parties. In many cases, a skilled contract drafter can make even the most complex provisions of a contract understandable.  However, some contracts can seem daunting and complex to parties that are not exposed to them regularly.  In […]

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Sales of Goods vs. Services under Virginia Contract Law

Importance of Reducing a Service Contract to Writing As in many jurisdictions throughout the country, Virginia’s goods and services are treated differently and are recognized under completely separate legal frameworks. Although implementation is not mandatory, the Uniform Commercial Code (the “UCC”) is a recommendation of laws that all jurisdictions should adopt in the United States […]

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Protecting and Enforcing Personal Loan Agreements

A loan agreement, or “note,” is a standard and straightforward contract that typically identifies the lender or creditor, a borrower or debtor, the principal amount being lent, an interest rate, the repayment terms, and in some cases, a trustee, which is often dependent on if the loan agreement has a particular type of collateralization. A […]

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Be Wary of a Copyright Assignment or an Exclusive Copyright License

It’s an important day when an artist signs his first artist agreement, an author executes her first publishing contract, or a band strikes their first record deal. However, it’s even more critical that the creative parties signing these agreements understand what rights they may be giving away. Too often, creative parties realize after it’s too […]

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