Save the Date
Time & Place TBD
October 20-26, 2013
25th Anniversary Justice For All Ball
Blessey Marine Services, Inc.
September 20, 2013
8:00 pm to Midnight
Audubon Tea Room
George Porter, Jr. & Runnin' Pardners
Dave Hansen's Garden District Trio
For Sponsorship Information, please contact Rachel Piercey or at 504.581.4043.
Take A Case
What's on your plate this month? We have something for every interest on this month's CASE LIST.
We have several bankruptcy cases and two consumer ones. Please note that one BR is just a matter of advice.
There are also two new two construction cases, one involving foundation repairs, the other a contractor who left the job.
Three clients also need help with wage claims; note that one client was issued an NSF check which could make the case easier.
In the family law arena, there are two clients who need consent custody agreements blessed by the courts; both clients speak Spanish, so these would be great cases for a bilingual attorney.
We also have a simple name change, a tutorship, and four people needing help with interdictions of disabled family members. The interdictions would make an excellent project for a summer clerk.
We have also been requested to help a non-profit get 501 status, and have a case for an individual who wants protection for a set of anti-gang materials.
Take a look at our JUNE CASE LIST - there's something for everyone. Thanks for your help.
Open Some Doors -
Support The Project Now!
Celebrate pro bono and please help us open the door for our clients and volunteers. Support The Project by clicking on the Louisiana Giving logo above.
Partner for Pro Bono
by checking the
"make this a recurring donation" box on The Project's donation page when you click the above link. Make your Annual Donation over 12 months.
Help us plan for the future by contacting
Rachel PIercey at 504.581.4043 about the Pro Bono for Life Planned Giving program.
As June nears its end, The Project is gearing up for the busy summer and the year ahead. On July 1st, we welcome new Board Chair, Jan Hayden of Baker Donelson, our current 1st Vice-Chair. Jan will serve as Chair through December 2014.
Our thanks to Katie Lasky of Jones, Swanson, Huddell & Garrison who has served as Board Chair for the past 18 months. She will remain on the Board, and as a member of the Executive Committee.
Even though there is a changing of the guard at the top, the work of The Project continues full speed ahead. As usual, law students are interning with us over the summer; the Ball Committee is putting the finishing touches on the fun to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Justice For All Ball, and the civil legal needs of our community continue to grow.
As hard as we all work to make access to the civil legal process available for all, the more elusive it seems to be. Nationwide legal surveys continue to report that approximately 80 percent (80%) of the civil legal needs of those meeting low income guidelines go unserved and that number continues to grow.
It is only through the commitment of time, talent and money that enables The Project and its volunteers to make headway in our community. If you haven't already made your individual pledge for 2013, we invite you to do so now through Louisiana Gives (Just Give) or by calling the office at 504.581.4043.
You can designate how you want your funds to be used - whether towards a specific program, in honor or memory of someone or some event, or as part of our general operating efforts. Our thanks in advance for your generous support and continued commitment to our work - we couldn't do it without you.
We have lots for you to read about this month, and after the July 4th holiday, we'll be sending you periodic previews of JFAB Auction & Raffle items to get you ready to 'rock on the river' in September.
Happy Summer, everyone!
All the best,
PS -- Spread the word about The Pro Bono Project by using the new social media buttons and connect this newsletter to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media page. Thanks!
The Dr. Is Out ...
Clients come with many different civil legal issues, but it's rare that one of The Project's clients ends up in a legal challenge against a celebrity entrepreneur. Such was the case when New Orleans based DiamondDRE faced off against DR. DRE in a trademark dispute case.
In November 2011, Andre Young aka DR. DRE, creator of Aftermath Records and the highly popular Beats by DRE head phones, along with his attorney Robert A. Becker threatened legal action to cancel Drew H. Reyes's service mark and entertainment moniker, "DiamondDRE".
Drew Reyes or "DiamondDRE", is a local rap and hip-hop artist hailing from the West Bank. It was DR. DRE and Backer's argument that the name, "DiamondDRE" may cause confusion with "DR. DRE", in reference to his identity and business practices within the music and entertainment industry.
Trademark law, which is derived from the Lanham Act of 1946, focuses on the avoidance of consumer confusion and fair purchasing practices for the consuming public. An eight factor test, adopted by many courts, helps determine if a trademark may cause confusion among consumers. The eight factors include:
- similarity between the marks;
- similarity of the goods provided/market;
- the strength of the plaintiff's mark;
- actual confusion;
- proximity of the two marks;
- the good faith of the defendant;
- the degree of care exercised by the consumer; and
- the likelihood of expansion by the plaintiff into a similar market.
Cease & Desist
In an effort to protect his registered trademark, DR. DRE requested a cease and desist by DiamondDRE to cancel or change the presentation of his mark. DiamondDRE refused.
In March 2012, DR. DRE filed a petition with the United States Trademark and Patent Office to bring a case to trial. In June 2012, The Project asked volunteer trademark/patent lawyer Mark Andrews, to represent DiamondDRE. Based on the factors listed above, Mark found that there would be no likelihood of confusion arising from the two marks. Because of Mark's direction, expertise and legal tenacity, DR. DRE withdrew his legal petition against DiamondDRE in October 2012.
Tribute on You Tube
As a tribute to Mark's efforts on his behalf, DiamondDRE went on to produce MARK ANDREWS a song featuring Chase Dat Truth, where he expresses his gratitude to his attorney for winning the case, but pokes fun at his victory against DR. DRE.
Within his music video, DiamondDRE depicts Mark Andrews as a sparring warrior wearing boxing gloves "beating" DR. DRE. He also includes other caricatures of DR. DRE running from Andrews. DiamondDRE closes out his song with the parodist question, "What are you going to do when Mark Andrews comes for you?"
We can't always promise that you'll get your own music video when you take a case from The Project, but we can guarantee that whatever case you work on will be a rewarding effort. Now that's a knockout punch for everyone! TAKE A CASE
Shop 'til You Drop & Give to The Project!
Earn money for The Pro Bono Project every time you do the things you do everyday:
The Pro Bono Project's mission is to provide free, quality civil legal services to the underserved by engaging volunteer lawyers to render pro bono services. The Project serves Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany and Washington Parishes with funding from the Justice For All Ball and other sources. The Project works in collaboration with other legal and social service providers to improve the quality of life for our clients and our community.