Posts by Aaron Gafni

Aaron Gafni represents clients in a wide variety of general corporate and transactional matters, ranging from entity formation and initial capitalization to private equity financing and mergers and acquisitions. He advises entrepreneurs, start-ups and middle market companies across a broad range of business sectors, including internet, entertainment, consumer goods and clean tech. Aaron also advises clients regarding bankruptcy related matters, including the minimization of financial risk pre-bankruptcy, the prosecution of claims in bankruptcy, and the defense of preference actions or other adversary proceedings. In addition, he has represented a number of private foundations in the formation, structuring and qualification of non-profit 501(c)(3) corporations.



Before You Offer to Allow Someone to Shoot a Movie in Your Home, Read This Post

For those readers who have ever wondered how we at Law Law Land come up with blog topics, know that it is a very sophisticated process. Case in point:

Associate 1 agrees to wear a pig beanie recently worn by actor Jared Leto if Associate 2 takes him out to breakfast.

Associates 1 and 2 cannot find the actual pig beanie worn by said actor.

Associate 2 finds the following alternatives: closecloser, and way off but it flies.

Naturally, Associate 2 believes that Associate 1 should wear the flying pig hat (how could he not). Associate 1 protests. Associate 2 emails other associates for support. One of those associates notices that one of the “Customers Also Viewed” suggestions on Amazon is afood truck-themed pornographic film named “The Flying Pink Pig.” Another associate points out that, according to TMZ, the owners of the Flying Pig food truck had recently sent a cease and desist letter to the film’s producers, claiming that they were led to believe that the food truck would be used as a backdrop for a normal film (rather than a prop for a Ron Jeremy sex romp). Alas, a blog post is born.

This situation has implications that touch far beyond the comparatively limited food truck community (though these days, there may be more food trucks than people in Los Angeles). Any property owner who decides to rent out a property for a film shoot should take note — especially if it happens to be in the San Pornando Valley. What happens if you rent your home/business/food truck for a film, and the film turns out to be something a little more unseemly than you expected? Continue reading the full story . . . »



Is (Allegedly) Locking a 21-Year-Old in a Closet a Fireable Offense?

College football fans know that when you turn on a Texas Tech game, you can expect to see some fireworks. Under former head coach Mike Leach, the Red Raiders became an offensive juggernaut — nobody would bat an eye at a 60-point outburst or 400-plus passing yards in any given week (nor at the Red Raiders allowing 63 points and 600 yards of total offense). As it turns out, Saturdays under Coach Leach may have been a bit more fun for Tech players than midweek practice. Leach was fired last December amid allegations that he forced a player who was recovering from a concussion stand for hours in a dark, locked closet.

So now you are probably thinking to yourself, is locking a player in a dark closet really that bad? Maybe that’s how you discipline your 9-year-old. Maybe that’s how a law firm partner punishes an unruly associate. Former Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight would have probably locked the kid in his trunk and driven him home (taking the scenic route). Coach Leach apparently felt the same way, as he filed a lawsuit against Tech soon after he was fired. Continue reading the full story . . . »



At Least You Don’t Have to Sign Away Your First-Born Child to Be a Reality Show Contestant…Yet

When I was growing up, about half of my friends — most of whom had no appreciable talent for creative writing — at one point or another wanted to be screenwriters. Well, “wanting to be screenwriters” might be overstating it. I should say that, at one point in high school, each of these people was four hours into a night of hard partying when they had what seemed like the greatest movie idea ever. Unfortunately for my friends, screenwriting actually takes some talent, and these half-baked notions typically resulted in two and a half pages of drivel, long since abandoned in the darkest corners of the hard drive of an HP Pavilion computer from 1999, currently collecting dust in their parents’ garage.

Enter reality television. Suddenly, creating a TV show only takes the 2 a.m. epiphany — no actual writing (or talent or dignity) is necessary. And sure enough, a childhood friend recently called me for advice about a reality show he is pitching. So what happens if the show gains traction and I find myself representing the producer of a successful reality program? A form contestant agreement for the CBS show Survivor (which was recently published by RealityBlurred.com) offers an interesting glimpse into the legal side of reality television. Yes, I said it — a 32 page agreement is actually an interesting read. Continue reading the full story . . . »



My Brush with Lawlessness: Jailbreaking iPhones and the DMCA

I thought I was breaking the law. Okay, it was breaking the law in the dorkiest way possible, but still, breaking the law is always kind of cool (wait, I’m a lawyer — am I allowed to say that?). After hours of research, I put my brand new first generation iPhone into the hands of some rogue programming genius with a vitamin D deficiency. The plan was to jailbreak and unlock my iPhone. In simple terms, jailbreaking allows you to modify the iPhone operating system in ways that Apple doesn’t allow. At the time, the App Store was just a gleam in Steve Jobs’ eye; jailbreaking would enable me to download games and other apps iPhone owners now take for granted. But I was more interested in unlocking the iPhone, which would allow me to run the phone on T-Mobile instead of AT&T (and avoid AT&T’s ungodly rates). Somehow I wasn’t deterred by the dozens of horror stories online about failed jailbreaking attempts, stories about “bricked” iPhones that never worked again. I certainly wasn’t going to drop another $400 on a new iPhone, so I knew I only had one shot at breaking out of jail. I downloaded the program and, like magic, I was playing Super Mario Bros. 3 in a matter of minutes — never a doubt. Continue reading the full story . . . »



Second Circuit Draws Law Law Land This Much Closer to Cursing Up a Storm

The late George Carlin gave us many words to live by. Parents should never name their child Tucker. Redundancies like “true replica,” “young children” and “added bonus” should never be used. Anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac.

Carlin also famously declared that of the roughly 400,000 words in the English language, there are seven words you can never say on television (nor can you write them on the Law Law Land blog). This “Filthy Words” monologue was the basis for a landmark 1978 Supreme Court case, FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, where the high court held in a narrow decision that the FCC had the authority to fine a radio station for playing a 12-minute recording of the monologue. Continue reading the full story . . . »