How To Get a Free Consultation with Ruth Carter

Photo by Don McPhee

Photo by Don McPhee

I’m excited to share that I’ve teamed up with Gangplank in Chandler to offer free legal mentoring services on the first Monday of the month from 1pm until 4pm. I can see 3 people for 45-minutes each every month at no charge.

Hello Beautiful by Gangplank HQ from Flickr

Hello Beautiful by Gangplank HQ from Flickr

My legal mentoring hours are a great opportunity to informally bat around your ideas and questions about your projects and business. Coming to my mentoring hours does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. We won’t have any ongoing obligations to each other unless we decide to create a formal working relationship.

Gangplank provides free collaborative workspaces in Arizona, Virginia, and Canada. They provide the physical and social infrastructure for creative people to launch their startups. These are wonderful places for freelancers and new business owners to work. In Arizona, Gangplank has locations on Chandler, Avondale, and Tucson.

I love working with Gangplank. They have a fantastic group of dynamic people who have an enormous amount of creativity and drive. They have a very informal environment and they do incredible work. It fits brilliantly with my desire to be the approachable lawyer who wears t-shirts.

Skulls & Stripes by Gangplank HQ from Flickr

Skulls & Stripes by Gangplank HQ from Flickr

Gangplank in Chandler is located at 260 South Arizona Avenue. Their events calendar shows their mentors’ availability and also all their other events like their weekly brown bag presentations, hacknights, and workshops. They have a wealth of other mentors too who provide assistance in the areas of business, leadership, marketing, design, finance, and technology.

Gangplank is in charge of scheduling the mentoring hours so please check their event calendar for my availability. You can book a mentoring appointment with me by emailing them at

Please note: my mentoring hours at Gangplank are not for my ongoing clients with whom I’ve created an attorney-client relationship. These appointments are for people who think they might need a lawyer, people who just want some general legal information, law students, anyone else who wants to chat for an hour.

You can connect with me via TwitterGoogle+FacebookYouTube, and LinkedIn, or you can email me.
Please visit my homepage for more information about Carter Law Firm.

Ruth Carter’s Speaking Schedule – May 2012

Ignite Phoenix #5 by Sheila Dee

Ignite Phoenix #5 by Sheila Dee

May is going to be an exciting month for me because I have four speaking engagements in Phoenix! I’m really excited to get out and talk about intellectual property and social media law. I like to keep my talks casual, interactive, and provide useful information to the audience.  I hope you’ll come out and have fun with me. Here’s where you can find me . . .

Trademark Basics
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 – 6pm
Midweek Mind Tweak – Co+Hoots
This is an interactive discussion about what a trademark is, the strength of attendees’ trademarks, and the benefit of registering your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Why You Need a Social Media Policy
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 – 5pm
Midweek Mind Tweak – Co+Hoots
Every company needs a social media policy for their employees, but if you create one that is too broad, you might have to pay over $10,000 for violating the National Labor Relations Act. It’s a problem that is easy to fix, if you know what the law is.

The Legalities of Blogging
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 – 12pm
GP Brownbag – Gangplank Chandler
A spoke a few weeks ago at Gangplank Academy about the legal side of blogging, and they asked me back to present a condensed version as a brownbag discussion. I’ll be presenting the 8 questions you should ask yourself before you publish a blog post.

Adapting Licensed Properties to Comics
Thursday, May 24, 2012 – 7pm
Phoenix Comicon – Phoenix Convention Center
I’m so excited to speak at Phoenix Comicon. The thought fills my little geek heart with joy. I’m going to be talking with sci-fi and comic book fans about copyright issues related to creating fan fiction, fan art, and slash fiction. It’s going to be so much fun!

I hope I get to see you at one or all of my talks!

8 Questions to Ask Before Posting a Blog

No I'm Blogging This by Andre Charland

No I'm Blogging This by Andre Charland

I taught a class this week at Gangplank, an awesome collaborative co-working space in Chandler, on some of the legalities of blogging. It was part of Gangplank Academy. As I was going through my notes in preparation of this class, it occurred to me that there are some critical questions every blogger should ask themselves before publishing a new blog post.

1. Is all the information in your blog verifiable?

2. Is every statement that isn’t verifiable indisputable?
Statements like “My knee hurts like it’s going to rain tomorrow” and “My favorite color is blue” may not be verifiable, but there’s no one who can say those statements aren’t true.

3. Do you accuse anyone of committing a crime?
It’s one thing to say, “My neighbor gives me the creeps,” but you might get sued if you say, “In my opinion, my neighbor’s a pedophile.”

4. Are you sharing any information that you learned in confidence?
When you break up with your partner, don’t write a blog post sharing all the personal information you learned during the relationship like their weird fetishes and habits.

5. Are any of your statements misrepresentations or half-truths?

6. Do any of your statements insinuate anything that isn’t true?
If you write a blog about how you don’t like seeing drug users in the park and you include a photo of a person lying in the grass with their eyes closed, they may be unhappy and sue you if they’re not a drug user but were only taking a nap.

7. Is all your information public? Are you writing about a topic where your subject might have an expectation of privacy?
Your neighbor has no expectation of privacy in how he looks naked if you saw him at a public nude beach. He does if you had to creep up to his house and peer through the cracks in his closed blinds to see him.

8. Is all your information from reputable sources?
If you copy or repeat someone’s defamatory statement, even if you didn’t know it was false, you might get sued for defamation.

I love bloggers who push the envelope and sometimes it’s hard to know when you’re crossing the line. When in doubt, consult a lawyer who is a media expert and always follow my rule: “Never put anything online that you wouldn’t put on the front page of the newspaper.”