Naming Rights…and Wrongs

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Credit: Christoph Niemann

Certain lawyers might say that it depends on what the definition of “at” is.

Technically, the National College for DUI Defense was held “at” Harvard Law School. The college, a professional, nonprofit corporation dedicated to the dissemination of information on drunk driving litigation, has rented space at the Law School to conduct seminars. But when Texas attorney Joseph LaBella advertised his credentials as one of the founding members of “the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard Law School,” he found out what “at” meant: Trouble.

An attorney representing Harvard University, which assiduously hunts down violations of its trademark, informed LaBella that renting space does not constitute the relationship that the ad implied, and instructed him to drop the Harvard Law School reference. The offending advertisement does contain at least one bit of information that the University did not dispute, however. It reads, “[M]any people don’t like lawyers.” Well, maybe just the lawyers who don’t know where they’re at.