How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask William B. Esq. Your Own Question

William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4074
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
William B. Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

For 10+ years Ive owned (as a collectible) letter+medical

Customer Question

For 10+ years I've owned (as a collectible) letter+medical records+pics taken on admission & release, of legendary entertainers' estate lawyers who claim I'm violating (HIPPA not factor) privacy law etal in Calif if I sell pic rights to The Enquirer for Millions. What are Calif laws and am I open to that claim and/or others? Pics "owned" originally by hospital where took. They discarded 10 years ago and these documents have been available to the public (full knowledge of estate lawyers mentioned and who never legally challenged or reported to law enforcement claiming "stolen property" etc.) for ten years but no buyers....until me now. How best to prove I own rights that The Enquirer wants to buy from me IF they are convinced I can rightfully sell rights to them to use pics in-print and without legal jeopardy for them.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 1 year ago.

William B. Esq. :

Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. My name is Bill and I would like to assist you today.

William B. Esq. :

Assuming that HIPPA and other medical confidentiality laws are not at issue, the one legal claim that you may be facing is the tort of "right of publicity" where an individual (or his estate) has a right to financially benefit on their own work, and the use or reproduction of materials made without their permission but "trading on" their name or success is improper. This tort usually involves things such as making t-shirts with a famous person's photo, or using a famous person's signature saying for personal profit. This is a relatively new tort and some of the elements are still being developed, but that is the biggest issue I see to prevent publication as you have stated it.

William B. Esq. :

I hope the above is helpful, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to let me know and I will follow up quickly.

Thank you for using our service, please do not forget to rate my answer when you are satisfied. I am going to transfer our conversation to the "Q&A" format to ensure you can review the entire response and that I can follow up to any questions you may have quickly. I do wish you the best of luck in this matter.

William B. Esq. :

(As far as proving ownership - you will need to establish a "chain of title" showing that the documents were the property of the hospital (and not the patient), that they were intentionally discarded by the hospital, and that you are a "bona fide purchaser" meaning you gave something of value for the photos - here is a link that may be helpful to you in starting to track the chain of title with regard to ownership of medical records:

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you help further with this same issue? If I want to make as much profit as legally possible, wht suggestions do you have? That's the BIG question. Here are small portions of that. These med records are of a super-well-known celebrity who died over ten years ago. These records are from the 80's and were found in a park near the hospital where they originated and then sold on the Collectors market in full public view. Got bad pr but no claims of theft or anything illegal back then. Estate lawyers knew all of that too. They now rattling my cage. I'm thinking People Mag and National Enquirer paid six million plus for pics not nearly as newsworthy or interesting as these. But, how do I prove I have legal rights to license the sale or use of pics when, per HIPPA, originally these owned by the hospital who discarded and someone took from trash then found in park, then sold in th world of Collectibles? I have a written, notarized, statement of all facts here and that I'm new owner. Help!
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Dear Customer,

What you are looking for is a specific legal opinion. You need to speak with an attorney in person (I cannot give you a legal opinion through this website as it is the practice of law, we are restricted to providing "general legal information").

I simply do not have sufficient information to assist you further with this matter.

I will opt out, and perhaps another expert on this forum can assist you.
Expert:  Michelle-Mod replied 1 year ago.

I’m Michelle, and I’m moderator for this topic. It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

I was checking to see if you had already found your answer or if you still needing assistance from another one of the professionals?

Please let me know if you wish to continue waiting or if you would like for us to close your question.

Also remember that JustAnswer has a multitude of categories to help you with all your needs from Health, Pets, Computers, Taxes, Cars, Finance, Law, to Home Improvement, and more.

Thank you,


JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan

Meet The Experts:

  • Tina


    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • FiveStarLaw's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • JPEsq's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.

Related Legal Questions

Chat Now With A Lawyer
William B. Esq.
William B. Esq.
1941 Satisfied Customers
Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.