Siblings Use Publicity Rights To Try To Block Sister From Blogging About Mom–In re Reynolds

9 12 2014

For lawyers, family feuds are gold. There’s nothing quite as vituperative as family members squabbling in court. For the lawyers, familial acrimony translates into irrational overspending on legal fees. Ca-ching!


Today’s family feud involves a mom, Lois Reynolds, and her three kids, sisters Sylvia and Robin and brother Doug. Mom died in January 2011. A few months before mom’s death, sister Robin wrote about end-of-life issues and published the article in a (now-defunct?) online publication Phoenix Woman. I thought the article provided fairly straightforward observations about caregiving to the elderly, but siblings Sylvia and Doug were “shocked, hurt and deeply angry” about the article. Sylvia had a lawyer send Robin a demand that Robin:

refrain from making any ‘[p]ublication actually or reasonably perceived to be about or relating to Lois (including without limitation Lois’s name, likeness and description…).’

(Please re-read that demand again. Say what???). Undeterred, on Mother’s Day 2011, Robin “posted a blog tribute to Lois that included a photograph of herself with her mother.” In response, the estate listed, as one of its assets, a legal claim against Robin for violations of mom’s publicity rights, which Robin challenged in the estate proceedings.

Arizona doesn’t have a generally-applicable publicity rights statute, but it apparently recognizes a common law publicity right.


Case citation: In the Matter of the Estate of Lois Catherine Reynolds, 2014 WL 1633034 (Ariz. Ct. App. April 24, 2014)

The content in this post was found at and was not authored by the moderators of Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment