A: If you can prove the co broker published the information to multiple parties and that you suffered commercial damage to your reputation as a result, you may have a defamation case. The challenge is usually proving that any loss of business resulted from the broker spreading false information, and that the losses are substantial enough to justify bringing a case in court. Alternatively this situation might support bringing a claim for tortious interference with contract against the co broker if you can demonstrate that she has torpedoed any deals for you. You’d be best served by having a qualified litigation attorney evaluate your potential claims.
A: Trademark rights are created by use in commerce, not registration. Registration merely provides much stronger remedies for enforcement. You to need to clear your proposed mark through a common law search and a Lanham Act trademark-ability legal analysis unless you want to open yourself up to a lawsuit seeking up to triple damages for infringement.
A: The right strategy depends on the college’s bylaws and disciplinary rules, or if in court, the rules of court and the laws cited in the charging documents. Most likely there should be a lot of emphasis on mitigating factors including your friend’s previous record, academic standing, and any excusable circumstances. The evidence of the charge should also be analyzed and challenged, as well as whether the charge itself is appropriate to the facts alleged. Your friend should consult an attorney to evaluate the situation and develop an effective approach.