Author Archives: Joseph M. Hanna

Warner Bros. Wins Final Fight for Superman

On November 21, 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that Warner Brothers is the sole owner of Superman’s copyright.  The ruling should be the final legal battle in the lengthy ownership dispute with the estates of Superman’s co-creators.  The court described the case as “another chapter in the long-running saga regarding the ownership of copyrights in Superman – a story almost as old as the Man of Steel himself.” Superman made his debut in 1938 as a character in Action Comics #1.  The…

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The Atlanta Braves Are One Step Closer to a New Field

The Atlanta Braves are “thrilled” that the Cobb County Commission voted in favor of a public financing deal that will move the team out of downtown Atlanta for the first time since 1966. On November 26, 2013, by a 4-1 vote, the commissioners approved spending $300 million in tax revenues to fund part of a new $672 million Braves stadium.  The new field will open in 2017 and will be located in an Atlanta suburb.  The plan calls for the reallocation of current Cobb County…

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Is it the NHL’s Turn to Take a Hit on Concussions?

On November 25, the National Hockey League was sued by 10 former players in a class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.  Plaintiffs – which include NHL alumni such as Gary Leeman, Curt Bennett and Richie Dunn – assert that the NHL hasn’t done enough to protect players from the dangers posed by concussions. Similar to the several thousand plaintiffs who recently settled the concussion litigation against the NFL (for $765 million), these former NHL alums assert that “The NHL’s…

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The Ugly Truth of Public Financing

Despite research showing stadiums are a poor use of tax dollars, professional sports complexes are continually financed by cities, counties, and states. In the most recent example, Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves announced the team will move to a neighboring county after being promised $300 million in public funds for a new stadium, but some politicians plan to oppose the deal. For years, economists have been telling a different story than team owners want taxpayers to believe. Owners argue that a new stadium will…

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Lance Armstrong Settles and Avoids Questioning Under Oath

Just one day before Lance Armstrong was to be questioned under oath about his doping practices, he settled a lawsuit brought earlier this year and avoided his deposition. In February 2013, Acceptance Insurance Company sued Armstrong after he admitted to doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.  The company, like many others, wants the money it paid to Armstrong back.  In Acceptance’s case, the company sought the return of $3 million in bonuses it paid for wins from 1999 to 2001. On November 20, Armstrong…

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Free Beer + 2,500 Fans = Liability Concerns for Louisville University

Picture this: 2,500 fans rushing into a college basketball game bearing free beer vouchers. What could possibly go wrong? If you ask Louisville Cardinals’ Women’s Basketball head coach Jeff Walz, nothing at all. After all, Walz’s idea for boosting attendance at the WNIT semifinals game against LSU — provide free beer for fans, and they will come — worked, bringing more than 8,000 attendees to witness an 88-67 victory. To pull it off, the coach emptied his wallet and dropped $5,000 to buy the…

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The Anti-Trust Suit Isn’t Over Yet for the NCAA

U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken moved the Ed O’Bannon anti-trust lawsuit forward against the NCAA. On November 8, 2013, Judge Wilken certified a class of former and current college athletes suing the NCAA. The suit began in 2009, when former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon sued the NCAA for wrongfully profiting off the names and likeness of former student athletes in EA Sports video games. The judge ruled that players can seek a verdict forcing the NCAA and its member-schools to end restrictions on…

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Was Vijay Singh “Singhled” Out?

Late last month, we reported that the PGA Tour asked the court to dismiss Vijay Singh’s public humiliation claims.  While the judge has yet to make a decision on that motion, recently released court transcripts from the oral arguments show that Singh thinks he was discriminated against. Singh’s attorney claimed that Singh was singled out in his punishment.  He said the tour treated Singh differently than others for some reason.  It could be “because Mr. Singh isn’t from the United States or Mr. Singh didn’t…

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NFL Just Can’t Outrun the Concussion Lawsuits

No matter how hard the NFL tries to get away from the concussion lawsuits, they won’t go away. Most recently, former Chicago Bears quarterback Bobby Douglass, and former Northwestern player, John Cornell, are suing the NFL and helmet manufacture Riddell. On November 4, 2013, the two former players filed suit alleging concussion-related injuries resulting from their time on the field. Douglass, 66, was quarterback for the Chicago Bears from 1969 to 1975. He later went on to play for the San Diego Chargers, New Orleans…

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Professional Athletes Fighting “Jock Taxes”

Professional athletes in two states are fighting “jock taxes.”  Arguing that the taxes are “unfair and unconstitutional,” players are telling Tennessee and Ohio they want their money back. A “jock tax” raises state or city tax revenues by taxing athletes who play in those locations.  These taxes are imposed on professional athletes in a number of places such as the state of Tennessee and the cities of Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, and Philadelphia.  The general idea is that athletes are charged a…

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