Author Archives: Joseph M. Hanna

California Appellate Court Friendly Venue for Suit Against Kudrow

The Second District Court of Appeal in California has revived a suit against “Friends” star Lisa Kudrow by her ex-manager, Scott Howard, stating that Howard’s expert witness testimony was improperly rejected by the lower courts. Howard brought suit against Kudrow in 2008, alleging that the actress had violated the terms of an oral contract when she declined to pay him a percentage of her earnings. Howard represented Kudrow from 1991 until his termination in 2007 and played a part in getting her the lucrative role…

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Weinsteins’ Suit Against ‘Scream’ Writer Williamson is about the Contract, not the Copyrights

On August 23, 2012, California Superior Court Judge Mary Ann Murphy refused to dismiss a suit brought by The Weintstein Co., LLC against ‘Scream’ writer Kevin Williamson.  In essence, the ruling resolved a dispute over whether the action was preempted by the Copyright Act, or was, in fact, a simple contract dispute.  Judge Murphy held that the case could proceed as it is based in contract and The Weinstein Co.had not alleged any copyright infringement or any other acts forbidden by federal law. In its…

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Armstrong Abandons Fight Against Doping Allegations, Cedes Titles

Late on August 23, renowned cyclist Lance Armstrong announced that he would no longer be continuing his fight against charges brought by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which included allegations that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs and underwent illegal blood transfusions throughout the course of his career.  As a result of declining to challenge these accusations in arbitration, Armstrong will be stripped of his numerous Tour de France titles, and will be banned most elite-level sporting competitions. Armstrong’s concession comes despite his numerous protests against the…

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Texas Woman puts the Cowboys on the Hot Seat in Suit over Bench Burns

Jennelle Carrillo of Cleburne,Texas has filed a lawsuit against the Dallas Cowboys and team owner Jerry Jones after allegedly suffering third-degree burns from sitting on a black marble bench outside Cowboys Stadium while waiting to watch a scrimmage.  The complaint, filed in Tarrant County,Texas, states that Carrillo required hospitalization and skin grafts on her buttocks after spending an unspecified amount of time on the bench in the Texas heat.  Meteorologist Steve Fano of the National Weather Service in Forth Worth noted that the temperature on…

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Update: Lance Armstrong Suit Against Anti-Doping Agency Tossed a Second Time

On August 20, 2012, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of the Western District of Texas threw out a suit brought by renowned cyclist Lance Armstrong against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (“USADA”), who claims that the USADA’s arbitration procedures would deny him due process of law.  The allegations brought by the USADA against Armstrong include accusations of performance enhancing drug use in violation of anti-doping rules, charges which could strip him of his seven Tour-de-France titles.  A nearly identical suit brought by Armstrong was dismissed without…

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Ninth Circuit Refuses to Rescue “Die Hard” Director

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the request of John McTiernan, director of “Die Hard” and “Predator”  to reverse his guilty plea of making false statements to the FBI. In 2010, McTiernan pled guilty to lying to federal investigators about an illegal wiretapping operation carried out by private investigator Anthony Pellicano. Federal investigators questioned McTiernan in 2006 to ask whether he had any knowledge of Pellicano’s wiretapping. The director denied knowledge. However, the FBI had obtained a phone recording between McTiernan and Pellicano…

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ChampionsWorld Shut Out in Antitrust Suit Against US Soccer

The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and Major League Soccer (MLS) recently prevailed in an antitrust suit brought by former soccer promoter ChampionsWorld LLC in Illinois federal court. ChampionsWorld had claimed that USSF perpetuated the idea that it was in charge of all professional soccer in the U.S. (including games played by foreign teams) in order to restrain competition against MLS, thereby driving ChampionsWorld out of business. The federal judge ruled for the US soccer bodies by granting USSF’s petition to confirm an arbitration award…

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Former Oriole Murrary Enters Into Settlement with SEC

Former Baltimore Orioles player and MLB Hall of Famer Eddie Murray has agreed to pay over $358,000 to settle insider trading allegations brought against him by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  The SEC accuses Murray of making more than $235,000 in a trading scheme involving another former Oriole, Doug DeCinces and James V. Mazzo, the former CEO of Advanced Medical Optics, Inc. (“AMO”).  The SEC’s complaint asserted that multiple tipoffs from Mazzo to DeCinces – and eventually, from DeCinces to Murray and others –…

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London 2012 Olympics will Feature Most Sophisticated Anti-Doping Testing in History

Olympic competitors who plan to run the risk of taking performance-enhancing substances before or during the London Summer Olympics are facing “the most sophisticated anti-doping operation in the history of the Games.”  A private sponsor will be aiding in the drug testing this year—a first in Olympics history—by providing facilities for scientists to conduct the testing. More than 6,250 samples of blood and urine will be tested (as compared to 4,500 samples tested inBeijing), with approximately 150 scientists running tests around the clock. The list…

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False Start for Lance Armstrong as Suit Against USADA is Dismissed

On July 9, 2012, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks dismissed without prejudice an attempt by professional cyclist Lance Armstrong to block the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) from investigating charges of blood “doping” that could take away his seven Tour de France victories.  Armstrong’s suit asserted that the USADA did not have the jurisdiction to bring charges against him, that the agency’s international arbitration process was a sham, and that the result of the arbitration was preordained against him. The USADA acts as the regulator to…

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