Molly M. Ryan

All articles by Molly M. Ryan

 

Michael Jordan Wins Trademark Case in China

In what is being hailed as a landmark decision, China’s highest court recently ruled in favor of Michael Jordan, holding that he owns the legal rights to the Chinese characters of the equivalent of his name. Jordan sued Qiaodan Sports Company, alleging that it built a brand by putting the Mandarin transliteration of his name on its sportswear. Jordan never gave permission for this use of his name and he has no connection with Qiaodan Sports. The high court overturned the lower courts, which…  

Canadian Court Dismisses Application to Bar Cleveland Indians From Wearing Uniforms with Name and Logo During Playoffs in Toronto

Just before Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, indigenous activist Douglas Cardinal filed a legal challenge in Ontario Superior Court to prevent the Cleveland Indians from wearing uniforms bearing their team name and “Chief Wahoo” logo. The logo is a red-faced cartoon with a feather headband and a huge grin. Cardinal argued that the team name and logo are racist and violate Ontario’s human rights code. He contended that the team should be referred to as “the Cleveland team” and should play in…  

Fans Sue Golden State Warriors for Mobile Eavesdropping

Golden State Warrior fans filed a class action lawsuit in federal court against the team and the companies who developed the team’s mobile app. The plaintiffs allege that the app unlawfully records audio from the microphone without user notification or permission, and that while the app is marketed for providing live stats, scores, and standings, it also tracks users through audio-based beacon technology for the purpose of marketing and advertising. The app determines a user’s precise physical location by secretly activating the user’s smartphone’s built-in…  

Sudanese Refugees’ Copyright Suit Against Movie Makers Survives Motion to Dismiss

In 2015, 54 Sudanese refugees and their foundation, Foundation for Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan, Inc., (the Lost Boys) filed suit against the producers and writer of the movie The Good LieThe Good Lie was a 2014 movie starring Reese Witherspoon about the Lost Boys fleeing genocidal activity during the Second Sudanese Civil War and being granted asylum and residency in the US. The writer had interviewed the Lost Boys about their life stories in order to make the movie. Despite promises…  

Indiana High Court Rules State is Not Contractually Obligated to Indemnify Company in Concert Stage Collapse

During the Indiana state fair in 2011, seven people were killed and dozens were injured when the stage collapsed during a concert. In litigation that followed, the company that provided stage rigging took the position that the Indiana State Fair Commission was contractually obligated to indemnify the company for the company’s own negligence. The issue went to the trial court, the intermediate court, and now the high court, which recently ruled unanimously that the Commission is not required to indemnify the company. The company argued…  

Parents of New York High School Football Player File Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The parents of a Staten Island high school football player who died of a heart attack after collapsing at a pre-season workout in September 2014 recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of New York, the Department of Education, the Fire Department, and the Emergency Medical Services Bureau. According to reports, the 6 foot 2 inch, 295 pound player collapsed after doing wind sprints when the temperature was 78 degrees with 75 percent humidity. The heart attack was reportedly caused by a…  

If Kevin Ward, Jr. Signed a Release, Would His Estate be Barred From Suing Tony Stewart, the Raceway, and Others?

Sprint car driver Kevin Ward, Jr. died recently during a sprint car race at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park in Canandaigua, NY. He was struck and killed by a car driven by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.  If Ward’s estate were to file a civil suit, the defendants would likely include Stewart, the raceway owner/operator, and Empire Super Sprints Inc., which is the sprint car series that sanctioned the race. One potential legal issue would be the extent to which a release/waiver of liability could be…  

Overbearing Sports Dad or Racketeering Lacrosse Coaches?

Not a question one frequently has occasion to ask.  Earlier this year, the father of a high school lacrosse player in Texas filed a RICO suit in federal court over what he describes as a “pay-for-play” scheme at some of the state’s premier high school lacrosse programs.  (It’s literally the father who filed suit as he is a lawyer and one of the plaintiffs, along with his wife and son, and his firm is the plaintiffs’ counsel.)  This suit follows a similar state court suit…  

Former Portland Timbers Soccer Player Files Concussion Lawsuit Against Team

Former Portland Timbers soccer player Eddie Johnson’s lawsuit is the latest development in the ever-evolving arena of concussion lawsuits by amateur and professional athletes.  This is the second concussion suit brought by a player against an MLS club; Bryan Namoff sued DC United in 2012 and that litigation is ongoing. Johnson filed his Complaint in Oregon state court against the team and its medical staff, alleging that his career ended prematurely because they negligently allowed him to play while he was still suffering from concussion-related…  

TV Weather Anchor Hiring Decisions Are Acts in Furtherance of Free Speech

Thanks to a California intermediate appellate court’s recent reversal of a Los Angeles County trial court, CBS is halfway towards the early dismissal of a discrimination lawsuit filed by a man CBS declined to hire for a weather anchor position.  The case is Hunter v. CBS Broadcasting Inc. The plaintiff, Kyle Hunter, filed a gender and age discrimination complaint against CBS Broadcasting Inc. asserting that CBS violated the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.  He alleges that two local CBS television stations in Los Angeles…  

Tribeca Film Festival Sues Developer for $100 Million in Breach of Contract Lawsuit

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Craig Hatkoff, Jane Rosenthal, and Robert DeNiro. It has generated an estimated $750 million in economic activity for New York City. It has strong ties to the community, a commitment to making cultural programming available to the public, and over four million people have attended its many cultural events. It seems that the Tribeca Film Festival would make a splendid business partner. Somehow, however, one developer is managing to botch the relationship. Pier 57 in the…  

A-Rod PED Scandal Goes On … And On

On Monday, Major League Baseball suspended Alex Rodriguez and 12 other players in connection with their use of performance enhancing drugs obtained from the, ahem, wellness clinic Biogenesis run by Anthony Bosch. Ryan “I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body” Braun was already suspended a few weeks ago. The Miami New Times first broke the Biogenesis story in January 2013. MLB began an investigation immediately, but the paper wouldn’t turn over its supporting documents to MLB. Bosch, of course, denied…  

Updates on Penn State Litigation

  • In Mike McQueary’s civil suit against Penn State for retaliation in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State filed a motion to stay the case pending the resolution of parallel criminal cases against three of the school’s former administrators. The judge denied the motion, reasoning that while there may be common witnesses (the administrators), there are no common issues to warrant a stay. The focus of the criminal cases, said the judge, is what the administrators knew about Sandusky’s crimes when they testified
 

Judge Grants Jerry Sandusky’s Motion for Post-Trial Evidentiary Hearing

Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky was already convicted on 45 counts related to child molestation and was sentenced to 30-60 years. The trial judge has now granted Sandusky’s motion for a post-trial evidentiary hearing. Sandusky is seeking to overturn the verdict or obtain a new trial on the grounds that his lawyers did not have enough time to prepare for trial. The judge brought the case to trial about seven months after Sandusky’s arrest. The defense attorneys claim this violated Sandusky’s right to due process because…  

Former Penn State VP Intends to Sue Former General Counsel for Malpractice

The Penn State ugliness just keeps getting uglier. Last week, former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz filed a writ of summons indicating his intent to sue Penn State’s former general counsel Cynthia Baldwin for legal malpractice. The writ does not provide specifics about what Schultz’s allegations against Baldwin will be. But the allegations in the forthcoming lawsuit will probably go something like this: Schultz was called to testify before a grand jury in 2011. Baldwin was Schultz’ lawyer at the grand jury proceeding. Baldwin…  

Penn State Cover-Up Cases Delayed so that the Court Can Analyze Attorney-Client Privilege Issues

Due to issues concerning attorney-client privilege, Pennsylvania judges postponed a preliminary hearing and a trial in the Penn State sexual abuse cover-up cases. The criminal trial of Penn State’s former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley was scheduled to begin next month. They are charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse. There was also supposed to be a preliminary hearing this week in a separate case against Schultz, Curley, and former Penn State president Graham Spanier in which…  

Update: Penn State Seeks Stay of McQueary Suit

On Monday, October 22, 2012, Penn State filed a motion to stay former assistant football coach Mike McQueary’s whistleblower and defamation lawsuit.  McQueary’s suit alleges wrongdoing by former Penn State athletics director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz.  Curley and Schultz allegedly failed to report child abuse after McQueary told them he saw Jerry Sandusky raping a boy in a shower.  McQueary testified about this to a grand jury, and then Penn State allegedly fired him as a result.  Curley and Schultz are…  

ANALYSIS: McQueary Files Whistleblower and Defamation Suit Against Penn State

Mike McQueary, a former assistant football coach at Penn State, has filed a $4 million whistleblower and defamation lawsuit against the school.  The suit stems from Penn State’s alleged retaliation against McQueary after he testified against school officials during the child sex abuse scandal. According to the McQueary Complaint filed in Pennsylvania state court, in 2010, McQueary testified before a grand jury that he saw Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a child in the showers at Penn State in 2001.  McQueary testified that he reported the…