Beastie Boys Lose the Fight for their Right…to Full Attorneys’ Fees

On Monday, a federal judge awarded the Beastie Boys far less in attorneys’ fees than they had hoped for. This follows a lawsuit filed by the Beastie Boys against energy drink company Monster Energy Co. for the company’s infringement on Beastie Boys’ songs in a promotional video. The Beastie Boys had initially requested $2.4 million in attorneys’ fees after their $1.7 million victory over Monster Energy. Instead, the judge’s ruling gave the group $667,000. The judge’s reasoning behind this was that the Beastie Boys chose…
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Turnover on the Play: NFL Players Lose Rights to Jury Trial in Financial Lawsuit

A federal judge in Florida recently ruled that several NFL players in a $53 million lawsuit against Branch Banking & Trust Co. have forfeited their rights to a jury trial. Branch Banking & Trust Co. is the successor to BankAtlantic LLC, a company that plaintiffs allege wrongfully allowed Pro Sports Financial Inc., a financial management firm, to withdraw upwards of $53 million without their knowledge or consent. The question of whether or not each player had waived rights to a jury trial came down to…
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The Price Of Poor Security: California Judge Refuses To Throw Out Sony Employee Negligence Claims

On December 24, 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment was hacked by a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace, believed to be associated with North Korea. During the hack, personal information about Sony employees was compromised. Not long after, an action was brought by Sony employees against the company itself. The case is Michael Corona, et al. v. Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. The lawsuit claims that Sony’s negligence caused a massive data breach, and that the plaintiffs suffered harm in the form of expenses…
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Protecting an Image: Michael Jordan Opposes Proposed Jury Instructions in Appropriation of Likeness Suit

As we’ve mentioned before, Michael Jordan’s appropriation of likeness lawsuit has been allowed to continue. This all started in 2009, when an advertisement was published in a special edition of Sports Illustrated, which was produced to commemorate Michael Jordan’s induction into the hall of fame. The advertisement was one by Jewel Food Stores, Inc., a Chicago-run supermarket chain, and it congratulated Jordan on his induction. Now, six years later, the grocer and Michael Jordan are embroiled in a civil lawsuit in which the NBA…
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NCAA Concussions: Unhappy with Proposed Settlement, Player Fires Attorney

Former NCAA football player and Saints wide receiver Adrian Arrington said in a statement on Tuesday that he wants the Illinois federal judge considering a $75 million NCAA concussion settlement, in which Arrington is a lead plaintiff, to reject it. He claims that the first time he learned about the settlement was not from his attorney, but through the media: “I feel that I have been misinformed and the preliminary settlement doesn’t address the reasons I filed the lawsuit in the first place ……
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Trouble Is Brewing: Snoop Dogg Sues Makers Of Colt 45 Malt Beverage Over Contract Dispute

California rap artist Calvin Broadus Jr., better known by his stage name Snoop Dogg, filed a lawsuit on Monday against Pabst Brewing Company. The suit alleges that Pabst failed to follow through on a promotional contract in place with Snoop. The contract at issue was a three-year agreement that was signed in 2011, by which Snoop Dogg would endorse Colt 45, a malt beverage produced by PBC. The lawsuit further alleges that the contract contained a clause whereby Snoop would receive 10 percent of the…
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MJ Continues Winning Ways: Judge Allows Jordan’s Likeness Suit to Continue

On Friday, June 5, an Illinois federal judge ruled that Michael Jordan can continue his right of publicity suit against Jewel Food Stores, Inc.  The lawsuit arose out of an ad featured in a special edition of Sports Illustrated following Jordan’s induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  The ad featured text that congratulated Jordan on his induction, a pair of basketball shoes portraying the iconic number 23 that Jordan wore during his playing days, and Jewel-Osco’s logo with the slogan “Good Things…
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Mixing Up Trouble: Sir Mix-A-Lot Argues Tardiness on DJ’s Copyright Claim

On Tuesday, June 2, Sir Mix-A-Lot spoke out against a lawsuit over copyright authorship brought by his former partner, declaring that the suit comes roughly two decades too late.  David Ford, Mix-A-Lot’s former partner and DJ, filed suit in March in Washington federal court, claiming that he had no idea until recently that Mix-A-Lot had filed copyright registration for several songs as the sole author.  Mix-A-Lot is moving to dismiss the suit, arguing that it is impossible that twenty years went by before Ford realized…
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NCAA Athletes Lose the Big One: Judge Dismisses Publicity Rights Lawsuit Against Broadcasters

On Thursday, June 4, a Tennessee federal judge dismissed a putative class action filed by ten former college athletes who accused major TV broadcasters and others of improperly profiting from the use of their names and likenesses.  U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp granted a motion to dismiss with prejudice, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to prove their case under Tennessee law.  He explained that the Tennessee Personal Rights Protection Act only protects a person’s name and likeness when used in advertisements, and that Tennessee common…
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One Giant Accusation: Motion to Disqualify Judge Now Pending in Giants Fake Merchandise Lawsuit

Eric Inselberg, a memorabilia dealer bringing suit against the New York Giants, has moved to disqualify Superior Court Judge James DeLuca, contending that his impartiality is at issue. Judge DeLuca has disclosed that he is the owner of two personal seat licenses that enable him to purchase season tickets for Giants home games. Additionally, he has stated that while his son essentially controls the tickets, he does attend one or two of the games per season and has been a fan of the franchise since…
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