‘McDreamy’ Bests Starbucks in Steamy Auction for Seattle Coffee Chain

Federal Bankruptcy Judge Karen Overstreet in Seattle approved the Chapter 11 sale of Seattle chain Tully’s Coffee for $9.15 million to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Patrick Dempsey. Dempsey successfully out-bid other interested buyers for the chain, including Starbucks. Starbucks wanted half of Tully’s 47 shops in Washington and California to rebrand as their own, while Philippians-based AgriNuture Inc. sought the rest of Tully’s assets. Together, their bid was worth $10.6 million, more than 13% higher than Dempsey’s bid. Despite Starbucks’ contentions over the “confusing and non-conclusive,” 13-hour auction, Tully’s attorneys reaffirmed their decision to hand over the company to Dempsey’s Global Baristas LLC, saying it was the only bidder that could finalize the deal in short order by January 25, 2013. Further, Tully’s attorneys also agreed that Dempsey’s business was the sole ...
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Khroma Kroma Kardashian: Makeup Artist Claims Perceived Endorsement by Reality Stars Devalues her Cosmetics

Lee Tillett, an Altamonte Springs makeup artist in Florida, is suing the Kardashian sisters — Kim, Kourtney and Khloe — and Boldface Group Inc. for $10 million in trademark infringement counterclaims, alleging they stole the name of her cosmetics line. Tillett filed her lawsuit on Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles. Tillett filed a claim last year for copyright infringement, but Boldface sought a declaratory judgment in November to use the Khroma name despite Tillett’s trademark to the name Kroma. Tillett’s counterclaim was filed in response to Boldface’s declaratory judgment. Tillett maintains the position that Boldface’s use of the name Khroma for a line of cosmetics endorsed by the Kardashians has caused confusion among consumers and, as a result, has damaged her business. According to the suit, “Boldface’s use ...
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Concussion Link to Seau Suicide?

Junior Seau committed suicide nearly eight months ago via self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.  Now, reports composed by three independent neurologists have confirmed that Seau – the 20 year NFL veteran linebacker and long-time San Diego Charger – suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or “CTE.”  As described by an ESPN report, this condition is a “progressive disease associated with repeated head trauma.”   CTE has only recently been identified as a potential side effect of playing professional football, a game where players often experience repeated acute blows to the head throughout the course of their careers. Commenting on the report to ABC News and ESPN, Seau’s ex-wife Gina stated “[I] think it’s important for everyone to know that Junior did indeed suffer from CTE.  It’s important that we take steps ...
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Game On

At 4:40 a.m. on Sunday, January 6, 2013, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association reached a verbal agreement on the framework of a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement.   Negotiations The new agreement is the product of a 10-day flurry of negotiations that began with a comprehensive proposal from the league on Friday, December 28, 2012. Prior to that, there had been no negotiations between the parties since Thursday, December 6, 2012. The parties met in person at league offices on New Year’s Eve, where the NHLPA presented a comprehensive counterproposal to the league. From that point on, representatives of the NHL and NHLPA met off and on for the remainder of the week. On January 3, 2013, it became known that the Deputy Director ...
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As Clock Ticks Down, a Closer Look at the NHLPA’s Threat to Decertify

The National Hockey League Players Association is considering the aggressive move of disclaiming interest in representing National Hockey League Players in collective bargaining negotiations with the league. That move would technically end negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement and open the avenue of anti-trust litigation for the players. Essentially, the NHLPA would be turning over representation of the players to the agents and the attorneys and risk desertion by groups of players that may be adversely affected by anti-trust litigation. The act of decertification is usually taken by employees that have become dissatisfied with their representation by a labor union. In 2011, both the NFLPA and the NBAPA used the tactic of decertification accompanied with an anti-trust suit to help broker an end to each of their respective lockouts ...
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Girl in Hot Water: Songwriter Sued for Alleged Copyright Infringement

Alicia Keys is being sued by songwriter Earl Shuman for allegedly sampling a portion of his 1960’s composition, Hey There Lonely Girl, in her new single Girl on Fire. Keys’ song, which was released on September 4, has risen to No. 21 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles Chart. On December 10, Shuman brought suit in the Central District of California claiming that the 31 year old singer/songwriter never sought permission to sample from the 1962 song composed by Shuman and his writing partner, Leon Carr.  According to the Federal Court complaint that also names her record label Sony Music as a defendant, Shuman retained the right to receive royalties on the song even though the copyright was assigned to music publisher Music Sales Corp., in 1991.  Shuman alleges that Keys is ...
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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 there was insufficient time to interview witnesses or review all of the evidence that the prosecution disclosed to them. The hearing is set for January 10, 2013. Judge Grants Sandusky Defense a Hearing to Buffer Argument for Appeal      
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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 didn’t advise Schultz to invoke his 5th Amendment right, so Schultz testified. Baldwin herself later testified before a grand jury. She testified against Schultz, revealed client confidences, and basically told the grand jury that he lied under oath and that he covered up Jerry Sandusky’s ...
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Insurance Companies Score First in Battle For Home-Field Advantage in Case to Decide Forum For Coverage Issues in Concussion Cases

There is something about home-field advantage.  Maybe it’s the hometown fans there to cheer on their team, or maybe it’s the familiarity of the venue.  Whatever it is, almost every team would rather play on their home turf.  And this brings us to one of the bigger disputes associated with the NFL concussion lawsuits. In August 2012, the NFL and its current and past insurance companies began posturing for their own home-field advantage of sorts to decide coverage issues in the concussion lawsuits brought by current and former players against the NFL. Law 360 (registration required) is reporting that the insurance companies scored first when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Shepard Wiley Jr. sided with the insurers that the proper venue for deciding the coverage issues is New York and ...
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Former Agent Sues for Cut of ‘Pawn Stars’ Profits

Talent Agency, Venture IAB Inc., filed suit against A&E Television Networks LLC, claiming they signed on to represent the cast of The History Channel’s hit reality show “Pawn Stars” back in 2007, but were wrongfully terminated soon after the show aired in 2009. The main issue at hand involves the representation agreements between Venture IAB and The Harrison Family (Corey Harrison, Rick Harrison, Richard Harrison) and Austin “Chumlee” Russell, who operate the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. Venture IAB claims that they were representing The Harrison Family and Russell before the stars made it big. According to Venture IAB’s complaint, Venture IAB was to receive 10 percent of all compensation received by The Harrison Family and Russell from their appearances on the show. However, after ...
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