Dolphins Owner Proposes New Deal to Fund Stadium Renovations

Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross has come up with a new proposal to fund the $400 million renovations to Sun Life Stadium.  Last year, Ross asked for government assistance to fund nearly all of the cost.  However, now Ross says he is willing to privately finance the renovations if the team can stop paying property taxes on the stadium. Ross has been pushing for government assistance since acquiring 95% ownership of the Dolphins in 2009.  That push was heightened in 2012 when Miami was in…
Continue reading...

High Crimes on the Golf Course?

On February 8, golfers at the Tarpon Springs Golf Course were issued a stern warning by club general manager Chuck Winship upon entering the clubhouse: betting on league play was no longer allowed.  Apparently, Winship was under investigation by the Tarpon Springs Police Department for permitting casual gambling by club members.  Commenting on the investigation, Winship noted, “Originally . . . I thought it was a joke.”  It wasn’t, however – Winship later learned that the investigation had been passed on to the Pinellas-Pasco State…
Continue reading...

Former ‘Mob Wives’ Star Sues Grand Theft Auto V Producers

Karen Gravano, former actress on the TV show Mob Wives, and daughter of real life mobster Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano, sued the Rockstar Games Co. over the use of a character in the mob-themed “Grand Theft Auto V” video game – a character Gravano asserts was modeled after her without her permission. The complaint asserts that the make-believe “Antonia Bottino” incorporated Gravano’s image and life story into the game without consulting Gravano or providing her any compensation.  The filing noted, “[n]otwithstanding the fact that…
Continue reading...

Ex-Manager of Friends Star Gets $1.6 million Jury Award

On February 25, Scott Howard, the former manager of Friends star Lisa Kudrow, received a $1.6 million jury award in his breach of contract case against the actress.  Howard sued Kudrow in 2008 for continuing residual monies he believed he was owed for negotiating work for Kudrow prior to his firing in 2007. Though there was no written contract between the two parties, Howard alleged that he and Kudrow had operated under an oral agreement, which is standard practice for agents in the entertainment industry.…
Continue reading...

Insurers Seek to Re-Open Arbitration Claim against Armstrong

On February 21, attorneys for the now disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong found themselves back in court.  The embattled athlete’s legal team is attempting to fight a motion to re-open a 2006 arbitration decision which forced the Dallas-based sports insurance company SCA Promotions to pay Armstrong $12 million dollars in performance bonuses.  As Armstrong has since come out and publicly admitted to doping, SCA believes that it should receive reimbursement for the monies it paid to Armstrong for winning three of Armstrong’s seven Tour de France…
Continue reading...

New York Task Force on Jockey Health and Safety to Make Recommendations in March 2014

The New York Task Force on Jockey Health and Safety, formed in 2013, was created to “assess, investigate and research issues involving safety and health of jockeys who regularly race at the Thoroughbred racetracks in New York State.”  The task force, comprised of seven Governor-appointees includes various professionals from the racing industry, including attorneys, jockeys, and risk management professionals and is tasked to evaluate the current status of jockey benefits, including “health, life, disability, pension, or other similar benefits” and how the racing industry can…
Continue reading...

Simpson’s Voice Man, Hank Azaria, Wins Copyright Dispute over ‘Funny or Die Video’

Hank Azaria, an actor who provides the voices for several characters on the long-running hit TV show The Simpsons, recently won a California federal court dispute over the copyright to Jim Brockmire, a fictional baseball announcer.  The fictional character originally premiered in the 2010 “Funny or Die” film entitled “Jim Brockmire, a Legend in the Booth,” a story about a make believe baseball announcer that loses his cool after discovering that his wife had been cheating on him. Azaria filed the lawsuit in November…
Continue reading...

Michael Jordan Wins in 7th Circuit Case over Supermarket Ad

On February 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed and remanded a lower court’s dismissal of a claim brought by Michael Jordan against Jewel Food Stores.  Jordan’s lawsuit alleged that the grocery store misappropriated his identity for the store’s commercial benefit by running an ad in Sports Illustrated that congratulated the ex-player on his 2009 induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.  Though the ad didn’t feature Jordan himself, it prominently displayed a pair of red and white gym shoes featuring…
Continue reading...

‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Studio Sued for Defamation

On February 18, Andrew Greene filed a $25 million defamation lawsuit against the filmmakers of the recent box office hit “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Paramount Pictures.  Greene’s filing accuses the defendants of defaming him through their portrayal of the character Nicky “Rugrat” Koskoff, who Greene asserts was modeled after him.  Greene’s suit states that “the motion picture contains various scenes wherein Mr. Greene’s character is portrayed as a criminal, drug user, degenerate, depraved and/or devoid of any morality.” Several scenes in the movie…
Continue reading...

Updated: The Wells Report Could Mean Big Changes in NFL Workplace Policies; Two Fins Coaches Fired

On February 14th, attorney Ted Wells of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP issued a 144-page report (commonly referred to as the Wells report) to the National Football League concerning the alleged harassment of Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. On October 28, 2013, Martin abruptly walked off the team after a lunch room joke, which he says was the final straw after enduring nearly a year of harassment from his teammates. Martin checked himself into a hospital for mental health help. Amidst bullying…
Continue reading...