Judge Suggests Parties Settle Ugly Dispute Over Art Valuation Over Cocktails in the Hamptons

A feud between a billionaire art collector and a gallery owner continued in a Manhattan court on June 5, 2013.  The head of Forbes Holdings Inc. & MacAndrews, Ronald Perelman, is suing Larry Gagosian over past art deals.  The case started in September 2012 when both parties filed claims against each other on the same day in the same New York court.  Gagosian accused Perelman of backing out of a $23 Million art deal. Perelman’s suit asserts that Gagosian manipulated art prices and concealed information in several past sales.  One of these sales is Perelman’s $4 Million purchase of “Popeye”, a granite sculpture of the cartoon character. Gagosian dropped his suit in October, and on Wednesday, he urged the judge to dismiss Perelman’s complaint.  The judge was astonished that the ...
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AEG President Gets Hostile on the Witness Stand in Jackson Suit

A California courtroom heated up on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 during testimony of AEG Live LLC’s (AEG) president Randy Phillips. In 2010, Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, sued AEG for negligently hiring and supervising Dr. Conrad Murray. Dr Murray served as Jackson’s physician during the 2009 “This Is It” concert series and was convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson. The lawsuit contends that AEG, and AEG executives ignored signs that should have alerted them that Jackson’s life was in danger. Phillips, a named co-defendant in the suit, was ready to rumble during his courtroom testimony on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. Philips was more than a bit difficult in answering questions from plaintiff attorney Brian Panish regarding a series of 2009 meetings about Jackson’s health. The showdown between Phillips and ...
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Dr. Phil Gets Even With ‘Deadspin’ For Te’o Spoilers

Dr. Phil’s production company is finally trying to put the popular sports blog Deadspin in the spotlight. Peteski Productions Inc. (Peteski), the production company behind “The Dr. Phil Show,” asked a Texas federal court Tuesday June 4, 2013 to enter default judgment for a copyright infringement suit against Deadspin. Peteski filed the suit on May 6, 2013 alleging that Deadpsin infringed on the TV show’s copyrights by publishing video excerpts of an interview between Dr. Phil and Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Tuiasosopo is the man (or woman) behind the “mask” of Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te’o’s fictional girlfriend Lennay Kekua. Te’o believed Kekua was his girlfriend even though they only spoke over the phone. The Dr. Phil Show held a two-part interview with Tuiasosopo, who came out and confessed that “Lennay Kekua” ...
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Latest Mitchell Quarterly Report Continues Praise of Penn State’s Progress Post-Sandusky Scandal

Penn State is apparently continuing to make steady progress in moving past the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Last week, former Senator George Mitchell, the third-party independent athletics integrity monitor, issued a third quarterly report (which can be found at by clicking here.) stating that University officials have given his team nothing but “full cooperation” as the institution works to implement various reforms after sanctions were imposed on Penn State stemming from the Sandusky scandal. Like Mitchell’s two prior reports, his third quarterly report praises Penn State’s compliance with all athletic integrity issues and the progress the University has made in attempting to change its culture and campus procedure. Mitchell’s most recent report outlines dozens of actions taken on behalf of the University since March. One notable reform was ...
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If It’s In the Game …

This past week, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in the case Ryan Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc., Index No. 11-3750, paved the way for a showdown that could fundamentally change the way the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) goes about its business. In the case, Hart alleged that Electronic Arts (EA) had violated his right of publicity under New Jersey law by including his “likeness” in its video games NCAA Football 2004, 2005, and 2006. EA had previously won a motion for summary judgment based as against the claims made in Hart’s complaint, with the district court finding that EA’s use of Hart’s “likeness” was protected by the First Amendment’s protection of expressive speech in video games. But on May 21, the Third Circuit reversed the grant of summary ...
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For The Third Time, California Courts Rule that the NFL Remains the Away Team

The National Football League (NFL) suffered its third blow from a California appeals court on Tuesday, May 28, 2013. First, the NFL-favored venue of California for the concussion related suits was denied; second, the NFL’s least preferable venue of New York was allowed; and now, California says the NFL will be the visiting team in New York court against 32 insurance companies. The NFL is looking to pass the bill to insurers for its concussion related lawsuits. The League argued for California jurisdiction because of a favorable law stating that insurers have a “duty to cover claims of injuries to former players that occurred outside the policy periods.” The California venue would give the NFL significant home-field advantage, since the insurers sued by the NFL for indemnity of concussion related ...
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Touchdown Jets! Federal Judge Rules New York Football Team Can Use “Ultimate Fan” Phrase

New York Jets LLC recently scored a touchdown when a Louisiana Federal Court ruled that a sports marketing company no longer owned the trademark to “Ultimate Fan.” On May 30th, United States District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo of the Eastern District of Louisiana granted the Jets’ motion for summary judgment against Action Ink Inc. holding that the ‘Ultimate Fan’ trademark was abandoned and Action Ink had no enforceable trademark rights to the phrase. Action Ink sued the Jets in 2012 claiming that it had maintained the registration for the trademark since 1985 and that the Jets’ use of the mark in 2010 through a Facebook App and applications on other social networking sites violated Louisiana’s unfair competition law and created “a likelihood of confusion.”  Action Ink maintained that the Jets’ ...
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Funk Band Finally Listens to Hip-Hop, Files Suit Over Sample Used in 2003 Track

1970’s funk band Bloodstone filed suit in Missouri federal court on May 20, 2013 against Universal Music Group, Inc. (UMG) for copyright infringement of their 1979 song “I’m Just Doing My Job.” The Complaint, filed by members of Bloodstone alleges that UMG gave rappers T.I. and Kanye West a license to sample the 1979 song for use in TI’s hit “Doin’ My Job” without permission from the band. Bloodstone members Charles Love, Harry Williams, and Charles McCormick retain the sound recording and composition rights for “I’m Just Doing My Job.” The band members allege that UMG licensed the song to the rappers without receiving permission from Bloodstone. “I’m Just Doing My Job” is heavily sampled in the T.I. song. According to the Complaint, UMG has not paid Bloodstone any compensation ...
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Former Hockey Player Derek Boogaard’s Family Sues NHL for Wrongful Death

The family of a National Hockey League (NHL) player who died of an accidental overdose from pain medications and alcohol has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the league in Cook County, Illinois. The family of Derek Boogaard alleges that the NHL is responsible for the brain damage he suffered during his years in the league and for his eventual addiction to prescription pain killers. Boogaard was found dead of an accidental overdose of pain medication and alcohol on May 13, 2011 at the age of 28. He was posthumously diagnosed with “chronic traumatic encephalopathy” (CTE) a degenerative brain condition often caused and exacerbated by blows to the head. To distill this to one sentence, you take a young man, you subject him to trauma, you give him pills for ...
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