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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Yuuuup! ‘Storage Wars’ Ex-Cast Member Claims Show is Staged

David Hester, former star of A&E’s hit reality show “Storage Wars,” filed a wrongful discharge claim in violation of public policy against the network and production company on Tuesday. Hester asserts that he was terminated in retaliation for voicing his opinion in regards to the reality show’s allegedly staged and fraudulent practices in rigging the contents of the storage units up for auction. “Storage Wars” follows buyers who bid for abandoned storage lockers hoping to find valuables that they can sell for a profit. The buyers only have a few short moments to peak inside the abandoned storage unit before determining whether they are going to bid on the unit at an auction. Hester claims that some of the auction footage on the show is staged, which directly violates the ...
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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 they are charged with endangering the welfare of children, criminal conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. Cynthia Baldwin, Penn State’s former general counsel, would likely be a key prosecution witness at these proceedings. She already gave damaging testimony against Schultz, Curley, and Spanier when she testified ...
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Tagliabue Issues Balancing Act Ruling in Pay for Performance

On Tuesday, December 11, 2012, in a balancing act that even Solomon could probably appreciate, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue issued his written opinion (posted at NFL.com) in the pay-for-performance scandal which has plagued the New Orleans Saints. The pay-for-performance scheme created incentives for Saints’ players to render “opposing players unable to play.” In issuing his opinion, Tagliabue noted his belief that it is in the best interest of all parties for me to resolve this issue as completely as possible, so that everyone involved with the NFL has this matter put to rest… Tagliabue found that NFL players had “engaged in conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of professional football.”  In fact, he noted that fines normally would be appropriate in this case.  However, ...
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Will Trainers Become the NFL’s New MVPs in Concussion Fight?

Liability concerns stemming from the NFL’s massive multi-district concussion litigation have been affecting changes which may permanently alter the way the game of football is played.  Essentially, the main suit pits former players against the League, accusing the NFL of failing to warn them of the long term risks of concussions and their effect on later-life cognitive decline. Recent changes made by the NFL include alterations to playing surfaces, equipment, and long standing game-play rules.  For example, the League has shortened the kick-off play to reduce the possibility of devastating collisions.  Additionally, a 2002 study performed by doctors for the Minnesota Viking revealed that the rock-like artificial playing surface of the team’s domed stadium was “contributing to the high incidence of concussions.”  As a result, the NFL now requires that ...
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Belly Putter Fans Better Get A New Grip as USGA Proposes Ban

On Wednesday, the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Royal & Ancient (R&A) announced a proposed rule change banning players from anchoring their putters to their belly or other part of their body. If approved, the proposed ban will become part of the rules of golf on January 1, 2016. The proposed ban essentially rids the sport from long-handled or ‘belly’ putters. Such putters have been around for a while, but they recently came into the spotlight as three of the past five major champions used them: Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els. Keegan Bradley is one of the strongest opponents of the proposed rule change. According to David Dusek, Deputy Editor of Golf.com, Bradley said, “I’m going to do whatever I have to do to protect myself and ...
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Fantasy Sports: A Real Game-Changer for Employers

“The number of Americans playing in fantasy football leagues has grown exponentially of late, transforming what was once a pastime of a devoted few into a national sensation,” write Goldberg Segalla attorneys Seth L. Laver and Michael P. Luongo. “Most employers are cognizant of the importance of maintaining up-to-date computer use policies, social media protocols and other important workplace regulations, yet they inexplicably miss regulating participation in fantasy sports. Make no mistake, however: fantasy sports has real world implications on the workplace.” This article examines potential liability implications for employers, cases in which fantasy football leagues have led to terminations and resignations, and practical tips for employers to document clear workplace conduct policies that address these potential implications. Read the full article: “Fantasy Sports: A Real Game-Changer for Employers,” Lehigh ...
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NFL Potentially Takes Another Hit in the Concussion Litigation

The latest story in the NFL class action concussion lawsuit spells more potential trouble for the league.  Late last week, news surfaced that the NFL’s retirement board had prior knowledge of the potentially devastating effects caused by long-term head injuries incurred throughout the course of a football career.  In particular, the board’s at-issue report indicated that the league had paid more than $2 million in disability benefits to certain players who had suffered brain injuries, noting that one of those players (ex-Pittsburgh Steeler center Mike Webster) had developed his disabilities while still “an active player.” In essence, the underlying class action suit alleges that the league knowingly downplayed the risks of concussions and their potential to cause later-life cognitive decline.  Previously, the league had maintained that through the late 2000s, ...
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