Shatner Sued by Former Handyman and Housekeeper

Husband and wife Oscar and Delmy Alfaro are suing William Shatner his wife Elizabeth in California Superior Court for wrongful termination, accusing the pair of firing them after Oscar refused to sign a release for an on-the-job injury he sustained in March 2011. The couple, who had worked full-time at the Shatners’ Studio City, California home for 20 years (Oscar as a handyman, Delmy as a housekeeper), accused Mr. Shatner of approaching Oscar with a release after Oscar fell in the driveway and injured his…
Continue reading...

Disney Suit Seeks to End the Party for Seller of Unlicensed Character Costumes

Recently, Walt Disney Co., Sanrio, Co., Ltd. and DC Comics filed suit in federal district court against Party Animals LLC (a business offering costumes and party entertainment) alleging that Party Animals infringed on various trademarks and copyrights owned by the Plaintiffs by renting character costumes produced without permission in violation of the Plaintiffs’ intellectual property rights.   Some of the alleged infringing costumes named by the suit include Winnie the Pooh, Batman, Superman, and Hello Kitty. Party Animals’s website plainly states that it has no licenses…
Continue reading...

Relationship with Failed Financial Advisor Triggers NFLPA Investigation of Drew Rosenhaus

The NFLPA is looking into whether player agent Drew Rosenhaus should have more closely scrutinized his relationship with financial advisor Jeff Rubin.  The investigation seeks to determine whether Rosenhaus breached his fiduciary duty to the players he represented – a duty owed to the players by all agents certified by the NFLPA – by not closely investigating the practices and credibility of Rubin before trusting him with the players’ monetary investments, many of which failed catastrophically. Among other questionable acts, Rubin has drawn widespread scrutiny…
Continue reading...

NFL Moves to Dismiss Concussion Litigation for Violation of CBA Terms

On August 30, 2012, the NFL and Riddell Inc. filed a motion to dismiss the multi-district concussion litigation against them, arguing that the suit is preempted by the collective bargaining agreements which exist between the league and the players.  The concussion litigation accuses the league of deliberately and fraudulently concealing/ignoring the risk of multiple head concussion incurred during professional football, causing many former players to experience degenerative mental disorders and cognitive decline. According to separate briefs filed by both parties, the Labor Management Relations Act…
Continue reading...

California Appellate Court Friendly Venue for Suit Against Kudrow

The Second District Court of Appeal in California has revived a suit against “Friends” star Lisa Kudrow by her ex-manager, Scott Howard, stating that Howard’s expert witness testimony was improperly rejected by the lower courts. Howard brought suit against Kudrow in 2008, alleging that the actress had violated the terms of an oral contract when she declined to pay him a percentage of her earnings. Howard represented Kudrow from 1991 until his termination in 2007 and played a part in getting her the lucrative role…
Continue reading...

Weinsteins’ Suit Against ‘Scream’ Writer Williamson is about the Contract, not the Copyrights

On August 23, 2012, California Superior Court Judge Mary Ann Murphy refused to dismiss a suit brought by The Weintstein Co., LLC against ‘Scream’ writer Kevin Williamson.  In essence, the ruling resolved a dispute over whether the action was preempted by the Copyright Act, or was, in fact, a simple contract dispute.  Judge Murphy held that the case could proceed as it is based in contract and The Weinstein Co.had not alleged any copyright infringement or any other acts forbidden by federal law. In its…
Continue reading...

Armstrong Abandons Fight Against Doping Allegations, Cedes Titles

Late on August 23, renowned cyclist Lance Armstrong announced that he would no longer be continuing his fight against charges brought by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which included allegations that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs and underwent illegal blood transfusions throughout the course of his career.  As a result of declining to challenge these accusations in arbitration, Armstrong will be stripped of his numerous Tour de France titles, and will be banned most elite-level sporting competitions. Armstrong’s concession comes despite his numerous protests against the…
Continue reading...

Texas Woman puts the Cowboys on the Hot Seat in Suit over Bench Burns

Jennelle Carrillo of Cleburne,Texas has filed a lawsuit against the Dallas Cowboys and team owner Jerry Jones after allegedly suffering third-degree burns from sitting on a black marble bench outside Cowboys Stadium while waiting to watch a scrimmage.  The complaint, filed in Tarrant County,Texas, states that Carrillo required hospitalization and skin grafts on her buttocks after spending an unspecified amount of time on the bench in the Texas heat.  Meteorologist Steve Fano of the National Weather Service in Forth Worth noted that the temperature on…
Continue reading...

Update: Lance Armstrong Suit Against Anti-Doping Agency Tossed a Second Time

On August 20, 2012, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of the Western District of Texas threw out a suit brought by renowned cyclist Lance Armstrong against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (“USADA”), who claims that the USADA’s arbitration procedures would deny him due process of law.  The allegations brought by the USADA against Armstrong include accusations of performance enhancing drug use in violation of anti-doping rules, charges which could strip him of his seven Tour-de-France titles.  A nearly identical suit brought by Armstrong was dismissed without…
Continue reading...

Ninth Circuit Refuses to Rescue “Die Hard” Director

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the request of John McTiernan, director of “Die Hard” and “Predator”  to reverse his guilty plea of making false statements to the FBI. In 2010, McTiernan pled guilty to lying to federal investigators about an illegal wiretapping operation carried out by private investigator Anthony Pellicano. Federal investigators questioned McTiernan in 2006 to ask whether he had any knowledge of Pellicano’s wiretapping. The director denied knowledge. However, the FBI had obtained a phone recording between McTiernan and Pellicano…
Continue reading...