Legal Battle Between the NFL and Ezekiel Elliott Continues

The court battle between the NFL and the NFLPA over Dallas Cowboy running back, Ezekiel Elliott’s, six-game domestic violence suspension continues when the League appealed the preliminary injunction that was awarded to Elliott on Friday, September 8, 2017. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant issued the preliminary injunction which would not let the NFL enforce Elliott’s suspension until the case went through the court system. Mazzant wrote, “based upon the preliminary injunction standard, the Court finds, that Elliott did not receive a fundamentally fair hearing, necessitating the Court to grant the request for preliminary injunction.” Of course the injunction came in time for Football Sunday where the Dallas Cowboys faced the New York Giants, and the Cowboys came out with the win. There would be huge consequences if the Fifth Circuit, ...
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NFL Tries Again to Enforce Ezekiel Elliot’s Suspension Before Another Football Sunday

The NFL is attempting to quicken its appeal process of a federal judge’s injunction that reversed Dallas Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliot’s six-game domestic violence suspension. Last week, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant issued a preliminary injunction to stop Elliot’s suspension, holding that his labor arbitration was fundamentally unfair. The NFL then immediately appealed that ruling to the Fifth Circuit and asked Judge Mazzant for an emergency stay of the preliminary injunction. In this response, the NFL told Judge Mazzant it would quickly immediately go to the Fifth Circuit if he didn’t rule on its request for a stay by Thursday, September 14, 2017. NFL attorneys wrote in their response “if this court declines to grant relief, respondents intent to seek a stay from the Court of Appeals and believe ...
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Conor McGregor Taking a Hard Hit; Sued Over Out of Control Press Conference

UFC star Conor McGregor is being sued by a man who alleges he suffered injuries during a UFC press conference last year in Las Vegas. The man claims he was hit in the back by a can of a Monster Energy that McGregor threw during the UFC 202 pre-fight press conference in August 2016. At this conference, McGregor and Nate Diaz got into a fight that involved objects being thrown all around the MGM Grand’s David Copperfield Theater. During the fight, McGregor started throwing water bottles and one energy drink can toward Diaz and his team. After this incident, McGregor was fined $25,000 and given 25 hours of community service by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Diaz was fined $15,000 and given 15 hours of community service for his role ...
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Fight for Legal Fees Begins in $209 Million Student-Athlete vs. NCAA Settlement

On Wednesday September 6, 2017, plaintiff’s lawyers in a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA, which settled for $208.7 million, filed for nearly $45 million in legal fees and costs. More than $41 million of that amount would cover attorney’s fees, $3.2 million would cover costs and expenses, and $20,000 each would go as a reward to the four class representatives. The overall fee request would make up only 21.5 percent of the settlement. The lawyers argue the fee request is adequate considering the Ninth Circuit’s 25 percent fee benchmark, the risk the lawyers took in not receiving any compensation, and the enormous amount of work that went into the litigation. Discovery resulted in over 2.8 million pages of documents, and more than 50 depositions were conducted. The deal is ...
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Suit Claiming Daily Fantasy Sports Law is Unconstitutional Continues

A group of citizens’ suit against the New York Attorney General and New York Gambling Commission was allowed to continue after a New York Judge denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case. The plaintiffs, a group that claims they are victims of gambling and are opposed to the proliferation of gambling, claimed the law legalizing daily fantasy sports is in violation of New York State’s constitutional prohibition on gambling expansion. The group of citizens claimed that the law allowing daily fantasy sports to be considered games of skill instead of gambling is not an easily drawn distinction. The citizens claimed that although there is some skill involved in picking a roster, the outcome is based on chance. The defendants moved to dismiss the case because they claimed the state ...
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Game Developer Moves to Transfer Trademark Suit Outside of NCAA Home Ground

On August 31, 2017, defendant Kizzang LLC, a game developer, filed a motion in its case against the NCAA to either move the case from the Indiana Federal Court or dismiss it for lack of jurisdiction and venue. The suit stems from the allegations that Kizzang infringed on the NCAA’s trademarks, “March Madness” and “Final Four.” Kizzang claimed the NCAA filed the suit in the Indiana Federal Court only out of convenience and that none of its allegations included any direct contact with the state. Instead, Kizzang, and owner Robert Alexander, moved to dismiss the case for this reason or to move the case to Nevada, where Alexander lives and where the company is registered. The Indiana Federal Court is convenient for the NCAA because its principal place of business ...
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Former NFL Players Oppose EA’s Play to Dismiss Madden Suit

On September 1, 2017, a proposed class of former NFL players moved a California Federal Court not to dismiss their suit against Electronic Arts (EA), game maker, for the use of their likenesses in the Madden video games. EA is attempting to remove the remaining five claims of the suit after it was successful in August in dismissing the former NFL players’ claims under a state law statute. EA claimed that the former players’ remaining publicity rights claims are preempted by the Copyright Act. The former NFL players alleged that EA violated their rights of publicity by including their likenesses in the Madden games from 2001-2009 without obtaining their permission. Although EA did not use the former players’ names, they alleged that EA used their physical attributes, positons, relative skill, ...
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Schutt Sports Found Off-Sides in Argument Against Moving Suit to Illinois

On August 28, 2017, Eastern District of Texas Judge Gilstrap ruled on Riddell Inc.’s motion against Schutt Sports to either dismiss the patent infringement suit brought against it or to move the case from Texas to Illinois. Despite Texas being a proper venue for the suit, Judge Gilstrap ultimately ruled to move the case to Illinois because it serves as a more convenient forum. In May 2017, Schutt filed suit against Riddell claiming infringement on three of its patents for helmet designs — U.S. Patent Nos. 6,434,755, 9,498,014, and 8,499,366. This suit followed Riddell’s 2016 lawsuit against Schutt for alleged infringement of its helmet patents, which was filed in the Northern District of Illinois. However, Judge Gilstrap explained that Riddell’s case in Illinois federal court had no influence on his ...
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A Jury Will Decide Whether Pro Golfer Vijay Singh’s Case Against PGA Tour is a “Hole in One”

A New York state judge decided on Wednesday , August 30, 2017, that Vijay Singh’s four-year-old lawsuit against the PGA Tour, Inc. will be decided by a jury. Singh’s lawsuit centers on his temporary suspension by the PGA Tour for using “illicit” deer antler spray as a performance enhancing drug. The suspension was later dropped after the World Anti-Doping Agency said the spray was not banned. Singh admitted to using deer antler spray in a Sports Illustrated interview to help him treat knee and back ailments, but he never thought he would be suspended. Some health experts contend that the deer antler spray can help athletes build muscle, while others dismiss this contention as inadequate. Whether Singh used the spray to treat an injury or to build muscle are not ...
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The NFL’s Players’ Association and the NFL Battle in Two Separate Lawsuits About Ezekiel Elliottt’s Six-Game Suspension

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and the National Football League’s Players’ Association (NFLPA) filed suit seeking to vacate the forthcoming ruling of an arbitrator on the appeal of Elliott’s six-game suspension in a domestic violence case. The suit, filed in federal court in Texas, alleges that the NFL’s appeal process is fundamentally unfair because the arbitrator denied a request to have Elliott’s accuser testify at the appeal hearing. Elliott also alleges that NFL executives hid information that was favorable to his case before Commissioner Roger Goodell imposed the six-game suspension. Specifically, the suit accuses NFL lawyer Lisa Friel of withholding from Goodell evidence that Elliott’s accuser was not credible and discipline was not warranted. The NFLPA and Elliott are not asking the court to make its own determinations about ...
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