Sensitive Information Capped in NCAA Corruption/Bribery Case

As we recently covered, the NCAA corruption and bribery case continues to unfold and expand. As the government widens the scope of its search, it has simultaneously been trying to keep its findings under wraps. Although U.S. District Judges Lewis A. Kaplan and Edgardo Ramos both denied the government’s recent request for a gag order, they did acknowledge the need to protect some of the sensitive information obtained as the case progresses. On March 6, 2018, the court issued a protective order, providing…
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Judge Scales Back Discovery in NCAA Wrongful Death Suit

On March 1, 2018, a Texas court of appeals filed a writ of mandamus, partially granting and partially denying the NCAA’s appeal of a prior discovery order. The suit was initiated by Debra Ploetz, wife of former University of Texas football player, Greg Ploetz, who played for the team from 1968 to 1972 and who died in 2015 from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The wrongful death suit alleges the late athlete’s CTE condition and subsequent death resulted directly from his years spent playing for…
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Legal Fees Sought After NCAA Trademark Suit Deemed “Exceptional Case”

As we have previously reported, the NCAA has recently triumphed over a year-long trademark suit when its motion requesting an entry of default was granted back in January 2018, and a default judgment rendered thereafter. The suit alleged that defendants Robert Alexander and Kizzang LLC had infringed, diluted, and unfairly competed with the NCAA by using and attempting to register the marks “April Madness” and “Final 3.” The marks were strikingly similar to the NCAA’s well-known trademarks of “March Madness” and the “Final…
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Nike OK’d to Continue Using “Jumpman” Logo

On February 27, 2018 the Ninth Circuit ruled that Nike’s use of its iconic “Jumpman” logo did not infringe on copyrights to a 1984 image of Michael Jordan, as captured by photographer Jacobus Rentmeester. Following more than three years of litigation — and though the decision was split — Nike may continue to use the image without legal repercussions. Rentmeester originally shot and used the image of Jordan in a mid-air, “grand jeté-inspired pose,” which was featured in a 1984 issue of Life
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Reebok-CCM Settles Royalties Lawsuit

On March 2, 2018, the lawsuit between Reebok-CCM Hockey (CCM) and Hefter Impact Technologies, LLC was dismissed after the two parties reached a confidential settlement. Back in September 2015, Hefter sued CCM alleging that CCM contractually owed royalties on hockey helmets that were derivative of a Hefter design. The recent settlement came before the scheduled April 17, 2018 trial. Although the case never made it to trail, it did not gone without its fair share of litigation. For example, as we previously covered back in…
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Federal Judges Turn to Indiana State Court in DraftKings and FanDuel Lawsuit

On March 7, 2018, two Seventh Circuit judges, Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner, certified the following question to the Supreme Court of Indiana, “Whether online fantasy‐sports operators that condition entry on payment, and distribute cash prizes, need the consent of players whose names, pictures, and statistics are used in the contests, in advertising the contests, or both.” As we have previously reported, in May 2017, a group of 3,000 college-athletes, led by former Northern Illinois University football players Akeem Daniels and…
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Cubs Dropped From Foul Ball Suit, If Only Temporarily

As we previously reported, a Cubs fan was struck in the face by a foul ball during an August 2017 game at Wrigley Field, where he brought his children to watch from the first base line. The injury left John “Jay” Loos blind in one eye and his other eye vulnerable to the same. He filed suit against both the MLB and the Cubs in October, alleging negligence by both parties, specifically, for failing to install a net which would have otherwise shielded him…
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Judge Delays NCAA $75 Million Settlement for the Fifth Time

On March 8, 2018, U.S. District Judge John Lee delayed final approval of a $75 million settlement for the fifth time after he learned that thousands of current and former NCAA student-athletes have still yet to be notified of the settlement. Judge Lee originally approved the $75 million settlement in July 2016, but delays, largely attributed to difficulties notifying more than 4 million student-athletes, including acquiring contact information and physically notifying the student-athletes, have prevented final approval. The most recent difficulty, and the reason for…
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Four MLB Teams Called Out for Potential Misuse of Revenue-Sharing Funds

The Miami Marlins, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Tampa Bay Rays are under scrutiny as the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) filed a grievance against them on February 23, 2018. The grievance called into question whether their use of revenue-sharing funds has been consistent with the teams’ collective bargaining agreement. The collective bargaining agreement names its “principle objective” as “promot[ing] the growth of the Game and the industry on an individual Club and on an aggregate basis.” In doing so, the agreement requires that…
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Colombia Law School Holds Conference on NFL Concussion Lawsuit’s Uncapped Settlement Fund

On March 2, 2018, at a conference on class action jurisprudence held at Columbia Law School, advocates and opponents discussed U.S. District Judge Anita Brody’s decision to move the NFL concussion class-action litigation toward an uncapped settlement. Judge Brody, a Columbia Law graduate, attended the conference. As previously reported, in April 2015, the NFL entered into a settlement agreement with almost 22,000 former players. The settlement established a 65-year uncapped monetary fund for players who could prove certain neurological diagnoses. The settlement provided a…
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