DOJ Investigating MLB’s Recruitment of Foreign Players

On October 2, 2018, Sports Illustrated published a report stating that the United States Department of Justice “has begun a sweeping probe into possible corruption tied to [MLB’s] recruitment of international players.” The report published numerous emails, documents, videotapes, photographs, confidential legal briefs, receipts, copies of player visas and passport documents, internal club emails, and private communications by franchise executives. Reportedly, MLB teams, like the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves, have attempted to circumvent MLB rules and United States immigration law in their…
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Kaepernick’s Grievance against the NFL to Advance

Colin Kaepernick’s case against the NFL will proceed to a full hearing, following an arbitrator’s decision on Thursday, August 30, 2018 to deny the NFL’s motion for summary judgment. The former 49ers quarterback accuses the NFL of colluding to keep him out of the league since he became a free agent in March 2017, arguing that the organization refuses to hire him because of the national anthem protests Kaepernick initiated in 2016. Now, with the case going to a full, trial-like format, some team…
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Cubs Fan Files Copyright Suit against the Team over Souvenir Design

On Friday, August 17th, a retired Michigan advertiser filed suit against the Chicago Cubs, alleging that the Cubs stole his design for 1984 souvenirs and reused the design for 2017 souvenirs without his permission or compensation. Dan Fox was a Chicago advertising executive in 1984, when he contracted with the Cubs to create a souvenir for the team’s divisional championship: a clear acrylic block encasing an ivy leaf from Wrigley Field’s outfield wall. In the original license agreement, the Cubs’ acknowledged Fox as…
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Johnnie Vassar Drops Transfer Rule Suit

On August 10, 2018, former Northwestern University guard, Johnnie Vassar, dropped his lawsuit against the NCAA and Northwestern. As we have previously reported, in 2016, Vassar sued the NCAA and Northwestern claiming that Northwestern “offered Vassar a “cash payment” to “make [Vassar] go away and free-up his scholarship.” According to the November 2016 class-action lawsuit, Vassar alleged that Northwestern breached a contract it had with Vassar after the school removed Vassar’s four-year athletic scholarship in May 2016. Further, Vassar alleged that the school used…
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CBS Interactive Inc. Sued for Trademark Infringement

On July 13, 2018, Fulltime Fantasy Sports, LLC (Fulltime) sued CBS Interactive Inc. (CBSi) for trademark infringement, false advertising, breach of contract, conversion, unlawful and deceptive practices, and unfair competition. According to the complaint, “[a]s fantasy football season approaches, Fulltime has been forced to file this action to seek relief from the Court’s so that CBSi will stop misappropriating Fulltime’s intellectual property and good will, stop confusing consumers, and pay Fulltime what it is owed.” Fulltime, founded in 2011, “provided premier fantasy sports content,…
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NFL Hall of Fame Sues Construction Company and Subcontractors

The NFL Hall of Fame recently sued a contractor and two subcontractors blaming them for poor filed conditions that led to the cancellation of the 2016 Hall of Fame Game. Each year, the NFL Hall of Fame Game holds an exhibition game on the same weekend that the NFL Football Hall of Fame inducts new members. This year, the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will face off on August 2, 2018, but in 2016, the game between the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts was…
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Update: Former Yankees Player’s Negligence Suit to Stay in State Court

As we have previously covered, former New York Yankees outfielder, Dustin Fowler, sued the Chicago White Sox in February 2018 after his first ever major league game ended in injury on the White Sox field.  While chasing a foul ball, Fowler ran full speed into what would normally be a padded wall, but what was actually an unpadded metal electrical box that was unapparent to him prior to impact.  Fowler sued the White Sox, claiming that the team negligently installed the box such…
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Arena Football Lawsuit

On June 19, 2018, the Arena Football League Players Union sued the Arena Football League One, LLC seeking to enforce an arbitration award issued to Richard Ranglin on January 17, 2018. According to Section 20.1 of the leagues Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), “disputes under the CBA arising between the Union and the League are to be resolved exclusively in accordance with the arbitration procedure outlined in the CBA.” Also, pursuant to Section 20.8 of the CBA, “the decision of an arbitrator is final and binding…
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BIG3 Suit Involves Allen Iverson and Steve Bannon

Another lawsuit involving Ice Cube’s start-up three-on-three basketball league the BIG3 is the latest issue for the league to try and overcome. What was supposed to be a fun, innovative league that would allow former players to keep their careers alive has turned into a series of lawsuits. Former Chief Creative Officer Kainoa Henry filed his complaint on Monday, June 12, in a California Superior Court. Henry alleges that he was forced to resign from his position at the BIG3 after co-founder Jeffrey Kwatinetz, who…
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Kawhi Leonard’s Former Agent Sues Former Employer

Brian Elfus, a veteran sports agent, represented college basketball standout Kawhi Leonard as he transitioned from San Diego State to the NBA. Elfus is now suing his former boss Mitchell Frankel and his former employer Impact Sports Basketball, Impact, JS Sports Funding LLC, and J&J Sports Agency MM LLC (defendants), for wrongful deprivation of agent fees, which included the agent fees derived from Leonard as well as other professional basketball players and coaches. According to the complaint, “Elfus generated over [$5 million] in commissions…
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