Michael Avenatti Accused of Embezzling $2 million From NBA Player

Michael Avenatti, celebrity lawyer and notably outspoken President Trump critic, is once again in the spot light. On April 21, 2019, the Los Angeles Timesreported that, in 2017, Avenatti embezzled $2 million from NBA player Hassan Whiteside. Back in 2017, Avenatti was representing Alexis Gardner, Whiteside’s ex-girlfriend, in order to negotiate a settlement of a potential lawsuit against Whiteside. The public does not know the contents of an alleged potential lawsuit; however, Avenatti was able to negotiate a $3 million settlement. Both Gardner and…
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Let’s Go Live: NBA Announces Partnership to Distribute Real-Time Odds

On November 28, 2018, the NBA announced that sports data providers Genius Sports and Sportradar will have nonexclusive rights to distribute real-time, official data to licensed sportsbooks in the U.S. This is inclusive of both NBA and WNBA games, including preseason, regular season, and postseason play. This partnership comes on the heels of “live betting” beginning to take off; indeed, at a recent gaming conference in New York, a FanDuel executive noted that in-game betting amounts to approximately 40% of the amount wagered at its…
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NHL Partners with MGM

On October 29, 2018, the NHL announced a partnership with MGM Resorts International and became the second North American sports league to reach a partnership with the professional sports betting operator. As per the terms, the NHL officially designated MGM Resorts as the official sports betting partner of the NHL. Specifically, the deal allows MGM Resorts to host NHL promotional opportunities and establishes MGM Resorts as an official resorts partner of the NHL. Further, the deal provides MGM Resorts access to the NHL’s proprietary game…
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Major Sports Leagues Band Together Against Merchandise Counterfeiters

Three major sports leagues, among others, have recently banded together to put an end to a purportedly massive online circuit of sports merchandise counterfeiters using the leagues’ distinctive trademarks.  On July 2, 2018, NBA Properties, Inc., MLB Advanced Media, L.P., NHL Enterprises, L.P., IMG College Licensing, LLC, and the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska (Plaintiffs) filed suit against an undisclosed list of foreign defendants for alleged trademark infringement. Plaintiffs contend that the online stores are selling their products by using their distinctive…
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Bucks Guard Sues Milwaukee Police Over Racial Profiling Incident

Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Sterling Brown filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee, the chief of the Milwaukee Police Department (“MPD”) and eight other MPD officers and sergeants in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Brown claims the defendants violated his civil and constitutional rights and applied excessive and brutal force while unlawfully arresting him. The suit arises out of the highly publicized incident that took place on Friday, January 26 at 2 a.m. Brown was parked…
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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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Over/Under: Two Steps Forward and One Step Back for Legal Betting in New Jersey

On Tuesday, May, 25, 2018 the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider discussed the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to strike down a federal statute controlling the states’ ability to regulate sports gambling. Shortly after, New Jersey became the first state to officially make wagering legal and gain access to the estimated $150 billion market by approving Assembly Bill A-411. However, America’s professional sports leagues did not respond positively to New Jerseys’ legislation. Specifically, the leagues are worried about the potential for corruption and athletes manipulating the…
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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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Litigation Between Charles Oakley, MSG, and James Dolan Begins

On January 12, 2018, at a pre-motion conference, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Sullivan told the attorney of former New York Knick, Charles Oakley, that his client’s defamation claim against the owner of the New York Knicks, James Dolan, and Madison Square Garden (MSG) would be an “uphill climb.” Oakley’s attorney replied, “A lot of judges say things like that and then reverse course.” As we previously covered, in September 2017, Oakley sued Dolan and MSG for allegedly humiliating him when he was kicked…
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