Court Rules ‘Bachelor’/’Bachelorette” Casting Directors Free to Give Roses to Applicants of Their Choosing

A Tennessee federal judge dismissed a race bias class action against ABC Inc. and the producer of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” determining that the show’s casting decisions are “part and parcel of the creative process behind a television program” and therefore protected by the First Amendment. Individuals Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson filed the suit in April, alleging that ABC intentionally excluded minorities from the hit reality series, thereby perpetuating “outdated racial taboos.” Although “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” have aired for a combined total of…
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USADA Finds Armstrong’s Doping a Team Effort

On October 10, 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a report laying out the reasons behind its August decision to ban Lance Armstrong from competitive cycling, as well as strip him of his racing titles (which include seven Tour-de-France victories).  The allegations, which include testimony taken from over a dozen witnesses (including several former teammates), state that Armstrong had both used and trafficked the drugs EPO and testosterone. At one point, the report accused Armstrong of perpetuating a “doping culture” on his racing team, painting…
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Dat’s My Slogan…‘Big Easy’ Coffee Shop Sued Over Trademarked Rallying Cry

On October 4th, 2012,  Judge Barbier in the Eastern District of Louisiana denied Who Dat Yat Chat, LLC’s motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss Who Dat Inc.’s lawsuit claiming trademark infringement for use of the slogan, “Who Dat”.  “Who Dat,” the Saint’s rallying cry, was previously trademarked by Who Dat Inc., co-merchandiser with the National Football League, which produced an Aaron Neville song in 1983 using the slogan, according to lawyers for Who Dat Inc. Who Dat Yat…
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No Doubt Settles ‘Band Hero’ Lawsuit over Avatars with Activision

On October 3, 2012, popular musicians No Doubt settle their ongoing lawsuit against Activision Publishing, Inc. over the use of the group’s ‘avatars’ in the ‘Band Hero’ video game. No Doubt had filed suit for breach of contract and right to publicity claims when it was discovered that players could use the No Doubt avatars to perform songs in the game by other musicians. No Doubt alleged that they had been “turned into a virtual karaoke act” by the game, and asserted that the game…
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GUEST EXPERT ANALYSIS: Why the Lockout Strategy did not work for the NFL and why the NHL is in a Different Position

Looking for a repeat of its successful bargaining strategy of locking out players, the National Football League locked out its 121 part-time referees in June following the expiration of the National Football League Referees Association contract on May 31, 2012.  Three months later, the NFL decreased its demand for concessions and increased its wage proposal in order to end this work stoppage before the replacement referees made another bad call on the field that changed the outcome of another game.  Most people credit the call…
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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a … barber? Barbershop Sued by DC Comics over Superman Marks

DC Comics has filed a trademark infringement suit against a Florida barbershop owner in federal court.  The suit accuses the owners of “Supermen Fades to Fros LLC” of using signs, promotion materials and logos which bear DC Comics’ trademarked “Superman” materials. DC Comics requested that the shop owner cease the use of the marks on multiple occasions without result.  DC’s complaint notes that “DC has never at any time authorized defendants to utilize the infringing promotions in conjunction with any barbershop business and/or the sale…
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League Blows Whistle on Replacement Refs, Strikes Deal with Regular Officials

Thanks to the poor performance of their replacements, the NFL’s regular officiating crews have reached an agreement for a new deal in place with the League.  While the deal will not be official until it is ratified by a vote of the officials’ union on Friday in Dallas, a regular crew will take the field for tonight’s game in Baltimore to the relief of players, coaches, and fans alike. A series of blown calls, including the dramatic touchdown/interception fiasco at the end of Monday night’s…
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Pacquiao v. Mayweather Lawsuit Update – Round 2

Just a week after being ordered by the Court to pay $114,000 in legal fees for failing to appear at a deposition, it appears that Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has reached a settlement with Manny Pacquiao.  A pretrial agreement noted that the boxers are in the process of settling the defamation case brought by Pacquiao in December 2009.  Pacquiao filed suit alleging that Mayweather accusing him of using performance-enhancing drugs. The terms of the settlement are confidential.  However, a statement released on behalf of the Mayweathers…
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Yankees Accused of Cheating Stadium Workers Out of Tips

Concession workers at Yankee Stadium have sued the team, claiming they are being cheated out of the tips automatically added to their bills.  Thirty two current and former waiters in the Yankee Stadium’s exclusive box seats have filed a lawsuit demanding their share of the team’s concession profits. New York Yankees Partnership and Legends Hospitality LLC (“Legends”) was formed by the team in 2009 to operate the concessions at the new Stadium.  Legends is owned by the Yankees, the Dallas Cowboys, and Goldman Sachs, and…
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Recent Deals Demonstrate Need For Cap on Contract Length

The Minnesota Wild made waves this offseason by signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to identical 13 year, $98 million contracts.  Shortly before that, the Pittsburgh Penguins signed Sidney Crosby to a 12 year, $104.4 million contract extension that will pay him through the age of 38.  These contracts epitomize a problem that has bedeviled the NHL ever since the salary cap was introduced following the 2004-5 lockout: salary cap circumvention.  And, to no surprise, the NHL once again locked out the players when the…
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