The Fight Over Legalized Sports Betting Begins

In 1992, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, 26 USC 3701, to ban sports gambling outside states where it was already established (Nevada, and to much lesser extents, Delaware, Montana and Oregon) as of the time of the statute. In 2012, the New Jersey State Legislature passed a law allowing for wagering on the outcome of sporting events at racetracks and at Atlantic City casinos, and Governor Chris Christie signed that into law. The four major North American sports leagues, plus the …

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New Jersey Enacts New Social Media Privacy Bill Affecting Student Athletes

In December 2012, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law “A-2879” which will have a direct impact on an the accessibility of student-athlete social media accounts (what the act terms “social-networking websites”) by employees at institutions of higher learning. The New Jersey bill prohibits any public or private institution of higher education in New Jersey from the following: (read the complete act by clicking here).

  • Requiring a student or applicant for admission to provide or disclose any username or password, or in any
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Science of Sports: NFLPA and Harvard to Team Up for Study on Treatment of Football Injuries

Harvard University and the National Football League Players Association (“NFLPA”) are negotiating a deal with the NFL seeking a $100 million grant for the purpose of studying, diagnosing, and treating injuries and ailments suffered by players as a result of their football careers.

Dr. Lee Nadler, the Harvard Medical School Dean for clinical and translational research, attested to the groundbreaking nature of the proposed project, noting “[n]o one has ever studied the players [themselves] before.  There have been postmortem studies looking at the brains of …

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NCAA Botches Miami Investigation

The NCAA’s seemingly never-ending probe of the University of Miami football and basketball programs took a bizarre turn on Wednesday, as the governing body admitted that it improperly obtained information via the attorney of former booster, and convicted felon, Nevin Shapiro. The NCAA admitted to hiring Mr. Shapiro’s attorney, Maria Elena Perez, to depose witnesses in his bankruptcy case.

The NCAA does not have subpoena power, and thus may have gained information that would not have otherwise been available through Ms. Perez’s representation of Mr. …

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Updates on Penn State Litigation

  • In Mike McQueary’s civil suit against Penn State for retaliation in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State filed a motion to stay the case pending the resolution of parallel criminal cases against three of the school’s former administrators. The judge denied the motion, reasoning that while there may be common witnesses (the administrators), there are no common issues to warrant a stay. The focus of the criminal cases, said the judge, is what the administrators knew about Sandusky’s crimes when they testified
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NFL’s Squeeze Play Forces “Harbowl” Trademark Owner to Forfeit Rights

Last year Roy Fox got to thinking – what if NFL Head Coaches and brothers Jim Harbaugh (San Francisco 49ers) and John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens) ended up facing each other in the Super Bowl?  With that thought in mind, Fox went out and spent over $1,000 to file trademark applications for the terms “Harbowl” and “Harbaugh Bowl.”  The NFL was not pleased by Fox’s play.  Shortly before the 2012-2013 season began, the League contacted Fox with concerns that his trademarks could become confused with the …

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It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses an Eye

On September 8, 2009, John C. Coomer went to see a Kansas City Royals baseball game, an activity he had done dozens of times before.  This time, however, he would not return home unscathed – during an in-game promotion known as the Hotdog Launch, Coomer was struck in the eye by a flying dog thrown by “Sluggerrr,” the team’s mascot.  While the story might seem amusing, Coomer’s injuries were not; the impact of the hotdog detached Coomer’s retina, forcing him to undergo two surgeries to …

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In the Hot Seat: Exposure to Armstrong Increases Substantially in Light of Recent Admissions

Seven time Tour de France ‘winner’ Lance Armstrong likely faces increased and significant financial exposure as a result of his recent televised admissions regarding his use of performance enhancing drugs during nearly all of his cycling competitions.  Indeed, Armstrong could stand to lose a significant chunk of his estimated $125 million fortune as a result of the two part interview with Oprah Winfrey as a result of civil actions seeking financial damages based on claims for defamation, malicious prosecution, and fraud.  Moreover, he will almost …

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The Grinch Might Have Stolen Christmas, but Suit Says Disney Stole Christmas Movie Idea

On January 14, 2013, two producers, Beth Grossbard and Barri Rosenblum, sued Disney, ABC, ABC Family and former ABC executive Beth Miller for breach of an implied in-fact contract and breach of confidence. Grossbard and Rosenblum allege the network stole their idea for a Christmas movie.

Grossbard and Rosenblum pitched the idea for a movie called “I Hate Christmas” to ABC Family executives in 2005.  Although the network turned down their movie idea, their complaint contends that the executives reworked those same ideas into “The …

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‘McDreamy’ Bests Starbucks in Steamy Auction for Seattle Coffee Chain

Federal Bankruptcy Judge Karen Overstreet in Seattle approved the Chapter 11 sale of Seattle chain Tully’s Coffee for $9.15 million to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Patrick Dempsey. Dempsey successfully out-bid other interested buyers for the chain, including Starbucks.

Starbucks wanted half of Tully’s 47 shops in Washington and California to rebrand as their own, while Philippians-based AgriNuture Inc. sought the rest of Tully’s assets. Together, their bid was worth $10.6 million, more than 13% higher than Dempsey’s bid.

Despite Starbucks’ contentions over the “confusing and non-conclusive,” …

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