Sports and Entertainment Law Insider Named Best Niche and Specialty Blog of 2018!

We are pleased to announce that the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider blog has been named the best niche and specialty blog in the country and earned 1st place overall in The Expert Institute’s Best Legal Blog Contest for 2018! The Expert Institute — a leading legal service provider for identifying, verifying, and retaining expert witnesses — holds this annual contest to vet and recognize the best legal blogs out of the thousands that are on the web. In the 2018 Best Legal Blogs Contest…
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Update: Tempers Flare at Closing Arguments in the Student Athlete’s Wage Suit

During closing arguments in the NCAA student-athlete wage suit, on December 18, 2018, Beth Wilkinson, attorney representing the NCAA, told U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken that she was mistaken about some underlying facts of the case. At the start of closing arguments, Judge Wilken said that it “seems very clear” that the NCAA violated antitrust laws, but she questioned how the violation could be quantified. However, Wilkinson was quick to respond, saying “[w]e have not ever conceded that there was an antitrust violation.” Judge Wilken…
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Packers Fan Cannot Force Bears to let him wear Green Bay Gear, For Now

On December 13, 2018, Russell Beckman, a longtime Green Bay Packers fan and a Chicago Bears season ticket holder, asked U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall to enjoin a Chicago Bears, and Soldier Field, policy prohibiting participants in a pregame Bears Season Ticket Holder Experience from wearing non-Bears apparel on the sidelines. Beckman continues to claim that the Bears-gear-only policy violates Beckman’s right to free speech. As we have previously covered, Beckman, representing himself, sued the NFL and the Chicago Bears after he was not…
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Congress Enters Sports Gambling Arena: Proposes Nationwide Legislation

Sports and Entertainment Law Insider has been providing analysis of sports gambling since the topic emerged several years ago. In 2018, legislative interest in sports gambling rose to the forefront when the Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was unconstitutional and overturned the ban on commercial sports betting. The ruling opened the door for states to legalize and regulate the gambling industry within their borders. Since that time, states have introduced or reintroduced legislation related to the legalization of sports gambling,…
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Former Dallas Cowboy Hit With a $25 million Verdict

On December 13, 2018, a Texas state court jury handed Josh Brent, a former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle, a $25 million wrongful death verdict. Brent, his now-defunct nightclub – Beamers Private Club, and its employees, were accused of negligence after the clubs employees allowed Brent drink excessively while at Beamers Private Club. After it was apparent that Brent was intoxicated, and presented a clear danger to himself and others, Brent and a former teammate, Jerry Brown, began driving through a Dallas suburb at excessive…
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The City of Oakland Sues the NFL

On December 11, 2018, the city of Oakland, California, sued the NFL and all thirty-two NFL teams, over the decision to relocate the Raiders to Las Vegas. In March 2017, the Oakland Raiders announced  that they planned to relocate to Las Vegas by 2020. According to the complaint, Oakland went to extraordinary efforts to keep the Raiders from leaving, but the ultimate decision was purely monetary: Las Vegas offered $750 million, ostensibly for a new stadium. Allegedly, as a part of the deal to…
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Dance Like Somebody’s Watching: Alfonso Ribeiro of “Fresh Prince” Fame Sues “Fortnite” Creators Over Use of “Carlton Dance”

On December 17, 2018, Alfonso Ribeiro brought a copyright infringement lawsuit in the Ninth Circuit against Epic Games, the creators of immensely popular “Fortnite” video game.  Ribeiro is most famously known for his role on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” where he portrayed Carlton Banks.  In the series, Ribeiro created a “Carlton Dance” that remains widely known, and the suit alleges Epic Games used this choreography without permission. An important note found in the complaint is that Ribeiro is currently in the process of registering…
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Judge Chooses Special Investigator in NFL Concussion Settlement

On December 10, 2018, U.S. District Judge Anita J. Brody, the judge overseeing the NFL concussion settlement, appointed former Chief U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel to serve as the special fraud investigator in the NFL Concussion Settlement. Under Judge Brody’s order, Judge Stengel will serve as a Special Investigator and will “look into possible fraudulent claims.” As we have previously reported, since April 2018, the NFL has asked Judge Brody to appoint a special investigator to examine potentially fraudulent concussion claims that…
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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review of Boogaard Opioid Death Lawsuit

On December 3, 2018, the United States Supreme Court refused review of the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the parents of ex-NHL player Derek Boogaard. The lawsuit, had alleged Boogaard suffered a fatal overdose as a direct result of the NHL encouraging violence and concealing information regarding the dangers of head trauma. By way of refresher, Derek Boogaard was known as an “enforcer” on the ice over his six years in the league, fighting 66 times over his 277 regular season career. After passing as…
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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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