Fight for Legal Fees Begins in $209 Million Student-Athlete vs. NCAA Settlement

On Wednesday September 6, 2017, plaintiff’s lawyers in a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA, which settled for $208.7 million, filed for nearly $45 million in legal fees and costs. More than $41 million of that amount would cover attorney’s fees, $3.2 million would cover costs and expenses, and $20,000 each would go as a reward to the four class representatives. The overall fee request would make up only 21.5 percent of the settlement.

The lawyers argue the fee request is adequate considering the Ninth …

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Ruling on Field Stands for High School Coach Suspended for Praying on 50-yard Line

On August 23, 2017, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the denial of a preliminary injunction by Bremerton High School football coach Joseph Kennedy, who accused the school of violating his First Amendment rights by prohibiting him from praying on the 50-yard line immediately after football games. The prayers had started with just Kennedy on the field, but some players joined in over the years, and the prayers evolved into short motivational speeches. Although the praying took place after the games, students and parents were still …

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MLB Points to Win Over Minor Leaguers in Attempt to Cut Off Scout’s Appeal

Former Kansas City Royals scout Jordan Wyckoff, and former Colorado Rockies scout Darwin Cox, have sued Major League Baseball for unlawfully suppressing scout’s wages. In September, 2016, the bulk of their suit was dismissed by a New York district court after it was ruled that the scout’s federal and state antitrust claims were barred by the so-called baseball exemption. The exemption was set forth in a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court decision, and it covers employees who are essential to the “business of baseball.”

On July …

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Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Former-NCAA Champions’ Likeness Suit

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of the lawsuit of two former college basketball players against a website that sold official NCAA photos, as the website’s rights under federal copyright law preempted the players’ publicity rights.

As background, two former Division III college basketball players, Patrick Maloney and Tim Judge, sued T3Media in June, 2014 regarding the Website’s deal with the NCAA to host and license the League’s photos. Maloney and Judge were part of the 2001 NCAA championship team — Catholic University. …

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NCAA Players’ Likeness Suit Attempts to Gain New Life

On February 17, 2017, two former Catholic University basketball players from the 2001 Division III national championship team pleaded for the Ninth Circuit to revive their class action against a website, T3Media, which sold official NCAA photographs from their championship season. The suit commenced in 2012, but was dismissed in 2015 as a District Court judge found that the website did not exceed its copyright and, therefore, was preempted by the Copyright Act. In response to the court’s dismissal, members of professional player unions in …

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Desperate Attempt From Caddies to Reverse Antitrust Class Action Dismissal

The Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour caddies are taking another swing at gaining revenue for advertisements on a caddy’s bib. The class action antirust case, of which over 150 caddies are involved, filed an appeal with the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. They are requesting the court to overturn the district court’s dismissal of their complaint concerning advertising logos and abuses made by the PGA Tour.

This appeal stems from a lawsuit filed in January 2015. The caddies claim the PGA Tour violated and …

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NFHS Lines Up Behind NCAA in O’Bannon Appeal, Files Amicus Brief in Support

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has filed an amicus brief supporting the NCAA in its petition to the Supreme Court appealing the Ninth Circuit’s decision in the case of O’Bannon v. NCAA. In its brief, the NFHS extolled the virtues of amateurism, and warned that “[a]llowing college athletes to receive compensation in any form not tied to their college education not only would threaten the unique nature of college athletics, and thus much of its appeal, but also would diminish …

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PGA Tour Caddies Looking to Get Back in the Fairway of Human Billboard Case

On June 15, 2016 PGA Tour caddies filed a brief with the Ninth Circuit urging the appeals court to reverse dismissal of their lawsuit. Their argument is based on the caddies’ belief the California Judge presiding over the case was too quick in his dismissal, failing to give the caddies a chance to present all of their relevant evidence prior to dismissal.

Previously, the caddies filed an anti-trust class action lawsuit for misappropriation of their likeness and images in commercial activities by using them as …

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Student-Athletes Challenging the NCAA’s ‘Grant-in-Aid’ Rules Seek to Continue Lawsuit By Distancing Themselves from O’Bannon

On May 31, 2016, student-athletes fighting NCAA bylaws which prevent compensation beyond the cost of attending college filed an opposition to the NCAA’s bid for judgement on the pleadings of their anti-trust claims. The key element of their opposition is that they are raising claims wholly different from the landmark O’Bannon v. NCAA case which had a momentous ruling in late 2015. By arguing that the issues are different from the O’Bannon case they stop the court from dismissing the case to prevent re-litigating …

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NCAA Victory: Order to Post $42 Million Bond Lifted

On Friday, May 23, 2016, California U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled in favor of the NCAA’s fee bond appeal, granting the organization’s request to not post bond while it appeals the O’Bannon decision. The NCAA filed the fee bond appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court on May 10, 2016, arguing that it was unnecessary to reserve more than $42 million in attorneys’ fees and costs associated with the O’Bannon case.

The NCAA claimed that the fee bond would place undue detriment on the organization, …

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