TCPA Lawsuit Against Tampa Bay Lightning Reaches Class Settlement

A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit against the Tampa Bay Lightning, in which a fan claimed that the NHL team violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by flooding him with unwanted text messages. Plaintiff Brian Hanley claimed that the team violated the TCPA by using a bait-and-switch tactic. Hanley was under the impression that he had entered a ticket contest for a future Lightning game by texting a short code number. Instead, he had inadvertently signed up for an advertising…
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Judge Recuses Himself from TCPA Lawsuit Against Tampa Bay Rays

After consulting with an ethics opinion, Florida U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony E. Porcelli recused himself from a proposed class action lawsuit, which accuses the MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by sending spam text messages. According to the order, Judge Porcelli stated that he “. . . find[s] it appropriate to recuse myself from these proceedings, as my impartiality might be reasonably questioned.” Specifically, Judge Porcelli admittedly communicated with several members of the Rays organization when he was…
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Four MLB Teams Called Out for Potential Misuse of Revenue-Sharing Funds

The Miami Marlins, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Tampa Bay Rays are under scrutiny as the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) filed a grievance against them on February 23, 2018. The grievance called into question whether their use of revenue-sharing funds has been consistent with the teams’ collective bargaining agreement. The collective bargaining agreement names its “principle objective” as “promot[ing] the growth of the Game and the industry on an individual Club and on an aggregate basis.” In doing so, the agreement requires that…
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Tampa Bay Rays Strike Concession Company with Contract Suit

On December 8, 2017, the Tampa Bay Rays baseball club filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of Florida against Centerplate Inc., formerly known as Volume Services Inc., for breach of contract involving their 20-year exclusive concession agreement at Tropicana Field. Volume Services entered the contract with the baseball club a year before the Tampa Bay Rays’ first game in 1998, but were unable to reach an agreement to extend the contract after the 2017 season. The baseball club alleged damages over the course of…
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Florida Judge Voluntarily Resigns Amidst Ethics Investigation

On Thursday, March 10, 2016, Florida’s Judicial Qualifications Commission filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in state court, determining Judge John F. Lakin had formally resigned from the bench as of the previous Monday. Judge Lakin had come under fire from the Commission, which investigates and prosecutes ethical violations of state judiciary members, in the latter half of 2015 after it had been revealed he had not only accepted, but also requested, tickets to Tampa Bay Rays baseball games from a law firm contemporaneously arguing…
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