Posts tagged as:

football

Bob Dorigo Jones’s 2014 Wacky Warning Labels Contest has its five finalists.

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Why should trademark law ban “disparagement” in first place? Caleb Brown interviews me on the Washington Redskins case for the Cato Daily Podcast. Earlier here.

David Post has a post at the Volokh Conspiracy laying out the unexpectedly complicated relationship between the federal Lanham Act and state trademark common law. And he presents the First Amendment problem with “disparagement” doctrine head on:

…the constitutional question is also, for me, pretty cut-and-dried; this is precisely the sort of thing the First Amendment prohibits: an agency of the federal government doling out benefits on the basis of whether or not you have used a word or phrase that is ‘disparaging,’ or that “bring into contempt, or disrepute” any “institutions, beliefs, or national symbols.” … [Whether my view of the matter is in tune with current doctrine is another question entirely]

WashingtonSenatorsNow that we’ll be canceling trademarks of sports teams with disparaging names, here’s one that got away. [Washington Post]

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“The Buffalo Bills have agreed to pay up to $3 million – largely in the form of debit cards redeemable only at the team store – to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the team of sending too many alerts to fans who signed up for a text-messaging service.” Plaintiff Jerry Wojcik contended “that the team violated the terms of its text service by sending him 13 messages over two weeks when it promised to send no more than five per week. … He claimed in his suit that the extra texts violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and he sought statutory damages of $500 per excessive message for negligent violations and up to $1,500 per message for willful violations.” His lawyers will pocket $562,500. [Buffalo News]

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Not so smart?

by Walter Olson on April 5, 2014

Northwestern athletes’ “college football participation = paid work to be governed by labor laws” argument may boomerang with a whopping tax bill [TaxProf, Bleacher Report on NLRB giving nod to idea]

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April 4 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 4, 2014

  • “Helmet maker not to blame in football player’s injury, jury finds” [L.A. Times]
  • “New Corporate Survey Illustrates Burdens Of Document Preservation And Benefits Of Proposed [Rule 26 Discovery] Reform” [Mark Chenoweth/WLF, Timothy Pratt/Abnormal Use, NJLRA, earlier]
  • Have divorce statistics been misreported? [Kay Hymowitz, Robert VerBruggen]
  • “Intoxicated Man Loses Big at Casino, Wants His Money Back” [Abnormal Use]
  • “SCOTUS Deferred to Executive Agencies. What Happened Next Will Infuriate You!” [Ilya Shapiro, Cato on Peri & Sons Farms v. Rivera]
  • Overtime scheme: Obama doesn’t “worry about being held accountable for the unwelcome consequences” [Steve Chapman] Advice for small business on complying with salaried employee classification [Suzanne Lucas ("Evil HR Lady") at Inc., earlier here and here]
  • Religious liberty, discrimination law and how spurious rights drive out the real [Jacob Sullum] Timely: “Harvard Hosts Conference on Religious Accommodation in the Age of Civil Rights” [TaxProf]

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The National Football League had already been seeking $1.5 million in arbitration for alleged contractual breach against rap singer M.I.A. for extending her middle finger during a performance at the 2012 Super Bowl. “Now the NFL has added an additional claim, seeking $15.1 million more in ‘restitution’ as the alleged value of public exposure she received by appearing for an approximately two minute segment during Madonna’s performance. The figure is based on what advertisers would have paid for ads during this time.” [Hollywood Esq.]

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Among the key reasons, argues Max Kennerly: it released third parties including amateurs who weren’t being asked to pay anything. More: NYT (quoting Ted Frank).

A lawyer representing a fan has sued the National Football League for allegedly breaking New Jersey state law by making just 1 percent of Super Bowl tickets available to the general public at face value. A section of the state’s Consumer Fraud Act reads, “It shall be an unlawful practice for a person, who has access to tickets to an event prior to the tickets’ release for sale to the general public, to withhold those tickets from sale to the general public in an amount exceeding 5% of all available seating for the event.” (But does “person [with] access” refer to the original event organizers, or only to middlemen who acquire tickets for resale?) The lawsuit “says it’s on behalf of all ticket buyers who have paid more than face amount for their tickets, along with anybody who couldn’t afford to buy tickets in an exorbitant secondary market, but who still wanted them.” [NJ.com] More: the NFL made me do it! [Abnormal Use]

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“Jovan Belcher’s mother has filed a wrongful-death suit against the Chiefs, seeking unspecified damages after the former linebacker killed his girlfriend and himself in December 2012. The lawsuit… also alleges that the team … knew, or should’ve known, that Belcher showed signs of cognitive and neuro-psychiatric impairment.” [Kansas City Star]

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“When the NFL concussion settlement was announced nearly four months ago, the more than 4,500 players who had sued the league were assured that no part of the $765 million deal would go to lawyers.

“But a recent dispute involving the players’ lead negotiator confirms that not only was that statement misleading, some lawyers stand to receive multiple paydays, according to documents and emails obtained by ‘Outside the Lines.’” [ESPN.com, auto-plays video] (& welcome Above the Law readers)

Fantasy football

by Walter Olson on November 15, 2013

Could it be a federal crime? And what is its connection to insider trading law, and to recent commercial efforts (Fantex Holdings) to “securitize sports” by enabling investment in individual athletes’ personal brands? [Justin V. Shur, Eric R. Nitz and Justin M. Ellis, Corporate Counsel]

September 15 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 15, 2013

  • Falling tree limb injures woman, jury orders city of Savannah to pay $12 million [Insurance Journal]
  • Dept. of Interior mulls lowering threshold for federal recognition of Indian tribes [AP]
  • Section 230: “The Law that Gave Us the Modern Internet, and the Campaign to Kill It” [Derek Khanna, The Atlantic]
  • Interview with false-memory expert Elizabeth Loftus [Slate]
  • “No meaningful costs or downsides” to the Microsoft antitrust case? Really? [Tom Bowden]
  • NSA covertly intervened in standards making process to weaken encryption standards [Mike Masnick, TechDirt] After being rebuffed by public opinion in quest for dragnet surveillance programs, NSA quietly put programs in place through other channels [Jack Shafer; related, Ken at Popehat]
  • Given the limitations of litigation, better not to lament the shortcomings of the NFL concussion settlement [Howard Wasserman]

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“The NFL has reached a tentative $765 million settlement over concussion-related brain injuries among its 18,000 retired players, agreeing to compensate victims, pay for medical exams and underwrite research.” [ESPN (auto-plays video), Sports Illustrated, earlier] Plus: Chicago Tribune editorial (and thanks for quote); Daniel Fisher.

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  • New Obama “pay-for-performance” scheme for higher ed would drastically increase federal power over university sector [D.C. Examiner editorial] Don’t expect new moves to curb the escalating cost of college [Neal McCluskey, Cato]
  • Funniest IRB (institutional review board) anecdote in a while [via Tyler Cowen, earlier]
  • Will colleges start awarding admissions preferences to applicants who say they’re gay? [John Rosenberg, Discriminations]
  • “8 Cringeworthy Allegations From The New Lawsuit Against Donald Trump” [Business Insider]
  • Judge rules student can proceed with suit against Morgan State over attack by brain-eating cannibal, because what could be more reasonably foreseeable than that? [Baltimore Sun, Daily Caller]
  • Dartmouth, USC: Office of Civil Rights, following “blueprint,” suggests colleges’ procedures not extreme enough in campus sex cases [KC Johnson/Minding the Campus, earlier]
  • NCAA concussion suit seeks class action status [ESPN]

Football concussions

by Walter Olson on August 23, 2013

Really, don’t count on helmet designs to change much of anything [Sean Conboy, DeadSpin; Nick Farr, Abnormal Use; earlier]

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August 16 roundup

by Walter Olson on August 16, 2013

  • As football helmet makers come under litigation pressure, one company’s label simply advises not playing football [New York Times, ABA Journal]
  • D.C. Circuit: Obama administration has broken law by stalling action on Nevada nuclear site [AP/ABC News, In re Aiken County (PDF)]
  • Unexpected venue? Writer in National Review suggests legalizing prostitution [Charles Cooke]
  • Eight reasons New York City rent is so ridiculously high [Josh Barro]
  • “How much is a life worth?” [Kenneth Feinberg profile in National Journal]
  • Ed Markey vs. amusement parks [Elie Mystal, Above the Law]
  • How easy is it to pull real estate deed fraud? You (and the owners of the Empire State Building) might be surprised [Now I Know]

“There is no reason in the world for a case to be tried 20 years after it was filed,” said Judge Deanne Wilson, who said she knew of nothing matching the case in the New Jersey courts. The judge was highly critical of the conduct of the defendants, a real estate family led by Minnesota Vikings owner Zygmunt “Zygi” Wilf, which she found had misappropriated funds owed to longtime business partners. [Ben Horowitz, Newark Star-Ledger, Minneapolis Star-Tribune and more, Field of Schemes]

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