“A nonprofit group sued the NCAA on Wednesday over a new policy that bars felons from coaching NCAA-sanctioned events. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Diego, claims that the new rule violates the Civil Rights Act and disproportionately affects minority coaches.” [ESPN, auto-plays video] The suit dovetails with the EEOC’s new crackdown on employer consideration of criminal records, which as James Bovard writes in the Wall Street Journal, seems calculated to raise the legal risks substantially for employers who put job applicants through criminal background checks: it denies the “business necessity” defense to employers even when a state’s law mandates the use of criminal checks, and requires most employers seeking to consider criminal records to enter a legal minefield of obligatory “individualized assessment” in which decisions can be second-guessed readily and expensively:
It is difficult to overstate the EEOC’s zealotry on this issue. The agency is demanding that one of [former EEOC general counsel Donald] Livingston’s clients — the Freeman Companies, a convention and corporate events planner — pay compensation to rejected job applicants who lied about their criminal records.
(& T. Andrew Perkins)
Don’t you wish we’d heard more about this before the election, and not just afterward?
Breaking new ground, the U.S. Education Department is telling schools they must include students with disabilities in sports programs or provide equal alternative options. The directive, reminiscent of the Title IX expansion of athletic opportunities for women, could bring sweeping changes to school budgets and locker rooms for years to come.
Schools would be required to make “reasonable modifications” for students with disabilities or create parallel athletic programs that have comparable standing as mainstream programs.
[AP/Yahoo, New York Times, Michael Petrilli/NR ("The Obama Administration Invents a Right to Wheelchair Basketball")]
The disgraced cyclist, like quite a few celebrities (and non-celebrities), had filed defamation actions against persons over statements he had good reason to know were true. That’s not just a violation of his adversaries’ rights, but an inherently sanctionable use of the courts [Michael McCann/Sports Illustrated via Turkewitz; Emily Bazelon/Slate ("Armstrong 'sued so many people that by his own admission he can’t remember their names'")]
A lawyer has filed an intended class action in Florida court against the San Antonio Spurs, saying it caused him “economic damage” as a ticket buyer for management of the visiting team to have sent top players home to rest amid four games in five days. “Some might argue that the Heat’s fans got their money’s worth. That’s because the team barely beat the undermanned Spurs that night 105-100. [Attorney Larry] McGuinness said that doesn’t mean a game with the Spurs’ top players couldn’t have been more exciting.” [ESPN, auto-plays video]
At least the lawyers are getting some exercise [Cleveland Plain Dealer via Adler]:
Thursday was one of the strangest days in Ohio high school football history. Not a single down was played and it ended in total confusion…. The Ohio Supreme Court might have the final word….
Edgewood Superintendent Joe Spiccia said the plan Thursday night was to create a conflicting court order, which it did. … [OHSAA spokesman Tim Stried] said neither game will be played until the case is resolved by another court because if either game took place, it would be violating one of the two court orders.
In the New York Daily News, Lawrence Cunningham argues that skewed economic incentives — some of them advanced by the actions of federal prosecutors, who applied muscle in a tax-fraud settlement to press for the casino-ization of Aqueduct Race Track — contributed to the deaths of 21 racehorses, most of whom were entered in races with purses artificially inflated so as far to exceed their own economic worth. “Politicians and prosecutors should not direct business changes without understanding their significance. What’s happening to the horses at Aqueduct could have been prevented.”
“A New Orleans Saints fan named David Mancina has filed a putative class action against Roger Goodell and the NFL, alleging that Goodell and the league’s suspension of Saints players entitles Mancina and other Saints fans to damages from (I am not making this up) ‘the diminishment in the value of their tickets; their personal emotional reaction to the unwarranted penalties inflicted on their beloved team, players, coaches, and executives; and the deliberate reduction of the competitive capability of the Saints due to the selective gutting of the critical components needed to justify the loyalty of Plaintiff and the class.'” [Howard Wasserman, Prawfs, who does not think much of the suit, headlining it "Today in Sanctionable Lawsuits"]
“The parents of Derek Boogaard, the N.H.L. enforcer who died in May 2011 of an accidental overdose of prescription painkillers and alcohol, have sued the N.H.L. Players’ Association. … The suit seeks the $4.8 million in salary he was scheduled to make and $5 million in punitive damages.” [NY Times, Andrew Buzin]
In Britain, which has hate-speech laws, police investigate a racially derogatory Tweet. [Telegraph]
I’ll be speaking in Birmingham, Alabama tomorrow to a lunch gathering of the city’s Federalist Society Lawyers’ chapter, about my book on legal academia, Schools for Misrule. The event will be at noon at the Summit Club, Sixth Ave. N. More details here.
Speaking of Alabama, the Eleventh Circuit has broadly sided with artist Daniel Moore over his right to create and sell artistic depictions of Crimson Tide sporting events without paying a licensing fee to the University of Alabama [Jon Solomon/Birmingham News, AP/Tuscaloosa News, earlier here and here]
P.S. Music lover? You might see me at this.
Product liability reaches the famed Alaskan dogsled race:
Iditarod mushers are known for missing digits. …
When Mitch Seavey nearly lost his index finger last year in Ophir, however, his Iditarod was over. In a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, the former champion now says the blame lies with the Oregon company that made the knife he sliced his finger with, and Sportsman’s Warehouse, which sold it to him.
[Anchorage Daily News, more]
It might be more accurate to identify the protagonist in this little tale as a class action law firm, rather than as a California “fan”:
Fred Weiss is the only plaintiff named in the class-action suit. In it, he claims he suffered “actual harm” because he was “subjected to the aggravation that necessarily accompanies the invasion of privacy caused by unsolicited text message calls, but also because consumers have to pay their cell phone service providers for the receipt of such wireless calls.” Weiss is bringing the suit under a federal law that prohibits unsolicited texts. …
The terms and conditions of the text program said the Pens would send no more than three messages per week for those who chose to subscribe. In his first week as a subscriber, Weiss claims the Pens sent him five texts. In the second week, Weiss says he got four.
The Edelson class-action firm of Chicago is one we have met before. [DeadSpin]
“A retired semi-professional footballer who claims his faith ruined his chances of playing for Manchester United is suing the Baptist Church for £10 million.” Arquimedes Nganga “quit the sport aged 25 when he converted to the Baptist faith. He said: ‘I could definitely have had a long career in the Premiership'” had he not given it up. [Evening Standard]
The trademark case between artist Daniel Moore and the University of Alabama, over his paintings of Crimson Tide athletics without permission from the university’s licensing operation, has reached the Eleventh Circuit. [Ben Flanagan, Al.com; earlier]