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sports

Lance Armstrong as litigant

by Walter Olson on January 19, 2013

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'")]

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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.

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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"]

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“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]

Back to school roundup

by Walter Olson on September 4, 2012

  • “Do The New School Food Regulations Actually Hinder Scratch-Cooking?” Looks like it [Bettina Elias Siegel]
  • What Gloria Romero saw in Sacramento: prison guards lobby for longer sentences, nurses lobby against first aid, but the teachers union was the most untouchable of all [WSJ] Media Matters and the NEA [David Martosko, Daily Caller]
  • To earn top ratings under new city evaluation scheme, Denver teachers must press students to “challenge… the dominant culture” and “take social action to change/improve society or work for social justice.” Gee, thanks, Gates Foundation [9NEWS, auto-plays; earlier on ideological tests for educators]
  • “School Tells Deaf Boy, ‘Hunter,’ to Change His Name — It’s Too Violent” [Skenazy/Agitator]
  • More on pressure for race quotas in school discipline [Casey Cheney, Heartlander, quotes me; earlier here, here, etc.]
  • Allegations of mass cheating in, too perfectly, Harvard “Introduction to Congress” course: “I say give the cheaters an A, fail the rest” [Alex Tabarrok] Suspended fraternity sues Miami University for $10 million [Cincinnati Enquirer]
  • On coach liability for player injuries [Matt Mitten, Marquette]
  • ACLU files novel suit alleging Michigan and its agencies failed legal, constitutional obligation to bring student reading up to grade level [WSJ Law Blog]

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July 20 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 20, 2012

  • Congress, HUD face off on “disparate impact” in housing and housing finance [WSJ edit, Clegg/NRO] Wells Fargo says it didn’t base loans on race but will pay $175 million to end federal probe [Reuters]
  • Maryland vs. Virginia: if only there were a government that was consistent about favoring liberty [John Walters, Maryland Public Policy Institute]
  • British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal levies $3000 against husband-and-wife owners of bed-and-breakfast who canceled reservation of gay couple based on religious objections [Religion Clause, The Province] UK: “‘Gay flatmate wanted’ ads break equality laws” [Telegraph] See our earlier coverage of the Ninth Circuit Roommate.com case here and here.
  • “Lifeguard fired for saving drowning person — outside his designated zone.” [NBC Miami via @commongood]
  • “Do you want to be informed about the constant, infuriating corporate welfare for professional sports owners? Follow FieldOfSchemes.com” [Matt Welch]
  • Negligent entrustment lawsuit against parents who let 33 year old daughter drive car yields $1.2 million in Tennessee [Knoxville News]
  • Pretrial and discovery: “New York state bar recommends federal litigation reforms” [Reuters]

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“Choc ice”

by Walter Olson on July 19, 2012

In Britain, which has hate-speech laws, police investigate a racially derogatory Tweet. [Telegraph]

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July 14 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 14, 2012

  • Does new Obama directive gut 1996 welfare reform law? [Mickey Kaus ("in 2008, Barack Obama didn’t dare suggest that he wanted to do what he has done today"), Bader]
  • Ringling Bros. v. animal rights activists: court throws out champerty claim, allows racketeering claim to proceed [BLT]
  • Iqbal, Twombly, and Lance Armstrong [DeadSpin, Howard Wasserman/Prawfs and more]
  • Abuse claims: “Retain the statute of limitations” [New Jersey Law Journal editorial] Insurance costs squeeze NYC social services working with kids, elderly [NYDN]
  • Court upholds sanctions vs. “staggering chutzpah” copyright lawyer Evan Stone [Paul Alan Levy, Eugene Volokh, earlier here and here]
  • Court says board members of NYC apartment co-ops can be sued personally over alleged bias [Reuters]
  • “FASB retreats from disastrous litigation disclosure requirement proposal” [Alison Frankel, Reuters via PoL, earlier]

In Birmingham tomorrow

by Walter Olson on June 13, 2012

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.

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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]

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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]

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  • On party-line vote, Sacramento Dems turn down bill to curb ADA access shakedown suits [ATRF, KABC, Sacramento Bee (auto-plays video ad)]
  • Illinois sues local schools for not developing standards for disabled athletic competition [Chicago Tribune]
  • Open secret: criminals exploit federally mandated IP Relay disabled-phone system [Henderson]
  • Judge certifies nationwide ADA accessibility suit against Hollister over stepped entrances to its stores [Law Week Colorado via Disability Law]
  • In settlement, AMC movie chain agrees to install captioning, audio-description at Illinois theaters [ABC Chicago]
  • “Has the Expanded Definition of Disability under the ADAA Gone Too Far?” [Russell Cawyer]
  • “Fake handicaps a growing problem for disabled sports” [Der Spiegel]

“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]

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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]

“…starts with liability suits.” As concussion suits mount, will broadcast networks and high school referees need to worry about being named as defendants along with team franchises, schools, helmet manufacturers and other more obvious defendants? [Tyler Cowen and Kevin Grier, Grantland, via Ilya Somin] More: Miller (“I think these cases are going nowhere.”)

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It’s being pursued by the obscure nonprofit African Diaspora Maritime Corp. from landlocked Raleigh, North Carolina, with help from major law firm McDermott Will & Emery. Ellison himself has pursued extensive litigation over the yachting event. [News & Observer]

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