Art, Entertainment & Sports Civil Procedure Personal Injury

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Student Athletes Fight to Keep Fantasy Sports-Related Right of Publicity Claims Alive

Last week, the plaintiff collegiate athletes in a putative class action lawsuit pending in the Southern District Court of Indiana filed their opposition to FanDuel and DraftKings’ respective motions to dismiss. The...more

Eggleston v. Daniels - USDC, E.D. Michigan, August 16, 2016

District court refused to dismiss infringement claims alleging creators of TV show “Empire” copied Cookie Lyon character from plaintiff’s memoir, concluding, among other things, that stories with female, African-American...more

Federal Judge Dismisses Defamation Suit Against Rolling Stone After Discredited University of Virginia Profile

A New York federal judge recently granted a motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone magazine, its publisher Wenner Media, and journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely. Three former University of Virginia (“UVA”)...more

Brodeur v. Atlas Entertainment Inc. - Calif. Appeal Court, 2nd Dist., Div. 8, June 6, 2016

Appellate court reverses denial of anti-SLAPP motion brought by producers and distributors of “American Hustle,” holding that film dialogue regarding environmental author’s statement about microwave ovens was in connection...more

The Ink Isn’t Dry

What rights based in copyright law does a tattoo artist have in a tattoo itself, and to what extent can an artist use those rights to restrict the rights of others, including the people whose skin has been inked?...more

Unvacating Arbitration Awards: Quarterbacks and Car Accidents

The Second Circuit reminded us yesterday that judicial review of arbitration awards is “among the most deferential in the law.” And when district courts are not sufficiently deferential, their decisions are likely to be...more

Dryer v. The National Football League (USCA, Eighth Circuit, February 26, 2016 )

In action involving films produced by NFL containing historical game footage, Eighth Circuit affirms summary judgment in favor of NFL, holding that former players’ right of publicity claims are pre-empted by Copyright Act,...more

Ninth Circuit Finds First Amendment Protects Against Right Of Publicity Claim Involving Film “The Hurt Locker”

The Ninth Circuit has confirmed that right of publicity claims purporting to arise from expressive works, like films, are content-based restrictions on speech that are presumptively unconstitutional, and generally should not...more

Sarver v. Chartier (USCA, Ninth Circuit, February 17, 2016 )

Ninth Circuit affirms district court’s dismissal of Army sergeant’s lawsuit alleging that main character in film “The Hurt Locker” was based on his experiences without his consent, holding that film spoke to issues of public...more

NCAA Settlement Could Promote Concussion Prevention and Treatment, but Leaves Member Institutions on the Hook for Future Lawsuits

On January 26, U.S. District Judge John Lee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted preliminary approval of a new settlement of consolidated class action litigation involving the NCAA...more

Primary Assumption of Risk – Subjective Awareness and Increasing Risk Beyond Inherent Risk

Scott Griffin v. The Haunted Hotel, Inc. - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (November 20, 2015) - Since the landmark case, Knight v. Jewett (1992) 3 Cal 4th, 296, it has been held in California that the...more

Man assumed the risk of injury from chainsaw-wielding psychopathic killer

Perfectly timed for Halloween 2015, the California Court of Appeal held that a haunted house patron who was injured while running away from an actor carrying a gas powered chainsaw (without the chain) assumed the risk and...more

Stadium Owners Watching Closely To See if Insurer Fumbles Reggie Bush Claim

San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush reportedly intends to sue the city of St. Louis after slipping on a concrete surface behind the St. Louis Rams’ bench during a recent game, injuring his knee and ending his season....more

Never Say Never to Lone Pine Orders

After our last two posts, we received emails blasting us for being insensitive to the plight of injured plaintiffs. That struck us as unfair, given that the posts pertained to the technical issues of choice of law and choice...more

Ninth Circuit Holds That NCAA’s Amateurism Rules Violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act

In a decision handed down on September 30th, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the District Court’s ruling that the NCAA’s “amateurism” rules unlawfully restrained trade in the market for certain...more

Premises Liability Claims at the Ballpark

When you attend a baseball game with your family, are you at risk of sustaining a serious injury? If you do get hurt, can you bring a premises liability lawsuit, alleging that the owner of the stadium or the team was...more

Express Waiver of Assumption of Risk – Gross Negligence Exception

Stacey Chavez, et al. v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (July 8, 2015) - California’s public policy in favor of sporting and leisure activities provides strong support for...more

Do Not Mess With Michael Jordan And His Right Of Publicity

After Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September of 2009, Sports Illustrated ran a special issue to commemorate Jordan’s achievement and celebrate his career. The issue was to be sold in...more

Clark v. Viacom - USCA Sixth Circuit, July 8, 2015

Sixth Circuit affirms dismissal of defamation claims brought against Viacom by former American Idol contestants, holding that Tennessee’s “single publication rule” applies to online speech and thus majority of allegedly...more

Saving Fans from Themselves (and Foul Balls): Class Action suit aims to raise nets and take down the Baseball Rule

“The slaughter pen” is the early 1900s term to describe the seating area behind baseball’s home plate before the age of nets or fencing shielded them from wild pitches and foul balls. While the game has come a long way...more

Right of Publicity Claims by Athletes Nearly Shut Out in 2015

When we published our Sue-per Bowl post, 2015 looked like it would be a good year for right of publicity claims brought by athletes. On January 6, 2015, the Ninth Circuit in Davis v. Electronic Arts held that the First...more

Sirius Wins One in Florida, Florida, Florida!

On June 22, 2015, the Southern District of Florida held that artists have no public performance rights in their pre-1972 sound recordings under Florida law, in contrast to decisions from California and New York in related...more

Flying Fenway Bat Calls New Attention to the Baseball Rule

A tragic accident often leads to calls for re-examination of a long-accepted part of culture. This past week, after a broken bat at Fenway Park seriously injured a fan, commentators are calling for a re-examination of the...more

Richard Prince’s Instagram Art: Do You Know Where Your Face Is?

Social media, it seems, has turned us all into photographers. Anyone with a Facebook page, an Instagram account or any of the other methods for socializing on the web, can post original photos for all the world to see,...more

USA: Lawsuit against Manny Pacquiao

Lawsuits have been filed against Manny Pacquiao, his manager (Michael Koncz) and his promoter (Top Rank Inc.), alleging amongst other things, fraud and perjury. The lawsuits seek damages for the alleged concealment of...more

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