Art, Entertainment & Sports General Business Civil Procedure

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When Silence is Unambiguous...Has the Seventh Circuit Created Ambiguity Over Review of Arbitrators’ Decisions?

United States Soccer Fed’n, Inc. v. United States Nat’l Soccer Team Players Ass’n, No. 15-3402, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17339 (7th Cir. Sept. 22, 2016). The Seventh Circuit decided last month that an arbitrator exceeded his...more

September 2016 Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance News Update

The past month’s judicial and administrative activity in the area of IC misclassification reflects the wide range of industries facing these types of claims: communications; cleaning services; transportation and delivery...more

Summary Judgment Horror Story For Stephen King’s Literary Agent

While many breach of contract cases are resolved by motions to dismiss or summary judgment, a recent decision from the Appellate Division, First Department, Kramer v. Greene, (1st Dep’t Aug. 11, 2016), has shown that when it...more

DeVito Artworks LLC v. Legendary Pictures LLC - California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, August 5, 2016

In dispute over pitch for television series about origins of King Kong, Superior Court holds that plaintiff’s implied contract with makers of “Kong: Skull Island” film not to use ideas without compensation was not barred by...more

The New Jersey Supreme Court Will Consider Related Questions on Appeal in Two TCCWNA Class Actions

By now, many retailers have heard of New Jersey’s Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act, N.J.S.A. §56:12-18 (“TCCWNA”), which is the basis for several class action lawsuits filed in New Jersey state and federal...more

Bad Faith Actions for Excess Judgments….is There Trouble Brewing for Recalcitrant Primary Insurers

Can an excess carrier go ahead and fund an excess primary limits settlement and then assert a claim for bad faith against the primary insurer who previously refused to accept and fund a prior in-limits policy demand? On...more

Newt v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. - USDC, C.D. California, July 27, 2016

District court dismisses copyright infringement claim against creators of Fox’s television show “Empire,” finding no substantial similarity between Fox’s show about struggle for control of music company and plaintiff’s...more

All or Nothing: Nevada Supreme Court Refuses to Adopt “Blue Pencil” Doctrine for Non-Compete Agreements

In a recent opinion, the Supreme Court of Nevada refused to adopt the “blue pencil” doctrine when it ruled that an unreasonable provision in a non-compete agreement rendered the entire agreement unenforceable. “Blue...more

Avatar Wins Against Another Copyright Owner… in an Unusual Manner

A recent decision from the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, ended the hopes and dreams of a copyright owner from receiving a share of the $2.8 billion earned by James Cameron’s Avatar film. In this...more

Brumley Heirs Win Fight over Rights to Old Gospel Song *WEB ONLY**

Addressing the termination right given to authors and their heirs under the Copyright Act, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concluded that four siblings could use their right to terminate the transfer their...more

Court Rejects City’s Anti-SLAPP Claim Regarding Would-Be NFL Stadium in Carson

The location of several National Football League franchises have been in flux for years, with teams such as the Chargers, Raiders, and Rams seeking modern, amenity-laden stadiums they have been unable to attain in their...more

Nike Voluntarily Dismisses Closely Watched Lawsuit Against Olympic Hopeful

Nike has voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit it had filed against middle-distance runner and Olympic hopeful Boris Berian. At issue was whether Berian breached an endorsement agreement with Nike when—after the agreement’s...more

Brumley v. Albert E. Brumley & Sons Inc. - USCA, Sixth Circuit, May 16, 2016

Sixth Circuit concludes that author’s 1975 assignment of gospel song “I’ll Fly Away” was subject to 2008 termination notice, notwithstanding subsequent 1979 assignment of rights by late composer’s wife....more

Arbitrators Have The Right To Be Wrong: The Second Circuit Speaks About “Deflategate” (And What’s Next)

When we last wrote about “Deflategate”, Tom Brady, the National Football League Players Association [“NFLPA”] and New England Patriots fans were basking in the glory of the reversal of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s...more

Protecting Fashion through Copyrights: The Supreme Court Will Decide Whether Cheer Uniform Designs Are Protectable

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will address the issue whether apparel can be protected by copyright law—a question described by the petitioners in the case as “the single most vexing, unresolved question...more

Brady's Benching Gives Lesson in Court Review of Arbitration Decisions

Earlier this week, Bills and Jets fans (and at least one Packer fan) rejoiced as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the NFL’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady based on a finding...more

Legal Lessons from Tom Brady

The state of Massachusetts collectively groaned last week as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in the “Deflate-Gate” saga. A brief recap of this strange...more

Labor and Employment News: Deflategate: Limited Ability to Appeal Arbitration Awards

Nearly all collective bargaining agreements have an arbitration clause for deciding any disputes under the agreement. Beyond the labor arena, employers have increasingly mandated arbitration as the designated forum for...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

The Beat Goes On: D.C. Circuit Upholds NLRB View That Orchestra Musicians Are Employees

Last week, a federal appeals court enforced a ruling by the NLRB that orchestra musicians are employees, not independent contractors. The import of the decision in Lancaster Symphony Orchestra v. NLRB is sure to reverberate...more

Tom Brady’s suspension reinstated, so what are the potential Massachusetts tax consequences?

Deflategate and the NFL’s suspension of quarterback Tom Brady for 4 games has been the NFL’s biggest news story of the past two years. On April 25, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in...more

Contracts and Unfair Trade Practices, Redux

A recent decision by the North Carolina Business Court underscores the challenges faced by a party who tries to convert a breach of contract into a violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. A breach of contract alone, even...more

California Court Gives Two Thumbs Down and Voids Non-Compete in Actor’s Agreement

Seyfarth Synopsis: Limitation on an actor’s ability to work in certain films struck down as an unlawful restraint of trade. California, mecca of the film and media production industries in the U.S., is notorious for...more

Foundation for the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan v. Alcon Entertainment (N.D. Georgia, March 23, 2016)

Rarely does one think of copyright issues surrounding how research is conducted for feature films that are based on real life events, but 54 Sudanese refugees are forging that new connection between research and copyright in...more

Ninth Circuit Leaves it to Policyholder to Pay Eddie Haskell’s Attorneys’ Fees

Moral hazard lurks around the edges of many disputes about liability coverage. Everyone agrees in principle that insurance shouldn’t help bad actors benefit from their wrongdoing, but parties often clash over where the...more

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