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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

US Supreme Court Ruling Impacts Jail Operations

On June 22, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued an important decision for all North Carolina counties operating county jails in which individuals are held detainees awaiting trial. In Kingsley v. Hendrickson, No....more

Gilead Sciences, Inc., et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 13-2034-GMS, March 13, 2015.

Sleet, J. Defendant’s motion to strike counts 9 and 10 under California’s Anti-SLAPP Stature is granted with prejudice. Defendant’s motion to dismiss counts 9-11 is denied in part and granted in part. Plaintiff’s motion to...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Arresting Armed, Mentally Ill Suspects

Officers May Have Immunity from Liability, Supreme Court Says - Overview: The United States Supreme Court found that two police officers were immune from liability under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 even if the officers failed...more

Yelp Fights for the Right to Complain Anonymously

In e-commerce, user reviews can make or break a business. Review sites such as Yelp are a double edged sword for merchants and service providers: on one hand satisfied customers can generate buzz about the company and bring...more

Rights in Bob Marley's name and likeness trump free speech where defence not properly pleaded | World Trademark Review

Fifty-Six Hope Road is a company run by some of Bob Marley's children, and it owns the property rights to Bob Marley's name, voice and likeness. Hope Road licensed Zion Rootswear the exclusive right to use Marley's name and...more

Statements Made in HOA Recall Election Campaign are Subject to Anti-SLAPP Protection

A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation or “SLAPP” is a civil lawsuit brought to either prevent or punish another person for exercising their First Amendment right to petition the government or to speak about public...more

"Defamation Claims Brought by Texas Health Care Providers Will Be Subject to Anti-SLAPP Act Requirements"

Health care providers should keep in mind that virtually any suit alleging defamation or other harm from a “communication” relating to the provision of services by a health care professional will be subject to the demanding...more

Court Protects Anonymity of Yelp Users

Virginia’s highest court recently held that Yelp could not be forced to turn over the identities of anonymous online reviewers that a Virginia carpet-cleaning owner claimed tarnished his business....more

Screenwriter SLAPPs Down Libel-in-Fiction Claim

In a victory for all authors of fiction, a screenwriter of the film “What Maisie Knew” has successfully defended a lawsuit that sought to hold him liable for defamation based on the portrayal of a character drawn from an 1897...more

Practical Guidance on Application of Caps on Non-Economic Damages and Punitive Damages

In 2011, Tennessee joined a growing number of states that passed tort reform. In Particular Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-39-102 provides for caps on non-economic damages and Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-39-104 provides for...more

The Roof Is On Fire: Trial Court Finds Tennessee Non-Economic Damages Cap Unconstitutional

Just four years ago, the Tennessee legislature passed the Civil Justice Act of 2011, making it the latest in a growing number of states to statutorily cap the maximum amount of non-economic damages available to plaintiffs in...more

Stacy Allen Speaks: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Unpopular Celebrities And The Right Of Publicity

In retrospect, the victories won by former college football stars in their right of publicity lawsuits against Electronic Arts and its hugely popular NCAA Football videogame franchise are hardly surprising. How could anyone...more

Two Rights of Publicity Decisions Explore the Boundaries of Commercial Speech in Commemorating Public Figures

Two recent rights of publicity cases illustrated the parameters of using a public figure’s name, likeness, identity or image for commercial purposes, without consent for commemorative purposes. But when does commemoration...more

Michael Jordan Denied Summary Judgment on His Right of Publicity Claim against Illinois Grocer

In 2009, Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. To commemorate Jordan’s career, Time Inc. published a special Sports Illustrated Presents issue that included congratulatory “advertisements” from several...more

Two California State Law Claims Are Dismissed With Prejudice

Sleet, J. Defendant’s motion to strike counts 9 and 10 under California’s Anti-SLAPP Stature is granted with prejudice. Defendant’s motion to dismiss counts 9-11 is denied in part and granted in part. Plaintiff’s motion to...more

Privacy Settings Won’t Keep Social Media Posts Out Of Court

On Jan. 7, 2015, in Nucci v. Target Corp., et al, the District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, Fourth District, upheld a lower court’s order compelling plaintiff Maria Nucci to produce photographs originally posted...more

Business Law Newsletter - March 2015

In This Issue: - Small Businesses: Responding to and Resolving Scathing (or False) Online Reviews - DWI in Your Driveway - Excerpt from DWI in Your Driveway: Drivers in the Commonwealth be...more

What is Excessive Force? Don’t ask the experts!

We are all very familiar with the recent incidents that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City. These two incidents brought to the national spotlight (yet again) the difficult, split-second decision making required...more

"Courts Parse First Amendment Protections for Anonymous Critics Online"

The Supreme Court has long recognized that the freedom of speech enshrined in the First Amendment extends to anonymous speech, noting that “persecuted groups and sects … throughout history have been able to criticize...more

When Can A Slanderous Facebook Posting Support Personal Jurisdiction?

Douglas Burdick v. The Superior Court of Orange County - Court Of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (January 14, 2015) - This case helps clarify when an Internet posting may be sufficient to support personal...more

Free Speech: Paris Mayor Off-Message by Threatening Fox News Suit

The scene of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris ten days later. I returned from Paris on Tuesday after a short vacation.  As a bit of a news junky, it was admittedly an exciting time to be there.  When I arrived on Friday, we...more

The Neiman Marcus Group LLC Urges Seventh Circuit To Deny Appeal

Neiman Marcus Group LLC (“Neiman Marcus”) filed its response to plaintiffs’ appeal of the Illinois federal district court’s decision dismissing plaintiffs’ purported class action claims. Plaintiffs alleged that Neiman Marcus...more

Court of Appeal Upholds Anti-SLAPP Motion to Defeat Claims Against Government Agencies

Ruling Allows Government Agencies to Use the Motion to Quickly End Meritless and Vexatious Lawsuits - A government agency can employ an anti-SLAPP motion to win early termination of meritless and vexatious lawsuits...more

Temperatures Rise in Mann Libel Suit

It has been a few months since I wrote about Michael Mann’s libel suit against National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and two contributors. During that time, the parties have been very busy in both the...more

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