NFL Sports

News & Analysis as of

Garçon to FanDuel: Check please!

What are a veteran NFL player’s name, image, and likeness worth in the burgeoning (but recently beleaguered-by-lawsuits) daily fantasy sports gaming industry? NFL wide receiver Pierre Garçon’s putative class action lawsuit...more

Win At All Costs?: A Glimpse Into Trade Secrets In The Sports And Entertainment Industry

It is one of those magical times during the year when sports fanatics can enjoy three major American sports all at the same time: the MLB playoffs are in full swing; the NFL season has finally kicked off; and the NHL saw the...more

Deflategate: Four Games and Four Lessons for Unionized Employers

This week would have marked the return of Tom Brady, had his four game suspension not been reversed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Much ink has been spilled over Brady’s suspension...more

Would OSHA “Punt” on Inspecting an NFL Team?

The tragedy this August that claimed the life of one worker and injured another during construction of the new $1.1B Minnesota Vikings football stadium reminded us that serious accidents can happen at any site no matter the...more

Even Bears Need Visas: Immigration Law Stalls Kiwi’s Dream of Playing American Football

New Zealander, Paul Lasike, always dreamed of playing American football. This 5’11”, 232 lb. Aukland native came to the United States on a scholarship to Brigham Young University, where he played rugby, but his heart was on...more

The Unintended Consequences of Public Ownership of Sports Stadiums – The NFL meets Concealed Carry Gun Permits

“Politics is tricky; it cuts both ways. Every time you make a choice, it has unintended consequences.” — Stone Gossard A recent opinion from the Tennessee Attorney General’s office, No. 15-63, July 29, 2015, illustrates...more

Texts, Lies and Footballs: Tom Brady, “Deflategate,” and What’s Next?

Since we last discussed “Deflategate,” New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady appealed his four-game suspension resulting from the NFL’s finding that he had committed “conduct detrimental to the league,” based on 1) his...more

New York Bill Follows California’s Lead to Recognize Professional Cheerleaders as Employees

It’s official—professional cheerleaders are now recognized as employees under California law. On July 15, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that requires all California-based professional sports teams to pay...more

Washington’s NFL Team and U.S. Customs

Last week the NFL franchise that plays football near — but not in — our Nation’s Capital, was dealt another significant legal and public relations blow that would have any rational brand owner working overtime on its...more

Advertising Law - June 2015 #2

NFL Scores Victory at Eighth Circuit, $42M Deal With Former Players Upheld - The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the $42 million settlement between the National Football League (NFL) and almost 25,000 former pro...more

Lawyer Who Started Fight Over "R-Word" Mascot Awaits Decision

About a quarter century ago, Steve Baird — at the time, a freshly minted graduate of the University of Iowa law school clerking for a federal judge in Washington, D.C. — was spending most of his free weekends working on an...more

NFL Gives Up Tax-Exempt Status

Earlier this year, I posted about the possibility that the NFL may lose its tax exempt status. The NFL has decided instead to give up its tax-exempt status. It has been estimated that the tax-exempt status only saved the...more

Institute of Sports Law and Ethics, Co-Founded by Manatt’s Ron Katz, Is Currently Active on Three Fronts: Deflategate, Homophobia...

The Institute of Sports Law and Ethics (ISLE) at Santa Clara University is currently active on three fronts: Deflategate, homophobia and safer soccer. Re Deflategate, Ron Katz, co-founder of ISLE, has been quoted extensively...more

If Only the New England Patriots Had a CCO: Lessons from “Deflategate”

If only the New England Patriots had an Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption program, “Deflategate” might never have entered America’s vocabulary. The long-running saga re-entered the media this past week with the release of the...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 156-emergency podcast on Deflategate and the Wells Report [Video]

In the first emergency podcast Jay Rosen and I review (what we know) of the Wells Report into Deflategate. We consider the issues from a FCPA compliance practitioner perspective and what lessons may be learned from the...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: $23 Billion. The total revenue generated by the additional Medicare tax and the net investment income tax used to pay for the Affordable Care Act. The total exceeds the Joint Committee on Taxation’s 2010...more

NFL At Risk Of Losing Non-Profit Status?

A recent proposal by U.S. Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, would eliminate the tax-exemption under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(6) for professional sports...more

12th Man Down

In the wake of our 49th Super Bowl (er, “The Big Game”), it seems the Seahawks are not only making headlines with their last minute calls, but also with their IP strategies. Over the past couple of years, the Seahawks have...more

The NFL’s Super Bowl Trademark Nonsense

It’s that time of year again. Time to tiptoe around and avoid use of or make any reference to the Super Bowl. Whoops. Anyway, we’ve discussed this phenomenon before...more

Davis: Electronic Arts Gets a New Set of Downs and Still Can’t Score

Just over a month ago I wrote about the Davis v. Electronic Arts matter that was pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.  Specifically, I opined that the matter was ripe for Supreme Court review in light of the...more

USA: Ninth Circuit Rejects EA’s “Incidental Use” Defense in Madden-Related Right of Publicity Suit

On January 6, 2015, the Ninth Circuit decided that Electronic Arts Inc.’s (“EA”) unauthorized use of former NFL players’ likeness as avatars in the Madden NFL video game series does not qualify for First Amendment protection....more

Who can I sue if my team doesn’t make it to the Super Bowl? #LawsuitAttorney

Apparently, this is the question one man asked himself after the Dallas Cowboys lost in the NFL playoffs to the Green Bay Packers. A key play in that game came in the fourth quarter when a pass to Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant...more

NFL Films Ruling Blurs Right of Publicity

Earlier this year the Seventh Circuit stated that “there is no judicial consensus on how to resolve conflicts between intellectual-property rights and free-speech rights.” Jordan v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., 743 F.3d 509, 514...more

Personal Brand Management for Retirees (…of the NFL)

Dozens of former NFL players lit up the federal court docket here in Minnesota with filings on Monday targeted at Defendants including the National Football League, NFL Films, Inc., and NFL Productions, LLC....more

2, 4, 6, 8…NFL Cheerleaders Not “Rah Rah-ing” About Pay Rate

Two NFL teams are facing wage and hour class action lawsuits filed by their cheerleaders. On January 22, an Oakland Raiderette sued the Raiders organization on behalf of herself and current and former cheerleaders alleging...more

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