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Media & Entertainment

  • June 6, 2018

    'Fixer Upper' Stars Settle EPA Lead Paint Mishandling Claims

    A company owned by HGTV "Fixer Upper" stars Chip and Joanna Gaines will pay a $40,000 civil penalty and put $160,000 toward lead abatement in its Waco, Texas, community to settle the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s allegations that it mishandled lead-based paint while renovating 33 homes there for the show.

  • June 6, 2018

    Tronc's Ex-Chairman Scraps Planned $208.6M Sale Of Stake

    The former chairman of Chicago-based Tronc Inc. said he scrapped plans to sell his more than one-quarter stake in the newspaper publisher for $208.6 million after the prospective buyer, McCormick Media, breached its obligations under their purchase agreement.

  • June 6, 2018

    Jury Clears Wrestlers In WWE Doctor's $8M Defamation Suit

    An Illinois state jury cleared wrestlers CM Punk and Colt Cabana Tuesday of defamation charges brought by World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. ringside doctor Christopher Amann after they blamed him for Punk’s staph infection during a podcast.

  • June 6, 2018

    1st Circ. Not Feeling Satisfied In Boston Bandmate TM Suit

    Two former bandmates in the classic rock group Boston struck a sour note in pleading their cases to the First Circuit Wednesday, with judges sharply challenging cross-appeals made by the rockers in their long-running dispute over the use of the band’s name.

  • June 6, 2018

    NJ Court Must Rethink Arbitration Over Amusement Park Fall

    A New Jersey state appeals court on Wednesday vacated a lower court's upholding of an arbitration decision in favor of an amusement park and equipment maker in a case over a man’s fall from a rope-climbing attraction, ruling a hearing is necessary to determine if the man and his wife knew they had waived their right to sue.

  • June 6, 2018

    Advocate Says Sprint, T-Mobile Merger Would Hurt Consumers

    An antitrust advocate has urged the U.S. Department of Justice to torpedo a proposed $59 billion merger between wireless carriers Sprint and T-Mobile, saying that the separate disruptive force of the two companies keeps the other big telecoms on their toes and that a merger would mean higher prices and fewer options for consumers.

  • June 6, 2018

    EU Updating Telecom Rules With Eye To 5G

    European Union leaders unveiled a deal Wednesday to update the bloc’s telecommunications rules as they ready for the next generation of smartphone networks, an update aimed at boosting network investments in part by coordinating spectrum assignments and syncing regulation.

  • June 6, 2018

    YouTube 'Dancing Baby' Copyright Case Ends In Settlement

    A decadelong copyright battle known as the "dancing baby" case will end in a settlement, according to court documents filed on Wednesday, a little less than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to tackle the closely watched case.

  • June 6, 2018

    Slots Chain Will Pay $3.5M To End EEOC Disability Bias Suit

    Slots chain Dotty’s will pay $3.5 million to end a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suit in Nevada federal court alleging its policy requiring injured employees to heal fully before coming back to work discriminates against disabled workers, the agency announced Wednesday.

  • June 5, 2018

    Ex-Editor Who Made #MeToo Claim Fights Boston Globe's Suit

    A former Boston Globe editor urged a Massachusetts state court Tuesday to deny the news organization’s bid to require her cooperation with its investigation into inappropriate text messages she claims were sent to her by the newspaper’s editor, saying the company's suit against her made “bald assertions of harm.”

  • June 5, 2018

    Facebook Shares Data With Huawei, Other Chinese Telecoms

    Representatives for Facebook acknowledged Tuesday that it has data-sharing partnerships with Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei, Lenovo, OPPO, and TCL, saying the deals have allowed the social media company to integrate its services onto different phones and adding that it is winding down the Huawei deal by week’s end.

  • June 5, 2018

    Google, YouTube Push To Stop Kids Data Privacy Class Action

    Google and its YouTube subsidiary on Monday moved to ax a putative class action accusing them of unlawfully collecting and using personal information from people under the age of 13 for “commercial gain,” telling a South Carolina federal court that the plaintiffs’ state law privacy claims replicate and are therefore preempted by the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

  • June 5, 2018

    Ex-MLB Pitcher Says AP, ESPN Defamed Him And His Lab Co.

    A former Major League Baseball pitcher is suing the Associated Press, ESPN and USA Today for defamation after they falsely reported that his sports medicine company sold banned substances to clients, saying the articles have caused him so much grief he’s considering changing his name.

  • June 5, 2018

    Ex-SEAL's Malpractice Row Not Just Speculative, Judge Says

    A former Navy SEAL can keep the bulk of his suit accusing his attorney of costing him $6.7 million after advising him to skip a prepublication review of his book, an Indiana federal judge ruled Tuesday, finding it was at least plausible the lawyer had cost him the royalties.

  • June 5, 2018

    No Slipping 'Shape Of Water' IP Suit, Playwright’s Son Says

    The son of a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who sued "The Shape of Water" director Guillermo del Toro and others fought back against the movie makers’ bid to toss his California federal suit, arguing the film has “substantial similarities” to a play his late father penned.

  • June 5, 2018

    Funko Bobbled IPO, Investor Says In Stock-Drop Suit

    Bobblehead and figurine maker Funko's misleading statements during a $116 million initial public offering last year led its stock to tank soon after it started trading, an investor claimed in Washington federal court on Monday, accusing the toymaker in a proposed securities class action of fudging its financial strength and the sustainability of its business.

  • June 5, 2018

    Net Neutrality Sunset Could Boost Online Sports Betting

    As the Federal Communications Commission moves forward with its net neutrality rule deregulation, states are ramping up their sports betting offerings in the wake of a favorable Supreme Court decision. The timing of this convergence is coincidental, but some experts speculate it could contribute to a boom in online sports betting if gamblers are allowed pay for fast-tracked internet service.

  • June 5, 2018

    9th Circ. Asked To Revive Rick Ross ‘Mastermind’ TM Row

    A Los Angeles hip-hop artist urged the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday to resuscitate his suit against Grammy-nominated rapper Rick Ross alleging infringement of his “mastermind” trademark, saying a district judge erred in finding the term is merely descriptive and not entitled to trademark protection.

  • June 5, 2018

    Telecom Agency Seeks Advice On Int'l Internet Policy

    The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has put out a wide call for advice on what its international internet priorities should be over the year, asking for comments on ways to ensure the free flow of data, cybersecurity policies and emerging technologies.

  • June 5, 2018

    Man Gets $1.9M After Beauty Co. Copies Marketing Pics

    A California federal judge on Monday awarded a man more than $1.9 million in a copyright dispute with a New York-based skincare company over claims the company copied a number of before-and-after photos he had taken and used them for online marketing.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    Dissolving Practice: Partner Agreement Clauses That Can Help

    ​​​​​Leslie Corwin

    Given the competing public policies of protecting clients’ right to counsel of their choice, lawyer mobility, and the fiduciary duty partners owe to a dissolved firm, it behooves law firms to carefully review their partnership agreements to make sure they adequately spell out what happens in the unfortunate event that the law firm chooses to wind down, say ​​​​​Leslie Corwin and Rachel Sims of Blank Rome LLP.

  • A 9th Circ. Warning For Game Apps With Micro-Transactions

    Christopher Queenin

    Courts that have addressed virtual game currencies have found that developers do not run afoul of state gambling laws so long as the virtual currencies have no transferable monetary value outside of the game. But the Ninth Circuit disagreed last month in Kater v. Churchill Downs, says Christopher Queenin of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Series

    Dissolving Practice: The Unfinished Business Doctrine

    Thomas Rutledge

    There has been, of late, significant dispute as to the application of the unfinished business doctrine, particularly with respect to hourly rate matters of now-dissolved large law firms. And the California Supreme Court’s recent decision in Heller Ehrman, like others as to similar points, is highly questionable, says Thomas Rutledge of Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC.

  • The Impact Of Tax Reform On Film, TV And Print Media: Part 1

    Michele Alexander

    While the media has been reporting on tax reform, tax reform will impact the media industry itself. Reform's effects are numerous, from a reduction in tax rates and new deductions to the loss of important deductions and new international regimes that have kept tax experts waiting in anticipation of further guidance, say attorneys Michele Alexander and Ryan Davis of Bracewell LLP.

  • Lohan Decision Is Good News For Video Game Industry

    David Jacoby

    Last week, the New York Court of Appeals concluded that none of the "Grand Theft Auto V" images could be deemed a portrait of Lindsay Lohan or Karen Gravano. The opinion confirms a broader field on which fictional video games can tell their stories without detonating any litigation bombs. But it is not a get-out-of-jail-free card, says David Jacoby of Culhane Meadows PLLC.

  • A Notable Footnote In High Court Merit Management Decision

    Elliot Moskowitz

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Merit Management v. FTI Consulting has been characterized as a narrowing of the Section 546(e) safe harbor, given the court’s holding that a transfer is not protected from avoidance merely because the funds passed through a “financial institution.” However, a footnote in the decision could mean that the safe harbor remains applicable to additional participants in securities transactions, say Elliot Moskowitz and Tina Hwa Joe of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

  • Opinion

    Music Licensing Reform Is Singing The Same Old Song

    Thomas Lenard

    The recently introduced Music Modernization Act has received widespread support from most parts of the industry and would be an improvement over the status quo. However, the MMA reinforces many of the long-standing aspects of music licensing that hinder competition, say Thomas Lenard of the Technology Policy Institute and Lawrence White of the NYU Stern School of Business​​​​​​​.

  • Opinion

    BigLaw Doesn't Have A Diversity Problem

    Marlen Whitley

    Although the lack of racial and gender diversity among the ranks of the majority of both midsized and top law firms is a major issue, it’s past time to shed light on the real problem — inclusion, or lack thereof, says Marlen Whitley of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Stormy Daniels’ Case May Have Fallen Into SLAPP Trap

    Damian Moos

    This week, Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, filed an amended complaint in which he added a defamation cause of action against President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. But it appears that Cohen has a strong basis to pursue an anti-SLAPP special motion to strike, say Damian Moos and Kandice Kim of Best Best & Krieger LLP.

  • Opinion

    Roman J. Israel, Esquire, Meet Donald J. Trump, POTUS

    Kevin Curnin

    Despite the Trump administration's desire to shut down the Legal Services Corp., thankfully the budget that Congress passed and the president signed into law last week has restored $410 million of funding to the legal aid organization. An unlikely brief for preserving LSC may be found in the quirky Denzel Washington film "Roman J. Israel, Esq.," says Kevin Curnin, immediate past president of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.