Update: This motion was granted.
Some on this board have doubted my commitment to college football. Even though I didn’t go to a school with a major FCS team, I adopted Michigan long, long ago (Elvis Grbac era), and I know how important the sport is.
So believe me when I say that this motion to continue is one of the most rational arguments you are likely to hear today. The motion comes from defense counsel in Alabama. It’s so wonderful that even the plaintiffs attorneys found it amusing, as this email from Marsh, Rickard & Bryan shows:
Check out this Motion to Continue that was filed by the defendants in one of our cases today. LOL, it’s awesome.
Indeed, it is awesome. And, by now, I’m sure you know why defense counsel is asking for the continuance.
But it’s not just the thought. After all, sports-related continuance motions have been filedbefore.
It’s the execution that makes it great. Check it out, after the jump.
Legal battles over Native American mascots are being waged in both the professional and college sports arenas. The New York Times reports that the controversy over the Fighting Sioux of the University of North Dakota has gotten more complicated.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association advised the school, along with 17 other universities, to change its mascot three and half years ago, says Ashby Jones at the WSJ Law Blog. While other universities acquiesced, the Fighting Sioux fought back, filing a lawsuit against the NCAA.
The suit was starting to wind down, and the name was to change soon says the NYT, until members of the Sioux tribe decided to file a lawsuit of their own. To keep the name. They’re proud of it:
The members from Spirit Lake behind the lawsuit assert that many of the American Indians opposed to the Fighting Sioux nickname are simply from tribes other than the Sioux, and are jealous of all the recognition. (Opponents call this absurd.)
Eunice Davidson, 57, who says she is “full blood” and “grew up on this reservation” tells the New York Times: “I have to tell you, I am very, very honored that they would use the name.”
When we interviewed Amanda Blackhorse, a member of the Navajo Nation who has a petition pending before the Trademark Board about the Washington Redskins name, she expressed skepticism about Native Americans who defend tribal mascot names. She said they are in the minority.
This week, Fordham Law professor Sonia Katyal penned a column for Findlaw about the IP and First Amendment issues when it comes to racialized symbols. Why do we object to “Wong Brothers” but embrace the “Skins”?
UPDATE (3:07): The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) just held a press conference. FHP announced that Tiger Woods was found “at fault” in his traffic accident, guilty of careless driving. The fine is $164 and four points on his driving record. This ends the Florida Highway Patrol’s investigation.
FHP determined “that there was insufficient evidence to issue a subpoena for any further evidence. There are no claims of domestic violence by any individual.”
Hmm… No evidence, you say? It looks like not talking was in fact the smart thing to do.
* * * * * * * * *
Lawyers, members of the bar, law students, and others with a smattering of legal training: we all have a duty to stand up and defend Tiger Woods’s decision to keep his mouth shut. The mainstream media has this story completely wrong, and it is up to us — those blessed with a basic understanding of criminal jurisprudence — to educate the public about why Tiger is staying silent. We must explain to our mothers and fathers and doormen and bodega owners that Tiger probably has to keep his mouth shut, in order to keep his wife out of jail.
I’ve explained elsewhere that we are looking at a potential domestic violence situation. If some of the reports are true, Elin Nordegren attacked her husband, allegedly threatening him with a golf club.
Now this is the part that laypeople seem to be having difficulty grasping. Just because Tiger is a man doesn’t mean he gets to decide whether or not his wife gets prosecuted for domestic violence. Criminal law doesn’t work that way. If the police find that Elin Nordegren assaulted Tiger, then this process gets taken out of Tiger’s hands. Right now, shutting up is the only thing Tiger can do if he wants to retain a modicum of control over the situation.
Especially in Florida.
More details, after the jump.
We mentioned L’Affaire Tiger Woods in Morning Docket (first three links), but since it was the big story of the long holiday weekend, we thought we’d revisit it in more detail. This story has a number of interesting legal angles.
The most thorough coverage appears over at TMZ. Check out these posts, which thrown together could make for quite the law school exam hypothetical (we’ve included study questions with each one):
Cops Pursue Warrant in Woods Case: According to TMZ, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) may be “obtaining a search warrant — allowing them to seize medical records from the hospital that treated Tiger Woods — in an attempt to determine if the wounds Woods sustained are consistent with a car accident or domestic violence” (allegedly perpetrated against Woods by his wife).
Is there probable cause?
More links and questions appear below.
For most of us, today is Thanksgiving! For a small segment of the population, today is the 2009 National Day of Mourning. The United American Indians of New England describe the day as:
An annual tradition since 1970, Day of Mourning is a solemn, spiritual and highly political day. Many of us fast from sundown the day before through the afternoon of that day (and have a social after Day of Mourning so that participants in DOM can break their fasts). We are mourning our ancestors and the genocide of our peoples and the theft of our lands. NDOM is a day when we mourn, but we also feel our strength in political action. Over the years, participants in Day of Mourning have buried Plymouth Rock a number of times, boarded the Mayflower replica, and placed ku klux klan sheets on the statue of William Bradford, etc.
The arrival of white folks from across the sea led to a Native American holocaust, theft of native lands, and the trivialization of Native American culture for the sake of national and college team mascots.
We’ve written a few times about the Native American battle to get the Washington Redskins football team to change its name. After a 17-year battle, the Native Americans lost a trademark suit against the team. The Supreme Court denied cert for the case earlier this month, meaning that the Redskins and their attorneys at Quinn Emanuel kept their laches victory. (As you certainly remember, not everyone at Quinn was pleased about that.)
In our post about the Supreme Court ruling, we asked:
Are we really going to make it through this entire case without any judge having to rule on whether or not it is appropriate to put “redskins” on a football helmet? Maybe not.
Drinker Biddle & Reath partner Philip Mause, who is representing the Native American plaintiffs, has another petition regarding the Redskins name pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The Board previously ruled in 1992 that “redskins” is defamatory and cannot be trademarked. But that decision was overturned in federal court due to the laches issue. The new case, though, is led by Amanda Blackhorse of the Navajo Nation; Blackhorse and her co-petitioners were in their late teens and twenties when they filed their petition, so the courts won’t be able to dismiss the case based on the time elapsed/age issue.
This petition means there might be a Drinker Biddle v. Quinn Emanuel, round two. We’ve got an interview with lead petitioner Amanda Blackhorse after the jump.
At first blush, the judgment awarded to the parents of a fallen baseball player is enough to make a tort reformer vomit. The Helena Independent Record reports (gavel bang: Overlawyered):
After 12 hours of deliberation, a jury sided with the parents of former Miles City American Legion baseball pitcher Brandon Patch in a civil suit over the player’s death during a 2003 game in Helena.
Aluminum bat maker Hillerich & Bradsby Co. failed to provide adequate warning as to the dangers of the bat used by a Helena Senators player during the game, at least eight of the 12 Lewis and Clark County jurors agreed Wednesday.
Hillerich & Bradsby Co. was ordered to pay $792,000 to Patch’s estate, which is represented by his mother, Debbie Patch, who filed the suit.
The jury felt the bat makers should have had some kind of warning about the dangers of batted balls at high speeds.
Seriously? On first blush, this verdict makes me want to hunt down jury members, scream “warning, terrible judgments could result in you getting hit with a bat,” and play pepper using their eyeballs.
But in my homicidal fantasy, I’m hitting eyeball grounders with a wooden bat, not an aluminum one. Are aluminum bats different, in a way that might partially explain the verdict?
More details after the jump.
What would you do to score World Series tickets? If you aren’t willing to do what this Philadelphia Phillies fan had in mind, then you aren’t really trying. Earlier this week, the New York Post reported:
A rabid Philadelphia fan — apparently believing the “P” on the team’s cap stands for “prostitution” — was busted yesterday for offering sex in exchange for World Series tickets, police said.
Susan Finkelstein, 43, was nabbed after allegedly soliciting an undercover Bensalem, Pa., cop who answered her innuendo-laced craigslist ad seeking the coveted ducats.
CBS has a full photo spread of Susan Finkelstein, in case you have two spare tickets for Saturday.
That’s right, she needs two. One for herself, and one for her husband. UPDATE: Actually, it seems that she no longer needs tickets for the next game. (Gavel bang: commenter.)
Allegations after the jump.
A battle went down the other day on a basketball court at Gregory Gym on the University of Texas – Austin campus. It’s a battle that has been fought across time and generations. It pitted a freshman defensive back from the Texas Longhorns (ranked #2 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll) and a UT law student (ranked #15 in the latest U.S. News law school rankings). Who hasn’t been a part of a strong kid v. smart kid fight?
The football player is freshman Kenny Vaccaro. The law student is Jonathon Fuhrman. The Austin-American Statesman takes it from here:
Fuhrman, who is identified as a UT student, told police Vaccaro and his friends were throwing basketballs at him. The affidavit said Fuhrman threw a basketball back at Vaccaro, hitting him in the head.
Fuhrman said Vaccaro then punched him in the face. The affidavit stated that Fuhrman, when he was interviewed by police, had blood coming from a cut lip.
Guys at my high school used to throw basketballs at future legal scholars all of the time. Then they would make love to all the women and be treated like gods. But now they all have multiple out-of-wedlock children and/or priors, while the future legal scholars enjoy prosperous careers and fulfilling romantic relationships. It was no big deal.
Will Vaccaro get punished for this? I’ll share some painful childhood memories, after the jump.
This Sunday marks Michael Vick’s official return to the National Football League–an event that has been widely criticized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (“PETA”), as well as some sports writers and doggie bloggers.
What those who criticize NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstating Vick fail to understand, however, is that the NFL may have ultimately lacked any real choice. Had the NFL not reinstated Vick, Vick could have potentially filed an antitrust lawsuit against the 32 NFL clubs for concertedly refusing to deal with him. Even though such a lawsuit would have likely failed in the Second and Seventh Circuits (due to the holdings respectively in the Clarett and American Needle cases), a lawsuit against the NFL clubs would have likely gotten to a jury in the Third, Sixth, Eighth and D.C. Circuits–all places where professional athletes have previously won large antitrust settlements.
As a quick background in antitrust law, Section 1 of the Sherman Act, in pertinent part, states that “[e]very contract, combination … or conspiracy in the restraint of trade or commerce … is declared to be illegal.” Although most Section 1 claims involve restraints of trade related to product markets, the Sherman Act likewise prohibits restraints in labor markets, as long as these restraints occur outside of the proper workings of a collective bargaining agreement (“non-statutory labor exemption”).
Courts in general determine whether a particular restraint violates Section 1 of the Sherman Act in three steps. First, courts will determine whether a particular restraint emerges from a “contract, combination or … conspiracy” among two or more parties. Next, they will determine whether the restraint yields a net anticompetitive effect to consumers. Finally, they will assess whether any antitrust exemption would negate the finding of liability.
After the jump, how might a court weigh these factors?
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…