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Sports Law
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Grossman, Randy M.

Sports Law
 
INTRODUCTION
 
Overview
Definitions
Sport (could come up with statutes (weird sports – poker, etc.))
                                                              i.      Sport is any athletic skill or competition that is not part of regular daily activities that people, machines, or animals participate in for exhibition or that has a fan base
                                                            ii.      Factors to look at when deciding whether it is a sport (loosely defined)
1.      rules, competition, procedures, physicality, recreation, fans, opposition, equipment, winners, and losers
Professional
                                                              i.      Someone who gets paid for what they do (rough definition)
                                                            ii.      “Professional” poker players
1.      Don’t always get paid, still professionals
Davis v. Commonwealth
Newman Importing v. U.S.
Professional Responsibility
Sale of Memorabilia
                                                              i.      Fiduciary Duty
1.      Passante v. McWilliam
a.       Independent legal advice
2.      In re Feldberg
                                                            ii.      Forging an athlete’s signature or likeness is a prosecutable crime
1.      These types of things aren’t policed very well online
Solicitation
                                                              i.      Attorneys are usually not allowed to solicit business
                                                            ii.      The Model Rules have strict guidelines as to when an attorney can proactively seek out a client (especially when they suspect the person is in need of representation)
                                                          iii.      This could be the same for recruiting clients in a legal or agent capacity
Attorneys are not allowed to promise the legal outcome of litigation
                                                              i.      Keep an eye out for “puffing” if there is no litigation
                                                            ii.      The only real limit for advising clients is that it be in good faith
1.      Advising a client as to a claim that is reasonably thought to succeed and not a claim that is ridiculous and generated just to bill hours and make money, cannot be attached in a malpractice suit if it fails
FANS
 
Overview
Tickets
Nature
                                                              i.      In Re Liebman
1.      A season ticket holder only has a license to purchase the tickets and that license is revocable at any time
                                                            ii.      Dobbs v. Dobbs (Community property case)
1.      Doesn’t matter whose name the tickets are in, they belong to both because they were acquired after the marriage
Terms and Conditions
                                                              i.      Pro-competitive effects v. Anti-competitive effects
                                                            ii.      Sherman Act
1.      City Immunity?
                                                          iii.      Ganey v. New York Jets Football Club
1.      Ticket provisions upheld if reasonable designed, conspicuously noticed, and uniformly applied
                                                          iv.      Restrictions
1.      Tickets are a revocable license to sit in a particular seat during a particular game
2.      If you have a restriction that is based on a ticket, look at the test set out in Ganey
Prices
                                                              i.      Coniglio v. Highwood Services, Inc.
1.      No restrain on competition in the area and that is why claim failed
2.      Sherman Act – designed to prevent business arrangements that restrain competition and drive up prices
Refunds (season tickets)
                                                              i.      Castillo v. Tyson
1.      Show doesn’t live up to the billing
2.      You get what you pay for
3.      Spectators are not entitled to any particular type of fight, game, etc.
                                                            ii.      Viewers would have a case when they do not get what they pay for
1.      For instance, when a contest does not finish
2.      They pay to see the contest, game, event through to the end with a reasonable expectation that contest would finish and the game, contest, event does not finish
3.      The argument would be that the event coordinator did not live up to their side of the contract, which was to provide the event in full
a. 

v. United Center
1.      Plaintiffs need to demonstrate that the stadium unlawfully took control of the market (food, merchandise, etc.)
Safety (Fan Injury)
                                                              i.      Telega v. Security Bureau, Inc.
1.      No duty to person hit by wayward ball b/c it’s considered a hazard that fans submit themselves to by attending the game
                                                            ii.      Stewart v. ARA Leisure Services, Inc.
1.      Strict liability requires the burden of proving:
a.       Thing which caused the damages was in care, custody, and control of the defendant
b.      Thing had a vice or defect which created unreasonable risk of harm
c.       Injuries were caused by a defect
                                                          iii.      Greenberg v. Sterling Doubleday Enterprises, L.P. (Unclean hands)
1.      P must establish they were unable to find place of safety or that free movement restricted due to alleged overcrowding conditions
                                                          iv.      Ball clubs are generally not liable for any injury to a fan that occurs during the normal course of game play
1.      Injuries must be sustained, however, during an integral part of the game (foul ball vs. having a ball thrown at you purposefully)
                                                            v.      However, it is common practice to keep fans happy and work out some sort of settlement with injured fans
1.      A complaining fan would likely receive some amount of money
                                                          vi.      If a fan voluntarily leaves the stand to engage in any sort of a brawl with players, the fan is responsible for his injuries
1.      If the fight comes to the fan in the stands, they likely have a suit against the players and team
Blackouts