Steve Silver Joined The Dan Patrick Show To Discuss The New York Battle Over Daily Fantasy Sports

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Open To The Public – The Legal Blitz Returns To Temple Law To Discuss Sports Betting and DFS

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Michael Jordan Leading The Fight For Athlete Publicity Rights

By Doug Fuglsang. Mr. Fuglsang is a licensed attorney in Illinois and Wisconsin with a Sports Law Certificate from the National Sports Law Institute. He can be reached at

You might have heard recently that Michael Jordan received an $8.9 million judgment in Federal Court against Dominick’s, a defunct local Chicago grocery store chain, and its parent company Safeway, for violating the Illinois Right of Publicity Act (“IRPA”) by using Jordan’s identity for a “commercial” purpose without his permission.

Many took the clickbait opportunity to criticize Jordan for being greedy, but there is nothing wrong with someone preventing the unlicensed use of their image –especially if you have achieved celebrity status as an athlete, where your earning potential is severely limited by the length of your career and a salary cap.

Jordan currently has two lawsuits pending against local Chicago grocery stores for violating IRPA. The Dominick’s lawsuit has reached the damages phase of trial, while the second suit against Jewel, a local Albertsons subsidiary, is set for trial on December 8, 2015. Both lawsuits stem from advertisements placed in Sports Illustrated magazine using Jordan’s likeness.

To truly understand everything what goes into protecting an athlete’s image such as Michael Jordan’s you would need to consider state defamation, state privacy laws, common law, as well as federal trademark law and misappropriation claims under the Lanham Act; but the focal point of Jordan’s pending lawsuits against the grocery stores is the right of publicity.

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Why Pennsylvania Should Follow Nevada’s Lead and Regulate FanDuel and DraftKings

The following column, written by The Legal Blitz Founder Steve Silver, originally appeared on Philadelphia Magazine’s Biz Philly website on October 19, 2015. Special thanks to Jared Shelly for his editing expertise.

Nevada is rarely a pillar of morality or model lawmaking.

However, the state’s decision last week to shut down daily fantasy sports operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel until they obtain gaming licenses is a path Pennsylvania should emulate.

By classifying daily fantasy sports as gambling — because that’s what it really is — rather than a game of skill, Nevada determined that a proper license from the Gaming Control Board is necessary to do business in the state. Nevada is now the sixth state to outlaw or limit daily fantasy sports — and there are plenty of others seeking to regulate or ban the increasingly popular contests. Currently, New York, Delaware, Illinois, and even the U.S. Congress are investigating the legality of daily fantasy sports.

Meanwhile, news broke last week that DraftKings and FanDuel are allegedly engaged in consumer fraud through unlawful insider trading.

Pennsylvania is in a particularly unique position to follow Nevada’s lead and create a framework to license, regulate and tax daily fantasy sports as it does with other forms of gambling.

To read the full column and Silver’s regulatory proposal, visit

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Steve Silver Offers Expertise on Daily Fantasy Sports in the International Business Times

The following story by Thomas Barrabi originally appeared in the International Business Times on October 9, 2015 with quotes from Legal Blitz founder, Steve Silver, Esq.

DraftKings’ and FanDuel’s legal teams should catch up on sleep while they can. The daily fantasy sports operators, already facing investigations in several states and a possible congressional probe amid this week’s insider information leak, are now the subject of a lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status.

The lawsuit, along with pending inquiries in New York and Massachusetts, threatens to shake consumer confidence in FanDuel and DraftKings at a time when both companies are spending millions to attract more users. Both companies have raised more than $300 million in private investments, established close ties with professional sports leagues and reached valuations of more than $1 billion — and yet, neither has turned a profit. An expanded following of loyal customers is seen as crucial to their business prospects.

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The Legal Blitz Returns To Podcasting With Above The Law and Legal Talk Network

The NFL season is finally underway after an off-season filled with sports law issues. Of course, no kickoff is complete without some talk about the Tom Brady Deflategate fiasco and the repercussions of the NFL’s loss in federal court.

In this episode of Thinking Like A Lawyer on The Legal Talk Network, Legal Blitz co-founder Steve Silver joined Above the Law editors Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice to discuss the ramifications of Judge Berman’s decision to overturn the NFL arbitration proceedings.

We also dive into criminal liability for high school football players targeting refs as well as the absurd and horrific NYPD treatment of former tennis star James Blake.

You can listen in here.

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Legal Blitz Co-Founder Featured In Philadelphia Newspaper

We’re going to have to widen the door frames of his office soon because Steve Silver’s head might get too big with all the attention he’s been receiving lately. First the Legal Blitz co-founder was a celebrity in Jamaica, then he was on ESPN radio, and just last week he had a top story on Deadspin that garnered more than 65,000 reads.

Now, he is the subject of an excellent feature in the most recent edition of The Jewish Exponent — the second oldest Jewish newspaper in the country. Author Jon Marks compared him to Superman, but he’s just our fearless leader defending against torts by day and blogging about sports law by night.

In all seriousness, it was a wonderful honor and it goes to show what hard work can do. Steve and Co-Founder Ben McKenna launched this site back in 2011 never imagining it would open so many doors and attract so much attention. Once you see your dream, go get it.

In addition to the content posted on this site from lawyers and professors around the nation, you can check out all of Steve’s work for Above the Law Redline and Deadspin on his Kinja site here. None of this is possible without our readers. So thank you for being loyal.

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An Examination of the Language Governing Athlete Agents

By Amanda Siegrist, Esq. and Nicholas Blosio. Siegrist is an assistant professor of recreation and sport management at Coastal Carolina University. Blosio is a recent graduate of CCU where he studied Recreation and Sport Management. He plans to attend law school to continue his education with a focus in contracts and sport law.

High school baseball star pitcher Andy Oliver was beginning to see his dreams come true when he caught the attention of major league scouts in 2006.  Professional teams were approaching him to discuss the possibility of signing out of high school and skipping the college process altogether. 

Due to the magnitude of the situation, Oliver and his father sought the expert advice of a local attorney and agent, Tim Baratta. Baratta was present in an advisory role at a meeting between the Minnesota Twins and Oliver. Ultimately, Oliver decided not to accept the $390,000 signing bonus from the Minnesota Twins and instead decided to stick with his original plan of pitching for Oklahoma State University (OSU) on a full scholarship.

In an allegedly retaliatory fashion, Baratta sent invoices to Oliver for his services, as well as informed OSU and the NCAA of the meeting with the Twins.  Subsequently, Oliver’s amateur status was investigated and called into question by the NCAA in 2008. The purpose of this article is to explore the relationship between NCAA bylaws and the Uniform Athlete Agents Act (UAAA), particularly in relation to the Oliver v. NCAA case, and to suggest changes that will better protect amateur athletes.

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New California Law Classifies Cheerleaders as Employees

By Miriam Straus, Esq. Attorney Straus is an associate at Kalogredis, Sansweet, Dearden and Burke, Ltd. in Wayne, Pennsylvania where she focuses on litigation and healthcare issues. She was also a gymnast at Brown University before attending the George Washington University Law School.

California is often a hotbed of progressive policies and unique legal conflicts in the highly active 9th Circuit. California sports are no different as cheerleaders recently scored a major labor law victory.

Last month, California passed a law that requires the state’s professional sports teams to classify their cheerleaders as employees for purposes of state labor laws. The legislation (AB-202) was signed into law on July 15, 2015, following several high-profile lawsuits by NFL cheerleaders.

In March 2015, a California court granted final approval of the $1.25 million settlement of a class action lawsuit against the Oakland Raiders brought by two Raiderettes. The plaintiffs alleged various state law violations, including failure to pay cheerleaders for hours worked, failure to pay overtime, failure to provide meal and rest breaks, and unlawful deductions from their pay. Similar lawsuits have been filed against the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets, the Cincinnati Bengals, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In addition, a second lawsuit against the Raiders and the NFL was filed in January 2015.

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The Legal Blitz Joins ESPN Radio To Discuss The Consequences of Tom Brady Destroying His Cell Phone

As Legal Blitz Co-Founder Steve Silver wrote yesterday on Above the Law Redline and Deadspin, since Roger Goodell broke the Internet on Tuesday by upholding Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for deflating footballs, every NFL fan and critic has suddenly turned into a lawyer. Yet, lost amidst the speculation and prognostication about appeals, lawsuits, injunctions, and venues is the bombshell contained in Roger Goodell’s decision that Brady destroyed the cellphone he used before, during and after the critical AFC title game against the Colts last year.

Silver joined ESPN 940 in Fresno Tuesday to discuss what the destruction of Brady’s cellphone means and Brady’s likelihood of success as this debacle moves to the federal judicial system. You can listen to Silver’s full interview here.

You can also weigh in after the jump about whether you think the league or Brady will ultimately prevail.

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