George Jones Collaborator Sues Jones’ Widow, Record Label for $5 Million

Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery, a frequent collaborator of the late country artist George Jones, is suing Jones’ widow and record label for releasing a shelved album without permission, The Tennessean reports. Montgomery co-wrote 73 songs with Jones and played in his band. The record was in a vault since the 70’s and was released last year through Cracker Barrel and Concord Music Group. Montgomery claims he is the true owner of the recordings.
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Fall Happy Hour

Milom Horsnell Crow Rose Kelley PLC and Ritholz Levy Fields LLP hosted the section's fall happy hour. Keep your eyes out for the next happy hour, happening this spring! 

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Section Held Successful Annual Forum

Every May, the Entertainment and Sports Law Section hosts the Entertainment and Sports Forum CLE. The 2017 CLE covered a wide variety of topics ranging from an overview of cases pending before the US Supreme Court to a discussion regarding the ethical and legal dilemmas faced in the word of virtual reality. Program Producer, Jeff Allen,did a great job producing the 2017 Entertainment and Sports Forum! 

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Volunteer Lawyers and Professionals for the Arts Fall 2017 Legal Clinic

The TBA Entertainment and Sports Law Section partners with the Arts and Business Council of Nashville to provide the community with free legal clinics for artists and arts organization. This fall SESAC hosted the legal clinic.

Pictured; Reid Waltz and Belmont law student, Elizabeth Lombardi, providing legal counsel to a local artist. 








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2017 Highlights

Happy New Year from the TBA Entertainment and Sports Law Section! We hope that your year is off to a great start. Check out what the Section has been up to over the past year! 

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Federal Judge Dismisses Taylor Swift Copyright Suit

Taylor Swift is victorious in court again, after a California judge dismissed a copyright lawsuit over the lyrics to her song “Shake It Off,” The Washington Post reports. The suit claimed Swift stole lyrics from the 2001 song “Playas Gon’ Play” by 3LW, which featured the lyrics “players gonna play” and “haters gonna hate.” U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald ruled that those lines alone to not qualify as creative and original enough to warrant copyright protection.
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Sweeping Music Copyright Package Headed to U.S. House Committee Next Month

House Judiciary Committee Chair U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlette, R-Virginia, plans to introduce an umbrella music licensing bill next month, The Tennessean reports. The bill will include the Music Modernization Act, the Classics Act and the AMP Act. The Music Modernization Act would overhaul the digital mechanical licensing process and lead to better payouts for songwriters, according to advocacy groups representing songwriters and publishers. The Classics Act would require digital radio companies to pay artists and labels royalties for songs recorded prior to 1972. The AMP Act would codify the existing practice of paying music producers compensation stemming from digital royalties earned by artists.
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TBA Gears Up for 2018 Mock Trial Tournament

The Tennessee Bar Association will host the upcoming Tennessee High School Mock Trial Tournament on March 23 and 24 in Nashville. The Mock Trial is a two-day, single-elimination bracket-style competition where 16 high schools face-off against each other in the Davidson County Courthouse. Each team is scored on their trial preparation and skills. 

We need TBA volunteers to help be bailiffs and jurors (scorers) for the event. After signing up, we will send you a Volunteer Memo with all the information you need for competition including; parking, hotel, downtown map, courthouse rules, and reimbursement information. Come be a part of the Young Lawyers Divisions’ March Madness! Feel free to contact YLD Director Stephanie Vonnahme with any questions.

To volunteer for this event, click here.

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Don't Forget: Winter CLE Blast Tomorrow!

Need CLE hours fast? We can help! The annual Winter CLE Blast is less than a day away. With this program, you can complete up to 11 hours of Dual CLE credit on your own time. Our registration desk will be open from 7 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 21, providing you the flexibility to create your own schedule and take as many or as few hours as you need. Payment will be determined at checkout depending on the number of hours you attend. 


  • Flexible to your schedule
  • Up to 11 Hours of CLE
  • Ethics Credits
  • Compliance CLE
  • Live Credit Hours

When: Feb. 21, registration begins at 7 a.m., CST

Where: Tennessee Bar Center, 221 4th Ave N., Nashville, TN 37219


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Glen Campbell’s Publicist Subpoenaed in Dispute Over Will

The publicist of late singer/songwriter Glen Campbell has been subpoenaed to testify in a fight over Campbell’s competence when he signed a now disputed will, The Tennessean reports. Sanford Brokaw, who publicly disclosed Campbell’s death from Alzheimer’s disease last year, must appear in Davidson County Probate Court on Feb. 20. Three of the singer’s children who were cut out of his $50 million estate are challenging a 2006 will filed by his widow.
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Army Opposes Vegas Hockey Team’s Trademark

The Department of the Army today filed a notice of opposition with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office against Black Knight Sports and Entertainment over the use of the name “Golden Knights” for an NHL Las Vegas expansion team. reports that the Army “believes it will be damaged” by the registration of the trademark, as they have used it since 1969 in connection with the U.S. Army Parachute team and public relations efforts. The Golden Knights’ majority owner noted that the team’s color scheme was inspired by that of West Point.
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Entertainment and Sports Section Member Spotlight

In this edition we spotlight section member and executive council member Mary Lauren Teague. Teague is an associate at Loeb and Loeb LLP.  She focuses her practice on business and intellectual property transactions in the music and entertainment industries, as well as copyright and trademark applications and licensing. She also handles trust and estate matters that arise in the music context. She represents recording artists and legacy artists, songwriters, publishing companies, and record labels in the negotiation of various agreements, including recording contracts and production, publishing, management and licensing deals.

“I’m excited to be more involved with our section this year. It’s a great meet to meet new attorneys in our field and maintain existing relationships.  Be on the lookout for ways to connect and get involved.  Our section’s executive council works hard to create those opportunities.”

- Mary Lauren Teague

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Nashville Judge Dismisses Soccer Stadium Lawsuit

A judge today dismissed a lawsuit against the city of Nashville that attempted to halt plans for a new Major League Soccer stadium, The Tennessean reports. Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle sided with the city in the dispute. The plaintiff, the advocacy group Save Our Fairgrounds, lacked standing to bring the case because they’ve not demonstrated harm or injury, Lyle wrote in her order. The group argued that the proposed stadium would compromise fairground activities such as the state fair, racing and flea markets.
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3 Former WSMV Reporters File Age-Discrimination Lawsuit

Three former on-air personalities for Nashville TV station WSMV have filed an age discrimination lawsuit against their former employer, The Tennessean reports. Reporter Dennis Ferrier, anchor Jennifer Johnson and meteorologist Nancy Van Camp claim that they were victims of harassment and ridicule prior to their termination from the station. The lawsuit also alleges that longtime anchor Demetria Kalodimos, who is not a plaintiff, was subject to “public berating,” “ridicule” and other “acts of age-based discrimination and hostility.” WSMV’s parent company, Meredith Corporation, denied the allegations.

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DOJ Sues to Block AT&T Acquisition of Time Warner

The U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit yesterday to seek to block the $85 million acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T, the ABA Journal reports. The suit notes AT&T’s ownership of DirecTV, the largest distributor of subscription television, and Time Warner’s ownership of several top cable networks, including TBS, CNN and HBO. AT&T and DirecTV could force rival cable providers to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more per year for Time Warner’s networks, the suit argues.
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AT&T, Time Warner Merger Sets Stage for Antitrust Lawsuit

The Justice Department might seek to block a planned merger between AT&T and Time Warner, setting the stage for “the antitrust case of the decade,” The New York Times reports. The DOJ demanded that AT&T sell either DirecTV or Turner Broadcasting to gain approval for the deal. Antitrust professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law Maurice Stucke noted that there has been a growing sense that antitrust enforcement has been too lenient in recent years.
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Rock Band The Turtles Loses Royalty Case

The Florida Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Florida law doesn’t protect performers seeking compensation for recordings made before 1972, the ABA Journal reports. The ruling came in the case of members of the band The Turtles, who sued SiriusXM radio over royalties. Flo & Eddie Inc., which controls the music rights for the band, lost a similar lawsuit in New York as well.
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Global & Tennessee Specific Trade & Investment Perspectives & Policies for 2018 & Beyond

The International Law Section of the Tennessee Bar Association is sponsoring a free seminar “Global & Tennessee Specific Trade & Investment Perspectives & Policies for 2018 & Beyond” to be held on Thursday, Nov. 2 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Nashville School of Law, Appellate Courtroom, 4013 Armory Oaks Drive, Nashville, Tenn. 
The speakers on the panel include:
  • Terry Olsen, Chair of the TBA International Law Section, as Moderator
  • Clay Banks, Regional Director of Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development
  • James Forde, Prosperity and Economics Officer of British Consulate General, Atlanta
  • Ms. Joanne Chu, Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (New York)
  • Mr. Michael Kwan, Deputy Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (New York)
The seminar will provide an overview of the global & U.S. trade & investment landscape as it concerns Tennessee for 2018 & beyond, and both policy & legal views of the ever-changing global standard of Tennessee in the international investment environment.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to have direct interactive discussions with the speakers at the end of the seminar.
The panel discussion will last from 6pm thru 7pm, and then followed with a FAQ session for attendees, along with a light reception of beverage & desserts. 
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Nashville Arts & Entertainment Law Clinic

The Volunteer Lawyers & Professionals for the Arts program of the Arts & Business Council and the TBA Entertainment & Sports Law Section will invite artists of all disciplines to attend a free legal clinic for a one-on-one consultation with a volunteer attorney. The event will be held Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. at SESAC.

The group is seeking volunteer attorneys who can answer questions about intellectual property, art and entertainment law issues. Clients are booked for 30-minute appointments.
Interested in helping? Email or call us at (615) 460-8274.  
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Volunteer Service Project

Get involved! Please join in this joint service project with members of Intellectual Property Section and the Entertainment & Sports Section to give back to the community.  

To sign up, just email Jeff Allen at The event will be Oct. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Metro Center.

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Happy Hour Set for Oct. 18

Please join the TBA Entertainment & Sports Law Section for a happy hour on Oct. 18 from 5:30 - 7 p.m. at Fin & Pearl, 211 12th Ave. South in Nashville.
The happy hour is sponsored by Milom Horsnell Crow Rose Kelley PLC and Ritholz Levy Fields LLP.
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Meet the Executive Council

The TBA Entertainment and Sports Section is led by the 2017 Executive Council. Each month we will be introducing a different member of the Executive Council. This month, we are pleased to introduce the Immediate Past Chair of the section, Jeff Allen.

Jeff is an associate in the Litigation Practice Group at Bradley. “The Executive Council is working hard this year to foster more Section member engagement.  I look forward to getting to know more of our Section members.  If you have any ideas for the Section, please share them with us, and if you know any entertainment or sports law practitioners who are not members of our Section, please encourage them to join us!”

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Netflix Sends Humorous Cease-and-Desist Letter to Bar Owners

A lawyer for Netflix took a unique approach to sending a cease-and-desist letter to the owners of a “Stranger Things”-themed pop-up bar in Chicago, the ABA Journal reports. “Please don’t make us call your mom,” the letter from attorney Bryce Coughlin reads. “Look, I don’t want you to think I’m a total wastoid, and I love how much you guys love the show. But unless I’m living in the Upside Down, I don’t think we did a deal with you for this pop-up.” The letter allows the owners to keep the bar open but requests that they do not extend the pop-up beyond its six-week run and that they reach out to Netflix for permission if they plan to do something similar in the future.
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Privacy Concerns Raised Over iPhone's New Facial Recognition Technology

Users of the new iPhone X from Apple will be able to unlock their phones using facial recognition technology, prompting questions from civil liberties groups about whether or not police can use the new feature to access users' information. The ABA Journal reports that, while the Riley v. California decision established that police would need a warrant to search the contents of a phone, whether they can force you to unlock it is unclear. Read the full story here

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Music Publishers File Lawsuit Against Spotify in Nashville

Seven independent music publishers sued Spotify in Nashville today for using songs without the appropriate licenses, The Tennessean reports. This is more legal trouble for Spotify, which already settled two similar lawsuits earlier this year. Both of those suits and this new one were filed by entertainment law attorney Richard Busch. The catalogs for the new plaintiffs are administered by the Tennessee-based Songwriters Guild of America.
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