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.
read more »

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

read more »

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.
read more »

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.

read more »

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.
read more »

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.
read more »

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.
read more »

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. 
read more »

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.  
read more »

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.

read more »

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.
read more »

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!”

read more »

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.
read more »

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

read more »

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.
read more »

September Issue: Cumulative Error, Torts and 'It's Lawsuit Time in the SEC!'

"Errors in isolation may not be impactful," writes David L. Hudson, "but multiple errors together or cumulatively may require a finding that the defendant's trial does not comport with the due-process ideal of fundamental fairness." Hudson takes a detailed overview of the Cumulative Error Doctrine in this issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal. Columns include John Day's torts, John Williams' book review on Lincoln’s Greatest Case, and in perfect timing for the start of football season, Bill Haltom takes a humorous look at a current lawsuit heating up in the Southeastern Conference.

read more »

Nightfall at the Hall Event for Young Professionals

The Troubadour Society is the Country Music Hall of Fame’s young professional organization that supports the Museum’s Community Counts Program. The group connects with other like minded professionals, ages 21-45. The Troubadour Society’s annual event, Nightfall at the Hall, is coming up on Sept. 7. RSVP for the event or join the Troubadour Society online now. To learn more about the group contact Molly Sheehan, chair of the TBA's Entertainment and Sports Law Section.

read more »

Taylor Swift Testifies in Groping Trial

Pop star Taylor Swift delivered fiery testimony yesterday when she took the stand against former Denver DJ David Mueller who says he lost his job after Swift complained about him groping her, The Washington Post reports. Swift described the incident that led to Mueller’s firing, in which while posing for a photo, Mueller allegedly groped her under her skirt. “It happened to me. I know it was him,” she said. “I didn’t need a picture. I could have picked him out of a line of a thousand.” Mueller is suing Swift for $3 million in damages, while Swift countersued for $1.
read more »

Nashville Music Publishers Sue Spotify Over Licensing

Two Nashville music publishers filed separate lawsuits yesterday against streaming service Spotify for failing to obtain the appropriate licenses for thousands of songs, The Tennessean reports. The publishers claim Spotify didn’t follow proper protocol and has been streaming the songs illegally. The plaintiffs are Bluewater Music Services, a publisher and music catalog administrator, and Bob Gaudio, a publisher and songwriter who penned hits for Frankie Valii and the Four Seasons.
read more »

Item of Interest

Below is an article that was published in the the Disability Section Connect. We thought it had information that would be of interest to those of you in this section as well.  

read more »

Journalist Must Admit to Embellishing Articles to Sue Over Infringement for Tupac Biopic

In order to sue a movie studio for copyright infringement, journalist Kevin Powell must admit that he embellished articles he wrote for Vibe magazine about the life of rapper Tupac Shakur without the late musician’s permission, The Hollywood Reporter reports. While true details about Shakur's life should be considered a part of the public domain, in a complaint filed in New York federal court on Friday, Powell admits to having made up a character that was based on a real-life figure in the rapper’s life. The suit alleges that the character, as well as other details from Powell’s articles, were lifted by Lionsgate Films for the Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me.
read more »

SCOTUS Allows Band to Call Itself by Disparaging Name

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Asian-American rock band The Slants, which had previously been denied a trademark by the U.S. Patent Office due to the disparaging nature of its moniker, NPR reports. The ruling could have major implications for other trademark cases and disputes, like the Washington Redskins football team. "The disparagement clause violates the First Amendment's Free Speech Clause," Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his opinion.
read more »

Rep. Scalise Critical After Shooting; Rep. Fleischmann Calls Scene a 'Madhouse'

House Majority Whip and Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise is in critical condition following surgery for a gunshot wound suffered at a congressional baseball practice earlier today, the Associated Press reports. Tennessee’s Rep. Chuck Fleischmann was at the field finishing practice with the rest of the team when the gunman began shooting. The Ooltewah Republican was not hit. “It’s just a madhouse here,” he said during a phone call from the scene. “It’s horrible. I’ve never experienced anything like that.” Read more of Fleischmann's account from The Tennessean.

read more »

Predators Fan Charged After Hurling Catfish in Pittsburgh

A Nashville Predators hockey fan was charged with three misdemeanors in Pittsburgh for throwing a catfish onto the rink during the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals, The Tennessean reports. Jacob Waddell of Nolensville was charged with disorderly conduct, disrupting a meeting and possession of an instrument of crime for throwing the dead fish, a tradition at Nashville home games. Local elected officials, attorneys and even the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have expressed their support for Waddell, and fans have raised money to cover his legal fees.
read more »

Turn Your Expertise into a Magazine Article

It’s no surprise that some of the best articles in the Tennessee Bar Journal have come from TBA section members. Your membership in this section shows that you have a keen interest in trends, developments and case law in this practice area. Sharing this knowledge with your colleagues is one of the best traits of the profession.

How can you become a Journal author? Think of and refine your topic. It should be of interest to Tennessee lawyers, which is a broad criteria. This could mean you might explain a new state law, explain a complicated area of law, or take a larger issue and connect it to what it means for Tennessee attorneys and the justice system. Find a global issue within your particular experience or knowledge and tell about it and how it affects Tennessee law. Then take a look at the writer’s guidelines at, which will tell you about length, notes and other details. Once it’s in the proper format, send it in! It goes to the editor, Suzanne Craig Robertson, who will then get it to the seven members of the Editorial Board for review.

If you are published, you may apply for CLE credit for your work under Supreme Court Rule 21 Section 4.07(b). For details on claiming the credit, check with the Commission on CLE & Specialization at

read more »