News

NFL Executive Will Take Part in Vandy Law Lecture Series During Draft Week

National Football League executive and Vanderbilt Board of Trust secretary Adolpho A. Birch III will visit the Vanderbilt campus for a suite of lectures and activities on April 23-24. In the days leading up to the NFL draft, taking place in Nashville April 25-27, Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos will host Birch, the NFL’s senior vice president of labor policy and league affairs, for a variety of discussions and panels on issues related to sports, law and society.
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7 New Job Postings on TBA’s Joblink

See who is hiring in Tennessee. Recent job postings this month offer opportunities in litigation, real estate, health law and more. See full listings or post positions in your firm on TBA’s Joblink.
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Memphis Proposes Incentives to Keep Graceland

Memphis has proposed incentives to keep Graceland in town after news that the home might be moved to another location, Slate.com reports. Though city officials asked said there were no plans to move one of the world’s most famous properties, a Wall Street Journal article on Sunday detailed considerations by the the Presley estate and corporation that runs Graceland to move the house to Nashville, Japan, China, or wherever else has the highest bidder. To keep Graceland around, Memphis will to give it a bigger cut of city and county property and sales tax revenues for an expansion project and feature between $194 million and $269 million in reduced taxes for stakeholders. This is not the first spat between the parties, with the conglomerate suing the city three times regarding construction of an arena on the property that would be funded by taxpayers.

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Tom Petty's Estate in a Free Fall

The widow of Tom Petty and two of his daughters from a previous marriage are ensnared in a battle over the late rocker’s estate, the Los Angeles Times reports. Trustee Dana Petty claims that the daughters are making it difficult to carry out important decisions, requesting the court to appoint a manager tasked with oversight of the estate and require a consensus be made between all parties regarding consequential business. One of the daughters, Adria Petty, has filed her own petition regarding the widow’s failure to incorporate the musician’s “artistic properties” into an LLC that, according to the will, would be divided between the three women. Court documents also allude to solo music recorded by Petty 25 years ago, the release of which has been stymied because of the feud.

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Help4TNDay Kicks Off Saturday

Tennessee lawyers are invited to participate in Help4TNDay activities throughout the month of April. Events will bring attention to the ongoing need for free and low-cost legal services and highlight the groups that provide these services to disadvantaged Tennesseans. Opportunities include volunteering to help clients in need through Tennessee Free Legal Answers (TFLA) or at a local legal clinic. The events kick-off this Saturday with a statewide virtual legal clinic, where attorneys across the state will answer questions on TFLA from noon to 2 p.m. Simultaneously, the TBA will host an on-site TFLA Clinic and Luncheon in Nashville. To participate in the TBA event, contact Liz Todaro. Help4TNDay is a joint effort by the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, the Administrative Office of the Courts, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services and the Tennessee Bar Association. 
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Memphis Mayor Appoints Holder as Mediator in Park Redesign Dispute

Following disagreements regarding the planned redesign of Tom Lee Park, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has appointed retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice Holder to mediate discussions between the organizers of Memphis in May International Festival and Memphis River Parks Partnership, the Commercial Appeal reports. Construction on the park is slated to begin in June and will be underway during the 2020 Beale Street Music Festival. Festival organizers believe there will not be enough space for the music festival and BBQ contest while leaders of the redesign claim the opposite. In a written statement, Strickland advocated the use of experienced mediators to get opposing parties back on the same page. Justice Holder has mediated for the City of Memphis before, including the removal of a Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest statue.

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Registration Now Open for TBA Convention in Nashville, June 12-15

 
The TBA's annual Convention returns to downtown Nashville this summer! Mark your calendars for June 12-15 and prepare for four days of CLE, networking, entertainment and more at the Renaissance Hotel, 611 Commerce Street. Registration is officially open, with early bird rates available until April 30.
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Member Spotlight

https://www.tba.org/sites/default/files/u42060/akbsquareheadshot.jpgFor this member spotlight, the Entertainment & Sports Law Executive Council would like to introduce Alandis Brassel. He is the principal attorney at The Brassel Firm PLLC, a boutique law firm for entertainers, artists and entrepreneurs. His practice focuses on transactional entertainment and corporate matters and estate planning for creatives and entrepreneurs.

Prior to establishing The Brassel Firm, Alandis worked as a lawyer in the public and nonprofit sectors, first as legal counsel to U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, then as program director at the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville, where he supervised the Volunteer Lawyers and Professionals for the Arts and Artist Education programs. He worked as professional audio engineer for clients such as Bloomberg Television, Warner Music Group, Island Def Jam and Timbaland before moving to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt University Law School.

Alandis is an adjunct professor of music business at Belmont University and The University of Memphis. Active in the Nashville community, he is a board member of the Tennessee Youth Courts program and the Northwest YMCA. When he's not working, he can be found at the house rifling through his vinyl collection with his wife Thallen and schooling his sons, Alandis Jr. and Theodore, about what "real music" is.

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Peloton Faces $150 Million Music Licensing Suit

The National Music Publishers’ Association has sued exercise bike maker Peloton for $150 million in damages over its improper use of songs, Billboard reports. The suit claims the company used more than 1,000 songs for its streaming exercise classes without obtaining the correct music licenses. CEO John Foley sent a letter to Peloton members on Monday responding to the lawsuit and informing them that classes featuring songs named in the lawsuit would no longer be available.

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Sen. Kelsey Introduces Bill Supporting Pay for Student Athletes

Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, introduced a resolution earlier this month that, if passed, would instruct Tennessee’s public universities to work with their athletic conferences to oppose the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s prohibition on compensation for student athletes, The Nashville Post reports. Kelsey is citing this weekend’s American Athletic Conference and Southeastern Conference basketball tournaments in the state as a reason for the call to pay student athletes. He said that "exploiting these athletes is a violation of their economic liberty and civil rights."
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Actor Luke Perry's Estate in Good Order

Tennessee resident and 90201 actor Luke Perry, who died on March 4 after suffering a stroke, bucked the recent trend of celebrities’ who do not leave a will, Forbes reports. Perry reportedly created a will in 2015, after doctors discovered precancerous growths in a colonoscopy, leaving everything in his estimated $10 million estate to his three children. The news magazine highlights that Perry likely had an Advance Care Directive, otherwise, the decision of his family to terminate life support would have been a public battle in probate court. Perry was laid to rest on March 11 and buried just outside of his farm in Dickson County.

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Fox Hit With $178 Million Judgment in TV Profit Participation Lawsuit

In a decision that could have widespread repercussions in the entertainment industry, Fox has been hit with a $178.7-million judgment in a profit participation dispute with the cast and producers of the TV series “Bones,” The Los Angeles Times reports. The ruling was decided in arbitration and the award is among the largest of its kind. At the heart of the dispute was whether Fox engaged in so-called “self-dealing” — hiding profits from the show to avoid compensating key talent and producers. Arbitrator Peter Lichtman wrote in his decision that Fox engaged in “reprehensible conduct” and that top executives including 21st Century Fox President Peter Rice, and Fox TV Chairmen and Chief Executives Dana Walden and Gary Newman gave unconvincing testimony.
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Human Rights Campaign to Honor Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization — will honor Jennifer Nettles of the award-winning country music duo Sugarland at its 2019 HRC Nashville Dinner. Nettles will receive the HRC Ally for Equality Award for her support of the community and her work to raise awareness of the impact of hate speech and the importance of supporting LGBTQ youth. This annual staple will bring together hundreds of Nashville’s most active advocates while raising funds, which will be used to fight for LGBTQ equality. Email Nick Morrow for more info.

When: Saturday, March 2, 6:30 p.m., CST
Where: Renaissance Nashville Hotel, 611 Commerce St., Nashville
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Member Spotlight

For this member spotlight, the Entertainment & Sports Law Executive Council would like to introduce Steve Gaches. Steve is a Music Business Affairs executive at WME, a leading global entertainment agency. Named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, WME represents artists and content creators across books, digital media, film, food, music, television and theater, and is part of the Endeavor Network. In this role, he handles various legal matters related the music and touring, opportunities for clients across the WME roster. 

Based in Nashville, Gaches advises on WME’s music business spanning across three continents, setting standards in emerging markets and helping to ensure compliance, efficiency and consistency.

Prior to joining WME, Gaches worked at King and Ballow as an associate in its Entertainment Litigation group. He also spent time at the Federal Communications Commission, United States Copyright Office and BET Networks.

In addition to his work at WME, Gaches is also very involved in the community. He is active in the Endeavor Foundation, regularly volunteering his time and resources to various local charitable organizations and the global humanitarian organization, UNICEF. Gaches also volunteers his time to The Arc of Davidson County, the Tennessee Bar Association, IEBA, and is a member of GRAMMY Next. Additionally, he participates in the annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, a global motorcycle charity ride to raise awareness for men’s health issues. He is an alumnus of the University of Maryland and received his law degree at the University of Baltimore. A native of Annapolis, Maryland, Gaches currently resides in Nashville with his wife and daughter. 

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Business Law Annual Forum – May 9 in Nashville

 

Register now for the TBA Business Law Forum 2019.
 
This program will help business lawyers learn and refresh their knowledge about issues that may arise when drafting an LLC operating agreement. Topics will include an overview of the two extant Tennessee LLC acts and a comparison of those acts with the Delaware LLC Act; other distinctions of Tennessee law that impact the operating agreement; drafting key provisions, including distribution and allocation, employee and member compensation, and exit rights; and ethical considerations for lawyers drafting LLC operating agreements.
 
When: Thursday, May 9. Registration begins at 9 a.m.
Where: Tennessee Bar Center, 221 Fourth Ave. N., Nashville

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Facial Recognition Scanning on the Rise Amid Concerns for Privacy, Accuracy

A new piece in the ABA Journal examines the rise of facial recognition software and addresses the reality that it’s likely here to stay. Prominent examples include the use of facial recognition at Taylor Swift concerts to spot known stalkers of the pop star, plans to add such capabilities to customs inspection areas at Tokyo Narita Airport, as well as numerous uses in retail. Despite advances in the technology, privacy and civil rights groups are concerned that it remains prone to error. A 2018 study, for example, showed a 34 percent error rate in identifying darker-skinned women.
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Court Seeking Comments on Proposed Rule 46A

The Tennessee Supreme Court is considering the adoption of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 46A, which would govern the electronic service of papers that are e-filed, and it is seeking comments from the legal community and the public on the proposed rule. The deadline for submitting written comments is March 22. Comments should be e-mailed to appellatecourtclerk@tncourts.gov or mailed to: James M. Hivner, Clerk, Tennessee Appellate Courts, 100 Supreme Court Building, 401 7th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219-1407.
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TBA to Introduce Legal Document Generation

The TBA will soon launch a new subscription-based product for Tennessee lawyers — automated legal forms. The initiative will use HotDocs, a custom documentation generator that creates form templates and speeds up the preparation process based on client and case data. In order to provide this valuable resource to our members, we hope to obtain your comments and ideas on forms you deem beneficial for replication. With across-the-board participation, we can comprise a substantive, comprehensive database where subscribers will have access to forms submitted by all TBA sections. Please send suggestions and comments to TBA Membership Director Mindy Fulks.

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Legal Clinic for Artists Planned for Nashville on Feb. 28

The Arts & Business Council has planned a pro bono legal clinic for visual artists, dancers, actors, musicians and other creatives. The event will take place at Watkins Park Community Center, 616 17th Ave N, on Feb. 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Clients must sign up in advance and meet an income threshold. 
 
Attorneys interested in volunteering should email Jesse Harbison. Volunteering would involve meeting with low-income artists (in 30 minute appointment slots) to answer their legal questions. The legal clinic clients most frequently need assistance with: contract review; questions about business entity formation; questions about copyrights; and questions about trademarks. Attorneys will not be required to maintain ongoing attorney-client relationships with any of the clients. 
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Michael Jackson Estate Blasts HBO Over New Documentary

Lawyers for Michael Jackson's estate have admonished HBO over the network’s decision to proceed in airing its documentary "Leaving Neverland," Rolling Stone reports. An attorney for the estate, Howard Weitzman, sent a 10-page letter to HBO CEO Richard Plepler calling the film a “one-sided, sensationalist program,” and questioned the credibility of the two accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who are the focus of the documentary. “The Estate spent years litigating with Robson and Safechuck, and had four different lawsuits by these two men dismissed with prejudice,” the letter said. “Today, Robson owes the estate almost $70,000 in court costs, and Safechuck owes the estate several thousand dollars as well.” HBO responded to the letter saying that its plans remain unchanged, and that the documentary will air March 3 and 4.

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ABA Entertainment and Sports Forum Coming to Memphis

The ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries is bringing its Spring Governing Committee Meeting to Memphis on April 4. The event, which will be held at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphries School of Law, will include a luncheon featuring renowned author Robert Gordon whose books Memphis Rent Party and Respect Yourself tell the stories of Stax Records and Memphis’s rich musical tradition.
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Intellectual Property CLE Blast – May 10

 

This blast style CLE allows you the flexibility to create your own schedule based on your individual interests and learning needs. The registration desk is open all day, so you can take the sessions you want and leave when you want. 
 
It all takes place on Friday, May 10 at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville.
 
2019 CLE Sessions:
Patent Litigation Update: SCOTUS and the Federal Circuit
Artificial Intelligence & Blockchain
Adding a few prongs to your step: Substance and Preliminary Effects of the 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance
Ethics & Professionalism in Intellectual Property Law
Explaining the MMA & A General Advocacy Update
Updates Regarding Copyright-Infringement Litigation
Flying Safely in the Cloud: What Lawyers Must Consider When Moving to Cloud Computing
What's in a Name: Surnames as Trademarks
 

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Tennessee Sports Betting Bill Among First Filed this Session

Members of the Tennessee General Assembly have filed the first bills of the legislative session including HB001/SB0016, which seeks to legalize sports betting for cities that approve it through a local election, The Tennessean reports. If passed, the bill would establish a Tennessee gaming commission and there would be a 10 percent tax on gaming revenue. The article notes that the revenue would be distributed between the state general fund and for education and infrastructure with local governments. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Rick Staples, D-Knoxville, and Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis.

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R. Kelly May Benefit Financially Despite Industry Splits

Although R. Kelly is no longer represented by his publisher and label following Lifetime’s Jan. 3 release of the documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which detailed allegations of years-long history of sexual assault, Rolling Stone reports that the artist may financially benefit from the event. The six-part series drew around 20 million viewers, caused a social media uproar, topped the news headlines and invoked protests and pressure from music fans and industry professionals for Sony, owner of RCA Record, to part ways with Kelly. Sony announced the separation from R. Kelly on Jan. 18. However, the split with his label is not a major blow to the artist’s career because as the article points out, “both parties will continue to profit off of all past music releases as long as those releases are in distribution.” Additionally, in order to avoid a lawsuit, RCA may have had to make a financial settlement with R. Kelly since he had two albums left on his contract. Although his publishing company, Universal Music Publishing Group, also no longer represents him, the company is still responsible for distributing his past work (681 songs). R. Kelly and his team adamantly deny the allegations. 

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Register Now! International Law Forum on Feb. 22

 
Stay on track earning your CLE credits by attending the International Law Forum on Feb. 22 at the Tennessee Bar Center in Nashville. Early bird registration ends tomorrow, Feb. 16!
 
This program is applicable to a wide variety of practice areas, including business law, corporate counsel, employment law, law tech and immigration. Three international business panels make up this afternoon program and include a stacked line-up of speakers. Topics to be discussed include Government & Private International Manufacturing Perspectives, International Sourcing, Importing & Exporting Perspectives and International Entertainment & Tourism Perspectives.
 
Join us for an evening reception immediately following the program for a chance to network with attendees and speakers. Read more about the panels and register for the program here.
 
Unable to attend the live course? Join us virtually for the live webcast!

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