News

Mark Your Calendars: Entertainment & Sports Law Forum 2019

Save the date for this year's Entertainment & Sports Law Annual Forum – May 15 at Belmont College of Law. We invite you to join a distinguished group of speakers for an afternoon discussion of some of the most cutting-edge legal issues in the music and sports industries today. The panels have been carefully crafted to provide timely and practical information that will benefit practitioners of all levels, showcasing a wide array of areas, including an in-depth discussion of the practical impact of new music legislation, legal issues related to live music and merchandising, sports gambling topics, and attorney well-being. This is a program that you definitely don’t want to miss. Registration for this forum will open soon, so stay tuned for additional details!

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New Book Examines the Law and Girls' Basketball

Full Court: How Pat Summitt, a High School Basketball Player, and a Legal Team Changed the Game, a new book by Tennessee lawyer Bill Haltom and Virginia law student Amanda Swanson, follows the legal case that changed women’s basketball forever. The 1973 case saw high school basketball player Victoria Cape sue the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, the organization which oversees high school sports and regulated girls’ basketball to a six-on-six, half court game. New University of Tennessee coach Pat Head Summitt figures prominently into the case as a supporter of Cape’s lawsuit. Read more at The Daily Memphian.
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Member Spotlight

For this member spotlight, the Entertainment & Sports Law Executive Council would like to introduce Dan Werly. Werly is Managing Partner of Sievert Werly LLC, a sports law boutique firm based in Nashville.  His practice focuses on a wide variety of commercial transactions and related matters for sports industry clients including strategic partnerships, sponsorship, marketing/promotions, sports gaming, ticketing, and venue management. He represents professional sports teams, athletes, venues, and companies that focus on sports tech, ticketing, fitness, fantasy sports, and sports gambling.
 
Werly is actively involved in the Nashville and national sports legal communities and currently serves as the co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Sports Division and President of the Nashville chapter of the Sports Business Leadership Association. He is also an adjunct professor in the recently launched University of New Hampshire School of Law sports wagering and integrity program and serves on the board of directors for the Nashville-based 501(c)(3) Play Like A Girl. In his free time, he loves spending time with his wife Liz, infant son Jack and Wheaten Terrier Birdie.
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Blog Reviews Most Important Legal Tech Developments in 2018

LawSitesBlog.com has published a roundup of the 20 most important legal tech developments in the past year, eschewing the traditional Top 10 list due to the overwhelming number of significant changes. Included on the list were analytics becoming an essential part of the legal practice, investments in legal tech topping $1 billion, the end of Avvo and the new American Bar Association rule emphasizing the duty of lawyers to be up-to-date on legal technology.
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First Copyrighted Works in 20 Years to Enter Public Domain

At midnight on New Year’s Eve, all works first published in the United States in 1923 will enter the public domain, The Smithsonian Magazine reports. It has been 21 years since the last mass expiration of copyright in the U.S. The last one — in 1998, when 1922 slipped its copyright bond — predated Google. The more than two decade delay was due to lobbying from Disney in the 90's, when it fought to stop the expiration of the copyright on Mickey Mouse, who was born in 1928 and was expected to enter the public domain in 2004. Mickey is now protected until 2024.
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Regular Memphis Pro Bono Clinic Has Served 12K Since Inception

Since its beginnings over a decade ago, a Memphis-area pro bono legal clinic has gone on to serve roughly 12,000 individuals in need, The Daily Memphian reports. The Saturday Legal Clinic, sponsored by Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) and the Memphis Bar Association, has been held at the Benjamin L. Hooks Library once a month since November 2006. Firms and associations work to promote the event to ensure that 30 to 40 attorneys attend each month.
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Webcasts: Transactional Practice Series (Parts 1 and 2)

New for 2018! Every lawyer experiences transactional law at some point in the year, and this all-in-one online video series features up to six dynamic hours of valuable content providing lawyers in various areas of the law with the information, tools, and tips needed to successfully handle transactional, traditional business, and probate matters. Perfect for General, Solo, Small Firms, Real Estate Law, Entertainment Law, Health Law, Business Law, Bankruptcy Law or Young Lawyers Division attorneys. Earn up to five general (online) CLE hours and one dual (online) hour. Part 1: Earn up to 3 general (online) CLE hoursPart 2: Earn up to 2 general and 1 dual (online) CLE hours.

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Member Spotlight

 

For this member spotlight, the Entertainment & Sports Law Executive Council would like to introduce Jenna Harris. Jenna is a lawyer at the Nashville office of Ritholz Levy Fields LLP. Her litigation practice focuses primarily on intellectual property, entertainment, fashion and commercial litigation. Jenna has represented clients in federal and state court and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. She also assists clients with transactional matters related to copyright and trademark, and regularly consults clients regarding brand development, marketing and maintenance.

Jenna volunteers with the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville, where she previously worked and provided free legal and business services to low-income artists and arts organizations. Jenna has been named a “Mid-South Rising Star” in Intellectual Property by Super Lawyers from 2016-2018. In her free time, Jenna loves scoping out Nashville’s music and food scenes and catching live shows with her (musician/producer) husband, Matt. She also enjoys boating on Old Hickory Lake and exploring Shelby Bottoms with her dog Pepper.

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Swedish Music Festival Found Guilty of Gender Discrimination

On Monday, Sweden’s Discrimination Ombudsman (DO) ruled that last August's music festival for women, transgender and non-binary people breached gender-based discrimination laws, BBC reports. The DO found that Statement Festival’s “man-free” event description and public statements made leading up to the event discouraged a particular group of people from attending; however, since no one suffered any damages from the restrictions there would be no financial penalties imposed. The festival was created in response to the large number of sexual assault offenses experienced at Sweden’s largest music festival, Bravalla, in 2017.  It was canceled in 2018 due to growing concerns for women’s safety. 

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Court Solicits Comments on Rule Change for Professional Privilege Tax Payments

The Tennessee Supreme Court is soliciting comments on a proposed rule change that would make delinquent professional privilege tax fees payable via an online portal and remove the requirement of a Privilege Tax Delinquency Notice to be sent via mail, requiring only an email notice. The deadline for submitting written comments is Feb. 4. Written comments may be emailed to appellatecourtclerk@tncourts.gov or mailed to James M. Hivner, Clerk, Re: Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 9, section 26 Tennessee Appellate Courts, 100 Supreme Court Building, 401 7th Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37219-1407.
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AG Opinion Could Pave Way for Legal Sports Betting

A recent opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery has created a path for legislation to allow gambling on sporting events, The Daily Memphian reports. The opinion, issued Dec. 14, says the General Assembly “may legalize the contest solely through legislative action without a constitutional amendment” as long as the sport is based on skill and not predominantly on “chance.” Sen. Brian Kelsey, who is considering legislation related to the matter, said that if allowed, sports betting should be limited to the four largest cities in Tennessee.
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Law Tech Blast: Feb. 15, 2019

Discover the newest technology for your law practice and law office at this year's Law Tech Blast on Feb. 15! This is a free program available to all practicing lawyers. The flexible open house format allows you to create your own schedule. You can attend CLE sessions, enter to win prizes, network with attendees, visit with sponsors and interact with speakers. Take as many or as few CLE hours as you need. Only those seeking to be awarded CLE Credit will be charged. The registration desk will be open all day, so you can come and go for the hours you need when it is convenient for you. Attendees can earn up to 6.5 hours of Dual CLE credit.

FREE SIGN UP: Sign up now so we know you are coming.

  • You will only pay for the hours you wish to be awarded CLE credit.
  • Programming will be available throughout the day with dual credit hours available.
  • The registration desk will also be open all day.
CLE TOPICS:
  • GDPR, Cloud and Technological Competency
  • The Bill and Phil Tech Show
  • Best Practices: Information Security for Firms
  • Judicial Panel: Technology in the Courtroom
  • Preparing for eDiscovery Before Litigation 

ATTEND TO WIN: Attendees will have a chance to win prizes, including a hot, new tech product. The tech prize drawing will be held at the 10:30 a.m. break. Must be present to win.

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Give the Gift of TBA Membership

Give yourself (or a friend) the gift that keeps giving — one-year of unlimited access to professional development opportunities and a number of programs and services designed to help you become a better practitioner. Founded in 1881, the Tennessee Bar Association is dedicated to enhancing fellowship among members of the state's legal community. Oh, and did we mention some of the benefits? Earn three pre-paid credits to use on any live or online course featured in the 12-days of CLE. Join now!

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Family Fights Trustees Over Control of Denver Broncos

An intrafamilial battle has erupted over control of the Denver Broncos NFL team, The New York Times reports. Franchise owner Pat Bowlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and relinquished control of the organization to three trustees in 2014, who set a succession plan regarding the transfer of ownership between his seven children. One of Bowlen’s daughters, Beth Bowlen Wallace, is at the center of the dispute, arguing that she is best suited to direct the team because of her philanthropic work, experience as a manager of various businesses, her time as a director of special projects at the Broncos and her law degree. Several of Bowlen’s family members have now filed a lawsuit against the trustees demanding an independent overseer, a move the trustees have asked the NFL to arbitrate. The Broncos are currently valued at $2.6 billion.

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Star Flutist’s Gender-Pay Lawsuit Could Change Industry

A star flutist in one of the most prominent orchestras in the country is suing over an approximately $70,000 difference in pay between her and a male colleague, testing Massachusetts’ new equal-pay law and potentially affecting women across the U.S. workforce. The Washington Post reports that Elizabeth Rowe, a 14-year veteran of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and its principal flutist, is suing after attempting year after year to receive the same pay as her colleague, the orchestra’s principal oboist. BSO’s response to the suit is that the oboe is a more important instrument than the flute, and that there is a limited pool of great oboists as compared to flutists.
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But Seriously, Folks: After 25 Years of TBJ Columns, Haltom Retires

"Twenty-five years ago I began writing this column for the Tennessee Bar Journal," Bill Haltom writes in the December issue. "This is my 261st column. It is also my last." With that, an era ends, and you won't want to miss reading it. In his column's place, a new feature, "Spark," will hold down the back of the book. Our cover story this month is about lessons drawn from 2018 Entertainment Law cases -- yes, there was that monkey selfie -- but the principles addressed by the underlying lawsuits apply to any civil-litigation practice. TBA President Jason Pannu writes about fostering a culture of civility: "As lawyers, we have the opportunity to address the incivility plague that divides our communities. We also must do better to be respectful when dealing with one another as lawyers."

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Application of Blockchain Tech Reaches the Music Industry

This article from BBC discusses how blockchain technology has the potential to change several industries, including the music industry. Musician Imogen Heap held a small show in Sweden and offered the ticket holders an opportunity to join an experiment of hers - those that sign up agreed to a ‘smart contract’ to ensure they automatically receive a portion of the royalties made from the sale of the recorded show. Blockchain is primarily used to support cryptocurrencies, like BitCoin, but other industries are starting to explore the benefits of utilizing the technology. This is increasing the need for blockchain specialists in all fields. The article notes that the demand for employees with expertise in blockchain is six times higher than it was in 2015.

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Celtics Player Faces Lawsuit for ‘Scream’ Mask Use

Eastern Unlimited has sued Boston Celtics point guard Terry Rozier for copyright and trademark infringement, Forbes reports. Rozier, nicknamed Scary Terry, sold merchandise featuring a cartoon image of himself wearing the white mask from the “Scream” horror films. Eastern Unlimited holds the copyright and trademark registrations and negotiated licenses for the mask to appear in the film series. The company filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and is requesting an injunction to stop Rozier’s use of the mask image on merchandise. The company is seeking damages for trademark infringement, trademark counterfeiting and trademark dilution as well as attorney costs.

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Jay Z Lawsuit Halted Due to Lack of African-American Arbitrators

A lawsuit between Jay Z’s company, Roc Nation, and clothing company Iconix was temporarily halted on Wednesday due to the lack of African-American arbitrators available to assess the case, The New York Times reports. Iconix purchased Rocawear clothing brand from Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, in 2007.  Later, Jay Z produced merchandise with the logo of a newly formed company, Roc Nation. Iconix argued the merchandise violated the terms of the Rocawear sale; Jay Z countersued, which resulted in an arbitration hearing.  Each side needed to select four arbitrators from 200 members of the American Arbitration Association. It was during this process that Jay Z and his legal team discovered no African-American arbitrators were on the roster for large and complex cases. The association could only find three available arbitrators who identified as African-American, and one had a conflict of interest. Jay Z and his legal team filed a petition arguing that the lack of black arbitrators could subject black litigants, such as Jay Z, to unconscious bias from white arbitrators. Further, the petition also argued that the lack of black arbitrators “deprives litigants of color of a meaningful opportunity to have their claims heard by a panel of arbitrators reflecting their backgrounds and life experience.” The court upheld the petition and the arbitration has been halted until the next hearing set for Dec. 11.

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Board of Law Examiners Holds Deans' Summit in Nashville

Law school deans from across the state recently gathered in Nashville for the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners’ 2018 Deans’ Summit. The summit, which included deans from most of Tennessee's law schools, featured presentations and discussions on a range of topics, from law student wellness, to innovations at Tennessee law schools, to the state’s recent adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam. Other parts of the program took the form of an open discussion between members of the board and the deans. 
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December CLE in 6 Cities

TBA offers CLE in six locations during December. See offerings in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, Johnson City and Jackson. Find last-minute by the hour through Dec. 31 or take any of the TBA's online CLE packages.
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Mark Your Calendars!

Member Spotlight

Tennessee Legislator Proposes Legalized Sports Betting

Knoxville Democratic House Rep. Rick Staples has kicked off the upcoming legislative session by filing House Bill 1 last week, which would open to door to legalized sports betting in Tennessee, The Nashville Post reports. The measure would allow local option elections for sports gambling. Staples' proposal includes a 10-percent tax on gaming revenue, with the funds split between the state’s general fund, local governments and the state’s colleges of applied technologies and community colleges.
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Billboard: Music’s Wealth May Shift From Labels to Publishers with MMA Passage

The newly passed Music Modernization Act (MMA) is expected to increase the overall revenue for publishers and songwriters; however, this article from Billboard suggests that the publishing sector may accrue new earnings at the expense of record labels. The three largest publishers by revenue — Sony/ATV, Universal Music Publishing Group and Warner/Chappell Music — are each owned by the three largest record companies. The additional revenue earned by the publishing arms may hurt the record companies because the profit margin on additional label revenue is higher than that of extra publishing revenue, mostly because of the higher royalty rates paid by publishers to songwriters. Apple Music has already negotiated lower revenue shares for labels in order to offset the unknown increases expected for publishers. A provision in the MMA allows federal judges who determine publishing rates for programmed music to look at how much record labels are being paid by digital services, which was not previously considered when determining their formula. The article does note that the Classics Act component of the MMA could financially benefit record companies.  

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