Monday, December 26, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The JETS will make the playoffs if......

With the loss to the Giants leaving the Jets 8-7, the AFC playoff picture clears up. The Jets have to win in Miami which, given the last two weeks, is perhaps less a given than it seemed a few weeks ago.

In addition, the Jets need a few other things to roll their way:

BENGALS LOSS: The Ravens are playing Cincinnati next Sunday, and Baltimore will have seeding to play for. This won't be an easy game for the Bengals.

TITANS LOSS: The Titans are playing in Houston, but the Texans are already set in the playoffs and can't improve their seed with a win, so the team could rest starters. That would help the Titans chances, not so much the Jets.

If the Jets win, the Bengals and Titans lose, then one other thing has to got the Jets way. Either:

RAIDERS LOSS: The Chargers head to Oakland and are out of the playoffs, but could play spoiler to the Raiders chance at winning the division.


BRONCOS LOSS: The Broncos host the Chiefs. Again, the Chiefs can only keep Denver from winning the division.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


After the HUGE deal Albert Pujols landed in LA and the NBA disallowing CP3's trade to the Lakers, is the MLB stronger than the NBA?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Letter from David Stern to NBA Fans

Dear Fans,

On behalf of the entire NBA family, I want to thank you for your patience and support over the past several months. The new collective bargaining agreement is designed to provide more competitive balance for our league, reward strong performances by our players, and strengthen our game by improving its economics. We believe this agreement will benefit our teams, players, and most importantly, fans by making the NBA stronger.

In the days and weeks ahead, all of us hope you will enjoy the run-up to the start of the season: free agency, training camp, and preseason games. Each NBA team will be hosting special events for fans, so be sure to check your favorite team's website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed for details. This season we look forward to bringing you more of everything you love about NBA basketball: incredible competition, tremendous excitement, and unending hard work and dedication by the world's best athletes.

Thank you for being an NBA fan. I hope you enjoy the season, which promises to be a most exciting one.
David J. Stern
NBA Commissione

Monday, December 5, 2011

BIG Change in Civil Procedure

Granting a writ of mandamus, a federal appellate court has rejected the notion that incorporating in Delaware is a controlling factor in determining whether a company must defend a lawsuit there. And, finding that a district court judge abused her discretion by holding otherwise, the appellate panel directed that a patent infringement case be transferred to California.

Friday's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit could potentially prevent a number of Delaware companies that do business elsewhere from continuing to use the state's highly regarded court system for intellectual property disputes, a practice that had been on the rise, according to Reuters.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Great Coach Valvano

Donate to the V Foundation for Cancer research please!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tricky Clause in Dentist Contract Allows Him to Sue For Bad Reviews Online

Beast Mode, AGAIN.


It has to be the skittles....

Round 1

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MLB CBA 2012

Buster Olney breaks down the MLB's new 5 year CBA.

MLB Gets NEW 5 Yr CBA, What About the NBA?

MLB and the MLBPA Tuesday formally announced a new five-year CBA, saying it was "a proud day for baseball." MLBPA Exec Dir Michael Weiner said, "This is a good day for not only baseball, but also a good day for collective bargaining.

Friday, November 18, 2011

1st Amndt

Hyperlinks and the First Amendment (MLPB, 3 Nov 2011) - Anjali Dala, Yale University, Yale Information Society Project, has published Protecting Hyperlinks and Preserving First Amendment Values on the Internet in volume 13 of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law (May 2011). Here is the abstract: Hyperlinks are critical to communication in part because they facilitate access to information. They provide visitors on one website a way to navigate to internally referenced words, phrases, arguments, and ideas. In addition to being vehicles for communication, this article contends that hyperlinks are communicative in and of themselves. They signal user preferences, democratize the national dialogue, indicate credibility, function as a signature on a virtual petition and help establish virtual associations. This Article presents the first comprehensive examination of First Amendment concerns related to hyperlinks and argues that any judicial or legislative regulation of hyperlinks should be reviewed under a strict scrutiny standard. Nearly 50 years ago, the Supreme Court recognized a constitutional privilege to disseminate information in New York Times v. Sullivan. In Sullivan, the Court extended a constitutional privilege to newspapers because of their role as an incredibly important, unique medium of communication. The same sentiment should extend to protect new media as they emerge. This Article concludes by discussing how a strict scrutiny standard should be applied to claims alleging trademark infringement, e-trespass, copyright infringement, contributory infringement, and contract violation as a result of hyperlink use. Article here.

Facebook & the Courts

Facebook: Monitoring Juror Social Media Networking Sites; “Friending” Employees of Adverse Parties (ABA Journal, Nov 2011) - You are representing a client in a personal injury matter. During pre trial voir dire proceedings and during the trial itself, can you search for and monitor jurors’ and potential jurors’ Twitter accounts and social network Internet postings? What are your obligations should you uncover evidence of juror misconduct? You represent a client in a wrongful discharge matter against the client’s former employer. You have reason to believe that certain high-level employees of the employer are dissatisfied and may be likely to post unfavorable comments about the employer on their private social networking pages. Can you send a “friend” request to these employees to gain access to their private social media pages? Since the publication of the last Eye on Ethics column on Facebook, November of 2010, “Facebook: State Bar Opinions Address Information Gathering,” there have been some new state bar opinions that have addressed various issues that relate to social networking. The topics covered include monitoring jurors’ social network and Internet postings, and whether a lawyer can “friend” high-level employees of an adverse represented party. [Editor: usefully parses recent NY County Opinion, and another by the San Diego County Bar.]

Case of Fake Facebook Profile Can Proceed, Judge Rules (, 3 Nov 2011) - A woman accused of impersonating her boyfriend on a fake Facebook page and posting inflammatory comments can be prosecuted for identity theft, a judge ruled Wednesday in a case that could have wider implications for cyber-speech. Dana Thornton was indicted last year on one count of fourth-degree identity theft, a crime punishable by a maximum 18-month prison term upon conviction. Assistant Prosecutor Robert Schwartz said she created the Facebook page using photos and personal information about her ex-boyfriend, a police detective in northern New Jersey, and posted comments purported to be from him. According to grand jury testimony recited in court Wednesday, among the comments posted on the page were that the ex-boyfriend, a narcotics detective, was “high all the time,” had herpes and frequented prostitutes and escort services. At issue is a New Jersey law that makes it illegal to impersonate someone “for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud another.” Bradley Shear, a Bethesda, Md., lawyer who works on online issues, said he expects to see more cases like this one in the near future. The New Jersey case could be a difficult prosecution, he said, because of the way the state’s law is written. “This specific situation sounds like it may be better handled in civil rather than criminal court,” he said. “It’s very tough to say this is a violation of the law.” It is, however, a violation of Facebook’s terms of service, he said. So far, only California and New York have laws specifically banning online identity theft. Shear said those states are leading the way largely because of the large number of celebrities who live in them. But he said such laws can get tricky to enforce because it’s legally thorny when the alleged offender is out of state.

Judge Orders Exchange of Facebook and Dating Website Passwords in Custody Fight (ABA Journal, 8 Nov 2011) - A Connecticut judge has ordered lawyers representing a divorcing couple to exchange passwords to their clients’ Facebook and dating websites. Judge Kenneth Schluger ordered the password exchange in the divorce of Stephen and Courtney Gallion, according to the Forbes blog The Not-So Private Parts. The judge cautioned in a Sept. 30 order that the exchange should be carried out by the lawyers, and neither spouse may post messages purporting to be the other. Stephen Gallion’s lawyer, Gary Traystman, told the blog his client believes the social networking accounts will provide evidence about Courtney Gallion’s ability to take care of their children. Stephen Gallion is arguing for full custody. According to the story, other judges have issued similar orders. “In ‘normal’ discovery, a litigant is usually asked to turn over ‘responsive material,’ not the keys to access all that material and more,” the story says, “but it seems that judges are applying different standards to social networking accounts.”

Why Parents Help Their Children Lie to Facebook About Age: Unintended Consequences of the ‘Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act’ (Berkman’s community members danah boyd, Eszter Hargittai, Jason Schultz, and John Palfrey; 1 Nov 2011) - Facebook, like many communication services and social media sites, uses its Terms of Service (ToS) to forbid children under the age of 13 from creating an account. Such prohibitions are not uncommon in response to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which seeks to empower parents by requiring commercial Web site operators to obtain parental consent before collecting data from children under 13. Given economic costs, social concerns, and technical issues, most general–purpose sites opt to restrict underage access through their ToS. Yet in spite of such restrictions, research suggests that millions of underage users circumvent this rule and sign up for accounts on Facebook. Given strong evidence of parental concern about children’s online activity, this raises questions of whether or not parents understand ToS restrictions for children, how they view children’s practices of circumventing age restrictions, and how they feel about children’s access being regulated. In this paper, we provide survey data that show that many parents know that their underage children are on Facebook in violation of the site’s restrictions and that they are often complicit in helping their children join the site. Our data suggest that, by creating a context in which companies choose to restrict access to children, COPPA inadvertently undermines parents’ ability to make choices and protect their children’s data. Our data have significant implications for policy–makers, particularly in light of ongoing discussions surrounding COPPA and other age–based privacy laws.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

TWITTER For Athletes

Great link by the Twitter team meant for Athletes. This link tells the proper use of hashtags and how to tweet. Specifically focused on Athletes and how they should use the platform the best.

Soccer Cleats With A Chip

New Adidas Soccer Cleat Lets Users Compare Performance To Stars

adidas today begins selling new soccer cleats that "allow the wearer to compare speed and movement with stars" such as FC Barcelona F Lionel Messi. The shoe, which uses an "embedded chip to record and analyze a player's performance," goes on sale today in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and will hit U.S. stores Dec. 1. The product was worn by Messi in Argentina's Sept. 6 friendly against Nigeria. It is part of an attempt by adidas to "help fend off larger rival Nike and extend its leadership in soccer" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/14).

NBAPA Decertifies

Monday, November 14, 2011

NIKE Sticks with JOEPA

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Penn State and Campus Safety

Great article by the New York Times discussing campus safety and police in light of the Penn State scandal....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Social Media and eDiscovery

Small excerpt from an ABA Journal article about Social Media and eDiscovery:

As both Crispin v. Audigier and Romano v. Steelcase Inc. demonstrate, the courts look to the privacy policies, and user privacy settings, of social media networks to help determine what information, and whether or not that information is admissible.

Both cases demonstrate that the relationship between social media and eDiscovery is both old and new, and that it is evolving as the law gains an understanding of how social media networks operate.

The relationship is old in that, like phone records and email, it is discoverable. It is new in that information contained on social media networks can be both public and private. In other words, social media networks are a hybrid of an open network and a “walled garden.” Some information is readily accessible by the public, including lawyers, judges and potential jurors, while other information is accessible only to parties who have been given permission. Knowing the difference, and how social media networks separate their “public” information from more “private” information, is increasingly important.

In Crispin, for example, the court held that the Stored Communications Act (SCA) protected messages on Facebook and MySpace that were not publicly available. The court made the distinction between Facebook wall posts, and Facebook messages. It looked to the privacy settings of Facebook to help make the distinction because a user’s privacy settings dictate what is publicly viewable, and what is viewable only to those invited. Although information posted to a Facebook wall may be public, information sent through Facebook’s private messaging system is not necessarily public.

In Romano, the court held that private messages were admissible because contradictory information was posted in the public areas of Facebook and MySpace. Public posting of contradictory information, in the eyes of the court, meant there was a reasonable expectation of relevant information being included in private messages, too. Such a conclusion is reached with an understanding of how social media networks operate, and how “public” information is distinguished from “private” information.

Although it may seem obvious how social media networks like Facebook and MySpace distinguish between “public” and “private” information, it may not be as obvious with other networks, like Twitter or Google +.

Twitter, too has a private messaging system, called Direct Message. Unlike Facebook’s private messaging system, however, it is limited to 140 characters. Twitter also allows its users to make profiles public, or private. In the parlance of Twitter, private accounts are “protected” and only followers approved by the account creator can see tweets, send tweets and send Direct Messages. For many, Twitter is not as intuitive as Facebook, or LinkedIn, and as a result, may be overlooked or ignored all together. However, it shares similarities with other social media networks, such as email notifications when a private message is received.

Google + is organized around Circles, or groups of people separated into default categories, or categories created by the user. Information can be shared with all of a user’s Circles, some, one, or even publicly. And like Facebook, a user can choose what profile information is publicly viewable, and what information is viewable only to those in Circles. Comments are threaded, and a user can control email notifications for a variety of actions, like if the user has been added to a circle, mentioned in a comment or if another user has shared a post. All of those actions have some impact on eDiscovery, and knowing the various settings is beneficial.

If you’re an avid user of social media and know how it operates, it’s important to remember that not every court, nor every lawyer, has an understanding of how social media networks operate, and how, or if, “public” information is distinguished from “private” information. If you’re not using social media, then gaining such an understanding is increasingly important.

Attorney Fees

Great article on attorney fees

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Athletes and their $ MONEY

Good read on Mark Brunell losing $50 million in bad investments... athletes all over, look out!

Mark Brunell Bankrupt

Monday, October 31, 2011


A man dressed in Spartan Green and White walks into an Ann Arbor sports bar with a small dog under his arm. He says to the bartender:

"Hey, can I leave my dog here while I go to the MSU - U of M game?"

"A dog in my bar? No."

"But he's a special dog," the MSU fan says.

"In what way?" The bartender asks.

"Well," says the Spartan, he will watch the game on TV with you. When MSU scores, he will walk up and down the bar on his hind legs.
When Michigan scores, he will walk up and down the bar on his front legs. When Michigan State wins, he will do back flips all the way down the bar and back."

"Wow," the bartender says. "What does he do when Michigan wins?"
"I don't know" says the Spartan. "He's only four years old."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Law School Admissions Look at Your Facebook Account


VA Says Lawyers Blog IS Advertising and Needs Disclaimer


That means if someone posts copyrighted content on YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook, the Department of Justice would have the right to hold the sites’ owners legally responsible, and even shut down service to the sites. If Demand Progress is accurate in its interpretation of the soon-to-be introduced House version of PROTECT IP, it will effectively overturn sections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that protect ISPs and websites from being held responsible for content posted by their users. <--Read the full article here


Study Finds Women Who Wear Makeup Are Deemed More Competent; Law Prof Isn't Swayed

Attny Ethics

Florida Bar Details Pending Complaints Against Casey Anthony's Lawyer

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

60 Minutes Video on Drew Rosenhaus

Great piece by 60 minutes on Super Agent Drew Rosenhaus.....

Overtime coverage on Drew Rosenhaus, behind the scenes:;currentVideoInfo

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mac Miller @ MSU

Pretty good concert. I liked the selection of songs for his setlist. It had a little of the classics and some of his new stuff. Some great songs and tributes to his Grandpa too. Good stuff.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lovin' $$$ Mayweather

If you missed the Mayweather/ Ortiz fight last night... you can check out the review clips below.

I liked the Kansas Jayhawks/US and Mexican flag shorts Ortiz was rocking during the fight. The KO by Mayweather looked a little sketchy, as Ortiz was clearly trying to talk to him or apologize before starting to fight, but hey, those are the breaks. I applaud $ Mayweather for being ferocious and getting pissed and wanting to fight back quickly. I am definitely calling another fight between these two and I know Ortiz will be pissed. Mayweather was hyped up before and after and even was talking trash to the announcer after, Muhammed Ali-esque.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vick Gets New Contract, Creditors Very Happy

"How does Vick make out? Well, he's allowed to keep the money left over after his creditors are paid off on the schedule made by the court. So next year, he starts with $17 million, takes $300,000 for himself, gives $5.85 million to his creditors, pays taxes and makes after taxes and makes required monthly payments to his ex-girlfriend and his mother, among others. That leaves him with about $3.7 million.

Of that, he has to pay the lawyers and accountants, 50 percent ($1,850,000). Vick can then bank the other $1,850,000, but can't touch it. That means that on a $17 million salary, Vick will net about $1.88 million next year. That means he makes 11 percent of what the Eagles pay him."

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Oregon's Darron Thomas Driving 118 MPH

Oregon's stars going little too fast back to Eugene.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Welcome to the HOF PRIME TIME

I liked this speech by Deion. Can't gonna go wrong when you're talking about helping your mom. Deion was one of my favorites growing up. He really was a game changer on all sides of the ball.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How Javon Ringer of MSU Picked An Agent

More like how he decided to let his Mom pick his agent, so he could concentrate on Football.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What An NFL Agent Does During Free Agency

GQ had a great article on David Canter..... The article went through a couple days in his shoes during this crazy week of NFL Free Agency after the lockout was lifted. See below and check out the article.


11:30 AM: Canter receives an email from the NFLPA outlining the various deal points to the proposed CBA.

1:08 PM: The NFLPA follows up with a 25-slide PowerPoint deck and a dial-in for a conference call; During the conference call, the NFL Network has Commissioner Roger Goodell and Executive Director of the National Football League Players' Association DeMaurice Smith live on-air, announcing the end of the lockout.

5:25 PM: The NFLPA emails Canter specifics on the Rookie Compensation Pool, detailing an entirely new process for signing NFL rookies

6:15 PM: He receives a phone call from a team inquiring about an undrafted rookie client. Canter tells team representative,...We can't speak until tomorrow morning at 10 am. The team representative responds by telling him they've been talking to agents about undrafted players since 6 pm. Canter shrugs his shoulders. Wild Wild West.

6:30 PM- 11:30 PM: Canter takes calls with every NFL team, trying to lock up contracts for three of his undrafted rookie free agents—wide receivers Dontavia Bogan and Joe Hastings, and kicker Wes Byrum. During these calls, he gauges interest in Weddle, his premier client. Of the 32 teams, he gets confirmation from 12 that are...indeed, interested in acquiring the 26-year-old safety. After several conversations, Canter agrees to terms on contracts for Bogan and Hastings, but is unable to secure jobs for his other undrafted free agents.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I am very glad the NFL is back in action. Below is a link with a great article and a video of DeMaurice Smith on the New Deal. Must listen to to learn a little about the new deal he negotiated with Roger and the NFL.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Baez Closing In the Casey Anthony Trial

In my opinion, Jose Baez's closing was very affective. Although I might not have agreed with his defense strategy at other points throughout the trial, his closing arguments really told the jury who Casey was as a person, but that the evidence (or lack of) did not support the elements of the charges brought forth. I was told in at my externship in Miami-Dade today that Mr. Baez was actually a paralegal in the same office I am working in now, but did not get hired as an assistant public defender after his paralegal work.

"After leaving the Navy, he attended Miami-Dade Community College, graduated from Florida State University and earned his law degree from St. Thomas’ University School of Law in 1997. He then joined the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office, where he worked as a paralegal for a short time, while struggling to be accepted into the Florida bar."

Brief clip of Baez argument's

About Baez. - The man was only practicing law for three years prior to this trial.

Some commentary about his closing arg. below:

"Baez began the argument of his life this morning - the final argument that he hopes will save Casey Anthony's life. He thanked the jurors for their sacrifice and time to fulfill their civic duty, but said first-degree murder was not proven. Baez raised questions about people who did not smell the stench of death in Casey's car. He also threw back blame at George Anthony, again suggesting he knew something about Caylees death. "He wanted to distance himself from the situation. He knew she was dead," Baez said. If state had tracked George's comings and goings "you probably would have more answers but you don't," he added. "

"He referred to his own client in his closing statement as a “slut,’’ a big no-no, Jarvis said. “He worked very hard to lose this case,’’ said Jarvis. “But, sometimes you snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. And, in this case, the victory was handed to him from the prosecution.”
-Miami Herald

Another video source and news from closing arguments.

More videos from the trial HERE

Monday, June 27, 2011

California Can't Ban Violent Video Games To Minors

In a long-awaited decision, on June 27th, the U.S. Supreme Court sent a clear message to state governments looking to regulate the sale of violent video games to minors: Treat video games like movies, books, music, and any other artistic medium.

The Supreme Court struck down California's law banning the rental or sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 by a decisive 7-2 margin.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Crowd Seats Can Help Sports Leagues After Lockout and Labor Issues

Even with the presence of Groupon, LivingSocial and StubHub, sports fans have still been searching for a place to purchase group tickets for a cheap price. And up until recently, there was no company that specifically focused on group sales of sports tickets. Now enter, Crowd Seats.

On June 6th officially launched its website. Crowd Seats is a daily deals site that offers sports tickets at HUGE discounts. The discounts range anywhere from 50-90% off face value with no fees. Crowd Seats can also be shared through Facebook and Twitter, with each referral through the social media services netting you a $10 credit on Crowd Seats. Crowd Seats is a benefit for both the consumer and the sports organization. These time-sensitive, daily deals offer fans an opportunity to become part of the crowd at a fraction of face value, while teams benefit from additional revenue streams, and get fans in the seats.

Currently, Crowd Seats is available for sports fans living in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Boston and Chicago, but will likely expand to other sports crazed areas. Fans and organizations are excited about Crowd Seats and should be ready to jump at the idea. In fact, a handful of teams have already been utilizing group-buying websites for the past two years. Many sports organizations, including the Dallas Mavericks, have experimented with Groupon and LivingSocial and had great results.

In a case study produced by Crowd Seats, deals involving tickets for NBA, NHL, and MLS games were reviewed. The combination of revenue generated through ticket sales via various daily deals sites and supplemental revenue generated at the stadium (Fan Cost Index) has resulted in NBA teams taking in an average of over $50,000/deal. The NHL and MLS based deals also did tremendously well.

Notable Deals:

  • Dallas Mavericks, October 2010, 4819 Tickets Sold, $173,000 Revenue
  • Toronto Raptors, March 2011, 2368 Tickets Sold, $101,000 Revenue
  • Toronto Raptors, November 2010, 3049 Tickets Sold, $97,000 Revenue
  • Colorado Avalanche, February 2011, 1784 Tickets Sold, $51,000 Revenue
  • New England Revolution, August 2010, 2515 Tickets Sold, $45,000 Revenue

It is clear that consumers and sports teams will greatly benefit from the first group-buying site specifically targeted towards their product. Additionally, with the NFL lockout currently in place and an NBA lockout looming large in the sports industry, league management and others believe that fans will get angry because of the lockout and will be less intrigued in professional sports because of the labor issues. Thus, bringing ticket sales and overall team revenue down. However, with Crowd Seats offering discounted seats to games fans will be more inclined to attend games, even if they are still angry over a labor situation or lockout. I know I will definitely attend NFL or NBA games for half off.

Now that the website is officially launched you can go and check it out yourself. Fans who want to receive future offers for local events can sign up for the” Deals Newsletter” at You can also follow Crowd Seats on Twitter, @crowdseats, or email Justin Cener at, if your sports organization would like to work with Crowd Seats.

Friday, June 24, 2011

4th Amendment and Emails

E-Mail Accounts, The Warrant Requirement, and the Territorial Limits of Court Orders (Volokh Conspiracy, 7 June 2011) - My friend Jennifer Granick points me to an interesting new case, Hubbard v. Myspace (S.D.N.Y. June 1, 2011), that touches on a fascinating Fourth Amendment question: What are the territorial limits of search warrants for Fourth Amendment purposes? To be clear, the Hubbard case itself involved a statutory challenge, not a constitutional one. The plaintiff sued MySpace for complying in California with a state warrant issued in Georgia that was faxed to MySpace in California on the ground tat the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. 2703, did not allow MySpace to comply with the out-of-state warrant. As a statutory claim, the argument was pretty clearly incorrect. But at the end of his opinion (p.11) Judge Kaplan touches on a really interesting issue: What about the Fourth Amendment? Specifically, the interesting issue is this: If the Fourth Amendment imposes a warrant requirement on government access to an e-mail account, which I think it does and the Sixth Circuit has expressly so held, is the warrant requirement satisfied by an out-of-state warrant from a jurisdiction far away with no authority to actually compel compliance with the warrant? Or is the warrant requirement only satisfied by a warrant issued locally, or at least in the same state or federal district? This issue generally doesn’t come up in traditional physical investigations because the police will get a local warrant to physically search a local location, and arrests generally don’t require warrants. But warrants for e-mail accounts are unusual: The police obtain the warrant and fax it to the ISP, and the Stored Communications Act contemplates out of state warrants. ISPs usually don’t have to comply with out of state warrants, as they are out of state and not binding on them: But the question I’m interested in here is, does the out of state warrant satisfy the warrant requirement? I would think the best answer is that the warrant requirement does not have a territorial limit: For Fourth Amendment purposes, the warrant requirement is satisfied so long as a neutral and detached magistrate somewhere has found probable cause, established particularity, and signed the warrant authorizing the disclosure. I think that for a few reasons. First, the Eighth Circuit has expressly approved of the constitutionality of an out-of-state e-mail warrant in one case, United States v. Bach, which involved a Minnesota state warrant for an e-mail account that was faxed to Yahoo in California. Although Bach did not discuss the extraterritorial nature of the warrant, the approval of the facts of that case hints that the extraterritorial nature of the warrant doesn’t matter. Second, I think the territorial limits of courts to issue warrants is at least arguably the kind of statutory limit on state power that the Supreme Court has said is irrelevant to Fourth Amendment reasonableness in Virginia v. Moore, 128 S.Ct. 1598 (2008). Third, cases from the wiretapping context have held that judges in one district can authorize intercepts in other districts. See, e.g., United States v. Ramirez, 112 F.3d 849 (7th Cir. 1997) (Posner, J.)

MIRLN (Misc. IT Related Legal News) is a free e-newsletter published every three weeks by Vince Polley at KnowConnect PLLC. You can subscribe to the MIRLN distribution list by sending email to Vince Polley ( with the word “MIRLN” in the subject line.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Library of Congress and Twitter

How the Library Of Congress is Building the Twitter Archive (O’Reilly Radar, 2 June 2011) - In April 2010, Twitter announced it was donating its entire archive of public tweets to the Library of Congress. Every tweet since Twitter’s inception in 2006 would be preserved. The donation of the archive to the Library of Congress may have been in part a symbolic act, a recognition of the cultural significance of Twitter. Although several important historical moments had already been captured on Twitter when the announcement was made last year (the first tweet from space, for example, Barack Obama’s first tweet as President, or news of Michael Jackson’s death), since then our awareness of the significance of the communication channel has certainly grown. That’s led to a flood of inquiries to the Library of Congress about how and when researchers will be able to gain access to the Twitter archive. These research requests were perhaps heightened by some of the changes that Twitter has made to its API and firehose access. But creating a Twitter archive is a major undertaking for the Library of Congress, and the process isn’t as simple as merely cracking open a file for researchers to peruse. I spoke with Martha Anderson, the head of the library’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIP), and Leslie Johnston, the manager of the NDIIP’s Technical Architecture Initiatives, about the challenges and opportunities of archiving digital data of this kind.

Sources: From MIRLN (See Below)

MIRLN (Misc. IT Related Legal News) is a free e-newsletter published every three weeks by Vince Polley at KnowConnect PLLC. You can subscribe to the MIRLN distribution list by sending email to Vince Polley ( with the word “MIRLN” in the subject line. Unsubscribe by sending email to Vince with the words “MIRLN REMOVAL” in the subject line.

Recent MIRLN issues are archived at Get supplemental information through Twitter: #mirln.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Police Officers and Government Intrusion

Do Police Officers Conducting a Search Have Fourth Amendment Rights Not To Be Secretly Taped by Government? (Volokh Conspiracy, 10 June 2011) - No, says the district court in United States v. Wells, 2011 WL 2259748 (N.D. Okla. May 12, just posted on Westlaw). Here’s the situation: A Tulsa police officer is being investigated for supposedly stealing money and drugs. The FBI sets up a sting, in which an undercover officer plays a drug dealer. The officer and his colleagues show up to the motel room where the sting is happening, arrest the undercover officer, take him outside, get his consent to search the room, and then search it. In the meantime, they are videotaped and audiotaped searching the room. Their lawyers seek to exclude the videotapes, because the videotapes supposedly violated the officers’ Fourth Amendment rights. The court doesn’t buy it. Even though guests sometimes have Fourth Amendment rights to be presumptively free of surveillance when they’re staying at a friend’s home — or in a motel — these weren’t ordinary guests.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The BEST Picture EVER

A couple embraces during the riots in Vancouver.... O CANADA! Go BRUINS, Stanley Cup Champions!

Still Blaming Sports Agents

Another article (above) blames sports agents for the problems with the NCAA and student athletes.... In my opinion, the problem is a lot larger than sports agents and although the bad and corrupt sports agent has taken most of the media attention and bad press. The NCAA, Coaches, some talented athletes, and many Universities and Athletic Directors are also to blame.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Braffman Still The Best

NY Criminal Defense Lawyer Braffman will represent strauss-kahn and is still known to many as THE BEST.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to Stay Safe on Social Networking Sites

NFL Lockout Update From Court (June 3)

Lawyer Ted Olson, who represents the players, said things might change after the court reads all of the briefs and listens to oral arguments concerning the case. He feels the players’ arguments are pretty persuasive and that the court should eventually side with the players and Judge Nelson. Olson also placed blame on the league for cancelling the collective-bargaining agreement and locking the players out. He added that the players didn’t do it – the league did.

Paul Clement, lawyer for the NFL, said the court doesn’t have the jurisdiction to end the lockout. He said lockouts are actually pretty common during labor disputes and that they are legally sound. He also pointed to the Norris-LaGuardia Act, which says federal district courts are not allowed to issue an injunction when it comes to labor disputes.

Olson argued that the players dissolved the NFL Players Association following talks on March 11 and that the collective bargaining relationship was ended, which means the situation should be considered an anti-trust issue, not a labor dispute. It is unlikely that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals agrees with Olson’s argument.

Clement said the most immediate way to come to an agreement is to simply get back to the negotiating table as soon as possible and to forget about anti-trust laws. He said both parties have to be interested in getting a deal done as a labor settlement and not an anti-trust settlement.

This article was on You can read the rest of the article there.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I don't want someone that sees what's good about me...I want someone that sees the bad, and still wants me

Friday, May 27, 2011

iPhone Spies

Atoms vs. Bits: Your Phone in the Eyes of the Law (The Atlantic, 26 April 2011) - On the last Friday in November in 2007, James Nix was riding shotgun in a car driving through the streets of Albany, Oregon, a freeway passthrough town between Salem and Eugene. Nix had several outstanding warrants for possession of a controlled substance, endangering the welfare of a minor and violating his parole on an earlier drug conviction. Earlier that day, an Albany police officer saw Nix take a call on his cell and then immediately after sell drugs to someone in classic hand-to-hand, money for drugs, switch. So, he’d tipped off another officer by the name of Jones to watch for the car. After investigating Nix for several weeks, they were going to make an arrest. Officer Jones pulled Nix’s friend over in a lawful traffic stop and Nix bolted. He didn’t get far before being apprehended, though, and Jones patted him down, finding 22 clear plastic baggies often associated with drug dealing, $370 in cash and a cellphone. Jones said while he counted the money, the phone rang “continually.” With enough evidence to make an arrest for selling drugs, Jones called Nix’s investigators, who told him to deliver the phone to the Albany PD’s mobile phone expert. Without a warrant, the forensics analyst searched the entire contents of the phone and “found text messages that he believed were drug related and images ‘consistent with methamphetamine.’” They were subsequently used against Nix in a trial which found him guilty. Ask yourself: Do you think it was OK for the police to search the contents of Nix’s phone without a warrant? It’s a complicated issue. We have rules against warrantless searches for good reason. On the other hand, law enforcement doesn’t want to lose the ability to do everything it can to catch people they think are criminals. Here’s the legal issue at the heart of the case, which will be argued before the Oregon Supreme Court next week. We all know that the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects everyone from “unreasonable” search and seizure. Since the 18th century, though, many cases have touched on how to define what is and is not unreasonable. Under English common law, it was generally considered reasonable for the police to search you while you were being arrested. It became known as the “search incident to arrest exception” and has been around in American law for well over 100 years. The big change to the exception came in the 1969 case Chimel vs. California, which laid out a key exception to the exception. Namely, if a suspect was arrested in his home, the police couldn’t search his whole house. As Wikipedia summarizes it, the police could only search, “the area within the immediate control of the suspect,” or as James Nix’s attorney Bronson James more colorfully put it, there is a “wingspan rule.” If you can reach it, the cops can search it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Twitter Tests Laws in UK and US

Good article about how the spread of Twitter has impacted the laws and how they need to adapt.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Posner Plays Nolan Smith of Duke

NSELS/ SLA Networking Event in NYC June 3rd, 2011

Looking to network? Interested in Sports or Entertainment Law? This
event is just for you. In an effort to spread awareness about the
organization’s mission, NSELS will be hosting a networking event in
New York City on June 3rd, 2011. More information will be given out in
the coming week. The National Sports & Entertainment Law Society was
organized with the assistance of Michael McCann from Sports
Illustrated. NSELS is a low-profit, limited-liability company
created by law students that focuses on organizing and centralizing
sports and entertainment societies. Most of our members are affiliated
in some capacity with other professional organizations such as the
Sports Lawyers Association and the American Bar Association’s Forum on
Entertainment and Sports.

Elliot Solop, the founder of The Sports Tomato
( will be representing NSELS at this event.
More information about The National Sports & Entertainment Law Society
can be found on our website at:

To ensure a great event, please RSVP on facebook, so we can have a
good idea of reservations and such. Also invite your friends who might
be interested. Information about the event will be updated weekly. Due
to limited funding, all cost will be at your own expense.

Date: June 3rd, 2011
Time: 6-8 P.M.
Where: Tonic bar and restuarant

Facebook Link:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mak the Puggle Speaks


Mak and my roommate, Mike, talking to each other after a rough day of studying.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Times Are Changing For Lawyers

Are time changing for lawyers and law students??

great article about Silicon Valley law firms

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rex Ryan On the Late Show

Rex Ryan talking to Dave about the upcoming season!!!!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Buffalo Drafts Michael Jasper

The Buffalo Bills chose Dynasty Football client Leslie Michael Jasper in the 7th Round, with the 42nd pick, 245th overall, in the 2011 Draft. Congrats to Mike for all his hard work and dedication!!! Not only did the Bills get a beast of a football player and someone who will help there last place defense a lot, but they will also be getting a guy with a great personality and someone who will consistently work their butt off.

Keep it up, you're almost there big guy!!

Check out Mike's website at:

NY Jets 2011 DRAFT

New York Jets

30. Muhammad Wilkerson, defensive end, Temple
94. Kenrick Ellis, defensive tackle, Hampton
126. Bilal Powell, running back, Louisville
153. Jeremy Kerley, wide receiver, TCU
208. Greg McElroy, quarterback, Alabama
227. Scotty McKnight, wide receiver, Colorado

New York didn’t have a second round pick as a result of the Cromartie trade, so they used both of their picks on Thursday and Friday to draft players for the front 7 on a defense that struggled to generate a pass rush at times. Muhammad Wilkerson was highly ranked on many boards and was a great pick late in the first. Kenrick Ellis has legal issues that dropped him to the third, but if he is on the field he should challenge for a spot in the rotation right away.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Flat Tire Incident

Here is a post I wrote on Spartan bLAWg about my recent flat tire incident on my way to Property class this last week.

On my way to class this Tuesday I was forced to deal with an unexpected element that no law student, or anyone for that matter, likes to deal with— a flat tire… I was lucky enough to make it to campus and park in the Shaw parking lot before noticing the hissing noise and the nail protruding from my tire, however, I had five minutes until class started to figure out how to handle this situation. After running to class and doing a quick Google search for tow trucks and mechanics, I was all set to call a tow truck and have my car hauled off to the dealer, until the student behind me offered to help me put on a spare.

Without this individuals gracious offer to help, I probably would have spent $100 or more on a tow truck just getting my car to the shop. Therefore, I am very grateful and thankful for this individuals help. It really shows how some students at law school, particularly MSU, are actually going to help other students out and not just worry about themselves or the next reading assignment they have to or the exam they have in a week. That is one of the many reasons I am glad I am a SPARTAN and attend MSU Law.

You can read the rest of my post at the link below to Spartan bLAWg

Letter from Law Firm to NFL Players Seeking Representation in Brady v NFL

Above is the letter send by the law firm to NFL players offering to represent the middle tier players of the NFL in the Brady antitrust lawsuit.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A little Con Law 2 News

The Supreme Court today let stand a ruling in a case involving Choose Life license plates in Illinois. The decision means that the Illinois officials who declined to issue the license plates in Illinois have won a legal victory against the pro-life advocates who wanted the plates to raise funds for adoptions.

Despite the refusal to hear the case, motorists in 24 states can buy Choose Life license plates and 14 more states are working on them.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I heart Boobies Bracelets Are Allowed in Schools, Ct Says

Rolling in the Deep- POSNER @ MSU NEW track

I was fortunate enough to go to this concert and had a great time.. Posner really puts on a show for all the college students each night!!

Posner @ MSU Introduction

Posner @ MSU


Monday, April 4, 2011

Small Victory for NFL Players?

SMALL VICTORY: In Ft. Lauderdale, Omar Kelly reported NFL players Friday "received a victory when NFL teams, owners were ordered to stop unlawful attempts to reduce workers compensation benefits" to injured players. U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty "issued an injunction requiring all NFL teams and owners to stop seeking to reduce the worker compensation benefits due to former NFL players as a result of injuries they suffered while playing the game." Kelly wrote, "Of course it's a small victory that won't get us closer to ending this lockout, but considering player safety and long term treatment is the only issue I'm personally advocating for it's an important one" (, 3/28).

Friday, April 1, 2011

Interview with The iLLiance

Great interview and some more press for the next hot, and upcoming group... The iLLiance

Thursday, March 31, 2011

NFLPA's Kessler Puts the Pressure on the NFL with Statements

Excerpt from

SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily’s IMG World Congress of Sports concluded Thursday with a discussion of laborby NFLPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler. Kessler provided some insight into what the decertified NFLPA envisions could come about if Judge Susan Nelson rules in its favor next week and blocks the NFL lockout.

Kessler believes if the lockout is lifted, teams will impose severe restrictions on the players. “We believe, and we have good reason to believe, their intention would be to impose restrictions that are going to be anti-competitive. In fact, more restrictive than anything that has ever been agreed to previously in collective bargaining.”

Keeping in mind the Brady v. NFL antitrust lawsuit, Kessler said, “That’s why that case also seeks to stop them from doing that, to stop them from substituting for a lockout with a set of restrictions that themselves would be antitrust violations.” He added, “If the league wants to disabuse us of that notion, and not impose such restrictions, than life will be a lot easier, legally, for them. But right now, we have every reason to believe that if they’re forced to impose a system, it’s not going to be one that complies with the antitrust laws. But that’s what we’ll find out.”

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

SHOWTIME: The iLLiance with CHiddy Bang and The White Panda Tonight 3/22

NFL Uses Sham Defense in Antiturst Suit

This Monday, March 21, the NFL filed a 57 page document claiming the NFLPA's decertification was a sham and the antitrust suit should not be heard under the NLRB rules on the decertification issue.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

NFL CAN Still Use the "Sham" Defense Against the NFLPA


“In an effort to protect its ability to repeat the fraud a second time, the union tried in the White settlement to limit the NFL’s ability to challenge in an antitrust court any future attempt by the union to pull off a similar sham. But that limitation could have applied only if the purported decertification occurred after expiration of the Stipulation and Settlement Agreement. The union was in such a rush to get to court that it did not wait until SSA expiration. The league is therefore free to show that this ‘decertification’ is also a sham.”

Where We Are Now With the NFL

The players’ union decertified Friday, March 11, 2011 around 4PM

The NFL owners began a lockout at midnight (no trades, signings, contact with players etc.).

The union has already filed a request for an injunction to block the lockout with U.S. District Court Judge David Doty. If Doty grants the injunction, the NFL will appeal the ruling, but the league year, with free agency and trades, could begin while the court process continues- not until a week or so at least.

If Doty rules the lockout is legal, there would be no NFL offseason (or potentially regular season) until both sides reach agreement.

The NFL's Proposal The Union Turned Down

Here is a statement from the NFL regarding their proposal to the Union. This comes from the NFL and thus represent the "we" below.....


1. We more than split the economic difference between us, increasing our proposed cap for 2011 significantly and accepting the Union’s proposed cap number for 2014 ($161 million per club).

2. An entry level compensation system based on the Union’s “rookie cap” proposal, rather than the wage scale proposed by the clubs. Under the NFL proposal, players drafted in rounds 2-7 would be paid the same or more than they are paid today. Savings from the first round would be reallocated to veteran players and benefits.

3. A guarantee of up to $1 million of a player’s salary for the contract year after his injury – the first time that the clubs have offered a standard multi-year injury guarantee.

4. Immediate implementation of changes to promote player health and safety by:

  • Reducing the off-season program by five weeks, reducing OTAs from 14 to 10, and limiting on-field practice time and contact;
  • Limiting full-contact practices in the preseason and regular season; and
  • Increasing number of days off for players.

5. Commit that any change to an 18-game season will be made only by agreement and that the 2011 and 2012 seasons will be played under the current 16-game format.

6. Owner funding of $82 million in 2011-12 to support additional benefits to former players, which would increase retirement benefits for more than 2000 former players by nearly 60 percent.

7. Offer current players the opportunity to remain in the player medical plan for life.

8. Third party arbitration for appeals in the drug and steroid programs.

9. Improvements in the Mackey plan, disability plan, and degree completion bonus program.

10. A per-club cash minimum spend of 90 percent of the salary cap over three

Lockout Letter

Here's the text of an email sent by the NFL detailing its decision to declare a lockout:




The fastest way to a fair agreement is for both the union and the clubs to continue the mediation process. Unfortunately, the players’ union notified our office at 4pm ET on Friday that it had “decertified” and walked away from mediation and collective bargaining to initiate the antitrust litigation it has been threatening to file. In an effort to get a fair agreement now, the clubs offered a deal that would have had no adverse financial impact upon veteran players in the early years and would meet the players’ financial demands in the latter years.

The union left a very good deal on the table. It included an offer to narrow the player compensation gap that existed in the negotiations by splitting the difference; guarantee reallocation of savings from first-round rookies to veterans and retirees without negatively affecting compensation for rounds 2-7; ensure no compensation reduction for veterans; implement new year-round health and safety rules; retain the current 16-4 season format for at least two years with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and union; and establish a new legacy fund for retired players ($82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years).

The union was offered financial disclosure of audited league and club profitability information that is not even shared with the NFL clubs.

The expanded health and safety rules would include a reduction in offseason programs of five weeks (from 14 to nine) and of OTAs (Organized Team Activities) from 14 to 10; significant reductions in the amount of contact in practices; and other changes.

At a time when thousands of employees are fighting for their collective bargaining rights, this union has chosen to abandon collective bargaining in favor of a sham ‘decertification’ and antitrust litigation. This litigation maneuver is built on the indisputably false premise that the NFLPA has stopped being a union and will merely delay the process of reaching an agreement.

The NFL clubs remain committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process until an agreement is reached. The NFL calls on the union to return to negotiations immediately. NFL players, clubs, and fans want an agreement. The only place it can be reached is at the bargaining table.

Since June of 2009, 21 months ago, the NFL clubs have made numerous comprehensive, detailed proposals and counter-proposals; negotiated in dozens of formal sessions and smaller group meetings; and engaged in a series of intensive negotiating sessions over the past three weeks under the auspices of George Cohen, the director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. We have reaffirmed to Director Cohen our commitment to the federal mediation process until an agreement is reached.

The goals of the NFL clubs have been clear from the start. The current CBA is flawed in numerous respects, and the system must be improved to ensure continued growth and innovation and a better future for the NFL, the players, and the fans.

The clubs are willing to make many changes proposed by the union, and they have modified their economic proposals in numerous respects. We need an agreement that – when looking back two, four or 10 years from now – both sides will recognize as fair, smart, good for the game, and good for all involved, including players, fans, and clubs.

Regrettably, the union's leadership has walked out and is refusing to participate in collective bargaining. The union has insisted on a continuation of an unsustainable status quo rather than agreeing to reasonable adjustments that reflect new economic realities we all have experienced. The status quo would also mean no improvements for retired players, too much money to a handful of rookies, and no changes to improve our drug programs.

The union's abandonment of bargaining has forced the clubs to take action they very much wanted to avoid. At the recommendation of the Management Council Executive Committee under the authority it has been delegated by the clubs, the league has informed the union that it is taking the difficult but necessary step of exercising its right under federal labor law to impose a lockout of the union. The clubs are committed to continuing to negotiate until an agreement is reached, and will gladly continue to work with the FMCS.

The clubs believe that this step is the most effective way to accelerate efforts to reach a new agreement without disruption to the 2011 season. The clubs want to continue negotiating intensively to reach a fair agreement as soon as possible. Our goal is finding common ground and resolving the issues with the union. That is why we ask the union to resume negotiations with the federal mediator. The negative consequences for the players and clubs will continue to escalate the longer it takes to reach an agreement.

Our message to the fans is this: We know that you are not interested in any disruption to your enjoyment of the NFL. We know that you want football. You will have football. This will be resolved. Our mission is to do so as soon as possible and put in place with the players an improved collective bargaining agreement that builds on our past success and makes the future of football and the NFL even better – for the teams, players, and fans.

We have great respect for the fans. We have great respect for our players. We have great respect for the game and the tradition of the NFL. We will do everything that we reasonably can to ensure that everyone’s attention returns to the football field as soon as possible.

Goodell Letter to Fans

Dear NFL Fan,

When I wrote to you last on behalf of the NFL, we promised you that we would work tirelessly to find a collectively bargained solution to our differences with the players’ union. Subsequent to that letter to you, we agreed that the fastest way to a fair agreement was for everyone to work together through a mediation process. For the last three weeks I have personally attended every session of mediation, which is a process our clubs sincerely believe in.

Unfortunately, I have to tell you that earlier today the players’ union walked away from mediation and collective bargaining and has initiated litigation against the clubs. In an effort to get a fair agreement now, our clubs offered a deal today that, among other things, was designed to have no adverse financial impact on veteran players in the early years, and would have met the players’ financial demands in the latter years of the agreement.

The proposal we made included an offer to narrow the player compensation gap that existed in the negotiations by splitting the difference; guarantee a reallocation of savings from first-round rookies to veterans and retirees without negatively affecting compensation for rounds 2-7; no compensation reduction for veterans; implement new year-round health and safety rules; retain the current 16-4 season format for at least two years with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and union; and establish a new legacy fund for retired players ($82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years).

It was a deal that offered compromise, and would have ensured the well-being of our players and guaranteed the long-term future for the fans of the great game we all love so much. It was a deal where everyone would prosper.

We remain committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process until an agreement is reached, and call on the union to return to negotiations immediately. NFL players, clubs, and fans want an agreement. The only place it can be reached is at the bargaining table.

While we are disappointed with the union’s actions, we remain steadfastly committed to reaching an agreement that serves the best interest of NFL players, clubs and fans, and thank you for your continued support of our league. First and foremost it is your passion for the game that drives us all, and we will not lose sight of this as we continue to work for a deal that works for everyone.


Roger Goodell

Sunday, March 6, 2011

NFL Wins 4BILLION, For Now

The NFL Gets to Keep A 4 Billion-Dollar Bargaining Chip

Posted at at 11:00 am on Feb 10, 2011 by Zak Kurtz

With all the press from Super Bowl week and the talk about the upcoming CBA deadline, many people overlooked a very important ruling by NFL Special Master Stephen Burbank last Tuesday, February 1. Under the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement the league is required to maximize revenue for the mutual benefit of both sides. The NFL Players Association alleged that the NFL improperly negotiated below value television contracts, in exchange for a structuring deal that would pay the league $4 billion in 2011 (knowing that a lockout was possible), and was therefore not getting the most revenue possible in other seasons when the income would be shared with the players.

The Special Master rejected the Union’s complaint; however the he did rule that the NFL violated the Reggie White settlement agreement governing the CBA, regarding the NFL’s specific media contracts with ESPN and ABC. Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal reported that the Special Master did not grant the injunction, but instead, awarded $6.9 million in damages for the CBA violations of the ESPN and ABC contracts. According to the Associated Press, the NFLPA was asking for $60 million in damages, but was awarded $6.9 million. Most importantly, the Special Master did not grant the Union’s request for an injunction, thus allowing the NFL to keep $4B from the TV contract deals with networks in 2011.

After the ruling both sides claimed a victory. The Union was happy the Special Master found minor CBA violations with the ABC and ESPN contracts. NFL Executive VP & General Counsel Jeff Pash called the award a “modest” amount at a press conference, but had to be delighted with the outcome. Union spokesman George Atallah tweeted after the decision, “Now for the good news: The NFL, until the appeal in Minnesota, has $4 billion to not play football next year. VICTORY!”

I believe this is a clear victory for the NFL. Comparing an award of $6.9 million with $4 Billion from what the Union called “lockout insurance” gives the NFL a lot more chips at the bargaining table.

The fact that the Union immediately appealed the ruling, and is now asking U.S. District Court Judge David Doty, the judge in charge of overseeing the NFL’s CBA, to issue a decision on its appeal before the March 3rd CBA officially expires is another example of how the Union is truly taking this ruling. One of my favorite quotes from an NFL statement over the weekend read, “As we have said all along, a new CBA has to be hammered out at the negotiating table, not in the courtroom. If the union commits to invest as much time, energy and other resources in negotiations as it has in its litigation strategy, a new agreement could well be reached by March 4.”

Although the NFL appears to have an advantage after the Special Master’s decision, the ruling could be beneficial to both side’s progress and enhanced efforts for a new CBA. This ruling could entice the NFLPA to negotiate more fervently in hopes of coming to an agreement before the critical March 4th deadline, just like the league’s statement above suggests.

On a side note, the league’s Exec VP/Business Operations Eric Grubman also mentioned to reporters in January that the TV money at issue has to be repaid, with interest, once the games resume. Conversely, the NFL recently mentioned that it would not touch the $4 billion from the television contracts until a potential second lockout year in March 2012, if a new CBA still has not been reached. If these statements are true then the NFL now has even more incentive to come to an agreement for a new CBA and get these funds active.

Moving forward, Judge Doty will hear oral arguments for the appeal on February 24th in an open federal courtroom in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Judge Doty has been favorable to the players in recent rulings. The NFL even asked the judge to remove himself from his role overseeing the NFL’s CBA after his decision in the Michael Vick ruling, claiming Doty was showing bias towards the NFL players by meeting with player representatives before hearings and making inappropriate public comments. However, I am not so sure about Doty ruling with the players on this decision.

NFL Management and the NFLPA will be enhancing the intensity of negotiations between the two parties over the next several weeks. Hopefully the Union will let Judge Doty decide this decision on appeal, and not let it disrupt the flow of negotiations. As we all know, the sides have many other issues to agree on before March 4.