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Sports Law Links

Each week The Sports Esquires keep track of the sports law headlines so you don’t have to.  This week’s edition focuses on the NLRB’s Northwestern unionization decision, the latest on Tom Brady’s case, and recent legal discussions in sports gambling.


  • The Deflategate Hearing: Tom Brady and the NFL were back in court on Wednesday for a hearing before Judge Berman and more settlement discussions. Here’s the transcript of the hearing.  Dan Wallach and I broke down each side’s arguments from the hearing.  Here’s Dan’s analysis, and here’s mine.  Berman hammered the NFL’s case and took aim at Wells’ conclusion that Brady was “generally aware.”  Michael McCann discusses what to make of the judge’s criticisms.
  • More Deflategate Analysis: Andrew Sensi: even if Brady wins in court, the final outcome is uncertain. Roger Goodell’s insistence on acting as an emperor makes the NFL vulnerable to a legal smackdown.  Stephanie Stradley’s thoughts on Judge Berman’s push for settlement.  Dan Wetzel argues that the case is ruining the spoils of the NFL’s lockout victory.  Patriots President Jonathan Kraft says it is time to rethink the NFL’s disciplinary process.  Why the Garvey case is not the best comparison.  Here’s a timeline of the case.  Our updated page with all the Brady legal filings is here.
  • Former player Shawn Wooden is at the center of the NFL concussion settlement dispute. Three more players have filed appeals over the settlement.  More on the insufficiency of the settlement.
  • Concussion lawsuit against the NFLPA dismissed on preemption and timeliness grounds. Here’s the full order.


  • The NLRB declined to exercise jurisdiction over Northwestern athletes’ attempt to unionize, effectively ending their attempt to unionize for now. Sean Dotson looks at the NLRB’s reasoning and the potential consequences.  Michael McCann’s analysis.  Is the effort to unionize college athletes dead?  Warren Zola and Gabe Feldman offer some answers.  Andy Schwarz voices his frustration.  Diana Novak provides a timeline of the case, and Scott Schneider suggests the Board may have wanted a chance to rule with a wider  Michael Dube says the players didn’t have a good case anyway.  College athletes’ supporters dig in for the long fight.  Antitrust is now the clearest path to reform for NCAA athletes.
  • The NCAA and its insurers are fighting over coverage for concussion lawsuits.
  • UNC reports new potential violations, including improper academic assistance.


  • Cari Grieb says Patrick Kane’s case shows the NHL’s poor handling of domestic violence and sexual assault. Michael McCann’s analysis of the case.
  • Tax deductibility and employee fringe benefits: the Bruins’ argument over player meals.
  • Why the concussion lawsuit is especially tricky for the less affluent NHL.
  • The attorney for the family of Derek Boogaard seeks additional time to present evidence before a ruling on motion to dismiss.

Sports Gambling and Fantasy Sports

  • Dan Wallach considers possible reasons for the delay in the New Jersey sports betting decision.
  • Dustin Gouker proposes that DraftKings’ U.K. gaming license could speed up the timeline for U.S. regulation.
  • Ryan Rodenberg: the rise of fantasy sports betting is inevitable.
  • Nevada regulators begin to examine the legality of daily fantasy sports.


  • Nathaniel Grow weighs in on MLB’s new minority hiring initiative.
  • Why MLB and Fox’s new streaming deal isn’t as great as you might think.
  • MLB and MLBPA announce new domestic violence policy.

Best of the Rest

  • Prosecutors filed their appeal at the South African Supreme Court of Appeal over Oscar Pistorius’s case.
  • An examination of the language governing athlete agents.
  • Unionization in UFC: the fight over women’s pay.
  • Lance Armstrong required to give three more hours of testimony related to the government’s $100 million fraud case against him.
  • The latest issue of the Journal of Legal Aspects of Sports is out, covering sports law social media issues and NCAA academic fraud, among other topics.

About Ian Gunn

Ian is a New Orleans attorney and a 2014 graduate of Tulane University Law School with a certificate in sports law. Before practicing law, he worked for the legal departments of the New Orleans Saints, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the San Antonio Spurs. He also interned for a player representation agency and an international stadium management company. At Tulane, he served as the Editor in Chief of The Sports Lawyers Journal, Senior Managing Editor of The Sports Lawyer, and as an officer for the Sports Law Society. Prior to attending Tulane, Ian graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in philosophy, B.S. in psychology, and minor in political science.

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Sports Law Links

Each week The Sports Esquires keep track of the sports law headlines so you don’t have to. This week’s edition features the Supreme Court’s consideration of sports betting, a case that will impact the Redskins’ trademark, and more.

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