Each Monday The White Bronco’s “This Week in Sports Law” previews the week to come in the sports legal world. Here is a look at what is going on this week:
[Make sure to check out The White Bronco’s calendar to keep track of all of the key upcoming sports law dates]
Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in New York?
After a widely publicized legal battle, daily fantasy sports may be legal in New York State soon. A bill that will “provide for the registration, regulation, and taxation of interactive fantasy sports contests in New York State” has passed in the New York House and Senate. All that remains is for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the bill into law, which he will have ten days to do once the bill hits his desk at some point this week. The bill will amend New York’s existing “Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law” by declaring sports legal and adding a number of regulations including a tax of fantasy sports contests. You can read the full language of the bill here.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released the following statement:
Statement from NYAG Schneiderman on daily fantasy sports legislation: pic.twitter.com/jhyZsTyoFh
— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) June 18, 2016
Nike v. Boris Berian Back in Court
Earlier this year, Nike sued US middle distance runner and Boris Berian claiming that it had the opportunity to match the endorsement deal Berian signed with New Balance. Two weeks ago (after Nike finally served Berian while he was at a track meet), the court granted Nike a temporary restraining order against Berian preventing him from wearing New Balance apparel and shoes until June 21st. The parties are back in Court on Tuesday to determine whether the ban will carry on indefinitely. Because the legal standard for a TRO and the more permanent preliminary injunction are the same, the court will likely rule in favor of Nike.
The dispute revolves around whether Nike’s offer to Berian, which included a reduction clause (reduces the compensation in the contract if the runner does not produce as expected), matched the New Balance contract, or whether it presented a different offer altogether. Nike insists that reduction clauses are the “industry standard” and that they matched the terms of the New Balance deal. Berian has filed affidavits supporting his position that the New Balance contract did not contain a reduction clause and that such clauses are not standard.
Interested in the Berian case and more legal issues leading up the to Olympics? Check out our recently launched Sports Law in Rio Feature.
The NBA Draft is Thursday (!)
After an epic (game, not result) finale to the NBA Finals, the NBA Draft is here. And, like anything any other aspect of sports these days, it is not without legal issues. Earlier this year, WB writer Alan Wilmot tackled the Thon Maker dilemma and correctly predicted that the NBA would deem the high schooler eligible for the Draft. Draft Express (the best NBA Draft resource on the internet) predicts that Maker will fall into the second round.
There is also the now ten year-old question of whether the “One-and-Done Rule” is fair or whether there is a better alternative. With the league looking to increase the minimum age requirement, look for this to be an issue discussed during the next collective bargaining negotiations. Here is a proposal I wrote for Sports Illustrated’s The Cauldron earlier this year.