Issues to Watch

The ADA and the Internet: Accessibility for All


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Meredith Ashley*

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) “prohibits places of public accommodation from excluding disabled persons thus depriving them of the goods and services offered.”  Margaret C. Jasper, Legal Almanac Series: The Americans with Disabilities Act § 4:1, Westlaw (database updated Oct. 2012).  In essence, all public businesses that function for public use are “places of public accommodation,” and accordingly, are mandated to follow ADA regulations.  Id.  The ADA requires businesses to create ways in which individuals with disabilities may utilize their services, which includes establishing auxiliary aids such as readers, assistive listening devices, and braille.  Id.  However, the ADA does not require a business to “provide an auxiliary aid that would result in an undue burden or in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the goods or services provided.”  Id. § 4:4. (more…)

Issues to Watch

What’s Going on With the Orioles/Nationals MASN Dispute?


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Samson R. Nabozny*

On August 22, 2019, New York Supreme Court Judge Joel Cohen issued a ruling denying the Baltimore Orioles latest request to vacate an arbitration award to the Washington Nationals over the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) television rights fees dispute.  TCR Sports Broad. Holding, LLP v. WN Partner LLC, No. 652044/2014 2019 WL 3973873, at *12–13 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Aug. 22, 2019).  In accordance with the ruling, MASN and the Orioles must pay $296.8 million to the Nationals for television rights fees from the 2012 through 2016 seasons.  Peter Schmuck, Judge Upholds Arbitration Ruling that Orioles Owe Nationals About $100 Million in MASN TV Rights Dispute, Balt. Sun (Aug. 23, 2019, 5:32 PM), https://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bs-sp-orioles-lose-latest-round-in-masn-lawsuit-20190823-ww6a53a7nraipgwuypgxef2gt4-story.html.  The dispute between the Orioles and Nationals over the MASN deal has persisted for almost ten years, and the latest development is a major blow to both the Orioles and MASN.  See id. (more…)

Issues to Watch

Keeping up with the Kalifornia Bar


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Victoria Devore*

In the midst of rising tuition rates and student debt, an unlikely individual is shedding light on an alternative method to become an attorney—one that seems to not require the woes or monetary sacrifices of law school.  See, e.g., Jonathan Van Meter, The Awakening of Kim Kardashian West, Vogue (Apr. 10, 2019), https://www.vogue.com/article/kim-kardashian-west-cover-may-2019.  It appears Kardashian was at least in part motivated to become an attorney because of her advocacy for criminal justice reform.  See Ryan Bort, Exclusive: Kim Kardashian, Alyssa Milano, Van Jones Among 50+ Celebrities Lobbying for Prison Reform Legislation, Rolling Stone (Nov. 14, 2018, 12:38 PM), https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/kardashian-prison-reform-755934/.  Kim Kardashian West (Kardashian) is endeavoring to become a lawyer through a four-year apprenticeship and independent study.  Id.  Law students across the country began to rethink their choices after seeing law school was not the only option for becoming an attorney.  However, it is uncertain whether Kardashian’s route is actually the easy way out.  See Staci Zaretsky, Kim Kardashian Realizes That Being a Law Student Kind of Sucks, Above L. (May 6, 2019, 1:13 PM), https://abovethelaw.com/2019/05/kim-kardashian-realizes-that-being-a-law-student-kind-of-sucks/. (more…)

Issues to Watch

Who Decides What is Too Scandalous? The Supreme Court and Scandalous Trademarks.


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Miranda Walker*

I.  Introduction

June 24, 2019, would herald the end of Erik Brunetti’s (Brunetti) nearly thirty-years worth of fighting with the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to get his brand name trademarked.  Samuel Hine, How O.G. Streetwear Brand FUCT Took a Free Speech Case All the Way to the Supreme Court, GQ (Jan. 30, 2019), https://www.gq.com/story/fuct-erik-brunetti-supreme-court-case.  FUCT, is nominally an initialism of the phrase “friends you can’t trust,” and the brand name of Brunetti’s clothing line.  Id.  Brunetti acknowledges that his clothing brand’s name may be a bit confusing and even embraces the confusion by stating: “We wanted people to question the pronunciation of it when they looked at the logo.”  Id.  However, that tongue-in-cheek attitude towards brand creation did not serve Brunetti well when he attempted to register the brand name FUCT as a trademark.  In Re Brunetti, 85310960, 2014 WL 3976439, at *1 (Trademark Tr. & App. Bd. Aug. 1, 2014) (Brunetti’s appeal of the PTO’s initial denial of his trademark was rejected). (more…)

Issues to Watch

From Platform to Publisher: The Call to Rein in the Political Influence of Big Tech


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Kristin McManus*

On July 25, 2019, presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign (the Campaign) filed a complaint against Google, LLC alleging violations of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, Article I, § 2 of the California Constitution, the Lanham Act, and the California Unruh Civil Rights Act.  Complaint at 29, Tulsi Now, Inc. v. Google, LLC, No. 2:19-cv-06444, 2019 WL 3345356 (C.D. Cal. July 25, 2019).  The Campaign alleges that Google suspended its Google Ads account without warning or reason following the Democratic Party presidential debates on June 28, 2019.  Id. at 4.  This suspension is alleged to have cost the Campaign valuable supporters and potentially millions of dollars in campaign donations.  Id. at 4.  The Campaign also alleges that the Google email platform, “Gmail,” classified communications from Gabbard as “spam” at a disproportionately high rate compared to similar communications from other candidates.  Id. at 5. (more…)