Issues to Watch

Fantasy to Face Reality: The Future of Sports Betting and Fantasy Leagues

No Comments

Fantasy to Face Reality: The Future of Sports Betting and Fantasy Leagues

Erik Johnson*

A Fantasy league takes the rush of “gambling” and combines it with the thrill and excitement of sports by allowing individuals to get involved in the games they watch.  It is no surprise then that fantasy sports have seen a massive explosion in recent years, specifically Daily Fantasy Sports, or “DFS.”  This recent evolution has brought many to question the blurred legal lines between fantasy leagues and sports betting. (more…)

Issues to Watch

Trademark & Ownership: Just Do It

No Comments

Trademark & Ownership: Just Do It

Drew Chlan*

Trademark law in the United States provides an entity with a right of property.  15 U.S.C.A. § 1051 (2002).  If a person or corporation is found to be in violation of trademark law, the Code states that:

“Any person who shall, without the consent of the registrant—
(a) use in commerce any reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation of a registered mark in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of any goods or services on or in connection with which such use is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive; or
(b) reproduce, counterfeit, copy, or colorably imitate a registered mark and apply such reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation to labels, signs, prints, packages, wrappers, receptacles or advertisements intended to be used in commerce upon or in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of goods or services on or in connection with which such use is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive, shall be liable in a civil action by the registrant for the remedies hereinafter provided.”

Id. § 1114. (more…)

Issues to Watch

Legal Challenges of Ridesharing Companies

No Comments

The Driving Force Behind an Emerging Industry: Legal Challenges of Ridesharing Companies

Elizabeth Reinecke*

I. Introduction

The advent of technology has made it possible for anyone who owns a smartphone to have his or her own personal driver through the use of a free application (app).  Ridesharing companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, allow users to enter their credit card information into the app, which will automatically be charged at the end of the requested ride.  This makes both requesting a ride and paying for a ride much easier than trying to hail a taxi.  Emily Dobson, Note, Transportation Network Companies: How Should North Carolina Adjust Its Regulatory Framework, 66 S.C. L. Rev. 701, 703-04 (2015) (citing Sara Silverstein, These Animated Charts Tell You Everything About Uber Prices in 21 Cities, Bus. Insider (Oct. 16, 2014), (more…)

Issues to Watch

Arrested for being Homeless: Anomaly or Reality?

No Comments

Arrested for being Homeless: Anomaly or Reality?

Tiffany Ashton*

Being homeless in America means consistently worrying about finding safe and legal shelter for the night.  Statement of Interest of the United States at 2, Bell v. City of Boise, 993 F. Supp. 2d 1237, No. 1:09-cv-540-REB (D. Idaho 2014).  In 2014, “over 42% of homeless individuals slept in unsheltered, public locations—under bridges, in cars, in parks, on sidewalks, or in abandoned buildings.”  Id. at 2.  While these places may be unsafe and may put the homeless at a higher risk of being involved in crime, those individuals are also putting themselves legally at risk of arrest.  Id. at 3 (citing Jones v. City of Los Angeles, 444 F.3d 1118 (9th Cir. 2006) (vacated after settlement, 505 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2007))).  Cities have begun to enact ordinances that make it illegal for individuals to sleep outside.  Id. at 9 (citing Jones, 444 F.3d 1118; Johnson v. City of Dallas, 860 F. Supp. 344, 350 (N.D. Tex. 1994); Pottinger v. City of Miami, 810 F. Supp. 1551, 1563 (S.D. Fla. 1992)).  Compliance with the cities’ ordinances is increasingly difficult for a homeless person turned away from multiple shelters for lack of space on any given night.  Id. at 12.  In a recent case, Bell v. City of Boise, 993 F. Supp. 2d 1237 (D. Idaho 2014), homeless plaintiffs in Idaho are challenging the city’s anti-camping and disorderly conduct ordinances as cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eight Amendment. (more…)

Issues to Watch

The Movement Towards Service of Process Via Social Media

No Comments

Internet Service Provided: The Movement Towards Service of Process Via Social Media

Christopher M. Finke*

It is classic film fodder to show a well-dressed man approaching a main character of the movie, handing that character some papers, and stating, “you’ve been served.”  It is even within the realm of the imagination that a person may open his mailbox to find a letter from a fancy law firm that puts him on notice that he is being sued.  What if, however, a person is scrolling through his Facebook feed when a message from his wife appears, serving him with divorce papers?  An average person might immediately ask “is that even legal?”  The bench, bar, and academia have been struggling to answer that question for the last decade. See, e.g., WhosHere, Inc. v. Orun, No. 1:13-cv-00526-AJT-TRJ, 2014 WL 670817 (E.D. Va. Feb. 20, 2014); Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. Carrette, No. 4:12cv1728 SNLJ, 2013 WL 4058745 (D. Kan. July 9, 2013); Federal Trade Comm’n v. PCCare247 Inc., 12 Civ. 7189 (PAE), 2013 WL 841037 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 7, 2013); Fortunato v. Chase Bank USA, N.A., No. 11 Civ. 6608 (JFK), 2012 WL 2086950 (S.D.N.Y. June 7, 2012); Baidoo v. Blood-Dzarku, 5 N.Y.S.3d 709 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2015); In re Adoption of K.P.M.A., 341 P.3d 38 (Okla. 2014).

The exponential increase in the use and influence of social media, Facebook in particular, has been the subject of litigation. See Claire M. Specht, Note, No LOL Matter: Does Text Message Service Of Process Comport With Due Process?, 53 B.C. L. Rev. 1929, 1951–52  (2012).  Notwithstanding the problem of authentication, can a lawyer use social media postings from accounts purportedly belonging to a party?  Can social media postings be used to impeach the testimony of a witness?  Can service of process be satisfied through social media? (more…)