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Eugene T. LeeEugene Lee's book cover, Of Counsel to the Sports and Entertainment practice group of Garvey Schubert Barer and a widely recognized and respected industry expert on NFL player contracts, salary cap, the collective bargaining agreement and athlete branding, has released a book titled “My Brother’s Keeper: Above & Beyond ‘The Dotted Line’ With the NFL’s Most Ethical Agent.”

The book delves into the lives of NFL players at different stages in their careers – from college to the pros, to life after the game. From the locker rooms into the homes of potential and current clients, Eugene brings to view what it takes to keep the dreams of players alive. Eugene also gives insight into how he conducts his business with the same integrity and faith by which he lives. Even though he is touted by some as a real-life “Jerry Maguire,”  his unique, multi-faceted approach and charisma makes him an exciting and fascinating luminary to watch in this industry.

From meeting his first clients on the basketball courts at Notre Dame, Mr. Lee has represented over thirty-five NFL players over the past decade.  From his work for his NFL clients, Mr. Lee has gained a vast understanding and in-depth knowledge of the legal aspects of NFL player representation including the drafting and negotiation of player contracts, injury settlements and endorsement and sponsorship agreements.

To purchase a copy of this book, please click here: http://tinyurl.com/nfq3zlf

As anticipated, the TTrademarkrademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB") decision of June 2014 cancelling six trademark registrations for the Washington Redskins team was appealed by Pro Football, Inc. In August 2014, Pro Football, Inc. filed a lawsuit in federal court against the five Native Americans involved in pursuing the TTAB cancellation in an effort to try to overturn the TTAB's holding that the term “Redskins” is offensive to Native Americans and thus is not eligible for trademark registration under the federal Lanham Act. Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act prohibits protection for terms that “may disparage” or bring people into contempt or disrepute. 15 USC §1052; TMEP §1203. On July 8, 2015, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled against Pro Football, Inc., affirming the TTAB's ruling that the REDSKINS marks do disparage Native Americans and that such a decision is not unconstitutional.

Deflategate has taken its well-deserved place in the annals of all-time sports infamy.  The recent allegations against Tom Brady have not only polarized NFL fans and players alike, but have given legal professionals reason for pause as to the manner in which the investigation was conducted and the burden of proof that was applied.  The mantra repeatedly used in the report filed by league investigator Ted Wells was “more probable than not.”  This burden of proof standard is akin to “by a preponderance of the evidence,” the burden of proof used in civil trials where a plaintiff only needs to convince a jury that his legal argument is more plausible than the defendant’s version, even if the percentage in his favor is only 51%.  Conversely, in criminal trials, the burden of proof that is applied is much more onerous given the higher stakes involved.  A prosecutor is required to prove his case “beyond a reasonable doubt” to merit conviction of the alleged offender.  One could reasonably argue that Ted Wells should’ve applied a raised burden of proof, equivalent to “beyond a reasonable doubt,” to implicate Tom Brady in this scandal, given the severity of the allegations and the erosive impact on the Rushmoreian legacy of arguably the greatest quarterback of his generation, if not in the history of the NFL.

On September 30, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a statement repealing its sports blackout rule, a rule that the National Football League (NFL) has defended and relied on since 1975. The blackout rule strengthened the NFL’s own blackout policy, which prohibited local broadcast stations from televising a game that did not sell between 85% and 100% of its tickets at least 72 hours before kickoff. Similarly, the FCC rule prohibited cable and satellite operations from airing any game that was blacked out on local broadcast stations. Although the FCC’s rule applied to all sports, the NFL has not only relied upon it the most, but also fought the hardest to preserve the rule.

With high-profile deaths of iconic NFL players such as Junior Seau and Dave Duerson making headlines over the past couple years, the long-term health and well-being of NFL players has come to the forefront as the hot topic of the day.  Nowhere has this issue gained more notoriety and exposure than in the series of lawsuits filed against the NFL by retired players.

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The Sports, Arts and Entertainment Group at Garvey Schubert Barer provides full service legal representation on sports, entertainment and business matters, including handling transactions related to brand management, licensing, joint ventures, venture capital, private equity, technology, the Internet and new media.
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