The NFL has offered compensation packages to fans who were shut out of Sundays Super Bowl XLV in a ticketing snafu, but some are demanding a lot more through the courts.
In what could be the beginning of a wave of lawsuits filed in the wake of Sundays ticket problems, two suits have already been filed the past two days.
The first was filed Tuesday after the NFL offered the approximately 400 fans who couldnt attend the game because of seating problems free tickets to next years game in Indianapolis, as well as three times the face value of the tickets for Sundays game.
The second was filed Wednesday.
In a case filed Tuesday, plaintiffs Ken Laffin and David Wanta, both Packers fans, claim they were damaged by the defendants misrepresentations, omissions, and concealment of the cruel truth, which was that they had been sold tickets for seats that did not exist at the time and that were never to be had, according to their attorney.
Mike Dolabi, a Cowboys season ticket-holder, has sued on behalf of himself and other fans who said they paid $100,000 for personal seat licences at Cowboys Stadium and were promised seats at Super Bowl XLV with the best sight lines.
The NFL, which knew there could be a problem seating 400 ticket holders because some temporary seats hadnt passed safety inspections, has offered triple the face value of their tickets, $2,400, and a ticket to next years Super Bowl.
- haMMering aWay:
West Ham United has been chosen to take over the London 2012 Olympics stadium after fending off rival bidders Tottenham Hotspur, the BBC reported Wednesday.
Both Premier League club submitted bids to the Olympic Park Legacy Co, which meets Friday.
West Hams plan, which includes retaining the athletics track, would still need to be ratified by the government.
Hillary Lamb has owned her Houston condo since 2005, when her youngest sons father paid for the house in cash in her name. But its no longer her property.
The more Lamb tried to keep up with the monthly $184 Home Owners Association maintenance fee, the more it seemed to swallow her like quicksand.
Youre trying to get a grip, but you cant grip nothing, Lamb said.
The HOAs payment ledger shows Lamb was trying to pay. In fact, by April of last year, her balance was zero. But she fell behind again.
In September of last year, Lamb got a letter from the Butler/Hailey Law Firm that represents Wildflower Green Homeowners Association. The letter said Lamb’s delinquent payments have caused legal fees to incur. She needs to pay $921 or face foreclosure.
In October, the ledger showed Lamb paid $368, the amount she owed for the two months she fell behind in her HOA fees.
In a November 2010 letter, the law firm warned Lamb to pay the outstanding legal fees or lose her home.
On Dec. 1, Lamb paid $552 to the homeowners association.
And a person who worked for the HOA then told her were square you have now paid all of your dues, Nodler said. The only thing you owe now are the attorney fees.
But Lamb did not pay those legal fees.
On Dec. 11, the home she once owned was sold at the county foreclosure auction. Nodler said the HOA and its law firm had the legal right to take her home.
It all started when Lamb was late in paying monthly maintenance fees to her homeowners association.
Lambs been living paycheck to paycheck. She has worked at Wendy’s for 13 years. Unexpected things, like her 13-year-old sons football injury, have strained her finances.
Losing the home she once owned has left her confused and embarrassed.
I was embarrassed, Lamb said. Cause people are going to look at it like shes working and she couldnt even pay her bills, but they’re not knowing the background of the situation.
Sometimes life gets in the way and people fall behind in their bills, said Greg Nodler, Lamb’s attorney.
Its just that the law allowed a very bad result, where someone lost a house that she owned outright for less than a $1,000 in legal fees,” Nodler said.
By law, Lamb has 180 days to buy back her house, but she still needs a few thousand dollars to make that happen.
Click to read more on the condo foreclosure MyFoxHouston.
* Telenor seeks injunction in deal for Orascom, Italys Wind
* Altimo offers expedited arbitration with award by March 7
* Telenor says no objections to doing arbitration quickly
* Says to continue to pursue arbitration, injunction request
* Shareholders due to vote on deal for Wind on March 17
(Adds comments by Telenor)
By Maria Kiselyova and Wojciech Moskwa
MOSCOW/OSLO, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Russias Altimo has asked
Telenor (TEL.OL), its Norwegian co-owner of Vimpelcom (VIP.N),
to speed up the legal process that it hopes will settle a
dispute over Vimpelcoms plan to take over Egypts Orascom
(ORTE.CA) and Italys Wind.
Altimo, the telecoms arm of Russian billionaire Mikhail
Fridmans Alfa-Group, said in a statement on Thursday it thought
an expedited arbitration with a final decision by March 7
could resolve the dispute.
Telenor said it had no objections to the arbitration process
being quick but it was committed to blocking the Vimpelcom deal.
Telenor is battling to stop 36 percent-owned Vimpelcoms
cash-and-share bid to buy Italian mobile group Wind and control
of Egypts Orascom from tycoon Naguib Sawiris as the deal would
dilute Telenors holding to a point where it claims it would be
dangerously close to losing all influence.
The Norwegian firm is seeking a ruling by the Commercial
Court in London to order Vimpelcom to issue it pre-emptive
rights shares at the same time that Vimpelcom issues shares to
Wind Telecom shareholders as part of the deal. [ID:nLDE7161YB]
The undertakings proposed by Altimo and Vimpelcom in the
letter to Telenor yesterday guarantee that Telenor will exercise
its pre-emptive rights in full in case an arbitral tribunal
finds in favour of Telenor, Altimo said in the statement.
The fate of the deal hinges upon Vimpelcoms minority
shareholders whose vote will be crucial at a March 17
Telenor wants the meeting postponed while the legal process
runs its course, but Altimo said its fast-track proposal would
allow the meeting to go ahead as planned.
We dont feel that this (Altimo) proposal gives us any
guarantees apart from what is already in the (Vimpelcom)
shareholders agreement … We intend to keep up arbitration and
our request for an injunction, Telenor spokesman Dag Melgaard
(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Wojciech Moskwa; Editing by
Ultimate Jet Shuttles Dornier Public Charter jet.
Photographer: Brendan Keefe
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
BY JESS BRAVIN
WASHINGTON&—Legal skirmishes over the health-care overhaul intensified Wednesday, as Republican officials urged the Supreme Court to intervene quickly and House Democrats called on Justice Clarence Thomas to sit the case out because of his wife’s work for groups opposed to the law.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli petitioned the Supreme Court to take the case immediately, calling resolution of the overhaul’s constitutionality “a matter of imperative public importance.” Separately, 28 Republican governors wrote to President Barack Obama, asking the administration to back an expedited review. The governors said that would “help prevent the states and the private sector from undertaking …
Ford has filed legal action against Ferrari for trademark infringement after the Italian manufacturer revealed that its 2011 F1 challenger will be known as the F150.
Ferrari elected to use the F150 name to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, but the move has now been attacked by Ford ? which has produced the F-150 pickup truck for a number of years.
With the logo for the F1 car strongly resembling the logo for the Ford truck, Ford has now taken action for what it feels is trademark infringement and is seeking a court order to ban Ferrari from using the F150 name.
Ferrari has misappropriated the F-150 trademark in naming its new racing vehicle the F150 in order to capitalize on and profit from the substantial goodwill that Ford has developed in the F-150 trademark, Reuters quotes a Ford complaint filed in the US District Court in Detroit.
Aside from wanting Ferrari to be blocked from using the name, Ford is also seeking unspecified damages.
Ferrari has reacted to the news by renaming the car as the F150th Italia, having republished the article where the car was initially named as the F150 but with the new title in place. Other articles on the Ferrari website have also seen F150 changed to F150th Italia while Twitter updates from the circuit have also referred to the new name.
NEW YORK Feb 10 (Reuters Legal) – Kenneth Feinberg, the formerly freewheeling administrator of BP Plcs fund to compensate victims of last years oil spill, could be forced to revamp dramatically how he handles claims now that the fund has come under the jurisdiction of a federal judge in New Orleans.
A ruling last week by US District Judge Carl Barbier that Feinberg stop telling potential claimants that he is completely independent of BP brings Feinberg and the fund — created in the wake of the largest oil spill in US history — under judicial oversight for the first time.
Beyond the immediate directive about how the fund describes itself, Barbiers decision also opens the door for more changes to how the fund operates, according to experts in mass torts and legal ethics. Specifically, it could lead to the renegotiation or undoing of settled claims, ongoing court intervention in the funds operations, and more claimants seeking legal representation.
Its a significant assertion of oversight, if not control, of the claims process by the judge, said David Logan, dean of Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island. There is now a question mark looming over the accuracy of the decisions made up to this point by the (fund) and over how it will work moving forward.
The unprecedented $20 billion Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) was set up after a meeting between BP and President Barack Obama last June. The White House said at the time that the claims process would be independent and Obama tapped Feinberg, who ran the 9/11 victims compensation fund, to administer it. BP pays $850,000 a month to Feinbergs Washington, DC, firm, Feinberg Rozen, for his services.
Feinberg, who has promoted his claims process as faster and less costly than litigation, has paid out more than 250,000 awards to individuals and businesses worth more than $3.36 billion. Of those, more than 86,000 claimants signed releases saying they will not sue BP or its partners. Until last weeks ruling by Barbier, who is overseeing hundreds of spill-related lawsuits against BP, Feinberg did not answer to any court or government agency.
To be sure, some scholars and practitioners are downplaying the potential impact of Barbiers order and say the court is unlikely to intervene further in the funds operations. In his ruling, Barbier called his own order a narrowly focused remedy that will not unduly burden BPs, Mr. Feinbergs and the GCCFs ability to speak on their own behalf.
But several academics and plaintiffs attorneys said that, based on Barbiers ruling, settlements already made with the fund could be reevaluated. A court could invalidate the agreements or allow them to be renegotiated if claimants can prove there was deception on the part of the fund, said Monroe Freedman, a professor at Hofstra University School of Law and contributor to the Legal Ethics Forum, a popular legal blog.
The courts opinion makes it clear that Feinberg acted misleadingly, at best, by saying he was independent of BP, Freedman said. As a result, tens of thousands of claimants who were effectively defrauded will have the opportunity to open the settlements they entered into. In an e-mail, BP said, We do not believe that there is any basis to undo or challenge the settlements that have been concluded. Feinberg declined to comment.
Kevin Dean, an attorney with the plaintiffs firm Motley Rice in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, said he has reached out to clients who had accepted settlements and given up the right to sue to inform them of the judges ruling. He said his clients were forced to accept these settlements under financial duress and were not informed of their rights before they signed legal releases. If the court takes no further action in the next 30 to 60 days, Dean said he will confer again with his clients to explore their legal options. My firm believes that clients were forced financially to take an ill-advised settlement, and that thats a violation of the Oil Pollution Act.
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 requires the responsible party — in this case, BP — to set up a claims fund to compensate victims, but does not specify how the fund should resolve claims and makes no mention of claimants signing legal releases giving up the right to sue. Now that Barbier has brought the fund under his jurisdiction in the Eastern District of Louisiana, he could rule on whether the fund can ask claimants to sign away their legal rights. And he could appoint a special master to supervise the funds oral and written communications, including release forms.
In addition, more claimants or would-be claimants could seek legal representation for their dealings with the fund. As of this week, fewer than 3 percent of those filing claims had their own lawyers. Plaintiffs attorney Daniel Becnel, who heads a 21-lawyer firm based in Reserve, Louisiana, said his firm has taken on hundreds of new clients in the days following Barbiers ruling — most of them looking for help bargaining with the claims fund.
Claimants now understand that the process is adversarial, according to Byron Stier, a professor of mass tort litigation at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. Its much more one of haggling and negotiation than of processing paperwork and tendering contracts, Stier said. Its now clear that claimants need counsel to determine if the fund is the right path for them.
Barbier has asked plaintiffs and defense in the consolidated case against BP to submit briefs by February 11 on the claim funds compliance with the Oil Pollution Act.
(Reporting by Moira Herbst of Reuters Legal; Editing by Eddie Evans and Eric Effron)
(This article first appeared on Westlaw News amp; Insight, www.westlawnews.com)
I see that the Winklevoss twins (or the Winklevii, as Mark Zuckerberg calls them) were back in court last Tuesday. For readers to whom this means nothing, I should explain that they are the two Harvard alumni (and Olympic oarsmen) who claim that they created Facebook only to have Zuckerberg steal it from under their noses. Some years ago, in company with Divya Narendra, another Harvard alumnus who had worked with them on the original concept, they launched a lawsuit against the Facebook founder that resulted in two things: a $65m legal settlement in which the Winklevii got $20m in cash and $45m-worth of Facebook shares; and a major Hollywood movie – The Social Network – which tells the story in colourful terms.
Facebook was quite a phenomenon when the settlement was reached in 2008. But since then it has gone ballistic, to the point where apparently sane men in suits, or at any rate employees of Goldman Sachs, say it is worth $50bn. And as they tracked its rise, the Winklevii came to the conclusion that they had been taken for a ride.
Their case was that the number of Facebook shares they acquired was based on a false valuation: they thought the shares were worth $35 apiece, whereas internal Facebook deliberations put them closer to $9. So the actual value of the stock they were offered was closer to $11m than $45m.
Accordingly, in 2010 the Winklevii went back to court under the age-old banner we wuz robbed. They asked a judge to unwind the 2008 settlement on the grounds that they were given fewer shares than they were entitled to. The judge refused. So the boys appealed, which is how they came to be facing a trio of appeal judges on Tuesday.
If the exchanges in the courtroom are anything to go by, the Winklevii face an uphill task. One of the judges observed, for example, that the twins were sophisticated enough to understand the deal they had settled for. The founders are pretty smart people themselves, he observed. They also had five lawyers from two firms sitting there with them. The twins also have a father from Wharton school, who is very bright. It wasnt like an individual without help. If you have all of those people there to advise you, isnt it a little difficult to say this is one of those things in which they were taken advantage of? The twins lawyer, Jerome Falk, appeared to concur with this. I agree, he said, that my clients were not behind the barn door when brains were passed out.
So my guess is that the Winklevii will have to be content with their 2008 settlement. But their case raises an intriguing question: what would have happened if they had never heard of Zuckerberg? They had had the idea for a social networking site called Harvard Connection and had enlisted a fellow student, Sanjay Mavinkurve, to build the site. But when he left to join Google, and the next programmer they enlisted also quit, they were stuck – which is how Zuckerberg came to be involved, on the basis of an oral agreement.
But suppose that Mavinkurve had stayed with the project, and built the site. Would we now be looking at a social networking service with 600million users? My hunch is no: wed be looking at something more like MySpace, for which Rupert Murdoch paid $580m in 2005 and which last week laid off 500 workers and had only 54.4 million users in November. In other words, a neat idea that rose and fell because its owners lacked the imagination to make it sustainable.
The Winklevii were not stupid, but as putative internet entrepreneurs they laboured under two crippling disadvantages. The first is that they are conventional – people who are good at creating businesses in established sectors but who find it hard to operate in arenas where there are no rules.
Their second disadvantage was even more critical: the Winklevii werent techies, and so had no real insight into the technology and its possibilities. They would have been less likely to spot the importance of allowing Facebook to become a software platform on which other people could run applications – and make their own fortunes.
There are now more than 2.5million developers such as Zynga writing apps for the platform. The big question is thus not whether the Winklevii could have built a serious company (they could, just as the founders of MySpace did), but whether they would have seeded a software ecosystem that would one day change the world.
The Town of Mattapoisett faces legal action from the local cable television access corporation it helped form for continued breach of contract and nonpayment. If not resolved, Mattapoisett cable subscribers may be tuned out of their own local access programming, the executive director for the public access television company said.
Old Rochester Community Television Inc., which provides local education, government and community programming cable television access to Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester, has sent notice through its legal counsel to the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator Michael Gagne stating that the town was in material breach of contract for failing to remit its part of the three-town fees received from Comcast and Verizon.
According to a letter sent by attorney George W. Skogstrom Jr. of Schlossberg LLC of Braintree to Gagne and Mattapoisett Selectmen dated Dec. 23, the town was asked to forward its money within 30 days of receipt from those cable access providers. Mattapoisett received its funding on or about Nov. 15. ORCTV invoiced the town on Nov. 29, and were due to be paid to ORCTV, as were the three previously unpaid quarters.
Mattapoisett has failed to remit payment as due and ORCTV considers Mattapoisett to be in material breach of the terms of its agreement for nonpayment, Skogstrom wrote.
Skogstrom went on to note that the towns of Rochester and Marion have returned their signed contract extensions of the parties agreement with ORCTV agreement, as approved at the Sept. 29 Tri-town selectmens meeting, but that Mattapoisett has failed to do the same.
Under the original agreement, Mattapoisett was to retain $10,000 of its PEG money to provide the government portion of PEG, which stands for Public Access, Education and Government.
At this time were considering this a contractual breach because their contract said they can take $10,000 (for government access) and they are taking more, ORCTV Executive Director Kim Miot said.
As a result, said the public broadcasting access corporation is prepared to terminate the amended agreement with regard to Mattapoisett, and cut local cable television access service to the towns subscribers, Skogstrom said.
But the Mattapoisett town administrator said that wouldnt be necessary. Gagne said Mattapoisett is merely looking to increase coverage of its governmental meetings and to do that they need more than they are presently funded.
We will absolutely comply as the contract presently exists if there is no agreement we can come to, Gagne said. We will honor the agreement and send our payment but wed like a amicable reapportionment of the money.
A Tri-town selectmens meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 12, in the ORR schools superintendent office located at the rear of the high school at which time selectmen from Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester were to revisit the issue of PEG funding.
In a related matter, Marion Selectman Chairman Roger Blanchette said at his boards Jan. 4 meeting that he would also like to more governmental meetings televised in his town, as well. However, the issue is manpower and training is an obstacle, ORCTVs executive director said. Miot is ORCTVs only full-time employee and cameraman and technician Rob Chiarto is part-time. Volunteers conduct all other work as their time permits.
Jan 15, 2011
Legal representatives of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have come under fire for inadvertently publicly naming two women who claim he raped them.
Solicitors acting on behalf of the 39-year-old suspect included the details in legal documents posted on their website after he appeared in court.
The 35-page skeleton argument outlined why the former computer hacker should not be extradited to Sweden.
It was intended for reporters but ended up being circulated widely on the internet, with at least one national newspaper posting a link directly to it.
Campaigner Katrin Axelsson, of Women Against Rape (WAR), criticised the decision to release their names. She said the right of rape victims to remain anonymous is as crucial as a defendant’s right to be presumed innocent.
Rape victims are automatically granted lifetime anonymity in British courts under the Sexual Offences Act.
But the two women remain in Sweden and are not protected by British law. They have been the subject of a torrent of speculation and comment in numerous online blogs and on social networking sites.
Mark Stephens, who represents Assange, said the names were removed after he realised the document was being circulated beyond the media.
He said: “The position is that the person who made the decision to name the women was Marianne Ny, the Swedish prosecutor. She put their names in the European Arrest Warrant, which is a public document, and she could have anonymised them.”
Assange will return to Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court on February 7 for a two-day hearing to challenge his extradition to Sweden.
Copyright © 2011 The Press Association. All rights reserved.