Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

December 2011 Archives

Former Chicago Bears quarterback Kyle Orton is suing a law firm, claiming the firm misled him into making investments that cost him and other NFL players millions of dollars.

And it wasn't because of a bear market, either. Kyle Orton's suit alleges lawyers at the Chicago firm Chuhak & Tecson fumbled by creating tax shelters that failed to meet legal requirements, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The firm assured the new Kansas City Chiefs signal caller that he'd get big returns, but never told Orton its tax shelters weren't legit, Kyle Orton's suit asserts. As a result, Orton suffered millions in losses, according to the Tribune.

Other NFL players also lost money in the deal, Orton's attorney told the Associated Press.

Four former NFL players are suing the league, claiming a cover-up in connection with NFL brain injuries.

The four ex-NFL players -- Jamal Lewis, Dorsey Levens, Fulton Kuykendall, and Ryan Stewart -- say they suffered concussions while playing for the NFL, the Associated Press reports. They're now dealing with a wide range of medical problems.

The ex-players also claim an NFL cover-up. The NFL knew about the dangers of NFL brain injuries back in the 1920s, the lawsuit asserts -- but the league didn't tell players, coaches, trainers, or the public until June 2010.

"The NFL has done everything in its power to hide the issue and mislead players concerning the risks associated with concussions," the lawsuit states, according to the AP. The NFL denies the claims.

Floyd Mayweather Gets 90 Days in Jail for Domestic Violence

Bad boy boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr.'s domestic violence charges have netted him a 90-day jail sentence. Mayweather pled guilty in Las Vegas as part of a plea deal to a count of battery domestic violence against then-girlfriend Josie Harris. He also pled no contest to two harassment charges.

The assault occurred in 2010 after Harris informed Mayweather she was dating another man. Mayweather also threatened his children during the incident.

He could have faced up to 18 months in prison and $3,000 in fines, reports the Seattle Times.

A Golden State Warriors player has been hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit. The Monta Ellis lawsuit claims the NBA player caught a former team employee off-guard by sending her sext messages and a photo of his genitals.

The alleged harassment began in November 2010 and led to the Warriors employee, Erika Ross Smith, being fired, the Associated Press reports.

Smith worked for the Warriors' community relations department. She claims Ellis sent sexually explicit text messages to her cell phone several times a day, the AP reports.

One of the sexts included a photo of Ellis' genitals, according to the Monta Ellis lawsuit. Other messages called Smith "sexy" and said "I want to be with you," the suit states.

Court testimony has revealed new details about how Penn State's ex-football coach Joe Paterno handled an initial report that Jerry Sandusky was caught molesting a boy in a Penn State shower room.

Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary testified that he said he witnessed Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in 2002.

But McQueary stopped short of calling the incident "rape."

In his first public account of the incident, McQueary testified that when he described the scene to his boss Joe Paterno, the coach said, "Well, I'm sorry you had to see that."

Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd faces federal drug charges in an alleged scheme to buy and distribute cocaine.

Hurd, 26, was arrested Wednesday in Chicago and was set to appear in court Thursday after getting caught in a months-long investigation, ESPN reports.

The investigation ended with Hurd's arrest at a Chicago steakhouse, where Hurd allegedly met with a man he thought was a drug supplier. The man was really a confidential informant.

Former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds' sentencing is set for Friday. The home-run king could be sent to prison for allegedly lying about an alleged steroid scandal.

Bonds, 47, was found guilty in April on a single count of obstruction of justice. His conviction came nearly four years after Bonds was indicted for reportedly lying to a grand jury about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

An obstruction conviction carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, followed by three years of probation, MLB.com reports. But thanks to federal sentencing guidelines, Bonds' sentence could be much lighter.

Don't mess with the silver and black -- or their trademarks. The NFL has filed an Oakland Raiders lawsuit against a beloved local hamburger chain, claiming trademark infringement and false advertising.

Yes, it seems the litigious legacy of the late Raiders owner Al Davis lives on.

The latest Oakland Raiders suit targets a giant billboard by Nation's Giant Hamburgers, popular in and around Oakland for more than 50 years. The ad, adjacent to the Raiders' home stadium, implores passersby: "When Hunger Hits, Raid a Nation's."

The ad also pictures a giant, juicy Nation's burger -- with an eyepatch that evokes the Raiders pirate logo, the Bay Area News Group reports.

Cheeseheads from coast to coast are buying themselves more bragging rights: They're the newest part-owners of a storied NFL franchise, thanks to the Green Bay Packers' stock sale.

For the fifth time in franchise history, the Packers' stock sale kicked off last week. More than 20,000 shares were sold in the first two hours, the Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

That number soared to 185,000 after the first two days. At a cost of $250 per share, the team had raised $43 million by last Thursday morning, according to an Associated Press tally.

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's preliminary hearing takes place in a Bellefonte, Pa. courtroom Tuesday. Some of Sandusky's accusers are set to testify.

Sandusky is charged with 52 counts of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period. Sandusky, 67, maintains he is innocent, and is confined to his house by electronic monitoring.

Today's court proceeding may look like a trial, but it's not. Here's what to expect.

Erin Andrews Sues for $10M Over Peephole Videos

ESPN reporter Erin Andrews has filed a lawsuit against Nashville's West End Marriott and her stalker Michael Barrett. The $10 million invasion of privacy suit claims that Erin Andrews' peephole videos, taken by Barrett, caused her "great emotional distress and embarrassment."

Barrett stalked the ESPN personality to three different cities. He took video of her through hotel peepholes, catching her in private moments. He then posted the footage online.

Barrett was sentenced for 2 1/2 years in prison in 2010 after pleading guilty to stalking charges. Andrews is asking for $4 million from Barrett and $6 million from the hotel.

Disgraced Syracuse men's basketball coach Bernie Fine cannot be charged for allegedly molesting two of the team's ball boys in the 1980s and 1990s, a New York prosecutor announced today.

The alleged victims' stories of abuse are probably true -- but the statute of limitations expired a long time ago, Onondaga County District Attorney William J. Fitzpatrick said.

He also criticized Syracuse police for not doing more when the victims first reported the crimes in 2002, USA Today reports.

A new accuser has filed the first civil lawsuit against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, accusing Sandusky of molesting him more than 100 times as a child.

The accuser, now 29 and identified in the lawsuit as "John Doe A," also asserts Sandusky threatened to hurt the accuser's family to keep him quiet, USA Today reports.

The lawsuit, filed recently in Philadelphia, is the first civil suit in the Sandusky molestation scandal. The former coach is already charged with molesting eight other boys over a 15-year period. He maintains he's innocent, and remains free on bail.

Ex-Red Sox Batboy, Clubhouse Attendant Sue Team for $10M

New allegations have surfaced against former Red Sox clubhouse manager Donald Fitzpatrick. A teenage Fenway Park clubhouse attendant and a batboy claim that they were sexually abused in the team's locker room in the early 1980s.

This is not the first Red Sox abuse scandal involving Fitzpatrick. Allegations against him first surfaced in 1991, leading to his dismissal. And the team settled with 7 of his victims for $3.15 million in 2003.

But these allegations are different. Fitzpatrick is long since gone and the time limit for filing a lawsuit against the Red Sox has run out. Yet each man is seeking $5 million.