Mark S. Granger
GRANGER LEGAL CONSULTING
Mark S. Granger

  Mark S. Granger
  Admitted to Practice in MA and NY

  GRANGER LEGAL CONSULTING
  PO Box 487, 1094 US RT 9
  Schroon Lake, NY 12870

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Granger SportsLaw Journals > January 2016 Edition


CPSC UNVEILS REGULATORY ROBOT
Cyber Advice from the CPSC

Well the 21st century has come to the CPSC. Instead of Siri you now connect with the Regulatory Robot! Located on the CPSC website, this device asks a series of questions while purporting to guide you through a regulatory maze. The agency claims that it doesn't keep track of who is using the site. Query, whether that is the equivalent of: "I'm from the IRS and I'm here to help you!"

In any event the Robot does guide you toward finding the right regulations if you ask the right questions. It is absolutely no substitute for experienced legal advice or technical expertise. It also appears to make very limited use of case law and regulatory history. I've used it as a test a couple of times. Frankly it is like reading the "Classic Comic" instead of the book. That might have worked in 8th grade English (I always got bogged down with the stagecoach in Tale of Two Cities!) but will not do when millions of dollars in fines are at stake.

Try it for light reading but then call your lawyer and test lab before taking action!

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PERFORMANCE SPORTS GROUP ACQUIRES EASTON HOCKEY
Bauer Adds Hockey Stick Expertise and History To Its Product Line Up

On January 13, Performance Sports Group added Easton Hockey to its line-up of companies including Bauer, Cascade and Maverick. In doing so it added a company with great expertise which has a history in innovation regarding hockey sticks. The result is that PSG now has exclusive control of the Easton name in all sports except archery and cycling.

According to PSG's Press Release; "This is an exciting transaction for our company because it brings another business with a history of innovation to Performance Sports Group," said Amir Rosenthal, President, PSG Brands. "Easton Hockey was the pioneer of the aluminum and composite stick in hockey and EASTON has long been considered a strong brand in the sport. We believe by focusing on their track record of success in the stick category and by utilizing the resources of a broader and more financially stable organization, we can support and further grow the EASTON brand in this important category and other key equipment categories."

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TEXAS AG RULES THAT FANTASY SPORTS ARE ILLEGAL GAMBLING

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, on Tuesday January 19, 2016, issued an advisory opinion saying it's likely that a Texas court would find daily fantasy sports contests offered by companies like DraftKings and FanDuel are "prohibited gambling in Texas." Texas has become the latest state whose attorney general has questioned the legality of the fast-growing industry.

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PLAINTIFF COMPELLED TO SUBMIT TO EXAMINATION BY DEFENDANT'S VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION EXPERT

New York has a long history when it comes to "trial by surprise" especially when it comes to experts. The issue of examinations by "non-medical" professionals, such as vocational rehabilitation experts has been caught up in similar flux in NY. Plaintiffs have routinely opposed such "examinations" and been successful in doing so, particularly in the Third Department. This created problems for defendants in cases where the extent and potential permanence of an alleged injury cause disability is critical to the damages in the case.

Now the Third Department has moved on, joining with other departments in requiring allegedly disabled plaintiffs to submit to a vocational rehabilitation expert examination. The Court said:

"While we previously held that there is 'no statutory authority to compel the examination of an adverse party by a nonphysician vocational rehabilitation specialist' ... , the Court of Appeals has since confirmed that the mandate for broad disclosure is not necessarily limited by the more specific provision of the CPLR that allows a defendant to demand that a plaintiff submit to a physical or mental examination 'by a designated physician' (CPLR 3121 [a]) where his or her medical condition is at issue ... . Accordingly, the circumstances of a case may allow such a demand even in the absence of express statutory authority ... . We agree with the conclusion reached by the other Departments that such circumstances are not limited to those cases where a plaintiff has retained a vocational rehabilitation expert to establish damages, although, generally, such testing 'might well be unduly burdensome'... . ... [Plaintiff] placed his ability to work in controversy by claiming that, as a result of his injuries, he suffered loss of future wages and reduced earning capacity and by testifying at his examination before trial that his future career opportunities were limited ...".

The case is: Hayes v. Bette & Cring, LLC, 2016 N.Y. Slip Op. 00090, 3rd Dept 1-7-16

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ARE ADVANCED TICKET SALES FLIRTING WITH DECEPTIVE PRACTICE ISSUES? NY AG QUERY:

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has written to StubHub and other ticket resale websites to inquire about whether they sell "speculative" tickets - i.e., "offerings of seats on secondary markets when the seller may not actually possess the advertised tickets." Attorney General Schneiderman argues that the sale of speculative tickets, often by professional ticket brokers, would violate New York's statute prohibiting deceptive business practices.

New York Looks Into 'Speculative' Ticket Resellers

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ARE FOOTBALL PLAYERS BETTER OFF PRACTICING WITHOUT HELMETS? STUDY QUESTIONS TEACHING OPTIONS

One of the "great debates" in helmeted sports is whether concussions and brain injury can better be reduced by improvements in equipment or changes in playing rules or better training of athletes. The general consensus is that all three can play a role. On the technique/ training front, a recent study supports the better training part of the equation.

Erik Swartz, the chairman of the department of kinesiology at the University of New Hampshire, said that "in the 1950s and '60s, after a hard shell was applied head and neck injuries increased," in part because players began spearing with their heads while tackling, believing the hardened helmets would keep them safe.

Dr. Swartz and a group of other head-injury experts decided instead to look at a different option: having football players occasionally remove their helmets and seeing how that affected their subsequent play. Half the football squad at the University of New Hampshire practiced once a week without helmets, while the rest of the squad continued to use helmets at all practices and games.

The test group used their helmets in games and their other practices. All helmets for both groups were instrumented. The test group eventually reportedly had a 30% less blows to the head.

Early in the season, head impacts were comparable in both groups, the researchers found. But as the season progressed, the players who occasionally practiced without helmets began to experience considerably fewer blows to their heads.

By the end of the season, they were hitting their heads about 30 percent less often in any given game or practice than the players who never took their helmets off during drills.

To Dr. Swartz, the lead author of the new study, which was published last month in The Journal of Athletic Training, the data strongly suggest that "the athletes in the intervention group had learned how to tackle and play" without involving their heads as much.

Perhaps as important from a practical standpoint, the coaches told Dr. Swartz that they thought that the players in the helmetless group were now tackling more effectively than the players who had not participated in helmetless drills.

This season, with the coaches' cooperation, most of the team participated in helmetless drills. For a coming study, the scientists will compare total head impacts for each player this season with those from 2014, when only half the team had engaged in helmetless practices. They expect there will be a significant decline.

But Dr. Swartz and his colleagues do not believe that their findings justify coaches or athletes unilaterally banning helmets during practices, at least not yet. "This is a small, preliminary study," he said.

According to Dr. Swartz: "For now, the primary lesson of the research, is that "technique matters" for head safety in any contact sport. Coaches should teach their players not to lead with the head when tackling or going for a ball, he said. Athletes, in other words, can play smartly and well without using their heads."

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THERE IS HACKING IN BASEBALL!
Cardinals Scouting Director Pleads Guilty To Hacking Charge

Chris Correa, former scouting director for the St. Louis Cardinals, last week plead guilty in Federal Court in Houston to 12 charges of unauthorized computer access. It was alleged that Correa used passwords recovered from a former Houston Astros employee to gain access to the Houston Astros database, scouting information, and research belonging to the Astros. A New York Times investigation allegedly exposed the hacking, and the federal government decided to pursue charges at that time.

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KARSTEN RORSTED OF HENKEL TO REPLACE HERBERT HAINER AT ADIDAS

Sporting Goods Intelligence reports that long term Adidas Chief Herbert Hainer will step down in 2016 to be replaced by Rorsted, who was selected over in-house competitors for the job. The change will come at a strategic time for Adidas as it considers its options while locked in battle with Nike and Under Armour. Decisions around he Reebok name, increasing ownership of professional sports marketing and international competition in soccer and other sports are likely to be in the headlines in 2016. Turn to SGI for more details.

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A LITTLE GOOD NEWS IN DECEMBER
Sales up 5.9%

According to SGI and the US Commerce Department total sales of sporting goods, toys and hobbies were $88,864 million in 2015. December sales rose 7.8% from last year prior to adjustments.

The National Retail Federation's survey shows retail brick and mortar sales were up 3% and non store sales were up 9%.

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SFIA PRESENTS: 9TH LEGAL, REGULATORY AND RISK MANAGEMENT SUMMIT FEBRUARY 1 and 2, 2016
Don't miss a great program in New Orleans, register NOW

It has been almost a decade since the LRMS (now L2RMS) first convened. This latest program will be fantastic, In addition to a wide variety of topics from counterfeiting to recalls, it will also feature a presentation by the Chairman of the CPSC and a top regulator from the FTC. There will also be plenty of opportunities for interaction with presenters and networking with your peers. It is also a reasonably priced opportunity to spend time in The Big Easy right before Mardi Gras! Go to sfia.org for more information and to sign up.

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