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Week In Review

By Zak Kurtz

Officials Accused of Extortion to Clear Athletes Who Doped

All the cheating and corruption by FIFA now seems like nothing, after the latest accusations on the track and field front. On Thursday, the World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA) released an 89-page report that accused international officials of blackmailing athletes who failed drug tests. According to the report, the leaders of the international governing body, known as the International Association of Athletics Federations, were allowing athletes who had used banned substances to continue competing in major events. Some leaders were even taking bribes for not punishing these athletes. Despite the obvious wrongdoing by leaders at the highest level of the sport, many critics are saying that this is worse than the FIFA scandal, because this actually impacts the outcome on the field of play, as it allows athletes to compete when they should not be.


The U.S. Supreme Court Will Not Help With the California Royalty Act

On January 11th, the Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari of last year's 9th Circuit decision holding the California Resale Royalty Act unconstitutional as applied out of state. As a result, the law can now only apply to art sales made within California. The Supreme Court's decision ends class actions by Christie's, Sotheby's, and eBay, who claim that they are owed royalties, and makes many out of state auction houses very unhappy.


Cosby Defamation Lawsuit in Pennsylvania Dropped

A federal judge officially ended a Pennsylvania lawsuit against Bill Cosby for defamation. Renita Hill, one of the more than 50 women who have publicly accused Cosby of assault, filed a civil suit in October alleging that the actor and his lawyer defamed her in the media. Judge Arthur J. Schwab dismissed the lawsuits by Hill, along with two other claims against Cosby, on Thursday. The Judge ruled that the statements "do not support a claim for defamation as defined by Pennsylvania law."


Daily Fantasy Sports Encounters Another Setback in Texas

On Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton declared daily fantasy sports illegal gambling under the state's laws. This decision by Texas adds another state to the list of those at war with the daily fantasy sports industry. These include New York and Las Vegas, Nevada. Texas prohibits bets that hinge on the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game. Paxton's opinion directly stated that FanDuel and DraftKings, the two largest daily fantasy sports companies, were clearly taking illegal bets under state law.


Yankees New Closer Avoids Charges But May Face Major League Baseball Discipline

Aroldis Chapman, the New York Yankees' highly touted new acquisition from the Cincinnati Reds last month, will not face criminal charges that were brought against him by the state attorney in Broward County, Florida. Chapman was accused of choking his girlfriend, pushing her against a wall, and firing gunshots into a wall and window in the garage of his South Florida house in October. The state attorney dropped the case because of conflicting accounts of the story, and a lack of evidence.

Although Chapman escaped criminal action in Florida, Major League Baseball's (MLB) new domestic abuse policy could still come into play and cause Chapman to be suspended for some games. This past Thursday at the owners meeting in Coral Gables, Florida, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made it clear that he was aware of the situation with Chapman, and that he planned to look into this and two other cases under the new policy.


Lawsuit Claims That Lawyer Fraudulently Took Over Estate of Dick Tracy Creator

According to a lawsuit filed in Surrogate's Court in Manhattan, attorney Richard L. Kay purportedly duped Himan Brown into giving the bulk of Brown's estate to a trust the longtime attorney controlled. Brown is the creator of the radio drama "Dick Tracy" and "Inner Sanctum Mysteries," and had an estate worth over $100 million. The lawsuit alleges that Kay tricked Brown into signing a will that gave much of his estate to the newly created Himan Brown Charitable Trust, which was controlled by Kay, instead of leaving his radio fortune to the Radio Drama Network, another charity that he created and led for many years with his grandchildren.

The lawsuit states that Kay changed the will while Brown was 94 years old, six years before he passed away. The court papers also claim that Kay exploited his position overseeing the trust for his own benefit. In addition, the board members of Radio Drama Network are asking a judge to remove Kay as the estate's executor and to transfer the money to their charity. Kay denied that he ever misled Brown, and stated that the radio producer was mentally sharp in October 2004 when he decided to divert his money to the newly created trust.


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