Daily Fantasy Sports & Modern Regulation

By: Alex Karl

American consumer markets are always seeking to develop new cutting edge ways to make money. One ever-present revenue goliath is the sports industry, which generates roughly $14.3 billion annually.[1] With every industry there are others who try to latch on and make a profit of their own, and this is no different with the sports industry and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) sites. DFS websites such as FanDuel and DraftKings hone into this market by allowing it’s users to enter into contests where they create lineups from athletes in their respective sports in an attempt to win money.[2] The sites offer contests on a range of sports, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA and more.[3] After choosing a contest you wish to join and paying a fee, users are allotted a set budget in which to create their lineup and each respective athlete is given a … Read the rest

Automated Vehicles: Strict Products Liability, Negligence Liability and Proliferation

By: Steven Wittenberg

The proliferation of automated vehicles (sometimes called “self-driving cars”[1] or “autonomous cars”[2]) is poised to make American roads safer by reducing or even eliminating human error, which is the leading cause of collisions. In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 40 percent of crashes occur because of “recognition error,” which includes “inadequate surveillance” and “internal distraction,” while 35 percent of crashes arise from “decision error,” which includes speeding and misjudgments.[3] Automated vehicles can increase driver safety by removing driver error from the situation.[4]

California, Nevada, Michigan, Florida, and D.C. are the only states which have pioneered legislation regulating automated vehicles on public roads.[5] Virginia has dedicated 70 miles of a highway for public road testing.[6] To provide some background, the California statute requires drivers of automated vehicles to obtain a special license.[7] Additionally, the vehicles … Read the rest

The Danger of the Gas Tax: to People, Businesses, and even to the Environment

By: Joe Zender

Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon proposed an amendment earlier this year to raise the federal ‘gas tax’ from 18 cents per gallon to 33 cents.[1] While the proposal failed, this 82 percent increase is endemic of the exorbitant gas taxes and increases around the country, both at the federal and state levels. Even as gasoline consumption has leveled off in the U.S., national production of gasoline has increased drastically, leading to lower gas prices.[2][3] Even so, legislatures have moved to increase the burden on each gallon consumed by the taxpayers. The gas tax is now to a point where it unduly burdens businesses, citizens, and even potentially the environment. It should be eliminated and replaced with a more efficient and effective system for funding infrastructure.

The retail cost of a gallon of gasoline across the U.S. on October 1, 2015 was $2.42.[4] At the same … Read the rest

The Status of Arbitration in 2016: An Institution in Review

By: Matthew Lowe

I. Introduction

The role that arbitration has played in corporate affairs has transformed over the years. As industries have expanded, so too has the function of arbitration. While some may argue that such expansion has had a positive and healthy affect on the adjudicative processes of private disputes, others disagree. Currently, arbitration clauses found in purchase agreements continue to be expansive, despite recent mainstream dissent. The labor and employment field, on the other hand, is undergoing changes in deferral standards following a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”).

II. Background

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution that rests outside of the direct purview of the courts. Structurally, arbitration depends on the decision-making authority of an independent third-party (single or panel), which is chosen through the agreement of two contracting parties. As a practice, arbitration gained serious momentum in 1925, through the enactment … Read the rest

Why Everyone Should Condemn the BDS Movement

By: Jacob Mezei

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a global movement started by 171 Palestinian organizations in 2005 with the goal of harming the Israeli economy by urging people, private corporations, and governments to boycott Israeli goods and services, divest funds, and establish economic sanctions on Israel. [1] Simply put, the BDS movement is bad. It is bad for the Palestinians. It is bad for the Israelis. It is bad for the world. The BDS movement harms third world countries in dire need of economic stimulus and hampers the growth of business and the development of technology. In addition, it incites hatred and discrimination, is harmful to future peace negotiations, and, as the Cour De Cassation (the highest court in France) recently ruled, it is illegal.[2]

The point of a peaceful boycott movement is to harm the entity being boycotted more than harming the ones doing … Read the rest

No Longer a Long Shot: Why the Odds Favor the Eventual Legalization of Sports Gambling

By: Jack Meyer

New NBA commissioner Adam Silver made headlines recently when he wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece that he was in favor of the legalization of sports gambling.[1] This came as a surprise to some NBA fans, as this is the same sport that was previously rocked by a points shaving scandal involving former referee Tim Donaghey. Silver’s essential thesis was that since sports gambling is already widespread despite its illegality, a push toward legalization is long overdue. Though little hard data exists, some estimates suggest that nearly $400 billion is illegally wagered on sports each year,[2] including $9 billion wagered on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament alone.[3] With the emergence of the internet and fantasy sports, sports betting has perhaps never been more widespread and Silver’s call for legalization certainly does not fall on deaf ears. Proponents of sports gambling have called … Read the rest

Unnecessary Toughness: Throwing the Flag on the NFL’s New Personal Conduct Policy

By: Jack Meyer

In the wake of the Ray Rice incident and subsequent domestic violence arrests involving several other NFL players during the 2014 season, the NFL encountered a public relations firestorm. The NFL faced widespread public criticism that domestic violence among NFL players had become an “epidemic” and that the male dominated league was indifferent to the issue.[1] Commissioner Roger Goodell nearly lost his job after his perceived mishandling of the Rice incident, and public pressure forced the NFL take significant action to address domestic violence offenses among its players.[2]

This pressure led the NFL to hastily implement a player conduct policy specifically aimed at addressing crimes against women, such as domestic violence and sexual assault. The NFL admittedly used this new policy as a public relations maneuver, knowing full well that the policy did little to actually prevent domestic violence and was only aimed at publicly … Read the rest

Two Sides of the Same [Bit]coin: Why Regulating Bitcoin Works in Its Favor

By: Amanda Maslar

          The reality of the most notorious virtual currency is that it is only a matter of time before it comes under the purview of a regulatory body.  Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that exists entirely online; it is partially anonymous and affords its users rigorous privacy protections in their transactions.[i]  Its online presence is shrouded in mystery, aided by the fact that no one knows exactly who introduced the world to the illustrious Bitcoin.[ii]

            Bitcoin is not pegged to any currency, and its value is dictated entirely by demand.[iii]  Central banks around the world have used monetary policy tools to manipulate the money supply and the value of currency throughout history; the Federal Reserve, however, has in recent years engaged in aggressive policies to stabilize the U.S. dollar, which has concerned some who fear inflation and a Read the rest

The Ride-Sharing Economy: Keeping Liability in the Rearview

By: Keith St. Aubin

             In large cities the world over, passengers have stopped reaching into the air to hail a cab and have begun reaching into their pockets for their smartphones.  Companies such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar represent a cross-section of the transportation sector of a rapidly growing marketplace: the so-called “sharing economy.”[1]  The sharing economy delivers products, places, rides and various other perks to consumers through the use of modern technology.  Dog owners can turn to DogVacay rather than finding a kennel for Fido.[2]  The elderly can now hire someone to clean their gutters using TaskRabbit instead of dealing with the snotty kid next-door.[3]  Loan seekers can avoid the bank by booting up their PC and heading over to Lending Club.[4]  The sharing economy exploded on the scene across various sectors seemingly overnight.  Almost Read the rest

Practical Tips to Comply with SEC Beneficial Ownership Reporting Requirements

By: Clyde Tinnen, Partner, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP – Clyde Tinnen is a partner in the Chicago office of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. He focuses his practice on corporate law matters, including finance and securities law.  Any questions relating to topics discussed in this article may be directed to the author at ctinnen@kelleydrye.com.

Practical Tips to Comply with SEC Beneficial Ownership Reporting Requirements

On September 10, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against 28 officers, directors, or major shareholders for failure to promptly file Form 4 and Schedule 13D and 13G reports, resulting in financial penalties totaling $2.6 million.  Six publicly-traded companies were charged for contributing to filing failures by insiders or failing to report their insiders’ filing delinquencies. SEC enforcement staff used quantitative data analytics to catch the violators. The news came as a shock to many practitioners given the Commission’s historically passive stance on such … Read the rest