A Note by Amanda Holme

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At the Aspen Security Forum, Gary Gensler, chair of the SEC, compared the state of cryptocurrency regulation to the “Wild West,” noting its lack of investor protection.[1]  Gensler has continued to repeat the “Wild West” metaphor when discussing the challenges and lack of cryptocurrency regulation, which leave individual investors and financial markets vulnerable to fraud.[2] Although the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) have used existing laws to regulate cryptocurrencies, Congress has not enacted legislation specifically targeting them.[3]  Currently, no single U.S. regulatory authority governs private cryptocurrency exchanges.[4] Since the majority of cryptocurrency activity occurs beyond the boundaries of government regulation, Gensler worries about the continued potential for crime, financial instability, and threats to national security.[5]

[1]Read the rest


A Note by Kevin Estes

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On September 22, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law A.B. 701[1] intending to further protect the health and safety of warehouse workers in the state of California.[2] Authored by California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, A.B. 701“strengthen[s] warehouse workers’ rights against arbitrary and abusive work quota systems by requiring companies to disclose work quotas to employees and state agencies, and establish statewide standards to minimize on-the-job injuries for employees working under strict quotas.”[3] Although the bill places restrictions on all single warehouse distribution center with 100 or more employees or 1,000 or more employees at one or more warehouse distribution centers in the state,[4] the bill specifically targets Amazon Inc. and their “extreme high-churn model, continually replacing workers in order to sustain dangerous and grueling work pace demands.”[5] To achieve its purpose, A.B. 701 … Read the rest


A Note by Austin Bull

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On October 28, 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s new focus on the “metaverse.”[1] Facebook and its counterparts now belong to Meta Platforms, Inc. and will emphasize and move toward a virtual reality future.[2] This novel endeavor came about a year and a half after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to adapt to new, remote mediums.[3] Digital landscapes became an immediate necessity rather than a distant, futuristic concept.[4] Many industries were affected; the legal sector was no exception.[5]

In an unprecedented fashion, law firms and courtrooms alike moved entirely remote.[6] For the first time, depositions, hearings, and even entire trials were conducted by video conference from participants’ homes.[7] Attorneys and their clients no longer commuted to an office but instead conducted their business through programs such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.[8]Read the rest

MARKET MANIPULATION OR JUST DUMB MONEY? The GameStop Stock Spike and What Happens Next

A Note by Samuel Barder

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On December 9, 2019, GameStop Corp. revealed a troubling third quarter earnings report.[1] Net sales had dropped 30% compared to the same time in 2019, and the company was operating at a $63 million loss for the quarter.[2] The next day GameStop shares (“GME”) tumbled by 20% to close at $13.66 per share.[3] On January 27, 2021, the stock closed at $347.51 per share, a 1,735% increase from since the beginning of the year.[4] Two days before GME peaked at $483.00 per share during morning trading.[5] How did this happen?

The rapid rise in GME shares pitted pros against joes as institutional players, hedge funds, and investment professionals lined up on one side and retail investors, online traders and small brokerages, on the other.[6] One prominent investor said the retail investors, often labeled “dumb money” … Read the rest

DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200: Exploring the NCAA’s Monopoly on Athlete Compensation Behind the ‘Pay the Players’ Debate

A Note by SY Yaw

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On February 2, 2021, EA Sports made an announcement that excited college sports fans everywhere––the NCAA football game that many had grown to love before its discontinuation in 2014 would be returning in 2023.[1] Along with this excitement came a reignited debate about whether student-athletes should be paid for the use of their name, image, and likeness (“NIL”); an issue that contributed to the game’s discontinuation.[2] Despite the profit made by the video game franchise, the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (“NCAA”) longstanding prohibition on student-athletes receiving any compensation beyond their athletic scholarships precluded featured players from receiving compensation.

This Note will explore the intricacies of the debate about whether college athletes should be compensated for their services, primarily using revenue generating sports as a point of examination. Part II will introduce the backdrop of the debate, discussing the “players” … Read the rest

REPLACING WHAT WORKS WITH WHAT SOUNDS GOOD: The Elusive Search for Workable Section 230 Reform

A Note by Kyler Baier

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Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 was a tiny and overlooked fragment of a behemoth bill Congress passed to crack down on the pervasiveness of obscene and indecent communications online.[1] Yet, in the quarter-century since it was passed Section 230 has proven to be the only lasting piece of the Communications Decency Act and, indeed, the most important piece of legislation ever passed with respect to the internet.[2]

By emancipating interactive service providers (ISPs) from the whip hand of publisher’s liability, Section 230 became the liberating force that jolted the massive and sustained growth of the internet marketplace and the free and robust exchange of ideas online.[3] Since Section 230’s conception at law, critics of the legislation have been chipping away at its free market and free speech protections as slowly and surely as water … Read the rest

PROPOSITION 22 AND WORKERS’ RIGHT TO CHOOSE: Learning from California’s Efforts to Classify Independent Contractors

A Note by Kaelin Sanders

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In the 2020 general election, California voters approved Proposition 22, a statewide ballot initiative that classifies app-based drivers (Uber or Lyft drivers, for example) as independent contractors rather than as employees.[1] The culmination of over $200 million in political spending––largely by ride-share companies Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Doordash, and Instacart––the initiative was approved by 58% of voters.[2] Since its passage, the initiative has been met with regular criticism.[3] Many observers first say that classifying app-based drivers (“drivers”) as independent contractors was fundamentally wrong from a worker’s rights perspective, especially in light of state court decisions and legislation that preceded the initiative and established a new standard for making this very decision.[4] Further, there are reports that businesses are now firing their employee-status delivery drivers and hiring cheaper app-based drivers in their stead; that drivers are earning considerably less … Read the rest

RAGE AGAINST THE VOTING MACHINE: Dominion’s Defamation Lawsuit Against Sidney Powell

An Article by Dr. Michael Conklin

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On January 8, 2021, Dominion Voting Systems, Inc., filed a defamation lawsuit against Sidney Powell.[1] The 124-page complaint—drafted by the law firm of noted libel attorney Tom Clare—is based on Powell’s claims that Dominion rigged the 2020 presidential election.[2] This Article examines the relevant issues of false statement of fact, damages, causation, and actual malice. Additionally, a unique privilege that may be available to Powell is considered.

[1].               Complaint, US Dominion, Inc. v. Powell, No. 1:21-cv-00040 (D.D.C. Jan. 8, 2021).

[2].               Id.

 … Read the rest

SMART PLAYERS NEED SMART CONTRACTS: How Blockchain and Smart Contracts Can Revolutionize the Sports Industry

A Note by Cody Von Rueden

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Smart Contracts” are a critical component of many platforms and applications being built using blockchain or distributed ledger technology.[1]  Simply put, smart contracts are lines of code that are stored on a blockchain and automatically execute when predetermined conditions are met.[2]  The benefits of smart contracts are most apparent in business collaborations, in which they are typically used to enforce some type of agreement so that all participants can be certain of the outcome through speed, accuracy, security, and savings.[3]  Many multinational companies have already jumped onto the blockchain bandwagon and are working on their own projects to stay ahead of the competition.[4]  For instance, major technology providers like IBM and Microsoft are offering block chain solutions to enterprise clients.[5]  Tech start-ups too are aggressively capitalizing on the boom by building new products and services … Read the rest

KNOW WHEN TO HOLD ‘EM, KNOW WHEN TO FOLD ‘EM: How Professional Sports Leagues Should Monetize Data in the Era of Legalized Sports Gambling

A Note by Ben Kovach

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“You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.”[1]  When Kenny Rogers first sung those words in his 1978 hit song, The Gambler, he immortalized the struggle of gamblers everywhere.[2]  Incidentally, he also described the conundrum that professional sports leagues find themselves in today.  Following the invalidation of the federal ban on sports wagering, professional sports leagues in the United States, particularly the National Basketball Association (“NBA”), are eager to obtain a portion of the sports wagers themselves.[3]  This note will argue that the NBA should shift its focus from lobbying legislatures, a largely unsuccessful initiative, to strengthening its data licensing efforts, where the league has already seen success.

          [1].                        Kenny Rogers, The Gambler (United Artists Group 1978).

          [2].                                Id.

          [3].                        Matt Bonesteel, If sports gambling is legalized, the NBA wants in on Read the rest