SWLAW Blog | Faculty Features

Image - Phillip Movaghar '20

June 17, 2020

Phillip Movaghar '20 and Professor Birren '85 Examine Current Legal Issues in Sports

by Ernesto Rodriguez ‘21

Recent graduate Phillip Movaghar '20 and Professor Jeff Birren '85 are back at it again! This dynamic duo co-authored and published three new articles in Sports Litigation Alert

Their first article, "Plaintiff Boxing Fans Lose Unanimous Decision in the Ninth Circuit," covers the dismissed case, In re Pacquiao — Mayweather Boxing Match Pay Per View Litigation, in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case involved angry fans filing lawsuits against all those associated with the production and promotion of the fight after the disclosure of Pacquiao's answers to a required questionnaire. Under penalty of perjury, Pacquiao represented that he had not suffered any injury, nor did he have a serious medical condition of any kind. Later, it was made known that Pacquiao had indeed suffered a serious shoulder injury in April, leading up to the fight. Read the article in Sports Litigation Alert, Vol. 17, Iss. 07 (subscription required). 

Newsclip of the case in question: In re Pacquiao — Mayweather Boxing Match Pay Per View Litigation
Image - Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer (MLS)

The second article, "MLS Beats Back Claim Brought by Referee Director Paul Rejer," covers another dismissed case. Rejer v. PRO & MLS, Supreme Court of New York, arose out of discrimination and labor law claims against Professional Referee Organization (PRO) and Major League Soccer (MLS). The MLS filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the complaint fails to allege an employment relationship between Rejer and MLS and that there was no reference in the complaint of any unlawful conduct by or at the direction of the MLS.  Read the article in Sports Litigation Alert, Vol. 17, Iss. 08 (subscription required). 

The last article, "Marino v. Westfield Bd. of Education: High School Reverse Discrimination Litigation," covers the termination and replacement of a girls' high school basketball coach with a younger woman. Joseph Marino claims that the termination was due to discrimination based on his age and gender. Read the article in Sports Litigation Alert, Vol. 17, Iss. 11 (subscription required). 

Congratulations to both Phillip and Professor Birren on their publications!