National Roundup

Man seeks to construct Ten Commandments statue by court

MCALESTER, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma county has denied the request of a man who’s seeking to build a Ten Commandments statue.

The McAlester News-Capital reports that contractor Tim Mitchell requested to place the religious statue outside the Pittsburg County Courthouse at a meeting on Monday. He also told commissioners that he would fund the statue’s construction.

But District Attorney Chuck Sullivan told Mitchell and county commissioners that the state’s constitution and reinforcing Oklahoma Supreme Court decisions prohibit placing a religious statue on court property.

Mitchell plans to continue to search for alternatives to create the statue. One possibility includes purchasing property for the county, while other options could result in a monument on some nearby property.

He says he “was told by God” to create the statue two years ago.

Muhammad Ali Enterprises files $30M lawsuit

CHICAGO (AP) — Muhammad Ali Enterprises on Tuesday filed a $30 million federal lawsuit against Fox Broadcasting Company, claiming Fox used without permission the late boxer’s identity in a video that aired just before its broadcast of the Super Bowl last February.

In the lawsuit filed in Chicago, Muhammad Ali Enterprises contends that Fox used Ali’s “name, image and likeness as the centerpiece of its three-minute promotional video” before its broadcast of the game that attracted a national audience of 111 million viewers.

In explaining just how valuable Ali’s name and image were to Fox, the lawsuit contends that Fox could have sold those three minutes of time just before the start of the Super Bowl to advertisers for $30 million.

“Fox obtained great value by using Muhammad Ali to promote itself,” attorney Frederick J. Sperling, who filed the lawsuit, said in a statement. “It should pay for what it took.”

The lawsuit contends that the video, which included the images of NFL greats such as Joe Montana, Vince Lombardi and Tom Brady, was “far more” than a tribute to Ali eight months after his death. It says the video was done in such a way as to “define greatness and ultimately compare the NFL legends to Ali and thus to define them and the Super Bowl as ‘greatness’ too.”

The lawsuit also says the video “falsely implies” that Ali or Muhammad Ali Enterprises had endorsed Fox. Muhammad Ali Enterprises owns the trademark rights, copyrights, the right of publicity and all other intellectual property rights of Ali.
Eddie Motl, a Fox vice president, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Two years ago, a federal jury awarded basketball legend Michael Jordan $8.9 million in his lawsuit against a now-defunct supermarket chain for using his identity in an advertisement without his permission. Last year, Sperling filed in Chicago a $30 million lawsuit on behalf of soccer legend Pele, claiming that electronics company Samsung improperly used a Pele look-alike in an advertisement for televisions. The lawsuit said it would hurt the value of his endorsement rights.

Court seeks to ensure attorney won’t practice law again

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana Supreme Court wants to ensure that an attorney sentenced in connection with the alleged misappropriation of funds from six estates totaling more than $700,000 won’t practice law again.

The Herald Bulletin reports the court published an order Friday to keep Stephen Schuyler from working as a lawyer. The court had earlier indefinitely suspended the Anderson attorney’s law license because he didn’t cooperate in the investigation of complaints against him.

Schuyler was sentenced in June to eight years in prison after pleading guilty in the case.

Authorities say a check he wrote to East Lynn Christian Church, an estate beneficiary, in 2015 for more than $78,000 bounced. Later that year, Schuyler was removed from more than 130 cases in which he had a fiduciary interest in estates and guardianships.