After main repercussions, there may be change coming to a coverage that banned attorneys from a number of the most well-known venues in New York Metropolis in the event that they had been concerned in litigation towards the proprietor of these venues.
To be truthful, it is a small change — however a change nonetheless.
On Monday, Madison Sq. Backyard Leisure launched a press release that up to date what it referred to as its “adverse attorney policy,” which bans attorneys concerned in lawsuits towards the corporate.
MSG Leisure mentioned the coverage not applies to attorneys tied to pending litigation with Tao Group Hospitality, which incorporates about three dozen eating places and golf equipment within the metropolis. That is as a result of the corporate is trying to unload the bar and restaurant group.
“As a result of MSG Entertainment’s exploration of a potential sale of its majority interest in Tao Group Hospitality, effective immediately, the Company has lifted the adverse attorney policy for any litigation currently pending with Tao entities,” the assertion learn, including that these corporations impacted will likely be notified.
Nevertheless, the corporate made it clear: The change would not raise the ban for any attorneys working for different corporations which might be concerned in authorized motion towards Madison Sq. Backyard Leisure from attending exhibits and sporting occasions.
“The policy remains in place for all other firms pursing active litigation against the Company,” the assertion concluded.
New invoice launched to cease main venues from utilizing facial recognition expertise to maintain individuals out that work for corporations which have lawsuits out towards them. NBC New York’s Sarah Wallace stories.
MSG Leisure has refused to completely put off its coverage, regardless of outcry each from these impacted and by lawmakers who want to change the legal guidelines that enable the ban to be instituted.
Amid the combat and the continuing battle about his firm’s use of facial recognition expertise, Madison Sq. Backyard proprietor James Dolan threatened to ban the sale of alcohol at a New York Rangers recreation.
“The SLA [State Liquor Authority] is manner, manner past their skis…they’re being extraordinarily aggressive and so they’re saying ‘We will take away your liquor license.’ So I’ve a bit of shock for them,” Dolan said during a TV interview. “What we’re gonna do, proper, it we’ll decide an evening, possibly a Rangers recreation, and we’re gonna shut down all of the liquor and alcohol within the constructing.”
That warning got here in response to the State Liquor Authority investigating Dolan’s use of facial recognition expertise, which has resulted in bans towards a gaggle of attorneys who’re at the moment suing his firm, MSG Leisure Company.
“It’s like something out of ‘The Godfather,’ it’s like ‘It’s only business.’ It’s not only business, and if you sue us, we’re gonna tell you not to come,” Dolan continued. “If you’re grandstanding with the press, et cetera, I’m gonna tell you: Go ahead, take away my liquor license. People are still going to come to the games.”
An extended-term season ticket holder has been banned from Madison Sq. Backyard for representing shoppers which might be suing the world. Information 4’s Erica Byfield stories.
The feedback additionally got here after New York Lawyer Common Letitia James pressed Madison Sq. Backyard Leisure about its reported use of facial recognition expertise to determine opposing attorneys.
“MSG Entertainment cannot fight their legal battles in their own arenas,” James mentioned in a Jan. 26 launch saying her letter. She’s in search of a response from MSG Leisure by Feb. 13.
“Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall are world-renowned venues and should treat all patrons who purchased tickets with fairness and respect,” she mentioned. “Anyone with a ticket to an event should not be concerned that they may be wrongfully denied entry based on their appearance, and we’re urging MSG Entertainment to reverse this policy.”
Madison Sq. Backyard Leisure responded to the letter, saying that their coverage “does not unlawfully prohibit anyone from entering our venues and it is not our intent to dissuade attorneys from representing plaintiffs in litigation against us. We are merely excluding a small percentage of lawyers only during active litigation.” A spokesperson added the coverage “has never applied to attorneys representing plaintiffs who allege sexual harassment or employment discrimination.”
A spokesperson for the corporate beforehand instructed NBC New York that their facial recognition expertise doesn’t retain pictures of people, besides for these beforehand suggested they’re prohibited from coming into the corporate’s venues or whose earlier misconduct has recognized them as being a safety threat.
For months, attorneys whose corporations are concerned in litigation towards Madison Sq. Backyard Leisure have discovered themselves banned from the corporate’s sporting occasions and leisure venues, resembling Knicks video games and Radio Metropolis Rockettes exhibits.
What sparked the controversy was a mom becoming a member of her daughter on a Woman Scout journey to Radio Metropolis.
Kelly Conlon is an affiliate with the New Jersey based mostly regulation agency, Davis, Saperstein and Solomon, which for years has been concerned in private harm litigation towards a restaurant as soon as owned by Tao, and later acquired by MSG Leisure. However Conlon mentioned she herself would not follow regulation in New York, and isn’t an lawyer engaged on any circumstances involving MSG.
“I knew nothing about the case until this happened,” she mentioned.
An lawyer whose agency is in litigation with MSG Leisure was barred from attending a Radio Metropolis Rockettes’ present together with her daughter and different Woman Scouts as a result of the corporate’s facial recognition expertise knew the place she labored. NBC New York’s Sarah Wallace stories.
That did not cease MSG Leisure from figuring out and zeroing in on her simply as she received into the foyer earlier than the Christmas Spectacular present the weekend after Thanksgiving. Safety guards stepped in, and whereas her daughter, different members of the Woman Scout troop and their moms received to go benefit from the present, Conlon wasn’t allowed to take action.
“It was pretty simultaneous, I think, to me, going through the metal detector, that I heard over an intercom or loudspeaker,” she instructed NBC New York. “I heard them say woman with long dark hair and a grey scarf.”
She mentioned she was requested her identify and to provide identification.
“I believe they said that our recognition picked you up,” Conlon mentioned.
An indication at Radio Metropolis Music Corridor acknowledged that facial recognition is used as a safety measure to make sure security for company and staff. Conlon says she posed no menace, however the guards nonetheless kicked her out with the reason that they knew she was an lawyer.
“They knew my name before I told them. They knew the firm I was associated with before I told them. And they told me I was not allowed to be there,” mentioned Conlon.
MSG mentioned she was banned — together with fellow attorneys in that agency and others, as in response to their coverage. Now the corporate says she will likely be allowed to as soon as once more attend occasions, however it would not change how the expertise made her really feel.
“I feel I was unjustly targeted. I was there with my daughter—not in my capacity as an attorney. I feel my privacy was violated,” she mentioned. “I am hopeful for change and I hope this situation will create that change…At this point, I’m taking the humiliation and turning it into something good.”
Sam Davis, the top companion at Conlon’s agency, took a novel method: difficult MSG’s license with the State Liquor Authority. Davis would not consider the corporate’s transfer is a honest goodwill gesture, provided that the corporate is making an attempt to promote the properties anyway.
“[Dolan] just wants to sell his 70 restaurants without the controversy, without the cloud, without the investigation the Liquor Authority has made will continue into the future,” Davis mentioned. He beforehand instructed the I-Staff that the corporate’s coverage is “a pretext for doing collective punishment on adversaries who would dare sue MSG in their multi-billion dollar network.”
He additionally has bashed MSG’s use of facial recognition expertise, particularly with reference to Conlon’s scenario, is “un-American.”
“Taking a mother, separating a mother from her daughter and Girl Scouts she was watching over — and to do it under the pretext of protecting any disclosure of litigation information — is absolutely absurd. The fact they’re using facial recognition to do this is frightening,” he mentioned.
Davis mentioned attorneys on the agency won’t be returning to any MSG venues till the ban is lifted, and till Dolan agrees to restrict utilizing face recognition expertise to “security” solely.
A spokesperson for MSG Leisure says they’ve met with the State Liquor Authority and are hopeful their transparency and participation will finish the investigation. However there are others, together with the Lawyer Common who’s trying into potential civil rights violations. A number of regulation corporations are suing over these points, arguing facial recognition expertise is being weaponized.
Critics of the NYPD’s use of facial recognition expertise to determine suspects say the device is inaccurate would not at all times work on individuals with darker pores and skin however the police division argue that the expertise is rarely the only foundation for an arrest. I-Staff’s Jonathan Dienst stories.