Anthony R. Caruso, Esq Bio:

Anthony R. Caruso is a NFLPA Certified Agent, (NFL Player Agent) and an accomplished business transactions attorney with a broad range of significant experience, including negotiation and drafting of all types of deals and contracts including matters such as acquisitions and sales, intellectual property, land use and development, and licensing and franchising. In addition, He has successfully negotiated and structured all types of sports, entertainment and corporate-related projects.

Specifically a noted entertainment lawyer and sports attorney, he has experience in representing artists and performers, coaches and athletes, and various other talent, as well as film, theatrical and television production, music, sports marketing, sports leagues and investment groups involved in sports and entertainment projects. A sampling of his notable transactions include establishing a leading internet based services company, representing a major sports league, film and television projects, multi-year licensing and sponsorship agreements, negotiating franchise and leasing agreements, and structuring private capital transactions for the acquisition and/or establishment of various ventures.

Mr. Caruso gained international attention as an entertainment attorney in his representation of Amy Polumbo, Miss New Jersey 2007, regarding a blackmail situation over Internet photos. He provided all legal counseling and negotiations, strategy, media supervision and crisis management, appearing in all major print and media outlets such as People Magazine and NBC’s Today Show. Mr. Caruso has appeared on Fox, CNBC and NBC as well as various radio shows, and is routinely requested by various syndicated television, news and print media outlets for his advice and comment on current issues.

Mr. Caruso previously served as counsel to former New Jersey Governor James Florio, and was a founding executive of an internet-based real estate services company that revolutionized the way real estate was sold utilizing the technology of the internet. He is the former owner of a professional minor league basketball team. He has served on the boards of various charitable organizations and banking institutions.

Read full bio


Title Publisher Date
Collegiate Collisions on the Field and in the Courtroom: Will Labor Peace Save Student-Athletes from Further Injury? Journal of Business and Technology Law of the University of Maryland School of Law February 17, 2015
The Donald Sterling Dilemma US Daily Review May 22, 2014
Inside the Minds: Entertainment and Media Law Contract Strategies November 1, 2007
Recruiting Case Takes Center Stage June 1, 2007
The New NBA Wardrobe: Less Bling is an Enforceable Thing Commentary January 30, 2006
How to Succeed in Local Redevelopment June 26, 1995

View all publications


How Clearance Agreements are Killing Independent Movie Theaters
Posted on Friday November 27, 2015

clearance agreementsclearance agreementsClearance agreements and independent movie theaters

Independent movie theaters may be losing opportunities at the hands of big theater chains, all because of deals known as clearance agreements.

The Department of Justice has begun an investigation into several theater chains in the U.S., and at the heart of the DOJ's probe are clearance agreements. These are exclusive deals between theaters and distributors that have been around for some time, but may be squeezing small, independent theaters out of business. The concept of clearance agreements is at the center of an antitrust lawsuit against American Multi-Cinema, following claims from Viva Cinemas Theaters that AMC's exclusivity deals put the Spanish-language theater out of business and is harming the Houston area's Hispanic population, according to the Hollywood Reporter. However, the Houston theater's case against AMC is just one example of a practice that could be hurting similar businesses nationwide.

The legality of these clearance agreements

Exclusivity deals themselves are not illegal, Entertainment Weekly explained. However, the way that big chains are using clearance agreements could be disrupting competitive balance and fairness in the marketplace. When a nationwide theater company asks for exclusivity or threatens not to show a film if a smaller competitor is allowed to exhibit it, it could be in breach of antitrust laws.

Smaller theaters have expressed the opinion that these exclusivity deals give national chains too much power, and limit consumer choice. A rise in theater construction has coincided with an increase in clearance requests, according to the Wall Street Journal. The increasing prevalence of these exclusivity deals has escalated attention given to these agreements and whether or not they violate existing antitrust laws.

If you own or work for a small theater that appears to be suffering due to exclusivity granted to larger chains in the area, consult an experienced entertainment attorney for more on the case against these companies and their clearances.

The post How Clearance Agreements are Killing Independent Movie Theaters appeared first on .

Taking a Look at NCAA Transfer Rules
Posted on Wednesday November 25, 2015

NCAA transfer rulesNCAA transfer rulesDealing with the NCAA transfer rules

For student-athletes, changing schools in accordance to NCAA transfer rules is no simple task.

Some might describe these NCAA transfer rules as Byzantine in their complexity. It is not as simple as applying for a new school, completing the transfer and slipping into a brand new jersey. There are numerous requirements that factor into student-athletes' eligibility to play for a new college team. A transfer student cannot step onto the practice or game field until he or she meets the NCAA stringencies that apply to moving to a new school. Some consider these rules unfair, including Devin Pugh, a former Weber State cornerback who, in a class action complaint, stated the organization's transfer rules are unlawful.

Why the NCAA transfer rules needs to change

To understand why the NCAA is facing a legal challenge to its transfer rules, it may be helpful to learn more about what they are.

Before a student-athlete begins speaking with the coaching staff at the school he or she hopes to attend, the individual must first receive permission from his or her current school. If permission is denied, then the student-athlete should avoid contact with the target school's athletic department. The person can still switch schools, though - there simply cannot be any contact with athletic officials. This means that the transferring individual would not be eligible for an athletic scholarship until after the transfer is complete and he or she has completed a full academic year.

Exceptions for students who meet qualifications 

If permission is granted, then the transferring student-athlete is eligible for aid immediately. However, he or she still must complete an "academic year-in-residence" before actually joining the team. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule that allow individuals to begin competing immediately. For example, there is the one-time transfer exception, according to Athnet. Students typically use this exception as a last resort. This is because transferring student-athletes have to meet numerous requirements such as:

  • Not having previously transferred from another four-year institution.
  • The student-athlete must be academically eligible at the school he or she is leaving at the time of the transfer.
  • The school the individual is transferring from must provide written permission for his or her use of the one-time exception transfer.
  • The student cannot play Division I football, men's or women's basketball or baseball.

There is also the graduate exception, generally used by students who play one of the sports excluded from the one-time transfer exception. This rule also has requirements including:

  • The graduate student must have received a bachelor's degree.
  • The individual should have one season of competition left.
  • The student-athlete should meet the one-time transfer exception requirements, other than the one that excludes certain sports.
  • The previous school did not renew or offer an athletic scholarship for the following academic year.

The controversial hardship waiver

Other exceptions exist as well, such as family hardship waivers. It applies to athletes who need to play immediately, since their eligibility to compete is essential in overcoming a family hardship This exception is no stranger to controversy though, due to the inconsistency with which it is granted. However, there are some requirements that apply:

  • The nature of the illness or hardship, and relation to the individual.
  • Student-athlete's responsibilities in caring for the family member.
  • A timeline of events that could be reasonably seen as leading to the transfer.

Those are just a few of the exceptions, however. The NCAA transfer rules offers a variety of waivers for different situations. Additionally, if a one-time transfer exception request is denied, students must be notified that they have the right to request a hearing to contest the decision. 

This outline of the NCAA transfer rules touches on the surface of the complexities involved. To learn more about transferring from one Division I program to another, or if you're struggling in your transfer attempt, consult an experienced sports law attorney.

The post Taking a Look at NCAA Transfer Rules appeared first on .

Right of Publicity: When You Need a Release Form
Posted on Friday November 20, 2015

right of publicityright of publicityWhat is the right of publicity?

Movies are typically not shot exclusively on private sets, and if they were, they likely wouldn't appear nearly as realistic. However, shooting in a public setting is often accompanied by certain legal requirements.

When a production team chooses a public setting for a shoot location, they are typically implicitly opting to include people in the background of the shots - individuals who have nothing to do with the film, and are going about their everyday business. These people didn't decide to appear in the background of a movie, and may not even be aware there is one being shot until they are on location. Everyone - even the people walking on the street who have nothing to do with the film - has what is called a Right of Publicity. This means they have the right to control how their names and likenesses are used.

Right of publicity: when you need a release form, and when you don't

In terms of the right of publicity, this is the realm where signed release forms come into play. At times, when shooting in a public place the team will have to ask individuals in the background to sign a release allowing their likenesses to be used in the film. However, this isn't always necessary. There are a variety of factors that come into play. When determining whether a right of publicity release is necessary, ask these questions:

  • Did the individual appear in a meaningful way - for example, was his or her face in the shot?
  • Does the person speak in a manner that is clearly audible to the audience?
  • What sort of commercial use is the film intended for? Or is there more artistic purpose than commercial?

If the answer is yes to the first two questions, then typically you will have to obtain signed release forms. However, if the film isn't quite intended for commercial use, the appearance of the individuals could fall under free speech or press protections - think news crew shooting in a mall.

The location question

Also important, is how public the location of shoot is. The less the average individual would expect any degree of privacy, then the less likely it is that will have to ask people to sign release forms. However, the more private an area becomes - such as private property open for public use - the more you may have to think about asking people to sign release forms. Central Park versus Madison Square Garden, for example, are very different in terms of ownership and degree of privacy. No one would rightfully expect privacy in an open space in Central Park, but shooting a film in the Garden may require signed releases.

One way that production crews can ensure the right to shoot in a place that may lean more toward the private end of the spectrum is to post clearly visible signs at entry points, notifying individuals that if they enter a given space they are consenting to being filmed, and as a result, to their likenesses potentially appearing in the movie.

If you're curious about whether or not you need a signed right of publicity release form for shooting in a public or private location, speak with an experienced entertainment law attorney for advice.

The post Right of Publicity: When You Need a Release Form appeared first on .

Knowing the No-Trade Clause
Posted on Tuesday November 17, 2015

no-trade clauseno-trade clauseWhat is a no-trade clause?

In a number of professional sports leagues, when a player develops a certain degree of clout within his or her organization, the individual's contract may include a no-trade clause.

Most of the time, players have little control over when they will be traded or what organization they will be moved to. Luke Ridnour, a veteran point guard in the NBA, spent one week in September as a member of the Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies, Charlotte Hornets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors. He had no choice in the matter, and eventually decided to sit out the 2015-2016 NBA season. Professional sports leagues are businesses, and like it or not, many players get moved. However, some have a say about where they will end up.

These individuals have contracts that include a no-trade clause. These provisions have, in recent years, led to a number of star athletes being sent to New York teams, among others, and give players an important modicum of power when it comes to deciding what organization they sign with.

How a no-trade clause works

When a player has a no-trade clause in his contract he can essentially shut down any trade proposed by his organization. This special portion of any contract can be waived by the player, and sometimes includes a clause that denotes which teams he will be OK with being moved to. If a player with a no-trade clause is to be moved, leagues such as the NFL have procedures designed to move the process forward.

The team that hopes to trade the player must obtain written permission from him and his agent to move him to another organization. This permission comes in the form of the individual waiving the no-trade clause within his contract. A player may waive the clause only when being moved to certain clubs or following a disagreement with the organization prompting him to seek a change of scenery, so to speak. Additionally, if an organization tries to move an individual with a no-trade clause in his contract, he may cite the provision in vetoing the trade.

A no-trade clause can alleviate players' concerns

In the NFL blockbuster, trades are fairly uncommon and a no-trade clause - though still important - will likely not come up often. However, in other sports such as basketball or hockey, these provisions can prove extremely significant and change how teams deal with certain players.

Players concerned about being traded, or being moved to certain regions, will likely have to look into whether they can work no-trade clauses into future contracts. These provisions offer protections that athletes often aren't afforded, which can be significant, especially in regard to factors such as comfort and family.

If you are interested in negotiating a no-trade clause into your contract, speak to an agent with knowledge of sports law who can help you work the provision into your next agreement with your team.

The post Knowing the No-Trade Clause appeared first on .

When is an Artist Manager Managing Too Much?
Posted on Friday November 13, 2015

artist managerartist managerTwo recent lawsuits highlighted dramatic portrayals of managers who may be described as somewhat imposing, which raises the question: What is the role of an artist manager in the music industry?

According to the biopics "Straight Outta Compton" and "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story," at least, an artist manager can be quite controlling. The defamation suits that emerged after these two docudramas accused the films of portraying managers in each as taking advantage of musicians who didn't know better, according to the Hollywood Reporter. These conniving managers displayed in the movies could allegedly harm their real-world counterparts' careers. Each film shows the individuals blurring the line between management and mind control. The depictions may lead some artists to wonder what exactly their managers should be doing for them, and possibly even more importantly, what they shouldn't.

Responsibilities of an artist manager

Artist - or band - managers are typically in charge of the business side of musicians' careers. This entails promotion, working out deals and booking gigs in addition to other responsibilities. Musicians should first ensure that they and their managers have written up and signed contracts that outline the requirements of their relationships. If possible, it may help to have a lawyer join in developing a contract. The expert entertainment law advice he or she can provide could prove beneficial while drawing up the parameters of the relationship.

The contracts between musicians and their managers may differ depending on whether the artists are signed. Artist mangers' jobs, when they're working with unsigned musicians, are heavily characterized by spreading the word and attempting to inform the world of the talent their working with. This consists of networking, booking studio time, sending out demos and inviting label personnel to shows. As artists get further in their careers, what they want or need their managers to do for them may change. Contracts between musicians and managers may vary substantially depending on a number of factors.

The role of an artist manager changes

Really, how far a musician wants his or her manager's role to extend depends on what the artist needs when the contract is drawn up - keeping in mind that it should be beneficial to all parties involved. Additionally, contracts now are certainly different than they were two decades ago. Sponsorship deals are becoming increasingly important as forms of revenue for musicians, and these agreements tend to be more business than music. As a result, seeking out these deals will typically fall under the management umbrella.

What an artist should not allow a manager to do though, is take over every aspect of his or her career. A contract should allow for decisions to be collaborative and mutually beneficial. This is why it is essential for musicians to read over their contracts with managers.

If you are on the verge of writing up a contract with your future manager, or believe there may be something unfair about your current agreement, speak with an entertainment law attorney about what you should do.

The post When is an Artist Manager Managing Too Much? appeared first on .

View All

Read more


Adjunct Faculty, New York University

NFLPA Certified Agent (NFL Player Agent)

Advisory Board - Trinity Financial Sports and Entertainment Management Company

Adjunct Faculty, Belmont University

Advisory Board, Capital One Bank

Member, Monmouth University Real Estate Institute

Read more

TV Appearances

Read more

Radio & Print Media

Read more