• 201-896-4100 info@sh-law.com
  • Anthony R. Caruso is an accomplished business attorney and Sports Agent certified by the NFL Players Association. He has a broad range of significant experience in the negotiation and drafting of all types of legal transactions including business, sports and entertainment contracts, intellectual property matters, technology, licensing and franchising deals, and land development.

    Biography

    Anthony R. Caruso is an accomplished business attorney and Sports Agent certified by the NFL Players Association. He has a broad range of significant experience in the negotiation and drafting of all types of legal transactions including business, sports and entertainment contracts, intellectual property matters, technology, licensing and franchising deals, and land development. A sampling of his notable projects includes establishing a revolutionary technology services company, representing pro sports leagues, negotiation various music, film and television projects, structuring multi-year licensing and sponsorship agreements, negotiating franchise and leasing agreements, and supervising private capital transactions for the acquisition or establishment of various ventures.

    A noted entertainment lawyer, Mr. Caruso has advised and counseled producers, artists, and performers, from up and coming hopefuls to established acts and artists.  Over the years, he has drafted all types of contracts for producers and film production companies, musical acts and record companies, songwriters, actors, and authors.  He also counsels clients in connection with disputes in areas that include contracts, copyright, licensing, trademark, false advertising, unfair competition, First Amendment, defamation and internal investigations.

    As a sports attorney, Mr. Caruso represents coaches, athletes and sports marketers, sports leagues and investment groups involved in both sports and entertainment. He is the former owner of a professional minor league basketball team, a founding member and counsel to a pro sports league, and represented celebrity athletes in endorsement deals and related business planning.

    Mr. Caruso gained international attention when he represented Amy Polumbo, Miss New Jersey 2007, in connection with a blackmail situation over Internet photos. He provided all legal counseling and participated in negotiations, strategy, media supervision, and "crisis management" as he appeared in many major print and media outlets including People Magazine and NBC’s Today Show. Over the years, he has also appeared on Fox, MSNBC, E! Entertainment and many of the NYC based television productions such as PIX 11. He is frequently called upon by various syndicated television, news and print media outlets for his advice and commentary on current legal issues.

    Mr. Caruso previously served as counsel to former New Jersey Governor James Florio. He was also a founding executive of an internet-based real estate services company that revolutionized the way properties were sold utilizing the technology of the internet. Also, he has served on the boards of various charitable organizations and banking institutions and has published in various areas of the law.

    Education

    • Seton Hall University School of Law (JD 1985)
    • Rutgers University (BS 1982)

    Bar Admissions

    • New Jersey
    • United States Tax Court
    • United States Supreme Court

    Affiliations

    • 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
    TV Appearances

    Education

    • Seton Hall University School of Law (JD 1985)
    • Rutgers University (BS 1982)

    Bar Admissions

    • New Jersey
    • United States Tax Court
    • United States Supreme Court

    Affiliations

    • 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
    Radio & Print Media

    Education

    • Seton Hall University School of Law (JD 1985)
    • Rutgers University (BS 1982)

    Bar Admissions

    • New Jersey
    • United States Tax Court
    • United States Supreme Court

    Affiliations

    • 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
    Publications
    TitlePublisherDate
    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 LawFebruary 17, 2015
    The Donald Sterling DilemmaUS Daily ReviewMay 22, 2014
    Inside the Minds: Entertainment and Media Law Contract StrategiesNovember 1, 2007
    Recruiting Case Takes Center StageJune 1, 2007
    The New NBA Wardrobe: Less Bling is an Enforceable ThingCommentaryJanuary 30, 2006
    How to Succeed in Local RedevelopmentJune 26, 1995

    Education

    • Seton Hall University School of Law (JD 1985)
    • Rutgers University (BS 1982)

    Bar Admissions

    • New Jersey
    • United States Tax Court
    • United States Supreme Court

    Affiliations

    • 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
    Blogs

    The ‘Science’ Behind Reality TV Background Checks

    Posted on Thursday May 26, 2016

    What's the deal with reality tv background checks?

    One thing any NFL agent, player, reporter or even casual observer can tell you about the league's draft is it is defined by extensive background vetting. Reality television producers employ a similar strategy to ensure their cast members make for good programming without crossing the line - so what's the deal with reality tv background checks? How do they do it?

    The New York Times pointed out 12 years ago, when reality TV was a seedling relative to what it is now, that casting was becoming a science. With over a decade having passed since then, background vetting in the industry has seen its ups and downs. If one network has had an issue with this practice in recent years, it's TLC. Two of the network's programs, "19 Kids and Counting" and "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" suffered following the disclosure of scandals involving cast members.

    Background checks are hit or miss

    The Washington Post noted that the network typically conducts extensive background checks, though obviously there is room for failure. The problem for industry professionals is that there are plenty of interesting people who have been involved in activities that could prove detrimental from a public relations standpoint. Their inquiries into the past have to be extensive, and that's something that anyone hoping to star in one of these programs should be aware of.

    "Friends and family may be subject to background checks."

    Methods for vetting cast members' pasts were examined following the "19 Kids and Counting" scandal involving Josh Duggar. However, as The Times' 2004 article indicates, networks have been doing this for some time. There are some specific things they know to look into at this point. For example, networks will likely subject potential show participants to drug tests. In addition, they will review new cast members' criminal histories.

    Networks also wonder about loved ones

    Something else that's important for program participants to keep in mind, is that they may have to warn friends and family they may be subject to background checks as well. Larry Musnik, the executive producer for MTV's "Teen Mom," told Cosmopolitan that his team runs background checks on the participants' new boyfriends.

    "We are very careful to do background checks and know what's going on in a person's history and not be surprised to the best of our ability," he told the publication. "We are checking and asking and doing that due diligence all the time. We want to be sure that these people are with them because of the relationship, not because of the TV camera."

    Reality tv background checks are a bit rigorous. If participants are worried about the extent of these checks, it is important for them to review their contracts. These agreements may contain more information on how much leeway the network is given to vet cast members, as well as their family and friends.

    Anyone interested in joining a reality TV program should contact an experienced entertainment law attorney who can guide them through the complicated and seemingly intrusive process.

    For more posts dealing with reality tv, check these out:

    The post The ‘Science’ Behind Reality TV Background Checks appeared first on .

    The Problem with the NFL Concussion Settlement

    Posted on Tuesday May 17, 2016

    The Problem with the NFL Concussion Settlement

    The NFL's Concussion settlement with former players over the long term effects of concussions has created a stir that The Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute referred to as "a feeding frenzy" among lenders.

    Close to five years after the initial legal action on concussions began, the NFL reached a settlement with a number of individuals who once played in the league - and who are now dealing with the health repercussions of their former career. The brief history of the conflict between the league and athletes over the lasting effects of head injuries has been opaque and at times contentious. However, the cognitive setbacks athletes may suffer over time are becoming clearer.

    Now the former players, many of whom suffer cognitive issues or physical ailments, are set to collect up to $5 million in payouts from the league. The settlement, historic in sports, has spawned a potentially costly subplot, though.

    Lenders offering high-interest pre-settlement payouts

    Lenders smell blood in the Gatorade, so to speak. Some have begun offering settlement recipients loans ahead of the payout that include some appealing incentives, The New York Times reported. The loans total tens of thousands of dollars and come without time limits. They're near-irresistible to the untrained eye with debts to pay and little time to await the NFL's eventual payout. However, these loans carry interest rates as steep as 40 percent.

    When it comes to former athletes depleted of their fortunes with bills to pay and cognition affected by repeated concussions, the more unfavorable details of such a loan may go unnoticed.

    The Times found that in the weeks since the Concussion settlement, several former players have acquired such loans against their eventual payouts, which are in purgatory pending the results of a second appeal and the specifics of the deal. The loans' high interest rates, among other pitfalls, kick in after the funds are doled out and can substantially reduce the payout the athletes ultimately receive. There are over a half-dozen lenders dangling such loans at the moment, and a contingent of retired players interested in their services.

    Interest rates raise eyebrows, but interest persists

    LaCurtis Jones, a former linebacker who spent a couple of seasons in the NFL, on top of some time playing in Canada, is one of those players interested in a loan. He understands the interest rates are high, but finds it hard to resist using a $100,000 loan to cover child support, his family's needs and a mentoring program he hopes to start.

    "I don't have none of my money left from the NFL," Jones told The Times. "I don't want to get into a lot of debt, but I'm looking for someone to give me some advance money. I don't need much."

    If you have questions about the concussion settlement or face issues many former NFL players such as Jones do, it may be best to consult a sports law attorney.

    For more posts having to do with the NFL, check out:

    The post The Problem with the NFL Concussion Settlement appeared first on .

    An Alternate Route to the NFL – the Regional Scouting Combine

    Posted on Thursday May 05, 2016

    The NFL Regional Scouting Combine

    Not every football player taken in the NFL draft or signed as an undrafted free agent made their way there through mock draft focus meetings and national scouting events.

    Players who don't spend their college careers in the national media spotlight can still manage to make it onto an NFL roster, and even find success in the pro game. Their paths are different from that of Andrew Luck or Odell Beckham, however, and often start at one of the league's Regional Combines. Since 2012, the Regional and Super Regional Combine program has expanded the annual scouting network and provided football players with new paths to the NFL.

    A alternate way in to the NFL 

    Despite the attention the media lavishes on the draft each year, there are plenty of ways for talented individuals to make their way onto an NFL roster or practice squad. These regional scouting events are one option. In 2016, the league held regional scouting combines in:

    • Houston
    • Tempe, Arizona
    • Baltimore
    • Eden Prairie, Minnesota
    • New Orleans

    While Regional Combines may not receive the sort of attention the NFL Scouting Combine does, they're a legitimate path to the draft, or at least to an undrafted free agent contract. Benson Mayowa, a regional combine participant, recently signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Also, CBS noted that three regional combine participants were drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft:

    1. Baltimore Ravens CB Tray Walker
    2. Indianapolis Colts OT Denzelle Good
    3. Washington Redskins OC Austin Reiter

    What happens after the Regional Combine? 

    The regional combines consist of the same sort of evaluations that are included in the regular scouting combine. Participants who do well are invited to the Super Regional Scouting Combines. It is at these events that NFL hopefuls show off their skills for scouts from all of the teams. Even if players don't move past the initial regional events, they do get to participate in an NFL-sponsored program that is filled with networking opportunities, leaving the door open for the future.

    NFL hopefuls should be sure to include their agents in any significant decisions about their futures in the league, such as whether to participate in a regional combine. They can help with registering, preparation and networking. These scouting events may not be the standard path to the NFL, but they do offer an opportunity. Players entering their final year of college eligibility may want to begin considering whether they should look into one of these local combines.

    If you have more questions on the NFL Scouting Combine or Draft, speak with an experienced sports law attorney or agent for more information on getting into the league.

    Otherwise, for other articles having to do with the NFL, check out:

    The post An Alternate Route to the NFL – the Regional Scouting Combine appeared first on .

    How do Reality TV Shows Get Away with Being Fake?

    Posted on Tuesday May 03, 2016

    How do Reality TV Shows Get Away with Being Fake?

    People can't yell, argue and stir up controversy as often as reality television makes it seem, can they? Well, thanks to contract provisions much of what people see on reality TV may not be real at all.

    The number of unrealistic situations that seem to come up on various reality TV shows may make some people wonder just how these events actually happen. Often, the key is that they don't - at least not within the context viewers are led to believe. A recent stir over a contract concerning film of a Mariah Carey concert illustrate how reality TV producers get away with straying from reality.

    Mariah Carey TV show contract may go too far

    Carey has a series coming through E! called "Mariah's World." The show will depict her life with family and friends as well as the singer's Sweet, Sweet Fantasy World Tour, which will last through April according to her Twitter. Her upcoming wedding will also be covered by the program.

    The Sun found that participants who attended her London concert VIP after-party and are set to appear in the TV show signed some particularly demanding contracts. There is plenty that these deals can include, including some decidedly dark provisions. The agreements asked participants to waive legal responsibility from YOLO Productions for a number of circumstances - even death. In addition, the contract gave the production company permission to twist events so they are represented "in a fictional manner with a different voice."

    The right to defame participants

    Essentially, what this means is that the production company can take film from that London concert after-party and edit it in such a way that the events of the night are completely changed for the television show. Fights can be created out of disparate footage, since this would likely constitute a fictional depiction using a different voice. Contract provisions such as this one are what give reality TV producers the legal permission to depict events in a way that does not entirely or accurately reflect what actually happened. These contracts, at their core, give producers the right to defame participants.

    RadarOnline.com discovered contracts for Bravo's "Real Housewives of New Jersey" that similarly give producers the right to fictionalize events.

    "The rights granted herein shall also include the right to edit, delete, dub and fictionalize the footage and materials, the program and the advertisements as producer sees fit in producer's sole discretion," the contract's opening clause explained, according to the media outlet.

    Why are producers after these rights?

    Producers are after storylines that sell, that's simply part of the business. People want to watch interesting television shows. The best-selling media often consists of fictionalized storylines. For this reason, it is typically the goal to take footage and edit it to prop up a certain storyline that may not have actually happened, but will sell better with the target demographic. Which means no, many of the things viewers see on reality TV aren't likely to be real, per se. However, it is best to avoid losing control over how one's image is depicted in the media. 

    If you're going to be a participant on a reality TV show, or are considering the possibility of joining one, speak with an entertainment law attorney. An expert who understands the ins and outs of reality TV contracts can help you determine whether you're giving up too much to be in the program.

    Otherwise, for more posts regarding reality tv, check out:

    The post How do Reality TV Shows Get Away with Being Fake? appeared first on .

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    Education

    • Seton Hall University School of Law (JD 1985)
    • Rutgers University (BS 1982)

    Bar Admissions

    • New Jersey
    • United States Tax Court
    • United States Supreme Court

    Affiliations

    • 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
    '