NHL fights Boston University over attorney fees

By Joseph M. Hanna

15 June 2017

Boston University is requesting more than $119,000 in attorney’s feesaccrued during its defense against the National Hockey League’s discovery request for documents and data related to research done by BU’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center. The NHL had requested all CTE research done by the University, but only received discovery related to six NHL players. BU claimed there is no reason the NHL would need data about other people, while the NHL argued that it needs all of the research available in order to establish the reliability of the connection between playing in the NHL and the development of CTE in the brains of its players. In early May, a U.S. District Court Judge denied the NHL’s demand for all of BU’s medical data due to the excessively broad scope of the request.

BU is attempting to recoup attorney’s fees for about 275 hours spent by its inside counsel on the case, at a rate charged by attorneys of comparable skill and experience in the Boston area. The NHL is claiming that BU should not receive attorney’s fees because of the University’s lack of cooperation with the league’s discovery request. BU is arguing that they do not have to disclose all medical data regarding CTE in the brains of NHL players, and that they did cooperate by handing over data concerning six NHL players at the direction of a court order.



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About the Author

Joseph M. Hanna

Joseph M. Hanna

Joseph Hanna is a partner of Goldberg Segalla and concentrates his practice in commercial litigation with a focus on sports and entertainment law and retail, hospitality, and development litigation. Joe represents sports franchises, professional athletes, and movie studios with various issues related to licensing, contracts, and day-to-day management. He serves as Chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Sports and Entertainment Law Practice Group and editor of the firm’s Sports and Entertainment Law Insider blog. In addition, Joe is the Chair of Goldberg Segalla's Diversity Task Force. He possesses an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
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