James Dolan can ban lawyers suing MSG in NYC


March 29, 2023 | 2:19 pm

James Dolan may be banned from events at Madison Square Garden and its other venues, according to a court ruling — but a banned attorney claims Dolan could be forced to pay $500 for each invalid ticket, according to a court ruling.

A state court in Manhattan on Tuesday overturned a preliminary injunction in November that blocked Dolan’s MSG Entertainment — which operates Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater in addition to Madison Square Garden — from barring attorneys from its venues.

That marks a win for Dolan, whose use of facial recognition technology to ban legal enemies from his locations has sparked outrage from fans and politicians alike.

“We are very pleased with the appeal ruling,” an MSGE spokesperson told The Post.

However, the Manhattan appeals court also noted on Tuesday that it had reversed the lower court’s blockade of Dolan’s bans because a state civil rights law limits plaintiffs to monetary compensation.

A spokesperson for Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which is owned by James Dolan, told The Post the company was “very happy” with the ruling.

According to Larry Hutcher, an attorney at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron who is one of the attorneys who sued MSG Entertainment, the language of the appeals court ruling is, in effect, liable to pay $500 each time it loses access to a theater performance or a concert.

“In effect, the court invites us to go to the event and receive a check for $500 each time we are denied entry,” Hutcher told Bloomberg News.

“I think what this is really saying is that this is something that the legislature should address, but there are a lot of people in my company who will make a lot of money and who can’t attend events,” Hutcher added.

Larry Hutcher, a Manhattan attorney, filed suit against MSGE last year.
Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP

Under New York State’s civil rights law, no one who is 21 or older and “behaves appropriately” can be denied entry to a cultural event, Hutcher said.

Hutcher filed a lawsuit against MSGE after the Garden notified some 60 of the company’s attorneys that they had been banned from the sites for representing a client involved in a lawsuit against the company.

The backlash over the location bans has brought Dolan into conflict with numerous government agencies in recent months.

Dolan filed a lawsuit against the State Liquor Authority after the agency threatened to revoke the Garden’s liquor license over the bans.

MSGE banned some 60 lawyers from the Garden and sister venues Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater.
AFP via Getty Images

The SLA investigation led Dolan to hire a private investigator to track the retired police chief who was tapped by the state agency to investigate MSGE, according to The New York Times.

The company acknowledged that it hired the private investigator to track Charles Stravalle, who called police after noticing someone in a black Chevrolet chasing him for more than 100 miles.

Dolan’s actions also led to calls from state lawmakers to revoke the Garden’s long-running property tax cut, which costs Albany some $42 million a year.

Load more…


Copy the URL to share






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *