2001 John Marshall National Moot Court Competition in Information Technology and Privacy Law

Bench Memorandum


Ryan Alexander, Robert S. Gurwin, Dominick Lazito, Nicole D. Milos & Bridget O'Neill


VOL. XX • Fall 2001 • NO. 1 (table of contents)

Order this issue


In this bench memo, the Supreme Court of the state of Marshall is asked to decide whether the actions of defendant, Marshall Manatees, evidence a theory of false light invasion of privacy as defined by the Restatement (Second) of Torts and whether defendant's actions of comparing the digital photographic images collected at the Marshall Center to their database and ultimately posting plaintiff's photo on its billboard constituted an actionable claim for misappropriation.

Plaintiff, Allen Sanders, attended a professional basketball game where the Marshall Manatees were hosting an opposing team at the Marshall Center. He purchased the ticket online and received it in the mail two weeks later. The ticket printed in a small font type a waiver statement which included holder's permission to organization sponsoring the game to use the holder's image or likeness in connection with any video or other transmission or reproduction of the event for which this ticket relates. Defendant Marshall Manatees is a privately owned basketball team that supports a variety of charities, including the Find Lost Kids Foundation ("FLK"). In so supporting, Marshall Manatees agreed to share its database of photographs of event attendees with the FLK. On January 23, 2001, Sanders was photographed at the Marshall Center upon passing through the turnstile. About an hour later, Sander's photograph was analyzed and compared with FLK's database and there was a match found linking Sanders as a suspected abductor. Immediately, Marshall Manatees published Sanders photo in a billboard suggesting Sanders as a child kidnapper.

Before unveiling the legal issues, the court has to be familiar with the facial recognition technology used in matching, analyzing and comparing Sander's photo to the database. Furthermore, the court needs to interpret statutory elements of the Marshall false light provisions before addressing the issues in this case.

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