Ride the Lightning

Cybersecurity and Future of Law Practice Blog
by Sharon D. Nelson Esq., President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Facial Recognition Results in Lawyer/Girl Scout Mom Being Banned by Madison Square Garden

January 4, 2023

Bressler Risk Blog reported on December 23 that lawyer and Girl Scout mom Kelly Conlon was not allowed entrance to the Radio City Music Hall to see the Christmas Spectacular show with other Girl Scout moms and their daughters.

She was reportedly stopped by Madison Square Garden Entertainment guards after being identified by facial recognition technology. The guards refused her entry, apparently knowing that the law firm she was associated with was Davis, Saperstein and Solomon, which has been (for years) involved in personal injury litigation against a restaurant now owned by MSG Entertainment.

Conlon has not worked on the cases.

A spokesperson for MSG Entertainment said in a statement, “MSG instituted a straightforward policy that precludes attorneys pursuing active litigation against the Company from attending events at our venues until that litigation has been resolved. While we understand this policy is disappointing to some, we cannot ignore the fact that litigation creates an inherently adverse environment. All impacted attorneys were notified of the policy, including Davis, Saperstein and Salomon, which was notified twice.”

“‘This whole scheme is a pretext for doing collective punishment on adversaries who would dare sue MSG in their multi-billion dollar network,’” said Sam Davis, a partner at the firm where Conlon works.

Other firms have sued over being blacklisted. Conlon said she thought a recent judge’s order in one of those cases made it clear that ticketholders like her “may not be denied entry to any shows.”

Davis is now upping the legal ante, challenging MSG’s license with the State Liquor Authority.

“The liquor license that MSG got requires them to admit members of the public, unless there are people who would be disruptive who constitute a security threat,” said Davis. “Taking a mother, separating a mother from her daughter and Girl Scouts she was watching over — and to do it under the pretext of protecting any disclosure of litigation information — is absolutely absurd. The fact they’re using facial recognition to do this is frightening. It’s un-American to do this.”

The New York State Liquor Authority has released a statement indicating that the unique lawyer ban could lead to Madison Square Garden (MSG) losing its liquor license.

The statement from the liquor authority said, “As a condition of your [liquor] license your premises must remain open to the public . . . groups or individuals cannot be excluded on the basis of criteria that are not directly related to your duties under your license. Violations of this principle could result in disciplinary action against your license.”

According to Forbes, there have been reports of individuals being denied entry for months at MSG, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theater and the Chicago Theater. These are all popular venues for NBA and NHL games along with famous shows like the Rockettes.

I had no idea that facial recognition was being used for these purposes – downright scary. I’ll look forward to following this story and reporting back.

HT to Dave Ries.

Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., PresidentSensei Enterprises, Inc.
3975 University Drive, Suite 225Fairfax, VA 22030
Email:   Phone: 703-359-0700
Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology