Madison Square Garden Lifts Facial Recognition Ban Against Opposing Attorneys

Photo Credit: Steve Harvey

Following a massive wave of bad press starting in December 2022, MSG Entertainment is rescinding its adverse attorney policy–for one firm. Here’s the latest. 

Digital Music News reported on facial recognition technology being used by MSG Entertainment to scan for lawyers belonging to law firms that are actively engaged in litigation vs. the company. These attorneys were asked to leave the venue, first exposed by an attorney who went to see the Rockettes with her daughter during a Girl Scout trip. 

Kelly Conlon is an associate with the New Jersey-based law firm, Davis Saperstein, and Solomon. That firm has been engaged in litigation vs. MSG Entertainment with a personal injury suit for a restaurant under its umbrella. Conlon herself is not an attorney working on any cases involving MSG, nor does she practice law in New York State. MSG Entertainment identified her the weekend after Thanksgiving and security guards stepped in to boot Conlon from the venue. 

“It was pretty simultaneous to me, going through the metal detector, that I heard over an intercom or loudspeaker,” Conlon said in an interview when the incident happened. “I believe they said that our recognition picked you up.” Following this event–at least two other attorneys were barred from MSG Entertainment-owned venues. Now the company has issued a statement regarding the controversial use of its facial recognition tech.

“As a result of MSG Entertainment’s exploration of a potential sale of its majority interest in Tao Group Hospitality, effective immediately, the Company has lifted the adverse attorney policy for any litigation currently pending with Tao entities. Accordingly, all attorneys employed at the firms involved may attend events at MSG Entertainment’s venues, and those firms will all be notified. The policy remains in place for all other firms pursing active litigation against the company.”

It’s unclear if the lawsuit that originally dinged Conlon for her associate status at Davis Saperstein, and Solomon is against Tao Group Hospitality. MSG Entertainment refuses to change its policy entirely, despite New York Attorney General Letitia James’ interest in the case. 

In a letter requesting more information, James says, “MSG Entertainment cannot fight their legal battles in their own arenas. Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall are world-renowned venues and should treat all patrons who purchased tickets with fairness and respect,” James continues. “Anyone with a ticket to an event should not be concerned that they may be wrongfully denied entry based on their appearance, and we’re urging MSG Entertainment to reverse this policy.”