‘Scared the hell out of me’: Well-known Staten Island lawyer ID’d by facial recognition, booted from Radio City

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — An injuries lawyer on Staten Island figured out a short while ago that he, like other people in his subject, has been banned from MSG Enjoyment venues because of to an ongoing lawsuit submitted towards the enterprise by his agency.

Jonathan D’Agostino, of D’Agostino & Associates, reported he was with family at the Rockettes Xmas Magnificent the day immediately after Thanksgiving as portion of an yearly outing, when he was approached by workers inside Radio City Tunes Corridor.

“I’m standing there, keeping popcorn and a cotton candy even though the rest of the family members is in their seats, and [MSG staff] is escorting me to the sidewalk to request me to go away,” he explained previous week. “My brother-in-legislation left with me and we sat at a bar and cafe viewing Tv even though our people watched the present.”

The 2nd-era attorney, whose firm’s adverts characteristic an offended Rottweiller and the phrase “Bite Again,” was banned from MSG venues since they’re managing a 2018 circumstance involving a individual declaring they had been wounded in a fall at a concession space in the Garden.

Similar to other lawyers who have been escorted off MSG attributes, he was discovered by the venue employing facial recognition technological know-how: pc program that can determine hundreds of lawyers by instantaneously mining photographs from the online to generate proposed matches.

“It scared the hell out of me that this is wherever our place is at now,” D’Agostino stated.


Considering the fact that June, MSG Entertainment, the proprietor of Radio Metropolis Songs Hall, Madison Square Backyard garden and other venues in New York and in other places, has place legal professionals who represent people suing the enterprise on an “exclusion list” to preserve them out of concerts and sporting events. A spokesperson for the business, famously owned by the Dolan relatives, issued the next statement in response to mounting grievances from attorneys and many others.

“MSG instituted a straightforward policy that precludes attorneys from companies pursuing active litigation versus the Enterprise from attending occasions at our venues until eventually that litigation has been resolved. Even though we realize this policy is disappointing to some, we simply cannot disregard the point that litigation produces an inherently adversarial environment…”

Those who are banned are notified in writing, the spokesperson ongoing.

“All impacted lawyers were being notified of the plan [and] we go on to make crystal clear that impacted attorneys will be welcomed back to our venues upon resolution of the litigation.”

D’Agostino explained his lawfirm receives hundreds of pieces of mail every 7 days and promises he was unaware of the ban at the time of the incident.

He claimed that even though his schedule as a functioning lawyer has in portion held him from becoming a member of a lawsuit towards MSG — in addition to problems about the stress on an by now stretched civil justice technique — the issue he fears extends even more than the ongoing case.

“Where does it conclusion?” he stated. “Are malls and hospitals authorized to now ban legal professionals? It is absurd. It’s unAmericaN.”

D'Agostino family

Staten Island-based harm attorney Jonathan D’Agostino (back again row, third from the remaining) claims he was escorted out of Radio Town New music Corridor following remaining positioned on a ban record by MSG because of to ongoing litigation in opposition to the leisure giant. (Courtesy of Jonathan D’Agostino)


MSG instituted the ban on lawyers in June, targeting people symbolizing men and women suing the organization and each and every legal professional at their respective firms.

In normal, facial recognition technological innovation is authorized in New York, while at minimum some attorneys on the ban record — amid ongoing fits ranging from own accidents to loss of time tickets to problems from stockholders over company specials — have sued MSG Amusement, declaring their use of it in this instance is forbidden, the New York Moments claimed.

“Facial recognition technology is a handy tool commonly utilized throughout the country, such as the sports and enjoyment field…” the MSG spokesperson observed Tuesday. “Our venues are globally locations and a number of sit on big transit hubs in the coronary heart of New York. We have normally made it apparent to our guests and to the public that we use facial recognition as a person of our equipment to present a harmless and secure setting for our consumers and ourselves.”

A town law launched previous calendar year calls for professional establishments to notify consumers when biometric systems these types of as facial recognition are in use. Indicators at Radio Town New music Corridor and other venues tell patrons that the know-how is in position “to be certain the basic safety of everybody.”

Civil liberties watchdogs also have weighed in, expressing the use of the technological innovation to ban legal professionals at MSG demonstrates why the federal government ought to regulate the technological know-how. Adam Schwartz, a senior staff members attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argued in an interview with the New York Instances that employing it to bar a company’s critics is unparalleled, and a “major leap forward that desires to be handled as radical.”

Formerly, the technology had been utilised by stores to identify shoplifters airports to test in vacationers and usher them by security and casinos to preserve out gamblers they assume may cheat.

USE FOR Public Protection

Facial recognition technology was being used by regulation enforcement businesses in New York Metropolis before this most new public discussion on the challenge.

In 2021, The Legal Help Society denounced Staten Island District Legal professional Michael E. McMahon’s use of the technological know-how, contending it infringes on civil liberties, notably in communities of colour, as well as on activists.

MSG Entertainment officers reportedly advised the New York Situations their surveillance continues to be in use principally to detect individuals who could be protection threats describing a watchlist that incorporates patrons who had broken policies at the company’s venues, whether or not by becoming violent, throwing issues or participating in other misbehavior.


In New York, the Dolan family’s providers have been sued at minimum 20 moments in State Supreme Courtroom this calendar year on your own, the New York Moments reported.

Past month, a person allegedly assaulted in the Backyard by a Staten Islander next a Rangers playoff game filed suit in opposition to MSG, saying security was ineffective in protecting against the violence and his attacker was in excess of-served alcoholic beverages.

In 2020, a civil lawsuit ultimately tossed by a Manhattan federal choose was brought by previous New York Knicks star Charles Oakley against James Dolan and Madison Sq. Backyard garden for alleged unfair remedy at the arena. Personnel from The Backyard garden claimed Oakley was drunk and belligerent. The situation was dismissed by a Manhattan federal decide, the New York Write-up reported.

In 2018, the enterprise announced they no longer would work with Entercom-run corporations, these kinds of as WFAN, subsequent a rant by a radio character in which she identified as billionaire James Dolan, who owns the Knicks and the Rangers, a “vile piece of trash.”

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