A mother and lawyer for a New Jersey based firm purchased tickets to attend a Christmas show with her daughter’s Girl Scout troop at MSG-owned Radio City Music Hall, but was denied entry due to her job, reportedly due to the venue’s operator James Dolan‘s dislike of certain attorneys.
Kelly Conlon, 44, took a trip to New York City the weekend after Thanksgiving to see the Rockettes, but was told by security guards that she needed to leave just moments after arriving in the lobby, according to NBC New York.
“They Knew My Name Before I Even Told Them” Lawyer Says After Being Barred From Radio City Music Hall
Conlon’s account of the incident is a chilling reminder of invasive technologies like facial recognition software, with a sign at the venue warning guests that such technology is used to on the premises to ensure the safety of patrons and employees.
“They knew my name before I told them. They knew the firm I was associated with before I told them. And they told me I was not allowed to be there,” Conlon told the outlet.
Today’s cover: James Dolan uses facial software to boot lawyer he hates from Radio City https://t.co/TBOG2bSlTd pic.twitter.com/LHveMvGJi2
— New York Post (@nypost) December 21, 2022
While Conlon said she herself isn’t involved in any lawsuits against Madison Square Garden Entertainment – which owns Radio City Music Hall – her law firm is, the outlet reports.
Her law firm, Davis, Saperstein and Solomon, is currently involved in an ongoing case of personal injury against a restaurant venue owned by MSG Entertainment, headed by New York Knicks owner James Dolan.
MSG Maintains “Straightforward Policy” Regarding The Ban Of Any Lawyers Involved In Cases Against The Company
Meanwhile, MSG Entertainment maintains they have a “straightforward policy” regarding the ban, which affects any lawyers and law firms involved in ongoing litigation against the company “until that litigation has been resolved.”
“MSG instituted a straightforward policy that precludes attorneys from firms pursuing active litigation against the Company from attending events at our venues until that litigation has been resolved,” the company said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
The statement went on to saw that such “litigation creates an inherently adversarial environment,” and added that “all impacted attorneys were notified of the policy,” while claiming Conlon’s firm has been “notified twice.”
“While we understand this policy is disappointing to some, we cannot ignore the fact that litigation creates an inherently adversarial environment. All impacted attorneys were notified of the policy, including Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, which was notified twice,” the company added.
Lawyer Mother Forced To Wait Outside Venue As Daughter And Girl Scout Troop Enjoyed Show
Conlon, who was chaperoning the event, and MSG Entertainment both confirmed that she was the only person in her group to not be allowed entry to the show, forcing her to wait outside and leave her daughter inside the venue with her troop for the duration of the show, according to PEOPLE.
“I was caught off-guard – I just complied with what they asked me to do and I left my daughter inside the venue with her troops,” Conlon told the New York Post.
To Madison Square Garden Entertainment, Kelly Conlon isn’t just any mom. They had identified and zeroed in on her, as security guards approached her right as she got into the lobby: https://t.co/ZQ8LchReLp
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) December 20, 2022
However, MSG Entertainment maintains that Conlon was “notified in advance that she would be denied entry.”
“In this particular situation, only the one attorney who chose to attend despite being notified in advance that she would be denied entry, was not permitted to enter, and the rest of her group – including the Girl Scouts – were all able to attend and enjoy the show,” the company said.
The company was unapologetic about the facial recognition technology and attorney bans, claiming “we have always made it clear to our guests and to the public that we use facial recognition as one of our tools to provide a safe and secure environment and we will continue to use it to protect against the entry of individuals who we have prohibited from entering our venues.”
“Facial recognition technology is a useful tool widely used throughout the country, including the sports and entertainment industry, retail locations, casinos and airports to protect the safety of the people that visit and work at those locations,” the statement read. “Our venues are worldwide destinations and several sit on major transit hubs in the heart of New York.”
Conlon’s Law Firm Calls The Move “Collective Punishment” For Anyone “Who Would Dare Sue MSG”
Conlon told NBC New York that she was under the impression that a recent court ruling found that ticket holders “may not be denied entry to any shows.”
Sam Davis, a partner at the firm where Conlon works, told the outlet that the incident is “collective punishment” for anyone “who would dare sue MSG.”
“This whole scheme is a pretext for doing collective punishment on adversaries who would dare sue MSG in their multi-billion dollar network,” Davis said.
For their part, MSG told the outlet that they believe their policies remain in compliance with the law.