Richard A. Berthelsen
Adolpho A. Birch III
Stokely G. Caldwell
Dennis M. Coleman
William Cornwell, Sr.
Woodie Dixon, Jr.
Richard J. Ensor
Daniel R. Halem
Nona M. Lee
A.J. (Jack) Mills, Jr.
Matthew J. Mitten
Richard M. Moss
Gary R. Roberts
J. Mark Rodgers
Robert H. Ruxin
Eastern Athletic Services, Inc.
Tony Agnone received his B.S. from Mt. Saint Mary's College in 1975 and his J.D. in 1978 from the University of Baltimore. He is a member of the West Virginia and Federal Bars. Tony has been representing professional football players since 1978. From 1978 to 1983 Tony was Assistant to the Dean at the University of Baltimore Law School and now devotes his entire practice to the representation of professional football players. His clients have ranged from first round draft choices to free agents. Tony directs the EAS Team in all contracts as lead negotiator. With over 23 years experience negotiating contracts in the NFL, Tony is one of the most respected agents in the professional football representation industry. Tony's vast knowledge of the NFL salary cap structure and ability to gauge a players worth in the marketplace have enabled EAS to negotiate precedent setting contracts in the NFL. Tony is on the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyers Association, Susquehanna Bank, and is also a frequent lecturer at various business, law schools and professional seminars. In addition, he teaches Sports Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Tony is an active supporter of the Ed Block Courage House and other local charities.
Jeff Benz is an accomplished commercial arbitrator and mediator with JAMS, focused on entertainment, sports (including esports) and technology. He is former General Counsel of the US Olympic Committee, former COO and General Counsel of the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour and a former licensed professional boxing promoter. He is a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) arbitrator and mediator (since 2000). Jeff has served as a neutral in several hundred large, complex arbitrations and mediations before the major institutions worldwide, including BAC, CIETAC, SCIA, HKIAC, LCIA, AAA, JAMS, ICDR, ICC-USCIB, CAS, Sport Resolutions UK, Rugby Football Union, IAAF Disciplinary Tribunal, PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, and others. He is a member of the JAMS SCIA Sino US Cross Border Disputes Joint Arb. Tribunal. He is both a US lawyer (CA, CO, HI, NY) and a barrister in England and Wales (with 4 New Square barristers chambers). In 2016, the BBC noted he is "widely regarded as amongst the most experienced judges" in world sport and according to Who's Who Legal 2018 UK Bar, he is "'widely recognized for his first-rate arbitration practice' and clients note he is 'in a class of his own' [in] complex sports discipline disputes." He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and of the College of Commercial Arbitrators, and he is a Certified Electronic Discovery Specialist. He is a founding board member of the Cal. Int'l Arb. Council. He is a board member of the Sports Lawyers Association and the National Sports Law Institute. He is adjunct professor of sports law and dispute resolution at Pepperdine University Law School's world leading Straus Institute. He is a sought after speaker worldwide and writes on topics related to sports law, dispute resolution, ethics in dispute resolution, and esports dispute resolution. Jeff lives in London and splits his time in Los Angeles.
National Lacrosse League
Jessica C. Berman is Vice President, Community Development, Culture & Growth at the National Hockey League, and she is also the Executive Director of the NHL Foundation. In this role she participates in the design and execution of the League's strategic corporate social responsibility goals, initiatives, policies and programs in the areas of importance to the League, the NHL Clubs, the NHL's business partners and the hockey community generally, with a particular focus on ensuring the initiatives are properly aligned with the League's overall objectives and strategy. The focus of her work is to change the global conversation about hockey, making it the acknowledged standard for sports experiences that are inclusive, accessible, enjoyable and community-friendly.
Prior to this position, she was Vice President & Deputy General Counsel for the NHL. She was a member of the collective bargaining team for the 2012 NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement, which involved crafting the League's labor strategy, negotiating with the NHLPA, drafting the Agreement, and analyzing the impact of proposed changes.
Prior to working for the NHL, Jessica was an Associate in the Labor & Employment Department at Proskauer Rose LLP. At Proskauer, she represented employers in collective bargaining, mediations, arbitrations and litigations. While at Proskauer, she also handled pro bono matters, mostly relating to domestic violence, sexual assault and military service.
Jessica graduated from Fordham University School of Law where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Fordham Sports Law Forum and an Associate Editor of the Urban Law Journal. She graduated from the University of Michigan, School of Kinesiology with an undergraduate degree in Sports Management and Communications with distinction. During her years in Ann Arbor, Michigan, she worked as the Assistant Manager for the Men's Ice Hockey team and the Men's Football team through the Sports Information Department. In 2009 the University of Michigan, School of Kinesiology awarded her the Early Career Achievement Award, and in 2015 she delivered the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology Commencement Address.
Jessica's husband Brad had a hemorrhagic stroke caused by a ruptured Arteriovenous Malformation on August 4, 2013, at the age of 37. Since then she has devoted personal time to helping people with brain injuries and encouraging healthy living and brain health through physical activity. Jessica started a fundraising initiative to help fund brain research and rehabilitation for individuals with brain injuries from strokes, and she continues to mobilize her community to exercise to benefit themselves and others.
Jessica has lectured on corporate social responsibility, social impact, youth sports, diversity & inclusion, labor law and collective bargaining in sports, immigration law in sports, sports arbitration, breaking into the sports industry, and other issues specifically related to sports. Jessica remains active with the University of Michigan currently serving on the Board of Advisors of the Michigan Sports Business Conference, and having served on the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology Alumni Board. In 2012, she was elected to the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyers Association. In 2014 she was selected to receive the Sports Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Award. In 2015 she and her husband Brad were presented with the Burke Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Board of Directors of the Burke Medical Research Institute and Burke Rehabilitation Hospital.
Outside of her professional pursuits Jessica is an avid runner and has completed several marathons, half marathons and Tough Mudders. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and now resides in Westchester with her husband and two sons who are both playing hockey, soccer and baseball.
Attorney Richard Berthelsen has spent over four decades as a sports lawyer and negotiator, having recently retired from employment by the NFL Players Association after serving as its principal in-house counsel for 40 years. He was first hired as Staff Counsel and Assistant to the Executive Director of the NFLPA in May of 1972, and he was appointed General Counsel of that organization by Executive Director and former player Gene Upshaw in 1983. During his long tenure with the NFLPA, he was intricately involved in all aspects of the union's operations, including the negotiation of several Collective Bargaining Agreements and the implementation of many new programs to assist professional athletes. He witnessed firsthand the evolution of the NFL from its early, post-merger years in the early 1070's to its current position as the most popular sport of America.
At the same time, he was an integral member of an NFLPA negotiating team that fought for and attained free agency rights for players and gained them a guaranteed, fair share of the NFL's ever increasing revenues.
In August of 2008, in the wake of Executive Director Gene Upshaw's untimely death, he was elected unanimously by the player-leaders of the NFLPA to serve as Acting Executive Director. In that capacity he oversaw the union's search for a new Executive Director, and returned to his former position when current Executive Director DeMaurice Smith was elected by the Board of Player Representatives in March of 2009. He served thereafter as NFLPA General Counsel through the NFL lockout, which ran from March of 2011 through its ultimate settlement in early August of 2011, and helped the NFLPA and the players negotiate a new Agreement which made significant inroads for the players, protected their share of revenues, and improved their benefits for the future.
Over his NFLPA career Berthelsen helped accomplish several "firsts" for the NFLPA. He was the architect of the first-ever agent regulation system in pro sports, a system that was implemented by the NFLPA in 1983 and adopted in similar form by the players associations in the other major sports in the years that followed. He also created the NFLPA Workers Compensation Panel, a group of lawyers in NFL team cities appointed to file state workers compensation claims for players and protect their rights to future medical care for their NFL injuries. In the year 2000, Berthelsen developed and proposed a new registration system for player financial advisors, and helped the NFLPA become the first union in the country to implement a program to help protect its members in their dealings with outside professionals who invest their money.
Berthelsen also assisted other sports unions and pro athletes throughout his NFLPA career. He was a negotiator for player unions in the North American Soccer League, the Major Indoor Soccer League, the United States Football League, and the Arena Football League. He represented individual players in arbitration cases in several different sports, and served as an advisor to the Professional Hockey Players Association and the NFL Coaches Association in recent years. In the NFL alone, he represented hundreds of players in individual grievance cases against their clubs, and helped establish many important legal precedents for players in the NFL and other sports as well.
Berthelsen currently serves as a Director Emeritus on the Board of the Sports Lawyers Association, and served as President of that organization from 1997 to 1999. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University, and in 2006 he was the recipient of that Institute's Joseph E. O'Neill Award, which recognizes people in the sports industry who have made "a significant contribution to the field and done so by exemplifying the highest ethical standards." He was selected as one of the 500 leading lawyers in America by Lawdragon Magazine in 2005, and has been a speaker at numerous legal seminars and programs sponsored by, among others, the American Bar Association, Tulane University Law School, Harvard Law School, Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, George Washington University, New York University, and the University of Southern California Law School. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of NFL PLAYERS INC., the NFLPA's group licensing and marketing subsidiary.
Berthelsen is now continuing his sports career as a Legal Consultant for the NFLPA and other sports-related organizations and individuals. He is writing a book detailing the history of the NFLPA from 1972 to the present, hoping to share the "front row seat" he occupied during his 40 years as a participant in the dynamic evolution of pro football. He is also registered with the American Arbitration Association as a prospective Arbitrator.
Bertrand & Associates
Lawyer at the Bar of Paris (France) since 1973, Jean-Jacques BERTRAND (63) has been the first French lawyer to practice Sports Law. Since 1974, he has been at the origin of an impressive and significant jurisprudence.
Jean-Jacques BERTRAND is specialized in the defense of athletes. In all the sporting disciplines, he represented several hundreds of athletes such as Jacques ANQUETIL (5 times winner of the Tour of France), Jean-Marc BOSMAN in the famous jurisprudence (CJEU December 15, 1995), Michel Platini (UEFA current President), Eric CANTONA (player of the century at Manchester United), Arsene WENGER (Arsenal's Manager of), Alain PERRIN (Coach of the Qatar Olympic Football Team), Marie-Josée PEREC (triple gold medal athlete at the Olympic Games), Philippe CANDELORO (World Vice Champion in figure skating, bronze medal at the Olympic Games, European Champion).
He is also the lawyer of many Athletes Associations and one of the lawyers for FIFPRO (World Football Players Association)
Jean-Jacques BERTRAND is also:
National Football League
Adolpho Birch serves as Senior Vice President of Labor Policy & League Affairs for the National Football League, which is headquartered in New York, New York. Upon joining the NFL in 1997, his primary responsibility was the enforcement of the League's Collective Bargaining Agreement, which encompassed issues including player and Club contract and injury grievances, benefits matters and salary cap disputes. In his current capacity, he oversees the development, administration and enforcement of the League's critical policies respecting the integrity of the game, including those on substances of abuse, performance-enhancing drugs, gambling and criminal misconduct. Mr. Birch also has advanced the League's legislative and political interests, working with federal, state and local officials on key league issues such as youth concussion laws, the league's tax status and the FCC's blackout rule. He also previously directed the League's player development efforts, which comprise a number of programs designed to support player and employee off-field success, focusing on continuing education, financial education, career development and clinical assistance.
Prior to joining the NFL, Mr. Birch was in private practice in Houston, Texas, initially with Fulbright & Jaworski's Antitrust/Complex Litigation and Public Law group; and later with a boutique firm specializing in labor, insurance defense and municipal finance. Preceding his firm affiliations, he served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Wiseman, Jr., Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Mr. Birch attended Vanderbilt University Law School as a Patricia Roberts Harris Scholar, serving on the Editorial Board of the Vanderbilt Law Review and earning his juris doctorate in 1991. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard University, where he graduated with honors in Government and participated as a member of the junior varsity lacrosse and basketball teams, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and other student organizations.
Mr. Birch was raised in Nashville and is actively involved in a number of professional and philanthropic organizations including the Sports Lawyers Association (Board Member), Partnership for Clean Competition (Board of Governors), Why Not Sports? (Board Member), New York City Business of Sports High School (Advisory Board Member) and the National Bar Association. In October 2010, Mr. Birch was chosen as one of the top 100 leaders of the African-American community by The Root, a media collaboration between scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and the Washington Post. In May 2014, he was named a Trustee to the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust.
Foley & Lardner LLP
Mary K. Braza is a sports lawyer and a trial lawyer at Foley & Lardner LLP. She assists leagues, professional teams, universities and amateur sports organizations across a wide array of legal challenges. With more than 30 years of experience, Mary K. brings a broad range of experience in both litigation and deal-making in sports -- litigating antitrust cases, negotiating billion dollar deals to build new ballparks, advising on 20-year media agreements and ownership in regional sports networks, leading deals to buy professional teams, conducting sensitive investigations, mediating owner disputes, advising on strategic and operational business issues, and helping start-ups launch new sports ventures. She assists clients navigate challenges in an industry where businesses are in the constant media spotlight but where industry knowledge, discretion and creativity are highly valued. As a founder and co-chair of the Sports Industry Team at Foley & Lardner LLP, Mary K. helped build Foley & Lardner into a national sports law leader that has played a direct role in some of the sports industry's highest-profile acquisitions, litigations, and media deals over the past 15 years. Mary K. is fortunate to have a team of over 40 sports lawyers working with her. She is proud to serve on the board of the Sports Lawyers Association, and works to stay abreast of trends and anticipate the next big issues by teaching, lecturing and writing on sports legal topics. Mary K. focuses her charitable efforts on mental illness, serving as the chair of the Grand Avenue Club of Milwaukee, and poverty and hunger, serving as the founder and member of Foley's "K's for a Cause" program, and providing pro bono legal services to the unrepresented.
Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, PA
Stokely Caldwell's vast experience primarily includes representation of (i) professional motorsports race car drivers (names such as Gordon, Earnhardt, Harvick, Jarrett, Truex, Patrick, Ambrose); teams (such as Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Wood Brothers Racing, Hi-Rev Racing, Ricky Carmichael Racing); crew members, sponsors; sanctioning bodies; and other industry entities in NASCAR, INDYCAR, Formula 1, World Rally Cary, IMSA, Perelli World Challenge, MotoAmerica, AMA Supercross, American Flat Track and others; (ii) representation of entertainment entities in television, film and live entertainment; (iii) representation of sponsors (such as Bank of America) in major arrangements with MLB teams, NFL teams, NBA teams, colleges, and NASCAR and NASCAR teams; as well as venues and events; (iv) representation of athlete representation and marketing agencies; (v) sports teams such as the Charlotte Hornets; and (vi) a major theme park in licensing and entertainment.
Stoke helped spearhead the legal work for several major groundbreaking joint ventures in the NASCAR space, including the Gillett Evernham and Roush Fenway transactions. He has drafted and negotiated thousands of motorsports, sponsorship and other industry agreements. Having worked on these transactions from all angles, he has a unique perspective and is able to provide insight regarding issues affecting all parties, along with market insight on industry terms.
Stoke has served on the board of the Sports Lawyers Association for over 10 years and is a frequent speaker on sports and entertainment law, including seminars for the NCBA, the Sports Lawyers Association, The Racing Attorney Conference and the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries.
Ropes & Gray LLP
Dennis Coleman leads a nationwide sports, media, and entertainment practice. Dennis works with a variety of sports industry clients, such as the National Football League, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, The Boston Red Sox, Under Armour, Adidas and New Balance. Dennis also represents a variety of head football and basketball coaches in contract negotiations, sponsorship, and endorsement matters. Dennis' clients include over 30 head coaches in basketball and football, including Ed Cooley of Providence College, Johnny Dawkins of the University of Central Florida, and Jim Caldwell of the Detroit Lions. Dennis also represents 14-time Emmy Award Winning broadcaster Dick Enberg and Tony Dungy, sportscaster featured on NBC Sunday Night Football and former head coach of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. He also represents a number of Division I Athletic Directors including Bernard Muir of Stanford University, Martin Jarmond of Boston College, and Chris Hill of the University of Utah. Dennis represented The National Football League in a series of transactions as part of a repositioning of NFL On Location, its premium events and hospitality business.
In addition, Dennis works regularly with partners across the firm to solve complex problems for sports industry clients, such as compliance and enforcement issues with government enforcement partners and intellectual property and licensing issues with IP partners.
Dennis is a member of the board of directors of the Sports Lawyers Association, and he is a frequent public speaker on Sports Matters.
He is a member of the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Bar Associations.
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
David Cornwell is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg's Litigation Department and Entertainment, Music, Media and Sports Practice Group in the Atlanta office.
For more than 25 years, Mr. Cornwell has represented a variety of sports industry individuals and entities, including professional and amateur athletes, sports agents, coaches, league and team executives, professional teams and universities, sports and marketing agencies, and related companies. In addition to his experience in private practice, Mr. Cornwell has served as legal counsel to the National Football League (NFL), as a professional sports agent, and as vice president and general counsel for the Upper Deck Company.
Many of Mr. Cornwell's representations have been covered by national media, including his representation of Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, NFL player Jonathan Martin, and Major League Baseball players Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez, along with other appeals of discipline under the major sports' disciplinary, drug and steroid policies.
Mr. Cornwell began his career with the NFL as assistant legal counsel, representing former Commissioners Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue. In this role, he managed numerous legal and business affairs of the Commissioner's office, including the antitrust lawsuits filed following the player strike in 1987 and serving as the principal lawyer representing the NFL for the Super Bowl, the Super Bowl Halftime Show, and the annual NFL Experience at each Super Bowl. He also developed and implemented the NFL's minority hiring program that paved the way for the league's first black head coaches.
After the NFL, Mr. Cornwell worked with renowned sports agents Leigh Steinberg and Jeff Moorad (agency f/k/a Steinberg, Moorad & Dunn), representing high-profile professional athletes such as Howie Long, Warren Moon, Desmond Howard, Greg Anthony, Troy Aikman and Steve Young, among others. At Upper Deck, he was the principal negotiator for the company's trading card and memorabilia licenses with the professional sports leagues and their players associations.
Mr. Cornwell is a member of the board of directors of the Sports Lawyers Association, and he is a frequent public speaker and media analyst on sports-related topics.
Mr. Cornwell earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A. from Tufts University.
He is admitted to practice in the states of Georgia, New York, and California.
National Football League
Dennis Curran is Senior Vice-President and General Counsel for the NFL Management Council, the bargaining representative of the 32 member clubs of the NFL. In that capacity, he was one of the chief negotiators in bargaining with the NFLPA over what led to the 1982 and 1993 Collective Bargaining Agreements and its three subsequent extensions. Mr. Curran supervises a legal staff that provides counsel to the NFL clubs in interpretation and implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement as well as representation of the Clubs in grievance arbitrations. Mr. Curran also negotiated and was one of the principal drafters of the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse and currently oversees all aspects of that Program, as well as the NFL Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances and the NFL Personal Conduct Policy. As General Counsel, he also directs compliance with the NFL Salary Cap and represents the League in circumvention cases before the NFL Special Master. Finally, Mr. Curran and his staff administer the various Player benefit plans, including the NFL Severance Plan, Annuity Plan, Retirement Plan, and Second Career Savings Plan.
Prior to being appointed General Counsel, Mr. Curran served as Labor Relations Counsel to the NFL Management Council from 1980-1990. Before that, he was Labor Relations Counsel to National and then Pan American Airways. After graduation from law school, he was an Assistant State Attorney in Dade County, Florida where he prosecuted public corruption and organized crime cases before Florida's statewide grand jury.
Mr. Curran received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Boston College in 1971 and his J.D. from the University of Miami (Florida) in 1975.
National Hockey League
William (Bill) L. Daly, was named the National Hockey League's first-ever Deputy Commissioner by Commissioner Gary B. Bettman on July 22, 2005 an appointment that was unanimously endorsed by the NHL's Board of Governors. Daly's appointment came after serving for more than eight years as the League's Chief Legal Officer during which time he played a major role in helping to shape the National Hockey League's identity on the global sports landscape.
In his current role, Mr. Daly is the chief consultant to Commissioner Bettman on virtually every issue impacting the League's operation and business. Principal among his duties is Mr. Daly's lead role in negotiating and administering the League's collective bargaining agreements with the NHL Players' Association and with the NHL Officials' Association. In 2004-05, he was a central figure in the League's collective bargaining negotiations with the Players' Association, which resulted in a new Agreement which effectuated a revolutionary change to the League's economic operating system. That Agreement, which many view as one of the most forward-thinking in all of professional sports, laid a strong foundation for the successful re-launch of the NHL's business in 2005-06.
In addition to his continued oversight of the NHL's legal departments, Mr. Daly is also responsible for many areas of the League's business, including its broadcast and new media initiatives, special events, and NHL International. Soon after the Collective Bargaining Agreement was concluded in the summer of 2005, he was the chief negotiator of the NHL's new national cable television agreement with OLN. Following that, he oversaw the NHL's negotiation of a new international television distribution arrangement with the North American Sports Network. Mr. Daly also oversees the NHL's participation in all international hockey competitions, including the Olympics, the World Cup of Hockey, and the IIHF World Hockey Championships. In that role, he was caretaker for the NHL's successful involvement in the 2002 and 2006 Olympic Winter Games, brokering agreements with the International Ice Hockey Federation and NHL Players' Association that facilitated NHL player participation.
Mr. Daly also negotiates the NHL's working agreements with the International Ice Hockey Federation and the Canadian Hockey League. He administers the NHL/NHLPA Program for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health and serves on the Program Committee responsible for administering the League's Performance Enhancing Substances Program. Mr. Daly serves as President of the NHL Foundation the organization responsible for administering and directing charitable dollars and initiatives for the League and its Clubs and on the Board for the NHL Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. Mr. Daly also represents the NHL on the Lester Patrick Award Selection Committee, the Board of Directors for the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the Board of Directors for USA Hockey.
Prior to joining the NHL on December 13, 1996, Mr. Daly spent six years as an attorney with the New York law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP. His focus with Skadden was litigation, labor and antitrust issues relating to sports. While at Skadden, Mr. Daly represented the National Football League and the National Basketball Association on a variety of legal and collective bargaining matters.
Beyond his duties with the NHL, Mr. Daly serves as a board member of the Sports Development Corporation of the City of New York, has served as a member of the Sports Law and Antitrust Law Committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and regularly lectures on, and has authored a number of articles addressing, legal issues relating to professional sports.
Mr. Daly is a graduate of Dartmouth College and New York University School of Law.
NFL Player Association
Tom DePaso has been an attorney with the NFL Players Association since 1984. He currently serves as the NFLPA's General Counsel. The NFLPA is the union that represents NFL players in collective bargaining with the NFL and its member clubs. Mr. DePaso's responsibilities include overseeing the legal department of the NFLPA, representing players in collective bargaining negotiations, representing players in grievance hearings, serving on the CBA's Salary Cap Committee, and writing and enforcing the agent regulations. He also serves as the attorney for the Professional Athletes Foundation, a 501 C (3) organization that assists former pro athletes in financial and medical distress. He has previously served as an attorney for the Arena Football League Players Association, the United States Football League Players Association and the NFL Coaches Association.
Mr. DePaso taught sports law as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School from 2011 to 2013. He also previously taught at Georgetown University in the Masters in Sports Industry program from 2009 through 2011. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyers Association since May 2013.
Mr. DePaso has a degree in Accounting from Penn State University, where he also played football, and a law degree from Catholic University. After graduating from Penn State, Mr. DePaso played linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals in 1978 and 1979.
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Richard J. Ensor was named the third Commissioner of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in August 1988. In the 29 years since his appointment, Ensor has provided leadership to the conference in a period of transition and growth in intercollegiate athletics and the MAAC. During his tenure the MAAC has secured a stable membership base, expanded the number of championships conducted and developed an extensive marketing program cemented with broadcast agreements with ESPN, a web paged hosted by NeuLion and partner championship venues such as the Times Union Center(Albany, NY), Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Disney Sports Attractions. During a time of tumultuous realignment within NCAA Division I conferences the MAAC remains a homogenous association of private institutions of similar size and funding, which are committed to student-athlete excellence both on the playing fields and in the classroom. Ensor is a past member of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee and past president of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA). He serves on the boards of the Sports Lawyers Association, WBCA, Philadelphia Sports Congress, NCAA MBOLLC and NACDA's IAAA ADs. In 2017 he will begin a term on the NCAA DI Council and serve on the Women's Basketball Oversight and Advancement Committee.
Under Ensor's direction, the MAAC has focused efforts to showcase its member institutions in its annual men's and women's basketball tournament. Since 1990 with the support of the MAAC Council of Presidents and the league's athletic administrators and coaches the MAAC has held its premier event in state of the art playing facilities such as the Times Union Center in Albany, NY, the Key Bank Center in Buffalo, NY, the Sun National Bank Center (Trenton, NJ) and the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. The 2018 championships will be hosted at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY.
Ensor has also been instrumental in the expansion of MAAC sports offerings. In 1992 the MAAC added women's soccer, in 1996 men's lacrosse, and in 1997 women's lacrosse, men's and women's indoor track and rowing. In 1998, the MAAC added outdoor track and field and women's golf, and in 2002-03 it added women's water polo. The league currently sponsors 25 sports and is awarded automatic or play-in bids to 14 NCAA championships [baseball, softball, tennis (m&w), men's golf, basketball (m&w), outdoor track (m&w), lacrosse (m&w), rowing (w), soccer (m&w) water polo (w), field hockey (w) and volleyball (w)]. Additionally, MAAC men's and women's cross country have access to the NCAA championship through a regional qualifier race. Over half the MAAC sponsored sports now have direct access to NCAA Championships for the first time in the history of the conference. (Up from 13 sports and two automatic bids in 1988.)
To award its fans, arena partners and membership, the MAAC during Ensor's tenure has been very aggressive in seeking out opportunities to host NCAA Championships in various sports. With member schools it has served as a co-host of the 1995, 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds at the Times Union Center and the HSBC Arena (again the host for the 2014 2nd & 3rd rounds), respectively, and the 2003 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional at the Albany, NY arena and the 2003 NCAA Men's Frozen Four at the Buffalo venue. Additionally, the MAAC co-hosted the 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004 & 2006 NCAA Northeast Cross Country Regional at Van Cortlandt Park - Bronx, NY. In 2002, the MAAC was a co-host of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship at the Times Union Center, and it repeated as host in 2011 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. All the NCAA men's championships the MAAC has hosted with its arena partners have been sellouts. The MAAC co-hosted the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, NJ in 2006 and then hosted the Trenton Regional at the same site in 2009. In 2013 the MAAC hosted the regional again, this time at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT, and in 2018 it will co-host the regional for the second time at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY with Siena College.
This past April the MAAC was awarded a series of new NCAA Championships to host through 2022. These include: 2019 Men's Frozen Four in Buffalo, NY, 2019 WBB Regional in Albany NY, and the 2020 & 2022 MBB First/Second Rounds with Albany hosting in 2020 and Buffalo in 2022.
Ensor, who spearheads the league's marketing efforts, has sought to tie the conference's strong academic image into its marketing campaign. The MAAC has carved a well-earned niche as an athletic conference that balances quality academics and athletics. In 2016 the MAAC was ranked in the top quartile of the 31 NCAA Division I conferences in the NCAA's Graduation Rate Success Report with 25 MAAC women's sports teams and 13 men's sports teams achieving a perfect APR score of 1,000. The marketing efforts have been timely, as it has highlighted the conference's continued rise in the basketball standings. Ensor has aggressively pushed the MAAC into internet-based marketing through its award winning web page, www.maacsports.com, and other technology driven initiatives such as the league's MAAC.TV.
In 2014 the MAAC announced a new sponsorship representation agreement with ANC Sports Enterprises, LLC which is an industry leader in team and venue services, providing integrated signage, design, and marketing solutions for sports and commercial facilities. ANC maintains league-wide digital scoretable systems for the MAAC's member schools. In 2016, the MAAC announced a new 8-year agreement with ESPN which includes broadcasts annually on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 including men' and women's basketball and championships from ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. The deal also formalizes the launch of ESPN3 school production facilities at all MAAC schools which will produce upwards to 600 broadcasts a year by 2025-26.
In 1998 the MAAC under Ensor's direction began a new marketing and championship initiative when it entered into a multi-year agreement with Disney Sports Attractions to host on a rotating basis at the Orlando, FL facility the conference's volleyball, men's soccer, men's & women's cross country and women's soccer championships. In 2000 the partnership was extended to the conference's annual men's and women's golf championship at Disney on its Magnolia and Palm courses. In 2006 the MAAC the partnership with Disney when it entered into a multi-year hosting agreement with ESPN to sponsor the Old Spice Men's Basketball Classic in Orlando.
A 1975 graduate of Saint Peter's University, Ensor has served in many administrative capacities in college sports including positions at his alma mater, Saint Louis University and Seton Hall University. In 1982, Ensor holds a Master's degree in sports management with honors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. An attorney, Ensor graduated from Seton Hall University's School of Law in 1987 and was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in June of that year. He has taught as an Assistant Professor in Sport Management at UMass, where his concentration was on sports marketing and sports law.
Ensor is a member of many professional associations, including the American Bar Association. In addition, Ensor is a member of sport-related associations such as the Sports Lawyers Association, the New Jersey Bar Association Sports Law Committee, the American Bar Association, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, NACDA and the CAANJ. His community work includes current stints as a board member of the Mercer County Sports & Entertainment Commission and the Monsignor Donovan High School Leadership Advisory Committee. He has published in the areas of Sport Law, and Sport Marketing. In 1994 Ensor served as chair of the New Jersey Bar Association Sport Law Committee.
A member of the Collegiate Commissioner's Association (CCA), Ensor in 2007 began a two-year elected term as President of the association. Ensor has been very involved in NCAA governance since 1999 when he began a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Management Council, a segment of the new national governing system for the intercollegiate sports association. He currently chairs the Council's Governance subcommittee. Ensor had previously served on the old NCAA Council and in January 1996, he served as Chair of the Division I-AA NCAA Convention/Business Session. Since 2016 he has served on the NCAA Nominating Committee. He previously served on the Division I Championships Cabinet where he chaired the exempted events subcommittee. Ensor has also served on the NCAA Division IAA Governance Committee and on NCAA committees dealing with playing season exemptions, athletic certification, and the regulatory culture of the NCAA, governance restructuring and antitrust issues. Ensor was appointed in 1996 and 2003 to a one-year terms as the chair of the IAA commissioners. From 1999-2003 he was served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Ice Hockey Collegiate Commissioners Association.
In 2007 Ensor extended his involvement with national issues when he was appointed to a 5-year term on the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee. The committee is charged with annually selecting teams, seeding, bracketing and operating the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship including the Final Four. In 2001 Ensor was named by the American Football Foundation as its Commissioner of the Year and in 1999 he was presented a Distinguished Service Award from the Metropolitan Basketball Writers and in 1998 was inducted into the Saint Peter's University Hall of Fame. He also is a member of the Monsignor Donovan HS Hall of Fame. In 1996, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Sport Management Program named Ensor as the recipient of the VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 1989, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities named Ensor as one of the "Leaders of Service" in its Bicentennial Series publication. In 1993, Ensor was honored by NACWA as a "Good Guy" for his efforts in regard to gender equity. In 2004 Ensor received a Mouscar from Walt Disney World for his efforts to make dreams happen for the MAAC's student-athletes participating in championships at ESPN Wide World of Sports. In 2016, he was honored by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for his leadership in basketball and contributions to the game.
Ensor and his wife Deirdre, who is a Registered Nurse, are the parents of Kaitlin, Brendan, Kiernan, and Colleen. They reside in Lanoka Harbor, NJ.
Donald Fehr is the Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), a position he held since December 18, 2010. Since joining the NHLPA, Don has focused his efforts on building active participation by players in their union, and has travelled extensively to meet and consult with players around the league.
Prior to joining the NHLPA, Mr. Fehr spent 33 years with the Major League Baseball Players Association — the last 26 as Executive Director. Mr. Fehr brought the same goals to the NHLPA that he maintained with the MLBPA by keeping the players involved and informed and developing a strong consensus on all important issues. In 2012/13 he kept his constituents united in negotiating through the 113-day NHL Owners' lockout. Over his time with the MLBPA, Fehr successfully maintained unity through one lockout and two strikes; litigated the collusion cases of the 1980s which led to the owners paying $280 million in damages to the players; won the bad-faith bargaining case that ended the 1994-95 strike and subsequently negotiated an agreement and negotiated new agreements with MLB in 2002 and 2006. These achievements resulted in an extended era of uninterrupted play and new levels of stability in baseball labour relations.
Don helped build the strength of baseball's union by keeping the players involved and informed, and developed a strong consensus on all important issues. He has done the same at the NHLPA.
Tulane University Law School
Gabe Feldman is a law professor at Tulane Law School, the Director of the Tulane Sports Law Program and the Associate Provost for NCAA Compliance at Tulane University. He joined the Tulane Law School faculty in 2005 after nearly five years as an associate with the Washington, DC law firm of Williams & Connolly. Prior to that, he served as judicial clerk to the Honorable Susan H. Black of the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Jacksonville, Florida. He attended Duke University and the Duke University School of Law, where he received a Bachelor's degree in economics and psychology, a Masters degree in social psychology, and a Juris Doctor. Professor Feldman has extensive experience in the field of sports law. He represented a variety of sports entities while in the private practice of law and still serves as a consultant for a number of clients in the sports industry.
Professor Feldman has emerged as one of the leading voices in the country in the growing field of sports law. He is regularly quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and other newspapers throughout the country, and he has made numerous appearances on national television and radio. Professor Feldman serves as the legal analyst for the NFL Network and is a contributor to Grantland.com. He currently serves as the editor of The Sports Lawyers Journal, a law journal devoted to the study of sports law, and The Sports Lawyer, a monthly on-line sports law newsletter, and is a regular contributor to the Sports Law Blog. He is the Director of Publications for the Sports Lawyers Association, the co-author of one of the leading sports law casebooks in the country, Sports Law: Cases and Materials, and has been published in a variety of journals and periodicals. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Athletes for Hope, a non-profit organization created to harness the power of sports to impact social change. He teaches Antitrust, Sports Law, Negotiation and Mediation, Intellectual Property and Contracts.
Professor Feldman received the Tulane President's Awards for Excellence in Professional and Graduate Teaching in 2013.
Law Offices of Craig E. Fenech PC
Mr. Fenech has been an attorney since 1973. He has represented athletes and media figures since 1980. He received a BA with honors in Economics from the University of Notre Dame in 1969.
He received his law degree in 1973 from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall School of Law). During his time at Berkeley, he served as President of the Associated Students of the University of California at Berkeley, co-founder of the National Student Lobby in Washington, DC and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Student Association in Washington, DC.
Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Fenech served as staff attorney in civil litigation for IBM Corporation and went on to practice both corporate and international trade law for IBM. Upon leaving IBM, he practiced federal criminal defense work for Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. in San Diego, California.
Mr. Fenech has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences related to the Business of Sport. He has participated in panel discussions in Washington, DC regarding the Federal Regulations of Agents and in Canada regarding the Business of Sport for the Canadian Institute Sports Conference. Mr. Fenech has taught a course on the Business of Sport at the Management Institute of New York University. He has also lectured on the Art of Negotiation before the New Jersey Bar Association and at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and has guest lectured on related topics at law schools and universities across the country.
Lucentem Sports & Entertainment Law
Layth is a Partner at Lucentem Sports & Entertainment Law in downtown Toronto. His practice involves advising on business and legal matters in the sport and entertainment industries. His practice has allowed him to serve as outside counsel to a variety of sporting organizations, teams, elite professional athletes and musical artists. His practice also encompasses providing legal advice and representation to clients in the music, film and television industries.
His experience in the area of sport, has allowed him to become one of Canada's leading television and media legal commentators. He is called upon to cover a wide variety of national and international sport stories and analyze them from a Canadian legal framework. He also regularly lectures at leading universities throughout Canada and the United States in the area of comparative American and Canadian law, including competition/antitrust.
Layth is also involved with the firm's crisis management group. This team is responsible for providing direct crisis communication support and litigation for high profile individuals and corporations facing criminal and regulatory charges throughout Canada. Lucentem Sports has become a source that international organizations turn to when Canadian sport, entertainment and litigation expertise is required.
Publications & Presentations:
Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment
Jeff Gewirtz is the Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and Chief Legal & Compliance Officer for BSE Global (formerly, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment) (BSE). Gewirtz joined BSE in May 2007 as Senior Vice President and General Counsel, and he was promoted to his current EVP and CLO position in 2010. He also previously served as BSE's Chief Administrative Officer.
Gewirtz is responsible for advising BSE's Board of Advisory Directors and his executive management colleagues on key business, strategic, and legal matters for BSE's holdings, including the Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center, the business operations of the New York Islanders, NYCB LIVE - home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Webster Hall, the LIU Brooklyn Paramount Theatre, the NBA G League's Long Island Nets, the Nets' participation in the NBA 2K (eSports) League, and ENTITLE, a venue naming rights and sponsorship sales and advisory joint venture with Cooper Holdings, LLC. Gewirtz has oversight for all corporate, commercial, transactional, media, litigation, and day-to-day business and legal affairs for the BSE companies, venues, and ventures. Gewirtz also works closely with management of BSE's venues on a wide-range of critical arena operations and event programming initiatives. He additionally has oversight for BSE's information technology and external affairs functions.
Gewirtz was a key member of the negotiating team for BSE's most significant commercial initiatives over the past several years, such as: the 2012 relocation of the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn; development of the $1 billion Barclays Center; team and arena ownership transfer transactions in 2010 and 2016 and the April 2018 landmark team ownership transfer transaction; re-development of NYCB LIVE - home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum; development of the Brooklyn Nets' state-of-the-art practice facility, the HSS Training Center; the launch of business operations for the New York Islanders in connection with the team's relocation to Barclays Center as of the 2015-16 NHL season; acquisition of the Webster Hall business; and BSE's media rights alliance with YES Network.
The current legal department led by Gewirtz was named one of the top 50 in-house legal departments in the United States under the GC Powerlist for 2015, published by The Legal 500 Series. In addition, Gewirtz was named 2014 Sports Counsel of the Year by the Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel, and in 2009 Gewirtz was selected to the prestigious "Forty Under 40" by Sports Business Journal as one of the 40 top sports executives under the age of 40 in the United States. Gewirtz sits on the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyers Association, where he is a member of the Board's Executive Committee and he is a past Sports Committee Chair of the American Bar Association's Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries. In 2017 he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Volunteers Lawyers Project and in 2018 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Women's Sports Foundation.
Prior to BSE, Gewirtz served as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) General Counsel and Chief Legal & Government Affairs Officer where he was responsible for all USOC legal matters, as well as the USOC's government relations activities with Congress and federal government agencies. Gewirtz has also held positions with: The Coca-Cola Company's Corporate Legal Division – as Global Marketing Counsel – where he negotiated many of Coca-Cola's most significant sports industry transactions such as its $500 million+ NCAA Corporate Champion sponsorship and media alliance with CBS Sports; IOC Television & Marketing Services SA – as Director of Legal Affairs – where he served as lead counsel for the International Olympic Committee's global sponsorship Olympic Partner ("TOP") Programme in connection with the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games and 2004 Athens Olympic Games; the LPGA Tour as General Counsel; and the WTA. He began his legal career as a corporate associate at the New York City law firm of Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller LLP.
A native of Baldwin Harbour, New York, Gewirtz is a graduate of Tufts University, where he was a four-year member and Captain of the Tufts Varsity Tennis Team his senior year, as well as a member of its New England Championship team. In 2016 he was appointed to the Tufts Athletics Board of Advisors. Gewirtz received his law degree from Brooklyn Law School, where he was the recipient of a three-year merit scholarship and from which he is a two-time recipient of its Alumni Achievement Award in Sports Law.
Gewirtz lives in Manhattan with his wife, Brooke Raphael, who is a Director at Intercept Pharmaceuticals, and their two children, Eton and Dalia.
Peter Goplerud is a senior executive at InfiLaw, a firm that is the owner of Florida Coastal School of Law. Goplerud received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Kansas. He began his career as a law clerk for Justice David Prager of the Supreme Court of Kansas and later joined the faculty of the University of Akron School of Law. He has taught at Southern Illinois University School of Law where he was also dean and associate dean, Saint Louis University School of Law and the University of Oklahoma College of Law, where he served as dean for three years. In addition, he served as Dean of Drake University Law School from 1997 through June of 2003 and Florida Coastal School of Law from 2004 through May of 2013. His academic specialty is sports law and he has been a frequent lecturer and is widely published in the area, including serving as co-author on one of the leading textbooks on the subject.
In 1997, Goplerud was elected to the Sports Lawyers Association Board of Directors. He has served on numerous committees for the organization and has been the Conference Chair and Co-Chair. He served as member of the Advisory Board of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University Law School from 1999 to 2005. He has been a consultant in the sports law field and served as Of Counsel to law firms in Denver, Tulsa, St. Louis, and Edmond, Oklahoma, as well as providing service as an expert witness. Goplerud was involved in the representation of professional athletes in team and individual sports during the 1980s and 1990s. He also has experience with coaches' contracts, and NCAA matters, including athlete eligibility issues and compliance matters. And, he hosted a weekly radio show on sports law and business topics. He is currently Of Counsel to Spencer Fane LLP.
Robert A. Hacker Attorney at Law + Sports Media Consulting
Bobby's firm, Robert A. Hacker Attorney at Law + Sports Media Consulting was launched in 2017 after 18 years as the Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for FOX Sports. In addition to working in traditional sports media where he represents above-the-line production talent and consults on program development, he has been focusing on esports, representing both event and production entities, as well as teams.
In his capacity as the VP of FOX Sports, he negotiated, drafted and reviewed agreements for the network sports business, which include rights agreements, such as the NFL, MLB and NASCAR, above-the-line production deals, such as talent, producer, and director agreements, as well as all production related contacts such as mobile production facilities. In addition, he provided like legal services for foxsports.com and its related companies, as well as working with FOX's Labor Relations group and the Labor and Employment group. For 3 years he also headed the FOX Sports Music department.
Prior to coming to FOX he was in private practice. He began with two small firms, eventually moving into his own firm in 1993. He transitioned from being a commercial litigator, to a real estate litigator, to a transactional real estate attorney, specializing in construction and leasing, to production counsel for cable television movies and series. He is a graduate of the University of California (1976) and San Fernando Valley College of Law (1979), and is admitted to practice in California and before all US District Courts in California and the Ninth Circuit.
In addition to the SLA board, where he serves on the conference (2010, 2012 and 2015 conference chair) and venue committees, he has served on various boards including AYSO Region 7, is presently on the board of the Santa Monica Rugby Club (2005 and 2006 Men's D-1 National Champions) as well as a former player and a coach for both the men's and women's teams.
In addition to his board role with the SLA, he has been a regular panelist and moderator at the annual conferences, as well as a speaker and lecturer at several other conferences (ABA Forum on Entertainment and Sports, TRAC, the Berkeley Law Sports Law Symposium, the Harvard Law School Sports Symposium) and law schools throughout the country.
Major League Baseball
Daniel R. Halem is the Chief Legal Officer for the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, and reports to Commissioner Manfred. In that capacity, Dan is responsible for overseeing MLB's Labor Relations Department, Human Resources Department, Department of Investigations, Diversity Department, Government Affairs Department, and all of MLB's legal groups. Dan serves as the representative of MLB Clubs in collective bargaining with the players and umpires, and oversees all aspects of MLB's collective bargaining agreements with the Major League Baseball Players Association and the World Umpires Association. Dan's departments administer all of MLB's drug programs, health and safety programs, diversity initiatives, and investigations. In addition, beginning in 2015, all of MLB's various legal departments were consolidated under Dan.
Prior to his current position, Dan served as Executive Vice President, Labor Relations for the Office of the Commissioner and Senior Vice President and General Counsel - Labor. Before coming to MLB in 2007, Dan was a partner in the Labor and Employment Law Department of Proskauer Rose LLP, where his clients included Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the Women's National Basketball Association, the New York Jets, and Hershey's Food Corporation, among others. Dan also represented several Major League Baseball Clubs in salary arbitrations with players. Dan graduated from Cornell University's School of Industrial Relations in 1988, and magna cum laudefrom Harvard Law School in 1991.
Roger Kaplan has been a full-time arbitrator since 1981. A graduate of the University of Maryland in 1965, Mr. Kaplan received his Juris Doctor Degree from the George Washington University Law Center in 1968. Prior to becoming an arbitrator in 1981, Mr. Kaplan was Chief of the Labor Law Branch of the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service for six years. From 1971 to 1974, he served as General Counsel of the National Association of Government Employees. Mr. Kaplan is a former adjunct professor at the graduate school of the George Washington University.
Mr. Kaplan is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators. He is on the National Labor Panels of the American Arbitration Association, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and the National Mediation Board. He has substantial experience in both the public and private sectors. In the private sector, Mr. Kaplan was the Grievance Arbitrator for the National Basketball Association and the NBA Players Association from 1999-2004. He served on the arbitration panel of Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1996-2004. He currently serves as a permanent arbitrator on many arbitration panels in the private sector including U.S. Air and the Air Line Pilots Association; AK Steel Corporation and the International Association of Machinists; the Hotel Association of Washington, DC and UNITE HERE Local 25; Children's Hospital and the District of Columbia Nurses Association; Kaiser Permanente and OPEIU, Local 2; spirit airlines and airline pilots association, department of agriculture and afge, department of health & human services and nteu. Also, he is the Permanent Umpire for disputes arising between National Football League players and their agents. In the Federal Sector, Mr. Kaplan currently serves on numerous panels of arbitration. These include the Department of Homeland Security and the National Treasury Employees Union; Office of Personnel Management and the AFGE; and the General Services Administration and the AFGE.
Mr. Kaplan formerly served as a Member and Chair of the Personnel Appeals Board of the General Accounting Office. He previously served for two years as the Permanent Umpire for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the NTEU. Mr. Kaplan was a Hearing Board Member for the Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices until its abolishment in 1996. He also served as the Permanent Umpire for internal disputes for members of the Association of Flight Attendants.
He was born in 1944 in New York City and currently resides in Alexandria, Va.
Stan Kasten, who was introduced as Nationals President by the Lerner Group on May 3, brings an unrivaled resume to Washington. Best known as serving as the President of three major sports franchises simultaneously-Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves, the National Basketball Association's Atlanta Hawks, and the National Hockey League's Atlanta Thrashers-Kasten also served as Turner Broadcasting System's Vice President of Sports Teams and as Chairman of Philips Arena. Kasten has also served on various Major League Baseball, NBA and NHL committees, including a stint as Chairman of the Player Personal Development Committee. He has also served MLB on committees dealing with labor, realignment and expansion.
Perhaps most pertinent to Nationals fans, Kasten's leadership spawned the most unique sports dynasty in all of sports. Under Kasten's watch, the Braves established themselves as baseball's premier player development machine. The results continue to this day, as Atlanta has captured 14 consecutive National League Division titles, which in turn led to five NL pennants. Kasten earned a World Series ring in 1995, as Atlanta defeated Cleveland in a six-game Fall Classic.
Kasten carries an expansive working knowledge of sports facilities and their construction, as he spearheaded the conversion of Olympic Stadium to Turner Field, which serves as the home of the Braves to this day. He also oversaw the design of Philips Arena, the current home of Atlanta's Hawks and Thrashers.
Gord has been a sports lawyer for over 30 years. He currently is a mediator assisting parties resolve disputes both within the sports industry and other industries. He is associated with Global Resolutions in Toronto.
He has been a Professor of Sports Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, since 1985, and at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, since 1987. He is a guest lecturer at several law schools in the United States and Canada.
Gord drafted the original documents to create the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club of the American League in 1976 and has represented them in contract matters ever since. He was counsel to the Club during the Mitchell Investigation into Performance-Enhancing Drugs.
He has represented many components of the sports industry, including athletes such as 45 professional hockey players, including two players who were the first overall NHL draft picks (Eric Lindros in 1991 and Rick Nash in 2001), NASCAR driver Kathryn Teasdale, wrestler Bret "The Hitman" Hart, Olympic snow-boarder Tara Teigan, gymnast Elfi Schlegel; teams such as the Toronto Blue Jays (MLB), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Indianapolis Colts (NFL) and Toronto Argonauts (CFL); executives such as Gord Ash (Milwaukee Brewers), Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Pat Gillick (Philadelphia Phillies), Richard Peddie (Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors), Tom Wright (Commissioner, UFC), Chris Overholt (Canadian Olympic Committee), Rick Dudley (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Ken Derrett (San Diego Chargers); leagues including the Canadian Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey League; organizations such as Team Canada '72 and the World Wrestling Federation; sponsors of various sporting events: and sportscasters.
In 1997, Gord released the Players First Report to address the issue of child sexual abuse in sports. His recommendations have been implemented by many sports organizations in Canada, the United States and Europe.
Gord is a director of Tennis Canada (the organization which oversees tennis development and the two annual international tennis championships in Canada), the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports (Canada's anti-doping agency), Special Olympics, Children's Aid Foundation, Stop The Violence, Scarborough Hospital, Prostate Cancer Canada and several more community and charitable organizations.
He was hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs to identify, hire and negotiate with a new President and General Manager of the team and it turned out to be former SLA member, Brian Burke.
He is a frequent guest on television and radio networks discussing sports law and sports business, including ESPN, NBC, CBC, CTV, SCORE, SportsNet, The Sports Network, etc.
Spence Fane LLP
Bob has successfully represented executives, administrators, coaches and professional athletes for over 25 years. His experience and robust network equips his clients with meaningful access to decision makers in the intercollegiate and professional sports industries. Bob is a well-known authority on the employment market for college and professional executives and coaches and is widely published in this area. His annual collaboration with USA Today generates the seminal survey of compensation and employment trends for college coaches and athletics directors.
Bob also represents various entities in the sports industry, and has taught sports law for over a decade at three accredited law schools: Washington University, University of Missouri-Columbia, and Saint Louis University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyers Association and the National Sports Law Institute and is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Sports Law.
For a wide variety of clients and industries, Bob provides general corporate representation regarding corporate formation and governance, employment contracts, non-competition agreements, change in control and severance agreements, shareholder agreements, and financing agreements of all kinds.
Nona Lee is in her 18th season with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017 and eighth as Senior Vice President & General Counsel. Lee has served as Vice President & General Counsel since 2005, overseeing all legal issues for the organization. Before dedicating her time solely to the D-backs, she served as Associate General Counsel (2000-04) and VP and Associate General Counsel (2004-05) for the Phoenix Suns, D-backs, Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers, Chase Field, US Airways Center and Dodge Theater.
Lee assisted in the negotiations with FOX Sports Arizona on a 20-year extension that began in 2016, and is the largest financial transaction in franchise history. She also assisted with negotiations for the building and use of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training home.
Prior to joining the sports industry, Lee had a brief stint as a corporate associate at Gallagher & Kennedy, specializing in corporate transactions and securities, after having worked as a litigator for Meyer Hendricks, specializing in commercial litigation, personal injury and medical malpractice, from 1995-99. Lee received her Juris Doctor in 1995 from the Oklahoma City University School of Law, where she graduated summa cum laude.
Lee is also active in the community and in the sports industry. She is the founder of the Phoenix Women's Sports Association, an Arizona non-profit organization whose mission is to help girls and women find their power through sports. In addition, she has served on the board of the Women's Sports Foundation in New York, a non-profit organization founded by Billie Jean King that is dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity and until late 2012, also served on the Board of the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission, the mission of which is to "enrich our community through sports," She has also served on the Pepperdine Athletic Board, as well as on the board of Florence Crittenton, a local non-profit designed to help at-risk girls overcome issues of abuse, neglect, teen pregnancy, teen parenting and behavioral and/or mental problems.
Lee currently serves as a member of the board of directors and as President-Elect of the Sports Lawyers Association, a non-profit, international, professional organization whose common goal is the understanding, advancement and ethical practice of sports law. She is also a member of Women in Sports Law, and a member of the American Arbitration Association National Sports Advisory Committee.
Lee is a past recipient of the YWCA of Maricopa County's Sports Leader Award, was recognized by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the Women in Business honorees and was also an Athena Award honoree. She has received the Joyce Holsey Award of Excellence from the Black Women Lawyer's Association and has been recognized as one of the Arizona Foothills Magazine's "Women Who Move the Valley." Since 2014, she has been recognized by Republic Media as one of the 50 Highest Ranking Women in Business in Arizona, by AzBusiness Magazine as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona, and has also received the Spotlight on Success Award from One Community for her commitment to diversity. Most recently, Lee was recognized by the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel as Attorney of the Year for private, medium-sized companies, and by AZ Big Media as a 2017 Arizona Business Leader (In-House Counsel).
Lester Sports and Entertainment, Inc.
Pam Lester is President of Lester Sports and Entertainment, Inc., a consulting company specializing in sports marketing and management, licensing and merchandising, and television, and sole owner of Pamela R. Lester, P.C., a law firm practicing exclusively in the areas of sports and entertainment law. Before starting her own company, Lester was Chief Operating Officer of HBO Properties, where she created and ran Home Box Office's (HBO) licensing and merchandising business, including the inaugural licensing programs for The Sopranos and Sex and the City. Prior to her role at HBO Properties, Lester served as Senior Vice President, Business Affairs and General Counsel of Time Warner Sports and its pay-per-view television subdivisions, TVKO and TVKO Entertainment.
Lester joined Time Warner Sports from the labor section of the Washington, D.C. office of law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld, where she worked on matters for the NFL Management Council, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. During the mid-1980's, Lester was General Counsel and an athlete agent for the Washington, D.C.- based sports management and marketing company, Advantage International, Inc. (since acquired by Octagon).
Lester lectures frequently on sports law issues, has taught sports law at Fordham and American University Law Schools, and has written a chapter on athlete marketing for The Law of Professional and Amateur Sports. She was the first woman to chair the American Bar Association's sports and entertainment section, the Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, and the first female president of the Sports Lawyers Association. She has also served on the United States Field Hockey Association's marketing committee, the Virginia Commonwealth University Sports Management School Board of Advisors, and the Women's Sports Foundation Board of Advisors. She was the 2007 recipient of The Ed Rubin Award, presented by the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries for excellence in the entertainment and sports industries and service to the Forum, and the 2004 recipient of the Professional Sports Law Award presented by Fordham University School of Law.
Lester received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1983 and a B.A., cum laude, from Amherst College in 1980, where she was captain and MVP of four varsity sports teams. She also received the "Sphinx Spoon Trophy" award for the greatest contribution to Amherst athletics.
Lester lives in Skillman, NJ with her husband and nine year old son, where she has been active in the community coaching girls field hockey and lacrosse at local schools.
Capital Sports Advisors
Jack graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1960 with a bachelor's degree in accounting. He received his law degree from OU in 1963. He served two years in the U.S. Army, performing intelligence operations. In 1965 the University of Colorado hired him as an assistant athletic director. Jack entered the private practice of law in 1966 and has specialized in sports law for over 45 years. His practice primarily emphasizes football, but he has also represented clients in hockey, basketball, baseball, golf, skiing and wrestling. He is a member of the American, California and Colorado Bar associations. He is a Director and past President of the Sports Lawyers Association and is a member of the Board of Directors of I Have A Dream Foundation of Boulder, County. In addition to Jack's legal practice, he teaches a course in sports law at the University of Colorado School of Law and is on the Board of Directors for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Colorado. In 1993, the National Sports Law Institute presented Jack with the Joseph E. O'Neill award, in recognition of his significant contribution to the development of sports law, ethics and integrity and in 2016 and 2017 he was named one of "Denver's Top Lawyers". He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife Cirrelda. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
National Sports Law Institute and Marquette University Law School
Matt is a Professor of Law and the Executive Director of the National Sports Law Institute and the LL.M. in Sports Law program for foreign lawyers at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He served as the Law School's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from July 2002 to June 2004. He currently teaches Amateur Sports Law, Professional Sports Law, Sports Sponsorship Legal and Business Issues Workshop, Antitrust Law, and Torts.
He has authored Sports Law in the United States (Wolters Kluwer 2011, 2d. ed. 2014, 3d. ed. 2017) and co-authored a law school textbook, Sports Law and Regulation: Cases, Materials, and Problems (Aspen/Wolters Kluwer 2005, 2d. ed. 2009, 3d. ed. 2013, 4th ed., 2017), and Sports Law: Governance and Regulation (Wolters Kluwer 2013, 2d. ed. 2016). A leading sports law scholar, he has published articles in several leading law reviews as well as in medical journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, and is a member of the advisory board for The International Sports Law Journal.
He is an arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland (serving on the ad hoc Division for the XXI Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia) and the American Arbitration Association's sports, commercial, and consumer arbitration panels as well as the UFC and the Ladies Professional Golfers Association anti-doping panels. He has been appointed/served as the sole arbitrator, chair, or panel member in numerous sports, commercial, and consumer arbitrations. He is a member of the Sports Lawyers Association (SLA) Board of Directors (serving as SLA president from May 2015-May 2017), United States Soccer Federation Independent Ethics Committee, and the Advisory Board for the Sports & Society Initiative of The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences. He formerly chaired the American Association of Law Schools' Section on Law and Sports and the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports, and served on the inaugural Board of Directors of the Forum for the Scholarly Study of Intercollegiate Athletics at the invitation of former NCAA president Myles Brand.
Matt earned a B.A. in Economics from The Ohio State University and his JD, magna cum laude, from the University of Toledo College of Law. He is a member of the Order of the Coif and served as a Note & Comment Editor for the University of Toledo Law Review. He practiced antitrust law, intellectual property law, and commercial litigation with Kilpatrick Townsend in Atlanta, Georgia. He previously was a professor of law at South Texas College of Law-Houston. He is a University of Oregon Summer Sports Law Institute faculty member and regularly lectures on various sports law topics at Western Law School in Canada. He has taught U. S. Sports Law as a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School (2006, 2008, 2010, and 2013), International Sports Law at the University of Barcelona (2006), and Comparative Sports Law at the University of Queensland (2002). He was a visiting professor at the University of Toledo College of Law and a visiting lecturer in sports medicine at The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine.
He testified before a U.S. Congressional joint subcommittee regarding proposed federal regulation of ephedrine in August 2003 and the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics regarding alternative regulatory systems for college sports in May 2015. He has discussed a wide variety of sports law, business, and ethics topics at more than 175 conferences and seminars throughout the United States as well as in Australia, Canada, China, England, the Republic of Korea, and Turkey.
Dick Moss, as he is known professionally, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and grew up in a small town nearby. He is a graduate of Solebury School, the University of Pittsburgh and the Harvard Law School. Following law school and two years in the army, he joined a small labor firm in Pittsburgh, and also served briefly as an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In 1963, Dick joined the legal staff of the United Steelworkers of America as the Associate General Counsel, and was placed in charge of the Union's legal department at its International Headquarters. When Marvin Miller, who had been the chief economic advisor for the Steelworkers, left in 1966 to become Executive Director of the new baseball players union, he asked Dick to join him as General Counsel. Together, for the next eleven years, they constituted the two-man staff of the fledgling union.
While serving as the Players Association's lawyer, Dick was involved in all the collective bargaining negotiations and contract administration matters. He tried all the union's grievance arbitration cases, including in 1975 the Messersmith case which ended baseball's overly restrictive reserve system and created free agency for the players. He was also the union's lawyer in all of it's court litigation, most notably the Curt Flood case which was ultimately decided in the U.S. Supreme Court. He is one of the innovators of baseball's salary arbitration system, and tried, as the union's General Counsel, the first several cases for players who could not afford or did not trust outside representation.
Dick resigned in 1977, but continued serving the union as special counsel during the next three rounds of collective bargaining negotiations. He also began representing baseball players on an individual basis, and in the years that have followed, he has represented over 250 Major League players in contract matters. Among his early accomplishments in that regard were negotiating the first million-dollar-a-year contract in professional team sports for Nolan Ryan in 1979, and trying and winning the first million dollar salary arbitration case for Fernando Valenzuela in 1982.
In the past few years, Dick has also represented many prominent players in the other team sports in arbitration regarding disputes with their former agents. He has also represented agents in disputes with other agents.
Dick was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California's law school where he taught a course titled Sports and the Law. He has lectured at many other law schools, including Harvard, Yale and Stanford. He had also given papers at national meetings of many professional organizations including the American Bar Association and the National Academy of Arbitrators.
Dick is a member of the board of directors of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Sports Lawyers Association, and in Los Angeles, Today's Fresh Start, a non-profit organization providing for tutoring of disadvantaged public school students. He also is a member of the board of trustees of Solebury School.
Jay Moyer joined the National Football League in 1972 as Counsel to the Commissioner (the League's first in-house attorney). In 1984 he was appointed Executive Vice President and League Counsel, then the NFL's number two executive position. Since retiring from full-time employment in December 1996 he has served as Special Counsel to the League, and as Adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law. He is a director of the Sports Lawyers Association and of several other non-profit organizations.
Prior to joining the NFL Moyer practiced litigation and labor law with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated with high honors from Dartmouth College and Duke University Law School, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and the Order of the Coif. He has been profiled in multiple editions of Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who of Emerging Leaders, and Who's Who in the World, and is a past recipient of the Sports Lawyers Association Award of Excellence.
Moyer and his wife, Terry, live in New York City and southern Rhode Island.
New Orleans Saints/New Orleans Pelicans
Providing comprehensive legal consultation and services to both clubs' executive staffs and assuring compliance in all of the organizations' business endeavors, Vicky Neumeyer has been a key member of the Saints' front office since 2000 and was named to the same role with the Hornets after the June 2012 purchase of that franchise by the Owner of the Saints.
Her myriad of responsibilities include drafting key documents including leases, sponsorship agreements and broadcast contracts identifying and analyzing legal issues and presenting comprehensive recommendations. She has been with the Saints through the challenges of Hurricane Katrina and the thrills of the team's first Super Bowl victory in Feb. 2010.
A member of the Louisiana and federal bars, prior to joining the Saints, Neumeyer spent over five years as an in-house corporate litigation attorney for Exxon. Previously she served as a judicial clerk for the Supreme Court of Louisiana and was in private practice as a consultant to major corporate clients and law firms.
Neumeyer has extensive experience in Sports Law, including antitrust, labor, and organizational matters. She also has a comprehensive background in CAD engineering, software development firm drafting, negotiating contracts worldwide, copyrighting and in handling legal business issues.
In 2004, Neumeyer was selected by the Saints to attend the Stanford Business School's Executive Education NFL-Stanford Program for Managers, an educational program and honor known league-wide as an important training ground for promising executives. She has also been invited to speak at several venues, including Harvard Law School, The Sports Lawyer's Association annual conferences, American Bar Association programs, Tulane Law School, and Loyola Law School, and is a member of the Board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Texas Gulf Coast and Louisiana as well as of the Sports Lawyers Association.
After completing her undergraduate work Summa Cum Laude at the University of Wisconsin, Neumeyer earned a Master of Science Degree in Audiology at the school. She graduated with honors from Loyola Law School in 1989 and attained a Master of Law with Distinction with a dual emphasis in Intellectual Property Law and Sports Law in 1998.
Neumeyer and her husband, Jeff, have two daughters: Mary Rose, age 12, and Jill Marie, age 9, both of whom were adopted from China.
Princeton University Athletics
Allison Rich, a member of the Sports Lawyers Association Board of Directors, has over 20 years of experience as an intercollegiate athletics administrator. She has significant leadership and decision-making experience having served at the NCAA national office and at both large state and small private FBS, FCS and Division I institutions, in all areas of college athletics. Rich is currently the Senior Associate Director of Athletics/Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) at her alma mater, Princeton University. She also speaks regularly on college athletics and related legal and sports law issues and teaches various law classes.
Rich previously served as an Athletics Consultant with JMI Sports LLC, providing evaluation, planning, review, audit, strategic analysis and guidance to university athletic departments and intercollegiate conferences to help them meet their diverse and complex needs. She continues to provide college athletics consulting and speaking services independently.
Prior to working as a consultant, Rich was the Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs/SWA at Florida State University where she was responsible for all external functions of the department. During her tenure at FSU, the institution experienced unprecedented growth and success in marketing, promotions, sponsorships and ticket sales, created a comprehensive social media presence, and developed both an outbound ticket sales staff and an advance group sales program.
Rich served as Deputy Director of Athletics/SWA at California State University, Fullerton, and held senior administrative positions at the University of the Pacific and the NCAA National Office. She earned her bachelor's degree at Princeton University, her Juris Doctorate at Chicago-Kent College of Law, and her Doctorate in Educational Administration at the University of the Pacific. She is a Sports Management Institute Executive Program graduate. Licensed to practice in the State of Illinois and a qualified arbitrator in the State of Florida, Rich is also a member of NACDA, NACWAA, and the American, Illinois and Chicago Bar Associations.
Gary R. Roberts graduated from Bradley University in 1970 and Stanford Law School in 1975. At Stanford he was Articles Editor of the Stanford Law Review, a member of the Order of the Coif (top 10% of the class), and the recipient of several writing awards. In 1975-76 he was law clerk to Judge Ben C. Duniway of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco. In 1976 he joined the then largest law firm in Washington, DC, Covington & Burling, where for over seven years he engaged in antitrust, international trade, labor, contract, and trademark litigation. Working then with the future NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, his major client was the National Football League, but he also did significant work for, among others, the National Hockey League and World Championship Tennis.
In 1983, Roberts joined the faculty of Tulane Law School in New Orleans. He was tenured in 1986 and promoted to full professor in 1987. He served as vice dean from 1990-95, and as deputy dean since 2001. In 2000, he became the Sumter Davis Marks Professor of Business and Corporate Law. In 2001, he received the Felix Frankfurter Distinguished Teaching Award. He teaches classes in Sports Law, Antitrust, Labor Law, Intellectual Property, and Business Enterprises. At Tulane, Roberts developed a substantial reputation as an expert in sports law. He developed and for 14 years directed the first sports law certification program in the U.S. In 2007 he left Tulane to assume the position of dean of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. He is currently president of Bradley University.
Roberts has written several major law review articles and book chapters, the majority on sports antitrust issues, and he has co-authored the leading text on sports law used in U.S. law schools, along with Professor Paul Weiler of Harvard Law School, now in its third edition. Over the years Roberts has regularly appeared on national and local radio and television shows discussing various sports legal issues, and he is often quoted in newspapers and magazines throughout the U.S. He is a frequent speaker at sports law conferences throughout the world and has testified before Congressional committees on nine different occasions on pending sports related bills. He was also Tulane University's faculty athletics representative to the NCAA and Conference USA for 16 years and served on several NCAA and conference committees and cabinets.
Since 1987 Roberts has been an officer and member of the board of directors of the Sports Lawyers Association, which he served as president from 1995-97. He has since 1986 edited the SLA's monthly newsletter, The Sports Lawyer, and he created in 1994 and supervises publication of the SLA's annual scholarly law review, The Sports Lawyers Journal. He is on the founding board of the All American Football League (AAFL), a professional league that starts playing in 2008. He is and has been since 2003 a member of the founding board of the International Association of Sports Law Professionals & Executives. He also owns and operates a consulting practice whose clients over the years have included, among others, Minor League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, UEFA (the European soccer federation), FIBA (the world basketball federation), the English Premier Football League, the English Football League, the Sugar Bowl, the Baltimore Orioles, the Seattle Mariners, the Continental Basketball Ass'n, the New Orleans Hornets, the American Horse Shows Ass'n, the National Hot Rod Ass'n, Bally's Casinos, and various athletes and coaches.
Mark Rodgers is the founding partner and general counsel of Frontline Athlete Management, a sports management firm with offices in Florida, Washington, Louisiana and Arkansas. Frontline represents over 100 professional athletes in all aspects of their professional and personal lives. Mark's clients include Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Cleveland Indians pitcher Andrew Miller.
Mark is a 1987 graduate of the Florida State University College of Law, where he served as an editor on the Florida State University Law Review. He began his legal career in May 1987 at Greenebaum, Doll, McDonald & Fraley, in Orlando, FL, working directly with sports attorney Robert Fraley. Later, he practiced law at the Florida law firm of Steel Hector & Davis. Working also as a trial lawyer, Mark spearheaded the firm's entry into sports representation.
Before attending law school, Mark coached football and baseball and taught English and journalism at Christopher Columbus Catholic High School in Miami for three years. He also worked as a sportswriter for major daily newspapers including the Miami Herald, Newsday, Tallahassee Democrat, and Miami News and he was a television sports producer and reporter at Miami's CBS affiliate.
Mark's community endeavors include serving as vice-president of the Martin County North Little League and as the director of Northstars Baseball, Inc. a non-profit organization he established in 1999 to offer young baseball and softball players the opportunity to hone their skills through professional instruction and off-season tournaments. Mark also coaches basketball at John Carroll Catholic High School in Fort Pierce, FL.
Mark and his wife, Karen, reside in Palm City, FL. They have five children.
Kazmaier Associates, Inc. and Boston University
Bob Ruxin is a lecturer at Boston University Questrom School of Business (teaching the Business of Sports) and is President of Kazmaier Associates, Inc., a Boston-area firm that provides sports advisory services. He succeeded its founder after serving in multiple roles as part of the senior management team that created, guided, and exited closely-held sports products, marketing, consulting, and events businesses. Ruxin joined Kazmaier Associates, Inc. after practicing law in Washington, D.C. for six years.
Ruxin is the author of An Athletes Guide to Agents, (5th edition, 2010). The book has been translated into a Korean edition and adapted in a French version. He is the executive director of Jewish Major Leaguers, Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to document American Jews in America's game.
Ruxin assisted the Israel Baseball League in various business capacities during the preparation for the 2007 inaugural season and organized and managed two events held at the Baseball Hall of Fame, A Celebration of Jews in Baseball (2004) and Hank Greenberg Day (2008).
An honors graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Ruxin served as Venue Legal Counsel for Foxboro Stadium during World Cup '94. He is president of the Princeton Association of New England and has held various volunteer leadership positions.
Lloyd Shefsky is the Founder and President Emeritus of the Sports Lawyers Association. He recently retired as Clinical Professor of Family Enterprise, Founder and Co-director of the Center for Family Enterprises and Co-Founder of the Center for Executive Women at the Kellogg School of Management. Professor Shefsky has also taught courses, lectured and spoken in China, Japan, India, Thailand, Canada, Israel, and throughout the United States.
He has written professional articles on family business, entrepreneurship, and other related topics. He is the author of the best-seller, Entrepreneurs Are Made Not Born, published by McGraw-Hill and translated into seven languages. His new book, Visionarie$ Are Made Not Born, will be available in mid-2017. He also wrote Invent Reinvent Thrive, published by McGraw-Hill in 2014.
Lloyd is a consultant, coach, mentor and advisor to family businesses and public companies controlled by families on matters including: establishing and improving corporate governance; developing and implementing succession of leadership, ownership, and voting power; creating fair bases and techniques for hiring and compensating family members; facilitating and encouraging enterprising activities within family enterprises; instituting philanthropic efforts and selecting the most appropriate vehicles; and develop relationships among family members. In addition, Professor Shefsky has co-founded several businesses and not-for-profit organizations.
Lloyd is also a coach, consultant and mentor to entrepreneurs. Over the years he has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, often from their earliest stages through expansions, public offerings, sales of the businesses, and in some cases succession to one or two additional generations of the founders' families.
Shefsky initiated the Sports Lawyers Association's Philanthropy Program, which has helped numerous charities using sports to benefit children. Lloyd has received honors, including the 1995 Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his support of entrepreneurship from Ernst & Young and Merrill Lynch, the 2002 Civil Rights Award from the Anti-Defamation League, and the 1992 Award of Excellence from the Sports Lawyers Association.
Lloyd is Of Counsel to the Taft Law Firm which merged in 2014 with the Chicago law firm, Shefsky & Froelich, which he founded. He received his JD from The Law School at the University and his undergraduate degree from DePaul University. He is a member of the Illinois and Florida Bars and is also a CPA.
The Shropshire Group LLC
Kenneth L. Shropshire is Endowed Professor Emeritus and formerly the David W. Hauck Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Faculty Director of its Wharton Sports Business Initiative. He served as Chairman of the School's Legal Studies and Business Ethics department from 2000-2005. Shropshire joined the Wharton faculty in 1986 and specializes in sports business and law, sports and social impact, and negotiations.
The most recent of his twelve books are Sport Matters, Negotiate Like the Pros: A Top Sports Negotiator's Lessons for Making Deals, Building Relationships and Getting What You Want and Being Sugar Ray: The Life of America's Greatest Boxer and First Celebrity Athlete. His works include the foundational books, In Black and White: Race and Sports in America, The Business of Sports and The Business of Sports Agents.
His consulting roles have included a wide variety of projects including work for the NCAA, National Football League, and the United States Olympic Committee. In 2000 the mayor of Philadelphia appointed Shropshire to chair Philadelphia's stadium site selection committee and later, projects focused on future Philadelphia bids for the Olympic Games. He has also served for the past nine years as the Academic Director of Wharton's Business Management and Entrepreneurship Program for NFL players focusing on their transition away from the game. He has served as an arbitrator for the NFLPA and USATF.
While earning an undergraduate degree in economics from Stanford University he was teammates with Tony Hill, James Lofton. He received his law degree from Columbia University, joined the firm of Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg and Tunney in Los Angeles and later served as an executive with the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee led by Peter Ueberroth. There he was the staff person in charge of the boxing competition that included future world champion Evander Holyfield.
His current research focuses on sport and social impact. He is particularly interested in how sport has been used to impact social conditions in the United States and around the globe. This research has taken him frequently to South Africa, where he focuses on the Royal Bafokeng Nation as well as Brazil and Jamaica.
He serves on the board of directors of the investment bank, Moelis & Company, and was a founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Valley Green Bank in Philadelphia. He also serves on the Board of Directors of USA Volleyball. He is also a former president of the Sports Lawyers Association, the largest such organization in the world and Program Chair of the ABA Forum Committee, Sports Law Section.
Shropshire has provided commentary for a number of media outlets including Nightline, CNN, the New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio and Sports Illustrated.
Loeb & Loeb LLP
Brian R. Socolow is a partner in the New York office of Loeb & Loeb LLP. He focuses on the representation of players, teams, event owners, media companies, equipment manufacturers and others in the sports industry. Mr. Socolow has successfully represented sports companies in a wide range of transactional matters, including media negotiations and distribution agreements, sponsorships and endorsement agreements, trademark licenses, the purchase and sale of sports properties and operational matters for events, such as venue agreements and insurance matters. He has extensive experience litigating sports-related matters including a number of copyright and trademark matters, contractual disputes and technology matters.
Mr. Socolow has successfully developed a niche helping emerging sports negotiate media deals, license deals and other agreements enabling them to grow their sport and develop their brand. In addition to his sports practice, Mr. Socolow has extensive experience representing clients in a wide range of intellectual property, entertainment and complex commercial disputes in state and federal courts throughout the country.
Mr. Socolow received his J.D. from University of Virginia School of Law and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University. He is admitted to practice in New York, Florida and Connecticut.
Wasserman Media Group
Debbie Spander joined Wasserman in 2012 and serves as Senior Vice President of Broadcasting and Coaching. In this role, Debbie focuses primarily on representing on-air talent, including former athletes, female sportscasters and multimedia journalists, as well as NBA coaches and front offices executives and NCAA basketball coaches. She specializes in helping athletes transition to post-playing media and coaching careers and secures broadcast, coaching and marketing opportunities for clients, negotiates deals and provides overall career guidance.
Since joining Wasserman, Debbie has grown the Broadcasting and Coaching practice from five clients to 50 and was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2016. Her broadcast and media clients include Jordan Rodgers, Candace Parker, Justin Leonard, Brian Scalabrine, Maggie Gray, Greg Papa, Geoff Blum, Laura Britt, Torry Holt, Meghan McPeak, Frank Isola Jonathan Abrams, Stewart Mandel, Jason Reid, Kevin Clark, and Zach Harper. She also works with NBA coaches and front office executives including Fred Hoiberg, Luke Walton, Jarron Collins, Antawn Jamison and Brent Barry, as well as New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone in both their coaching contracts and marketing partnerships.
Debbie began her career at Fox Sports Net, where, as VP of Business and Legal Affairs, she structured, negotiated and administered telecast licenses, talent deals and marketing agreements for FSN, Fox Sports and FX. Debbie was also VP, Business Affairs at MTV Entertainment, the digital, sports and comedy division of Viacom.
In 2016, Debbie was named to SportsBusiness Journal's Game Changers list and Multichannel News' Women in the Game. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Sports Lawyers Association. She also sits on the Board of Directors at Westcoast Sports, a charity which funds after school programs for disadvantaged youth in Southern California and the Board of Directors of West Coast Sports Medicine Foundation which provides medical care, Certified Athletic Trainers and education to allow student athletes to participate and stay in the game. Debbie is also a board member of the Arizona State University Sports Law and Business Program and is a frequent speaker at sports business conferences.
She is a graduate of Stanford University and the UCLA School of Law and lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband and daughter.
Naima is the Deputy General Counsel for the NCAA and has been with the NCAA since May of 2006. Her responsibilities include management of litigation activities, providing counsel to various areas of the National Office including the regulatory functions, governance, Sports Science Institute, among others. In addition, Naima provides legal support to NCAA governance committees.
Prior to joining the NCAA, Naima was a Corporate and Securities Associate with the law firm of Arnold & Porter in Washington DC. While at Arnold & Porter, Naima advised a variety of corporations on the ever changing landscape in Securities regulations, assisted clients with raising equity in private equity transactions, and advised clients in various merger and acquisition transactions.
An experienced speaker and panelist, Naima has served as a panelist for the Sports Lawyers Association, National Association of College and University Attorneys, the Indiana Bar Association, and for a number of colleges and universities on topics ranging from sports law to diversity in the legal profession.
Originally from Brooklyn New York, Naima is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park, and received her law degree from Harvard Law School. Naima and her husband, Stephen Starks, are the proud parents of Aubrey Clinton and Ellery Grace Starks.
Growing up in the Boston suburb of Needham, Mass., heavily entrenched with a love affair of all things Boston Celtics during their dominant era under the leadership of Red Auerbach, Mike Tannenbaum saw the impact a sports dynasty could make. At an early age, he marveled as Auerbach became a pioneer of modern basketball, emphasizing team play rather than individual performance. In college at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Tannenbaum again delved deep into the blueprint Bill Walsh had constructed as the San Francisco 49ers dominated the NFL during the 1980s. It was during his time at Tulane University Law School Tannenbaum solidified his drive to build one organization, a goal that drives him on a daily basis in his role as Miami Dolphins Executive Vice President, Football Operations.
"I want to build an organization with people who are selfless, who are willing to sacrifice part of what is in their own best interest for the greater good of the organization. There is nothing like winning," Tannenbaum said.
Tannenbaum began his career in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints in 1994 before accepting the position of player personnel assistant with the Cleveland Browns in 1995. He returned to the Saints for the 1996 season as a player personnel assistant prior to joining the New York Jets in 1997. Tannenbaum spent 16 seasons (1997-2012) in various roles for the Jets, including his final seven years (2006-12) as the team's executive vice president and general manager. During his time as general manager, the Jets advanced to the playoffs three times, won four playoff games and made two AFC Championship game appearances. Tannenbaum then went back to his roots as a sports lawyer, serving in 2013-14 as Priority Sports & Entertainment principal. There he honed relationships in the sports industry, setting a new caliber and showcasing his acumen for scouting talent in appointments of key clients David Blatt and Steve Kerr as Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors head coaches ahead of the 2014-15 season.
It was in New York that his path crossed with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, where he was tapped to consult for the team in August 2014, followed by his appointment as executive vice president, football operations on Jan. 6, 2015.
In his role, Tannenbaum oversees and coordinates the effort of football operations and administration. He is most proud of his work and collaboration with General Manager Chris Grier and Head Coach Adam Gase, as well as other senior executives in implementing the philosophy of a championship caliber football team.
Tannenbaum has overhauled the Dolphins football operations. During the 2016 offseason, he helped orchestrate a trade of Miami's first-round draft pick (eighth overall) to Philadelphia, where the Dolphins moved back five selections and acquired linebacker Kiko Alonso and cornerback Byron Maxwell. The Dolphins used their first-round choice (13th overall) acquired in the trade to draft guard/tackle Laremy Tunsil. He also helped ink defensive end Cameron Wake to a contract extension. In his first full offseason with the Dolphins in 2015, Tannenbaum helped land one of the top unrestricted free agents in four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, while also signing another player with a Pro Bowl on his resume in tight end Jordan Cameron, to go along with trading for wide receiver Kenny Stills. He also was instrumental in signing Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey and quarterback Ryan Tannehill to contract extensions.
True to his mentors, Tannenbaum has instituted revolutionary landmarks in line with Ross' drive for innovative, first-class business practices. These include the creation and implementation of a sport performance department, a roster overhaul for sustainability and proactive player wellness programs.
"I'm really proud of the fact that Stephen Ross gives us incredible resources. I think our player wellness and player care is second to none in the league in terms of our players feel like the environment here – from the food they eat to the practice fields – is best in class. And they're given every opportunity to prove and maximize their talents."
Outside of work, Mike and his wife, Michelle, remain true to their core values that education and knowledge will always pave a successful path. In keeping with these beliefs, they have instituted scholarship programs with his alma mater UMass and a New Jersey YMCA to afford young professionals the opportunity to pursue their passion without the burden of living expenses.
He uses his role with the Dolphins to guide future leaders, participating in numerous speeches within the industry. He is well vested at UMass, on hand several times throughout his evolving career to give advice and lend support to aspiring young professionals. Additionally, he sits on an advisory council at Tulane, tasked with creating opportunities for students in an evolving landscape, including virtual internships to enhance students' experience while embracing globalization.
Mike Tannenbaum brings his expertise, drive, vision and leadership to the Miami Dolphins with one goal: to create a winning organization that consistently competes for championships. "There's nothing like football; I think it's a microcosm of life. People have such disparate backgrounds yet we're all here because the one commonality we all have in this organization is we're intoxicated by winning."
Richard E. Thigpen, Jr., was born in Washington, D.C. on December 29, 1930. He was educated in the Charlotte city schools, received an A.B. degree from Duke University in 1951 and an J.D.. degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1956 after serving two years as an officer in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1953. After two years with the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., Mr. Thigpen engaged in the private practice of law in Charlotte until January 1, 1994, when he became General Counsel to Richardson Sports and Carolinas Stadium Corp. His professional activities include serving as President of the American College of Tax Counsel 1993-94, President of the North Carolina Bar Association 1988-89, Director of the Sports Lawyers Association 1995 to date, and being an active member of the Taxation Section of the American Bar Association and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Mr. Thigpen is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Law and The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Thigpen has been a active Episcopal layman and community leader having served as a director of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce from 1982 to 1984 and as chairman of numerous Chamber committees, primarily related to sports, entertainment and performing arts facilities. He has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of Heineman Medical Research, Inc. since 1970 (and in 2011 became Chairman of the Board), a director of the YMCA from 1964 to 1988, a member of the Board of Visitors of Johnson C. Smith University from 1978 to 1982, director of the Mecklenburg County Chapter American Red Cross 1963 to 1966, President of the Charlotte Kiwanis Club in 1963, and chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Florence Crittenton Home in 1968 and 1969.
In addition to his professional and civic activities, Mr. Thigpen is an avid golfer and sportsman, having served as a Pop Warner football coach, President of the Southern Golf Association, General Chairman of the World Seniors Invitational Golf Tournament, President of the Charlotte Sportsman's Club, President of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and a member of the Senior Championship Committee of the United States Golf Association. Mr. Thigpen was also the President of the SLA from 2004-2005 and is now a Director Emeritus on the SLA Board of Directors.
General Counsel, Carolina Panthers
Richard M. Thigpen has returned to private practice after serving as General Counsel for the Carolina Panthers for 21 years. Prior to joining the Panthers, Richard spent 14 years in private practice providing business and tax advice to closely held businesses and medical practices. His practice also included estate planning and administration, real estate transactions and tax controversy work. While working with the Panthers, Richard was involved in all aspects of the business, including contract negotiations and drafting, governmental affairs, trademark issues and employment matters. He has served as a board member and chair of the Council for the Sports and Entertainment Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, board member and chair of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation, board member and chair of the North Carolina Travel & Tourism Coalition, and was an adjunct professor at Charlotte School of Law. He has also been active in his community, serving on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations. Richard received his undergraduate degree from Duke University, his law degree from Campbell University, and a Masters of Laws in Taxation from Georgetown University
U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)
Travis T. Tygart became Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in September of 2007. In his fifteen years at USADA he has also served as the Director of Legal Affairs and as Senior Managing Director & General Counsel; prosecuting cases on behalf of clean athletes before the American Arbitration Association and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
As CEO, Tygart works closely with the USADA Board of Directors to carry out the organization's mission of preserving the integrity of competition, inspiring true sport, and protecting the rights of athletes. Tygart was actively involved in drafting the USADA Protocol for Olympic Movement Testing, the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and as CEO he has injected a fresh passion and energy into the fight against doping, including reaching out to athletes and embracing them as part of the solution.
Tygart has served as an advocate for the integrity of sport and clean athletes, testifying in front of various Committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport,the need forhGH testing in all sports, regulation of the supplement industry, and the ratification of the UNESCO international treaty against doping in sport. Tygart has also testified internationally in front of Committees of the EU Sports Ministers, the German Parliament and the French Senate about creating effective anti-doping policy and on the issues surrounding doping in sport.
Under Tygart's leadership, USADA's efforts to protect clean athletes have included cooperating with Federal authorities on numerous investigations, including the international steroid bust, Operation Raw deal and the international doping conspiracy involving the BALCO laboratory in San Francisco.Tygart led the investigation into the US Postal Service Pro-Cycling Team Doping Conspiracy and the Lance Armstrong case. Tygart has led a group of National Anti-Doping Agencies following the investigation and publication of widespread doping in Russia in an effort to strengthen the global anti-doping movement to better protect all athletes. Tygart's tenure as CEO also produced the groundbreaking research on the importance of true sport, "What Sport Means in America," and the "True Sport Report" and has seen the launch of USADA's True Sport initiative.
Tygart has been an expert presenter at many national and international conferences and symposiums. He has also served on various committees and boards including, the Board of Directors for the Sports Lawyers Association, the Board of Governors of the Partnership for Clean Competition, the Society for Major League Baseball Strength and Conditioning Coaches, the House Government Reform Committee's Zero Tolerance Roundtable, the Institute of National Anti-Doping Agencies and was appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency as the Vice-Chair for its Independent Observers Team, which monitored the doping control and legal processes at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Tygart has been recognized by Sports Illustrated as one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Sports; named to the TIME 100 list of most influential people in the world for 2013; named one of the top 12 World Sports Personalities of the Year by Sport Intern; one of the World's Most Influential Sports Personalities by Inside Sport and was one of the Colorado Lawyers of the Year named by Colorado Law Weekly. Tygart has also published numerous papers and law review articles on topics including, Title IX, antitrust, and doping in sport.
Originally from Jacksonville, Fla., Tygart graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor's degree in philosophy,and in 2010 received the University's Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Tygart went on to get his J.D. from Southern Methodist University in 1999, graduating Order of the Coif. He also was awarded the SMU Law School's Distinguished Alumni Award. Tygart is married to Nichole and they have three children ages 15, 13 and 10.
Law Office of Stephanie J. Vardavas
University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business
Stephanie Vardavas has enjoyed a varied career spanning more than 35 years in the sports business, and is one of a very small number of attorneys who have represented a major sports league, athletes and an athlete representation agency, major sports events, and a major sponsor.
In 1979, she was one of the first two trainees hired into the Major League Baseball Executive Development Program in New York City. After a year in that program she joined the American League as Manager of Waivers and Player Records. In that role she administered and enforced the Major League Rules as they related to contract signings and roster transactions such as waiver requests, assignments, and disabled list placements. While working full-time for the American League, she enrolled in Fordham Law School's evening division and graduated in 1985.
After passing the New York bar exam she moved to the Commissioner's Office legal staff, where she remained until 1989, advising the Major League Clubs on player transactions, stadium leases, and other matters, and working on leaguewide sponsorship, television, and licensing agreements. In 1989 she joined the sports agency ProServ, first in its New York office and then in its headquarters in suburban Washington, DC.
At ProServ she led the endorsement, sponsorship, and television rights contracting process for ProServ's athlete clients and event properties, rising to the level of Vice President for Legal and Business Affairs.
ProServ later became a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications. In 1997 Nike recruited Stephanie to its headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon to take up a position in the legal department dealing with endorsements and sponsorships. During her years in Beaverton, Stephanie negotiated and drafted agreements with many of Nike's highest profile athletes and properties in tennis, golf, baseball, cycling, basketball, track and field, and other sports. While continuing her work in sports marketing, for more than ten years she devoted more than half of her practice to issues relating to product safety, compliance, and sustainability issues affecting Nike's footwear, apparel, and equipment product divisions, as well as Nike's licensees and subsidiary brands including Cole Haan, Converse, Umbro, and Hurley. From 2009-2011 her practice was devoted to Nike's and its subsidiaries' brand communication, product advertising, and trademarks.
She retired from Nike in 2011 and opened her own law practice. Today she advises her clients with regard to issues in sports marketing, licensing, product safety and regulatory compliance, competition law, and intellectual property.
Since 2013 she has led legal workshops and taught in the University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business. Her course is called "Legal and Ethical Issues in Sports and Outdoor Product Management." She is a frequent guest speaker and panelist on sports law and business issues and regularly acts as an instructor for continuing legal education programs in related subject areas. She was elected to the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyers Association since 1995, and after serving seven three-year terms became an Emeritus board member in 2016.
Stephanie is also an active volunteer in the Portland community and served two terms as President of the Friends of the Multnomah County Library. She was an elected Obama delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention and served as a founding board member of EMERGE Oregon, an organization that provides training for Democratic women who are interested in running for public office. She was appointed by then-Governor John Kitzhaber to the Oregon Commission for Women in 2011, reappointed by Governor Kate Brown in 2014, and served as Chairwoman from 2012 to 2015.
Her interests include reading, writing, traveling, photography, the arts, architecture, and other urban pursuits. She is a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. She owns more than 400 pairs of shoes, none of which are brown.
Wagenheim & Wagner P.A.
Richard Wagenheim has been practicing workers' compensation law since 1972, the same year in which he graduated from the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University with a Juris Doctor degree. He previously obtained his undergraduate degree from Michigan State in 1968.
Rich achieved the distinction of Board Certification* in Workers' Compensation from the Florida Bar in 1989. In addition to being licensed to practice law in Florida, Rich is also licensed in Michigan and Washington, D.C . He is also licensed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Mr. Wagenheim is a partner in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida law firm, Wagenheim & Wagner, P.A. where he has represented, consulted and advised injured workers from all walks of life, including professional football, baseball, hockey, basketball and soccer players. Additionally, he is a member of the National Football League Players' Association and Professional Hockey Players' Association Workers' Compensation Panels.
In 1998, Rich was named ATTORNEY OF THE YEAR by the NFLPA Workers' Compensation Panel.
Rich is a member of numerous legal organizations. He is on the Board of Directors of Florida Workers' Advocates and is a lobbyist during legislative sessions on behalf of the rights of injured workers. He also serves on the board of the Sports Lawyers Association. Additionally, he is a member of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, the Broward County Bar Association and the Florida Bar Workers' Compensation Section.
Rich also gives back to the community and makes a positive impact on youth. He is a board member of the Urban League of Broward County and the Coast to Coast Basketball Club. He is a national board member and Florida State Director of Biddy Basketball, a national boys and girls basketball program which Rich brought to South Florida.
Mr. Wagenheim is also a frequent lecturer on workers' compensation topics. He has lectured at the Florida Workers' Compensation Educational Conference, the Sports Lawyers' Association Annual Conference, Continuing Legal Education seminars, and at the University of Miami. He has also been quoted in numerous publications, including The Sun-Sentinel and Florida Lawyer, regarding workers' compensation issues.
*To become a board certified specialist, the Bar requires that a lawyer pass a written examination in the specialty area, complete approved legal education programs, demonstrate substantial experience in the specialty area, be favorably evaluated as to ability and experience by judges and other lawyers, and exhibit outstanding character, ethics, and a reputation for professionalism.
USA Track & Field
General Counsel, Chief of Business Affairs Norman Wain arrived at USA Track & Field in July of 2010. Wain oversees the USATF legal department (negotiating all contracts, managing corporate governance, handling anti-doping matters, overseeing litigation and intellectual property, managing the Agent program, etc). The legal department works with USATF staff and Board of Directors, the Law and Legislation Committee, the Ethics Committee and various other committees and constituencies to advance the goals and initiatives of the organization and protect its general legal interests.
Before arriving at USATF, Wain worked as the Vice President – Corporate Legal Affairs at The Finish Line, Inc., a publicly traded, billion dollar, mall-based specialty retailer operating nearly 700 stores in 47 states across the country and online. Prior to Finish Line, he spent time in the business and legal affairs department at Writers & Artists Agency, Inc., a Los Angeles talent agency (subsequently acquired by Paradigm), and held stints at Fox Sports World and BigShot Films International. He also worked in private practice as a litigator in Santa Monica, Calif.
Wain has been an expert presenter at many national and international conferences and symposiums and serves on the board of directors of several organizations. He recently served two terms on the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) national board of directors. ACC is an international professional organization for in-house attorneys with 30,000+ members employed by over 10,000 organizations in more than 75 countries. Wain co-founded and served as the inaugural chair for the newly-formed ACC Sports & Entertainment Committee. He also works as an adjunct professor teaching sports law at Indiana University, and he has been published on various sports law and corporate law topics.
Wain graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California-Berkeley in 1992 and received his J.D. degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 1996.
Thompson Coburn's Sports Law Group
As chairman of the Thompson Coburn's Sports Law Group, Bob represents teams, prospective buyers of sports teams, companies interested in sports marketing and civic and government entities facing team relocation or facility issues. He also assists players, coaches and executives with contract negotiations and separation agreements, and serves as an NFL-approved hearing officer for violations of the league's drug and conduct policies.
Bob has cultivated more than 30 years of experience in both the St. Louis business community and the national sports arena through his past executive and legal work for the Philadelphia Eagles and the St. Louis Football Cardinals.
He spent 16 years with the Rams, serving as the team's executive vice president and general counsel. Ranked fourth on the Rams' leadership chart, Bob was one of the highest-ranking African-American club executives in the National Football League. He led the Rams' operations and business departments during two Super Bowl appearances, managed the team's $200 million budget and served as lead negotiator in the renaming of the Rams' stadium to the Edward Jones Dome.
Bob has taught sports law as an adjunct professor at both Washington University School of Law and Saint Louis University School of Law. He also co-hosted a weekly radio program on 590-The Fan on the business of sports, and wrote a weekly column for St. Louis CEO Magazine titled, "Business Philosophy." Bob is a past President of the Sports Lawyers Association and was selected as one of St. Louis' Best Lawyers for Sports Law in 2014
William Y. Webb is the retired Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Philadelphia Phillies. Prior to joining the Phillies organization in 2000, he was a partner of Ballard Spahr, LLP, the Philadelphia based national law firm. While at Ballard Spahr, he had an active sports practice, which centered on being Secretary and General Counsel of the Phillies, a role he played after helping to form its ownership group and negotiating and implementing its acquisition of the franchise in 1981. He has also represented Major League Baseball in the negotiation and structuring of its national network television contracts, the chief executive of an NFL franchise, several ownership groups seeking to acquire various Major League Baseball franchises and one which sought an expansion franchise. He is a Past President of the Sports Lawyers Association, has taught sports law at Villanova Law School and Widener Law School and has lectured for the Practicing Law Institute and others in the field. He is a Dartmouth and Michigan Law School graduate.
Sponsler Bennett Jacobs & Adams, P.A.
Mr. Wendel received a B.A. from the University of Florida and his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. He is admitted to the Florida Bar, and to the bars of the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits, the United States District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, the United States Tax Court, and the Florida Public Service Commission. His areas of practice include litigation, arbitration, mediation, administrative and governmental law, and sports and entertainment law. Mr. Wendel is AV rated and selected for the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers by Martindale Hubbell. He also is listed in Who's Who In The South and Southwest. He is a member of the Lakeland Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, the American Trial Lawyers Association, and co-founder and president emeritus of the Sports Lawyers Association. He has served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law, and Visiting Professor of Law at the Marquette University Law School. He is formerly General Counsel to the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Inc., (all minor league baseball), County Attorney, Citrus County, a commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps, and on the Board of Directors of the Sun 'n Fun Aviation Foundation, Inc.
Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law, Academic Co-Director of the University's Institute for Entertainment Media & Culture, and Director of the Entertainment, Media & Sports Law Project. Professor Weston teaches courses on arbitration, negotiation, international dispute resolution, legal ethics, and sports law. She serves as Faculty Advisor to the Sports & Entertainment Law Society and Dispute Resolution Journal, and coaches several student teams in International Mediation and Sports & Entertainment Law advocacy competitions. Weston has taught at the University of Oklahoma, University of Colorado, and in Oxford, England. Prior to teaching, Weston practiced law with Holme Roberts & Owen, and Faegre & Benson in Colorado. Weston received her law degree from the University of Colorado and B.A. in Economics & Political Science at University of Denver.
Weston is actively involved in programs furthering opportunities for students to gain experience in dispute resolution. Her committee service includes the ABA, Law School Division, Arbitration Competition, AALS Sports Law Executive Committee, and former chair for the ABA Dispute Resolution Education Committee and Mediation Competition. Board memberships include University of Colorado School of Law Alumni Board, CU Center for Sports Governance, National Sports Law Institute at Marquette School of Law, and Editorial Board of LawInSport. Weston is co-author of casebooks on sports law, arbitration, ADR, and has written numerous articles in the areas of Olympic and international sports arbitration, disability law, sports law, and dispute resolution. Authored publications are available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=94954
Arizona State University
Executive Director, Sports Law & Business Program
Distinguished Professor of Practice — Sports Law
Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
Arizona State University
Glenn M. Wong is the Executive Director of the Sports Law & Business Program at Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University (ASU). Professor Wong joined ASU Law in October 2015 as Distinguished Professor of Practice - Sports Law.
Wong has been on the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyers Association (SLA) since 1998 and has also been President of the organization. He is currently a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Trustees. He was formerly a committee member with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) on its Diversity and Inclusion Committee (2015-16), Audit Committee (2013-14), and Constitution and Rules Committee (2009-12). Wong also served on the Board of Directors of the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee (2017 NCAA Final Four) and was appointed to the Board of the Fiesta Bowl in March 2018.
Wong is an arbitrator for the National Football League and the National Football League Players Association, the Court of Arbitration for Sports, and the American Arbitration Association. He works with Major League Baseball clubs on salary arbitration matters. He has also worked with other sports entities, including Sports Illustrated, Reebok, the National Collegiate Athlete Association, the United States Olympic Committee, U.S. Triathlon, U.S. Biathlon, and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Wong was a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts from 1979-2015, and is now a Professor Emeritus. He was Department Head (1986-1997) of the nation's second oldest and most academically diverse Sport Management program. Wong was honored with awards at UMass for his exemplary service, including two Chancellor's Medals. He received the University's Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003, and also the Distinguished Teaching Award at the Isenberg School of Management (2013). Wong served as Interim Director of Athletics and then Acting Dean of the School of Physical Education at UMass in 1992-93. He was the UMass Faculty Athletics Representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association from 1993-2013.
Wong was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University Law School in the spring of 2014, and visiting faculty member in 2015, where he taught Sports Law. He is one of the original faculty members of the Sports Management Institute (1990-present).
Wong has authored several books and over 100 sport law articles and books, including the first sports law casebook (Law and Business of the Sports Industries, with Robert C. Berry). He is the author of Essentials of Sports Law, 4th Edition (2010) and The Comprehensive Guide to Careers in Sports, 2nd Edition (2012). His articles have appeared in various law review journals and other industry publications, including the Sports Business Journal, USA Today, the New York Times, and Law in Sport. Wong's most recent law journal publication, General Counsels in Sports: An Analysis of the Responsibilities, Demographics, and Qualifications (2017), was published in the Arizona State University Sports and Entertainment Law Journal. Wong also authored a chapter in the recently released Oxford University Press Handbook of American Sports Law and is currently writing another chapter (to appear in The Business and Culture of Sports) and the 3rd edition of The Comprehensive Guide to Careers in Sports.
Wong is a frequent speaker, panelist, and moderator at professional organization meetings, sports law and business conferences, and law schools. He has spoken or moderated at, among others, the National Association of Collegiate Athletics Directors Convention, the Sports Lawyers Association Conference, the Stanford Graduate School of Business' Sports Innovation Conference, Stanford Law School's Law and Policy Review Symposium, Harvard Law School's Sports Law Symposium, and the Sports Business Journal's Intercollegiate Athletics Forum.
Wong received Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics and Sociology at Brandeis University, where he co-captained the basketball team, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Boston College Law School. He has received a distinguished alumnus award from Brandeis University, and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.
Vice President & Associate General Counsel
Vered Yakovee is Vice President and Associate General Counsel for the Miami HEAT and AmericanAirlines Arena. She was previously Associate Team Counsel for the Boston Celtics. Prior to joining the Celtics, she ran her own Los Angeles-based law firm for over five years where she represented clients ranging from an NBA team, to a BCS Bowl, to a minor league baseball league on insurance matters and a variety of transactional matters. Prior to that, she was an Associate in the Los Angeles office of a national law firm, where she co-founded the firm's Sports Insurance Initiative.Yakovee earned her J.D. from the USC Gould School of Law and her B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California at San Diego. She is admitted to practice in California and Massachusetts, and is Authorized House Counsel in Florida. During the Spring 2015 semester, Yakovee taught the Sports Law course at Boston College Law School. From 2008 until 2013, she taught several different Sports Law courses at her alma mater, USC Law, and served as the founding faculty advisor for the USC Sports Law Society. During the Fall 2009 semester, she lived on campus at Dimitris Perrotis College in Thessaloniki, Greece, where she taught International Business Law and coached the men's basketball team. Since 2014, Yakovee is the Secretary and a Director for the Sports Lawyers Association ("SLA"), having originally joined the SLA as a member in 2003. She was a Governor of the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries (the "Forum") from 2007 until 2016, during which time she served first as Editor-in-Chief of the Forum's journal, the Entertainment & Sports Lawyer, and then as Chair of the Forum's Sports Division. Her 12 legal articles are published in Los Angeles Lawyer, Sports Litigation Alert, The Hollywood Reporter, Esq., and the Entertainment & Sports Lawyer. She was named one of Southern California's Super Lawyers Rising Stars by the publishers of Law & Politics and Los Angeles Magazine in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.