Jennifer A. Abruzzo
National Labor Relations Board
The General Counsel, appointed by the President to a 4-year term, is independent from the Board and is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of unfair labor practice cases and for the general supervision of the NLRB field offices in the processing of cases.
On July 22, 2021, Jennifer A. Abruzzo began serving as General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board. Ms. Abruzzo had previously worked for the NLRB for over two decades, including as Field Attorney, Supervisory Field Attorney, Deputy Regional Attorney, Deputy Assistant General Counsel, Deputy General Counsel, and Acting General Counsel. Immediately prior to her appointment as General Counsel, Ms. Abruzzo served as Special Counsel for Strategic Initiatives for the Communications Workers of America.
Tim Aragon has been general counsel of the Denver Broncos since August 2022. Tim is an active member of the Denver community with more than two decades of legal experience and he joined the Broncos after spending the prior 18 years with the global law firm Hogan Lovells in its Denver office. Most recently, he was managing partner of that office and on Hogan Lovells' Americas-region leadership team while holding various civic board positions, including with the Colorado Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Tim’s background includes corporate transactions, compliance, governance and working with sports franchises across the NFL, NBA, MLS and MLB. Prior to joining Hogan Lovells, Aragon was a mergers and acquisitions associate in the New York City office of Skadden Arps. Tim earned his A.B. from Harvard University cum laude in 1997 before receiving a J.D. from New York University's School of Law in 2001.
Brooklyn Law School
Professor Jodi Balsam is a member of the faculty of Brooklyn Law School, New York City. She teaches Sports Law there, and at NYU School of Law. She is a co-author of the leading Weiler Sports Law casebook, and a legal analyst for NBC Sports/The Golf Channel. Prior to joining academia, she was Counsel for Operations & Litigation at the National Football League. She received her J.D. from NYU School of Law, and her B.A. in History from Yale College.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Jared Bartie is a partner in the Corporate & Financial Services Department and chair of the Sports Transactions Practice at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. A sports industry veteran, Jared represents domestic and international clients on an array of complex corporate matters, including professional sports team investments, stadium and arena transactions, facility naming rights and sponsorship transactions, and media rights agreements. His clients have included professional sports leagues, collegiate conferences, professional sports teams, investing national governing bodies, media entities and hospitality companies. Jared has also advised leagues and teams in connection with sensitive workplace matters and high-profile investigations.
Shamis focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, government investigations and appellate matters. She represents healthcare companies in False Claims Act cases and US Department of Health and Human Services investigations. She advises clients on all aspects of civil and criminal investigations relating to government billing and contracting issues, including managing broad civil investigative demands and subpoenas. Additionally, Shamis has extensive experience representing clients in securities investigations and enforcement actions and providing legal guidance on anti-corruption and corporate governance matters.
Shamis also has an active pro bono practice. She previously represented a single mother accused of violating Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 for selling unregistered securities, advocated on behalf of two children fleeing gang violence in El Salvador, and represented a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of survivors of human trafficking and sex slavery. In addition, she successfully represented a pro bono client in a weeklong Hague Convention child custody trial in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and defended the district court decision a year later, arguing the appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and securing another victory for her client.
Before joining Cooley, Shamis served as law clerk for US Circuit Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and US District Judge Denise Casper of the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts. While in law school, she was a legal intern in the Economic Crimes Unit of the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
Shamis is on the Advisory Committee on Rules for the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She is also a board member for the Harvard Law School Association Black Alumni Network.
Shamis’ representative matters include:
Athletic Director, University of Southern California
Mike Bohn was appointed USC's director of athletics on Nov. 11, 2019. He holds the Charles Griffin Cale Director of Athletics’ Chair.
In his first months at USC, he helped the athletic department navigate through challenges posed by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
In the spring of 2021, USC won NCAA championships in women’s beach volleyball, women’s water polo and women’s track and field. USC was sixth in the Directors’ Cup standings and the Women of Troy finished second in the Capital One Cup.
In recognition of how USC excelled athletically in 2021 despite the ongoing pandemic and the many challenges facing college athletics, Bohn was named a 2021-22 Football Bowl Subdivision Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), becoming USC’s first-ever honoree.
Bohn was also named the Male Athletic Director of the Year by the Black Student-Athlete Summit in May of 2022 in recognition of his commitment to enhancing the experiences of Black student-athletes at USC.
In the spring of 2022, USC won the national championship in women’s beach volleyball to mark back-to-back years the program brought home the title.
Bohn was instrumental in USC’s historic announcement that it will be joining the Big Ten Conference in 2024, a move that will position USC and its student-athletes for long-term success in both athletics and academics.
Under Bohn’s leadership, USC hired head football coach Lincoln Riley. Riley’s first season with the Trojans equaled the biggest one-season victory turnaround (+7 victories) in USC history going 11-3 in 2022 to lead the Trojans back to the top of the college football landscape. In addition, Riley coached quarterback Caleb Williams who won the 2022 Heisman Trophy. Furthermore, Riley also produced 2 Unanimous All-Americans, 5 First Team All-Americans, 6 broken team records and a multitude of other superlatives in his inaugural year.
Bohn has more than 35 years of experience in collegiate athletics administration and an established record of integrity and strength in critical areas including marketing, compliance, recruiting, fundraising and athletic excellence. He provides strategic and administrative oversight of the USC athletics department, including all 21 women’s and men’s varsity teams.
Prior to joining USC, he held athletic director positions with Cincinnati, Colorado, San Diego State and Idaho.
In his five-year tenure at Cincinnati starting in 2014, Bohn oversaw dramatic improvements across the university’s intercollegiate sports, including a resurgence of its men’s football team and consistent NCAA Tournament appearances by the men’s basketball team. He emphasized academic performance as well, and 77% of student-athletes at Cincinnati earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher during his final year. Bohn prioritized diversity in the athletics department and received the top rating from the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport for hiring female coaches. He also led a major renovation and expansion of Cincinnati’s football stadium, basketball arena and oversaw improvements to its soccer, track and field, baseball and tennis facilities.
Prior to Cincinnati, Bohn led Colorado from 2005 to 2013, including its transition to the Pac-12 Conference. The university secured four Pac-12 conference championships in two years under his watch, and his emphasis on academics led to departmental records for GPA and APR, an academic progress metric for student-athletes. His department also earned acclaim for creating the first zero-waste stadium initiative in collegiate and professional sports in 2008.
As athletic director at San Diego State, Bohn increased fan enthusiasm and attendance, including setting the university’s single-game attendance record for football and the NCAA single-game attendance record for baseball, which still stands today.
In his prior post as director of athletics at Idaho, he led the university’s transition to Division I-A, the top collegiate football subdivision. He also spearheaded construction of a major athletics center and increased support for the university’s athletics scholarship fund.
Bohn holds a bachelor’s degree from Kansas, where he played quarterback for the Jayhawks football team and also competed as a member of the baseball team. He earned his master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University.
He and his wife, Kim, have two children, Brandon and Miki. They also have three grandchildren: Chase, Luke and Tory.
Mary K. Braza
Foley & Lardner
Mary K. Braza is a retired partner of Foley & Lardner LLP and former Chair of the firm’s Sports and Entertainment Group. She dealt with a broad range of legal issues in the sports industry, serving as a long-time strategic advisor to Major League Baseball under past-Commissioner Alan H. (“Bud”) Selig, and representing leagues, teams, universities and individuals. She both litigated cases involving sports issues and advised stakeholders in significant sports franchise acquisitions and valuations; stadium/arena financings and ancillary developments; and issues surrounding league and team operations such as broadcast television and radio deals, regional sports networks, new media, sponsorship agreements, naming rights, concession and merchandising agreements, and revenue sharing. https://www.foley.com/en/people/b/braza-mary-k. Mary K. now lives in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin and continues to teach a sports law seminar at Marquette Law School.
Korein Tillery, LLC
Garrett Broshuis is a partner at the complex litigation firm of Korein Tillery, LLC, where he represents athletes and coaches in litigation matters. He represents minor league baseball players in the landmark case of Senne v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, which recently settled for $185 million. He was also instrumental in the organizing effort for minor league players that led to their successful unionization. Before law school, he played for six years in the San Francisco Giants' organization, pitching at all levels of the minor leagues. He is an adjunct professor of sports law at Saint Louis University Law School.
NWSL Players Association
Meghann Burke is the Executive Director of the NWSL Players Association, the labor union that represents women’s professional soccer players in the United States. She is an attorney and former player (WUSA, WPS, W-League, WPSL, & Women’s English Premier League). Burke led NWSLPA’s negotiations to reach the first-ever Collective Bargaining Agreement in domestic women’s professional soccer history, which was ratified by the players in January 2022. In her first year as Executive Director, NWSLPA also launched the No More Side Hustles campaign to shift the narrative around the lived experience of NWSL athletes; affiliated with the AFL-CIO; engaged in a league-wide work stoppage to speak out against systemic abuse that resulted in 8 demands being met to transform NWSL; launched an unprecedented joint investigation into systemic abuse throughout NWSL; created Support the Players NET to provide financial support to players in crisis; and secured the PA’s first two sponsorship agreements with Ally Bank and MasterCard. Burke was elected to serve as Vice President of the AFL-CIO alongside President Liz Shuler and Secretary-Treasurer Frederick Redmond in 2022. Now, she is focused on enforcing the CBA, which included winning the first arbitration to recognize the free agency rights of veterans and launching the Players' group licensing program.
The Allison Law Firm
Kelly Burton, Of Counsel, The Allison Law Firm, helps clients grow businesses, protect assets, and create legacies. Her extensive and varied experience offers a unique, and at times creative, perspective to solve problems. Kelly’s practice currently focuses on sports; technology and digital assets; construction agreements; business planning and governance; and legacy planning. Kelly consults for the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series Los Angeles event and serves as a Designated Disciplinary Officer and Integrity Officer at World Rugby-sanctioned events in North America. She also advises organizations on non-profit and community outreach efforts, particularly those involving sports and education. Kelly serves as the SLA Las Vegas Outreach Captain and volunteers for a number of wonderful organizations including the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee/Community Affairs Committee, the Las Vegas Bowl Huddle, WISE Las Vegas, Nevada Youth Rugby Organization, and Rugby LA. A native of Iowa, Kelly received her B.A., cum laude, from Drake University and her J.D. from the University of Denver. Kelly lives in Las Vegas with her husband, Travis. Her daughters, Taylor and Tabitha, are in college.
Maggy Carlyle is General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs with the Detroit Lions. In her role, Carlyle works across the entire organization to provide legal and strategic counsel.
She joined the Lions in 2023 after seven years with the Pac-12 where she served in several roles within the Pac-12 Conference and Pac-12 Networks' legal and executive teams, most recently as General Counsel and Senior Vice President of the Pac-12 Conference. During her time at the Pac-12, Carlyle oversaw all legal, sports integrity, security and athlete health matters. She served as advisor and counsel to the commissioner, board of directors and conference executives on commercial transactions, corporate governance matters, litigation and strategic planning. Prior to the Pac-12, Carlyle served as counsel and corporate secretary for the San Jose Sharks (2012-16), worked in football administration with the San Francisco 49ers (2011-12) and served as a National Football League Management Council law clerk (2010-11). While in law school, she served as a law clerk for the Kansas City Chiefs (2010-11), first beginning as a legal extern for Mizzou Athletics (2008-10).
Carlyle graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall and the University of Missouri - Columbia with a degree in journalism. After graduation, she taught special education and English at Broad Street High School in Shelby, Mississippi through Teach for America. She then returned to the University Missouri to attend law school (JD), finishing at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (visiting) in New York. In 2022, Carlyle was recognized with the Forty Under 40 Award from the Sports Business Journal for her accomplishments in professional and collegiate athletics and sports media. In addition to her work with SLA, Carlyle also serves on the national board for the Anti-defamation League (ADL).
Major League Baseball Players Association
Tony Clark, 50, is the first former player to serve as Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, overseeing all aspects of the union’s operations, including contract administration, grievance arbitration, and pension and health care matters.
Following a 15-year Major League playing career, Clark joined the MLBPA as director of player relations in March 2010, leading the union’s efforts to expand and improve the areas of membership communications and education. He was named deputy executive director in July 2013 and became executive director in December 2013.
Clark retired from his playing career in 2009, after spending 15 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and San Diego Padres.
The second overall draft pick in 1990, Clark made his Major League debut with the Tigers in September 1995 and finished third in Rookie of the Year balloting the following season. A first baseman, he played in 1,559 games, appeared in the 2001 All- Star Game and finished his career with 1,188 hits, 251 home runs and 824 RBIs.
After attending his first Executive Board Meeting in 1999, Clark became active in union affairs. He became a player rep and during his final seven seasons served as an Association Representative, the union’s most senior leadership position. As a player, Clark was actively involved in collective bargaining in 2002 and 2006, as well in negotiations over the Joint Drug Agreement.
In the early years of his tenure as executive director, Clark sought to broaden the Players Association’s services to future and former players and modernize its business operations. He unified players in their efforts to return to the field following the pandemic in 2020 and guided Major League players through a 99-day lockout to achieve a fair contract in March 2022. Later that year, he led a drive to unionize approximately 5,500 Minor League players.
Clark was born in Newton, Kansas, and raised in San Diego.
Gregg E. Clifton is a partner in the Phoenix office of Lewis Brisbois, a chair of the Collegiate & Professional Sports Law Practice, and a member of the Entertainment, Media & Sports Practice. Gregg has extensive experience in the collegiate and professional sports world. He has advised numerous professional franchises on general labor and employment issues, including Title III ADA regulatory compliance and wage and hour issues. Gregg serves as lead counsel for several Major League Baseball teams in their salary arbitration matters and has represented NCAA and NAIA collegiate clients regarding rules compliance, investigatory matters and in disciplinary hearings. In addition, he has handled Title IX investigations and compliance issues for NCAA and NAIA member institutions. Gregg has also worked extensively in the area of agent regulation and enforcement in professional and college sports and regularly provides counsel on issues relating to NCAA and NAIA amateurism issues and athlete eligibility questions. He has also served as an expert witness in matters involving sports agents’ work and responsibilities, as well as athlete compensation issues. Prior to joining Lewis Brisbois, Gregg spent six years as chief operating officer and vice president of Team Sports for Gaylord Sports Management. He also served as president of the Athlete and Entertainment Division for famed sports attorney Bob Woolf’s firm, Woolf Associates, in Boston. Gregg continues to counsel clients in the areas of collective bargaining negotiations, representation cases, arbitrations and National Labor Relations Board matters. Gregg frequently serves as an expert speaker to law schools, including Harvard University, Boston College, Hofstra University, and Arizona State University, and bar associations regarding sports law issues, including agent regulation and salary arbitration. He is often called upon by national news media as a source for his commentary and opinion on legal issues in sports.
Ropes & Gray LLP
Christopher Conniff, leader of Ropes & Gray’s Sports Industry Initiative, is an experienced trial lawyer who advises clients in the areas of regulatory enforcement, internal investigations and complex commercial matters. Chris has developed a particular specialty in the sports industry, advising both professional and amateur sports organizations in matters involving sports betting, NIL, and NCAA compliance. Chris is a Chambers-recognized lawyer who is applauded for his skill navigating the “ins and outs of government investigations” and being able to get to the heart of every matter quickly. His practice also includes regular counseling on crisis management, corporate compliance, and international risk. Prior to joining Ropes & Gray, Chris was an assistant United States attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he successfully investigated and prosecuted cases charging a wide array of federal offenses, and argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. While at the USAO, Chris’s significant cases included a first-of-its-kind prosecution of two founders of a publicly traded payment services company charged with money laundering in connection with their transfer of billions of dollars from United States customers to overseas internet gambling companies.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Soumya Dayananda is a partner in Willkie’s Litigation Department, where she is a member of the Compliance, Investigations & Enforcement Practice. She is based in Willkie’s Washington, DC office. Soumya has over 20 years of public service experience, including handling complex government investigations, crisis management and congressional oversight. She represents private companies, public entities and individuals facing scrutiny by the federal government, including the DOJ, State Attorney Generals and Congress. Prior to joining Willkie in 2023, Soumya served as a Senior Investigative Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate The Attack on the United States Capitol, where she led a team of attorneys investigating the law enforcement and military response on January 6.
U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee
Nicole Deal is the Chief Security & Athlete Services Officer for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. In her role, Nicole overseas Security, Athlete Safeguarding as well as Athlete Development and Engagement programs.
National Football League Players Association
Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP
Chris Deubert is Senior Counsel in the Boston office of Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP, a national management-side labor and employment firm. Chris has more than 12 years of experience at law firms, in-house, and in academia, with extensive experience in sports, litigation, and labor and employment. In particular, from November 2018 to March 2021, Chris was General Counsel for D.C. United of Major League Soccer and related entities. Otherwise, Chris has extensive experience advising teams, athletes, agents, and other parties in the sports industry on a variety of matters. Chris has published more than 30 academic publications on the law and business of sports and is currently a lecturer in sports law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Chris graduated from UMass-Amherst with a B.S. in Sport Management in 2006 and received his J.D./M.B.A. from Fordham Law School and its Graduate School of Business in 2010.
N. Jeremi Duru
American University, Washington College of Law
Professor N. Jeremi Duru is a nationally recognized Sports Law professor. He is a co-author of one of the field’s premier casebooks, Sports Law and Regulation: Cases and Materials (5th edition) (Wolters Kluwer), as well as one of the field’s premier explorations of sports agency, The Business of Sports Agents (3rd edition) (U. of Penn Press). In addition, he is the sole author of Advancing the Ball: Race, Reformation, and the Quest for Equal Coaching Opportunity in the NFL (Oxford University Press), which examines the NFL’s movement toward increased equality of opportunity for coaches and front office personnel. Professor Duru is active in the national sports law community. Among other appointments, he serves on the NCAA’s Committees on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport, the Sports Lawyers Association’s Board of Directors, the National Sports Law Institute’s Board of Advisors, and the LawInSport Editorial Board. He has also served as a member of the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s Anti-Doping Review Board and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Racial and Social Justice Expert Advisory Team. Professor Duru has a particular interest in sport’s impact on society, with a principle focus on racial and gender dynamics. He has conducted research and delivered lectures on these topics throughout the United States as well as abroad, including as: a Fulbright Fellow at Faculdades Integradas Helio Alonso in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; a Parsons Visitor at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia; and a Visiting Professor at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, China. In addition, Professor Duru remains active in practice. He has represented the Fritz Pollard Alliance of minority coaches, scouts, and front office personnel in the National Football League as well as sports industry professionals in employment matters involving other leagues, including the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. He has also represented collegiate student-athletes – most notably in McAdoo v. University of North Carolina – serving as counsel to plaintiffs suing the university with respect to its nearly two decades-long academic fraud scandal. Professor Duru is a frequent media contributor and has provided commentary for numerous media outlets, including CNN, BBC, NBC, MSNBC, Fox, ESPN, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
National Football League Players Association
Tulane Sports Law Program; Associate Provost for NCAA Compliance
Lucantem Sport and Entertainment
Jeff Gewirtz is the Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and Chief Legal Officer of BSE Global (BSE), a role he also held from 2010 through 2020. In 2021 he served as BSE’s Chief Operating Officer, where he led the efforts around re-opening Barclays Center in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and had general oversight for arena operations and its health and safety protocols. Gewirtz joined BSE in May 2007 as Senior Vice President and General Counsel.
Gewirtz advises BSE’s ownership and his executive management colleagues on key business and legal matters for BSE’s holdings, including the Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center, the New York Liberty, the NBA G League’s Long Island Nets, the NBA 2K League’s NetsGC, and, through 2019, NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and Webster Hall. Gewirtz also works closely with Barclays Center management on live event programming initiatives, and he has oversight of BSE’s government relations function.
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; the 2015 relocation of the New York Islanders to Barclays Center and oversight of all legal affairs for the Islanders’ business operations through 2019; team and arena ownership transfer transactions in 2010, 2016, 2018, and 2019; 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; acquisition of the Webster Hall business; and the Brooklyn Nets’ media rights alliance with YES Network.
Gewirtz was named to the 2019 United States GC Powerlist by The Legal 500 and in 2015 his legal department was named one of the top 50 in-house legal departments in the United States by The Legal 500. 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 is a Board of Directors emeritus member of the Sports Lawyers Association 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 Access Justice Brooklyn and in 2018 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Women’s Sports Foundation. Gewirtz also previously served as pro bono General Counsel to the Eastern Section of the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
Prior to BSE, Gewirtz served as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) General Counsel and its 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 (as a secondment, he also served as Corporate Counsel for the Coca-Cola Southeast & West Asia Division, based in Bangkok, Thailand); 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, primarily in connection with the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games and 2004 Athens Olympic Games; the LPGA Tour as General Counsel; and the WTA Tour. He began his legal career as a corporate associate at the New York City law firm of Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller LLP, where he worked on matters for the firm’s global advertising industry clients, along with sports industry clients such as the USTA and the USOC.
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, from which he is a two-time recipient of its Alumni Achievement Award in Sports Law, and at which he previously served as an Adjunct Professor of Sports Law.
Gewirtz lives in Fayetteville, New York with his wife, Brooke Raphael, who is Vice President of Strategy & Operations for Promontory Therapeutics, and their two children, Eton and Dalia.
Big Ten Conference
Anil Gollahalli Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel Big Ten Conference Anil Gollahalli is chief legal officer and general counsel of the Big Ten Conference. In his role, Gollahalli oversees all legal, corporate governance, enterprise risk management, litigation, regulatory, corporate, and legal NCAA matters, as well as outside counsel management. He works collaboratively with the Council of Chancellors and Presidents, the athletics directors and the general counsels at the 14 Big Ten Conference member institutions and serves as a strategic advisor to the Commissioner and the conference. Gollahalli joined the conference from the University of Oklahoma, where he served as vice president and general counsel for fourteen years advising the Board of Regents and the institutions within the OU system. He managed all major legal projects, including the privatization of the university’s utilities systems, public private partnerships, consolidation of the university’s health system, and the acquisition and renovation of its campus in Italy. He counseled on all television and media development, intellectual property rights, athletics and university compliance, employment matters, healthcare operations, policy development, collections, and litigation. Prior to serving as University of Oklahoma General Counsel, Gollahalli was the vice president for technology development at the university. He also practiced law in Dallas, working extensively in the intellectual property fields, and served as law clerk to the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Gollahalli received a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Gollahalli serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of College and University Attorneys, is currently barred in Texas and Oklahoma, and is licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Spencer Fane LLP
Peter Goplerud is an Of Counsel with Spencer Fane LLP. Goplerud received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Kansas. He began his career as a law clerk a justice of the Supreme Court of Kansas and later joined the faculty of the University of Akron School of Law. He has been a faculty member at seven law schools and has served as dean at Southern Illinois University School of Law, the University of Oklahoma College of Law, Drake University Law School and Florida Coastal School of Law. 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 a Director Emeritus of the Sports Lawyers Association, following 24 years as a Board member. 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. He 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.
Chase Griffin is a quarterback for the UCLA Football team and a nationally recognized advocate for college athlete empowerment. With over 30 national brand partnerships, Chase is one of the most successful college athletes in the emerging college athlete NIL marketplace and is the 2X winner of the National NIL Athlete of the Year Award. He is currently the Athlete Creator in Residence at Range Sports and a Fellow at UC Investments. He has completed his BA in Public Affairs, will complete his M. Ed In Transformative Coaching and Leadership in June, and will be starting a Master's in Legal Studies (Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law focus) at UCLA Law in the fall.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Timothy Heaphy is a partner in Willkie’s Litigation Department, and Co-Chair of the Compliance, Investigations & Enforcement Practice. He is based in Willkie’s Washington, DC office. Tim has extensive experience in complex government investigations, compliance, crisis management and white-collar litigation, developed in public service, in-house and private law firm practice. His clients include private companies and public entities across a wide array of industries facing federal investigations, as well as business and reputational crises. As Chief Investigative Counsel to the US House of Representatives’ Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol, Mr. Heaphy led the day-to-day investigative work of the committee. His role on the Select Committee predicated his prior experience both representing clients in congressional investigations and testifying before Congress himself.
Arizona State University
In November 2019, the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law named Aaron Hernandez the Director of the Allan “Bud” Selig Sports Law and Business Program at Arizona State University.
Before joining Arizona State, Aaron was the Associate Director of Football at the NCAA. While at the NCAA, Aaron specialized in stakeholder engagement in Division I (FBS). Aaron worked closely with high-profile college football coaches, athletic directors, sports administrators, compliance officers, and many other stakeholders to identify major threats to the collegiate model.
Aaron has previously served in compliance and legal roles with: Marquette University Athletics, the National Sports Law Institute, NASCAR, and Gray & Associates, LLP. Aaron graduated with his Juris Doctor in May of 2013 from Marquette University Law School, receiving a certificate in Sports Law from the National Sports Law Institute, and is an admitted attorney to the State Bar of Wisconsin.
A native of El Paso, TX, Aaron received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Finance from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame in 2010. Aaron currently resides in Phoenix, AZ.
Law Offices of Howard L. Jacobs
Howard Jacobs has been identified by leading national and international publications as one of the leading sports lawyers in the world. He is an athlete’s lawyer and not a sports agent. He represents athletes in all types of disputes, with a particular focus on the defense of athletes charged with doping and other disciplinary offenses. He has represented over 300 professional athletes, Olympic athletes and amateur athletes in disputes involving doping, salary issues, team selection issues, SafeSport issues, endorsements, unauthorized use of name and likeness, and other matters. Howard Jacobs has been consistently listed by the Chambers Guide as one of the top ranked lawyers in the United States for athletic disputes. In addition to his law practice, Howard Jacobs is an Adjunct Professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, where he teaches sports law.
Joshua Jay Kanassatega
Institute for Development of Culturally Focused Governance Policies for Indigenous People
Professor Kanassatega (retired) has extensive experience teaching doctrinal and clinical law school courses and writing on the intersection of Courts in and for American Indian Tribes within the American judicial system. He has also represented the Menominee Tribal Enterprises and tribally controlled community colleges and tribal agencies and represented and counseled clients in federal and state government regulatory and litigated matters and in commercial transactions with Indian tribes and their commercial entities. He founded and currently manages the Institute for Development of Culturally Focused Governance Policies for Indigenous People advocating the development of culturally focused governance policies and the rule of law in Indian Country as an exercise of American Indian sovereignty.
Heather Brooks Karatz
United Talent Agency
Heather Brooks Karatz is the Executive Vice President, Growth and Operations at leading global talent, entertainment, and sports company, United Talent Agency (UTA), where she oversees initiatives to expand its sports, music, and influencer businesses, including Klutch Sports Group and Digital Brand Architects. Prior to joining UTA, Karatz served as the president of the XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats, where she led all business operations for the team including partnerships, ticket sales, marketing, media, and fan engagement. She also previously served as the Executive Vice President & General Counsel of the Los Angeles Football Club where she played a critical role in LAFC’s business development initiatives and was responsible for overseeing all legal matters related to management and operations, stadium construction, and ancillary businesses. Prior to joining LAFC, Heather was the General Counsel and SVP of Independent Sports and Entertainment, formerly known as Relativity Sports. In her role, Heather represented over 300 professional athlete clients across the NFL, NBA, and MLB, and was responsible for negotiating and securing marketing deals, advising the Company’s Board, management and investors, leading civil and criminal litigation matters, and interpreting collective bargaining agreements and union regulations. Heather also worked as an attorney for the NHL and in the management council of the NFL. Heather earned her law degree from University of California, Los Angeles in 2009.
New York Jets
Jill Kelley is in her fourth season with the New York Jets as their Vice President of Legal Affairs, where she is responsible for oversight of all legal matters. Kelley joined the club after a 15-year legal career with broad experience in tax, commercial and entertainment law, including sports wagering.
Prior to the Jets, Kelley served as General Counsel of PointsBet USA, where she was the lead counsel for all United States sports book operations and strategic commercial development, working with professional sports leagues while overseeing gaming partnerships, corporate sponsorship contracts and all federal and state regulatory compliance. She previously served as senior legal counsel for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and their Foxwoods Resort Casino, one of the world’s largest resort casino hotel properties, providing legal advice on a range of commercial transactions, economic development initiatives and federal, state and tribal tax and regulatory matters. She began her legal career as an international tax attorney for 10 years, both with Withers LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She focused on strategic corporate and tax planning for multinational businesses, family offices, investment funds and private foundations.
National Basketball Players Association
The Ohio State University
Paia LaPalombara serves as Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance at The Ohio State University. In her current role, Paia oversees the Department of Athletics investigatory function and Elite Athlete Program, including Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL); agents; disability insurance; and elite athlete educational programming. Paia is also a member of the Athletic Compliance Senior Leadership Team. Nationally, she is the Vice Chair of the NCAA DI Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee and on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC). At Ohio State, Paia serves on the Clery Act Committee, NIL Task Force, NIL SWAT Team, and Revenue Generation Committee. She is passionate about college athletics and the student-athlete experience.
Paia received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her law degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
Truth DEI Consulting
Nona Lee is the Founder and CEO of Truth DEI Consulting, a consulting firm helping organizations determine current and future growth opportunities and strategies in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Nona consults with organizational leadership teams about their current DEI truth and provides education and strategies to execute growth and transformative change. Prior to founding Truth DEI in 2022, Nona served in leadership roles in the professional sports industry for over 22 years, including as Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for the Arizona Diamondbacks Major League Baseball franchise. She also led the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts from 2020 to 2022. Nona received her B.A. in Broadcasting from Pepperdine University, her Juris Doctor (summa cum laude) from Oklahoma City University School of Law, a Certificate in Leadership for Corporate Counsel from Harvard University, and her Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Certification from e-Cornell University.
Court of Arbitration for Sport
Michael Lenard OLY has served, safeguarding the interests of athletes, on the governing board of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) since its founding in 1994, as its Vice President since 2010 and is the Chair of its Athletes Commission. He has served as President of CAS Ad hoc Divisions at numerous major international sports events, including the Olympic Games, Asian Games, and FIFA World Cup. Mr. Lenard previously has held numerous positions in sport, including as a member and then Vice Chairman of the athletes’ commission of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and then as USOC Vice President. He was a member of or has testified to numerous commissions empaneled to investigate or study and recommend structural and cultural changes to the USOC, including most recently the Borders Commission which, inter alia, recommended direct athlete elections to its Board and the hiring of a Chief Compliance Officer. He has provided the USOC’s lead testimony in US congressional hearings and has served as special counsel to the USOC Ethics Committee. He was a member of the board of directors of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games organizing committee and its Audit and Ethics Committee. Mr. Lenard serves and has served in senior business positions in international private equity firms (including as Chief Compliance Officer implementing regulatory compliance programs and leading foreign corrupt practices investigations) and on numerous boards of directors (including as Chairman) of international and domestic public and private companies. He previously was a Partner in the international law firm of Latham & Watkins. Mr. Lenard earned numerous scholastic honors in conjunction with his undergraduate business school degree in both accounting and finance and his juris doctor degree.
Dr Despina Mavromati
Despina Mavromati, an attorney at the Lausanne office of BianchiSchwald , is a renowned expert in international sports law and arbitration. She has experience as counsel, consultant and expert witness in many high-profile sports arbitrations and sports-related disciplinary, governance, contractual and doping-related matters. Professor Mavromati is an arbitrator and Member of the UEFA Appeals Body, the Disciplinary Tribunal of World Athletics and the Doping Hearing Panel of the International Powerlifting Federation. She served as the Chair of the Ethics and Disciplinary Commission of the International Weightlifting Federation and was a Managing Counsel at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, where she was responsible for the drafting of legal opinions, mediation proceedings, the scrutinizing of CAS awards and the appeals to the Swiss Federal Tribunal. Professor Mavromati teaches sports arbitration and sports contracts as a member of the Faculty of Law, Criminal Justice and Public Administration at the University of Lausanne and has authored "The Code of the Court of Arbitration for Sport: Commentary, Cases and Materials" (with M. Reeb, Wolters Kluwer, 2015). She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), an LL.M. and an M.B.A. from the University of Saarbrücken (Germany) and a law degree from the Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki (Greece). She was a Visiting Scholar at the Fletcher School for Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University (USA).
US Olympic & Paralympic Committee
Chris McCleary is General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer at the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee. He serves as a member of the senior management team at the USOPC and leads USOPC teams in Legal & Governance, Compliance & Audit, Finance, IT, Events & Logistics, and Facilities. Before joining the USOPC in 2015 McCleary worked at Visa Inc. in a number of roles after starting in private practice in San Francisco.
PL McDonald Law
Paul L. McDonald is Co-Counsel for the Plaintiffs in Johnson v. NCAA, the current case based upon his groundbreaking legal argument that Student Athletes meet hourly employee criteria under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as much as fellow students in Work Study-style programs.
For his leadership advocating for Student Athlete employee status, Sports Illustrated recognizes Paul as one of The 20 Most Influential Black Figures in College Football.
Paul has practiced law for nearly 25 years, from all sides, including tenures as a prosecutor with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, as outside counsel with Kirkland & Ellis, and as in-house counsel with Kraft Foods. In the ABA Section of Litigation, he formerly served in leadership as a Council Member, Division Co-Director, and Co-Chair of the Minority Trial Lawyer Committee.
Paul received his B.A. from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. While at Princeton University, he was elected Student Body President. He received his J.D. from the New York University School of Law.
Indiana University; Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Jayma M. Meyer is counsel at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and a visiting clinical professor at the O’Neill School, Indiana University. After a distinguished career in antitrust law, Ms. Meyer now focuses on advocating the power of sport to bring about social change, especially on achieving gender equality in sports through education, activism, and litigation.
Ms. Meyer began her legal career as an attorney in the Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, in Washington, D.C. She moved to private practice and joined Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City. Her long career at Simpson Thacher has included establishing Simpson Thacher’s Los Angeles office. At Simpson Thacher, Ms. Meyer has represented clients on antitrust and sports issues in numerous federal courts and agencies, including briefing antitrust issues in the U.S. Supreme Court and litigating pro bono Title IX cases in California and Hawaii.
As a visiting clinical professor at the O’Neill School since 2015, Ms. Meyer teaches sports law and public policy, consults on matters impacting athletes, and lectures on Title IX, amateurism, and other ethical issues in sports. Additionally, she has published in scholarly law reviews on antitrust issues impacting sports and on Title IX.
Ms. Meyer is a member of the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyers Association, the Advisory Council of the Women’s Sports Network, the Advocacy Committee of the Women’s Sports Foundation, the Advisory Council of the Concussion Legacy Foundation and the Sports Industry Council at the Kelley School of Business (IU). Ms. Meyer is an emerita member of the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Law Center and Women’s Sports Foundation. She has been named a New York Super Lawyer in the categories of Antitrust and Top Women Lawyers. She received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from Indiana University in 2022, the IU Bicentennial Medal in 2020, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the O’Neill School in 2014 and is Chair of the O’Neill Dean’s Council. Ms. Meyer is an active member of numerous antitrust and sports law bar association committees at the city, state, and federal levels. She is licensed to practice in NY and CA.
Ms. Meyer was a top 10 world-ranked swimmer in the early 1970s before Title IX opened broad intercollegiate opportunities for women.
Ms. Meyer received a B.S. from Indiana University (O’Neill), with high distinction, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
National Sports Law Institute, 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, 2nd ed. 2014, 3rd ed. 2017) and co-authored a law school textbook, Sports Law and Regulation: Cases, Materials, and Problems (Aspen/Wolters Kluwer 2005, 2nd ed. 2009, 3rd ed. 2013, 4th ed., 2017, 5th ed. 2020), and Sports Law: Governance and Regulation (Wolters Kluwer 2013, 2nd ed. 2016, 3rd ed. 2020), an undergraduate/graduate text. A leading sports law scholar, he has published articles in several highly ranked law reviews as well as in medical journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine.
He is an arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland (serving on the ad hoc Division for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia and Anti-doping Division for the 2020/21 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan) and the American Arbitration Association (sports, commercial, and consumer arbitration matters) as well as the UFC international anti-doping panel. He has served as the sole arbitrator, chair, or panel member in more 50 sports cases as well as numerous commercial or consumer arbitrations. He is a member of the Sports Lawyers Association (SLA) Board of Directors (serving as SLA president from May 2015-May 2017) 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 (receiving its 2019 Award for making a substantial and significant contribution to sports law scholarship, teaching, and/or service) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports. He 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 and received the 1997 Vinson & Elkins Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service. He has taught U. S. Sports Law as a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School, International Sports Law at the University of Barcelona, and Comparative Sports Law at the University of Queensland (Australia). He has been 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. In 2018, he received the National Athletic Trainers Association Professional Responsibility in Athletic Training Award for distinction in the advancement of legal, ethical, and regulatory issues.
Matt testified before a U.S. Congressional joint subcommittee (2003), the Senate Judiciary Committee (2020), and the Senate Commerce Committee (2021) as well as the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics regarding various college sports law issues. He has discussed a wide variety of sports law, business, and ethics topics at more than 200 conferences and seminars throughout the United States as well as in Australia, Canada, China, England, Hungary, Republic of Korea, and Turkey.
Tim Nevius* is Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Athlete Advocacy at Overtime Sports, where he helped form the new basketball league, Overtime Elite. He is also founder and principal of Nevius Legal, established in 2018, dedicated to the representation of college athletes. Previously, Tim was co-chair of the college sports practice at Winston & Strawn, where he was an original member of the lead counsel team in Alston v. NCAA. Prior to that, he spent five years as an NCAA investigator where he helped lead several high-profile enforcement cases. Tim was an early advocate for NIL reform. He testified before multiple state legislatures on NIL and health and safety reform, and he has led the negotiation and execution of NIL brand deals for top high school and college athletes. His TEDx Talk on the Exploitation of College Athletes has been viewed nearly 1.4 million times.
Tanja Olano Leader. Negotiator. Creator. Chief Legal and People Officer, LA28 Olympic & Paralympic Games Tanja Olano is a trailblazing commercial attorney know for melding exceptional precision with extraordinary creativity and in addition to her role as Chief Legal Officer, she is also head of LA28’s human resources and strategic partnerships. With her critical leadership role, Olano is foundational to LA28’s success, including commercial partnerships, intellectual property, corporate governance, real estate negotiations and key stakeholder agreements. From operations to marketing to impact to people, Olano’s leadership touches every functional area in the organization and is instrumental to positioning LA28 to deliver fiscally responsible, low-risk Games that leave a positive impact on Los Angeles. Olano joined the team in October 2015.
Senior Lecturer in Law at Edge Hill University, United Kingdom
Dr. Leanne O’Leary PhD FCIArb is a dual qualified solicitor (NZ and England/Wales) and a Senior Lecturer in Law at Edge Hill University, United Kingdom. She is the author of Employment and Labour Relations Law in the NBA, Premier League and International Rugby Union. Leanne’s research interests focus on athletes' rights and dispute resolution in elite and professional sport. Leanne completed her PhD at Trinity College, Dublin. She has published in leading sports law and employment law journals, including the Industrial Law Journal, the International Sports Law Journal and the European Competition Law Review. She has presented at international conferences on issues such as the interplay between European competition law and social dialogue, and collective bargaining in international sport. Leanne is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a CEDR-accredited mediator, and arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
LA 28 Organizing Committee for the Olympic & Paralympic Games
ArentFox Schiff LLP
Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Footprint Center
Roberty (Bobby) Ollman was born and raised in Wisconsin. Attended North Dakota State University for his undergraduate studies while also playing on the NDSU football team. After graduating from NDSU with a double major (political science and philosophy), he attended Marquette University Law School. Robert worked for a small/mid-size firm in Milwaukee for three years focusing mostly on business/corporate transactional law. Robert is currently working for the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and Footprint Center as Associate Counsel.
Winston & Strawn
Jeanifer Parsigian is a partner in Winston & Strawn's renowned sports law practice. An accomplished litigator, she has represented athletes and sports clients in high-profile matters. Among successfully trying antitrust claims to a landmark win for college athletes against the NCAA upheld by the Supreme Court, and in a high-stakes gender discrimination lawsuit on behalf of the Women's National Soccer Team in their pursuit of equal pay. Jeanifer was named a Law360 Sports & Betting Rising Star, Legal 500 Key Lawyer, and a Super Lawyers Rising Star.
Radke Sports Law
Hubert Radke is a former basketball player at college level in the US and at the professional level internationally, who turned lawyer and players’ agent once he finished his basketball career. In his legal practice he is focused on representing athletes and advocating for their rights. He acts as a counsel before Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT) and Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), as well as in the national level proceedings. He is basketball players’ agent certified by FIBA and NBPA, involved in the contractual negotiations, both at the national and international level. While playing pro basketball he graduated from the law school of the Nicolas Copernicus University in Torun, Poland (2005). Subsequently he obtained LL.M. degree in sports law at ISDE in Madrid, Spain (2017), one of the most renown sports law programs in the world. Recently he completed an intensive program of Sports Business Classroom held by the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas (2022), on NBA & NBPA collective bargaining agreement and business aspects of professional basketball. Currently he is pursuing a Ph.D. in sports law at his alma mater. He is a sports law scholar who spoke at sports law conferences worldwide, published a number of articles on legal issues of sport and coauthored first modern textbook on sports law in Poland. The main area of his scholar interest are sports contracts, both individually and collective bargained, as well as sports arbitration. Hubert is also a basketball analyst cooperating with the exclusive rights holder for the NBA games in Poland - Canal Plus Sport. Not only he is a color commentator of the basketball games, but provides the analysis of basketball related legal and business issues.
Sidley Austin LLP
Irwin Raij is a partner and co-chairs Sidley’s Entertainment, Sports and Media industry group. Irwin focuses his practice on the business of sports. Irwin has handled matters involving the European Soccer Leagues, Major League Baseball (MLB), Minor League Baseball, Major League Soccer (MLS), the United Soccer League (USL), Series A, LaLiga, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), and Formula 1 events. This includes representing clients in sports-anchored public-private partnerships for both professional and collegiate stadiums and related ancillary development, construction, and financing. His practice also includes representing both buyers and sellers of sports franchises in professional sports leagues, media rights, concessions and promotional and advertising agreements (including naming rights, merchandising, and operational agreements). Irwin also has experience handling RSN formation, sports technology counseling/ventures, stadium service agreements, ticketing arrangements, and television, radio, and media rights agreements. His clients include individuals, leagues, teams, universities, financial institutions, and local and state government.
Tamara M. Ribas
State Bar of California
Tamara M. Ribas was appointed by the California Supreme Court to the State Bar Court of California on November 1, 2022. Judge Ribas serves in the Review Department, which is the appellate level of the State Bar Court. Before this appointment, Judge Ribas was an administrative judge for more than 16 years with the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board adjudicating federal employment cases. Previously, Judge Ribas was an attorney with the Office of General Counsel, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she litigated cases and advised the Indian Health Service in the areas of health law, Indian law, labor and employment law, ethics, contracts, and privacy issues. Judge Ribas began her career as a deputy public defender at the Santa Clara County Public Defender Office. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
University of New Hampshire Director of Athletics
Allison Rich is the current President of the Sports Lawyers Association. She has led the Association through a strategic planning process and assisted in creating and maintaining forward progress during and after the pandemic. Rich is also the Director of Athletics at the University of New Hampshire where she guides a 20-sport NCAA Division I program focused on athletic and academic excellence and providing an outstanding student-athlete experience.
Rich has been a leader in athletics administration and sports law for many years, holding executive positions at Princeton University (her alma mater), Florida State University, California State University, Fullerton, and University of the Pacific, She also worked at the NCAA national office in legislative and membership services, as an administrator for Loyola University, Chicago, and as a consultant with JMI Sports, LLC.
Rich earned her bachelor’s degree from Princeton, Juris Doctorate from Chicago-Kent College of Law, and doctorate in educational administration from the University of the Pacific. Licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois and a qualified arbitrator from the State of Florida, she is a Sports Management Institute Executive Program and Women Leaders in College Sports Executive Institute graduate. Rich is currently the Vice Chair of the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee, and also serves on the board of the National Sports Law Institute. She is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NADCA), Women Leaders in College Sports, and the American, Illinois, and Chicago Bar Associations.
Penn State Law
Professor of Law, Co-Director of multi-disciplinary Center for the Study of Sports in Society at Penn State; co-author of West Academic's Sports Law text; Advanced Introduction to Global Sports Law and Derecho del Desportes Global; pro bono appellate advocate for sports consumer organizations; consults widely for sports leagues and players association.
Proskauer Rose LLP
Preeminent litigator and trial lawyer, Brad Ruskin is a senior partner at Proskauer where he co-chairs the Firm’s renown Sports Law Group and has been the Firm’s longest serving member on its worldwide Executive Committee. His practice has spanned a wide variety of high stakes commercial cases, representing clients such as Major League Soccer, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, ATP Tour, WTA Tour, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, the WSL, multiple professional teams, the Big East, the PAC-12, T-Mobile, Wharton Properties, Tech Mahindra, Schein, and Madonna. In addition to his decades long legal career, Brad has also long been involved in a wide array of public service activities. He currently serves as a Member of the Executive Committee and Director of the Legal Aid Society (and recipient of its Service of Justice Award), a Director and Audit Committee Chair of the Student Leadership Network (and recipient of its “The Man We Love Award”), a member of the ADL Sports Leadership Council, a board member of Sports for Youth, and a member of the Jewish Theological Society’s Advisory Board (and recipient of its Simon Rifkind Award). In addition, he has taught a graduate school class at NYU's Tisch School and has testified before legislative and other bodies concerning administration of justice and court operations in New York State.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Arianna Scavetti is a Complex Commercial Litigation partner in Weil’s Washington, D.C. office. She represents a range of corporate clients at all phases of trial and appellate litigation in state and federal courts around the country. Arianna has broad experience in the sports industry and has been the face of the Firm on exciting and impactful engagements representing players’ unions on issues of player safety, well-being, and compensation. Most recently, Arianna represented the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association to lead a landmark joint investigation into alleged abuse, harassment, and misconduct in professional women’s soccer. She has also served as counsel for amici curiae in several high-profile sports-related litigation matters, including for the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team players’ union in support of the U.S. Women’s National Team in their litigation seeking equal pay, and for the leading men’s and women’s professional and collegiate Players Associations before the Supreme Court in challenging the NCAA’s amateurism rules as violating the antitrust laws. Her experience also includes advising on labor and employment claims and handling disputes related to sponsorship agreements.
Kevin R. Schulz
Foley & Lardner LLP
Kevin R. Schulz is Co-Chair of Foley & Lardner LLP's Sports & Entertainment Group. His practice focuses in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and commercial transactions, including in the professional and collegiate sports industry, and he routinely advises sports clients in the sale and acquisition of professional sports franchises, licensing arrangements, sponsorship and naming rights agreements, joint ventures, ticketing arrangements, stadium and arena service agreements, NFTs, college multimedia rights deals, NIL (name, image, and likeness) matters, and media rights agreements (television, radio, streaming).
Senior Architect, Populous
Robbins Geller Rudman Dowd
Len Simon is a lawyer and law professor in San Diego. He does antitrust, securities, and class actions, including sports-related matters. He has taught at Duke University, University of San Diego, University of California-Irvine and University of Southern California. He was lead counsel for plaintiff in Moultrie v. NWSL.
Cardelle Spangler is the managing partner of Winston's Chicago office. She has represented clients in complex class action, collective action, multi-plaintiff, and single-plaintiff employment litigation. Cardelle has substantial trial experience before state and federal courts and arbitrators. She has successfully defended collective action lawsuits brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act; class action lawsuits brought under ERISA alleging breaches of fiduciary duties against corporate and individual defendants; claims brought under ERISA for denial of benefits and discrimination; claims brought under various state and federal statutes for age, race, sex, color, religion, and disability discrimination and/or harassment; and common law and/or statutory claims for unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, and various torts. Cardelle has also conducted harassment and other investigations, drafted employment and independent contractor agreements, and conducted labor and employment training.
National Basketball Association
Legal Affairs, Concerts, Live Nation Entertainment; NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy Consultant
Naima Stevenson Starks
SLA Board Member
The Wharton School
Mori Taheripour is a globally recognized negotiation expert, an award-winning faculty member at the Wharton School, a highly sought-after speaker, and the author of Bring Yourself: How to Harness the Power of Connection to Negotiate Fearlessly. With over 20 years of experience in negotiations, DE&I, and sports business, Mori's impressive roster of clients includes Fortune 100 companies, major sports leagues, leading charitable institutions, and government agencies. Her current and past clients include Goldman Sachs Foundation, Google, Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), National Football League (NFL), The Timberland Company, United Parcel Service (UPS), US Agency for International Development (USAID), Wasserman, Wells Fargo, and the White House Fellows Program. Top business publications and media outlets have featured Mori's work, including ESPN, Forbes, INC., Marketplace, Money, NPR, and the Next Chapter by American Express. She regularly contributes to sports discussions on Wharton Business Daily on SiriusXM. Mori is a member of the Board of Directors for USA Track and Field (USATF) and the Advisory Board of the Sports Leadership & Administration Undergraduate Degree Program at UMass, Boston, Trustee Emeritus for the Women's Sports Foundation, and Commissioner for the Women's Refugee Commission. Mori earned her BA from Barnard College of Columbia University and MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Thompson Coburn LLP
Bob Wallace is a Partner and the Chair of the Sports Law Group at Thompson Coburn LLP. Bob represents clients with sports interests, including facility operators and corporate sponsors. Bob also represents coaches and collegiate and professional executives in contract and separation negotiations and has advised student-athletes in scholarship disputes in addition to advising clients on NIL issues. A former NFL team executive with three NFL teams, and NFL has served as NFL Hearing Officer, Bob is also a Past President of the SLA. Bob is committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and serves on his firm's Diversity Committee and the SLA's Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee.
Martin J. Walsh
Marty Walsh has spent his life fighting for working people, as a labor leader, as a public official and as a private citizen. In 2013, he was elected Mayor of Boston, an office he served in for seven years. In January 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Marty to serve as the United States’ 29th Secretary of Labor. After taking office during the COVID-19 pandemic, Marty worked to support both laid-off and frontline workers. He subsequently leveraged the President’s historic economic recovery to strengthen worker power and improve job quality. In February 2023, Marty was appointed as the Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association, returning to his roots as a labor leader where he can continue to champion the importance of workers’ rights and the shared benefits of collective bargaining for all.
Marty is someone who never forgets where he came from. A survivor of Burkitt’s Lymphoma as a child, he has fought to expand access to healthcare for all. Embracing recovery from alcoholism as a young man, he has always believed in compassion and second chances. Grateful for the role that unions played in helping his immigrant family join the middle class, he co-founded pre-apprenticeship programs that have become national models in helping people of color, women and justice-involved individuals enjoy successful construction careers as union members.
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
Mit Winter focuses his practice on helping businesses of all types and sizes navigate complex challenges, with considerable experience assisting companies in general commercial litigation and business disputes, business formation and transactions, class action litigation, intellectual property matters, and a broad array of collegiate sports matters. With respect to the latter, Mit is recognized as a leading college athlete name, image, and likeness lawyer and is sought out by clients and the media for this expertise. In combination with his background as a Division I college basketball player, Mit is uniquely suited to assist and advise athletes, universities, and other clients with legal matters surrounding name, image, and likeness opportunities and businesses.