The business of sports is continuously evolving, creating new challenges and opportunities for sports lawyers and other legal professionals.
Three law students set out to host an impressive sports law symposium
to help Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law continue its upward trajectory within the area of Entertainment and Sports Law. With a sold out event and an agenda filled with more than 15 heavy hitter speakers working in the sports and entertainment industry, the program was definitely the home run the students were hoping for.
The much anticipated
Where Sports and the Law Collide: Understanding the Legal Climate of the Sports Industry symposium
was held on Friday, February 07, 2014 at the Fowler School of Law. Dean Tom Campbell welcomed the audience, and then David Cohen, General Counsel for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicked things off with an energetic opening keynote presentation. Cohen took the audience on a journey of how he came to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, what he has learned, the mistakes he has made and advice for those entering the field. He encouraged the guests to “envision and develop a strategy, find someone who can help you and reach out.” Cohen stressed throughout his presentation that you can’t succeed alone; you are going to need help from people in various departments with different backgrounds. Get everyone in the loop and make good changes happen.
The first panel ‘How Legal Skills Translate into Sports Agency’ then took the stage. The panel included Rand Getlin – Yahoo! Sports Legal Analyst; Chuck Price – NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor and President, Prestige Football Management; Scott C. Norton – NHLPA Certified Player Agent and President, Norton Sports Management; Audie Attar – NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor, MMA agent and President, Paradigm Sports Management; Jeff Blank – Sports Attorney and Adjunct Lecturer, UC Irvine School of Law; and Mark Bloom, Esq. – NFLPA Certified Agent, principal at Summit Sports in Beverly Hills, and associate at the Law Offices of Gary Dordick, APC. This first panel was professionally moderated by Evan Brennan, one of the Fowler Law School students that organized the event. Rand Getlin, who is in the media, said, “there is so much grime in the business” and no one has been regulating it. Scott Norton commented that he wears the black hat for his clients, so they can wear the white hat and build a positive image. Audie Attar gave some great advice to the students in the audience to take notes of what you like and don’t like with companies and your jobs, then take that with you through your career and make it what you want.
The lunch keynote presentation was given by David Meltzer – CEO, Sports 1 Marketing: Warren Moon Enterprises. David’s theme throughout his speech was “change the way you look at things so the things you look at change.” He reflected on how he thought when he was in law school, which was likely to align with feelings of students in the audience. After he retired in his 30’s, David wasn’t happy and finally understood the advice of getting out of your own way. He now tries to bring goodness in everything he does. He discussed the importance of knowing yourself, your capabilities, and empowering the world around you.
The second panel of the day included Michael Pang – Managing Partner of the Sports Law Practice Group, Adelson, Testan, Brundo, Novell & Jimenez; Darren Heitner – Attorney and Professor of Sports Agency Management, Indiana University; Laura E. Jeffords – Attorney and Professor of Sports Arbitration, Loyola Law School; and Richard Wilner – Partner, Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC. This panel discussed ‘Contemporary Developments in Athlete Employment Law.’ The group covered salary negotiations, conflicts in sports, player immigration to play sports in the US and the future of EA Sports College Football video game.
The final panel included Sam Fernandez – Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Los Angeles Dodgers; Allison Hushek – Associate General Counsel, World Poker Tour Enterprises; Alex Winsberg – Director, Legal Affairs and Risk Management, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; and Mark Humenik – Vice President and General Counsel of Athletes First. The ‘Legal Issues Facing Today’s General Counsels in the Sports Industry’ panel was moderated by Kathy Z Heller, Associate Professor and Executive Director of the
Entertainment Law Program at Chapman University Fowler School of Law
. The answers greatly varied between MLB team and stadium issues to online gambling and agent representation.
The powerful symposium concluded with a networking reception, allowing Fowler School of Law students to mix with panelists, speakers, and attorney attendees.
The symposium brought together multiple groups, including Fowler students, staff and faculty, as well as students from other law schools, and practicing attorneys. Throughout the day, there was a buzz about the strength of the program from speakers and attendees.
Entertainment and Sports Law Society at Chapman University Fowler School of Law
did a phenomenal job of organizing and running this sports law symposium. Chapman University is proud to have entrepreneurial students like these who are eager to bring such an event to their campus and share the experience with those outside the Chapman family.