The practice of sports law can touch upon a wide variety of practice areas, including labor and employment, contracts, insurance, and regulatory matters and is well-suited to our diverse practice. We have extensive experience representing high-profile professional athletes, coaches and player agents in various legal and endorsement matters.
Working with high-profile clients, including athletes, coaches and agents also require our attorneys to meet uncommon challenges as a result of the high level of public and media interest, the demanding schedules and strong privacy concerns of our clients and the often restrictive rules and internal procedures established by the professional sports leagues.
A primary focus of our sports law practice is the representation of professional athletes accused of violating league substance abuse and performance-enhancing drug policies, including both National Football League and Major League Baseball policies. These matters are particularly challenging given the often short timeframe established to challenge alleged violations as well as strict procedures which may restrict both the available challenges to discipline and the ability to access key information. Our approach to handling these matters includes collaborating with representatives of the players’ unions and consulting with qualified experts including medical professionals, toxicologists and others.
We work to establish a broad understanding of our clients and their particular circumstances, which allows us to craft unique approaches and pursue novel theories to successfully defend and protect the rights of our clients. We understand that, given the relatively short length of many athletes’ professional careers, missed games can be a most damaging and frustrating outcome. We have resolved many matters by negotiating favorable settlements which avoid or minimize our client’s absence from the field.
We have also represented players in litigation to enforce and protect their rights, including in an insurance dispute which, after a month-long jury trial, resulted in a multi-million dollar award against an insurance company and in favor of a player who was unable to complete his contract because of an injury.
We are not agents and do not represent players in negotiations with teams.
We have also represented prominent football and hockey player agents in federal and state litigation, arbitrations, internal disciplinary matters and in connection with investigations based on state registration. Among the challenges which we have successfully addressed are disputes relating to collaborations between agents and others located internationally, which pose novel procedural hurdles related to jurisdiction and discovery; substantive issues of obtaining and preserving evidence, and the risk of potential difficulties in enforcing a judgment against an international defendant.
We have also assisted the estate of a prominent NFL agent to collect nearly all of the commissions owed on contracts negotiated during the agent’s lifetime, utilizing a combination of communications with athlete’s advisors, utilizing the NFLPA’s grievance procedures and via federal and state court proceedings.
Our sports law clients value our insight, discretion and wide-ranging areas of practice expertise, and have also retained us to represent them in transactional and other matters both related and unrelated to their profession, including the negotiation of endorsement deals, real estate matters, business investments, and others.