Sports Law

Manatt-sponsored Sports Law Symposium Covers Cutting-edge Topics

Manatt’s Sports Law Practice Group sponsored the Second Annual Sports Law Symposium at Santa Clara University on September 8, 2011.  Ron Katz, Chair of Manatt’s Sports Law Group, organized the highly successful all-day program — attended by over 200 lawyers, sports business professionals, and law students — which presented keynote speakers and panels addressing four cutting-edge legal issues: concussions, steroids, labor strife and the use of players’ images. 

Keynote speakers included DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFL Players Association; ESPN investigative reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada; Sonny Vaccaro, who perfected the art of athletic shoe endorsements; and Professor and former NLRB Chairman William Gould IV of Stanford Law School. 

Katz spoke on the use of players' images, discussing Manatt’s representation of football legend Jim Brown — who also spoke on several symposium panels — against Electronic Arts, involving the Madden NFL video games.  Joining Katz to discuss the law of player images were law professors Kevin Greene of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Lateef Mtima of Howard Law School, and Tyler Ochoa of Santa Clara Law School, as well as attorneys Rob Carey, Michael Hausfeld and Robert Wierenga. 

Manatt lawyer Craig de Recat chaired the Concussions Panel, which included the San Jose Sharks’ general counsel John Tortora, retired NFL player and lawyer Shawn Stuckey, and attorneys John Hogan who specializes in representing disabled players and Tom Girardi (counsel for 75 retired players in a pending lawsuit against the NFL regarding head injuries and brain damage). 

The Steroids Panel began with a discussion of the Barry Bonds story, which was first publicly reported by Fainaru-Wada, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Paul Haagen of Duke Law School’s Center for Sports Law and Policy.  That panel included retired NFL player Ben Lynch and former WCC commissioner and NCAA investigator Mike Gilleran. 

Daniel Rascher, director of the University of San Francisco’s Sport Management Program, moderated a lively discussion on labor issues, which included panelists Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management, sports and economics consultant Andy Schwarz, and attorneys Dan Mason and Len Simon. 

Santa Clara’s Sports Law Symposiums have been noteworthy not only for the breadth and depth of their topical legal issues, but also for their unique symposium panels comprising not just practicing sports law lawyers and law professors, but athletes, journalists, physicians, owners and general counsel of sports teams and related businesses, and officers of sports organizations.  

Attendees received a 255-page “law review” style compendium containing selected materials from certain speakers, titled Selected Proceedings of the Santa Clara University Sports Law Symposium (9/8/11).  Additional copies are available on a first-come-first-served basis (please send requests, including mailing address, to Ron Katz). 

The articles in the Selected Proceedings are: 
"Concussions, Brain Injury and NFL Disability" by John Hogan, Esq. 

"The Economics of Competitive Balance on the Field and in the Courts" by Professor Daniel Rascher 

"Excuses, not Reasons: 13 Myths about (Not) Paying College Athletes" by Andy Schwarz, M.B.A. 

"Right of Publicity, Identity and Performance" by Professor Kevin J. Greene 

"What's Mine Is Mine But What's Yours is Ours" by Professor Lateef Mtima 

"A Long Deep Drive to Collective Bargaining" by Professor William B. Gould, IV and Professor Robert C. Berry

Planning for the 2012 symposium has begun.  Please contact Ron Katz with ideas or suggestions for program topics and speakers.