About

Sports Lawyers Association Board of Directors
Biographical Sketches and Resumes

 


Anthony J. Agnone

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.


Richard A. Berthelsen

Richard A. Berthelsen

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.


Adolpho A. Birch III

Tennessee Titans

Adolpho A. Birch III

Adolpho Birch is in his first season with the Titans as Senior Vice President, Business Affairs & Chief Legal Officer. He joined the organization in 2020 after spending 23 years at the NFL headquarters in New York.

Birch’s responsibilities with the Titans include legal affairs, human resources, government relations, and business planning and strategy.

As an advisor to Commissioners Paul Tagliabue and Roger Goodell, Birch served in many senior-level roles during his time at the league office.

From 2015 to 2020, Birch served as the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Labor Policy & League Affairs. His broad range of duties covered labor negotiations, litigation matters, government relations, player engagement, employee development and the league’s critical response team. He helped develop, administer and enforce policies respecting the integrity of the game and the reputation of the league, including those on substances of abuse, performance-enhancing drugs, gambling and criminal misconduct.

Working with government officials, he also advanced the NFL’s legislative, political and regulatory interests on key issues such as youth concussion laws, the league's tax status and the FCC's blackout rule.

In supervising the NFL’s player engagement efforts, which encompass a number of programs to support player and employee off-field success, he helped improve access to continuing education, financial education, career development and clinical assistance.

Additionally, he served on several executive working groups and cross-organizational committees including those related to sponsorship, legalized sports betting, media advertising policy, and disaster relief.

Birch began his career with the NFL as Labor Relations Counsel from 1997¬ to 2007. His primary responsibility in that role was the enforcement of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, including player and club contract and injury grievances, benefit matters and salary cap disputes. He later was promoted to Vice President of Labor Policy and Player Development (2007–2010), Senior Vice President of Law and Labor Policy (2010–2012), and Senior Vice President of Labor Policy and Government Affairs (2012–2014).

Prior to his work in the league office, Birch clerked for the Honorable Thomas A. Wiseman, Jr., Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. He then worked in private practice in Houston as an associate at Fulbright & Jaworski and later a labor and litigation boutique.

A Nashville native and graduate of Father Ryan High School, 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.


Gregg E. Clifton

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Gregg E. Clifton

Gregg E. Clifton is a principal in the Phoenix, Arizona, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is co-leader of the firm’s Sports Industry Group and serves as the editor of Jackson Lewis’ sports law blog.

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 sports 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 Jackson Lewis, Gregg spent six years as chief operating officer 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 began his career as an associate at Jackson Lewis where he focused his practice on traditional labor law. He continues to counsel clients in the areas of collective bargaining negotiations, representation cases, arbitrations and National Labor Relations Board matters.

Gregg currently serves as Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University Law School. He also frequently serves as an expert speaker to law schools, including Harvard University, Boston College, Hofstra University and Villanova University, and bar associations regarding a variety of sports law issues. He is often called upon by national news media as a source for his commentary and opinion on legal issues in sports.


Dennis M. Coleman

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.


William Daly

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.


CJ Davis

PUMA

CJ Davis

Hoyt “CJ” Davis III serves as Deputy General Counsel, Head of Sports Business & Legal Affairs for PUMA North America and Cobra PUMA Golf. His responsibilities are centered on managing PUMA and Cobra Golf's domestic, as well as global sports, licensing, marketing, and entertainment –based legal issues and business affairs in addition to various other corporate legal issues relating to intellectual property, product development, sales, and employment matters. CJ previously spent worked for Kering Americas, Inc. While at Kering he represented Kering’s portfolio of brands in both their Sportlifestyle and Luxury divisions including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, PUMA, Volcom, and Electric Visual amongst others. He represents PUMA, and the sporting goods industry, as Vice-Chair of the Athletics Committee and serves on the Committee on International Sports Organizations for the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Sports Lawyers Association.


Tom DePaso

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.


Woodie Dixon, Jr.

Chegg, Inc.

Woodie Dixon, Jr.

Woodie Dixon, Jr. is currently the General Counsel of Chegg, Inc. (NYSE: CHGG), overseeing all legal and compliance matters. Chegg is the leading student-first connected learning platform, helping students improve their overall return on educational investment in less time and at a lower cost.

Prior to joining Chegg, Dixon served as the General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Business Affairs for the Pac-12 Conference from 2010-2020. At the Pac-12, Dixon handled all legal affairs and business administration, in addition to oversight of human resources and football operations.

From 2004-10, Dixon served as General Counsel for the Kansas City Chiefs. Prior to that, he worked for the National Football League, Sidley & Austin LLP and Dorsey & Whitney, handling a myriad of corporate legal matters.

Dixon obtained his JD from Harvard Law School, a MS in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a BA in History from Amherst College. In 2013, Dixon received a Forty Under 40 Award from the Sports Business Journal, recognizing him as one of the most promising young executives in sports under the age of 40.

Dixon currently also serves as a member of the Fritz Pollard Alliance Board, USA Football Board, and Arizona State University Sports Law and Business Advisory Board.


Richard J. Ensor

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

Richard J. Ensor

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.


Gabe Feldman

Tulane University Law School

Gabe Feldman

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.


Layth Gafoor

Lucentem Sports & Entertainment Law

Layth Gafoor

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.

Membership:

Publications & Presentations:

  1. Intellectual Property Rights for the Creative Industries, Speaker, Unplugged Expo, September 2014.

  2. A Heads Up for Sports Teams - The Impact of NFL Class Action Litigation, The Lawyers Weekly November 2013.

  3. The Athlete for Hire, Comparing Athletic vs. Personal Service Contracts in Film, Speaker, Osgoode Law School, October 2013.

  4. Fighting for Certainty: The Legality of MMA in Canada - Ontario Bar Association, June 2013.

  5. Drafting Endorsement Agreements, Guest Lecturer, University of Victoria, Faculty of Law, March 2013.

  6. Crisis Management & Morals Clauses, Speaker, Ontario Bar Association, November 2012.

  7. Raising the Bar: A Comparative Review of Concussion Legislation, Sports Litigation Reporter, November 2012.

  8. Building a Solid Sports Practice from the Ground Up, Speaker, Osgoode Hall Law School, October 2012.

  9. Managing Concussions in Combative Athletes, Ontario Bar Association, EMC Reporter, June 2012.

  10. Risk Management in MMA, Speaker, Ontario Assn of School Board Officials 20th Annual Conference, Jan 2012.


Jeff Gewirtz

Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment

Jeff Gewirtz

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.


C. Peter Goplerud III

Spencer Fane, LLP

C. Peter Goplerud III

Peter Goplerud is 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 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 and from 2019-2022. 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 and served until 2021.  He is now a Director Emeritus.  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.


Robert Hacker

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.


Roger Kaplan

Robert Kaplan

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.


Gord Kirke

Gord Kirke

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.


Robert H. Lattinville

Robert H. Lattinville

WME

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

TruthDEI

Nona M. Lee

Nona Lee grew up loving sports. She medaled in the Junior Olympics for swimming and later played basketball at Pepperdine University where she got a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting. Then, in law school, Lee obtained her Juris Doctor, graduated Summa Cum Laude, and was awarded “Graduate of the Year.” Nona has also received certifications in Leadership for Corporate Counsel from Harvard University, as well as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion certification from Cornell University.

Lee dreamed of one day combining her practice as an attorney with her passion for sports, so she worked to become the first-ever Associate General Counsel for the Phoenix Suns professional basketball team, and also provided shared services to the jointly owned Arizona Diamondbacks Major League Baseball franchise (D-backs) and Phoenix Mercury WNBA franchise. While with the Suns, Lee founded the Phoenix Women’s Sports Association as a platform for helping girls and women find their power through sports, as Lee did.

After the D-backs and the Suns and Mercury were sold to different owners, Lee went on to start a dedicated in-house legal department for the Arizona Diamondbacks where she became the first Vice President & General Counsel for the team. At the time, she was only one of three women to hold this position with Major League Baseball clubs. When she left the D-backs in 2022, she was the only openly gay person, black person, and woman to have ever held an Executive Vice President at the D-backs and was the first with those intersectional identities to hold the position among all 30 Major League Baseball clubs.

Lee encountered countless acts of racism and discrimination while growing up in Los Angeles, during college, through law school, in her workplaces, and still today. Lee knew it was time to speak her truth and work to empower organizations and their leaders with diversity, equity and inclusion knowledge and strategies to lead their organizations to transformative change, so she left the D-backs and founded Truth DEI Consulting where she and her team consult organizations around the country about diversity, equity and inclusion for lasting change.

Lee is also the co-founder of Truth Retreats, an immersive DEI leadership retreat combined with a Civil Rights Trail Tour, providing a transformative Truth and Reconciliation Experience in Montgomery & Selma, Alabama. Truth Retreats is the only company that provides a Civil Rights Trail Tour along with the DEI tools needed to process the tour experience and develop a DEI strategy for what attendees can do next in their communities and workplaces.

Lee has served on many boards including, but not limited to, Board of Advisors for the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University Law School; Advisory Board for the Arizona State University Sports Law & Business Program; Trustee Emeritus for the Women's Sports Foundation; Past President, Board Member, and DEI Committee Co-Chair for the Sports Lawyers Association (Lee was only the second woman and first woman of color woman and openly gay person in 40+ year history of the SLA to serve as President); Board Member and Co-Chair of the DEI Committee for the National LGBTQ + Bar Association; panel member on the NCAA’s Independent Resolution Panel, which heard and decided NCAA Infractions cases.

Lee is a sought-after DEI consultant and keynote speaker, working with organizations such as Disney, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, JAMS, Major Lindsey Africa, Tempe Tourism, and more. Lee’s mission in life is use her voice and platform to contribute to meaningful and significant change with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and by doing so leave this world better than she found it.


Pamela R. Lester

Lester Sports and Entertainment, Inc.

Pamela R. Lester

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.


Christopher McCleary

United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee

Christopher McCleary

Chris McCleary has served as general counsel for the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee since January 2015. In this role, he leads a team of legal professionals responsible for all USOPC legal, contract, intellectual property, and dispute resolution matters. Additionally, he serves as the organization’s ethics officer and works with the USOPC Ethics Committee to advance USOPC’s ethics and conflicts of interest policies and practices, and to resolve ethics questions as they arise. He also leads USOPC’s governance work and serves as corporate secretary to the USOPC board of directors.

McCleary oversees the USOPC’s partnerships with the World Anti-doping Agency, U.S. Anti-doping Agency and Partnership for Clean Competition. He also serves as a member of the Association of National Olympic Committee’s Legal Commission.

McCleary joined the USOPC from Visa Inc., where he served eight years as the senior vice president and senior associate general counsel of global brand and client management, in which he led the company’s worldwide legal operations in marketing, sponsorships, intellectual property and client licensing.

Previously, McCleary served as senior vice president and deputy general counsel for Visa International Service Association, focusing on the Visa Worldwide Services legal department. In a prior stint with the company, he also served as senior vice president for Visa U.S.A. Inc., where he led the legal department in all marketing and advertising matters.

In addition to his experience with Visa, he served as general counsel for Move.com and practiced law with Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, concentrating on intellectual property matters.

McCleary received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1986, and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Michigan Law in 1991. He and his wife, Kristina Chung, live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with their two children, Chase and Caroline.


Jayma M. Meyer

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett/Indiana University

Jayma M. Meyer

Jayma is Counsel at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City, where her focus is on antitrust and Title IX litigation, and a Visiting Clinical Professor of Sports Law and Public Policy at Indiana University. Jayma advocates the power of sport to bring about social change, with a special focus on achieving gender equality in sports through education, activism and litigation.

Jayma's recent scholarship includes two in-depth articles on college athletics: "It's on the NCAA: A Playbook for Eliminating Sexual Assault", 67 Syracuse Law Review 358 (2017) and "The Case for a Limited and Conditional Antitrust Exemption for the NCAA", 62 Antitrust Bulletin 31 (2017). She is a regular lecturer and panelist at universities, conferences and symposiums on sports law issues. Jayma has negotiated Title IX settlement agreements that contain multi-year monitoring provisions with high schools throughout the US and is currently litigating a class action Title IX case against the Hawaii Department of Education. Jayma has co-counseled with the San Francisco Legal Aid at Work, California Women's Law Center, Hawaii ACLU and National Women's Law Center on Title IX matters.

Jayma is a Member, Board of Directors and Vice Co-Chair of the Annual Conference Committee of the Sports Lawyers Association; Trustee, Chair of the Advocacy Committee, and Member of the Executive Committee of the Women's Sports Foundation; and Member, Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Development and Strategy Committee of the National Women's Law Center. Jayma has been named multiple times a New York Super Lawyer in the categories of Antitrust and Top Women Lawyers, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University (SPEA) in 2014. She also has served as a member of the Sports Law and Antitrust Law Committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of N.Y. Jayma graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and is licensed to practice law in NY and CA.

Jayma was a top 10 ranked butterfly swimmer in the world in the early 1970s.


A. J. (Jack) Mills, Jr.

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.


Matthew J. Mitten

National Sports Law Institute and Marquette University Law School

Matthew J. Mitten

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.


Vicky Neumeyer

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.


Joe Pierce

Hornets Sports & Entertainment

Joe Pierce

Joe currently serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Hornets Sports & Entertainment where he has been a member of the executive team since 2013. In this role, Joe manages all legal affairs for the Charlotte Hornets NBA franchise, Greensboro Swarm G League team, Venom GT esports team and the operations of Spectrum Center arena. Joe provides counsel on matters including media rights, sponsorship, NBA policy, litigation, finance, labor & employment, intellectual property, government affairs and insurance risk management. During his tenure with the Hornets, Joe has been a key member of the team that helped secure the right for the City of Charlotte and Spectrum Center arena to host the 2019 NBA All-Star Game and 2019 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Joe joined the Hornets from Bank of America, where he spent five years as Senior Vice President & Associate General Counsel for Global Marketing & Corporate Affairs. In that role, he served as lead counsel in negotiating agreements related to the company’s sponsorship of properties such as the NFL, MLB, PGA Tour and NASCAR. In addition, he provided legal support for Bank of America’s global enterprise marketing, corporate social responsibility activities and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Prior to that, Joe spent several years as Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs for Comcast Sports Group in Philadelphia, where he negotiated television rights agreements for professional and collegiate teams in leagues and conferences including the NBA, NFL, MLB, PAC-12 and ACC. In this role, Joe also negotiated affiliate distribution agreements and on-air talent contracts for Comcast’s regional sports television networks.

Joe began his career in sports with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he served as Associate General Counsel from 2002-05, after spending four years as a corporate lawyer at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, California where he represented emerging growth technology companies and investors in venture capital financings, public securities offerings and mergers & acquisitions.

Joe serves on the Boards of the Charlotte Hornets Foundation and The Fletcher School and is a gubernatorial appointee to the North Carolina Travel & Tourism Board.

Joe is a native of San Antonio and graduated from Georgetown University, where he received a bachelor’s in business administration in Finance and was captain of the track & field team. He earned dual Juris Doctor and MBA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Wharton School of Business. Joe and his wife, Kama, have three children, Marco, Julian and Jasmine.


Allison Rich, J.D., Ed.D

University of New Hampshire

Allison Rich, J.D., Ed.D

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.


Gary R. Roberts

Gary Roberts

Bradley University

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.

Lloyd Shefsky

Lloyd Shefsky

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.


Kenneth L. Shropshire

The Shropshire Group LLC

Kenneth L. Shropshire

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.


Brian R. Socolow

Loeb & Loeb LLP

Brian_Socolow

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.


Naima Stevenson Starks

Stinson LLP

Naima Stevenson Starks

Naima has been a trusted advisor to corporate and nonprofit legal departments for over 20 years. Her practice focuses on handling litigation, compliance, governance and transactional matters across a variety of industries, including higher education, sports and entertainment, and apparel.

Naima has served in a variety of legal and leadership roles for Varsity Brands and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). She has significant experience advising businesses on matters relating to employment laws and practices, privacy considerations, regulatory policies and protocols, ESG reporting and related efforts, crisis communication and enterprise risk management.

Prior to Naima's in-house experience, she served as a corporate and securities attorney for a global, full-service law firm where she advised and represented public and private corporations in transactional matters involving securities regulations, private equity and mergers and acquisitions.


Nyea Sturman

Orlando Magic

Nyea Sturman

Nyea Sturman is in her 17th season with the Orlando Magic and was named vice president & general counsel in July of 2019. Prior to this role, she held the roles of general counsel, assistant director of legal services, and spent seven years in the Magic’s corporate partnerships department, most recently as the partnership business manager, focusing on strategic planning, budgeting, market research, contract negotiation, and sweepstakes compliance.

In her current role as vice president and general counsel, Sturman is responsible for overseeing the legal services department and providing counsel to the Orlando Magic (NBA), Lakeland Magic (NBA G League), Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL) and Magic Gaming (NBA 2K League).

Sturman graduated from Cornell University (B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations), the University of Oregon (M.B.A., Sports Business) and Marquette University Law School (J.D., Certificate in Sports Law), during which time she completed internships with the National Football League, Milwaukee Bucks and the Pettit National Ice Center. During her time at Marquette University Law School, Sturman served as the executive editor of the Marquette Sports Law Review and the president of the Sports Law Society. She is admitted to practice in Florida, New York, and Wisconsin, is a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), serves on the Advisory Board for the National Sports Law Institute, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Sports Lawyers Association, The Gift of Swimming, the Florida Sports Foundation, and the Foundation for Seminole State College.


Travis T. Tygart

Travis T. Tygart

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.


Bob Wallace

Thompson Coburn's Sports Law Group

Bob Wallace

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


Bill Webb

Philadelphia Phillies

Bill Webb

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.


Maureen Weston

Pepperdine University

Bill Webb

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


Glenn M. Wong

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

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.


Vered Yakovee

Yakovee Law

Vered Yakovee

Vered Yakovee is the principal attorney of Yakovee Law, through which she handles sports business transactions and other complex commercial transaction. Before founding Yakovee Law, Vered served as Vice President and Associate General Counsel for the Miami HEAT and AmericanAirlines Arena, and as Associate Team Counsel for the Boston Celtics. Prior to joining the Celtics, she operated the Law Offices of Vered N. Yakovee through which she represented the Los Angeles Lakers, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and other best-in-class properties on a wide array of transactional matters as well as insurance and risk management matters. Prior to that, she was an Associate with Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky, LLP, where she co-founded the firm's Sports Insurance Initiative.

Vered earned her J.D. from USC Law School and her B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California at San Diego. Vered taught Sports Law at Boston College Law School and ISDE in Madrid, Spain, and taught Sports Law courses at her alma mater, USC Law School, where she also served as the founding faculty advisor for the USC Sports Law Society. For one 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, Vered has been an active member of the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyers Association ("SLA"). She is Co-Chair of the SLA Outreach Committee and was previously SLA Secretary. Vered is also a member of the Governing Committee of the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries (the "Forum"), and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Forum's journal, the Entertainment & Sports Lawyer, as well as Co-Chair of the Forum's Sports Division. She was named one of Southern California's Super Lawyers Rising Stars by the publishers of Law & Politics and Los Angeles Magazine for six consecutive years between 2008 and 2013. She is a member of the Bar in California and Massachusetts.

Vered is the devoted mom of one son and spends her free time with him, usually cooking, eating, or chasing him around until it is time to cook and eat again.


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