Sports Law

Nova Southeastern University Sports and Entertainment Law Symposium

What: Symposium: Staying ahead of legal issues arising in the new digital age

Where: Shepard Broad Law Center, Nova Southeastern University.  See map.

When: Saturday, March 28, 2009 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


  • 8:30 – 9:15: Check-in
  • 9:15 – 9:30: Opening Remarks
  • 9:30 – 11:00: Panel One – Intellectual Property
  • 9:30 – 10:15: CBC v. MLB: The Fantasy of an Athlete’s Publicity RightsIn the 2007 case CBC v. Major League Baseball, the court ruled that MLB does not own the names and statistics of its players as intellectual property.  They found that the names and statistics are factual information, not subject to copyright.  As a result, fantasy sports websites could now freely use those statistics in its operations without paying a licensing fee.  This panel will discuss the new implications brought about by this court ruling, focusing specifically on the new CBS Fantasy College Football and Basketball websites formed in response to this decision.  The CBC case only discussed their ruling in reference to professional athlete’s names and statistics, yet CBS Sports used this case to justify using amateur college athletes in their new fantasy games.  This panel will also focus on whether their actions are a violation of an amateur athlete’s right of publicity; whether the CBC case standards should be different for amateur athletes; and whether this is a violation of the NCAA amateurism rules.
  • 10:15 – 11:00: Litigating a Right of Publicity CaseThis panel will discuss the relevant legal precedent used when litigating a right of publicity case in the state of Florida. It will also include a discussion on the different strategies used and defenses to expect when working on right of publicity cases as well as ways to protect your client’s name and likeness.
  • Moderator: Kimberly D. Kolback, Esq., Attorney at Law
  • Speakers:
    • John Bradley, Esq., Law Offices of John F. Bradley
    • David Friedland, Esq., Lott & Friedland
    • Sarah Talalay, Sports Business Reporter, SunSentinel
    • Carl D. Berry, Esq., Berry, Clark & Wildman
    • Michael Santucci, Esq., Santucci, Priore & Long
    • Rick Karcher, Esq., Sports Law Blog, Professor of Law, Florida Coastal Law School
  • 11:00 – 11:15: Break
  • 11:15 – 12:30: Panel Two – Ethics – “Whole Wired World”
    Case Studies of the Advantages and Pitfalls for Attorneys and Their Clients in Utilizing the Press and Blogs
  • 11:15 – 11:45: Blogs
    RIAA v. People BlogAttorney Ray Beckerman created a blog discussing his cases against the RIAA as well as all other cases involving the RIAA. The RIAA recently asked for sanctions against Mr. Beckerman for blogging about his representation of clients in RIAA lawsuits. When is it okay for attorneys to blog about their work and what ethical issues should an attorney consider when deciding whether to start such a blog?
  • Mark Cuban BlogIn a September 2008 blog entry entitled “Thanks for the Advice on Josh Howard”, Mark Cuban posted the comments, names and email addresses of those people who had sent him racially tinged remarks about comments made by Dallas Mavericks basketball player Josh Howard. One day later he removed that post saying he had made his point. This panel will discuss the ethical issues an attorney should consider when advising a client, possibly one who is a public figure, on possible pitfalls involved in running a blog as well as ethical ways to avoid any legal issues while maintaining the blog’s integrity and purpose.
  • 11:45 – 12:30: The Press
    Maintaining Strong Relationships with Members of the Media while also Upholding Certain Client ConfidentialitiesOver the past few years there have been a variety of different approaches used by agents when dealing with the media. This panel will analyze approaches taken by Drew Rosenhaus when Terrell Owens was holding out for a new contract in Philadelphia; Scott Boras with Alex Rodriguez’s recent contract negotiations; and Jimmy Sexton with Nick Saban’s transition from the Miami Dolphins to the University of Alabama. When working with the media, agents tend to walk a fine line between promoting their client’s interest and violating multiple ethical rules. This portion of the panel will discuss how to maintain a strong relationship with members of the media and use those relationships to benefit your client all while staying within the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Moderator: Jason Weiss, Esq., Arnstein & Lehr
  • Speakers:
    • Alan K Fertel, Esq., Pathman Lewis
    • Adam B. Swickle, Esq., Swickle & Swickle
    • Glenn Schwartzman, Esq., Alliance Sports Mgmt.
    • Jemele Hill, writer
    • Jeff Darlington, Miami Herald, Dolphins Writer
    • John Bock, J.R. Capital and Investment Corp., Former Miami Dolphin
    • Maria Elles Scott, Scott Sports Management, President; Adjunct Faculty, University of Miami
  • 12:30 – 2:00: Luncheon: Keynote Address and Excellence in Sports Award Recipient Donald Fehr, Executive Director of Major League Baseball Players Association
  • 2:00 – 2:15: Break
  • 2:15 – 3:45: Panel Three – New Business Models for Music Industry
  • 2:15 – 3:00: The Current State of the Music IndustryThe music industry is in the process of transforming its business models in a bid to earn money in an environment where 95% of music downloads are illegal and not paid for. Digital platforms now account for around 20% of recorded music sales. A new generation of music subscription services, social networking sites and new licensing channels are emerging as viable outlets for legal music distribution. This panel will start with an overview of the current state of the music industry including hot issues, trends and recent legislation. It will then move into a discussion on the best ways to advise your entertainment clients on how to be successful in the current music industry and the ethical issues relating to these questions.
  • 3:00 – 3:45: Can Video Games Save the Music Industry?In 2008, “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” users downloaded more than 50 million tracks from the games. According to Activision Blizzard, the creators of “Guitar Hero III”, bands whose songs are included in the game can expect online sales of their music to increase by an average of 300% as a result. Both games provide a second-Life for many older songs. Some artists have even begun releasing their albums via download through these video games weeks before physical release. Other bands have struck deals to create new band-specific video games (i.e. Metallica and Aerosmith versions of “Guitar Hero”, The Beatles version of “Rock Band”). This panel will be an in depth discussion on each of these new revenue streams and ways to make sure your client gets the most out of them. It will also include an in-depth discussion on the licensing issues involved in creating these games.
  • Moderator: Richard C Wolfe, Esq., Attorney at Law
  • Speakers:
    • Marc Stollman, Esq., Live Nation Artists
    • Frank Castoro, Esq., Santucci, Priore & Long
    • Ivan J. Parron, Esq., Parron & Associates
    • Giti Khalsa, Smith and Barney Financial Advisor and former drummer of Seven Mary Three
  • 3:45 – 4:00: Closing Remarks

    Cost: Save at least $5 if you pre-register.  Registering early will cost you $15 if you are an NSU Law Student, $25 if you are a law student at another school, $25 if you are a non-law NSU student, $35 for general admission, and $80 if you are an attorney looking to get some CLE credit.  Register here.

    By Darren Heitner

    Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

    Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.