Headline Sports Law

Seminar: Current Trends In Sports Law

What: Seminar: Current Trends In Sports Law, From Social Medial And IP Issues To New Regulatory, Legislative And Case Law Developments

When: June 25, 2010

Where: Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Seattle, Washington (map)

Cost: Individual: $695.  Group rate: $595 each for two or more registrants from the same firm.  Government employees:$495.  Students & people in their job for less than a year:$347.50.  CLE Credits are available.  Register here.


8:00 am: Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 am: Introduction and Overview
The Hon. Anne Levinson, Program Co-Chair, Co-Owner
Seattle Storm / Seattle, WA

O. Yale Lewis, Jr., Esq., Program Co-Chair
Hendricks & Lewis / Seattle, WA

8:45 am: Special Opening Address: Overview of Current Developments in Sports Law
Will cover recent federal and state court decisions and legislation; pending litigation; new policies and rules from the leagues and governing bodies; recent collective bargaining and disciplinary action decisions from across the world of professional sports.

Gary R. Roberts, Esq., Special Address, Dean and Gerald L. Bepko Professor of Law
Indiana University School of Law / Indianapolis, IN

Introduction by:

Kellye Y. Testy, Esq., Special Address, Dean and James W. Mifflin University Professor of Law
University of Washington School of Law / Seattle, WA

9:30 am: The Role of Antitrust Law in Shaping the Sports Industry Today
This panel will explore the Supreme Court decision on the single entity issue in the American Needle case and why applying the rule of reason to sports leagues is so problematic. In the context of the internal rules of a wholly integrated joint venture such as a sports league, what does it mean to be “anticompetitive” or “precompetitive”? What issues arise with salary caps, limits on free agency, ownership restraints and franchise location rules?

Bart Waldman, Esq., Moderator, Executive Vice President, Legal & Government Affairs
Seattle Mariners / Seattle, WA

David J. Burman, Esq.
Perkins Coie LLP / Seattle, WA

Gary R. Roberts, Esq., Dean and Gerald L. Bepko Professor of Law
Indiana University School of Law / Indianapolis, IN

10:15 am: Break
10:30 am: Sports, Intellectual Property and the First Amendment in the Age of Social Media
Web 2.0 social media tools such as Twitter and inexpensive digitial editing programs such as iMovie have brought sports spectator involvement to a whole new level. Sports events and related media coverage, advertising and merchandising are valuable. High profile athletes are increasingly concerned about protecting their “brand”. Conflicts involving intellectual property, publicity rights, the First Amendment, fair use and various other infringement defenses are inevitable. This panel will work through the competing legal principles and values in the reshaping of the virtual and real space environment of athletes, teams, leagues and fans.

O. Yale Lewis, Jr., Esq., Program Co-Chair, Moderator
Hendricks & Lewis / Seattle, WA

Bruce E.H. Johnson, Esq.
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP / Seattle, WA

Ronald S. Katz, Esq.
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP / Palo Alto, CA

Sean O’Connor, Esq., Dir., Law, Technology & Arts Group; Director, Entrepreneurial Law Clinic;
University of Washington School of Law / Seattle, WA

12:00 pm: Lunch (on your own)
1:00 pm: Public-Private Partnerships for Sports Facilities
Special purpose public authorities operate throughout the Northwest. In Seattle, for example, separate public facilities districts were legislatively established for both Safeco Field (Mariners) and the Qwest Field & Event Center (Seahawks and Sounders). What legal issues arise with these public-private partnerships and how is the public’s interest represented? How are these partnerships structured and do they work? In responding to these questions the panel will address: Financing structures; risk allocation; public oversight of contracting; addressing the public’s non-financial goals; responsibility for operations, repair, maintenance and modernization; naming rights; and the pursuit of a long term commitment to the team’s hometown.

O. Yale Lewis, Jr., Esq., Program Co-Chair, Moderator
Hendricks & Lewis / Seattle, WA

Allen D. Israel, Esq.
Foster Pepper PLLC / Seattle, WA

Stephen T. Janik, Esq.
Ball Janik LLP / Portland, OR

Bart Waldman, Esq., Executive Vice President, Legal & Government Affairs
Seattle Mariners / Seattle, WA

Robert C. Wallace, Chair, Board of Directors
Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District / Seattle, WA

2:30 pm: Break
2:45 pm: Insights from the Vancouver Olympic Games and Chicago’s Bid for the 2016 Summer Games
This panel will provide insights from their own “Olympic Experience” on the myriad legal issues involved in the bidding for, financing, operation and dissolution of Olympic Games. Panelists will address the siting and financing of venues; risk management; intellectual property, artists’ rights, endorsement contracts, sponsor activiation and broadcast agreements; human resources; public interests such as Aboriginal inclusion, economic impact and sustainability; the role of government; organizing committees and governance.

Joseph Weiler, Esq., Moderator, Professor
The University of British Columbia / Vancouver, BC

Kris Britch, Esq., Director and Legal Counsel
Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games / Vancouver, BC

Jessica B. Fairchild, Esq., General Counsel, Chicago 2016
Sidley Austin LLP / Chicago, IL

Chris Gear, Esq., Director and Senior Legal Counsel
Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games / Vancouver, BC

4:00 pm: Lessons from the Sonics Trial
The two top litigators in City of Seattle v. The Professional Basketball Club, LLC, the federal lawsuit which ultimately resulted in the relocation of the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City, will share their perspectives on critical trial issues, litigation tactics and lessons learned. They will present each side’s view on a range of legal issues – discovery disputes, principal-agent relationships, antitrust implications, specific performance of lease terms, determining value of a professional sports team to a community, and the impact of media coverage.

The Hon. Anne Levinson, Program Co-Chair, Moderator
Seattle Storm / Seattle, WA

Bradley S. Keller, Esq.
Byrnes & Keller LLP / Seattle, WA

Paul J. Lawrence, Esq.
K&L Gates LLP / Seattle, WA

5:00 pm: Evaluations and Adjourn
Law Seminars International will donate a portion of the net proceeds from the conference to The Seattle Storm Foundation.

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.