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Ohio State Bar Association’s Stance on Agents Engaging in the Unauthorized Practice of Law

I have a new column up at Forbes that talks about the Ohio State Bar Association’s recent stance on agents acting in the capacity of lawyers and possibly engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.  Please click here to read the in-depth article, which brings back memories to Andrew Oliver’s litigation.

Here is a small section of the article:

So why is Andrew Oliver’s name re-appearing all of a sudden?  As previously mentioned, the State of Ohio Bar Association filed a Complaint against Oliver’s former advisors, the Baratta brothers, and Icon Sports Group.  The main question is whether the Baratta brothers and Icon Sports Group held themselves out as not only advisors, but also as attorneys, providing legal services concerning the baseball draft, negotiations with the Minnesota Twins, and compliance with NCAA requirements.  If legal services were provided, would that mean that the Barattas and Icon Sports Group engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in the State of Ohio?  The State of Ohio Bar Association believed so and wanted the Barattas and Icon Sports Group to pay $10,000 per offense.  That is, until the Barattas agreed that their conduct constituted the unauthorized practice of law, which has the MLBPA very concerned.

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.