Headline NFL Players Sports Law

Agents Of MJD, Matt Forte And Le’Veon Bell Start Up New Sports Entertainment Group

Maurice Jones-Drew, Matt Forte and Le’Veon Bell share the shame agents, who recently left their law firm to start up a new Sports Entertainment practice.

Jan. 1, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Field. Jacksonville defeated Indianapolis 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is represented by Adisa Bakari and Jeff Whitney. Photo Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

Adisa Bakari is a rare breed of sports agent.  He has been able to build a successful practice representing professional football players while attached to a law firm.  The specific law firm that Bakari was aligned with for many years is Dow Lohnes PLLC, where he served as a partner and created the firm’s sports and entertainment division over a decade ago.  But Bakari is now “on to the next one,” and has left Dow Lohnes PLLC to chair a new Sports Entertainment Group at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

Bakari is not the only attorney departing from Dow Lohnes to start up the new Sports Entertainment Group at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.  His partner of four years, Jeffery A. Whitney is coming along for the ride.  Together, Bakari and Whitney will continue to represent over 30 NFL players including Maurice Jones-Drew, Matt Forte and Pittsburgh Steelers rookie Le’Veon Bell.  The duo’s running backs alone gives them a strong practice.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be joining Kelley Drye,” said Bakari.  “The firm’s geographic reach and preeminence in advertising and marketing law will enable us to better position our clients for short term and long term success.”

Bakari represented a total of five players selected in the 2013 NFL Draft (including the aforementioned Le’Veon Bell).  Those players are: No. 105 overall pick Duke Williams (DB from Nevada selected by the Buffalo Bills), No. 118 overall pick Sean Porter (LB from Texas A&M selected by the Cincinnati Bengals), No. 149 overall pick Brandon McGee (DB from Miami selected by the St. Louis Rams) and No. 238 overall pick Aaron Mellette (WR from Elon selected by the Baltimore Ravens).

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.