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What Is Sports Law and Who Is a Sports Lawyer? By Matthew J. Mitten

March 18, 2015

When you think of a “sports lawyer,” do you envision a lawyer who represents only a narrow pool of high-profile clients, such as professional athletes, sports leagues, or sports clubs? To the contrary, “sports lawyers” represent a wide variety of clients who need legal advice and representation that usually requires knowledge of several areas of law.

In my career as a sports lawyer (and now a sports law professor), I provided legal advice in a major league baseball player’s medical malpractice suit against his former team. I represented Harris County, Texas, in litigation concerning the Houston Oilers NFL club’s relocation to Nashville. But I also have been involved in a wider array of sport-related matters, especially in the area of intellectual property law.

I registered trademarks and copyrights on behalf of sports industry clients; provided advice regarding a trademark licensor’s potential legal liability for defective playing equipment manufactured by its licensee; defended a restaurant in a copyright infringement suit for showing a “blacked out” game to its patrons; filed an amicus brief on behalf of two sports medicine physician organizations in an Americans with Disabilities Act suit filed by a college basketball player against Northwestern University; and served as an expert witness in Title IX gender equity litigation.

As a sports lawyer, you might find yourself representing clients such as amateur and professional players; coaches, referees and officials; leagues; governing bodies of the sports industry; athletics administrators; educational institutions; and sports facility owners and operators. Even more broadly, your representation might extend to sports broadcasters; sports equipment manufacturers; sports medicine care providers; businesses that sponsor athletic events or athletes; and concessionaires who serve food and drink to fans at games.

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Latest Event

Business of Hockey: Beyond the Ice (Featuring Gulls President Ari Segal)

April 21, 2015 @ 5:00pm

Featuring: Ari Segal, President of Business Operations for the San Diego Gulls and Special Assistant to the CEO of the Anaheim Ducks.

Presented by the Entertainment & Sports Law Section for the San Diego County Bar Association at the Bar Center: 401 West A Street, Suite 1100, City View Room, San Diego, CA 92101.

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Featured Client

Race Liberante

"The past year I have been represented by Jeremy and it has been nothing but good. Jeremy works very hard on anything and everything we decide. Business aside, he has become a great friend! Thank you Jeremy and all you do for me and my career."

Race Liberante, No. 34, Professional Driver

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