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Sports Contact

Over the years, lawyers at M&R have represented athletes, coaches, and the agents and agencies that represent them in most every sports league (the NFL, NBA, and NHL included) and organization (PGA, WTA, NCAA, SafeSport, etc.), providing a level of service to sports professionals typically reserved for ownership and management.

M&R prides itself on offering our clients in the sports world a full suite of services, from representation in the courtroom and at arbitration and league grievances to advice and counsel concerning transactional and corporate law (including endorsement deals), intellectual property and licensing issues, real estate, crisis management, and criminal defense.

Areas Of Expertise

FOOTBALL

  • Represented NFL linebacker Jonathan Vilma in so-called “Bountygate” investigation and effort to discipline members of the New Orleans Saints in both league and judicial proceedings, which representation resulted in Vilma’s exoneration.
  • Represented two position players on the Minnesota Vikings in the so-called “StarCaps” litigation that established the precedent that the NFL cannot circumvent state laws providing safety, privacy, and health protections to employees.
  • Represented NFL running back Ray Rice in his successful challenge to Commissioner Roger Goodell’s disciplinary authority. In so doing, assured that the principle of double jeopardy applies to NFL matters.
  • Represented NFL quarterback Michael Vick in matters relating to his victimization in a series of financial fraud schemes.
  • Represented several individual members of the NFL in connection with internal league investigations, including one involving the New England Patriots.
  • Represented NFL offensive tackle Russell Okung before the U.S. Department of Labor concerning his challenge of the 2020 ratification of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

ICE HOCKEY

  • Represented former NHL defenseman Slava Fetisov, the first player who refused to pay a bounty to the Kremlin, in litigation relating to his escape from Russia to play in the NHL.
  • Represented James Smith, President of USA Hockey, in a variety of multifaceted matters.

BASKETBALL

  • Represented NBA all-star Kawhi Leonard in litigation matters, intellectual property registrations and enforcement, and negotiating endorsement opportunities and resulting agreements.
  • Represented professional basketball player in successful international proceedings adverse to a Chinese professional team.
  • Represented Marlene Stollings, former head women’s basketball coach at Texas Tech University, challenging her wrongful termination based, in part, upon gender discrimination.
  • Represented several officers of the NBA Players Association in criminal matters, as well as league investigations involving the conduct of former union head Billy Hunter.
  • Represented athletes in a number of international proceedings, including before the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal and the Court of Arbitration for Sports.

GOLF

  • Represented golf professional Vijay Singh in his challenge to the PGA Tour’s efforts to discipline him for his use of an over-the-counter supplement. Alleged that the organization violated its duty of fair dealing in administering its disciplinary process.
  • Represented professional golfer Patrick Reed in multiple PGA Tour-related matters, along with endorsement deals and miscellaneous contractual matters.

TENNIS

  • Represented Madison Brengle, a top 100 player on the WTA Tour, in litigation adverse to two women’s tennis organizations challenging their drug testing methods that inflicted serious medically diagnosable consequences.

NCAA

  • Represented college coaches, including Hall of Famers Larry Brown and Les Miles, and student-athletes with regard to NCAA investigations and university oversight.

AGENCIES

  • Represent several sports agents and agencies in both litigation and transactional matters.

CRIMINAL MATTERS

  • Represented multiple players and coaches across professional leagues in many criminal matters nationwide, including the notorious Nike payoff investigations that played out in New York federal court.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Represented dozens of players, coaches, and agents in various league disciplinary proceedings, grievances, and arbitrations.
  • Represented minor league baseball team in dispute with local government regarding playing rights.