From left: Students Scott Kestenbaum '14, Marc Rosenberg '15, Michael Beck '15, David Fogel '15, and Michael Sheffy '14 of the Cardozo Sports Law Society organized the symposium.
The Second Annual Cardozo Sports Law Symposium featured high-profile guests from the NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, and MLS. Sports journalists, agents, and professors also joined the panels, which focused on some of the biggest current issues surrounding sports and law. Topics included the potential for growth of professional sports abroad, unionization in professional and collegiate sports, the legal implications behind the world's largest sporting events, and the rising popularity of participating in fantasy sports leagues for cash. The event was sponsored by the Cardozo Sports Law Society, Sports & Entertainment Law Students Association, Office of Career Services, Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, Labor and Employment Law Society, Intellectual Property Law Society, The Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law (EASL) Section of New York State Bar Association (NYSBA).
Panel: Internationalization and the Growth of Professional Sports Abroad
Moderator: Terry Lefton (Editor-At-Large for the Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily)
Panelists: Olivier Manigat (Cardozo ’08, Counsel at Major League Soccer), Andrew Kipper (Golf Agent at Excel Sports Management), Hymie Elhai (General Counsel for New York Jets), Mike Tannenbaum (President at Priority Sports - Coaches, Front Office & Broadcasters)
Over the past decade, the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB have increased their focus on expanding their sports abroad, including hosting regular season games in countries such as England, Australia, Mexico, Czech Republic and Sweden. This panel focused on the ever-increasing sprawl of United States professional sports into countries not traditionally considered to be hotspots for the sports. What legal issues do these games abroad present? What are the implications of potentially hosting a Super Bowl in London or perhaps even placing a team or a division in England? Aside from the obvious issues of travel, what legal concerns would there be for players and the league alike by playing abroad?
Panel: Unionization in Professional and Collegiate Sports
Moderator: Dan Silverman (Labor Law Professor at Cardozo School of Law and former Regional Director of the NLRB New York Office)
Panelists: Joel Litvin (President of League Operations National Basketball Association), Hal Biagas (General Counsel of Excel Sports Management), Jason Belzer (Founder and President of Global Athletes Management Enterprise ("GAME") Inc.), Robert Boland (Academic Chair of the Sports Management Program at New York University), Charles Grantham (Former Executive Director National Basketball Player's Association, Adjunct Professor Sports Management Program at New York University)
This panel focused on the recurring strife between unions and management in professional and collegiate sports. In particular, the discussion focused on the recent movement by collegiate football players at Northwestern University to unionize for the purposes of obtaining compensation, benefits and a collective voice in dealing with the National Collegiate Athletic Association ("NCAA"). Are Northwestern University football players to be considered employees?
Panel: The Legal Implications Behind the World’s Largest Sporting Events
Moderator: Ayala Deutsch (Cardozo School of Law Adjunct Professor, Senior Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel National Basketball Association)
Panelists: Jeff Gewirtz (Vice President Business Affairs and Chief Legal Officer Brooklyn Nets), Mark Stefanacci (General Counsel MetLife Stadium), Alison Wagner (Senior Counsel National Hockey League), Mark Holtzman (Executive Director, Non-Baseball Events, New York Yankees)
The legal issues stemming from a regular-season or post-season game are well documented. This panel focused on the bigger events in sports such as the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the Winter Classic, the Pinstripe Bowl and more. What legal issues do these more intricate events present? What type of legal manpower is necessary to successfully run one?
Panel: The Rising Popularity of Participating in Fantasy Sports Leagues for Cash
Moderator: Michael Graif (Cardozo School of Law Adjunct Professor, Partner Curtis, Mallet-Provost, Colt & Mosle)
Panelists: Marc Edelman, (Associate Professor of Law at Baruch College and Sports Lawyer), Brian Schwartz (Founder and CEO Draftstreet), Christopher LaVigne, (Counsel Shearman & Sterling LLP), Tom Griffiths (Co-Founder Fanduel)
This panel focused on the legal implications resulting from the popularity and development of fantasy sports and fantasy sports websites. In particular, this panel focused on the emerging legal, social, and economic impacts arising from the multi-billion dollar fantasy sports industry as well as the distinction between daily fantasy leagues and season-long fantasy leagues.