“Words can’t express Paul changed my life… This case could have ended very differently if I hadn’t hired him. It has been my pleasure and honor knowing Paul.” – Caroline Maher (Egyptian athlete and Olympic hopeful in taekwondo)
Our Sports Law Group is devoted to the protection of athletes’ legal rights. We represent high school, college and professional athletes in both the U.S. and abroad in sports litigation matters including defense of anti-doping charges, sponsorship and salary disputes, eligibility to compete matters, unauthorized use of athlete’s name, likeness and image cases. We also represent those whose rights have been violated under Title IX.
Our list of satisfied client athletes is extensive and includes some of the biggest names in sports.
Our Sports Law Practice Group is chaired by Paul J. Greene who is recognized in Chambers USA 2012 as one of America’s Leading Lawyers for Sports Law: Athletic Disputes.
Regularly appear before sports arbitration panels including the Court of Arbitration for Sport (the “Supreme Court for Sport”) in defense of anti-doping charges levied against athletes. Have successfully overturned wrongful doping sanctions and greatly reduced doping sanctions.
• Overturned a wrongful doping ban levied against Egyptian athlete before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland achieving the highest attorney’s fee award ever for an athlete before the “Supreme Court for Sports Law.”
• Succeeded in greatly reducing sanction of professional tennis player in appeal of International Tennis Federation decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
• Negotiated minimal doping sanction for athlete after positive test through accidental ingestion of banned substance.
Sponsorship and Salary Disputes
Handle athlete/sponsor and athlete/agent disputes on behalf of athletes, and negotiate buyouts of sponsorship agreements. Guide pro athletes through salary disputes with teams.
• Resolved contract dispute on behalf of professional athlete with former agent.
Eligibility to Compete Matters
Represent athletes in appeals involving eligibility to compete for teams and/or competitions at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. These include Olympic eligibility arbitrations brought under the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act which protects an athlete’s right to compete in a “protected competition” like the Olympic Trials or Olympics.
• Prevailed in eligibility to compete arbitration brought against National Governing Body who wrongly denied athlete entry into the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Unauthorized use of athlete’s name, likeness and image
An athlete’s name, likeness and image (known as the “right of publicity”) is their most valuable property. An athlete must protect the commercial value of their image against unauthorized use. We preserve the commercial value of an athlete’s image by aggressively pursuing those who “misappropriate” or wrongly profit from an unauthorized commercial use of an athlete’s image. We have negotiated lucrative settlements on behalf of some of the world’s most high profile athletes against companies who sought to wrongly profit from an unauthorized association with that athlete. We also protect athletes against “cybersquatters” who wrongly profit from an unauthorized association with an athlete’s internet domain name.
• Judgment on behalf of the Michael Phelps Foundation against a cybersquatter who sought to wrongly profit by registering the domain name, www.michaelphelpsfoundation.com.
• Settled with international company on behalf of professional athlete whose name, likeness and image (known as the athlete’s “right of publicity’) was being used in a commercial ad campaign without the athlete’s approval.
Schools or sports governing bodies who deny a student the equal opportunity to compete in athletics because of their gender violate Title IX. Also, a school district or university is liable under Title IX when a student is sexually harassed and the school could have prevented the sexual harassment from occurring. We protect the rights of students under Title IX and take on those that deny students an education free from discrimination.
• Represented student-athletes against high school athletic governing body after students were denied equal opportunity to compete in athletics.