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Sports Law 101: An Overview and Practice Tips (Update)

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Sports Law 101: An Overview and Practice Tips (Update)

This course will provide attorneys with an in-depth overview of what comprises sports law. We will discuss the key aspects of case law in sports law and define various industry dynamics required to understand the space. Finally, this course will review how sports law can be added into an existing law practice.

Transcript

Welcome to sports law. This is a very fun area of law and a fun industry to work in. And today we are going to give you some insight into sports law, whether your interest is to become a sports lawyer. You're currently a sports lawyer, or you just want to win the argument at the cocktail party watching Monday Night Football. This is the CLE for you. Now, it's an interesting area of law, and I think it's important to know who you're speaking with or who's speaking at you right now as you go through this program. My name is Brandon Leopoldus, and I'd never really wanted to be a lawyer, but I'm from Colorado Springs, Colorado. My sister is the athlete in the family. She was on a national team for USA gymnastics, was the first elite gymnast in the history of the state of Colorado. And I was meanwhile cut from my high school baseball team. She went on to be an All-American at Penn State, and I actually got to benefit from title nine by riding her coattails and watching as a younger brother, getting that experience of going to the Olympic Training Center on a regular basis, going and seeing a top tier Division one athletic program and really being able to watch all of that fun stuff that most people don't get access to. So instead of playing, I go by the motto of if you can't beat them, yell at them. And I became a minor league baseball umpire. I ended up doing all right with a bunch of play off assignments, worked a couple all star games, and even had 30 ejections. So hopefully I am the only person on this that's ever ejected somebody. And as long as you make it through without too many disruptions, I promise I won't eject you either. My practice is at Leopoldus Law based right here in Los Angeles, California. I'm a board member of the Sports Lawyers Association. To learn more about them, you can go to sports.org. And I created something called the athlete LLC program. For those of you that practice entertainment law, you can think about it as the loan out company set up for athletes for their off field revenue. We'll get into a little bit more about those details here shortly, but I think it's important to know just kind of the practice that I have. I work with a lot of different individual athlete clients, ranging from high school transfers out here in California based on the high school transfer eligibility rules, including high school nil all the way to athletes that are currently in the major leagues or professional sports of some kind all the way through those retired guys that are up for the Hall of Fame and other accolades. We also work with a bunch of corporate sports clients, ranging from teams such as DC United, a lot of sports agencies, a union and the Association of Minor League Umpires. My former union, SEIU local 322, and a wide variety of other entities ranging from those small startups in sports to some of those travel competitive teams that maybe some of your kids play on. So we have a lot of sports experience. But when we start to talk about sports law and the practice of sports law, we need to understand what it actually is. Sports law might have a number of different, different definitions, but we don't have a set of codified laws that encapsulate sports law. Sports law is really just applying the applicable law in an industry that oftentimes regulates itself. The way it's regulated by itself is by having some unique dispute resolution mechanics, such as the court for Arbitration of Sport. They handle a lot of that international Olympic type stuff. You can think about them handling doping cases, and we'll be talking about them here shortly as well. We also deal with the United States Anti-Doping Association here in the United States and WADA, the world Anti-Doping Association, across the world. That's at that Olympic and international competition level, figuring out who's using some steroids or other doping products to get some sort of enhancement. You're going to have some league arbitration, whether that's between the commissioner instituting some penalties for players or on field personnel or disputes between owners. And we also have union arbitration. That would be where if we have a dispute between agents, we have a dispute between players and their agents. And of course, we have salary arbitration in various sports that also qualifies as dispute resolution, but in a different kind of context. So what qualifies somebody to be considered? What I would say is a sports lawyer is kind of an interesting topic, because it's really just representing clients in the sports industry. It might be more than just being a general counsel or a player's agent. For example, my practice we work with. Those amateur athletes, ranging from those high schoolers and NCAA athletes to professional players. So those rookies, some veterans, those retired players and those that are hopefully going to a Hall of Fame in one way or another. And of course, with teams, you might have general counsel, you might have outside counsel. I know a lot of people that stick to their specific area of practice and are outside counsel for teams and leagues of all sorts. We also have some agents, right. There's always some legal issues between agents with fee disputes or corporate setup. Sometimes that investment and mergers and acquisitions. I consider fitness professionals to be a sports law topic, but maybe you don't. Maybe you see that as fitness, as a special area of law in itself. But we look at those fitness professionals that aren't just working with those of us trying to lose a couple pounds, they're working with those athletes in the off season, working with the NFL combine athletes, working on injury rehab for Tommy John surgeries and off field off season training. For those folks that are not playing winter ball somewhere. They fitness professionals also kind of fall into what I consider sport the practice of sports law. We also see, of course, tech and equipment and service providers. We see unions, we see sports officials. Right. But my focus is as really a deal lawyer. We do a lot of corporate formation and increasing value to our clients. And oftentimes sports lawyers are not just going to have sports related clients. Most sports lawyers that are outside of a general counsel or a league, we're going to have clients of various industries, including myself. Right now, we have about 70 to 85% of our practice at any given time that's related to sports, and that may vary depending on where you are practicing. But there are a wide variety of other sports practices, including intellectual property, workers, comp claims, of course, litigation, estate planning, insurance and personal injury. And it's really as we start to look, well, let's define what sports law is. There's a lot of definitions. And of course, you will use a different definition if you have to actually argue if something falls within the realm of sports. But the definition that that I like to use and I use when I teach sports law is the practice of law as it applies to the business of sport and sports related clients. Sure, that opens up for a lot of a lot of discussion and a lot of argument, but I think any time that you don't have a codified set of laws, you kind of have to go with the definition that best suits your client needs at any given time. And that's what we, of course, get paid for. So one of the things we need to first define is what an amateur sport is. Of course, this is another one of those things that may have a number of different definitions, but the line right now can really be considered to be blurred with NCAA athletes having the ability to capitalize on Nil rights. Now, there's not a pay for play standard in collegiate sports at this time, but we're starting to get to a point where that may become a reality. It's not there yet, but it may be something that pops up here in the short future. The big difference is, of course, that pay for play or that pay for performance consideration standard. In team sports, you have that employee employer relationship. You're those team athletes are represented by players unions. There's some collective bargaining about minimum salaries, salary caps, benefits and other things that go into the actual employment of individual athletes and team settings. For individual sports, you kind of eat what you kill, right? If you're a professional tennis player, you're going to only make the money that you earn during a tournament as a part of the prize purse and being independent contractors, sometimes they have to pay entrance fees. They of course have to hire their own staff, and they have to pay their own expenses. In collegiate sports, sure, it's a it's a different hybrid than just a kids soccer team. That would clearly be amateur sports. But in collegiate sports there's some consideration in scholarships. Right? The school's going to give you low cost or no cost tuition in return for your participation in one of their sports teams. Now the question becomes is this an employer employee relationship? Most courts have said no. However, we see a lot of different cases coming about right now that may challenge this standard. We see that with the National Labor Relations Board. We see that in some courts, especially out here in California, that are saying that the student athletes may actually meet that employer employee standard as collegiate athletes. And, of course, after the Alston ruling that we're going to get into here shortly, that line may be blurred even more than ever. Now, when we talk about amateur sports, there's a lot of those different definitions. I even give you a definition from Wikipedia. But the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act really codifies what an amateur athlete is, meaning that it's an athlete who gives gives the eligibility standards established by a national governing body or Paralympic sports organization for the sport in which the athlete competes, and the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act is really what sets out those Olympic sports. And we're going to dive into what compiles the Olympic standard here right now. As we dive in, I want you to understand that everything kind of flows down right at the top. You have the World Olympic, Olympic Committee. But in the United States, we have the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, based in my home town of Colorado Springs, right there on Tejon Boulevard. Below them you have national governing bodies or what we refer to in the sports industry as Ngbs. You can think of these as things like USA basketball, USA karate, USA field hockey, those type of things. Then you have those local affiliated organizations. Think about that as Southern California Basketball Association, one of those local type of leagues that you would normally think of. And then of course you have club teams, right? That would be the West Los Angeles Badgers or one of those type of teams that plays in a local league. Now each of these steps may have different regulations, but they all have to follow the regulations of everybody above them. So if you're a local team, you might have to you might have to comply with not just the team rules, but the local affiliated organization rules and the rules, and of course, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee rules. It can be a little cumbersome, but these are the things that at the Olympic level and Olympic sports of an amateur sports that the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act really lays out. Now, as we talk about the Olympics and they're coming back to Los Angeles here in a number of years, who pays for these Olympic Games? We oftentimes hear that the Olympics didn't make money for an area, or that they lost a lot of money. That certainly happened with Japan, with the Olympics, where they missed a year and they didn't have a whole lot of fans, if any, in the stands during those Olympic events that took place. Well, what's required from a host city, number one, is that they have the ability to host the Olympic Games, that they have the venues to host all of the sports, that they have enough hotel rooms and transportation needs and ingress egress outside, within the city and within the surrounding area. They also need proper security. They need to have all of the infrastructure in place to have a the world focus in on their town or in their area for a month or two every four years. Now, the International Olympic Committee will determine who receives the Olympic Games, and the cost of running these Olympic Games is always in the billions of dollars. Los Angeles right now is improving their infrastructure by increasing their subway lines. That was a big fight with the city of Beverly Hills, but now you're going to be able to take the the subway train from Santa Monica at the beach all the way to downtown Los Angeles and everywhere in between, along with buses, along with improvements to that public transportation. But it costs billions of dollars, and that cost is oftentimes footed by the city itself. While the Olympics have the intellectual property rights, the the International Olympic Committee has those rights. They're only auctioning off those rights to host the Olympic Games. They're not they're not saying that they're going to pay for much of anything. However, there are there is some cost sharing, but the city is the one footing most of the bill. So how do cities make money from the Olympics if they have to have such a high financial incentive, financial investment for the hosting of the Olympics? The answer, of course, is taxes, hotels, uh, meals out, merchandise sales, sales tax, parking, all of that revenue. Is what a city looks at. They're also going to receive some ancillary tax dollars from people moving to town. The increased property values, more people seeing it on TV, and then thinking that Los Angeles might be a good place to go on vacation. It certainly is. Please visit Los Angeles and spend your tax dollars here, whether you're coming for the Olympics or otherwise. But those are the type of things that we typically don't think of around that month or two of the Olympics, but that is something that a city will consider when bidding for the Olympics. Now, who benefits the most from the Olympic Games? That's a big debate. It might be a city, it might be the International Olympic Committee. It may be individual. Athletes that have put themselves on the map had the best competition of their lives, and now we'll be able to reap the rewards of being a gold medalist the rest of their natural life. Who benefits the least? Honestly, most of the time it's the sex trafficking trade, and this is something that people don't often think about with these big games. But you always have that underbelly, right? Who benefits the least? Or probably those people that are being exploited. You're going to have athletes from certain countries that if they don't win, they're going to be punished. And we're going to have a lot of people that benefit a whole lot. And we're also going to have those have nots that benefit very, very little. Interesting part about the Olympics, and this is something that has really changed over some time, is that they're supposed to have an apolitical approach. The International Olympic Committee and everybody in the Olympic movement tries to stay away from those controversial political topics because they want the sport to stand on itself outside of politics. But that's not always the case. 1936, of course, Jesse Owens in Berlin, competing in front of Hitler, winning gold medals. We saw 1968 with the USA track and field, having Dr. John Carlos and another athlete raise their fist with a black glove to protest racial inequality. And in the Mexico City games, of course, 1972, we had Israeli athletes killed in Munich. 1976 we had a boycott of the Montreal Olympics by a number of African nations. In 1980, the US boycotted Moscow and of course, in 2016, Rio de Janeiro. We had a refugee team rather than having them compete for their home country. Really interesting stuff. The Olympics is kind of a whole different aspect of sports law than most people think of. There's some international law mixed in, there's some politics, there's some marketing stuff that we're going to talk about a little later, but really interesting stuff going on at the Olympics. And that brings us to the court for arbitration in sport that I mentioned at the very beginning of this presentation. It's located in Switzerland, and it's contractually created by the member organizations of the International Olympic Committee and those international governing bodies, saying that this is where they want to bring their their disputes. And the simple reason is it's really hard to pick a venue when you have international competition and athletes ranging from multiple, if not dozens of countries at any given time and figuring out which law applies. It's also hard to explain some of the sports lingo and norms in courts across the world. So they come to Switzerland at the Court of Arbitration in Sport, where the arbitrators are specifically trained and have significant experience in the sports realm, and they go ahead and arbitrate based on those international rules that govern the sport, govern anti-doping and all of those type of things. They do a really good job. They're entirely sports focused. You're not going to have a breach of contract case involving a contractor and a residential homeowner at the court for arbitration and sport. And the purpose, of course, is to have those consistent rulings worldwide so that everybody can kind of see what the what they should expect, should they go to a CAS case. Most of the cases, I think are doping cases because there's a lot of that, right? Blood doping, whether that's steroids or other type of of protein in the blood, that is not natural. The arbitrators are from all over the world. So not just Americans, not just those in Europe. They're from all over the world. And it's also not just Olympic cases. Really interesting stuff. Now I want to turn your attention to what's going on in the NCAA. This is this is always a fun part of the conversation because the NCAA is changing all the time. It seems like across the board. And that's kind of a lot of fun when we talk about it. It's a new world of nil. Just like with the Olympics, you have to have somebody at the top. And right now that is the NCAA based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Below them we have the individual athletic conferences. You think of the Big Ten. The big 12, the SEC and what used to be the Pac 12. Right. Then you have your member institutions, and then you have your individual sports teams at those member institutions, just like with the Olympic model. If the NCAA sets a rule, that means everybody below them have to follow that. Teams may have their own individual rules, but they have to follow their member university rules, their athletic conference rules, and the NCAA rules that govern each part of that way down. The NCAA, of course, is a fiscal institution that gets a lot of attention right now. It was founded in 1906, in response to severe injuries in, of course, American football. The Ivy League was playing football against each other and cracking heads, and people were actually dying on the field back then. And so they attempted to codify some rules to try and level the playing field, and also to circumvent Congress intervention in the participation in intercollegiate athletics. Later, they invented what they or started out what they called the sanity code. And that established a prohibition on pay for play. Right. They didn't want Yale to go get some ringer that may have played for, uh, you know, the Rochester Bulldogs and professional football at the time and come back and play at Yale if they weren't going to the school. Right. They didn't want the schools to just get confounded in the competition aspect of things. And so they put together the sanity code to put some structure around what fair play looks like. And of course, as NCAA rules grew, so did the complexity and understanding of those rules, because it became very difficult. And of course, that's because we had more lawyers involved. And while cases of chipped away at the NCAA's ability to stop, say, Nil deals, the ruling in Alston changed everything. The NCAA for a long time has been trying to defend cases of pay for play based on because it threatened the amateurism model and the amateurism model simply established, it was established to maintain the focus of collegiate athletics on providing collegiate athletes an opportunity to receive an education while also developing as an athlete. But of course, what they looked at was that the athlete part should come secondary because these are colleges. But that hasn't really been the case. When you look at the billion dollar TV deals that are being thrown around for collegiate football and basketball right now, it's hard to say that these athletes don't have a full time job as they're going to school as student athletes. Now, the Alston case was a case that is really the the precipice of what's going to tear down a lot of what this amateurism model is and the effect of amateurism up until Alston was pretty severe. Um, we had severe sanctions against the University of Miami. You can pick a decade. They they've been in the crosshairs of the NCAA for some time. We had Reggie Bush, uh, hand back his Heisman Trophy. And while the Heisman Trophy comes from the Heisman Trust, it's not an NCAA member institution. Um, it certainly is intertwined with the NCAA so much that we when we look at these things, we look at Reggie Bush and being really a victim. Now, when we look back on it, we also look at what is considered the death penalty that was issued against Southern Methodist University for a parent recruitment violations back in the 1980s. The allegations are that they paid a number of players to attend SMU. They showed up, they had great teams, but the NCAA wanted to make an example of SMU, and they certainly did. Smu has not recovered from that nearly, uh, over the course of the last 30 or 40 years. And of course, we see other examples such as that the NCAA can take a take some action against a member institution based on what happens in their program. Right. The NCAA can take action against the schools, but not the individual players or coaches, because they don't have a contract with them. They have those contracts with those member schools. But then it gets convoluted because the example that everybody uses is cream cheese versus bagel. At the time, um, there was a rule that you could provide those who on recruiting trips a snack, but you couldn't provide them meals. And apparently the the line between a meal and a snack is if you put if you give somebody a bagel that is a snack, but if you put cream cheese on that bagel, you have yourself a meal. And now you get into deep trouble with the NCAA. Should you give a recruit, uh, cream cheese on a bagel? That has since changed. But that's always kind of the the look that we. Provide there. Now when we look at the Alston case, here's what's going on at the Alston case. It happened in 2021. Alston was a student athlete and the NCAA had had put a cap on education related expenses, education related expenses, not a pay for play model, not anything about nil. But the argument at the Supreme Court was, why should the NCAA, on an antitrust ground, be able to limit the educational related expenses? A student athlete is provided by a school. Well, the NCAA said that they have reasonable restrictions on that and it's protect the amateur as a model. But the NCAA, according to the United States Supreme Court, failed to do two things. Number one, they failed to define what educational related expenses are, and two, they never defined what the what is meant by amateurism. Kind of an interesting setup there. They lose nine to nothing. And in a concurring opinion that is really the nil bellwether here is Justice Kavanaugh wrote that he saw that it was an antitrust violation by the NCAA because it, of course, depressed the market for educational related expenses that schools could offer. And then he said that while they may be able to provide reasonable restrictions, they haven't done so yet. And any restrictions that thwart any sort of of market think and market. The court was keen to bring up and take a look at. Very interesting stuff. And of course, a few months later Florida opens up the Nil world, shortly followed by California and a number of other states. And we're going to get into Nil here in a minute. But I want to go through the professional league set up so you can see the difference there. For example, in this example we're going to use the National Football League. The league is at the top. The NFL is at the top of the football heap. Notice it's not USA football. It's the National Football League, a for profit venture consisting of those 32 teams. Below the league. You have the conferences the AFC and NFC. Nowadays, there's not a whole lot of difference between the AFC and NFC outside of on field competitive stuff, right. The league standings, that type of thing. But it used to be the AFC had a different office than the NFC. Not the case anymore. And below those conferences then we have the individual teams in this case the LA Rams playing down at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. And of course if the Rams set individual rules, they have to comply with the National Football League rules and the collective bargaining agreement. And everybody, all the rules that the NFL sets, all the teams have to follow as well. Now, the professional leagues set up are really kind of interesting. It's kind of like a trade association or large loosely affiliated group of people, right? It's set up similarly to a corporation where they have committees and subcommittees. But unlike other enterprises, because these member organizations are competing with one another. Right. If I as a member of the Sports Lawyers Association, I certainly have competitors in the room. The NFL, while they're competing, they also depend on one another for their collective success. So it's more like a loose, fast food franchise type of model, only using that as comparison. Those of you that know franchise law may have your head popping off your shoulders right now, but when we look at the NFL, it's really one of those collective associations where they can do some things collectively, like collective bargaining, right? Marketing stuff kind of get out of some antitrust issues there. But the league is set up. And if you think about it, the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys, while competing with one another, they also need each other, right? The Cowboys don't want to put the Lions out of business. They certainly might want to shut them out on the field, but they need them to be successful in order for the whole league to be successful. Now, the league office provides a structure for these independent businesses, the teams, and they provide the structure of playing rules, industry standards, those type of things. They pool rights. Right. You think TV rights, that's a big one. And often anti-competitive and horizontal agreement type situations for antitrust are permitted because it's considered what's a legal cartel. And of course, there's a massive limit to access for inclusion. You're not just going to add 5 or 6 NFL teams at a time. You want to maintain how valuable they are. And so that's really what we do at the professional level, is make sure that you're protecting the value of those franchises. Of course, the league and the commissioner work for those individual owners. And that brings us to the commissioner's role. Really interesting type of a situation. It's kind of like the. Ceo of the league or of the of the professional sport. The first commissioner was a guy named Kenesaw Mountain Landis, and he was put in place after the Black Sox scandal in 1919. That is a scandal when the Chicago White Sox, who were heavily favored to win the World Series that year, lost shockingly to the Cincinnati Red stockings, the Cincinnati Reds, in a World Series that had a hint and a and the rumors that the series was being thrown by the White Sox players. And when they lost, they were infamously renamed, nicknamed the Black Sox. When there was no commissioner before, it was just a bunch of teams setting schedules, trying to play one another back in the, you know, pre paved roads, a lot of the way between the cities. And so Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who was a federal judge in Georgia, decided he wanted two things. He wanted lifetime tenure. That way. He wasn't afraid of making a decision that the owners wouldn't like. And he also wanted free rein to do whatever he felt was necessary. And that created the best interest in baseball clause. Now I consider it the best interest of the sport clause because it's consistent in all the sports, providing the commissioner free kind of free rein it permits the league or the commissioner to take whatever action is deemed necessary in order to protect the sport and to do what is in the best interest of the sport. That can range from vetoing a trade. Right. Chris Paul was going to be a Laker at one time, and the league office and the commissioner, David Stern, said no to that. So maybe some of that it may be a commissioner, uh, banning somebody for life like Pete Rose. It may be a commissioner doing other things, such as deciding who they're going to use as providers for a wide range of things. The commissioner really does have free rein, but it's a little bit different now, um, in terms of where we're headed in that regard. It's really interesting setup with the league and commissioner powers, simply because the rules and enforcement are generally collectively bargained with the player side, and there are a lot of voices now involved in the procedures. Back when Kenesaw Mountain Landis was the commissioner of baseball, there was one voice, but now the owners have a say, right? As they're the ones that hire the commissioner league personnel because you have different departments. The NFL is a big office. Major League Baseball is a big office. And so you have those different departments reporting. You also have those collective bargaining partners, not just the players association, but also you have a wide range of other collective bargaining partners, such as the Officials Association for the league. Right. The Teamsters sometimes depending on the league and how they're they work with their shipping partners and a wide range of others. There's also some hotly contested issues that are negotiated. You have doping, right? You have discipline for on field and off field actions. Think Ray rice, think any of those NFL cases that come to mind. Think Gilbert Arenas and the gun issue that he went through in Washington. You think about salary as well. If there's a salary cap, players want the salary minimum, right. If and if the owners have a minimum salary, of course they want to put in a salary cap. Those type of things are always hotly contested issues. There are a lot of other roles a league and a commissioner serve. They're there to grow the sport. Like I said, the commissioner is kind of the CEO of the sport. They want to increase team value across the board because of course they're trying to make the sport more successful, generate more revenue, and that means those team owners are going to make some money out of it. They also implement strategic vision. The league thinks a little bit further ahead than, say, the players do for sure. Sometimes even the owners, they run public relations, they make integrity. The maintain the integrity of the sport, and they develop league wide marketing initiatives that some owners may just not have the capability or vision to have on their own. And of course, they maintain the legal standing and leverage, whether it's at the federal level or otherwise. Now, when we talk about the league, of course, we have to talk about the franchises. And one of the big things that we start to see nowadays, that is one of the hottest contested issues on talk radio that is not related to the on field performance is relocation. So why do teams relocate? Why do the Raiders go from Oakland to Las Vegas? Why did the Dodgers move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles? Why did the Rams leave Los Angeles for Saint Louis and then leave Saint Louis for Los Angeles? Well, of course, it all boils down to money. Right. If I could increase the value of your law firm maybe 7 or 8 fold simply by moving you across the country, you may very well think about doing it. So it's always boils down to money. One thing we always look at, too, is how that money gets made. It's typically through new venue and a new market. When Brooklyn when the Brooklyn Dodgers left Brooklyn, it was because they couldn't get a stadium built to replace Ebbets Field. It was rundown, it was a bit dilapidated. And they came out to Los Angeles because one, it was a good market, but two, they were able to get a stadium. Right. Oakland did the same thing. They went through a lot of turmoil in Oakland trying to get that stadium built for the Raiders. They couldn't do it. So Mark Davis moves the team to Las Vegas and has a $2 billion palace right there off the highway that will be hosting a Super Bowl. And of course, long term thinking. Not often are you are many business owners thinking long term. But when you have those billion dollar assets, you're thinking more long term thinking. And so you're trying to figure out what neighborhood your stadium should be in, not just what city it's in. So really interesting stuff. But the question becomes, well, how can they do that? How can the owner take the Cleveland Browns and move them to Baltimore? That's my favorite team. I'm emotionally tied to them and I don't like it. Well, it all boils down to the league bylaws, and they permit transfers and moves in certain circumstances, right? Typically, you have to negotiate in good faith with the city for a certain period of time. You have to get the approval of all the other owners. You have to really jump through some hoops. This is not something where we're going to see teams leave their cities that they're in very often, without having to go through significant challenges and hurdles to get there. You have to make sure that the contracts with the venues, the municipalities and public sentiment keep the team in the city, right. When we look at the Los Angeles Rams becoming the Saint Louis Rams before they came back to Los Angeles, they were in negotiations with the city of Saint Louis for the venue. The question became, were they negotiating in good faith? And they ended up the NFL. And the Saint Louis Rams paid the city of Saint Louis between. I think it was about $750 million, if I remember correctly, to settle the lawsuit from the city of Saint Louis against the Rams. And of course, team owners are not always the bad guys. They sure can be, though, if you're listening to talk radio, but sometimes it just comes down to a business decision. It's unfortunate that that happens. I don't like to see teams move, but oftentimes it's more business than it is emotion. Well, when we talk about franchise ownership, you have to understand that it's more than just the major leagues, right? There are a lot of big time sports out there, but there's easier barriers to entry than forking over 5 or $10 million for a team. There's minor league baseball, there's independent leagues, there's competitive travel leagues. There's there's volleyball, there's hockey, there's basketball, there's baseball. There's all sorts of those competitive travel leagues for youth that are kind of like franchises right there. Certainly teams. If you're looking at team ownership, maybe that's a much easier route to get in. Just so you have a team and you can brag about it and make a little bit of money. The major leagues get the focus, but all leagues have some sort of franchise setup even at that amateur level. Now it's important to understand if you're evaluating deals for your potential clients or your clients when they come to you and say, I'm thinking about buying a sports team, that they understand what the pocketbook has to do. Of course, at the top of the heap, the NFL, you're ranging typically between now three and $8 billion of franchise value. This is at the time of the recording. So these things may very well change for the NBA one and a half to $5.8 billion. Right now I would say it's probably a minimum going to be 2 or $3 billion. With Major League Baseball now that $990 million number was with the Tampa Bay rays. Now that's well over $1 billion, upwards of six, seven, $8 billion. Imagine if the Yankees were for sale. What that number would be. That may top the $10 billion mark, the 400 million to $3 billion. I think that's on a rise. Major League Soccer, one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, starting at $370 million for a team upwards of $1 billion. I think we'd with Miami getting messy, I think they would be over $1 billion if they sold today, the WNBA, well, you might be able to buy the whole league for $1 billion, the NWSL between 35 and $150 million, and minor league baseball anywhere between 5 and $40 million. If you're looking for the best bang for your buck as a franchise owner, I would. I and I have highly recommended looking at the WNBA and the NWSL, the National Women's Soccer League, as potential parking spots for your investment dollar. I think the franchise values alone are worthwhile to invest in. The product is is fantastic. Lower barrier to entry and the growth potential is massive. Keep that in mind if you are working with high end clients that are looking to purchase sports teams, take a look at that. Of course, as you start to go through that process, you have to qualify, right? It's not just about having $8 million to buy into the NFL, but you actually have to get approved. You can have some problems with that if the owners just don't like it. It might be a bit of a good old boys club, but this is private business, of course, and so you have to get into the club and meet all of the requirements for team owners in whatever league you or your client may be buying into. Now, when we look at franchise owners and. Franchise ownership needed to understand what some of these revenue streams are, because of course, you're going to have legal issues that pop up as well. You're going to have those league pool rights for, say, television. Sometimes national radio broadcast, you're going to get a chunk of that from the league. You're going to have ticket sales and special events. You're going to have those typical sponsorships, right? Naming rights, those type of things. You're going to have some real estate. The LA Clippers not just play at Crypto.com Arena in downtown Los Angeles. Sharing that with the Lakers, they're also building an arena next to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood that I believe opens next year. And they're going there in the real estate game, right? That includes the parking lots. You're going to have a lot of merchandise sales. You're going to have ticket sales, you're going to have those concessions, and you're also going to be renting your venues. If Taylor Swift wants to use your venue. Boy, you're in for a good payday. But you have to understand what that does to those league regulations. Oftentimes with league regulations, you can't have a separate event at that stadium that's on the field several days prior to the game being played. It can get a little tricky renting out that venue. Now, there are, of course, limits to what you can and can't do and revenues that you can and can't make. Of course, league, charter and governing documents with the league are going to be one of those things that really limit what you can do. You're going to have those pooled revenues. Some things are pulled out so the Dallas Cowboys can't go sign their own national television contract. Instead, they're going to have to step in line with the rest of the NFL owners and share in that money. They may have some local TV deals, local radio deals, but there's always a pooled revenue source in professional leagues. Of course, public relations are going to stop you from doing some things, and maybe it's even other business interests of the owner. I've worked with team owners at various levels that have a really good idea, but they're prohibited from doing so based on an operating agreement that they have in a in another business. Of course, taxes are going to be a problem when you have franchises upwards of 8 or 10 or $12 billion. You're always worried about the taxes and you're always worried about those liabilities, not just the payroll, not just paying that center fielder who's washed up too much money to be playing center field for you, or not playing center field for you. You're also worried about what happens when somebody falls down that escalator. You're worried about what happens when somebody gets hit by the foul ball. You're worried about the workplace safety issues, but also the harassment issues. You're worried about all of the same things that a lot of other offices are. But liabilities are at the forefront because they're public facing. You're always worried about market forces. You're worried about poor performance and a whole lot of other things. Now the workforce is the other side of of sports. And there are a number of sports unions, all of them are listed here. And so if you're a labor attorney, you certainly have some ways in here to to dive into sports. Sports. Labor unions are very, very strong. They have a really solid backing throughout. And they all kind of help one another when they can. But that doesn't mean that we always have labor peace. Everybody knows this. A lockout happens when company management denies its workers physical access to their place of employment, and they may replace workers in their absence. We've seen this from time to time. The NFL notably had replacement players back in the 1980s. But we also have strikes. It's a work stoppage or a refusal to work initiated by a company's workers due to or caused by employee grievances. We've seen this with the NHL. We saw Major League Baseball players walk out in 1994, causing the cancellation of the first World Series. Um, it can be very, very difficult, but these issues are governed by the National Labor Relations Board, and it helps for workers to the ability it gives them the ability to organize as a collective body. And that includes those collegiate players right now. They help them vote on forming a union or not forming a union, and it oversees the collective bargaining process and the complaints. And of course, antitrust is not within the purview of labor of collective labor law. So keep that in mind. If you're an antitrust lawyer, you probably already know that. But a lot of folks don't realize that antitrust and labor law don't always mix, right. Some there's some overlap here and there, but typically those two are going to remain independent of one another. Now a role of a union is simply and this is very true in sports. It bargains for the whole of the membership. It protects those union members and disciplinary hearings, filing of workplace related lawsuits, etcetera. You can think about. It this way, LeBron James probably doesn't benefit nearly as much from a union as that last guy at the end of the Lakers bench, because they can't really focus on LeBron. He's an outlier. Instead, they're trying to go for that collective whole. And sometimes raising that minimum salary means a lot more to the collective whole than it does raising the salary cap. The union also provides other benefits to members. Now, a lot of the unions have invested in outside businesses. Major League Baseball Players Association has invested in a number of businesses, including one called force three Pro Gear, which has catcher's masks and catcher's gear that helps prevent concussions. You can imagine that the players know a lot about this, and it makes sense why they're investing in companies like that. It also reduces the amount of revenue that players have to contribute to the union for it to succeed, and it also provides more equal footing when negotiating employment terms with an employer. You can imagine that an employer a lot easier for them to negotiate, say, up against one person, because it's kind of a take it or leave it situation compared to when you have the entire workforce that may walk out if you don't treat that person well. Now, other union rights that are out there, they set the standards for those working with union members, think agents. Right. The the unions now all have codified agent regulations that agents must follow. They charge dues. That way they can raise some revenue and pay the bills. And they use those union dues in a manner consistent with the union charter and the union purpose. For those of you that draft corporate documents and governing documents for organizations, it's no different. You really have to keep that in mind when you're working with a union. And of course, they negotiate with employers that are employing their union members. Now, collective bargaining is one of those things where a union can't really make the hiring or firing decisions for a team. They can't represent the individuals in other matters. Right? You get if a player gets stopped for speeding, for example, they're not going to the union is not going to walk over and represent them. They're going to help them get outside counsel. They may have conflicts of interest within the membership itself. As you can imagine, LeBron may have a different interest than that last guy at the end of the bench. So there is going to be some conflict. It's up to the membership to resolve some of that, and they may act in a manner that follows that union charter or, and or is authorized by their members. Now, the union's not the only representation the players get. They also get agent representation. A lot of people are interested in agency work. It seems very cool. It seems very Jerry Maguire, but it is a rough and tumble business. Of course, being an agent is based on the general agency principles that we've all studied, but athlete agents are also governed by the Uniform Athlete Agent Act. It's also governed by those union specific regulations that we mentioned. And of course, that fiduciary duty is very important when we talk about agents and their and the players that they represent, agents have to register in each state. The agent is conducting business, not just the state where their office is. I'm based in Los Angeles. If I was a baseball agent and I send an Instagram message to a player in Texas, you better believe that I have to register in Texas. I also have to register with each college or university that I'm recruiting a player. So if I reach out to that player in Texas and by golly, I got my Texas agent license, I also, if that player is playing at the University of Texas, I better register there too. Now, the problem for many agents is if they don't follow the uniform agent athlete act in whatever state it's in, the remedy is that the player doesn't have to pay that agent for the agent services, and they can oftentimes claw that money back. They get the benefit of the bargain without without having to pay for it. Now that's the the detriment for agents. They looked at it as a situation where some athletes just didn't know any better. They'd sign up with agents and these and these agents would take advantage of them. This is one of the ways to make agents actually comply with all of this. And of course, pay those filing fees in each state. So let's take a look real quick at how agents make money. They take a percentage of on field revenue, and it ranges in professional sports from 1.5%, up to 5%, 1.5% is the minimum that can be charged by an NFLPA agent representing players in the National Football League. They can go up to 3% maximum in that sport with other sports, the NBA and the NHL, the most that they can take is 4% and Major League Baseball. If you're a major League Baseball agent, you could take 5% of the gross earnings of the on field contracts for those players, too. Generally, when you're. Agents are also going to represent players in their marketing efforts, right? Get them an endorsement deal, get them on a TV commercial, that type of stuff. And generally that's between 10 and 20% of the gross as well. Yeah. They're also going to make some money from referral fee agreements. They're going to refer them to a financial advisor. Maybe that they get a bonus for that. They might make loans to their players in accordance with those union regulations. And as long as those loans are reasonable and meet state meet the state requirements as well as the union requirements, they might make a little bit there. Some agents make money off of speaking engagements because when you're on ESPN, every once in a while people want to hear more from you. And so they might have some speaking engagements that they do and they may have some other business interests. I always tell people that if you're interested in becoming an agent, you better have something that can fund your agent addiction. And so oftentimes that means that you're running that personal injury law firm on the side. You might have you might be practicing law or doing something else that might or might not involve athletes, but you might have some other business interests as well. Now, how do how do people become agents for sports with those players unions? They have to pass an athlete or an agent exam before they can represent an athlete. So if you're trying to become a baseball agent, you have to take a test administered by the Major League Baseball Players Association. You have to pay the necessary fee. And oh yeah, you have to actually represent players in that sports league. You have to remain in good standing. That means follow all of those agent rules that are out there. And then you got to recruit, recruit and recruit clients. You don't have to register with the individual leagues. The NBA doesn't care who their agents are. The NBPA does because the the union actually has that duty to the players. The NBA does not. Now agent representation income for agents. You see that there's about 11,000 of them in the United States. That includes entertainment agents. Sometimes they blend. They blur over, and you can kind of see the finances of it. Agents aren't all rich, and especially when you take in some of those, those big agents, um, that's those numbers can get a little skewed. Let's talk more money. That's an intellectual property rights, especially in the broadcast. One of the things about intellectual property that we don't often think of is who actually owns the broadcast. Who owns what happens on the field? Is it is it kind of like watching a stage production? It's like watching a movie. And the answer is no. The broadcast, the art is protected, not the athletic competition itself. So and if you think about it, that's because sports isn't necessarily choreographed, right? There isn't a choreographer that has that works with the players. So one thing happens at a time. This is competition. It's sporadic. It's it's all of a sudden, right. There's not a standard set thing where if I go see Les Miserables on Broadway, I'm pretty sure I know what I'm going to see. But if I watch the Lakers play the Memphis Grizzlies, I don't know how that game is going to turn out. I don't know what song is going to be played. I don't know if LeBron's going to play or if he's not going to play. The broadcast is the art medium with the Chyrons and the broadcasters and all of that. That is the art that's protected. The athletic contest, as much as I disagree with it, is not considered art. So why aren't sports considered art? Well, according to the federal government, the underlying underlying basketball games do not fall within subject matter of federal copyright protection because they're not considered original works of authorship. Right. And the. The federal law lists eight categories of works of authorship, including things like literary works, music works, dramatic works. You can see the the analogy difference there. What the authorship in a sports event must be open to copying by others. If fans are to be attracted, that's really not what's going to happen, right? I'm not going to recreate the Lakers game with ten of my friends. Boy, would that be awful. I wouldn't wish that upon anybody, but there's a reason why nobody's going to go see that. They want to watch the original thing, the real thing, rather than a recreation of it. Now, the one part about this is interesting is that stats are open for use. Once those stats get out in the public domain, they rapidly lose their commercial value. Anyone can really use them. Think about newsworthiness, right? The name names are fair game unless they're being used in a commercial activity. So think cases for professionals. Think video games, right? The video game characters with the names, image and likenesses. That would be something that that doesn't necessarily fall outside of the purview there. But if I say that if I'm running a fantasy sports company and I tell you that Patrick Mahomes said 387 yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions and 37 rushing yards today, there's not a lot the NFL can do about that because it's now once they put it out in the public, it's out in the public. Now. There's a lot of interesting stuff coming in the future. We kind of running through this little rough shot here, but there's a lot of modern and emerging legal issues that have been adapting over the years with we have to look at how that's going to change. Are there going to be more regulations? Is there going to be more university involvement? And the answer to that is yes, it will change. There are going to be more regulations, and the universities are going to get more and more intricately involved and changing, of course, because the dynamic of what those deals are worth and what kind of deals are being done is always going to be something that athletes and those sponsors are going to push the envelope. Right now, it's kind of wholesome. It's new. We're seeing a lot of really cool stuff by a lot of cool athletes. Chase Griffin at UCLA is kind of the king right now. He's not a starter, but he has dozens of nil deals. And it's because one, he is a great kid. Two, he's a great sponsor. He's a great partner and endorser for some of these products. And three, he does a very, very good job of building a social media following that you'd want in an audience if you were going to have an endorser at the collegiate level. The other things that we take a look at are what happens when those players go the other way, right. Chase is doing everything what I would consider an a model sort of way. But what happens when one of those players decides to get an Nil deal from a strip club, right? Or from a adult entertainment site, something that fans may not like, but a kid may just think it's funny, or they're after just whatever dollar they can get. Those things are going to happen. Will there be regulations around it? Maybe we're will there be legal challenges when those type of things happen? Of course there will, because all of you will be doing your jobs. There will be more regulations. We see a push for something to happen at the federal level, simply because you have a lot of stuff in the pipeline right now. The NLRB, as we record this, have two cases in front of it talking about unionizing athletes and making sure and setting the standard that they are employees under federal law. So we're getting regulation lobbying efforts from the NCAA, their member institutions and others to have them excluded under federal law, saying that student athletes are expressly not considered employees of the university. But we are going to see more university involvement. In fact, just a few days before this recording, university NCAA representatives as well as student athlete representatives went to Capitol Hill to for a hearing. And it it sounded like the NCAA is may not be as against maybe collective bargaining as they were in the past. The NCAA has also put forward some recommendations to be put in place that would permit universities to be more engaged in those Nil deals, that they could source Nil deals for athletes, that they could use their resources to provide them legal and financial support. You can imagine if you're a student athlete at Ohio State, they have a good law school attached to the university. Wouldn't it be great if you had an Nil component at that law school to help these student athletes not just get good representation, but also those law students to get the experience of dealing in that space? I think it's going to have a lot of changes coming up here in Nil, not just because of the Alston case, but because the NCAA is rapidly evolving. In February of this year, they had a ruling against the University of Miami involving the Cavinder twins. They were playing. They were basketball players at Fresno State. And these young women moved to transfer, use the transfer portal to go to the University of Miami. And it was about how a booster for the school and a their deal worked. And the school got penalized because they didn't follow some honestly ambiguous NCAA regulations at the time. We're going to see things get cleaned up, and we're going to see more and more regulation, university involvement and NCAA rules that hopefully clarify what can and can't be done. We're also going to see the litigation, probably in the antitrust space, about each one of these NCAA rules that pop up. We're also one of the big things that we talk about in sports now is the use of technology. And we're not just talking about the automated strike zone. Boy, if I could give a presentation on what I thought about automated strike zones, it would be a long one. But that's certainly one of them, right? What happens with people's jobs when they're automating technology? What happens when that technology fails? Right. What happens when that technology gives us some sort of false positive? We also take a look at wearables. Think about how many of you are wearing a smartwatch that tracks your steps. Athletes are wearing the same type of technology, just covers different stuff, covers heart rates, the whoop band that a lot of athletes wear provides significant data. The question becomes who owns that data and who has access to it? Do the athletes do the companies that provide the wearable device? Do the teams have any say in it? If the teams put a tracker and say shoulder pads to track how fast an athlete was going or how many steps that they went or how fast they're coming back from rehab or some other sort of analytics, who owns all that data and how is it going to be used? I can imagine, with the proliferation of resources right now, that in the next 3 to 5 years, we're going to have teams that are going to understand how many, how many plays or how many, what type of plays a player has made or played in, and they're going to be able to really dive down to figure out if a player has run so far in so many games, or what that means for their actual value, they may be heading them off at the pass. And and the argument is about that data rather than about a player's necessary performance in the future with technology. And perhaps the biggest issue coming up is gaming the growth of betting on sports. Pete Rose was banned for life for betting on baseball as a manager of the Cincinnati Reds, and now we have more players that are getting into the same problem. We've seen players that have bet from a mobile device at the team facility. We've seen point shaving issues in Iowa. We've seen coaches pass a tip to their friends and a coach and a player get get terminated, right. We're seeing a lot of these type of things happen. So the growth of mobile betting, the the as teams and leagues have their mobile, their betting providers in the stadium themselves, we have real time betting on individual plays, not just the outcome of games and of course state regulation. Interestingly, in California in the last election they turned down sports betting both at casinos and mobile betting. And you would think in a progressive state like California that that would have passed rather easily. It did not. And so we're going to see some state regulations. And I think the growth of the number of states that offer it simply because of the tax revenue. But gaming is one of those really key areas and something to keep your eye on. If you take a look at my outline that I provide, I provide you with a lot of these resources and a lot of things that you can point to and at least have a starting point, whether it's nil, whether it's some technology stuff, whether it's gaming. There are a lot of resources in the footnotes involving cases as well on that outline. So one of the questions that I always get after the class and feel free to reach out if you have these type of questions, is how in the world do I break into this space as a lawyer? Whether you're a law student, you're fresh out of the bar exam, whether you've been practicing for five years or 35 years, everybody kind of wants to know at how do they break into this industry? Well, the first thing, of course, is that you want to get involved in industry groups and build connections. I highly recommend the Sports Lawyers Association being on the board there. That certainly is my plug for an organization that I find to be tremendously valuable. The ABA has a forum of sports entertainment industries. That's pretty good. You also might have some local industries, some local events. You might have a a, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. You might want to get involved with something like that. You might want to get involved with your local sports commission. Here in Los Angeles we have the Los Angeles Sports Council, something like that. The LA 84 Foundation. You can get involved in sports in a number of ways and build connections, not just with lawyers. You got to remember athletes and those teams have a lot of different connections, and oftentimes they're going to get a lawyer through, sometimes their trainer, sometimes their high school coach. You never know where that is. So you should probably get involved and engaged there. Also get really good at one area of practice. Sports clients need all sorts of good lawyers. Sometimes they need immigration. Help. Sometimes they need to file a trademark, sometimes they need an estate plan, and sometimes they just need somebody to help guide them through their daily life. We do a lot of just general counsel type work for individual athletes, and we are we're often dishing out work to other lawyers that have that specialty that we're really looking for. Um, one of the other big thing, big things, is you need to focus in on the long term rewards of being in the sports space. And there's certainly plenty. And I'm not talking about free tickets. That is something great. But don't go to a lot of games anymore. I've been to the puppet show. I've seen the strings. But those long term rewards are you get to build a high profile client base that knows a lot of people. Oftentimes we'll start with a player simply filing that athlete, LLC, and we'll end up with their entire family as clients for their business interests. Some of the stuff that they have going on personally and oh yeah, the athletes have more time being a non athlete than they actually do being an athlete. So keep that in mind. There are a lot of what I consider legal tourists that come in and out of the industry. They might have a athlete client one time and then they never work with another athlete again. Right? It can be easy to get one client. It's hard to build that sports practice, but honestly, it's just kind of survival of the fittest. And who has that longer runway? One of the biggest pieces of advice I would give you is find a way to provide some value, right? Find a way to answer those questions that are the lowest common denominator for an athlete. They don't always think about the legal issue, but they think about those things that will lead to a legal issue. I recorded a video a while back that's called what the heck do I do with my Super Bowl ring? And I've received more clients from that one video that doesn't have the most views I've ever had, but it's certainly one of those videos that meant a lot to people that were watching it, because they don't know what to do with the Super Bowl ring. I have my championship ring and I walked them through what you do when you get something that that's that's so valuable and how you protect that asset, not by using those legal principles, but by talking about how you have a what I call a two safe solution. And I can get into that if you guys want to reach out about it, you can attend sports events. And when I say sports events, I'm not just talking about games, right? Go to space Week, go to Super Bowl week, go to the NBA Summer League, go to the NFL combine, check out spring training, go to final four week. Go to those all star game festivities. Shake hands, kiss babies. Get to know some people, go to the Major League Baseball winter meetings and get to know some people. Remember. Find those events that you can target your connections and have those connections be valuable for, not just for you, but you can provide value to them, right? Your targets are people, and so you can if you can always provide people value, if you can save them time, money or make them feel good, they're probably going to want to deal with you. Look for ways to help even if it's not legal work right? Maybe it's volunteering at a kid's camp. Maybe it's getting involved with a nonprofit that they have. There's a ton of ways to get involved in sports, and I always focus on giving without the expectation that anything's going to come back. And then it's amazing that you reap what you sow in that area way. And of course, there's all sorts of sports conferences for all sorts of sports clients. Sports is a lot of fun. It's a really fun area to work in, and it's really nice when you can watch your clients on TV a couple times a week and see how they're doing, but very rarely, at least in my practice, we don't talk a lot about what happens on the field. Instead, we're talking about their individual needs. We're getting to know them and their families, and I think that's one of those things. If you work with dentists, you're going to know dentists and their families. I work with athletes and people in sports. That's kind of who I get to know. Sports law is one of those things that's always going to be changing. It's always going to be on the cutting edge because it has to move fast. Everyone's looking for that competitive advantage. Whether they own a team, they play for a team or they're looking to do one or the other, they're always looking for what that next edge is. So if you're really into competition, you're really into moving really fast and quickly, and you like that high pressure environment. Sports law is one of those things that you might want to check out. Now, if you have questions, you have comments, you have concerns, or you just want to know more about this topic or any other of the subtopics that we've covered, check out my outline. Check out my website, reach out to me. Ask any questions that you want, connect with me on LinkedIn and keep this thing in mind. When I started my sports practice, I was fresh out of law school, didn't have a lot of connections in the sports space and the sports law space. And honestly, who wanted to hire a first year lawyer that didn't know what he was doing? I was I was pretty green when I graduated law school. But I built those relationships over time, and I started with no clients and. Now I've reached the point where I'm on this board, which is really cool thing to have, but it's also one of those situations where now, when I'm advising groups of many billionaires on potential purchase of sports teams, it's a good look back to realize that it starts with that first step. And maybe that first step is watching this class just so you can cram all those credits in at the end of the year. Maybe something I said resonates with you, but always find that first step, and hopefully that first step is reaching out to me and we can connect. If you're in the area, grab a cup of coffee. Otherwise, enjoy the games this weekend. Whether they're your kid's soccer game or whether you're going to watch Sunday Night Football or you're going to a collegiate basketball game, a hockey game, a field hockey game, you're going to go check out the Angel city with the NWSL. Please, please take a look at how you can view the lens of sports as a lawyer and you'll be a sports lawyer before you know it. I appreciate your attention over the last hour, and I appreciate you tuning in for sports law through Quimbee. Thank you.

Presenter(s)

BL
Brandon Leopoldus
Founder
Leopoldus Law, APC

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                                                    Pending
                                                    Rhode Island
                                                      Pending
                                                      South Carolina
                                                        Pending
                                                        South Dakota
                                                          Not Offered
                                                          Tennessee
                                                          • 1.15 general
                                                          October 23, 2024 at 11:59PM HST Approved
                                                          Texas
                                                            Pending
                                                            Utah
                                                              Pending
                                                              Vermont
                                                              • 1.0 general
                                                              October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST Approved
                                                              Virginia
                                                                Not Eligible
                                                                Virgin Islands
                                                                • 1.0 general
                                                                October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST Approved
                                                                Washington
                                                                  Pending
                                                                  West Virginia
                                                                    Not Eligible
                                                                    Wisconsin
                                                                      Not Eligible
                                                                      Wyoming
                                                                        Pending
                                                                        Credits
                                                                          Available until
                                                                          Status
                                                                          Pending
                                                                          Credits
                                                                          • 1.0 voluntary
                                                                          Available until

                                                                          October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                          Status
                                                                          Available
                                                                          Credits
                                                                          • 1.0 general
                                                                          Available until

                                                                          October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                          Status
                                                                          Available
                                                                          Credits
                                                                          • 1.0 general
                                                                          Available until

                                                                          October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                          Status
                                                                          Approved
                                                                          Credits
                                                                          • 1.0 general
                                                                          Available until

                                                                          October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                          Status
                                                                          Approved
                                                                          Credits
                                                                            Available until
                                                                            Status
                                                                            Pending
                                                                            Credits
                                                                            • 1.0 general
                                                                            Available until

                                                                            October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                            Status
                                                                            Available
                                                                            Credits
                                                                              Available until
                                                                              Status
                                                                              Pending
                                                                              Credits
                                                                                Available until
                                                                                Status
                                                                                Not Offered
                                                                                Credits
                                                                                  Available until
                                                                                  Status
                                                                                  Pending
                                                                                  Credits
                                                                                  • 1.0 general
                                                                                  Available until
                                                                                  Status
                                                                                  Unavailable
                                                                                  Credits
                                                                                  • 1.0 general
                                                                                  Available until

                                                                                  October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                  Status
                                                                                  Available
                                                                                  Credits
                                                                                  • 1.0 general
                                                                                  Available until

                                                                                  October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                  Status
                                                                                  Approved
                                                                                  Credits
                                                                                    Available until
                                                                                    Status
                                                                                    Pending
                                                                                    Credits
                                                                                    • 1.0 general
                                                                                    Available until

                                                                                    October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                    Status
                                                                                    Approved
                                                                                    Credits
                                                                                      Available until
                                                                                      Status
                                                                                      Pending
                                                                                      Credits
                                                                                        Available until
                                                                                        Status
                                                                                        Pending
                                                                                        Credits
                                                                                          Available until
                                                                                          Status
                                                                                          Pending
                                                                                          Credits
                                                                                            Available until
                                                                                            Status
                                                                                            Pending
                                                                                            Credits
                                                                                              Available until
                                                                                              Status
                                                                                              Pending
                                                                                              Credits
                                                                                              • 1.0 general
                                                                                              Available until

                                                                                              December 31, 2026 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                              Status
                                                                                              Pending
                                                                                              Credits
                                                                                                Available until
                                                                                                Status
                                                                                                Not Offered
                                                                                                Credits
                                                                                                  Available until
                                                                                                  Status
                                                                                                  Not Offered
                                                                                                  Credits
                                                                                                    Available until
                                                                                                    Status
                                                                                                    Not Offered
                                                                                                    Credits
                                                                                                      Available until
                                                                                                      Status
                                                                                                      Pending
                                                                                                      Credits
                                                                                                        Available until
                                                                                                        Status
                                                                                                        Pending
                                                                                                        Credits
                                                                                                        • 1.0 general
                                                                                                        Available until

                                                                                                        October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                        Status
                                                                                                        Available
                                                                                                        Credits
                                                                                                          Available until
                                                                                                          Status
                                                                                                          Pending
                                                                                                          Credits
                                                                                                            Available until
                                                                                                            Status
                                                                                                            Pending
                                                                                                            Credits
                                                                                                              Available until
                                                                                                              Status
                                                                                                              Pending
                                                                                                              Credits
                                                                                                              • 1.0 general
                                                                                                              Available until

                                                                                                              October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                              Status
                                                                                                              Available
                                                                                                              Credits
                                                                                                                Available until
                                                                                                                Status
                                                                                                                Pending
                                                                                                                Credits
                                                                                                                  Available until
                                                                                                                  Status
                                                                                                                  Pending
                                                                                                                  Credits
                                                                                                                  • 1.0 areas of professional practice
                                                                                                                  Available until

                                                                                                                  October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                                  Status
                                                                                                                  Available
                                                                                                                  Credits
                                                                                                                    Available until
                                                                                                                    Status
                                                                                                                    Pending
                                                                                                                    Credits
                                                                                                                    • 1.0 general
                                                                                                                    Available until

                                                                                                                    October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                                    Status
                                                                                                                    Available
                                                                                                                    Credits
                                                                                                                    • 1.0 general
                                                                                                                    Available until
                                                                                                                    Status
                                                                                                                    Unavailable
                                                                                                                    Credits
                                                                                                                      Available until
                                                                                                                      Status
                                                                                                                      Pending
                                                                                                                      Credits
                                                                                                                        Available until
                                                                                                                        Status
                                                                                                                        Pending
                                                                                                                        Credits
                                                                                                                        • 1.0 general
                                                                                                                        Available until

                                                                                                                        January 16, 2026 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                                        Status
                                                                                                                        Approved
                                                                                                                        Credits
                                                                                                                          Available until
                                                                                                                          Status
                                                                                                                          Pending
                                                                                                                          Credits
                                                                                                                            Available until
                                                                                                                            Status
                                                                                                                            Pending
                                                                                                                            Credits
                                                                                                                              Available until
                                                                                                                              Status
                                                                                                                              Pending
                                                                                                                              Credits
                                                                                                                                Available until
                                                                                                                                Status
                                                                                                                                Not Offered
                                                                                                                                Credits
                                                                                                                                • 1.15 general
                                                                                                                                Available until

                                                                                                                                October 23, 2024 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                                                Status
                                                                                                                                Approved
                                                                                                                                Credits
                                                                                                                                  Available until
                                                                                                                                  Status
                                                                                                                                  Pending
                                                                                                                                  Credits
                                                                                                                                    Available until
                                                                                                                                    Status
                                                                                                                                    Pending
                                                                                                                                    Credits
                                                                                                                                    • 1.0 general
                                                                                                                                    Available until

                                                                                                                                    October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                                                    Status
                                                                                                                                    Approved
                                                                                                                                    Credits
                                                                                                                                      Available until
                                                                                                                                      Status
                                                                                                                                      Not Eligible
                                                                                                                                      Credits
                                                                                                                                      • 1.0 general
                                                                                                                                      Available until

                                                                                                                                      October 24, 2025 at 11:59PM HST

                                                                                                                                      Status
                                                                                                                                      Approved
                                                                                                                                      Credits
                                                                                                                                        Available until
                                                                                                                                        Status
                                                                                                                                        Pending
                                                                                                                                        Credits
                                                                                                                                          Available until
                                                                                                                                          Status
                                                                                                                                          Not Eligible
                                                                                                                                          Credits
                                                                                                                                            Available until
                                                                                                                                            Status
                                                                                                                                            Not Eligible
                                                                                                                                            Credits
                                                                                                                                              Available until
                                                                                                                                              Status
                                                                                                                                              Pending

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