Rick Guggolz - thank you for your contribution to sports law

Later this week 700+ sports lawyers will gather in Washington DC for the Sports Lawyers Association Annual Conference. However, one important person will sadly not be in attendance, Rick Guggolz, who sadly unexpectedly passed away last year. 

Rick was well known in the USA, and in particular to members of the Sports Lawyers Association and those who had the pleasure of speaking at one of their Annual conferences. Rick, along with his colleague and friend Melissa Pomerene, have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to, in my opinion, help make the Sports Lawyers Association Annual Conference, the leading sports law conference it is today.

Rick was the professional event organiser, working behind the scenes to make the conference run smoothly from start to finish. Rick was gentleman who always made time to help and support people at the conference and I can say on professional and personal level it was a delight to work him. 

At last year's conference I had slipped a disk on route to the conference and despite being rushed off his feet organising a 700+  speakers and attendees he quietly arranged for back supports, painkillers and other aids to be delivered to my room at the conference hotel. It was a humbling act of kindness that I will not forget. I only say this to demonstrate the type of person he was. 

I hope all of us working in sports law will take time to appreciate and acknowledge the work Rick did to help contribute in developing the sports law sector both domestically in the USA and internationally. 

Thank you for your contribution to sports law. You are missed.

Here is a video put together by Heather Pomerene.


"Rick was a true professional, confidant, and friend, and I particularly enjoyed his calm, cheerful manner regardless of the situation."
Matt Mitten
Professor of Law and Executive Director, National Sports Law Institute

"SLA is my baby. I have always been comforted knowing Rick was the SLA’s babysitter. In decades of dealing with Rick, I never experienced anyone nicer, more caring, more respectable, more efficient and productive. Always eager to help, with a smile and a good word."
Lloyd E. Shefsky, Founder and President Emeritus

"It was a privilege to work with Rick and have him on our team all of these years. I have been on the Board with the SLA for decades, and can vouch for his dedication and effectiveness in promoting the success of the SLA. Our best wishes go out to his family."
Donald M Fehr
Executive Director - NHLPA (2010 – current)
Executive Director - MLBPA (1983 – 2009)”

"For the past several years, I had the opportunity to work closely with Rick in connection with my role on the Sponsorship Committee of the Board. He was a great partner and a consummate professional. More important, Rick was always incredibly kind – he always asked about my family and I know how dear his family was to him. He will be terribly missed."
Jeffrey B. Gewirtz
Executive Vice President of Business Affairs
Chief Legal & Administrative Officer

"Rick was instrumental in growing the SLA and its annual conference over the many years we all had the good fortune to work with him. I especially appreciated his ability to execute to any deadline and to do so professionally. He consistently was among the kindest people I have ever had the good fortune to work with in the SLA and he was key to our efforts to build international appeal for the organization."

Jeff Benz, JAMS and CAS arbitrator and mediator and Door Tenant, 4 New Square



About the Author

Sean Cottrell

Sean Cottrell

Sean is the founder and CEO of LawInSport. Founded in 2010, LawInSport has become the "go to sports law website" for sports lawyers and sports executives across the world.

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