SLA Annual Conference 2018


2018 Conference Overview

Who Should Attend? 

The SLA Annual Conference is designed for attorneys, agents and other representatives of professional athletes, professional sports teams and leagues, players associations, stadium and arena authorities, and operators, amateur sports and intercollegiate organizations, students and professors of sports law; educators; and all others generally interested in the field of sports law.

What's the Format? 

You will have time to ask questions after the individual presentations or panel discussions. There will be social events and other opportunities to meet speakers, SLA Board members, and other registrants, as well as to learn about the Sports Lawyers Association.

What About Substitutions or Cancellations? 

Substitutions may be made at any time. Written cancellations must be received by by May 1; 75 percent of the registration fee will be refunded or the paid fee can be applied to the 2017 Annual Conference in Denver. All registration fees must be paid before the meeting. On-site registrants are expected to pay all fees Conference on-site; SLA will not invoice.

What If I'm only Attending the NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor Session?

Registration for the SLA Annual Conference covers all educational sessions, as well as the NFL Certified Contract Advisor Session. There is no separate, single fee for this specific session. Questions regarding your individual NFLPA requirements should be directed to the NFLPA office in Washington, DC.

Is This Conference Tax Deductible? 

Income tax deductions for expenses of education, including travel, meals, lodging, and registration fees, undertaken to maintain and improve professional skills are allowed under Treas. Reg. 1.162.5 and Coughlin v. Commissioner, 203 F 2nd 307, and subject to the tax reform act of 1986.

Conference Attire 

The conference attire will be business casual.

Supporting Materials

Conference handouts will be accessible on online as well through the Conference mobile app.

On-Site CLE Questions 

A representative will be present to answer specific CLE questions.



Wednesday, May 16

1:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Arbitrators & Mediators Seminar
This Wednesday CAS session is only open to CAS Arbitrators and Mediators and registration for this Seminar should be handled directly through CAS. Should CAS Seminar attendees wish to also attend the SLA Annual Conference, Melissa Pomerene, SLA Executive Director (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), can assist CAS members with SLA Conference registration.

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm



9:00 am - 6:15 pm


9:30 am - 11:00 am

Breaking Into the Sports Law Industry (New day and time)

For the first time, the SLA conference will be kicking off with the "Breaking into the Sports Industry" panel, giving students and professionals who aspire toward a career in sports the opportunity to learn practical job seeking skills, gain a better understanding of careers in sports, and participate in a live interactive seminar with some of the industry's best professionals. Participants will be able to use the knowledge and skills learned in this presentation to improve their experience throughout the week! We hope you will join us.

Sam Renaut
Associate Director, Sports Law & Business Program, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ

Buffy Filippel
TeamWork Online, Cleveland, OH

Stephanie N. Galvin
Associate Counsel, Miami Marlins, Miami, FL

David J. Lisko
Associate, Holland and Knight, Tampa, FL

Stacey R. Preston
Director of Strategic Initiatives, NCAA, Indianapolis, IN

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Networking Reception & New Members Reception
Sponsored by     

12:15 pm - 12:25 pm

SLA 2018 Annual Conference Welcome

Nona Lee
Sports Lawyers Association President
Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix, AZ

12:25 pm - 12:30 pm

Opening Remarks

Allison Rich
2018 SLA Annual Conference Chair
Senior Associate Director of Athletics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Melanie Schnoll Begun
Managing Director, Head of Philanthropy Management;
Co-Head of Global Sports & Entertainment, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, New York, NY

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

An Overview of Recent Legal Developments in Sports

Gabe A. Feldman
Paul and Abram B. Barron Professor of Law, Tulane Law School;
Director, Tulane Sports Law Program; Associate Provost for NCAA Compliance, Tulane University;
Mediator/Arbitrator, MAPS, New Orleans, LA

Matt J. Mitten
Professor of Law and Executive Director, National Sports Law Institute, Marquette University Law School, Milwaukee, WI;
Member, Court of Arbitration for Sport, Lausanne, Switzerland;
SLA Past President

2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

The Quantified Athlete: Legal Perspectives on Wearable Technology and Data in Professional and Collegiate Sports

Brian R. Socolow
Co-Chair, Sports Practice, Loeb & Loeb LLP , New York, NY

Jodi S. Balsam
Associate Professor of Clinical Law and Director of Externship Programs, Brooklyn, NY

Oliver Luck
Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, NCAA, Indianapolis, IN

Mark A. Merolli
Senior Counsel, Connected Fitness, Under Armour, Boston, MA

3:15 pm - 3:30 pm

Refreshment Break
Sponsored by     

3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Since When are Potential Violations of NCAA Rules Considered a Criminal Offense?

Gary R. Roberts
President, Bradley University, Peoria, IL

John D. Buretta
Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP, New York, NY

Christopher P. Conniff
Partner, Ropes & Gray LLP, New York, NY

Paul H. Hewitt
Scout, Los Angeles Clippers; Former College Basketball Coach, Los Angeles, CA

5:00 pm - 6:15 pm

Challenges and Changes in Delivery of Sports Content: Legal Challenges and Business Realities

Robert "Bobby" Hacker
Principal, Robert A. Hacker Attorney At Law, Marina Del Ray, CA

Adam Brezine
Associate Director (Legal) Business Development , Twitter, San Francisco, CA

Woodie H. Dixon, Jr.
General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, Pac-12 Conference, San Francisco, CA

Brett Goodman
General Counsel, NBC Sports Group, Stamford, CT

Claudia R. Teran
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, FOX Sports, Hollywood, CA

6:15 pm - 7:15 pm

Opening Reception
Sponsored by     

Friday, May 18

7:30 am - 5:00 pm


7:30 am - 8:30 am

Sponsored by     

7:30 am - 8:30 am

Sponsored by     

7:30 am - 8:30 am

CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST Outreach Captains' Breakfast
(by invite only)

8:30 am - 10:30 am

Ethical and Counseling Dilemmas Faced by Corporate Counsel in the #Me Too Era: Counselor or Whistleblower?

Mary Kay Braza
Chair, Sports Industry Team, Foley & Lardner LLP, Milwaukee, WI

Robert A. DuPuy
Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP, New York, NY

Jeremy M. Evans
Managing Attorney, California Sports Lawyer, Los Angeles, CA

Naima Stevenson Starks
Deputy General Counsel, NCAA, Indianapolis, IN

Norman Wain
General Counsel and Chief of Business Affairs, USA Track & Field, Indianapolis, IN

Robert E. Wallace, Jr.
Partner and Chairman of the Sports Law Group, Thompson Coburn LLP, St Louis, MO

Maureen A. Weston
Professor, Pepperdine School of Law, Malibu, CA

10:30 am - 10:45 am

Refreshment Break
Sponsored in part by      and   

10:45 am - Noon

You Want to Play for Someone Else?! The High Stakes Game of Moving Players Across Borders in Soccer and Baseball

Jeffrey G. Benz
JAMS and 4 New Square Barristers (CAS arbitrator and mediator), Los Angeles, CA

Ian Penny
General Counsel, MLBPA, New York, NY

Marcos Motta
Partner, Bichara & Motta Advogados, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Alasdair Bell
Legal Director and General Counsel, UEFA, Nyon, Switzerland

12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

SLA Luncheon

Moderated by SLA President, Nona Lee

  • SLA 2018 Philanthropy Initiative
  • SLA 2018 Michael Weiner Sports Lawyers Association Award of Excellence
  • SLA 2018 Sixth Annual Law Student Writing Competition Awards
    first, second, and third place winners to be announced
Sponsored by     

1:45 pm - 3:45 pm

(only for certified contract advisors)

Tom DePaso
General Counsel, NFLPA, Washington, DC

Ned Ehrlich
Associate General Counsel, NFLPA, Washington, DC

Todd Flanagan
Staff Counsel, NFLPA, Washington, DC

Mark Levin
Director of Salary Cap and Agent Administration, NFLPA, Washington, DC


The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Update: Recent Developments in Procedure and Disputes Involving the Olympic Games, Soccer, Doping and Sport Governance

Matthieu Reeb
Secretary General, Court of Arbitration for Sport, Lausanne, Switzerland

Jeffrey G. Benz
JAMS and 4 New Square Barristers (CAS arbitrator and mediator), Los Angeles, CA

Michael Lenard
Vice President, International Council of Arbitration for Sport, Los Angeles, CA

Brent J. Nowicki
Legal Counsel, CAS Managing Counsel, Lausanne, Switzerland

Professor Martin Schimke
Counsel, Bird & Bird (CAS arbitrator and mediator) Dusseldorf, Germany


1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

Shall We Play a Game? Evolving Legal Issues in eSports

Hal Biagas
President and Founder, Sideline Sports Management; Executive Director, LCS Payer Association, New York, NY

Bryce Blum
Founder, ESG Law; Executive Vice President, Catalyst Sports & Media, Seattle, WA

A.J. Dimick
Director of Operations, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Ari Segal
President & Chief Operating Officer, Immortals, Los Angeles, CA

Bobby Sharma
President, Blue Devil Holdings LLC; Managing Partner, Electronic Sports Group, New York, NY

2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

Effective Sponsorship Negotiation: Preventing the Name Game from Becoming the Blame Game

Stokely G. Caldwell, Jr.
Partner, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, PA, Charlotte, NC

Richard L. Brand
Managing Partner, Sports Practice Group, Arent Fox LLP, San Francisco, CA

Jeffrey B. Gewirtz
Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, Brooklyn, NY

Amy Minniti
Deputy General Counsel, Comcast Spectacor, Philadelphia, PA


Supreme Court Sports Betting Case: Issues and Future Directions

Ryan M. Rodenberg
Associate Professor, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Kate C. Lowenhar-Fisher
U.S. Gaming & Hospitality Practice Group/Leader, Dickinson Wright PLLC, Las Vegas, NV

John M. McManus
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas, NV

Tom McMillen
Chief Executive Officer, LEAD1 Association; Former U.S. Congressman (Maryland), Washington, DC

Tom Russell
General Counsel, Genius Sports Group, London, England

3:45 pm - 4:00 pm

Refreshment Break
Sponsored by     

4:00 pm - 4:55 pm


Session A: Lawyers in the Front Office

Gabe A. Feldman
Paul and Abram B. Barron Professor of Law, Tulane Law School;
Director, Tulane Sports Law Program;
Associate Provost for NCAA Compliance, Tulane University;
Mediator/Arbitrator, MAPS, New Orleans, LA

Jean Afterman
Senior Vice President, Assistant General Manager, New York Yankees, New York, NY

Michael B. Tannenbaum
Executive Vice President, Football Operations, Miami Dolphins, Miami FL

Session B: Gender Equity: Pay, Sponsorships and Media Coverage

Jayma M. Meyer
Counsel, Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett, LLP,
Visiting Clinical Professor, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Lisa Baird
Chief Marketing Officer, United States Olympic Committee, Colorado Springs, CO

Cheryl Cooky
Associate Professor, American Studies, Purdue University
Author of Slam Dunk: Gender Sport and Unevenness of Social Change, West Lafayette, IN

Fatima Goss Graves
Chief Executive Officer and President, National Women's Law Center, Washington, DC

Session C: Teaching Sports Law

Ilhyung Lee
Edward W. Hinton Professor of Law, Senior Fellow, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Caleb Jay
General Counsel, Arizona Diamondbacks; Adjunct Professor, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ

Dionne L. Koller
Professor of Law Director, Center for Sports and the Law, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD

Session D: The Current Landscape & Considerations for Transgender Inclusion in Sport

Chris Mosier
Vice President, You Can Play; Founder,, Chicago, IL

Andrew Haywood
Partner, Penningtons & Manches, London, England

Ashland Johnson
Director of Public Education and Research, Human Rights Campaign, Washington, DC

Shannon P. Minter
Legal Director, NCLR, San Francisco, CA

Session E: Building an Athlete Brand in the #21stCentury

Brandon Leopoldus
Founder, Brandon Leopoldus, Esq., Los Angeles, CA

Melanie Schnoll Begun
Managing Director, Head of Philanthropy Management, Morgan Stanley, New York, NY

Tony Mulrain
Co-Chair, Sports Law Practice, Mintz Levin, New York, NY

Rand Sacks
President, The Sacks Group, PLLC, Washington, DC

Session F: Fair or Foul? Competition and Antitrust Issues in Sanctioning International Sporting Events

Michele Bernasconi
Partner, Bär & Karrer (UEFA outside counsel), Zurich, Switzerland

Massimo Coccia
Partner, Coccia De Angelis & Associati, Rome, Italy

Benoît Keane
Founder, Keane Legal, Brussels, Belgium

Session G: Mock Sports Doping Arbitration Hearing & Debrief
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm – Part I: Hearing 
5:20 pm - 6:00 pm – Part II: Debrief

Maureen Weston
Professor of Law, Pepperdine School of Law, Malibu, CA

Ricardo de Buen
Founding and Managing Partner, de Buen Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico

Paul J. Greene
Attorney, Founder, Global Sports Advocates LLP, Portland, ME

Matt J. Mitten
Professor of Law and Executive Director, National Sports Law Institute, Marquette University Law School, Milwaukee, WI;
Member, Court of Arbitration for Sport, Lausanne, Switzerland;
SLA Past President

Cameron A. Myler
New York University, Tisch Institute for Sport, New York, NY

Obadele Thompson
Associate, King & Spading LLP, Houston, TX

Ross Wenzel
Attorney at Law, Solicitor, Partner, Kellerhals Carrard, Lausanne, Switzerland

Session H: Moving Athletes In and Out of the United States: New Policy, Anecdotes and Pointers From Attorneys, Agents and Team Officials

Jon Velie
Sports Immigration Attorney, Velie Law Firm, Norman, OK

Michael B. Lelchitski
Vice President and Men's Basketball Executive Director, Sports International Group, Washington, DC

Shawn Marette
Senior Manager, Player Development, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix, AZ

Andrew Maloney
Agent, Maloney & Thompson, Toronto, Canada

Daniel F. Van Woerkom
Agent, Van Woerkom Law, Provo, UT

Session I: Sports Law Considerations for University Counsel

Glenn M. Wong
Executive Director, Sports Law & Business Program Distinguished Professor of Practice - Sports Law, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ

Michael W. Ford
Senior University Counsel for Tax, Corporations & Athletics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Kevin S. Reed
Vice President & General Counsel, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Laura Warren
Senior Associate General Counsel, DePaul University, Chicago, IL

Session J: Hot Issues for In-House Counsel

Richard M. Thigpen
General Counsel, Carolina Panthers, Charlotte, NC

Michelle Kennedy
Chief Operating Officer, Nashville Predators, Nashville, TN

Ashwin Krishnan
Vice President & General Counsel, Marlins, Miami, FL

Vicky Neumeyer
Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans, Metairie, LA

Joe Pierce
Vice President & General Counsel, Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte, NC

Myles C. Pistorius
Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Miami Dolphins, Miami, FL

Session K: Sweepstakes, Promotions, Contests and Legal Challenges

Nyea Sturman
General Counsel, Orlando Magic, Orlando, FL

Nerissa Coyle McGinn
Partner, Partner and Chief Diversity Partner, Loeb & Loeb, Chicago, IL

Meredith Hillman
Vice President, Managing Director, HelloWorld Inc.

Session L: An Attorney's Role in Youth Sports Governance

Casey Jorgensen (invited to speak)
General Counsel, USA Hockey, Colorado Springs, CO

Sonja S. Keating
General Counsel, U.S. Equestrian Federation, Lexington, KY

Session M: NCAA Infractions Process: How Are Decisions About NCAA Rules Violations Made?

Naima Stevenson Starks
Deputy General Counsel, NCAA, Indianapolis, IN

Christopher L. Griffin
Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP, Tampa, FL

Patricia C. Ohlendorf
Vice President, Legal Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Session N: Class Action Considerations for Attorneys

Elise M. Bloom
Member of the Firm, Proskauer, New York, NY

Daniel L. Nash
Partner, Akin Gump, Washington, DC

5:00 pm - 5:55 pm

Breakout Session #2
(same topics and rooms as previous sessions)

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

SLA President's Reception
Sponsored by     

Saturday, May 19

8:00 am - 3:00 pm


8:00 am - 9:30 am

Sponsored by     

8:00 am - 9:30 am

Sponsored by     

8:30 am - 9:30 am

INTERNATIONAL BREAKFAST (pre-registration required)
Informal networking event for our international attendees and others wishing to participate.
Sponsored by     

9:30 am - 11:00 am


Abraham D. Madkour
Executive Editor, SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily

Donald Fehr 
Executive Director, NHLPA

Bob Foose
Executive Director, MLS Players Union

DeMaurice F. Smith
Executive Director, National Football League Players Association

11:00 am - 11:15 am

Sponsored in part by      and   

11:15 am - 12:45 pm

GENERAL COUNSELS' FORUM (invited to speak)

Abraham D. Madkour
Executive Editor, SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily

Adolpho A. Birch III
Senior Vice President of Labor Policy and Government Affairs, NFL

William Daly
Deputy Commissioner, NHL

Jamin Dershowitz
General Counsel, WNBA

Daniel Halem
General Counsel, MLB

William Z. Ordower
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, MLS

Daniel Rube
Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, NBA

12:45 pm

Meeting Adjourns

The views expressed by speakers are not necessarily the views of the Sports Lawyers Association. Speakers, times, and topics are subject to change.



The SLA 44th Annual Conference Registration Fees

Member Category Before 4/27 After 4/27
Regular/Associate $675 $725
Non-Member* $920 $970
Law Educator $550 $575
Law Educator (Non-Member)* $665 $690
Law Student $175 $200
Law Student (Non-Member)* $275 $300
Breaking into the Sports Industry (1 session ONLY – Included in Full Registration Fee) $150 $150
Spouse/Guest(Social Events ONLY – 2 Breakfasts, 2 Receptions, and 1 Luncheon) $125 $125
Friday Luncheon ONLY (Included in Full Registration Fee) $50 $50
LA Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals (Section 235) - Sold Out $34 $34
LA Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals (Section 234) - Sold Out $14 $14

* Non-Member rate includes one year's membership in the SLA! Members receive the Sports Law Weekly, the monthly electronic newsletter, a subscription to the Sports Business Daily, the SLA annual journal, the SLA annual membership directory, and access to the SLA members-only section of the association's website, which includes a member directory.

The registration fees, except the spouse/guest fee, include all panels and sessions, both receptions, the Friday luncheon, daily coffee breaks, and CLE credit, Sponsored by Tulane Law School.

NOTE: Attendees for the Friday afternoon NFLPA session are required by the NFLPA to register and pay for the FULL SLA meeting. ALL on-site registrants are required to make payment at the time of registration.

Substitutions or Cancellations?
Substitutions may be made at any time. Written cancellations must be received by May 1; 75 percent of the registration fee will be refunded or the paid fee can be applied to the 2019 Annual Conference in Phoenix, AZ. All registration fees must be paid before the meeting. On-site registrants are expected to pay all fees on-site; SLA will not invoice.

Register online

Register by mail


Accommodation & Travel

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is the crown jewel of National Harbor and Washington, D.C.'s newest waterfront dining and entertainment district. Located on the Potomac River, just steps from the shopping and entertainment National Harbor is known for, this waterfront resort provides you with the best of all worlds.

How To Reserve

Phone: 1-877-491-0468 
Web: Click here to book your hotel room

Room Rates (per night)

Single: $289; Double: $289; Atrium View: $329
Room Tax: 18%
(Resort fee of $18.00 per room, per night is included in the rates above)

All reservations must be accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed with a major credit card.

The SLA contracts to reserve a block of rooms based upon anticipated conference attendance in an effort to accommodate conference attendees' stay at the host hotel. It is very important to the SLA that conference attendees book their overnight rooms in the SLA room block so we are not required to pay attrition fees for unused rooms. While we understand there are other hotel choices in the area, we encourage you to support the SLA by booking a room at the host hotel in the SLA room block. Thank you.

Address & Directions

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
201 Waterfront Street
National Harbor, MD 20745 USA

For further details on Hotel and Travel, please see here

Event Properties

Event Date 17-05-2018
Event End Date 19-05-2018
Location Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center


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