Legal Blitz Co-Founder Earns Top Attorney Honors

It is with great pleasure and unabashed bragging that we congratulate Legal Blitz Co-Founder Steve Silver on being named to Billy Penn’s “Who’s Next in the Law” list. The media outlet recognized 18 Philadelphia lawyers under the age of 40 who are “making a difference in Philly’s legal community.”

Billy Penn called the honorees “movers and shakers in the law, and the people who were nominated as the next generation of legal professionals in this city.”

As to our own fearless leader, Billy Penn wrote, “A former reporter for the Las Vegas Sun, Steve is now a litigation associate at McBreen & Kopko where, in addition to premises liability cases, he also practices sports and gaming law and run a sports law blog called The Legal Blitz. His writing on sports and gaming law has been featured by the Huffington Post, Deadspin, Above the Law, the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Legal Intelligencer and the World Sports Law Report. This past year, he was successful in overturning a decision by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association barring a world-renowned Jamaican track star from competing in the Penn Relays, and he testified in front of the South Carolina Senate Higher Education Subcommittee in support of a bill to create post-graduate trust funds for NCAA student-athletes.”

Mazel Tov to Steve and remember that you can follow him on Twitter at @TheLegalBlitz and check out his work for Above The Law Redline and Deadspin on his Kinja site.

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NFL concussion litigation moves closer to a resolution

For several years, a group of about 5,000 former NFL players have battled the league in a class action lawsuit over concussion-related injuries (In re: National Football League Players’ Concussion Injury Litigation MDL No. 2323). The plaintiffs sued the NFL in the Federal Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia claiming that it actively hid the medical risks associated with repeated concussions and was not providing healthcare coverage rightfully owed to former players diagnosed with severe neurological disabilities as a result of playing the game.

Yet rather than proceed to the Super Bowl of football litigation, the parties reached an agreement that the Hon. Anita B. Brody approved on 22 April 2015, which has since been appealed to the Third Circuit. As a guest columnist for the World Sports Law Report, Steve explained the background to the settlement, the disagreement that has seen some members opt out of the settlement, and considers whether this settlement could serve as a framework for future concussion litigation settlements at an international level. Check it out here: World Sports Law Report Volume 13, Issue 5.

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Career Spotlight: Former College Athlete Turned Sports Agent and Professor Shares Industry Insights

The sports agent business is not for the faint of heart. As Prof. Siegrist explains, it is an "eat what you kill industry."

Finding a law school graduate who likes his or her job is a rarity these days. However, former Wingate University volleyball player Amanda Siegrist, has found two jobs that she loves thanks to a career path that began after an internship with a professor’s sports agency.

During the academic year, Siegrist is an assistant professor of recreation and sport management at Coastal Carolina University. Siegrist, who earned her J.D. at the Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law, has focused her research on the scope of the NCAA’s authority, particularly in criminal matters and the Uniform Athlete Agent’s Act. The rest of the year, she is an agent and event manager for KMG Sports — an Ohio agency that has represented more than 500 athletes and coaches.

With a career focused on sports, law, and management, The Legal Blitz had to pick the brain of one of the coolest and hardest working attorneys in the sports law world to learn more about her job path and her take on today’s top sports law issues. Check out her full Q&A after the jump.

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The Legal Blitz Talks Sports Law On Sports Kings Live

Warning, this an outright bragging self promotion.

Go listen to Co-Founder Steve Silver’s appearance on the Sports Kings Live podcast. He joined Big Mike and Rob Calloway to drop some knowledge about sports law. In particular, he discussed Georgia’s controversial new “Todd Gurley Law,” general NCAA hypocrisy, as well as Deflate-gate and our hatred for the use of “gate” after everything these days.

You can listen in right here. If you have any questions, please post below.

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Path To In-House Position Paved With Hard Work and Some Luck

We were all law students once. So no matter how far removed I get from the days of Bluebooks and IRAC essays, exam nightmares will always haunt me.

That’s why I figured it might be a welcome distraction for everyone cramming for finals right now to hear from someone who was once there too and is now working in a dream job. It might seem impossible now, but that hard work can and will pay off.

Meet Brian Rothenberg. Rothenberg earned a B.S. in Marketing from Rutgers College prior to obtaining a JD from Emory Law School. After several years cutting his teeth at a large firm in Philadelphia, Rothenberg decided to make the move to go in-house. But he didn’t just take any in-house position; Rothenberg went big.

He is now the Vice President and Senior Deputy General Counsel of Comcast-Spectacor, the sports and entertainment firm that owns the Philadelphia Flyers and Wells Fargo Center. Comcast-Spectacor also owns various sports and entertainment entities including Global Spectrum, Ovations Food Services, ticketing company Paciolan, and Front Row Marketing Services. Rothenberg has provided legal support and oversight for all of these entities for the past 13 years. So he knows a thing or two about how to land a great job and provide excellent legal services to clients, no matter how large or small.

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Oakland A’s Stuck In Legal Relocation Limbo

By Doug Fuglsang. Mr. Fuglsang is a licensed attorney in Illinois and Wisconsin with a Sports Law Certificate from the National Sports Law Institute. He can be reached at doug.fuglsang@gmail.com.

The A's would love to leave Oakland for greener pastures in San Jose, but legal complications are holding up such a move.

This month marks the 6th anniversary that former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announced he was creating his Blue Ribbon Committee with the goal of bringing the Oakland A’s stadium development dilemma to an end. To date, this Committee has produced absolutely nothing.

Due to MLB inaction, two years ago the City of San Jose unanimously voted to file two lawsuits against MLB. The most significant is an antitrust challenge to MLB relocation rules, which alleges, “MLB has unlawfully conspired to control the location and relocation of major league men’s professional baseball clubs.” If the Supreme Court grants cert it could signal the end for a ninety-three year old oddity — MLB’s judicially-crafted antitrust exemption.

It started innocently seven years ago when Oakland A’s owner, Lew Wolff, explored the idea of relocating his franchise 35 miles south to San Jose, California. The main obstacle to relocation boils down to a territorial rights dispute with the San Francisco Giants, as San Jose is located in Santa Clara County, an operating territory of San Francisco. It may seem odd to some that two teams, already sharing the Bay Area, can have a territorial rights dispute, but through Major League Constitution (“MLC”) Art. VIII § 8, MLB assigns each team territories, within which, each Major League Club has the right and obligation to play baseball games as the home club.

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The Legal Blitz Goes Podcasting with Above the Law

It’s March Madness. Or, as a person with a rudimentary respect for trademark laws would say, “It’s time for the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament.”

In this episode of Thinking Like a Lawyer, the Legal Talk Network takes a look at running an office bracket pool. But it turns out that gambling is illegal in most states. Why is that the case? Should we live in a world where we have laws that nobody even tries to enforce?

Legal Blitz founder Steve Silver recently joined Above the Law editors Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice to explain how we’ve gotten to the point where nearly every office worker in America breaks the law every March. Tune in here.

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Pennsylvania Senator Seeks To Legalize NCAA Bracket Pools

This article originally appeared in the March 18, 2015 edition of the Philadelphia Business Journal

Despite the best efforts of the NCAA and the federal government in defending farcical amateurism and anti-gambling platforms, March Madness is about one thing — sports betting. Specifically, betting in the form of bracket pools.

This week, the American Gaming Association estimates that 40 million Americans will fill out more than 70 million brackets and wager $9 billion on the NCAA tournament. That staggering figure is more than double the amount bet on the Super Bowl ($3.9 billion).

Perhaps most astounding is that of the $9 billion bet on this “student” basketball competition, only about $2 billion is wagered legally. For most aspiring bracketologists just hoping to earn a few extra bucks from their co-workers, the legal ramifications of these seemingly innocuous tournament brackets are never fully considered.

However, March Madness brackets, like all sports betting outside of Nevada and parlays cards in Delaware, are simply not legal. One Pennsylvania legislator, however, is trying to preserve March Madness office fun by officially legalizing bracket pools.

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Concussion Detection Problems Persist and Plague Player Safety

Concussions are a fact of life in contact sports. But can modern technology do anything to detect or even prevent them?

By Frank N. Darras, Esq. Mr. Darras is the founding partner of DarrasLaw, America’s top disability insurance litigation firm. His firm has recovered nearly $800 million in wrongfully denied insurance benefits for clients of all backgrounds and professions across the nation.

Will we ever tire of hearing about concussions in the NFL?

As long as the hits keep coming, it’s not likely. And the hits do keep coming.

The NFL recently announced it will not use helmet sensors next season, effectively halting one active effort to gain a better understanding of concussions. This, coupled with the still-imperfect process of sideline concussion tests, leaves us with concern about the future of concussion detection research.

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Fifty Shades of Fantasy Gray Area With Your Taxes

By Patrick Guinan, CPA. Mr. Guinan is the owner of PHL Tax Services and Dailyfantasytaxes.com. He is a graduate of Temple University’s Fox School of Business and a CPA licensed by the State of Pennsylvania. He is accepting new clients with Daily Fantasy Winnings nationwide and can file your return in all US States and Localities.

You may have had a great year in 2014 grinding out a nice profit on FanDuel, DraftKings or any of the other popular Daily Fantasy Sports sites. You may also be licking your wounds with losses on some of the sites. But come late January or early February, Uncle Sam will come calling if you were a winner.

You will receive a Form 1099-MISC from one of those sites if you received Net Earnings greater than $600 and it will be shown on Box 3. You may also receive a W-9 Form asking for your social security number and home address. Do not ignore these forms. Compliance is key because the penalties are $50 plus backup withholding of 28 percent. You should report net earnings of $1 or more, but anything more than $600 is what will be reported to the IRS.

So say you have a profitable year and you receive tax forms from these sites, you just want to get back to the daily fantasy grind, but now you have taxes to deal with. What should you do? Aside from calling a tax professional specializing in fantasy sports, you need to know some basic information about your taxes.

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