Rules of the Game: Sports Law

Date: Available 24/7 CLE Credits: 2 General

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Course Description

This program was recorded on February 13, 2020

On and off the field, professional sports are growing. Fueled by increases in broadcast and sponsorship revenue, leagues, teams and athletes seek to expand their global reach. The market demands more attorneys who understand the nuances of sports law, where many different disciplines (contracts, international, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, labor and employment, just to name a few) intersect in ways uniquely relevant to representing sports clients.

This session will take a look at how the “Big 5” professional sports leagues (MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA and MLS) and teams are structured, how they operate and how they compare to their counterparts overseas. It will also look at issues important to consider when representing professional athletes.



  • Robert J. Caldwell
    Bob Caldwell is a Shareholder of Kolesar & Leatham, focusing his practice on business law and litigation, including contracts, business entities, sports and entertainment, real estate, intellectual property, product liability and employment law matters. Prior to law school, Caldwell interned in the United States Senate in Washington, D.C., advising on matters of military and foreign affairs. Caldwell serves as President of the Litigation Commission and Vice President of the Sports Law Commission of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA/International Association of Lawyers), the oldest multilingual international bar association in the world. He also serves as Chair of the General Committee Board of the American Bar Association (ABA) Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), having previously served as the Section’s Revenue Officer, member of its Governing Council and Chair of its Business Litigation Committee and International Law Committee.

    Contact Robert J. Caldwell
      • 2 General Credits
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      Each On-Demand course is available to you for 1 year from date of purchase. Additionally, CLE credit is only available within that year.
    1. History and legal structure of the Big 5 professional leagues
    2. Legal differences between open and closed league systems
    3. Legal differences between single-entity and traditional franchise leagues
    4. Comparing differences in North American sports and their counterparts overseas
    5. Buying and selling ownership interests in professional teams
    6. Unique issues relating to participation in Olympic sports
    7. Collective bargaining agreements and relations between unions and ownership
    8. How to resolve disputes through arbitration and mediation
    9. What sports agents need to know when representing professional athletes in international transactions