Sports and Law


Spend just a small bit of time around me and you will quickly figure out that I am a sports nut.  Football, baseball, basketball, hockey, you name it, I like watching it.  So you can understand how proud I am to represent several clients who at one time or another were stars in their respective sports.

It is because of this niche group of clients that I am occasionally asked to comment on the seemingly endless news stories where sports and the law intersect.

Click any of the links below to read, listen or watch me talk about legal issues in sports:

Case in Point Podcasts:


The worlds of sports and law often collide, and the results can be both highly entertaining and extremely educational. “Case in Point” features yours truly and Dave Harrigan from 1500 ESPN Twin Cities’ Mackey & Judd Show, discussing the latest legal issues affecting the sports world in Minnesota and beyond and the impact those issues have on fans.  You can subscribe to the podcast by visiting the Podcast One website.

Episode 12: Diving into the Joe Mauer and Adrian Peterson contracts: in this episode we discuss the contracts of both Joe Mauer and Adrian Peterson, the differences in guaranteed vs non-guaranteed deals in the NFL and MLB, and what factors have led to baseball contracts being much more player friendly overall.

Episode 11: How collective bargaining agreements came to be in professional sports: on this episode of Case in Point, we talk about the CBAs in our major sports. We talk about the reason these agreements came into being, compared the power held by players unions and league offices, the differences in how discipline is handed down, the appeal process, and some of the practical takeaways for anyone negotiating a labor contract.

Episode 10: A conversation about athletes who protest, from multiple perspectives: On this episode of Case in Point, we break down the Colin Kaepernick situation. We talk about how the 1st amendment applies to Colin or any athletes who choose to speak out on controversial issues, other athletes who have joined Kaepernick in his protest, what might finally cause the NFL to react, and how the 1st amendment applies to all forms of protest.

Episode 9: U of M vs J Robinson: an Employment Law Perspective, August 23, 2016:  On this episode of Case in Point, we are joined by my partner, Stacey DeKalb. We talk about the J Robinson debacle and contract dispute with the University of Minnesota, what the language in his contract means, why they are at an impasse in regards to his termination/buyout, and the practical takeaways for anyone, employer or employee, when it comes to contracts and employment law.

Episode 8: New Perspectives on Deflategate, August 11, 2016:  On this episode of Case in Point, we are joined again by Brooks Bollinger, getting Brooks’ opinions on the Patriots and whether or not deflating the footballs can help, and I share my viewpoints on the legal issues and how the case progressed through the court system.

Episode 7: Major League Hacking, July 28, 2016:  On this episode of Case in Point, we recap the situation with Chris Correa of the Cardinals hacking into the information database of the Houston Astros, his punishment, the laws that govern such corporate espionage, and what the everyday person can do to protect themselves online.

Episode 6: How Athletes Get Ripped Off and Scammed, July 14, 2016: On this episode we talk about athletes and their financial deals based off the of the Mark Sanchez story from a couple weeks ago. How athletes get involved with different scams and bad deals, how athletes and any average person can avoid it by getting the right representation behind them, and the role of lawyers, advisors, etc. in protecting their clients in business deals.

Episode 5: A Legal Perspective on the O.J. Simpson Trial, June 24, 2016: All about OJ, that’s the story of this episode of Case in Point. We discuss the criminal trial and how race took over, the civil trial, Fred Goldman’s dogged pursuit of OJ’s assets, the armed robbery incident. And the fact that OJ is up for parole in 2017.

Episode 4: Coach-Parent Dynamics in Youth Sports, June 8, 2016:  We talk about the dynamics between coaches and parents in youth sports, the legal rights that protect coaches from abusive parents, and the need for administrators to adopt more comprehensive policies to protect their coaches, rather than cut and run when complaints are brought from parents.

Episode 3: Should Celebrities Have More Control Over Their Likenesses?, May 26, 2016:  On this episode of Case in Point with Lommen Abdo’s Jeff O’Brien and 1500 ESPN’s Dave Harrigan, the boys discuss the PRINCE act, which failed to pass through the Minnesota legislature during the recently concluded session, and laws regarding personal privacy and publicity protections. Jeff tells about how publicity laws have impacted clients of his such as Carl Eller and Tommy Kramer and how those laws can impact any normal person, not just athletes and other celebrities.

Episode 2: Will Daily Fantasy Sports be Legalized in Minnesota?, May 9, 2016:  On this episode we take on the topic of daily fantasy sports. More specifically: – A description and update on the progress of the current bill in the MN legislature – What the impact will be on daily fantasy players whether the bill passes or not – How and why states like New York, Illinois and Nevada have taken stands against daily fantasy – The differences between legalized gambling, Indian gaming, fantasy sports etc. in the eyes of the law

Episode 1: How Will the New Concussion Awareness Impact Football’s Future? (with Brooks Bollinger), April 29, 2016

Other Sports and Law Resources:

NFL Threatens Suspensions in PED Investigation, Mackey and Judd, August 17, 2016

Gopher Wrestling Program In Trouble for Selling Xanax Pills, Mackey and Judd, May 27, 2016

Representing Retired Athletes (Co-Authored with Carl Eller), Hennepin Lawyer, May 2016

Tom Brady’s Suspension Reinstated, Mackey and Judd, April 26, 2016

Hulk Hogan-Gawker Jury Verdict, Mackey and Judd, March 23, 2016

Minnesota Timberwolves Ticket Lawsuit and Gophers Basketball Legal Issues, Mackey and Judd, March 7, 2016

Vikings-Wells Fargo Lawsuit/Peyton Manning Legal Drama, Mackey and Judd, February 16, 2016

Joe Kapp Discloses Alzheimer’s Diagnosis, KARE 11, February 8, 2016

Albertville Attorney at Home in Valhalla, North Wright County Today, January 13, 2016

The Art of Contract Negotiation aka Where Ragnar Went Wrong, Jeffrey O’Brien Today, October 6, 2015

Cris Carter Rookie Symposium Controversy, KARE 11 Interview, August 24, 2015

St. Louis Cardinals-Houston Astros Hacking Issues, KARE 11 Interview, June 16, 2015

Star RB Adrian Peterson returns to Minnesota Vikings, KARE 11 Interview, June 3, 2015

“Adrian Peterson”, News and Views with Roshini Rajkumar, WCCO 830 AM, November 23, 2014

The Name Game: Making Sense of the Cancellation of the Washington Football Team’s Trademarks, North Wright County Today, June 25, 2014

Chris Kluwe vs. the Minnesota Vikings: a Legal Analysis.  St. Michael Patch, January 7, 2014

Chris Kluwe vs. the Minnesota Vikings, “News and Views”, WCCO 830 AM, January 5, 2014

“Oscar Pistorius and Other Sports Scandals”, News and Views with Roshini Rajkumar, WCCO 830 AM, February 24, 2013

“Kaepernicking”™: The Importance for Athletes to Protect Their Brand, The Jeffrey O’Brien Today, February 3, 2013

Interview with Carl Eller and Roshini Rajkumar, “News and Views”, WCCO 830 AM, January 20, 2013

Understanding the Corporate Structure of the Green Bay Packers, Jeffrey O’Brien Today, February 7, 2011