Sports Law Firms

Sports Law Firms

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Sports Law Firms


A Brief Introduction to Sports Law Firms

What is a sports law firm?

Sports law firms are important resources for all athletes, athletic teams, and owners of athletic facilities. Though some people believe that they’re only used by major athletes, they can add much needed guidance for many different levels and players in the athletic world.

What does a sports law firm do?

Sports law firms are incredibly specialized professionals who nonetheless practice in a wide-variety of areas of the law. Here are some of the many matters for which a sports law firm can prove useful:

• Representing athletes and sports teams in player-contract negotiations;

• Fielding and negotiating all offers for marketing, licensing, and endorsements;

• Filling suits for violations of copyright and other intellectual property laws;

• Planning and managing large-scale sporting events;

• Representing teams and labor unions in worker’s compensation suits;

• Mediating and arbitrating all possible disputes between facility owners and sports teams;

• Facilitating the trade of players between teams;

• Aiding in the complicated sale of one sports team between cities;

• Navigating all administrative regulations concerning the zoning of sports facilities;

• The drafting and finalizing of all contracts related to athletics, such as player contracts, contracts between teams and event facilities, and contracts for licensing opportunities.

How do I find a sports law firm?

Sports law firms are relatively rare which is unavoidable given the specificity of the field. The downside to this is that it can be difficult to find an appropriate sports law firm in your area. To help in your search, you might want to try these proven methods for getting great sports law firms:

Ask your coworkers: There can only be so many sports law firms in your region, so it stands to reason that a careful examination of all your coworkers can reveal the good and the bad of much of the available specialists in your region. Going in to an office will all the confidence that a recommendation will bring you will be a huge advantage overall in the legal process.

Use a legal directory: Martindale-Hubbell is the most famous legal directory, but bar associations also publish them, and they’re widely available on the internet. These are just listings of law firms by area and region. 

Call a legal referral service: Imagine that you could talk to a trained professional about your legal needs, and they could recommend the exact sports law firm suited to helping you. That’s what a legal referral service. Be warned that they cost a small amount, usually from $20-$50, but for that price the first consultation with the sports law firm is free. Since the service checks out all of the firms it recommends for bar memberships, legal insurance, and ethics violations, you know that you are being linked to a credible practice. Find a legal referral service in your area here: https://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/lris/directory/.

How do I research my sports law firm?

You should discover as much as possible about a sports law firm to understand if they will be successful in their dealing with you before you decide to hire them. Here are a few possible routes of investigation you might want to pursue:

1. Newspaper Articles: A sports law firm may be quoted in a local paper regarding a deal that they brokered netting their client millions in a free agent move. Alternatively, there could be countless accounts of their failed negotiation tactics in sports sections throughout the years. Either will be represented in searchable newspaper databases.

2. Online reviews: Sports message boards or athletic blogs might have some reviews of a sports law firm’s services. Try to search for these as much as possible, though remember that the author could be a jealous rival law firm or an irrational former client with a vendetta. They may have had no dealings with the reviewed firm at all, so stay critical of these critiques.

3. Look for disciplinary records: State bar associations or state supreme courts keep records of all the disciplinary actions taken against attorneys in the state. They don’t keep one for law firms, but you can search for the names of the firm’s most prominent lawyers, as well as whatever attorney you will expect will represent you. The more disciplinary actions are on-file, the more suspicious you should be of a firm’s ability to help you.

How will a sports law firm charge me?

Depending on their services, sports law firms charge either a flat fee or at an hourly rate. Lump-sums are used for simpler tasks without much variable work levels like drafting a typical contract, while hourly rates are best for more complex actions such as negotiating and brokering contract mediation.

Your sports law firm may also charge you auxiliary fees for such services as paralegal or legal researcher consultations or the drafting of documents. Others might charge bonuses for arbitration appearances. Any such fees should be discussed ahead of time with your sports law firm.

What should I ask my sports law firm?

Before you agree that a sports law firm should take your case, you need to find out their responses to several important questions regarding your situation and how they will treat you as a client. Those questions include:

1. What is your payment plan like? Are there any additional or auxiliary fees?

2. What experience do you have with a client like myself?

3. How available are you to work with? Weekly meetings or bi-monthly phone interviews? Can you visit near my home or do I have to visit the firm?

4. How do you expect to aid my career with your legal advice?

5. Will I be working with one lawyer in particular? Do the lawyers assign different tasks to different lawyers? If so, can I meet with everyone who might play a part in my case?

 

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